Iceland is beautiful, quirky and adventurous all at the same time – it’s almost impossible to list the reasons why it’s worth a visit.
It’s the type of place that can make any traveler’s dream come true. Maybe it’s chasing the Northern Lights while surrounded by dreamlike, volcanic scenery, or driving across century-old glaciers and black sand lava beaches in robust super jeeps. Why not explore the extra-terrestrial topography of Iceland on board a private helicopter or go off-roading in your ATV? Thundering waterfalls and steaming geysers are everywhere, and the opportunities to take sensational photographs are endless. From design hotels in eclectic Reykjavik to luxury expeditions and mobile-tented camps built on ice blue glaciers: Iceland truly has it all.
our favorite excursion: thorsmörk, valley of the gods
The average foreign traveler rarely gets to see this jewel of the Icelandic landscape. Due to its considerable access difficulties, such as unbridged rivers and rough gravel tracks instead of a proper road, having the right guide – and vehicle (Super Jeep recommended) – is the only way to see this incredible oasis.
Thorsmörk is a fantastic excursion in summer or winter. The whole region is an oasis with surprising richness of bird life and vegetation; Arctic birch trees and wild flowers. Visit the famous Stakkholtsgjá gorge, and the former glacial lagoon Gígjökulslón, which was destroyed in the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The site is now perfect to see the affect the eruption had on its near surroundings. Explore one of Thorsmork’s beautiful canyons from within as you wade through a narrow fissure with a stream running through it. Neoprene waders and helmets are included.
here are just a few reasons why iceland should not be missed
- It’s one of the best countries to view the Northern Lights.
- The Blue Lagoon is one of the 25 wonders of the world. This steamy outdoor spa is absolutely incredible and offers in-water massages and a swim-up bar. It’s just twenty minutes for the airport, so you can visit on your way in or out of Reykjavik.
- You can scuba or snorkel between continents. The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and the South American and African continental plates converge in an epic underwater meetup at the Silfra ridge.
- You can dogsled or snowmobile across the snowy tundra.
- You can go inside a volcano. At Thrihnukagigur, you’ll plunge almost 400 feet into the multicolored magma chamber of a volcano that erupted 4,000 years ago.
- Check out the Strokkur geyser, which erupts like clockwork every five to ten minutes, shooting water up to 100 feet in the air.
- Go whale watching. There are 23 types of whales in the waters around Iceland, so you’re more than likely to actually spot some.
- Take a dream road trip through the Golden Circle! You’ll pass geysers, a national park with the largest natural lake in Iceland, and Gullfoss, the country’s most famous (and spectacular!) waterfall, among others.
- The sun also shines at night! For about three months each year, the sun sets for only a brief moment, and the sky is bright for a full 24 hours.
- Visit the Ice Cave, a man-made cave that stretches deep inside the glacier and consists of a series of tunnels and caves carved through solid glacier ice. There’s also an ice chapel and an ice bar.