Most people picture Iceland as little more than an unending plateau of freezing cold ice and snow. While that may be partly true, it’s far from everything the country has to offer. It’s also warmer than you might think, with temperatures often exceeding those you’d experience in New York – not to mention that it’s only a five-hour flight away from NYC.
Iceland is simply magical, with otherworldly landscapes, breathtaking waterfalls, friendly people, tasty cuisine, and a myriad of fascinating sights that will leave you feeling enchanted. Not convinced? Take a look at the following five reasons why you should add Iceland to your travel bucket list this year.
Thanks to the abundance of geothermal power, Iceland is home to a number of hot pools that serve as the perfect place to relax and take some moody photos in the mist. The Blue Lagoon is the most famous of them all, with sulfur and silica content in the water that is said to heal your skin and spirits. Snow-covered lava rocks further add to the appeal.
If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the northern lights, then Iceland should be your next destination. On a cold and clear night, you can witness the spectacle in all its glory, with mystical green rays illuminating the sky and making for some great photos. There are several ways to catch the event.
You can either go on an adventure by taking a Super Jeep excursion or wait in one of the geothermal pools for the Aurora Borealis to appear. The best time to see it is in winter, between September and April. This is one of the numerous reasons why tourists prefer to take winter holidays in Iceland instead of going in the summer months.
It’s not only natural structures that make Iceland such a magical destination. There are also many man-made architectural masterpieces worth checking out.
A particularly exquisite example is Harpa, a concert hall with a glittering glass facade that shines under the night sky. Head to the center during the annual music festival to watch some of the world’s top musicians do what they do best.
Iceland’s dramatic volcanoes are the reason it gets called “the land of ice and fire.” From volcanic crater lakes and rivers to the famous black volcanic beaches, seeing these wonders is like taking a trip into natural art.
For the more adventurous traveler, you can take a tour right into the heart of a volcanic mountain such as Thrihnukagigur volcano, allowing you to explore the impressive stained walls that make up its interior.
It’s great to know that if you start feeling peckish, Iceland’s world-renowned chefs have you covered. Iceland’s cuisine today is a modern reflection of old traditions, with fresh seafood and lamb dishes that cleverly utilize the country’s sparse resources. There are also options that cater to specialized diets, including a number of vegan restaurants.
From the midnight sun to whale watching tours to glaciers to mountains and more, there are plenty of additional reasons to visit Iceland. So, if you’re looking for a truly unique getaway, set course for Iceland.