iceland diamond beach

Iceland Wonders: Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice: Exploring the Wonders of Iceland

Despite the name, Iceland is not as icy as it sounds. Glaciers cover only 10% of the whole country, and the climate is relatively mild so tourists can enjoy their vacation in this country. Iceland is located between North America and Europe and is considered as Nordic European.

If you’re the type of traveler who’s not a fan of the typical beach and theme park routine when going on vacation, then Iceland is definitely for you. Check out these unique activities and places that you can indulge in while staying in Iceland.

Go on a Road Trip

A road trip might sound boring, but a road trip in Iceland is a different thing. You can’t go faster than 90 km/h, which gives you ample time to appreciate the unique Iceland scenery. Iceland is home to some of the craziest sights such as black sand beaches and weird rock formations.

Go Horseback Riding

If you want to travel without a car, horseback riding is a good alternative. This is a thrilling experience for people who have never tried it before, but safety is not an issue. Iceland’s horses are well trained, and the ride will make you appreciate nature a whole lot more.

Dive in Lake Thingvallavatn

The crazy thing is, this lake is located between two continents – the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The water gives you a clear view of everything underwater so you can’t miss out on anything when you’re diving.

Descend into Thrihnukagigur volcano

The volcano isn’t active anymore. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be allowed to visit it. You’ll be lowered into the volcano, and you have 1 hour to look around. The orange-covered walls with violet streaks is a sight that you can’t see anywhere else.

iceland guide

Take a Dip in the Hot Pools

There are a lot of hot pools that can be found in Iceland. The pools here are held in high regard because they are clean and soothing. Here are some of them and their best features.

Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes

Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s leading spa destination. The white silt is famous as a cure for skin ailments, and the water’s color truly lives up to its name.

Leirubakki, Hekla

The sunken pool is fairly small and can only fit up to four people, but the view compensates for the small size of the tub. Hekla, a volcano once believed to be the gateway to hell, is visible in the background while taking a bath in the pool.

Laugardalslaug, Reykjavík

People in Iceland also have their recreation time, and most of them choose to spend their time here. People of all ages can enjoy the various amenities such as hot tubs, saunas, and pools.

Landmannalaugar

Also known as the “Farmer’s Hot Bathing Pool”, the water flows from an ancient lava flow and mixes with another cold spring. Find a spot where the waters mix and check if the water temperature is suitable to your liking.

Visit the Cities

Iceland is home to beautiful landscapes and beautiful cities as well. Here are some of the cities which can be found in Iceland.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital, and it’s also the biggest city. It is known for its lively people and lively music.

Kópavogur

Kópavogur means ‘seal pup bay.’ It has the second biggest population next to Reykjavik and the main attraction in this city is the Kópavogur Church and the Kópavogur Art Museum.

Hafnarfjörður

Hafnarfjörður is Iceland’s third largest town and the home of Iceland’s music festivals. The Viking Festival also takes place in this town at the same time of the summer solstice.

gufufoss in icelaand

Seyðisfjörður

Seyðisfjörður is one of Iceland’s top tourist spots because of the art scene. The people are also really hospitable, making you feel at home even if you’re a visitor in the area.

Takeaway

Iceland offers more than the usual experience for travelers, and its unique landscape is an unforgettable sight. You’ll never get bored while traveling because everything that you see is offered only by Iceland and can’t be found anywhere else.

Lisa jones guest post

Guest post, Author Bio

Lisa Jones is a freelance writer who also loves travelling. She travels a lot and is constantly on the lookout for discounted tours and promo packages found on sites such as Deal Wiki. When not writing or travelling, Lisa enjoys watching movies at home.


northern lights iceland

Iceland - The Mysterious Island in The Artcic Circle

Iceland – The Mysterious Island in The Artcic Circle

There are countries on our planet that you would never think of in normal circumstances. They are usually either small or just too distant, so most of us have not quite heard of them at all. But once you become aware of their existence and finally visit them, then you stay completely amazed with their beauty. Iceland is one of those countries that are usually off the radar for most of the tourists. And this is quite unfortunate since Iceland is truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

The Mysterious Island

Iceland has quite a harsh name since the first things that come up your mind are some huge glaciers and probably polar bears. This does not sound like a nice place for vacation, right? Well, Iceland actually refers to an island located near the Arctic Circle in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Although the climate is quite cold, the island is not completely covered in ice as its name suggests. It actually has quite a mild winter and summers can be warm, which makes it a perfect time for visiting Iceland. The country is quite desolate, so if you are in the mood for relaxing and having a quiet vacation, then this is a place for you. Its nature and terrain are truly amazing, and if you love hiking, book yourself a ticket to Iceland.

