Iceland may not be considered one of the top summer holiday destinations but it definitely should be noted as one of the places to see before you die. The country encompasses an ever-changing landscape dotted with incredible all natural sites including spurting geysers, magnificent glaciers, therapeutic spas and breath-taking scenery where you can truly embrace the relaxed Nordic way of life.
Sparsely populated, you will find the majority of the population residing in the South-West of the country, which boasts of having one of the highest standards of living and one of the lowest levels of crime in the world. It is ideal no matter what season, spring and summer are warmer than you would imagine, and as the sun never completely sets at this time you will experience a magical night sky filled with blue and grey hues. Come winter, witness the fantastic flickering of the northern lights in the sky where the luscious green hills turn to crisp white. One of the few places left that is still brewing naturally, hot springs bubble throughout the land, water spurts from geysers, glaciers move and volcanoes are still active, it is a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city centre.
The activities are endless and it does in fact feel you are in several destinations at once – within a short time of travelling around the country you can visit beaches, go hillwalking, see glaciers, relax in natural spa’s and take part in diving and whale-watching, all while taking in the magnificent scenery,
Stay in Reykjavik, the countries capital, where you can find the majority of accommodation, tour museums, visit the local shops and dine at restaurants offering the freshest seafood – or even try the delicacies puffin and whale. Another majorly unknown attraction is Iceland’s buzzing nightlife. After the sun goes down – or during summer, after the sun party goes down – the quiet tranquil streets become bustling with stylish Icelandic locals. Reykjavik offers a range of interesting and unusual hot spots for people of all ages, whether you want to sit in a cosy pub and drink the local beer or dance all night long at one of the many quirky clubs.
Reykjavik may be the busiest place in the country but if you venture further a field there is much more to see. Iceland offers a variety of tours, one of the best and most popular being the Golden Circle Tour where you make various stops at the most fascinating landmarks. Here you can view the Gulfoss waterfall and part of the country that is geothermally active spouting water high into the sky from the geysers. Along this tour you will discover yet another part of Iceland and witness how quickly the land can change from sloping green hills to jagged black rocks. Stand at highpoints to witness an array of colours across the land, a view that doesn’t quite seem real, more picturesque due to the pure untouched land, man has messed very little with this island. More activities can be ensued such as horse-riding or mountain biking. With such a variety of landscapes many adventures can be carried out.
One of Iceland’s main attractions is of course the Blue Lagoon, another geothermal hot spot that has been controlled to offer an outside spa where you can relax all day. Picture milky blue waters under a clear blue sky. Soak up the scenery in therapeutic mineral water which is also known to have various beneficial health properties, at around £28 for the day it is definitely worth it. They also offer various massage and beauty treatments. Located close to Keflavik airport, it is the perfect way to end your trip or to start it.
Iceland is known for amazing natural features although they tend to be spread out and if you truly want to make the most of it, hiring a car is the best idea to help you get around. Travel further south to the smaller villages where you can further discover the tranquillity and stillness of this country and witness the wildlife that take cover here.
Iceland offers such a variety of sights and activities that it can be a great holiday for any type of person, however the one downfall is the prices. Viewing these indescribable sights and enjoying a part of this underrated treasure which is so unlike any other country does not come cheap, but it is worth it and you will not be forgetting about it anytime soon.