It’s not hard to see why Iceland is such a popular destination for travellers. The scenery is gorgeous to a staggering degree and is inspirational to behold. This must-visit, eco-tourism hotspot has been at the top of my list of places to explore for quite a while. Here are some fab reasons why Iceland should be on your travel bucket list too:
Amazing and Inspiring Scenery
When I look at some of the amazing images of the Nordic landscape, I am reminded of something out of a fantasy novel. The contrasts and unique geography almost seems alien; yet the reality is, it’s one of the most natural places on the planet. From the geysers and waterfalls, to the ice caves and geothermic spas, a chance to see aurora borealis, as well as orca watching and generally stunning views, Iceland is one of the most breathtakingly scenic destinations in the world.
For these reasons, Iceland is truly inspirational for creative minds. If you’re looking to reignite the spark for your music, writing, or graphic art, then it is the perfect place to do so. Even if you aren’t the creative type, the scenery will do wonders for your wellbeing.
One of the many reasons to visit Iceland are the Northern Lights. The thought of laying next to my partner, staring at the sky looking at the awesome colours is something truly amazing. The unpredictability of their appearance only adds to the allure of the Northern Lights. But there are some things you can do to deal with such uncertainty, and one of which is to know more about the ineffable aurora borealis. Start with this practical guide to the Northern Lights in Iceland. Even if we weren’t lucky enough to see them though, the place and experience itself would nothing short of spectacular.
Iceland is the country with the cleanest energy consumption worldwide, and you’ll be hard pressed to find hotels, and tour guides that aren’t operating with strong green eco-friendly ideals. When you combine that with the nature of the activities, and the locations you’ll visit, Iceland is without a doubt chief among eco-destinations.
The potential is limitless when it comes to eco-tourism in Iceland; you can walk memorable trails, hike up mountains, cycle, or even opt for horseback. Furthermore, you could equally explore the waters; snorkelling, rafting or diving your way to new eco-friendly experiences.
Icelandic culture is special. Due to the way the country is tucked away, it has developed in a way that is quite separate, though not unfamiliar, to us here in the UK. The folklore that has come from Iceland has inspired many fantasy works (including Lord of the Rings), and there is a deep appreciation for the arts to be found.
Where To Visit
There are so many unique and amazing experiences, I honestly don’t even know where to begin! One place to visit if you are looking to get absorbed in the culture of Iceland is Reykjavik. This easy to traverse city is full of parks, museums, galleries, a world-renowned concert hall, dining opportunities and so much more. It is also a good base for exploring other areas.
For nature lovers, and some awe-inspiring scenes, the Westman Islands is an essential spot to visit. This is home to the world’s largest colony of puffins, whales and some extremely cool caves. This can be reached easily from Reykjavik.
An incredible place to swim would be the Blue Lagoon. This geothermic spa is an extremely popular tourist spot, renowned for its incredible geothermic seawater; great for general wellbeing and it even has therapeutic properties.
Another ‘must’ is The Golden Circle; this consists of the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, beautiful Thingvellir National Park, where you can stand between two tectonic plates, and the spectacular geysers of Haukadalur Valley. It truly would be an experience like no other.
When To Visit
Iceland has severe winters with sometimes extremely cold temperatures and very little daylight. Whilst the darkness is not a problem if you are visiting purely to try to see the Northern lights, it does limit other options. It is also worth noting many roads close over the winter period, making some areas more inaccessible and travel difficult. However, some of the most impressive ice caves are only open in winter, so this is also worth noting!
Summer has long periods of daylight, which may make sleep more difficult. However this time of year is great for hiking and experiencing the summer festivals.
In my opinion, early-mid September is an ideal time to visit. It is the transition period between summer and winter, so the weather in Iceland in September is fairly balanced; the extreme winter won’t have kicked in yet and the roads are still open. It is a good time for whale watching and there is a high chance of seeing the Northern Lights too, as it is around the equinox. Some of the ice caves, such as Katla for example, are open all year round too. Sounds perfect to me!
*This is a collaborative post