Within the past few years, Iceland has been globally noted as a popular travel destination. Back in 2015, tourism grew to be one-third of Iceland’s economy, and last year alone, 2.3 million people came from all over to visit the land of fire and ice. All these tourists now know that Iceland is really a country made of something special. Thus, it makes sense to add this destination to your bucket list.
There’s something for everyone in Iceland, and here are some must-dos to include when creating your itinerary.
Iceland is a country for adventure seekers. With an ample supply of glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and mountains to explore, adventurers of all kinds will be hard-pressed to find something that doesn’t suit their desires and abilities. Leading tourist companies provide Iceland Adventure Tours that allow you to get up-close and personal with the caves that helped to give Iceland its name. Those looking for a bit of an above-ground experience can look into tours that bring you hiking over glaciers, white water rafting, or exploring around waterfalls.
Go whale watching
There’s no better place to see some of these large, majestic creatures than in the Reykjavik harbor. This picturesque seaway is home to over 200 species, making it a great place to spot a variety of interesting sea life. The most frequent sightings are of minke whales and humpback whales, but you may also see some puffins, porpoises, and even a killer whale. There’s an abundance of animals in the harbor because it serves as a passageway between Icelandic fjords, so chances are you will catch a glimpse of a swimming creature passing by your boat during your first voyage.
Head to the black sand beaches
Iceland is becoming known for its beaches — not for swimming, but for the beautiful black sand beaches made from lava rocks. The most popular beach is Vik, which is located on Iceland’s south coast. You’ll be awed by the different rock formations on the beach, and how magnificent the gray water looks when it hits the black sand. Your pictures will look like postcards — and give you the feeling that you are in the solar system.
Become friends with some Icelandic ponies
Icelandic ponies are a sacred species as they are protected by the government from leaving the country. It’s common to find these fuzzy creatures along the sides of the road when you explore Iceland. You can stop and take some photos if you see these long-maned beauties — but make sure not to get to close or pet them without official or on-site permission. On a related note: Many places offer horseback riding adventures, so you can explore the country just like the Vikings originally did.
Relax at the Blue Lagoon
With all this adventuring, you need some relaxation during your vacation. The best place to do this is at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most popular spa. The lagoon is known for its warm waters and healing silica, and you can swim in the water and relish in the steam. The spa boasts a sauna, an inside area where you can order food and drink, and if you’re up for the splurge, you can book a massage in the waters of the lagoon itself. Due to its close proximity to the airport, the Blue Lagoon offers a perfect start or end to any Icelandic vacation, so be sure not to miss it.
With these items on your Iceland itinerary, you will be set for the trip of a lifetime. Whether you have a weeklong break from work or are looking for a summer vacation, make Iceland your go-to destination!