Iceland is where nature constantly gets the spotlight, and it’s easy to see why: the country is home to awe-inspiring glaciers, geothermal springs, and active volcanoes. Even in Reykjavik’s busy capital city, the ocean’s vistas and adjacent mountains are more captivating than anything else. This country of fire and ice cut off from the rest of Europe for hundreds of years, has a distinct cultural history that includes literature, music, and gastronomy, all of which you will find to be enthralling.
The Icelandic people, with their strong sense of community and independent will to make their own way in the world, are as captivating as Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. In the winter, Iceland is bathed in the glow of the Northern Lights, and in the summer, the country is bathed in the light of the midnight sun. Regardless of the time of year, Iceland will provide a travel experience unlike anywhere else.
1. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
When it comes to seeing Iceland in its natural splendor, no place on the island can compare to the pristine wildness at the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the Westfjords. Indeed, the Hornstrandir’s rugged topography of rocky mountains and plummeting sea cliffs provides problems, but this does not change the fact that it is the perfect location for those who like being outdoors and adventuring. However, since no stores or other amenities are inside the reserve, hikers must arrive prepared for any unexpected circumstances. The Hornbjarg is a sky-high sea cliff on the reserve’s northernmost extremity. It is one of the sites that trekking aficionados place high on their “bucket list.” You may take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience at the top of the globe during the summer months by signing up for one of the offered guided trips.
Husavik is a little fishing community in northern Iceland that is gradually gaining a reputation as one of the greatest sites in Europe for whale watching. The settlement is tucked away in a secluded bay surrounded by mountains. The kinds of marine mammals most often seen from the tour boats are the minke, humpback, blue whales, harbor porpoise, and white-beaked dolphins. The Husavik Whale Museum provides a prosperity of knowledge on whales and commemorates the history of whaling in Iceland. The museum showcases many skeletons that are scaled down to life-size. A stop at the charming Husavikurkirkja, a wooden church constructed in 1907, is also recommended.
3. Landmannalaugar, Fjallaback Nature Reserve
Landmannalaugar, which can be found in Iceland’s inner highlands and is part of the Fjallaback Nature Reserve, is perhaps best known for its breathtaking hiking paths. The location is well-known for its natural hot springs, as well as the fact that it is level and simple to navigate. It is located on the border of a lava field. Short walks through the lava field and ascents of adjacent Mt. Blahnjukur, one of the rhyolite mountains bordering Landmannalaugar’s graveled plains, are among the most popular excursions. During peak season, tour companies regularly provide day excursions to the area. Additionally, the location has some primitive lodging options for those who spend the night there.
5. The Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Not many vacation experiences in Iceland can compare to the sight and sound of an iceberg calving off a glacier and smashing into the ocean for the first time. The Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is the location that offers the finest view of this demonstration of the force of nature. This iceberg-studded lake can be found in the southeast region of Iceland and was created when the ice on the Breidamerkurjokull glacier began to melt. The glacier itself is a significant tourist draw in its own right. The lake, with its slowly drifting floating icebergs, may be seen from the island’s Ring Road. Still, nothing compares to the experience of viewing them up close from the deck of a tour boat.