Iceland is one of the most unique and amazing places on earth. The raw nature to the strange food culture to the great people are all reason to visit this Island in the northern hemisphere.
Here are my 23 reasons you should ditch whatever it is that you are doing and go there, this year.
I promise, you will not be left disappointing if you take the time to travel the Island as words can’t really describe the landscape; glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls so I will use some images to help out with the description.
Table of Contents
23. Stunning Ice caves
Ice caves are not really the type of caves you might want to dig into but there are a few in Iceland that you can visit, with the help of experienced guide of course. Ice caves are caves that form temporarily at the edges of glaciers and the combination of light and ice is truly breathtaking.
22. The Blue Lagoon can improve those with psoriasis symptoms…. and it is very blue!
This is a very unique place with warm milky blue water with soft mud that has healing powers. It is also a spa and a restaurant.
Relax in the warm water and enjoy the surrounding lava and visit the local bar and have a soft drink, in the water.
21. Take Stunning Photos
You could also just bring your HD camera, tripod, camera helicopter, or any old camera to take pictures, to Iceland and just enjoy your vacations within the boundaries of this amazing nature.
This time lapse video by Stian Rekdal for the National Geographic shows what can be done with a camera in Iceland.
20. The Nature Inspires Music with artist such as Björk, Sigur Rós, and recently Of Monsters of Men getting worldwide recognition for their Music.
They all talk about how the nature inspires them, the haunting beauty, clean air, and freedom that it gives you when you stand in the middle. Their music is also very unique and some of the songs sound so nature-ish and they reflect the nature so well.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty used their song in the film and it does a decent job of capturing this as with the scenes taken in Iceland.
19. Great seafood and meat
You might initially be scared of the crazy sheep heads and rotten sharks they serve you first when you arrive, but if you can get past that you will find out they have some really great restaurants and of course some sparkling fresh fish.
If you are in the mood you can try out things like whale, puffin, or horse meat.
18. It’s one of the safest countries in the world.
Outside of restaurants or public places like cafés or libraries you might see baby carriages that their parents have left outside. No one ever locks their doors and many even leave their car keys in the switch.
Crime rates are really low and the police is not even allowed to carry guns. You can find the prime minister in the phone book and even find his home address and take a visit – within being stopped by security.
17. You can be truly alone.
ohh the silence…. is pretty amazing for those that have never experienced that kind of silence. If you go outside the city limits to the mountains you will find some remarkable silence where you will be very alone, you might still want to bring a tent so you have somewhere to sleep.
16. Midnight golf – summer time
Although, most of Iceland is located south of the Arctic circle you can still see the sun for 24 hours a day in the northern regions during the summer time. In the southern part it is still quite bright for 24 hours a day and during the night you can enjoy things like golf, horse riding, or a walk in this strange brightness at the middle of the night.
15. Visit Jökulsárlón
A lake sitting under a glacier with huge icebergs, crazy beautiful and well worth the drive in the south-east Iceland, 450 km from the capital.
14. Glaciers trips
If there is something Iceland has in abundance it is glaciers (see map). Big white magnificent glaciers that Icelanders use to take special jeeps up to and ride snowmobiles or hike. There are plenty of options there for tourist and definitely something worth doing.
13. Nerd alert! Iceland is one of the main location for filming of the TV series Game of Thrones!
Kit Harington says that the filming in the freezing in the Icelandic Highlands is one of the greatest experiences of his life… there you have it, go to Iceland and climb mountains during the freezing winter…!
12. There are elves, trolls, and ghosts in Iceland
Old haunted houses are all over the little island and there are over 200 abandoned houses all around Iceland in places that are today inhabited. You can also find elves, ghost, and troll museums all over this little Island. If you travel around Iceland those houses are a subject of some great pictures and some people even sleep in them..
11. You Can Take a Walk Between Europe and America
A national park that is filled with history and is on the A-List of UNESCO World Heritage sites. and it is the place where North America meets Europe. That is freaking amazing. As you can see in this image a large crack has emerged that you can walk into.
