Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Why You Will Love Iceland

I've got a secret. I've fallen in love... with a country called Iceland. There are many places I have been that have not lived up to my expectations but Iceland exceeded them, let me tell you why.

The Waterfalls


Gullfoss

Iceland has many beautiful waterfalls all over the country. Gullfoss is one of the most beautiful and well known as it's on the Golden Circle route. A route that covers some of the most well-known waterfalls and geysers in the Thingvellir National park.

Another stunning waterfall is Seljalandsfoss in south Iceland not far from Vik. This waterfall is popular as you can walk behind it and see the majesty of the water and power of the water from a different angle. Just be sure to wear sturdy walking boots as it can be slippery underfoot and waterproof clothing as you will get wet.

The Volcanoes
Eyjafjallajökull 

Iceland has a number of active volcanoes, including mount Hekla who has erupted 18 times since 2000 and Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano which erupted in 2010 and caused havoc due to the ash cloud over Europe and flight cancellations. 

This gives Iceland it's unique and different landscape, after all, it is known as the land of fire and ice. You can even go inside Þríhnúkagígur volcano which has been dormant for 4000 years.

The Geysers
Strokkur Geyser

As Iceland is a volcanic island with active volcanoes with that comes the geysers. The word geyser comes from geysier which means 'to gush' and the original geyser, The Great Geyser is in Iceland. Unfortunately, it doesn't erupt very often but next to it is Strokkur Geyser that goes off every 5-8 minutes.

An easy 90-minute drive on the Golden Circle route, it really is a thing of joy to see these eruptions and realise the power of the earth.

The Black Sand Beaches

Vik

With volcanoes come black sand beaches. The black sand beaches around Vik in the south of Iceland are striking and memorable. The sand originated from the basalt lava that covers much of the area. One of the beaches here has basalt columns that look like a pyramid and is interesting to see.

To look out onto the black sand beach in Vik is a serene but surreal experience, just be careful as the waves are known to be unpredictable and particularly dangerous in this area.

The Glaciers


Myrdalsjokull 

Glaciers and ice caps cover over 11% of the land area of Iceland. This contributes to the economy as tourists flock to go on snowmobiles and go glacier hiking.  

Iceland is losing ice due to climate change and many of these glaciers will be gone before we know it. Myrdalsjokull, for example, the glacier above, will be gone in about 50 years. To see this huge but amazing glacier is awe inspiring.

The Geothermal Spas
The Blue Lagoon

Geothermal spas are an Icelandic tradition and many locals spend their days off or catch up with friends after work relaxing in the warm waters. The poster boy for Visit Iceland is the Blue Lagoon located on a lava field not far from Reykjavik and close to the airport. 

Whilst the Blue Lagoon is in a beautiful setting it is also expensive so do like the locals do and go for one of the other hot pools, and enjoy a more rustic but equally enjoyable experience at the fraction of the price.

The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights

The phenomenon known as the northern lights or Aurora Borealis can be seen in Iceland from October to March. This beautiful light display which can be made up of many colours including blue, green, and red are a result of electrically charged particles in the Earth's atmosphere. You do need favourable conditions to see the northern lights though, mainly darkness with little light pollutions and no cloud cover. 

To see the northern lights spectacular is so amazing that is it on many people's bucket list.

The Food
Apotek 

Iceland is known for its traditional unusual food think boiled and singed sheep's head, 'Black Death' schnapps and fermented shark but it also has amazing fish and seafood as well as excellent lamb. 

We went on a food tour which was an excellent way to orientate you to the city as well as giving you a taste of local Icelandic food.  We enjoyed seafood soup, Skyr - an Icelandic dessert similar to yoghurt as well as the famous Icelandic hot dog amongst other things. The dessert we ended the meal with at Apotek was outstanding. 

The Museums
Skogar folk museum

The culture and history of Iceland can be examined through one of their many museums. From the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes with a state of the art multimedia exhibits to the Whale museum, Aurora Borealis museum and the quirky Phallic museum there is a museum for every taste!

We liked Skogar museum near Vik. It was interesting to see the turf houses in the open-air museum as well as visit the folk museum and there is also a museum of transport.


The Street Art
Street art

If you are ending your Iceland trip in the capital Reykjavik or making this your base, be sure to check out the amazing street art. It really adds to this vibrant and colourful city. While you are here check out the fabulous restaurants and the buzzing bar culture for which Reykjavik is known.



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Tell me, have you been to Iceland? Would you like to visit?

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61 comments

  1. My wife and I have been dreaming of visiting Iceland for years... Once we've got ourselves our own house instead of a rental, we'll be going to Japan, Hong Kong and Iceland asap!

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  2. Iceland is one place I would love to go. Just to see the Northern Lights would be fab! Glad you enjoyed it and great pics

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    1. I am hoping to see them when I go later in the year again.

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  3. Ah Iceland so many wonders to be seen and experienced

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  4. I've not been to Iceland before but it's on my bucket list! x

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  5. You sold it to me by the fourth photo! It looks stunning, and absolutely somewhere I know I'd love. Such a lot of wonderful places to visit, and great things to see. I love the street art, it is just amazing.

