Cold and mystical, wild and magical. There truly is no place on earth like Iceland, where nature puts on the most magnificent of displays. Land of the midnight sun, the sun barely sets in summer, and during winter people only see light between 11am - 3/4pm.
Given its isolated location, more and more travellers opt in a side visit to Iceland when visiting the UK or Europe. Here's a mini list of wonders you must experience when visiting:
No visit to Iceland is complete without a visit to the magical Blue Lagoon. Even in the middle of winter this thermal spa is warm and inviting - you just need to brave the cold from the change rooms to the water. Soak in the therapeutic mineral waters of the lagoon while wearing a face mask and sipping on champagne. Any travel weariness you've been experiencing until now, will slowly fade away.
Explore the most popular of Iceland's sites with a tour of the Golden Circle. Whether you do this by car or joining a day tour by bus is entirely up to you. Here are the key sights of the Circle:
One of Iceland's most iconic and beloved waterfalls is found in the Hvítá river canyon. The water travels from the glacier Langjökull, before cascading 32 meters down Gullfoss in two stages. The waterfall is completely mesmerising and a dramatic display of nature's raw power.
GEYSIR GEOTHERMAL AREA
The Great Geysir is an erupting hot spring located in a geothermal field which is about 3 km². The vast jets of hot water can erupt as high as 40 metres! The geyser erupts every five to ten minutes, so have your camera ready to capture this powerful display.
THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK
Situated between two continental plates (the Eurasian and North American), the National Park is one of Iceland's most historically significant, sacred and naturally beautiful sites. Here you can visit Alþing, the site of Iceland's parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries, the Þingvellir Church and the ruins of old stone shelters. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of the plates, featuring dramatic and rugged rocky cliffs and fissures.
The capital of Iceland is a hub of vibrant art, live music and historical attractions. Explore the harbour, eat traditional food, visit the Lutheran church Hallgrimskirkja, and shop along Laugavegur, which boasts great clothing and gift stores, bars, and restaurants. Take a stroll and enjoy the colourful street art, or head towards the Icelandic Phallological Museum (yes, you read right!) or the National Museum of Iceland.
No one can visit Iceland without an attempt to view the celestial light show known as the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis). Best chance of aurora activity is between September - March when the nights are dark and clear. There is no guarantee when the lights will appear but you can download apps like Aurora which provide daily updates.
- Iceland is pretty much cashless. You can use your card everywhere.
- Dining is expensive so always check prices.
- If hiring a car, inform the rental company of your route in case you need a 4x4.
- Wear water proof clothing if visiting wet attractions. The wind can send that water sideways!
- You will need to book your visit to the Blue Lagoon in advance.
Got some tips or awesome pics of Iceland? Feel free to share them with us!