Iceland is quickly becoming one of the most popular European tourist destinations due to its epic volcanic landscapes and a wide range of fun and engaging activities. I would recommend visiting Iceland now before it becomes too popular for its own good! Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, this island has a population of just 332,000 and was originally settled by Nordic colonists from
Due to its volcanic nature, Iceland has some truly rugged and fascinating landscapes waiting to be explored and the capital of Reykjavik is a thriving city with fantastic nightlife and great culture. As interest in the country increases, the Icelandic government continues to develop its tourist industry and there is an amazing range of tours and excursions that allow you to see what the country has to offer.
- The local currency is the Icelandic Krone
- Keflavik Airport is the main air terminal and lies 40 minutes to the south-west of Reykjavik
- Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the main tourist centre
- Most tours start from either Reykjavik or Akureyri
- May to September offers the warmest time to visit Iceland
- March, September, and October are the best months to see the Northern Lights
- Icelandic winters are cold, wet and unforgiving
- Icelandic restaurants offer a fantastic range of seafood
Located in downtown Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja is an immense Lutheran Church that was constructed between 1945 and 1986 and is one of the tallest structures in the country. The design of this church is striking and is meant to represent basalt columns. The interior is minimalistic, and one of its main features is the central tower – this tower has an elevator and for a small fee, you can climb to the top for panoramic views of Reykjavik.
The mighty Gullfoss waterfall is a spectacle of nature that cannot be missed. With an average flow of 140m³/s, it is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Cascading down into the Hvita River, Gullfoss will leave you astounded due to its sheer power and beauty. The popular Golden Circle tour includes Gullfoss as its main attraction.
Another part of the popular Golden Circle tour, Haukadalur is a natural area full of volcanic hot springs. Among the most famous of these springs include Geysir and Strokkur – the latter of which erupts in spectacular fashion on average every 10 minutes. Watching these mighty springs erupt is truly something to behold (although the smell of rotten eggs can be off-putting!).
Hidden gem of Iceland
When visiting Iceland, most people do the traditional Golden Circle tour, visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and take a whale watching trip – whilst these are fantastic attractions in their own right, Iceland has so much more to offer. One hidden gem that is not as often traveled is the landscape of Thorsmork national park. As you can see, Iceland is an exceptional country and even after visiting it twice, I would still return to further explore its wild and rugged landscapes. Due to the countries small population and its relative isolated location, Iceland is not a cheap destination to travel too, food and drink prices are on par with other Scandinavian countries and even the hardiest and most resourceful budget backpacker will struggle to find a bargain.