Iceland may be a small country, but it’s crammed with highlights around every corner. From natural hot springs to snow-capped mountains, here are just some of my favourite things about Iceland.
Note: I love everything about Iceland but I have a day job and couldn’t spend too long writing down a list…
If there’s one thing Iceland has a lot of, it’s waterfalls. Whenever you come across a rise in the land, slow down and keep your eyes peeled for a waterfall. My favourites include Seljalandsfoss, Godafoss and Skógafoss. Tip: “foss” means water in Icelandic.
Lady Aurora is a hard woman to come by, but it seems the people of Iceland are graced with her presence quite often. On a two-week trip I was lucky enough to see the aurora light up the night sky five nights in a row! You won’t always be this lucky of course but if the skies are clear and dark make sure you don’t hop into bed too early.
The infamous glacial lagoon is really as beautiful as you’d expect! Seals frequent the waters and can be seen swimming among the mini bergs floating out to sea. The lagoon can be enjoyed from the shore or on board a boat. Follow the ice as it floats out to sea and rolls back to shore along a wave, coming to rest on a black sand beach nearby.
I love my fruit so it was a pleasant surprise to find that blueberries grow all over Iceland. I snacked on blueberries every day for two weeks. You don’t have to worry about pesticides or anything either, it’s simply fresh, wild blueberries.
Natural hot springs
Need I say more? It’s therapeutic to strip down to your swimmers when it’s below ten degrees and relax into a spring of hot, steaming water. I think it’s something everyone visiting Iceland should experience. No matter the weather, natural hot springs are great!
One of the coolest things we did in Iceland (besides climb to the top of volcanic craters and ride a snowmobile across a glacier) was to venture down into Vatnshellir Cave. If you’ve ever seen the film Journey to the Centre of the Earth, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Although we didn’t end up walking all the way to Italy, we did get to hear a guide sing a troll song inside a magma chamber. If that’s not Icelandic, I don’t know what is.
You’ve no doubt seen photos of the elegant Icelandic horse and absolutely adorable Arctic Fox. You’ll spot horses and sheep all over the countryside but foxes are a little harder to come by. We managed to spot one on the way to Mývatn so keep your eyes peeled and have your camera at the ready because they’re out there! If you’re lucky, you might even spot wild reindeer roaming the countryside in the east.
Coming from a country where most beaches are lined with white sand, it’s hard to believe that anything else exists. Although I would strongly advise against swimming in the oceans around Iceland, I do recommend strolling along the black sand beaches. The rocks are beautiful and become really shiny when rubbed.
Last but by no means least, the people. The people of Iceland were welcoming and delightful everywhere we went. They were always so willing to tell us more about their beautiful country and always seemed so grateful to have visitors. It’s the reason I’d consider a move to Iceland. Maybe if they’re summer ever warmed up to Australian standards…
What do you love most about Iceland? Let me know in the comments below!