10. Puffins, how cute are they?
They are freaking cute, right? They live in and around the Islands in Iceland so if you want to meet one in real life… go to Iceland.
9. Their mountains are very cool!
They look so raw, like God started the creation and then suddenly stopped like I imagine the surface of Mars or the Moon might look like.
There are also enough mountains to climb to last years for those interested in that.
8. Travel Into the Middle of an Volcano! – Thrihnukagigur Volcano which last erupted 4,000 years ago and the only place on the planet where humans can go into a volcano.
In Iceland there is a volcano called Thrihnukagigur which last erupted 4,000 years ago. Today, it is a cave that you can travel into 120 meters into the bottom of the crater. You will never see anything quite like it, the colors, to see the path the lava took from the bottom up towards the earth is amazing.
7. Landmannalaugar – I have never seen anything like it
In the middle of the Icelandic highlands where there are hot springs and high mountains is a very special place called Landmannalaugar. You will need a jeep to get there and it is not allowed to tent on grass so the hard rocks will have to do. But the nature there is so special that you will have to be there to really capture all the colors that emerge when the hot springs press through the rocks. There is also a river there that runs through the place that is 102 Fahrenheit (39° Celsius). You can relax in it with a cold beer and just enjoy the wilderness.
6. Get married in Iceland as the amazing nature with vivid colors and picture-ish scenarios make Iceland the perfect place…
A young couple, Sarah and Josh, decided to ditch the traditional wedding and took a last minute decision to get married in Iceland and took a photographer with them, Gabe McClintock, and the results are truly amazing.
As you can see on their photos the beautiful couple is surrounded by mountains, lava, and waterfalls making the end result go viral ( see here).
5. There is so much lava activity under the country which results in hot springs all over the island.
This small island with just over 320.000 inhabitant still have over 100 swimming pools with frizzling hot waters and hot tubs that are so warm only a small number of people actually manage to into them. It is a special culture that is worth being part of when you go to Iceland.
There are also natural “hot tubs” all over Iceland where you can bathe in natural hot springs, there is even one located on the top of a glacier!
Here are two, one is an old crater while the other one is inside a cave – both are very popular, although the cave is hidden so you might need a local to figure its location.
4. The nightlife in the capital
Due to the cold and darkness during the winter many Icelanders resort to drinking, while many Icelanders also like to drink during the summer to celebrate the sunshine. The bottom line is that Icelanders like to drink and have fun.
After some pre-parties and dinner you can hit the town around 11 -12 PM and stay out dancing and drinking well into the morning hours, some bars are open until 6 AM. If it is summer time you will come out and probably think that it is still day.
3. There are some violent volcanoes in Iceland that we do absolutely NOT want to erupt.
One of those is Katla which erupts once in 100 to 200 years causing clouds of ash to travel across the globe causing dark skies and crop failure in countries in other continents.
But that is not a real reason to travel to Iceland. But there are some more picture-ish volcanos that are absolutely a reason to go there. One of those is Eyjafjallajökull which caused some issues in Europe and America in 2010 but it was no danger to people and it left behind some amazing photos.
2. Waterfalls and more waterfalls.
There are some crazy waterfalls in Iceland. We are talking the biggest waterfall in Europe. The highest waterfall in Europe and then hundreds of all sorts of amazing waterfalls that are well worth the trip alone.
1. Aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are something everyone needs to see at least once in their lifetime.
They are named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, the Greek name for north wind, Boreas, while many believe that they are the spirits of fallen loved ones that dance across the skies watching over them.
The Northern Lights are truly breathtaking when caught at the right time as vivid colors dance across the sky; varying colors from red to green to purple, shifting in a magical fashion.
The best place to get a glimpse of those mystic wonders is in northern latitudes – the closer to the Northern Pole the better but you might also want to watch them in a place where you will not be eaten by a Polar Bear or freeze to death, so Iceland it is!
The best time to see them are from September to October when the periods of darkness are at their …. darkest. You will not see Northern Light during the summer time as the sun circles around the island the whole time, making it bright the whole time.