Situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean just West of Norway, Iceland is a rapidly growing tourist destination among backpackers and luxury travelers alike. Perhaps best known for her natural beauty and luxurious geothermal pools, Iceland is home to a diverse array of landscapes and adventurous activities.
5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Iceland
1. November 2016
Iceland is by far one of my favorite travel destinations - let me tell you why:
It’s a Photographer’s Dream
No matter which direction you are headed, a road trip through Iceland will reward you with epic views from the start. Every now and then, snow-capped mountains or gushing waterfalls alongside the highway peek through the fog or clouds, offering up the perfect photography opportunities.
The country side has a rustic beauty with farms and cottages situated at the base of mountains. Bright cabins add a splash of color to a whimsical field or rolling hills. I could hardly resist stopping to take pictures along the way – who can blame me with scenery as magnificent as this?
From Vikings, to elves and coffee shops to hot pools, Iceland has a rich history and interesting culture to discover. There are countless museums, open air exhibits and galleries in the capital city and beyond for you to gain perspective on both Iceland’s past and current society. There are even unique tours and workshops to help you delve into curious beliefs of ghosts and elves, or retrace the country’s history through time.
Reykjavik has an interesting combination of modern flair infused with tradition. For example, trendy coffee shops exist all over the city, while the custom of soaking in a hot pool continues to thrive. Sit in a coffee shop and people watch or grab a bowl of the local soup and finish your afternoon with a soak in one of Iceland’s beloved hot pools.
It’s a Natural High:
For the adrenaline junkie, a visit to Iceland offers plentiful opportunities for adventure! From stunning mountain range treks, glacial hikes, kayaking through a fjord, walking behind waterfalls, rappelling down a volcano, helicopter touring above the landscapes or even exploring the countryside by horse, there are endless ways to get outdoors and chase that rush.
For those with a budget in mind, simply renting a car and touring around the south, or hiking in and around Reykjavik is enough to infuse your vacation with a sense of adventure!
Iceland is impeccably clean! You will notice no trash or litter on the streets and your lungs will immediately feel the fresh, unpolluted air. Further, the country utilizes sustainable geothermal energy sources. Underground reservoirs of steam and hot water are used to generate electricity, which is efficient and environmentally friendly.
In addition, Iceland’s recycling game is on another level – not only do citizens recycle, but they separate paper, plastics and tin from organics and electronics. Even hostels and street corners offer separated bins to promote recycling.
There is something so special and inspiring about being outdoors – particularly, time spent in untouched nature. When surrounded by stunning landscapes, I never fail to leave with new perspective on whatever issue I’d been dealing with and a more balanced attitude.
With Iceland’s National Parks, famous beaches, towering mountains and sky-high waterfalls, you are sure to feel inspired. Prepare to harness this feeling throughout your entire trip!
All in all, Iceland is a stunningly beautiful, one-of-a-kind travel destination with interesting culture, diverse activities and welcoming locals - seriously, do yourself a favor and plan a visit!
Stephanie is a Canadian travel writer – you can find her blogging and photography at www.thepinkbackpack.com