Iceland is now on everyone’s travel list, much to the delight of puzzled locals. Iceland is easy to get to from North America, with lots of flight options now available, and makes a great stop on the way to Europe. Iceland offers a fascinating landscape complete with waterfalls, snow- capped mountains, glaciers, geysers, volcanoes and pristine coastlines. It is known as the land of “Fire and Ice.” There are plenty of sheep, horses, friendly people, and per Folklore – Elves and Fairies!
Iceland is one of the safest places to visit in the world and more than 2.0 million people visited the country of 360,000 in 2019.
The Blue Lagoon is the most popular attraction in Iceland. This geothermal spa can hold hundreds of people and is the size of 2 football fields. The water which is at around 98 degrees, is a combination of sea and fresh water from the nearby geothermal plant. You can buy mud and algae masks, in-water massages, and there is a swim-up bar to buy smoothies, wine, beer, and water. The Blue Lagoon is extremely popular so it is best to make reservations ahead of time. The morning is typically less busy than the afternoon. And, you do have to shower totally naked in sex-segregated showers before entering the water. So, if you are shy, be prepared for that ahead of time.
In Iceland, you can visit Lake Jokulsarlon where some dramatic scenes of the James Bond movie “Die Another Day” were filmed. You can see one of the largest glaciers in Europe which is called Vatnajokull near the National Park at Skaftafell. This glacier forms into gorgeous icebergs as it flows into the lake.
Gullfoss (The Golden Waterfalls) is a spectacular two-tiered waterfall that drops a total of 32 meters. It is the Icelandic equivalent of Niagara Falls and is exciting to visit. Bring your raingear!
Snaefellsjokull National Park is home to the most famous volcano in Iceland, and has molded the area with lava formations, caves and craters.
In Thingvellir National Park, you will see the world famous hot springs area of Geyser. Strokkur is a fountain geyser that erupts about every 10 minutes and sends a spectacular column of steam and water into the air. This is one of the most renowned attractions in Iceland.
Reykjavik, where most people fly into, is the capital of Iceland, and is home to 17 public pools. Icelanders believe very seriously in the benefits of bathing in geothermal water.
Credit cards are widely accepted, but you will want one that has a PIN or chip. Make sure you remember your PIN.
Iceland is going through a culinary revolution. Food is a bit on the pricey side with main entrees running around 30 – 40 dollars. You can try a dish of plokkfishur, which includes cod and haddock mashed with potatoes, onions and spices. Hotdogs are remarkably quite famous in Iceland too. There is also Skyr which is a local yogurt served with berries that is awesome for dessert.
Einstok beer is very popular, as well as Gull and Viking varieties. There is really something perfect for everyone’s taste. You can top off your meal with Iceland’s famous geyser schnapps, served ice cold, of course.
The weather in Iceland can vary so you will want to dress in layers and bring some raingear. Raingear is great to have when you are visiting the waterfalls as well. You may want to buy a Lopapeysa Icelandic sweater which is warm and water resistant.
You can visit Iceland by cruise ship, or by doing a land tour. Insight Vacations has a 9-day tour called “Natural Wonders of Iceland” and Globus Tours has an 8-day tour called Iceland Adventure. Most of the cruise lines also have a limited number of sailings, that will treat you to a smorgasbord of stunning coastal and inland adventures.
If you want to adventure off on your own, Icelanders do drive on the right side of the road, which makes it easy for North Americans. Gas is relatively expensive and gas stations often close at 9:00 p.m., so you need to fill up ahead of time. In the summertime you will have nearly 24 hours of constant sunlight, and in the winter, you are almost guaranteed to experience spectacular northern lights!
Iceland is country of overwhelming beauty, and a fabulous place to visit! We can help you with all your plans for a seam-less, stress-free visit.
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