Nevertheless, reaching Iceland is not as difficult as one might think. Iceland is isolated only on the maps, but in reality, you can visit it without any issues at all. There is a modern airport near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik with connections to all major centers in Europe and the rest of the world. And planes are the best means of transportation within the country, too. In fact, what buses and trams are for most of the other countries and cities in the world those are the planes for Iceland. You can use buses too, but it may be better to rent a car instead since you will have more freedom for exploring.

iceland diamond beach

Foggy Past of Iceland

There are not many true sources for the oldest periods of Iceland’s past. In fact, Sagas are quite often the only records about events that happened during the Middle Ages. One of those Sagas says that first men have settled here in the late 9th century from Norway, although first people who have actually reached this distant island were from Sweden. Iceland soon became an independent nation and it was used as the starting point for other exploration expeditions. Soon Greenland has been discovered as well as the shores of North America.

In the 13th century, Iceland became a part of Norwegian Empire and this union has lasted for more than half a millennium. The first ideas of reestablishing an independent Iceland began emerging during the 19th century. In 1918 Denmark and Iceland made a deal which formed a personal union between these two countries. This meant that Iceland was a semi-independent country. In 1944, Iceland finally became a completely sovereign republic.

Today, Iceland is a modern nation with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Lately, it is starting to become one of the major tourist destinations in Europe, mostly thanks to a growing popularity for various Hollywood filmmakers. Some of the biggest blockbusters were filmed in Iceland and Star Wars and Game of Thrones are just the most notable!

iceland land of ice and fre

The Hottest Attractions in Iceland

Iceland is packed up with amazing places worth seeing, but most of them are concentrated in the southern part of the country and around the capital – Reykjavik. Since you will be probably staying in the capital, we would advise you to explore it first. There are indeed many cool places in Reykjavik one can truly enjoy visiting.

Its old town is the best starting point for your exploration. It is not big, so you can roam it on foot. Reykjavik’s architecture is absolutely unique and roaming through its streets is an awesome experience.

City Hall and Reykjavik Cathedral are among the most photographed places in the city for a good reason, of course. Imagine Peace Tower is maybe the best-known object from Reykjavik since it is a memorial to John Lenon, erected by Yoko Ono. Perlan or The Pearl is a great spot for enjoying an amazing view of the city. Here you can also find an amazing but quite expensive restaurant. National Museum and Reykjavik City Museum are great places for discovering the mysterious past of the entire Iceland and the city.

Apart from Reykjavik, be sure to explore the amazing nature of Iceland. The southern part of the island is absolutely incredible, so we would advise you to check this area. It is maybe the most picturesque region in the world with numerous astonishing waterfalls and glaciers. They are an ultimate symbol of nature at its best. You can also check out some of the most important historical sites in Iceland, which are situated in this area as well. The first of them is called Skálholt and it was the place where the bishop of Iceland used to reside in. The other spot is called Pingvellir and it is the location where ancient Icelandic parliament called Alpingi had its meetings.

These are just some of the few top attractions and locations in Iceland one should really not miss. But there are thousands of others that are equally amazing and worth seeing. Nevertheless, you will have to check out those yourself.

behind iceland waterfall

Accommodation In Iceland – The Wealth of Choice

Iceland’s incredible natural wonders attract more and more tourists every year. Tourism has boomed and for that reason, the options for accommodation are extensive with extremely high standards. At the basic level, visitors can expect clean sheets, cosy room, and a pleasant atmosphere. Even though there are many options on offer, accommodation in the whole country is booked very quickly, especially during the summer, as well as Christmas period.

The capital, Reykjavik has the widest range of possibilities when it comes to lodging, and what is more, accommodation in the Iceland’s capital suits every budget. Thus, no matter how much money you have spared for your vacation, you will surely find a suitable accommodation in Reykjavik.

