Iceland is a small Island in the North Atlantic. Part of the Nordic countries, Icelanders consider Iceland the "middle of the world". With it being a "hot destination" we like to think of it that way too!
The country is made up of beautiful, active, wild nature. With it's dramatic landscape of volcanoes, hot springs and lava fields and geysers. There are less than a half million people that live in Iceland. Each area & North, South, East, and West are all very different in how they look and what nature has bestowed upon it.
Traveling to Iceland
Each side/area of Iceland again is very different have has different things to enjoy and explore.
Reykjavik has a population of 120,000 and is not considered a metropolis. Few skyscrapers, the traffic is lite and if you are there long enough, you will recognize many. This small in size, but big on excitement!
Warm sunny days in Reykjavik can bring out locals and visitors filling the green square in front of Parliament. The main street of Laugavegur, has great shopping, great coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, and fantastic people watching. Reykjavik is considered the Gateway to Iceland and is considered a great place to begin your Iceland Adventure!
East Iceland is home to the countries largest forest. With lush farmlands small fjords and islands it also has many natural harbors with a variety of fishing villages, and small seaside towns along the coastline.
Iceland's Wes side is very geologically diverse with natural wonders ranging from volcanoes, majestic waterfalls, and a variety of beautiful flora and wildlife. Its culture, history nature, combine to give locals and visitors some exciting places to explore.
Iceland's south coast is home to the most visited tourist sites. Waterfalls, glaciers and geysers make up the famous "Golden Circle" route that many visitors take in. Further east along the south shore sights such as Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Vatnajokull Glacier are not to miss destinations. Fresh seafood offerings dot the towns and villages along the south coast. Museums house exhibits that highlight Icelandic Customs and traditional Sagas that Icelanders hold near and dear to them.
North Iceland boasts dramatic mountains, lava fields and smooth hills cut out by rivers. The North can also be lush with vegetation, but in other locations very bare. Traveling to the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun is definitely something to experience. Why not try your hand at midnight golfing or fishing! The "Capital of the North", Akureyri with its downtown full of quaint wooden houses, has culture, cuisine and history that is a must see.
Who Should Go
Culture Seekers- Iceland is known for history and culture. They love to preserve their past, but also embrace the now. One of the best known times to celebrate is late August, with Reykjavik Culture Night. This day begins with a race, the Reykjavik Half Marathon or 10K, but that evening locals come out to celebrate along with visitors the rich culture they have to offer. From poetry reading or garage bands playing in apartments or on the side of the street, to official performances at the new Harpa conference and concert center.
Foodies- Fresh locally produced Icelandic food. From fish to langoustine (Icelandic Lobster), to Skyr, a culture dairy product similar to yogurt but better! Historical delicacies such as Fermented Shark, Black Licorice snaps and dried smoked lamb just to name a few. There is something for everyone to try.
Outdoor Enthusiasts- Iceland does not have a huge drastic change of seasons, but they do have cooler weather making being out and about in the countryside fun to do, even in winter. Exploring all things in nature such as lava, mountains, nature baths and volcanoes are things that Icelanders love to do. Join in on the fun and explore.
Photo credit: Visit Iceland
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