One of my favourite destinations in Europe is, without a doubt, Iceland. This incredible island has both charm and a dash of magic in it. If you have ever seen a picture from Iceland I don’t think I have to convince you to see it. But just in case it is not enough, here are my top 7 reasons to visit this mesmerizing land.
As Kristen Wiig once sang in her sketch for SNL “Welcome to Iceland. There is no sunlight”. This statement is not completely wrong, not throughout the entire year, however. In summer the sun almost never sets, with nearly 24 hours of daylight. In winter, on the other hand, the sun shines for only approximately 4 hours. It can be tiring for tourists. But the people of Iceland and other regions of the World that experience it, are simply used to it.
But while these conditions may sound rough, they are ideal for experiencing one phenomenon. The aurora borealis only appears close to the poles and is only visible during dark nights. That means Iceland is perfect for observing it. And there are few things as beautiful in the World as the Northern Lights. These green and sometimes purple, red and orange lights are the outcomes of solar particles entering our magnetic field and ionising. And they almost make you believe in magic.
To admire them choose the period between September and April. Make sure to drive away from the larger cities, since their lights may dim the aurora. Also, try avoiding the full moon. And when all of those conditions are made – make sure to be ready to have your breath taken away.
You may not know it, but Iceland has some amazing dishes that are simply too good to pass on. We will give you just a little sample.
You might have already tried this first item. Skyr is a dairy product with a consistency of thick yoghurt. IT can be eaten on its own, but it is best with fruits and a little drizzle of honey.
Iceland is an island, so of course, you can’t go there and not try all the seafood the locals eat. Which fish can you expect? Salmon, Cod, Halibut, Mackerel, Catfish and many, many more.
We started pretty mildly, but of course, Iceland has many dishes that will make you question whether you should try them. Like Hákarl – a fermented shark. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Well, it may not be the tastiest dish, but it is sure an adventure of its own to eat it. And while in Rome… you get the drill!
If you want to try the local food but the shark plate doesn’t sound appealing try Harðfiskur. It is also a fish, but this time it is dried, not fermented. It is crunchy and can be eaten as a little snack.
If all that is still a little bit too much, you can choose a classic – hot dog. Iceland has its own type of it – pylsur, and it is a blend of beef, pork and lamb. If that won’t satisfy your food cravings, I don’t know what will.
Due to a small density of its population, Iceland is the perfect destination for those who enjoy a little bit of solitude. That means kilometres of vast, untouched space. The country is also known for its incredible nature. The green grass and black rocks create an unreal landscape. It truly looks like another planet. That also means that Iceland is perfect for hikers!
If you like to spend your time actively and love the nature – you simply have to visit this incredible land. Not only will you be able to truly breathe, but also exercise a little in the best scenery imaginable!
We can’t talk about Iceland and not mention it’s capital. Reykjavik is surely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. What makes it so charming is its suburbian vibe. The city doesn’t look like most capitals do. But that is exactly what makes it so wonderful.
Similarly to the rest of Iceland, it gives you a sense of tranquillity. The colourful roofs make almost every part
When strolling through the city make sure to visit its few main attractions. One of them is the Hallgrímskirkja church. This nearly 75 metres tall building can be seen from almost the entire city. It also has a viewing platform, that allows you to see the city in its full glory. All that, together with the beautiful architecture of the building makes it a must-see spot on the map of Reykjavik.
Next on your list should be the Old Harbour. It is one of the main parts of the city, where you can see the locals, taste some amazing food and even set onto a whale watching excursion!
Harpa Concert and Conference Hall is yet another impressive building inside the city. This glass concert and meeting hall is truly a striking piece of art.
Inside the city, there are also museums, galleries and green areas that will surely make you fall in love with it!
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Iceland is the glacial lake of Jökulsárlón. Its most popular feature is the lagoon. There are so many things that make it special. Firstly, it lies next to Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Secondly, it is a part of the second largest national park of the old continent. The lagoon seems to be taken out of a fairytale. The surrounding glaciers, the chunks of ice scattered on its beaches and the contrasting colours of the ice, sea and sand make is truly spectacular. The area is so beautiful, that it found its way into Hollywood. You can see Jökulsárlón in such blockbusters like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider or Batman Begins.
Þingvellir or Thingvellir is another national park. It is also the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Icelandic mainland. No wonder, since its importance is truly significant, not only due to its geology, but also history and culture.
Thingvellir lies at the border of the two tectonic plates – North American and Eurasian. There you can almost literally walk between the continents. This makes the area truly beautiful, with cracks all around it, some as big as canyons. Similarly to the rest of the island, Thingvellir is wonderfully green with rocks peeking through the flora. There, you can also find waterfalls and experience the tectonic environment. Often the visitors can feel the earthquakes – the result of the movements of the plates.
It is also there where the national parliament of Iceland was established as early as 930 AD, not long after the settlement of Iceland itself!
Apart from all that I have already mentioned, there are plenty of other activities you can try during your time in Iceland. It is the perfect destinations for those, who enjoy spending their time actively. One thing every tourist should try is whale watching. Seeing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat is truly a one of a kind experience. Observing the biggest animals to ever live – need I say more?
If you want to be even more active, try snorkelling in Silfra, one of the best destinations for this activity. You can also opt for a glacier hike or ice climbing. Those two will surely leave you tired, but so very satisfied. Iceland is also known for its hot springs and volcanoes, so visiting them is simply a must!
These are barely a few of hundreds of reasons to visit amazing Iceland. As always, when you decide to go there, do not forget to go to www.bidroom.com to find your perfect accommodation for your perfect holiday!