It’s name brings to mind glaciers, polar ice caps, snow-topped mountains, and a frozen unforgiving land. But, Iceland is far from these teeth-chattering descriptions. Iceland is actually more green than Greenland! Founded by Vikings who discovered the little land mass to be a difficult place to thrive, it was named “Island” (pronounced Iceland) by it’s Nordic discoverer who found the place of little value and promptly left. What he didn’t realize was that Iceland was just a “diamond in the rough”. Later Nordic inhabitants tamed the volcanic Island and have been reaping the benefits of being one of the happiest places on Earth, ever since!
Right now is the best time to take a trip to Iceland as prices are very good for airfare and you can really make your dollars stretch! There is so much to see and do on this tiny island that may surprise you!
What does Iceland have to offer?
Iceland’s beautiful capital city Reykjavik, complete with brightly-colored old wooden houses, offers many cafes, clubs, pubs, and is one of the trendiest cities in the world.
Don’t miss the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous geothermal pool! The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most famous tourist attractions. The lagoon is fed by mineral-rich seawater that is heated by a nearby geothermal plant and is surrounded by mountains which gives it a surreal feeling.
From September to April you can take in one of the most beautiful natural wonders, The Northern Lights. Due to Iceland’s close proximity to the Arctic Circle, you will be able to see breathtaking views of these dancing lights, unimpeded.
If you want to see Iceland’s most famous waterfall spilling over a 105ft steep canyon wall, creating rainbows in the mist above it, you will want to travel to Gullfoss!
During the winter months, Iceland attracts tourists looking to trek across the sturdy glaciers. There is no better way to get up close to a glacier than trekking across one! Many places also offer snowmobiling tours around various areas.
Snaefellsjkull is Iceland’s famous mountain featured in Journey to the Center of the Earth! It is located in Snaefellsjkull National Park and called “The Jewel of the West.” While there, be sure not to miss Djúpalónssandur beach where you can see lava frozen in such unique shapes that it seems to create its own outdoor art gallery! Also, a new attraction just opened in 2011 is Vatnshellir lava cave in which you can take tours of two sections of cave deep underground.
What are the best places in Iceland to eat?
Iceland offers so many varieties of food and drink. While in Reykjavik, make sure to stop in at Fridrik V which is one of Icelands primer gourmet restaurants, boasting such dishes as skyr brûlée, filet mignon carpaccio, and rhubarb sorbet.
Where should you stay in Iceland?
Iceland offers many various lodging options which all depends on the experience you want to create on your vacation. Stay at one of Icelands own chain hotels such as Icelandair Hotels or perhaps you might like to stay at Gistiheimili roughly translated into what we would consider a bed and breakfast although you must be careful to check each one, as only about half of Icelands Gistiheimili’s offer breakfast. Another unique way to add some country charm to your trip would be to stay at Icelandic Farm Holidays. This offers similar accommodations as the bed and breakfast guesthouses but with the added benefit of taking in the vast countryside. You can also find sleeping bag accommodations, camping, mountain huts, renting a house or apartment, or renting a summer house. The best place to look at all your options would be here. Whatever you decide, its great to know that there are so many styles and choices to fit any experience and budget.
When is the best time to visit?
Right now! Anytime of the year is the best time in Iceland. Whether you chose to visit in summer and rent a car to cruise the countryside, in Fall to see the beginning of the Northern Lights, Winter to take in some glacier trekking, or Spring to relax in the geothermal springs. There is always something to do in Iceland!
So what are you waiting for?