10 Reasons to Visit Iceland
Iceland may be off the beaten path when it comes to an easy travel destination. But, oh is it worth the effort to get there! Here are 10 reasons why explorers should put Iceland at the top of their travel list!
1. The Unspoiled Beauty
Other than road signs, there isn’t a lot of signage to detract from the amazing views in this country. Things are simple in Iceland, which allows travelers to see the natural beauty. It’s all about the real world, not a bunch of man-made things.
2. The People
Icelandic people are quite the hosts! They welcome guests to their country with huge smiles and easy conversation. English is widely spoken but you might also want to check out some useful words and phrases for travelling in Iceland.
Other than Reykjavik, Isafjordur and Akueyri, travelers will find that the rest of Iceland’s population lives in communities and villages. These smaller residential places help visitors experience tourism in an entirely new light. Villages = simple life.
4. Incredibly Varied Landscapes
Do you want to experience snow covered tundra? How about moonscapes? Would you like to walk through lava fields and see waterfalls? Grassy fields with grazing Icelandic horses? Would you like to hike on cliffs or walk along the beach? Well, Iceland has it all!
5. The Food
Icelandic cuisine is similar to Scandinavian cuisine, but with a twist. Fresh fish and lamb are commonplace and cooked with creativity. Skyr, Icelandic cheese which is similar to yogurt, is made into all sorts of baked treats. And for the bolder travelers, you can try the traditional fermented shark and smoked lamb cubes.
The Arctic fox is the only native Icelandic mammal. However, visitors will be treated to a multitude of bird life. There are dozens of species of transitory birds and an equal number of residential birds. Keep your eye out for the King Eider, a most unique and rarely sighted bird.
7. Rich History
While in Reykjavik, the National Museum of Iceland is a must visit. The country’s rich history is explained through well- presented exhibits.
8. Long Days in the Summer, Aurora Borealis in the Winter
Travelers will enjoy nearly endless daylight during the summer, which translates into midnight hiking if you’d like! Though the days are short in the winter, visitors will be treated to a light show through the aurora borealis. Search Northern Lights Tours.
9. Unique Geologic History
Icelandic geology will be right before your eyes. The country is growing in size by 2cm a year. Travelers can be witness to this unique geology by visiting the Lake Myvatn area, which is filled with ancient volcano fields, pseudocraters, active mud pots and mountains that vent steam.
10. Simple to Navigate
The Golden Circle is a 190 mile loop that goes around most of the country. But please don’t just stay on that road! Venture to the Westfjords too. All of the Icelandic roads are well-maintained. In some areas the roads switch between paved and gravel roads.
By Jennifer Petty