Known as The Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland enjoys a reputation as being one of the most geographically diverse (and populated) locations on the planet. Formed as a result of volcanic and tectonic activity, active “hot spots” are punctuated by glaciers and what can only be called a second-to-none geological history. Its capital of Reykjavik is actually home to over two-thirds of the entire population and is likewise quite popular for tourists due to a friendly and open (if not unique) culture.
The Best Times to Visit Iceland
As the name slightly hints, the winters here can be decidedly harsh. Storms from the North Atlantic can usher in copious amounts of rain, wind and snow. Most will wholeheartedly agree that it is best to visit during the late spring through the early autumn. Temperatures can be warm and there are many outdoor excursions to be enjoyed.
The Best Things to Experience in Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is a large geothermal spa found within a lava field in the south-western portion of the island. Its cerulean blue colour and warm waters have made it an extremely well-known tourist destination. It is approximately 50 minutes from the capital Reykjavik. Many will arrive here for the mineral rich waters themselves. As a portion of the lagoon is artificial, bathing here is said to offer therapeutic and medicinal benefits. However, its striking appearance against the barren landscape has made The Blue Lagoon an equally attractive site for the average visitor.
The National Museum of Iceland is a true window into the past of this unique country. Established in 1863, this museum is home to the majority of cultural and archaeological relics of the island. One of the most celebrated objects housed within its confines is an ancient door that is said to depict a legend of an Icelandic Knight slaying a dragon. There are also Viking ships, examples of tools that are thousands of years old and an interactive section that allows visitors to further appreciate the eclectic past of the island.
The waterfalls of Gulfoss are another example of the amazing geography of the island. There are numerous “steps” to these falls. There are laid out in such a fashion that until one is directly over them, it appears as if the nearby river simply vanishes out of sight. Numerous music videos have been filmed here and the Gulfoss waterfalls are emblematic of the stunning, wild nature of the island. One can arrive here by car or public transport. Still, be sure to bring a camera and plan to spend an entire day to fully appreciate their beauty.