With limited daylight during the winter months and its relatively isolated location, Iceland doesn’t usually make top 10 lists when it comes to must-visit destinations. Which is a real shame, when you consider how much there is to see and do in this breathtakingly beautiful country. From where to find the best meals to once-in-a-lifetime excursions, we’ve rounded up a list of why you should be booking your tickets to Iceland now. The Scenery is Breathtaking You won’t even notice the limited sunlight when you’re surrounded by such unparalleled beauty. From glaciers so majestic you’ll think you’re in a movie to incredible (and active!) volcanoes, it’s impossible to become jaded when there are so many incredible things to look at. If you’re unsure where to start, may we suggest heading to the Sólheimajökull Glacier for a guided tour. Driving Ring Road, the 831 mile route that takes you around the entirety of the island isn’t a bad idea either. You Can See The Northern Lights Thanks to the extra stretch of darkness, it’s easier to witness the incredible spectacle in Iceland than in a lot of other places. That being said, you’re still not guaranteed front-row seats to the show so it’s worth checking with locals and inquiring as to when and where you’re most likely to be able to see them. Some companies offer tours that increase the odds of at least being in the right place at the right time so it may be worth looking into if you’re determined to check the Lights off your bucket list. The Food is Incredible If you only go to one restaurant while in Iceland, make it Dill. You will never, ever forget the meal that you’ll have there. Incredibly elaborate tasting menus are prepared with painstaking attention to detail and feature local foods that highlight the area’s amazing ingredients using unique (but always delicious) flavor and texture combinations. Each course is more outstanding than the last and thanks to the restaurant’s sommelier, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly paired wines, should you be so inclined.
Blue Lagoon Actually Lives Up To The Hype Conveniently situated just off the highway and hardly a well-kept secret, Blue Lagoon is the kind of place that even those who are bound and determined to avoid tourist destinations will agree is well worth it. Even on the iciest days, the lagoon is warm and therapeutic and you’ll be in awe of the beauty that surrounds you while you have a soak. Bathing suits are required but don’t fret if you forgot yours- you can rent one on-site. If you’d like, you can make a true experience of it and book some spa treatments including in-water massages. But even just stopping by for a dip is worth the price of admission. It’s Easy To Get To While thinking of heading to Iceland often conjures up images of lengthy travel time and multiple layovers, it’s actually a lot easier to get there than one might think. Several major US cities offer inexpensive, direct flights and travel time can be blissfully short. Do a little research before booking your tickets and chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s Incredibly Safe Worry about spending too much on souvenirs, worry about having enough time to do everything you planned on doing, but definitely don’t worry about safety when you’re in Iceland. Crime rates are astonishingly low, so low in fact, that police officers don’t carry guns. Most unsavory situations are relatively benign and tourists really have nothing to worry about. So go ahead and and stay out late, chances are you’ll be fine. The Wildlife Is Pretty Great Have you ever seen an Icelandic horse? If not, you’ve been missing out. Same goes for the arctic fox (Iceland’s only native animal), the reindeer, and all the other creatures who have made the country home. If you’d like to get up close and personal with some of Iceland’s most majestic residents, book a whale watching tour. Or just spend some time exploring and see what you come across (don’t forget your binoculars).
Kate Walker Who is Kate Walker? She’s a freelance writer, yoga addict, and citizen of the concrete jungle. When not on the mat, Kate can be found at the dog park or on the dock in Muskoka. She is also pretty fond of running, skiing, and Settlers of Catan.
Pacsafe just launched its newest anti-theft bag, the Venturesafe EXP35 Travel Backpack, which was designed for travel, work, gym, and outdoors. It’s an all-in-one versatile bag to endure all types of adventures. To put the EXP35 through its ultimate endurance and functionality test, we asked extreme traveler, Thor of @onceuponasaga, [...]