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  6. Iceland has been on my travel bucket list for SO long now. I can't wait to visit!

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  7. Iceland is on my list, I really want to go! Even more so after reading this post!! x

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  8. I adore Iceland. I've been lucky enough to see the Northern Lights and go to a Geothermal Spa, both amazing!

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  9. Hey lovely, I am looking to go Iceland later this year or early next year. So thanks for sharing this :) x

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  10. This is on my list of places to visit. Your photos are amazingly beautiful.

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  11. Sounds so amazing!! I've wanted to go for a few years but still not been!

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    1. Hope you get the chance to go one day.

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  12. Iceland looks amazing such stunning photos I'd love to see the northern lights.

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  13. Oh wow, it all looks so amazing! I have wanted to visit for a while now - and even more so now! Kaz x

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  14. I'm going to Iceland next years and I'm so excited. I cannot wait!!

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    1. How exciting for you Anna. It is an amazing country. Do you have room in your case for another?

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  15. Naturally as I am a fan of street art I am drawn to its street art culture but I would love to see the blue lagoon as well x

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  16. Wow... northern lights are amazing... it's worth going just to see this great natural show. Apart from that, there are gorgeous places, but I'm not sure I'd handle the cold!

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    1. It's not that cold all the time. In the Summer it is very green and can be quite warm on occasion.

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  17. Your trip sounds amazing. I am falling in love with the idea of going to Iceland more and more, I'm definitely set on a New Year trip there x

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  18. Iceland is on my bucket list and I really want to visit it. The land of ice and fire, that's already amazing mark about this country. Beautiful photos, and great information about Iceland.

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  19. Awww! Been dreaming of visiting Iceland too! What I am looking forward is the Northern lights! I envy you for being visiting the place already.

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  20. Sounds like you had an amazing time there, the geo thermal spas look so good! I've never seen the northern lights but you can quite often see them where I live (North East Scotland) but it's usually in the middle of the night when I'm fast asleep :)

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    1. Yes, you can see the northern lights in Scotland on a clear night!

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  21. We were supposed to go to Iceland this Winter, but due to the fact that I was pretty heavily pregnant we didn't go haha. In two years! That's the plan.

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  22. This is so beautiful! I must go there soon

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  23. iceland is on my to visit list mainly to see the northern lights. one day!

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  24. I really like the pictures, I would love to visit this place one day, seems such a miracle on earth !

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  25. It looks amazing there so picturesque. The blue lagoon looks amazing and I would love to see the lights.

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    1. It is really picturesque and it has a really unique landscape. Under the snow in places there are lava fields, as well as the geothermal pools.

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  26. This one is on my list, but still researching whether I need visa or not to come there.

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  27. This is on my list of places to visit. It looks amazing!!

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  28. wow it looks magical!:)

    xx
    lau

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  29. Great pics and sky is looking awesome with light effects!

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  30. Beautiful pictures. I have always wanted to visit near Christmas and let my children see the Northan lights. I bet they are amazing.

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    1. Hope you get the chance to go one day and take the children.

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  31. I've been to iceland twice but still I'm not done with the country, there is so much to do!!! Fermented shark tasted horrific by the way.. literally like death in your mouth.. bleeeuurrrgghhh

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    1. I know I tried it! I thought the 'black death' vodka was the worse though ha ha.

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  32. Love your photos. You are making me want to visit Iceland now.

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  33. I have never even heard of black sand! I am adding this to my places to visit - I didn't realise there was so many natural beauties to see.

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    1. There is so much beautiful nature to see in Iceland you will be amazed.

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  34. No but I want to. The black sand beaches look AMAZING!

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  35. I've always wanted to go to Iceland, it looks like such a wonderful place... Your photos are beautiful xx

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  36. Iceland is top of my bucket list and we hope to visit later this year. Not sure whether to take the kids or not

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  37. We have so much wanderlust over Iceland right now and would love to visit the blue lagoon and see the northern lights x

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  38. Iceland has been on my wishlist for AGES! especially because of the northern lights but you've given me so much more to look forward too! saving this for future reference!

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  39. Ooh Apotek looks lovely! Iceland seems like such a beautiful place. I'm definitely going there sometime in the future!

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  40. I have wanted to go to Iceland for many years and I want it even more now! That blue lagoon looks wonderful, and I want to try that yummy looking apotek too x

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    1. There are so many geothermal spas too, not just the Blue Lagoon. You will love it there.

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  41. What a stunning place. I've never been but I'd love to visit, the landscape looks absolutely breathtaking.

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    1. The landscape is so wonderful. Under the snow there are lava fields too. It has almost a moon like landscape in places too.

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  42. i've always looked into iceland just a shame i hate the cold haha xo

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  43. I would love to go to Iceland one day. I would be really disappointed if I didn't get to see the northern lights though. x

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    1. You have to go in the Winter and have the right conditions to see the lights, clear skies and little light pollution

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