Iceland is an island of fire and ice and is one of the best travel destinations for thrilling adventures as well as stunning natural sceneries. Iceland is the land of active volcanoes hot geysers, natural hot springs, breathtaking glaciers, vast ice fields, and fjords. Iceland being a country located at the edge of the Arctic Circle sits on one of the most volcanically active zones of the world.
The first time I visited Iceland was in 2016, since then I have been there thrice and still, I have a thirst to wander and experience this land of magic and trolls, in one word you can say that it’s truly a place out of this world. I and my buddy Faisal Habib set our goal to hunt aurora Borealis in 2017 and decided to stay in Reykjavik for 1 week, During the day we visited the coastlines and northern part and in the night we went for the northern light tour. Soon we came to know that the wonders of Iceland can be seen not only in the daytime but also in the night. from the midnight sun to dancing auroras, whale watching, glacier caves, majestic waterfalls and so much to discover. your visit to Iceland will be a memory which will last forever.
I had a jaw-dropping experience from Iceland’s spectacular natural landscapes.
Iceland is seismically active and the landscape is constantly reshaped by volcanoes and their activities. When you come to Iceland the best way to explore the country and its natural splendors is by traveling on your own on a rental car, and you have weeks and weeks of time to spend on each part of the country as Iceland offers many things to the traveler and fills their mind with wonderful memories. You can also go on adventures with the conducted tours and enjoy some of the best locations in this icy and fiery country.
Reykjavik: The Northernmost Capital City of the World
At 64°08 ′N, Reykjavik is the north most capital city of the World and thus a perfect place to see Northern Lights.
Early September to mid-April is the best period of the year to visit Iceland for watching mesmerizing northern lights.
Following are the most important activities you cannot afford to miss while in Iceland and they are
1: Whale Watching, Reykjavik :
One of my favorite activity in Iceland and should be a must-do on your travel bucket list too is the “Great Whale Watching Tour in Icelandic Sea”
Whale watching is an important activity that wills life long memories to you. It gives the best way to see these gentle giants at the close quarters, and this can be done all through the year. But summer is the best time to go for whale watching, and there are different types of tours available as per your wish and budget. You have an 80 to 95% chance of spotting a whale that comes out of water too near your boat and hence you can easily watch them closely and be mesmerized by the beauty and wonderful sights of these natural wonders.
The whale watching tours are conducted from the old harbor area Reykjavik, and you can enjoy these close encounters with the giant whales. No doubt being near a mighty whale is one of the most awe-inspiring natural adventures you cannot forget, and the sight of these giant whales surfacing near your boat with foam and spray will be one of the best moments of your visit to this naturally wonderful country.
2: Immerse in Blue Lagoon at Grindavík
Blue lagoon is situated about 40 minutes drive from the city of Reykjavik and this is the most famous geothermal spa in the world. This is a must-see and must enjoy the place in Iceland and attracts thousands of visitors each day. Here you go for bathing in the hot pale blue water in the shadow of a big power station. You can find an array of shopping and other attractions developed around this geothermal spa. Since 1976, Blue Lagoon is becoming popular by the day and the warm and soothing water of Blue Lagoon is the best way to enjoy and indulge in the natural wonder of Iceland. Once you get into the warm waters you will not have the mind to get off its 37 to 39-degree natural hot spring water that is good for your skin and overall health.
Apart from bathing in the natural hot springs you also have the opportunity to shop around for unique and rare shopping items including the skincare products from around the world and highly rejuvenating spa treatments and finer places to eat and drink. The mineral mud rub situated at the edge of the Blue Lagoon is also one of the attractions in this popular tourist spot.
3: Enjoy the wonderful natural geysers of Strokkur
This is yet another natural wonder unique to Iceland and this is situated at Strokkur that lies around 50 minutes drive from the capital city of Reykjavik. Here you can find one of the most active natural geysers that shoot water 30 meters into the sky every few minutes. This is one of the best attractions that lie on the golden circle. Apart from the towering hot geyser you can also see and enjoy more than 100 smaller exploding geysers and boiling mud pits.
This place is very active throughout the year and besides seeing and enjoying the geyser you can also find great exhibits and informative presentations that will fill your mind with good memories. To add more fascination to your visit to the Great Geyser you can go for digging of hot spring bread and help the chef there to boil eggs in the hot springs to eat with the geyser baked rye bread. Go on the Golden Circle Classic Day Trip from Reykjavik, so that you can visit so many other places on the way so that your day becomes a memorable day in your life.
4: The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis over Iceland Sky
This is a unique and very rare natural and spectacular light phenomenon. It is a must-see attraction in Iceland. This called Aurora Borealis which is said to be caused by the solar wind that is a steady stream of ions radiating from the sun. When these particles encounter the air molecules while entering the earth’s atmosphere and come under the influence of the earth’s magnetic field, give out surges of energy that appear as the large bright circles around the poles. This can be enjoyed to the maximum in remote areas far from the city lights and they become more spectacular and impressive when the solar activity is at its maximum.
As these bright rings of light appear only for a few minutes, in the sky most of the hotels offer the night call service and alert you when the rings are visible in the sky. The best way to enjoy the northern lights is by taking the Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik where you will be taken to the remote countrysides so that the visibility of the Borealis is not affected by the city lights.
5: Enjoy the natural beauty of Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve
This is a popular destination due to its mystical landscape with multi-colored Rhyolite Mountains, the active Heckla Volcano, and the vast lava fields. Here you can go hiking and trekking, and this is best visited from June to September.
6: Bath in the Maelifell Volcano & Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park
This can be visited only during summer months and these places receive torrential rains during these winter months. The Maelifell volcano offers the look of a classic volcano with its perfect cone-shaped appearance is known for its rugged glacial landscape. Here you can see many hot springs and volcanoes along with many other small attractions. Snowmobiles available here add to the thrilling experiences.
7: Visit Skaftafell Ice Cave, Vatnajökull National Park
This is the land of glaciers and breathtaking ice caves that is the most attractive place inviting people all around the world. This is to be enjoyed as the Vatnajökull glacier and the other surrounding attractions. The best time to visit this place is the winter, and after a heavy rain, you can find the cave bathed in a unique blue light that adds a mystic beauty.
8: Dip in Askja Caldera
This is a geothermal pool in the Vatnajökull National Park region and the Dyngjufjöll Mountains gives the chance for you to go for a dip in a live volcano. This is over 50 square kilometers in size and the surrounding mountain ranges are formed during volcanic activity. The water in the geothermal pool in the volcanic crater is around 30 degrees Celsius and you must be careful about slippery pool banks during winter.
9: Be mesmerized by the Dettifoss Waterfall
This lies on the northern side of Vatnajökull National Park and offers you to realize the raw power of nature. It is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe falling 45 meters and having a width of over 100 meters. You also have smaller falls at Selfloss and Hafragilsfoss waterfalls.
10: Enjoy rural Iceland at Kirkjufell Mountain, Grundarfjördur
Northern lights over Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland
This is a small town that lies to the northwest of Reykjavik and is a charming fishing village on the north coast of Snaefellsnes peninsula. This lies on a fjord with towering mountains dotted with pristine pure streams and white waterfalls and is one of the best places to watch the northern lights during the winter.
Though there are many other popular and interesting things to do in Iceland the above are the most important among them. So, while in Iceland go and do these to fill your mind with a lifetime of green and ever enchanting memories.