What’s so Hot about Iceland? Everything!
Think glaciers, volcano hot spots, hot springs and hiking through fjords require multiple vacations? Think again. All this, and more, can be found from booking a trip to Iceland. Let Joytravel.com book you a vacation of a lifetime today!
Iceland’s History and Natural Appeal
Sitting on top of the Arctic Circle, Iceland has a history rich in folklore that springs from its rugged and diverse climate. It’s impossible to hike under the Midnight Sun with a background of ice and not feel like you’re in another world – because you are. And yet, this mystical world is more accessible than you think – beginning with its capital city, Reykjavik.
Located in Southwest Iceland on Faxa Bay, Reykjavik boasts about two hundred thousand people and is the heart of the country’s legal, financial and cultural activity. In fact, this town has roots going back to early 800 AD. It had no urban growth until the nineteenth century when it became a trading town.
Today, Reykjavik is considered one of the greenest towns in the world to live. Eco-friendly travelers will enjoy its sustainable architecture and use of recyclables. In fact, the first thing adventurers in Iceland will see is that this country takes immense pride in the beauty of their land and are fierce about protecting it.
While we at JoyTravel highly recommend taking advantage of all the natural and commercial sites Iceland has to offer, it’s not a bad idea to start with the capital city first. Here are some suggestions.
What makes this town so alluring to tourists is that the city itself is peppered with people, but the interior feels untouched by humans. Take a whale watching tour or hike ice fields. Check out the inactive lava and walk through long deserts of ash. Oh, you want geysers? Reykjavik has that, too! Check out the Golden Circle tour – a 300km looping excursion that goes from the capital city to the uplands of Iceland and back – to see more than a few of these gushers. Along this tour you’ll also find waterfalls and rivers that will blow your mind with their beauty.
2.Waterfalls and Rivers:
It’s true! With all that ice you had better believe you’ll find waterfalls and rivers, too. Here are a few you won’t want to miss in both the capital city and beyond!
Gullfoss: Part of the Golden Circle tour, this magnificent waterfall can be found in the base of the Hvítá river. It has spectacular views with powerful currents fed by the Langjökulll, Iceland´s 2nd largest glacier. Be prepared to have your draw drop as the water roars down 32 meters into a jagged canyon climbing seventy meteors skyward. Don’t forget to look up on a sunny day as rainbows are common in Gullfoss.
Elliðaár: Also located in Reykjavik, the river Elliðaáris breathtaking in its vastness and features a modern red footbridge – an interesting contrast between modern and natural elements.
Elliðavogur Bay: Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching salmon in this beautiful river. This is a lovely spot to go if you want some more refined activities after a day on the water, such as checking out a folk museum in Arbaer which boasts an open air design.
Háifoss Waterfall: This waterfall is located near Hekla, a volcano in the South part of Iceland. The Fossá River creates this waterfall, dropping 122m, making it one of the highest waterfalls in the country.
3.Art and Museums:
History buffs will enjoy learning about Vikings and battles in the
National Museum of Iceland. This well respected museum contains over two thousand artifacts, multi-media shows and photos. As part of an interactive experience, visitors can pick up a phone and talk with a medieval chief or role play with some ancient jewelry or armor. Don’t forget to stop by the café and gift shop – full of interesting gifts and Iceland delicacies!
4.Volcanos, Mountains and National Parks:
Eyjafjallajokull: This mountain range was made by a plethora of eruptions over thousands of years (we’re talking back to the Ice Age!). It’s located in Skógar and is shaped like a cone. It’s the sixth largest glacier in Iceland. What make it so interesting are the glaciers (that look like tongues) sticking out from the sides. Known as Gigjokull and Steinholtsjokull, these glaciers fall into 2 small lakes full of floating icebergs. (Bring your camera – these are postcard moments!)
Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park: This is the ideal family and tourist destination not only for its beauty but for all there is to explore in one place. Visitors can see springs, volcanos, glaciers and more.
Kirkjufell Mountain: Located in western Iceland near the small city of Grundarfjörður, this is the opportune place to admire Northern Lights at night.
Skaftafell Ice Cave, Vatnajökull National Park: Covered in ice and snow, you’ll feel like you’re in a science fiction novel with these stunning ice caves. Stalagmites and stalactites abound in this natural winter wonderland. And the best part? It changes every year depending on weather conditions. You’ll never see the same cave twice! (Assuming you want to go back to Iceland – and you will!)
5.Geysers, Lagoons and Nature’s Light Shows:
Geysir Hot Spring Area: If boiling mud pits and geysers that explode every few minutes are your thing, you won’t want to miss the Geysir Hot Spring Area. A well maintained visitor center offers exhibits and presentations year round.
Blue Lagoon: Located in Grindavík outside Reykjavik, this geothermal spa brings natural baths to a whole new level. People come for their health but stay for the relaxation and awe inspiring beauty that surrounds them.
Aurora Borealis: If you’re lucky enough to book a trip from September to mid-April, you will be one of the fortunate ones to see the aurora borealis. These “northern lights” look like computer animated lighting but are indeed natural and unbelievably bright and spectacular, especially when they are reflected over water.
Once considered remote, Iceland is quickly becoming a top choice for families, groups and singles to enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. Let Joytravel.com get you off the couch and onto some ice today!