Why Visit Iceland?

Why Visit Iceland?

You think you know what you want from a holiday, and then you visit Iceland. This epic destination hits the reset button on the traditional trip checklist. Love a dip in a cool pool – how about a hot one? Are white sandy beaches your go-to? Here, they come in dramatic black. Searching for endless sun and epic wildlife? Iceland again ups the ante. This small, sparsely populated island presents nature in all its raw and rugged glory. Famous for the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, glaciers and volcanoes, it’s a place of extreme contrasts. Why visit Iceland? Here are eight fantastic reasons.



You Can Admire Remarkable Natural Diversity

More than scenic, Iceland’s raw nature is cinematic. Active volcanoes, verdant valleys, glacier-cut fjords, ice fields, and roaring rivers are just some of its defining features. Iceland is also home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull, which is three times the size of Luxembourg and covers about 8% of the country’s total landmass. This rugged, otherworldly terrain is like nothing you’ll see elsewhere in the world.


You Can Bask on a Different Kind of Beach

While stretches of white sand are undoubtedly dreamy, Iceland’s black beaches offer a dramatic beauty that’s all their own. Reynisfjara, close to the southern village of Vik, is one of the most famous black sand beaches in the world. In addition to the dark sand, you’ll find a giant basalt cave, roaring Atlantic waves and the spectacular sea stacks of Reynisdrangar, used as a backdrop for the epic TV series Game of Thrones. At the other end of the spectrum there’s the ‘Diamond Beach’ of Breidamerkursandur, where millions of dazzling ice cubes glisten on the ground before slowly melting into the Atlantic Ocean.


You Can Take a Dip in a Thermal Pool

Swimming in a cool pool is a classic holiday must-have, but in the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ you can take a dip in a hot and healing one. Iceland uses geothermal energy as a source of power and natural pools can be found all over the country. The warm seawater is rich with minerals like silica and sulphur which heal and rejuvenate skin. You can even swim in the Blue Lagoon, a large lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula that’s a toasty 37-40°C year-round – the temperature of a warm bath.


You’ll Have a Whale of a Time

Searching for sea giants is another awesome activity on the agenda in Iceland. You’re almost guaranteed to spot at least one of the 20 indigenous species, which include minke and humpback whales. Typically coming to Iceland during the summer, many stay long into autumn and winter and the most reliable time to see orcas is March, April, May and June. Minke whales are quite a shy species, but there are estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 around the coasts of Iceland which can be spotted year-round. Most whale watching tours will also swing by the coastal cliffs so visitors can observe the many cute and colourful puffins.


Summertime in Iceland Means Endless Sun

For more fun in the sun, try summer in Iceland. ‘Why visit Iceland in summer?’ you ask. The days are extremely long, and the sky remains bright at night from as early as May and as late as August. The climax is on June 21st when the summer solstice gives rise to the ‘Midnight Sun’. This is a natural phenomenon that brightens the atmosphere for 24 hours, so lucky visitors can experience an endless summers day.



You Can Chase Rainbow Skies

Conversely, for winter visitors, the extreme dark has its perks. Between September and April, people in Iceland are treated to a magnificent natural display: the phenomenon of aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights. The luminous green and purple streaks are visible in dark and clear skies, a celestial show made even more special by its elusiveness. The conditions must be just right to witness the spectacle, so for those who do, it’s akin to holding nature’s winning lottery ticket.



You Can Take the Ultimate Road Trip

Many of Iceland’s natural wonders are easily accessible and yet virtually untouched. Route 1, or the Ring Road, runs 828 miles around the island’s top attractions. These include Seljalandsfoss, one of the few places in the world where you can walk behind a waterfall, and Jökulsárlón Lagoon, where majestic icebergs slowly drift out to sea. Alternatively, the 185-mile-long Golden Circle tour is a wondrous journey through Iceland’s southern region. Wind your way through Þingvellir National Park, the Great Geysir at Haukadalur and the impressive Gullfoss waterfall.



Hip Reykjavik is Small and Perfectly Formed

After enjoying Iceland’s extreme nature, Reykjavik is the perfect place to admire the country’s man-made beauty. Given its compact character, the world’s northernmost capital city has more than its fair share of restaurants, cafes, bars and museums, plus Hallgrimskirkja Church, the highest building in downtown Reykjavik and an astounding landmark that dominates the city skyline. The cuisine here is fantastic too – fresh, pure and delicious – and the nightlife is nothing short of legendary, making Reykjavik the perfect spot to kick back for a few days and experience life like a local.


For a country with so many strings to its bow, the question isn’t ‘Why visit Iceland?’ but ‘When?’. Speak to one of our Iceland specialists and start planning your trip today.