[Blue Lagoon photo by iceland.is.]
Rugged fjords, majestic glaciers and bubbling hot springs are few among the many natural features that give Iceland its easy beauty. Situated atop the world’s widest expanse of active volcanoes just at the tip of the Arctic Circle, the country has landscapes with unrivalled allure. There are many things to see so it is no surprise that Iceland is one of the top 20 vacation spots. Places to visit and engaging activities to partake in with the outright favourites being Gullfoss, Blue Lagoon, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Dynjandi among other attractions. And, while you’re at it, you can hike under the Midnight Sun. Each of these attractions is uniquely beautiful. These however, stand out:
Skálanes Nature Reserve at the tip of Seydisfjordur in Iceland’s East Fjords region is the perfect location for contemplation, relaxation, a bit of learning and a suitable place to adopt a completely new pace of life. Aside from the caringly renovated farmhouse, Skálanes has secluded sandy beaches, vibrant meadows, cascading waterfalls, alluring snowcapped mountains and vast sea cliff nearby. The location is ideal for anyone looking to create indelible memories of this Nordic nation.
2. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Described as a ghostly procession of radiant blue icebergs, Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s leading visual attraction. The spectacular icebergs that drift through the lagoon easily makes it the greatest wonder of Nature this far in the North. Sitting some 230 miles from the capital Reykjavík and close to Highway Number 1, the lagoon hosts huge blocks of ice that break off the glacier. While this attractive feature is indeed breathtaking, it probably is also nature’s best manifestation of global warming; the lagoon is less than a century old.
Gullfoss on the River Hvítá is Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. It also is the most majestic. The name loosely translates to golden falls since its waters are brownish; a result of carrying sediments eroded by glacial ice. On a perfect sunny day, these waters give off a golden hue while descending the 32-meter deep crevice of the falls. The falls are not only beautiful but leave you with an enriching sense of energy and uplifting experience every time you visit.
4. Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
Located in Southwester Iceland, Blue Lagoon is another leading attraction. It is very accessible since it sits only an hour away from the capital and 20 minutes from Keflavík International Airport. The lagoon’s warm waters are famous for their healing qualities, and rich mineral content, which eliminates skin conditions such as psoriasis. Blue Lagoon is man-made and gets its waters from the nearby geothermal plant of Svartsengi. Guests looking to enjoy the hot waters of the lagoon however have to shower before enjoying the public bathing facility.
Almost all tourists coming into Iceland get the first taste of the country by interacting with the residents of the capital. The city is small but makes up for this by its diverse shopping areas, stylish bars as well as restaurants. It has a vibrant nightlife that gets even longer during summer. Moreover, classing attractions such as Geysir, Thingvellir National Park, Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss, and the uniquely beautiful church of Hallgrímskirkja are all nearby.
There is probably not enough space to enumerate all the attractions that Iceland has to offer. This list however, provides a good start. The greatest attraction though, remains the welcoming people of this country, with their great history and warm hearts.