Iceland is one of the world’s most unique countries, it is the perfect place to witness nature’s beauty and immense power. It is a small island with a tiny population of around 300,000. Here is why you need to see Iceland…
1. More Popular Than Ever
Since 2010 tourism has increased dramatically and despite the continuing rise in prices it still continues to grow, if you haven’t been already don’t let this put you off as Iceland doesn’t disappoint.
Trips during the summer are characterised by long days (20 hours of sunlight) and during the winter a prolonged period of darkness (4 hours of sunlight per day), however this definitely contributes to the uniqueness of your stay.
The island itself has high levels of geological activity due to the number of volcanoes which is a great exhibition of nature’s power, but also importantly generating 25% of the country’s electricity, powering cities like its capital Reykjavik.
2. Vibrant Reykajavik
Located in the south-western corner of the country the tiny capital is full of small colourful buildings which is something you don’t tend to see elsewhere in Europe.
The city itself is tiny and full of quirky cafes, bars and restaurants if you’re looking to take a take a break from exploring.
Also, there is a handful of buildings to visit such as Hallgrimskirkja the tallest church in the country and Harpa the quite impressive modern opera house made of multi-coloured glass panels.
Nightlife is good in Reykjavik with a large number of bars which are lively on the weekend, however visiting Iceland to party is probably not the best option due to the expensive prices, but if you have the budget then definitely get involved!
3. Sunrise at Sun Voyager
The photograph above is of the alluring Sun Voyager sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason. This was taken at sunrise as the sculpture reflects golden sunlight off its stainless steel body.
Geometrically the design is very pleasing to the eye and gives the feeling of adventure and mystery, the concept intends to speak of “undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom” which is definitely conveyed whilst before it.
Sun Voyager is located at the edge of Reykjavik by the sea so take a walk here and along the coastline to get the feeling of how far north you are on the planet.
4. Go Beyond The Capital
The capital can be explored very quickly, in fact probably 1-3 days here is enough to see everything, it’s a nice little city but Iceland’s natural wonders are more impressive. Use Reykjavik as a travel hub to venture out to further locations.
The best way to do this is by renting a car as it allows the complete freedom to travel wherever you want, whenever you want. If this is not possible then there are many companies that offer coach tours for reasonable prices, but of course this does limit you in regards to time and destination as compared with a car.
The Golden Circle is the most popular route which can be started and ended in Reykjavik, you will see a lot of interesting sites from a volcano to extraordinary waterfalls.
One of the main attractions of the Golden Circle is Gullfoss (seen in photograph above) which is located on the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. This waterfall is massive, its power can be observed from the sights and sounds of the crashing water plummeting below! Other locations on this route include Thingvellir National Park, Skalholt and of course…
5. Watch a Geysir Erupt
Strokkur Geysir, another one of Iceland’s famous attractions. This is part of the Haukadalur area which is comprised of many mud pools, fumaroles (openings in the earth’s crust which emit steam and gases) and other geysers.
There is a strong smell of sulfur in the air here due to the volcanic activity but it is one of the most unique places easily accessible to tourists.
Strokkur erupts between every 6-10 minutes as boiling hot water is pushed out of a confined space after expansion. Iceland is home to many natural wonders and there really is a lot to see.
6. Witness Earth’s Power
Visited in summer or winter the high prices are more than compensated by the things that can be experienced here. It’s an ancient land where the earth displays an abundant power for all to witness and reminds us we can only merely attempt to harness it’s energy as mankind is left forever in its supremacy.
7. Other Natural Wonders
Not even mentioned here is the Blue Lagoon or being lucky enough to witness the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), you can spend weeks here exploring this tiny yet magical island!
Location: Reykjavik & Golden Circle route
Currency: Icelandic Króna