If you are a fan of hotels, you will have the opportunity to choose the one you like according to your preferences and demands. So, if you have a more refined taste, we recommend you the wide arrow of luxury hotels. You may first try with The Icelandair Hotel Marina that overlooks the harbour, or Hotel Borg, located downtown with furniture in art deco style. In addition, if your budget is high, you can enjoy your stay in Hilton Reykjavik Nordic Hotel. It is placed slightly outside of the centre of Reykjavik, but its additional amenities will surely make it up for the travel to the centre.

Should you stay in the centre of the city, the best lodgings are the three and four-star hotels. They are inevitably modern, stylish and always provide you with more services than you asked for. Our recommendation is Fosshotel chains with extraordinary and well-furnished deluxe rooms and suites.

But if you want to cut down expenses on accommodation, you will have countless possibilities in Reykjavik. Some of them even have the central location within the city, hence you may check out 101 Hostels, B47 or Kex.

The tourists who want to stay in Iceland’s capital for a longer period should consider renting an apartment. Staying in Downtown Reykjavik Apartments or Apartment K may save you money, and the service will be more than excellent.

As for the Golden Circle and the South Coast, hotels in this range exceed all expectations. Since visitors usually plan to stay more than one day around the Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Pingvellir National Park, accommodation is almost always full. However, some of the new hotels are being built, so 2018 is the year of expanding the accommodation capacities in the south of the country.

If you are one of those who plans to stay in the Golden Circle and the South of Iceland, you may wish to consider some of the hotels in advance. At Geysir, you may try with Geysir Cottages or Hotel Litli Geysir. Should you stay little closer to the waterfall, contact the polite staff at Hotel Gullfoss or Hotel Borealis. Those who prefer to stay near the Pingvellir National Park may choose between several kinds of accommodation including villas, bungalows, and standard rooms. It is up to you to choose your preferences, but you will surely have a broad arrow of available lodging possibilities in Iceland.

iceland hotels

Cuisine – Make Sure You Try the Traditional Meals

Being surrounded by ocean makes Iceland a country whose cuisine consists mainly of seafood. However, ingredients of Icelandic cuisine also include lamb and dairy. In case you are a gourmet, don’t hesitate to try the most popular dishes in the country. For instance, tourists don’t miss the chance to taste Hangikjot – or in other words, smoked lamb. Special emphasis is put exactly on Hangikjot due to the old-fashioned way of farming sheep. The dish is served with potatoes, green peas, red beets and bechamel sauce. Foreigners simply adore it, hence you should also give it a try.

Skyr, or a soft-cheese, is another must while in Iceland. Some even call it a yogurt, and they may be close since it is made of gelatinous milk curds. It is usually mixed with Icelandic blueberries, milk, and sugar, and visitors to Iceland are thrilled with it.

Kjotsupa is another lamb dish, prepared in a way that one needs to cut the meat into pieces and boil it with rice, carrots, onions, turnips, potatoes, and spices. Kjotsupa requires a long boiling process, but it is more than tasty, and locals eat it several times in a week. They even like it more when the dish stays overnight.

Of course, all kinds of fish are readily available in almost all the restaurants in the country. So, you may taste the fish you have never dreamed of tasting. And you will surely be satisfied since the Icelandic are the masters of preparing perfect fish.

And if you are ready to taste the dishes that no other country offers, then make sure to find a restaurant that serves svid, hrutspungar, hakarl, horse and skata. Let us know how these dishes taste.

iceland waterfalls

Things To Do In Iceland

Apart from sightseeing, exploring the beautiful natural wonders and visiting the memorable waterfalls, Iceland still offers other unforgettable activities to all those who visit the beautiful country surrounded by the ocean. One such activity is a whale watching tour. You may depart from Reykjavik and the excursion lasts for several hours. Whales simply enjoy swimming in the cold North Atlantic ocean, so be sure to get your cameras ready because there will be enough time to capture some great photos.

Horseback riding tours are also a very popular type of activity in Iceland. The horses in Iceland are quite small, so they are usually called ponies. These animals are kind and beautiful, as well as easier to ride, so get yourself ready for some horseback riding.

In case you are traveling to Iceland during winter, an inevitable activity is to book the Northern Light Tour. The best results come when the sky is clear and many people mark this activity as a must.

