Iceland, the land of fire and ice
Three reasons to discover Iceland come easy. The place they call the land of fire and ice is a small Nordic island country in the north of Europe. It’s a true paradise for those who love nature, unique landscapes and adventure. This volcanic hotspot on a mid-ocean ridge boasts scenic locations of unparalleled wild beauty. However, Iceland is not just about insane natural beauty and wonderful wildlife. Iceland has a strong cultural side to it. There are many quaint ports to visit that harbor interesting attractions plus Norse heritage and Viking history. Let’s look at the top three reasons to discover Iceland. And let me also add some tips about this incredible destination.
Jaw-dropping landscapes of Iceland
Iceland welcomes about 1 million visitors each year. All of them eager to see the many volcanoes, calderas, fissures, glaciers, waterfalls, hot springs, and stunning beaches. Take your pick, or rather don’t. You can visit Iceland’s best features with a cruise around Iceland. It will definitely change your view of holidays forever.
Things to see include:
- Volcanoes: Eyjafjallajokull is Iceland’s tallest at 1,666m high although there are 130 active volcanic mountains across the entire country.
- Waterfalls: Godafoss, also known as the Waterfall of the Gods is a striking waterfall that drops 12m and is 30m wide. Skogafoss is a narrow cataract waterfall, 60m in height. Dynjandi falls are a total of 100m high and are quite impressive due to the staircase appearance brought about by six other smaller waterfalls formed from its peak to its lowest point.
- Hot springs and lakes: Geothermal energy boils under the earth’s surface all over the territory. The Blue Lagoon is an iconic thermal spa pool, but there are many more if you wish to soak and be a part of the experience, such as Lake Myvatn, Deildartunguhver springs, and many others. The geothermal fields at Krysuvik are a volcanic world of lava fields, boiling mud pools, fissures, steam vents, and craters.
- Beaches: Basalt beach is a gorgeous beach with an ebony soil that will take your breath away. Black sand can also be found at Djupalonssandur. Here the remains of a shipwreck are visible on its shore.
Wonderful Nordic wildlife
The richness of the landscapes has created a stark yet prosperous home for a myriad of astonishing creatures. A visit to these landscapes to meet the autochthonous wildlife will make you feel as a character inside a National Geographic documentary. And this is no exaggeration.
The local fauna includes arctic foxes, mink, and reindeer. Iceland also gets a few visits from the polar bear that come across from their native Greenland. The aquatic life consists of sea mammals such as seals and whales, and whale watching is one of the key attractions.
As for the most iconic and endemic bird species, extremely rare throughout the rest of the world, you can get to see the Icelandic Puffin. Around 60% of the entire Puffin population can be found on Iceland, so you are sure to see them quite frequently on your visit.
Be prepared however that many of the local restaurants will have Puffin on the menu, so if you are skirmish about admiring them first and tasting them later, it’s best to avoid that meal then.
Quaint port towns and culture
Husavik is a quaint port town that is so photogenic. Vibrant and clean-cut, this little town will definitely steal your heart. The picturesque Siglufjordur port is worth a visit. It features the Herring Museum and the Folk Music Center located in Madame House. Isafjordur port is where you will find the Maritime Museum and learn about the history of sea merchants and visit homes of the 18th century.
Children will especially love to go to the Sea Monsters Museum at Bildudalur town!
Speaking of mythical creatures and tales of yore, Iceland’s heritage goes way back to the age of Vikings, dating back to 9th century A.D. Their tales of conquest have been told from one generation to the next for centuries now. Visit the town of Reykholt where Iceland’s notorious storyteller Snorri Sturluson lived and worked, a renowned poet and politician who is most known for this contribution to the Old Norse language and mythology.
8 Tips + 1 for visiting Iceland
- The best time to visit Iceland is between June and September.
- Iceland has a cool oceanic climate with short but bright summers, so make sure you bring warm clothes.
- The weather is quite volatile, so be prepared.
- Have flip-flops with you when going indoors.
- Drink the tap water, it is crystal clear and pure.
- Iceland is a very secure and safe place to visit with almost no crime.
- If you want to get a glimpse of the Northern lights, choose to visit Iceland in September.
- Iceland is keen on maintaining a sustainable tourism industry, choosing to cruise will keep your carbon footprint to a minimum.
- If you are passionate about Island and eager to find out more, take a look at the official Gateway to Iceland.
Pin it: Three Reasons to Discover Iceland
For those of you who would rather enjoy a cruise in milder weather, read on here.