Iceland! It’s a land of sheep, the northern lights. Volcanoes with unpronounceable names (try saying Eyjafjallajökull). Majestic waterfalls, craggy mountains, and otherworldly landscapes. Visit Iceland!
Iceland is rugged and beautiful. And perfect for most outdoor adventures, all year round. The landscape serves as an epic backdrop to whatever activity you have in mind. But don’t take our word for it. Just see for yourself.
Most people come to Iceland for nature. Big mistake. Iceland’s most unrivaled treasure is the people, who are warm and friendly, and easy with a smile. Enjoy a walk around town, visit the local swimming pool, and purchase local produce, for a chance to mingle with this friendly creature.
Visit the Westfjords
The Westfjords is a large peninsula in northwestern Iceland with tons mountains and a coastline heavily indented by fjords. It’s one of the most raw parts of Iceland and my favorite region. Few people live here and fewer visit, though Icelanders make their way here on summer vacation. It’s an area of tiny towns, fishing villages, mountains, waterfalls, and lakes. In the summer months, puffins and whales call it their home.
In the winter, many of the roads are closed by ice and snow for several months. But you’ll find tiny towns, deep fjords, and beautiful hikes all to yourself. It’s not easy to get around but locals will let you hitch rides with them easily because bus service here can basically be non-existent. Be sure to eat at Tjöruhúsið in Ísafjörður for an all you can eat, catch of the day buffet. Delicious!
Take A Dip In A Thermal Pool
Icelandic folk have been bathing outdoors in thermal pools since Viking times. It would be remiss of you not to join in. Either as a surreal way to spend a dark winter’s day, or to unwind after a strenuous hike. The Blue Lagoon, with its vividly coloured water, is the most famous of Iceland’s pools – and its most commercialised.
The Myvatn Nature Bath is popular too, set as it is amongst the Martian landscape of craters, fissures, lava beds and solfatara. Be warned: the pool can be unbearably hot first thing in the morning. But really, there are thermal pools dotted all over the country. Ask a local for directions to their favourite. Chances are you’ll have it all to yourself.
Visit Iceland-Admire Iceland’s Wild Horses
The wild horses of Iceland are something very special to behold. They have become a symbol of Iceland’s wind-swept landscapes and pristine beauty. These beautiful animals are sturdy. They would have to be to thrive in Iceland’s winters. Their thick coats, which come in a variety of muted colors, insulate them from the heavy northern winds. They have a life-span considerably longer than the average horse.
These iconic creatures were first imported from western Norway about 1000 years ago. At that time they were so beloved that they were frequently buried with their owners (poor horse). They were used as pack animals as well as for transportation. In today’s Iceland they enjoy an elevated status as tourism draw.
Northern Lights In Iceland
The Aurora Borealis. More commonly referred to as the Northern Lights is a natural phenomenon created when particles emitted by the sun interact with the atmosphere in the Earth’s magnetic field. This releases energy, causing peculiar luminous green streaks across the skies.
On clear winter nights, sightseeing trips are organized around this spectacular. Though fickle—natural phenomenon. The ideal location for sightings varies and excursion leaders are skilled in “hunting” the lights. Finding locations where conditions are best for seeing them on any given night.
Swim in the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is probably the most famous attraction in Iceland and this is a geothermal spa which is made of heated seawater that is a striking turquoise color.
The waters here had long been said to have healing properties as they contain silica and other minerals and people flock here every year to treat a range of skin conditions and other ailments. There is a clinic here for those seeking treatments as well as a luxury spa.
During recent years, services for walkers and hikers have increased significantly in North Iceland tourism. The hallmark of North Iceland for walkers is its wide variety of trails. In the vicinity of Sauðárkrókur, for example, there are easy routes for the whole family. While quite demanding terrain awaits in the next mountain range to the east. Such as near Hólar in Hjaltadalur valley and at many places in the Tröllaskagi mountains between Skagafjörður and Eyjafjörður.
The peninsula east of Eyjafjörður, as well as many other areas. Displays remnants of deserted communities. Anyone interested in the Icelandic sagas, on the other hand. Might try the Húnavatn counties for tracing the steps of heroes like Grettir.
Geothermal energy is one of Iceland´s most important power sources. Energy primarily comes from heat stored in the Earth’s core. Magma deep in the core heats surrounding rock and rainwater that has seeped through the ground. A part of the hot water returns to the surface as hot springs. A larger part remains trapped underground in porous rocks and fissures termed geothermal reservoirs.
Icelanders have utilized the geothermal energy for laundry and bathing and for cooking and baking since the country was first settled. Today, geothermal heating plants exist throughout the country and the hot water is used for heating homes and public swimming pools. The hot water is also utilized in the production of electricity.
Guide to Snorkeling in Silfra
The island of Iceland was formed by the violent forces between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates as they move unstoppably apart. This movement has been forming Iceland’s landscapes over the last 18 million years.
There is a unique site in Iceland where the rifts between the tectonic plates are clearly visible. A fissure, that even has a name, Silfra. Which translates to “silvery,” appeared in 1789 after a major earthquake. Today, Silfra is filled with crystal clear glacial water. Making it the only place in the world where you can dive or snorkel between two continental plates.
Approximately 180 km (110 mi) southeast of Reykjavik is Reynisfjara, a black sand beach, surrounded by roaring surf, and the hexagonal basalt columns of Reynisfjall mountain.
Perpetually accosted by North-Atlantic storms. Facing only the strange dark caves which gape in the cliff-face on shore.