Iceland is not often a destination you may have thought to visit, but with ginormous glaciers, bubbling mud pools, natural springs and cascading waterfalls, it is a stunning place that is hugely under-rated at times.
Popular ports of call…
Reykjavik is the northernmost capital of the world and is a popular port of call. Unlike most capital cities, Reykjavik offers a slow pace lifestyle mixed with a countryside charm and has an array of museums, churches and galleries to explore. Isafjordur is a picturesque fishing port nestled amongst scenery of magnificent mountains. Bursting with character and charm, visiting the Maritime Museum is a must as it’s located in one of the oldest houses in the town, or you could take a boat trip to the island of Vigur which lies just off shore. And, sailing in to the port of Akureyri is quite an experience. Be sure to have your camera at the ready for this one as its lies between the longest fjord in Iceland, giving you some of the best photo opportunities in Iceland.
A playground of adventure…
Two of the best waterfalls in Iceland, if not the world are Gullfoss and Skogafoss. Gullfoss is one of Europe’s largest waterfalls and offers an impressive colourful display of fluffy clouds, enchanting mists and dozens of rainbows. Skogafoss cascades 60 metres off the cliffs into the Skógá River and is quite simply breathtaking.
Thingvellir is a national park offering spectacular scenery including some of icelands biggest lakes and most dramatic cliffs, but what makes this place so special is its history. Dating back as far as 930 AD, Thingvellir is where the world’s first ever Parliament was formed. People used to travel here to the amphitheatre to elect leaders, argue cases and settle disputes.
One of the most spectacular natural sites to discover in Iceland is the Geysers which are littered throughout the island. Spurting a fountain of water out of the ground, this natural formation only exists in a few places on Earth making them an extremely rare phenomenon to see.
A favourite activity of many is taking a snowmobiling tour along the glaciers. You can ride deep into the forests, around huge lakes and along some of the biggest glaciers in Europe on this fascinating and unusual mode of transport.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa which steamy waters are produced as part of a lava formation. The warm waters are rich in minerals and people come from all over the world to bathe in the Blue Lagoon as it is said to greatly improve your skin.
With a treasure trove of things to see and do, isn’t it about time you discovered Iceland?
By Ian Lewis