Now that getting to Iceland is easier than ever, the "secret" is out. Visitors have discovered the beauty, the wildlife, the culture and people, and word is spreading.
Take note however, that the weather is also quite unpredictable, meaning it can change very quickly.
What is the intrigue? Check out these top adventures. They might inspire you too to visit this stunning island of Fire and Ice.
The summer months are drier and warmer, and offer the largest number of festivals. A few of Iceland's festivals to check out are:
- February: Winter Lights festival
- March: Food and Fun festival
- May/June: Reykjavik Arts festival
- September/October: Reykjavik International Film festival
- November: Iceland Airwaves Music festival.
Thingvellir National Park
The most notable glaciers on Iceland are:
- Vatnajokull - Iceland's largest glacier and largest glacier in all of Europe
- Orgefajokull - Popular for hiking as it has the highest peak in Iceland
- Langjokull - Iceland's second largest glacier, west of the Highlands (which covers most of Iceland's interior) and can be seen from the Geysir geothermal area
- Hofsjokull - Iceland's third largest glacier. located in the mid Highlands. It is also an active volcano
Vestmannaeyjar (sometimes called Westmann Islands) is an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland and is best known for its puffin population. 10 million birds come here to breed.
Icelandic horses are a unique breed, developed from horses brought to Iceland by European settlers over 1000 years ago. They are the only breed on Iceland; very hardy and able to withstand the harsh Icelandic climate. And while they are small, they are not ponies! A great place to experience these horses is at Iceland's only horse park, Fakasel Horse Park, about 30 minutes from Reykjavik and on the Golden Circle route.
The water is between 98 - 104 degrees year round, and is self-cleansing, renewing itself every 40 hours. The minerals in the water give it it's milky blue shade.
Reykjavik offers plenty to see and do, and serves as the base for many of the island's adventures. The city has many great museums, restaurants, bars and cafes, and a great nightlife. In fact, Reykjavik is known for its nightlife, with most bars being centrally located in the shopping area, close together and rarely have lines to get in. On weekends though, be sure to get a nap in, as the party doesn't get started until well after midnight and goes on to the wee hours (5am)!
Another note is that many people have drinks before going to the bars, as drinks can be expensive. Visitors quite often will bring some wine in from the duty free stores at the airport to have in their rooms before going out for dinner.
The airlines offer the opportunity to stop over in Iceland for up to 7 days. This offers travelers a wonderful way to see Iceland while on their way to another destination. A great way to break up a long flight, and a great value as well.
A number of cruise lines are now including Iceland on their itineraries, and the options are many. Cruises include just Iceland or Iceland and Greenland, may start/end in Iceland from Northern Europe and the Baltics or may be a stop on the way to/from US ports as ships reposition from one region to another. Luxury, premium, expedition - they all include Iceland on one or more itineraries.
In summary, Iceland offers a wide variety of experiences and adventures for just about every taste. A beautiful destination a bit off the beaten path and not overrun by too many tourists.
Has this destination made your bucket list yet?