Travel

4 Reasons Iceland Should Be Your Next Vacation Spot

Iceland may sound like a small, cold and far away island. It is. It’s also filled with fairytale-like nature and has a reputation for being great for partying!

In Iceland, they speak something akin to Elvish, and it’s not all that surprising as the landscape looks like something straight out of Lord of the Rings. Surprisingly, in Reykjavik, you will find a city bustling with cool fashion and late night parties.

The combination is quite something.

Hot springs

Seljalandsfoss

The island may be cold, but they have hot springs that remain, well, hot throughout winter. And, while it gets dark in winter, you have the Northern Lights at that time of year. Chances are your trip will be cheaper as well as most people go to Iceland in summer.

Iceland has huge waterfalls, and as the water cascades down on sunny days, you will see rainbows in them. You can literally stand in them and search for the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

Or, tell your significant other to find the treasure while you stand at the end of the rainbow yourself.

Because there aren’t that many people in Iceland, you might find yourself your own little hot spring to go skinny dipping in, while watching the snow fall around you. Just be sure you check the weather forecast and know how to get back to the city if there is an epic snowstorm coming your way.

If you feel less adventurous, there are also hot pools with water from the hot springs in Reykjavik where people come together to socialize. It’s sort of like hanging out at a café, but in a pool instead.

Partying

Reykjavik may be dark in winter, but who cares. The partying all happens at night anyway! And, there are very few places with entry fees, so why not join the crowds.

Happy hour goes until around 11pm, which is when the alcohol is cheap, but no one’s out. People tend to come out to play at around midnight. You might want to catch happy hour unless you want to break the bank though—Iceland is not a cheap place to visit (though, of course, as a savvy traveler, you’ll find the best deals for everything, and use AirBnB or couchsurfing.com to make your stay one where you meet the locals and pay very little for it).

Reykjavik is small, so the parties all happen in a centralized area, meaning you don’t have to wander far to find a place to hang at for the night—or for a couple of hours before heading to the next one. After parties are frequent, so if you mingle with the locals you are sure to end up at one!

If you want a true Icelandic experience, take a shot of some Reyka vodka, which is made outside of Reykjavik and filtered through lava stones. Beware that you probably can’t handle as much alcohol as the Icelanders though, unless you’re a seasoned drinker.

The nature

Hvitserkur is a spectacular rock in the sea on the Northern coast of Iceland

People in Iceland believe in elves—they even build houses for them—and it is quite understandable once you head out into nature. Among the mountains, hot springs, geysers and ice bergs, you will find an astonishing beauty unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

If you discover it at night, you will see it glittering in the moonlight and the many stars will make you take deep breaths in awe.

Of course, you could also view it when it’s illuminated by the Northern Lights. This magical landscape will make you forgive anyone for believing in elves—especially as you, after all, don’t really know where you are in the universe anyway; you just happen to be standing on an incredibly beautiful part of Earth, marveling at the beauty and magic around you.

If that’s possible, why not elves?

Caving

Inside an icecave in Vatnajokull

Do you like colorful, crazy looking caves? Then you need to go caving in Iceland. Thanks to so many volcanoes, Iceland has plenty of weird and wonderful caves. As the climate greatly changes from winter to summer, not all caves are available in all weather conditions.

The Gjábakkahellir Cave near Þingvellir National Park is the perfect cave to visit in the summer months, and the Leiðarendi Cave in the Bláfjöll area is perfect in the winter.

You can also enter a magma center in Iceland—the Þríhnúkagígur Crater is the place to do this. The volcano erupted some 4,000 years ago and is now inactive and possible to visit. Unlike most other craters, it didn’t collapse after the eruption, which is the remarkable thing about it. You can access it by cable car, though you have to hike up to the cable car first.

There are tour operators and guides who will be able to help you with your caving expeditions in Iceland; be sure to use them—you should never explore a cave unless you know it’s safe to do so.

The biggest draw in Iceland, save the fashionable and friendly population that likes to party ‘til dawn, is the nature. You will find magnificent caves, glorious waterfalls, stunning mountains and incredible hot springs to relax in—even in the midst of winter. It’s a stunning landscape worthy of any adventurer.

About the author

Maria Montgomery

Writer. Social Entrepreneur. Foster mommy (twins). Change maker. Foodie. Health freak. Nature lover. Creative nutcase. Blogger (Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde). A friend of mine once described me by saying “One minute she’s like the Dalai Lama, the next a dizzy blonde” and maybe that does sum me up…

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