I got a lot of crazy looks from people when I explained to them that I was traveling to Iceland. It’s not the typical place that comes to mind when picturing your dream vacation. However, tourism in Iceland is on the rise, and although the population of the country is only around 300,000, it’s expected that they’ll have 1 million visitors a year within the next few years. So obviously the word must be getting out about what an amazing country Iceland is to visit—and if you haven’t heard yet then here are a few reasons why:
It is undeniable – Iceland is a beautiful country. With all the lava fields, waterfalls, volcanoes, fjords, cliffs, and mountains, it seems like every corner leads to another amazing landscape.
Iceland is definitely the country to visit if you’re into bird watching. There’s also whale watching, and if you’re lucky you might even see an arctic fox.
If you’re into hiking, scuba diving, glacier climbing, horse riding, caving, etc. Iceland will have something for you. Head to any of the tourist information offices in Reykjavik when you arrive, and you can easily book all kinds of tours. We opted to do a combination tour where we went snorkeling in the Silfra fissure in the morning, and then caving in a lava cave in the afternoon. It was amazing! I also did a six day Laugvegur trek with the company Trek (www.trek.is) which I highly recommend.
Two words for you = Blue Lagoon. Not to mention the countless hot springs throughout the country.
Make it a Part of your Europe Trip
Iceland Air offers a “stopover” option (http://www.icelandair.ca/flights/stopover/) where you can stay in Iceland for up to seven nights on your way to Europe for no additional charge. And while I don’t think it is possible to see all of Iceland in less than seven days, staying in Reykjavik for a few days and hitting up the Golden Circle would be well worth it.
Folklore and History
If you believe in fairies of trolls, you’ll have that in common with most Icelanders. And a country that was created by vikings- how could it’s history not be amazingly gory and awesome?
Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights
No matter what time of year you visit Iceland, you’ll get to experience something that you won’t get to in many other countries – either the midnight sun, or the Northern Lights. I was in Iceland during the month of July, and I didn’t experience true darkness once. If you’re worried about this messing with your sleeping habits, just take a pair of eye covers with you and you’ll be fine!
One last word…
Iceland, along with the other Nordic countries, is not necessarily a cheap country to visit. If you’re concerned about traveling to Iceland on a budget, check out my blog post on the topic over here.
So, have I managed to convince you? Think you’d consider Iceland as a travel destination? Leave me a comment below!