There are countless other activities and events that readily await the tourists, so you just need to tick the ones you are interested in and want to explore. Good luck with your visit to Iceland!!

kirkjufell iceland guide

Things To Do In Iceland

The Ultimate Bucket List Of 7 Things To Do In Iceland:

Iceland is the perfect destination for nature lovers. those who love the cold but still love taking part in activities while admiring the nature. One can find some of the most amazing landscapes in Iceland. One can visit some of the best waterfalls as well by take tours that companies provide. Aside from waterfalls, there are many other outdoor attractions that one can visit. Such as the Thingvellir national park, the famous great geyser, beautiful caves. This is why one should make an ultimate bucket list of all the things they want to see.

If one is thinking about tours to Iceland, then it is best that they do make a note of all the things that they want to see and do. Many people have said that they regret not doing their research first and making a note of all the places they would like to see and things they would like to do. Well just for that reason, this holds a bucket list that hopefully proves useful for you.

diamond beach iceland

See an active volcano

Iceland is known for its many active volcanos. Because of this Island is of volcanic origin and located on a so-called hot spot on the mid-Atlantic Ridge, there are about 130 volcanic mountains. Since Iceland’s settlement in 874 A.D, 18 of these mountains have erupted. The most active and unstable of them all is Grimsvotn. The most recent volcanic eruption was caused by Eyjafjallajokull on April 14, 2010. Over the last 500 years, volcanic eruptions in Iceland have accounted for one-third of the world’s lava output. That’s why Iceland is one of the best locations in the world to see active lava flows. Join a guided volcano sightseeing tour to one of Iceland’s eruption sites to see an exciting natural spectacle.

iceland volcano

Visit the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most popular geothermal spa and an exciting place to swim. It is like one huge natural outdoor swimming pool with a water temperature of 37-39 degrees c. The volcanically heated seawater is rich in minerals, including sulphur and silica and has helped many people with all kinds of skin conditions, such as psoriasis. Swimming in the Blue Lagoon is possible year-round and is always a fascinating experience – whether surrounded by snow in the winter or during Iceland’s long sunny days in the summer. One should go swimming or just relax in a geothermal pool. There are many such pools if you do not wish to visit this but to live up to the tradition, swimming in a geothermally heated pool is a must.

Iceland Blue lagoon

Walk behind a waterfall

Visit Seljjlandsfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls and a great spot to take photos. The waterfall is a 60-metre cascade, dropping over the cliffs and into a poll at its base. An exciting feature of this waterfall is that one can walk behind it for an even more unique waterfall perspective.

Iceland waterfalls

Stand on a glacier

Glaciers and ice caps make up about 11 percent of Iceland’s land area. Driving through the snowy wilderness across the white plains of a glacier is an Icelandic experience not to be missed. If you’re not familiar with off-road driving, take a guided Super Jeep tour with a professional driver, which lets you sit back and enjoy the views without having to concentrate on driving or looking at a map. Alternatively, if you have never snowmobiled before, here is your chance. Snowmobiling tours are also offered in Iceland.

glacier iceland

See the original geyser – Geysir

A geyser is a spring that spouts water high into the air and is accompanied by steam and a vapour phase. The Word ”geyser” originated in Iceland and comes from Geysir, which is the name of such a spring. In fact, all of the world’s hot springs are named after Geysir, which is located at Haukadlur and is also known as The Great Geysir. As you enter the Geysir park area, you will notice the steam rising from hot springs and vents all across the area. In the past, Geysir has pushed steaming water up to 70 metres in the air.

A neighbour of Geysir is Strokkur, Which is smaller but still interesting to visit. Its waterspout is about 20 to 30 metres high. Besides watching the hot springs, the park offers great hiking opportunities. There are several marked trails that lead past steaming vents, colourful mud pools, and many smaller geysers.

Seeing the Northern Lights

Most people visit Iceland just to see this beautiful and natural phenomenon. The best time to see these lights are in the winter when the weather is clear. It is most likely to find them from September to April. If one does decide to go hunting for the northern lights then it will sure be worth their time.

iceland northern lights

The Midnight Sun

If one gets a chance to watch the midnight sunlight the sky in different tones of pink and yellow then they will have had a beautiful experience already. This midnight sun lets one enjoy the long summer days of Iceland even more. It is out during summer months and the best place to see it would be near the Sun Voyager, or by Grotta, Reykjavik.

iceland midnight sun

These are a few of the things that should be on everyone’s bucket list. If they are planning tours to Iceland. What benefit will this have? Well, true sights to behold, memories and photographs that one can keep with them for years to come. Do share with me in the Comments some of your favourite things to do in Iceland.