Many of you can automatically conjure up visions of breathtaking natural scenery, hauntingly quiet lakes, lost castles and if you read this at lunchtime) delicious fish dishes if we say the word ‘Iceland’. But in Iceland, there’s a lot more to learn, so we thought we’d take you on a whistle-stop tour of the top ten things to do and see. Done? Ready?
1. Gaze in wonder at the many cascades of water
Iceland is renowned for its astonishing scenery views and waterfalls are used in over 10,000 of these locations. From Bruarfoss, which is just 3 meters (9 feet) high, to the Morsi Waterfall, which is 240 meters high (787 feet). Without gazing at these breathtaking sights, a trip to Iceland is just not complete.
2. Head for the Hot Springs
There is ample geothermal water in Iceland to fulfill everybody’s desires. So what better way than joining in to enjoy Iceland! There are hot springs throughout the world, one of the most popular being the Blue Lagoon, from the largest town to the most remote area.
3. Catch the color kaleidoscope in the Northern Lights
These magical lights, once thought to be the glitter of Valkyries bringing dead souls into the afterlife, are now one of the world’s wonders. Currently, we all know that you need good preparation and luck to see them because of solar particles entering the magnetic field of the earth and being attracted to the North Pole. They are visible almost 8 months out of the year in Iceland and there is less cloud cover, unlike other countries which means your chance has just gone up a notch!
4. In Vatnajökull Glacier Ice Caves
There is an ever-changing, vibrant, frozen world waiting to be explored in the depths of the Vatnajökull Glacier. If you ever thought Elsa was awesome from Disney’s ‘Frozen,’ then you’re going to love this place.
A majestic insight into the ferocious power of nature is offered by this dramatic coastline. You can stand atop this 120 meter (393 ft) coastline as the sea gushes below you with turbulent waves and very literally, enjoy the view. If you feel a little bit like a daredevil, then you can step through the archway and stand on the edge of the world, as it sounds.
6. The Hallgrimskirkja
Built by Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937, this white concrete church can be seen from anywhere in the capital. Surprisingly, its architecture was inspired by the volcanic basalt pillars that are scattered around the countryside of Iceland.
From its multicolored mountains to meandering lava trails, crystal clear lakes, and soothing hot springs, Iceland is home to many magical landscapes. But where in only one place can you find all these amazing natural phenomena?
Of course, the answer is Landmannalaugar. You may be wondering what makes the mountains’ distinctive colorings stand proud against the skyline. The peaks are made of mineral-filled lava called Rhyolite, which emits splashes of rainbow colors as it cools unusually slowly.
8. The Geysers
Geysers are not only great fun (hands up how many of you jumped in surprise when a geyser is currently erupting), but they are also a relatively unusual natural occurrence, there are only around 1,000 on the planet as a whole.
Geysers are a natural spring that forces the water to bubble and gush upward when the water meets superheated magma well below our feet until it bursts into the air with tremendous speed and in some instances, incredible height. In reality, the word “Geyser” was coined from the Icelandic word “geyser” which means “gush.”
9. Mountain Vestrahorn
Imagine, you’re sitting on the shore of a gentle lagoon as the crystal clear water laps your toes, you’re sitting on a flat black sand beach stretching out in front of you, and the view is dominated by one of Iceland’s most breathtaking peaks. One of our top places to visit on your trip to Iceland is certainly Vestrahorn, a 454 meter (1,489-foot tall screen peak.
10. Observing Whales
Iceland might very well be one of the best locations for whale watching in the whole world. In reality, in Reyðarfjörður Fjord, Iceland, the whale-ultra-celeb, Keiko from Free Willy, was caught. Keiko was a Killer Whale, but there are about eleven species that are seen year-round on a daily basis.