The typical idea of a vacation involves tropical beaches and sweltering climates. However, not everyone wants to pack a swimsuit and jet off to the Bahamas. Why not swap the coast for Iceland’s volcanoes, lava fields and geysers? This Nordic Nation boasts some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
A Mystical Island in the North Atlantic
Similar in size to the state of Ohio, Iceland is home to 130 volcanos. Every four years, on average, a volcano erupts. Listen closely to the local people conversing in their traditional language, which has not changed since ancient Norse. This is pretty amazing, because texts that date back thousands of years can be read without trouble! What’s even more amazing is the fact that approximately 65 percent of the energy produced in Iceland comes from renewable sources.
You could call the people of Iceland very open-minded, since the country is the first to have an openly gay and democratically elected Prime Minister. The vast majority of the tree-less country’s revenue is earned through whale-watching. Whales aside, there are various types of enchanting creatures on dry land and in the waters, including the Arctic Fox, Icelandic sheep and polar bears! If you’ve booked your Iceland hotel on Expedia and are now looking to create an itinerary for your trip, look no further than this blog post.
Absorbing the Wonderful Wilderness of Iceland
If we’ve tempted you to learn more about one of the last places on the planet to be settled by humans, read on. You’re about to discover the most stunning places in this glacier-filled European country.
Listed below are 15 ways to make the most of Iceland’s natural beauty:
- Grótta in Reykjavík – Located in a part of Iceland called Grótta is this wildlife-rich sunset spot. Bathe in the warm manmade pool enveloped by rocks and look out at the lighthouse, of which you can access at low tide.
- Seljavallalaug Pool – Tours do not take place at this attraction, so there is a chance you may be the only one there if you visit. The natural pool is positioned between Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. After a 15-minute stroll amidst the wilderness, you’ll arrive at the natural swimming area.
- Gljúfrabúi Waterfall – Located next to a farm, this attraction can be accessed within five minutes on foot from Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This particular waterfall is not as well known as Seljalandsfoss, making it somewhat of a hidden gem.
- Hvítserkur Rock – Take a camera with you to photograph this enchanting rock, which looks slightly eerie standing by itself in the waters outside of Húnafjörður fjord. The natural wonder is best seen at sunrise or sunset, when the pink skies reflect on the surrounding ocean.
- Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – The name of this canyon translates to “Feather River Canyon”. Consider pulling on some hiking boots to climb the canyon and look down onto the scenery below, which is a mishmash of cliffs, verdant green grass and flowing streams.
- Hofsós Swimming Pool – Head to the charming town of Hofsos on the Tröllaskagi archipelago to swim in an infinity pool that hugs the coastline. Feel the sun on your skin as you gaze out onto views of the fjord.
- Vesturdalur Valley – Snuggled in-between Dettifoss and Ásbyrgi is this striking valley, which was formed by volcanic activity that occurred thousands of years ago.
- Þjórsárdalur Valley – Listed as a National Forest, this natural and cultural attraction boasts a prime position with river Þjórsá to its east and mount Skriðufell to its west. It is a popular rock climbing spot.
- Glymur Waterfall – Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall, this magnificent natural attraction has just one drop of a staggering 198 meters. Once upon a time, it was known as the tallest waterfall, before Morsárfoss claimed the title of tallest.
- Rauðisandur Beach – This 10-kilometer expanse of sand tends to look different at certain times of day, with the sand transforming color according to the weather and daylight.
- Siglufjörður Village – Formerly known as the herring capital of the world, this quaint village and fishing town is enclosed by snow-capped mountains. When visiting, make sure you check out The Herring Era Museum.
- Kjölur Road – Rent a car and set off on a road trip right through Iceland’s middle. Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers are positioned on either side of the road, which is mainly straight and flat.
- Holuhraun Lava – Fissure eruptions are what created this immense lava field. The last eruption to take place here began on August 28, 2014 and concluded on February 27, 2015.
- Hornstrandir Nature Reserve – Established in 1975, this stunning setting was home to early inhabitants and now, it is a place to enjoy bike tours, sea angling, cultural walks, bird-watching, whale-watching and local food tasting. Over 30 species of bird flap their wings above the colorful landscape, which is peppered with more than 260 species of blossoming plants.
- Víknaslóðir Hiking Trails – Get ready to traipse along some of the country’s most jaw-dropping hiking routes. Also known as “The trails of the Inlets,” the trails are best discovered on a five or 10-day tour.
Booking the Best Iceland Hotels for a Magical Vacation
Rest your head in a comfortable bed at one of Iceland’s hotels. Located a minute’s walk from the Iceland Phallological Museum and Hallgrimskirkja is the Skuggi Hotel. You may prefer a guesthouse, like The Old Bicycle Shop, which is close to Asgrimur Jonsson Collection. For a truly mesmerizing experience, reserve a room inside the plush Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina. Hugging the marina, this hotel is easy to access from Austurvollur Square.
Take your time when searching for the best Iceland hotels, because there are plenty of options to suit all budgets and tastes. And don’t forget to document your trip with photos and videos. Iceland’s beauty offers the opportunity to create some great social media content and even better family memories. Need a little inspiration? Check out this blog on squareship that highlights every reason creatives should visit Iceland.
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