Iceland is an incredible place that looks like nothing else on earth. Called the land of ice and fire, visiting this volcanic island destination will fuel your soul with the primal surge of absolute awe and astonishment.
The Daily Traveller is constantly on the search for destinations that will be in one of the top 5 entries on a list containing unforgettable lifetime trips, and reading the article below you will see why Iceland will definitely be in your top 5, if you are daring enough to visit. Swap a traditional island holiday for one that is infused with a sense of adventure and exploring the unknown, the unfamiliar, one that will reveal phenomenal visuals that you will cherish for years to come. If you do, prepare to face Iceland’s disarming nature that harbours unprecedented landscapes and rare wildlife. Iceland has countless natural sites worth visiting, and we have collated the top few to give you a taste of what to expect.
The disarming nature of Iceland
Iceland is brimming with dramatic landscapes; waterfalls, lagoons and lakes, glaciers, geysers, craters, canyons and geothermal springs to name a few. Their exotic wilderness exudes a strange, enchanting sense of bewilderment that cannot really be put into words.
Visiting Godafoss Waterfall (the waterfall of the gods) is truly a breathtaking experience. Its name has come about following the legend that dates back to 1000 AD when Iceland embraced Christianity and all Norse statues were allegedly thrown into the Godafoss waterfall. It is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls, and it is truly spectacular, with a height of 12 meters by a width of 30 meters. Two other must see waterfalls are Dynjandifoss and Gulfoss.
The former is striking, being quite narrow but very tall at 100 meters, while the latter is positively impressive as the water flows about 32 meters in distance across 2 levels into a canyon that is 70 meters tall.
Namaskard geothermal area
The volcanic Lake Myvatn with the Viti crater, the lava fields of Dimmuborgir and the sulphuric, extraterrestrial landscape of Namaskard will enthuse you, as will the geothermal field of Hverir, a wasteland of boiling mud pools, hot springs and pressure spewing steam fissures.
Of course paying a visit to the mother of all geysers, Strokkur, will leave you speechless. Massive glaciers such as Langjokull and Vatnajokull are absolutely marvelous. These ice boulders, chasms and ice tunnels are bound to thrill you and give you to a completely different perspective of our world.
The rare wildlife of Iceland
The endemic animal population of Iceland makes it a wonderland of peculiar creatures. Species that you will probably have only seen in documentaries are here for an up close and personal encounter in their natural habitat.
Iceland has a few national parks, however, one of the most comprehensive is Thingvellir, east of Reykjavik. Being on the brink of the Arctic Circle means that it is exposed to all sorts of fantastic marine beasts. Around 20 different whale and dolphin species have been spotted swimming in Iceland’s sub arctic waters.
In fact Iceland is one of the best places in the world for whale watching, especially during the summer months when the whales migrate in order to feed. Husavik is a great location for this. Visitors can watch seals too. The pink sand beach of Rauðisandur is where you have increased chances at sighting a seal colony. Although there are only two seal species that are native to Iceland, the harbour and grey seals, many other types frequent the Icelandic shores such as the harp, bearded, hooded and ringed seals even the occasional walrus or polar bear. And this is only just the marine wildlife of Iceland.
Bird watching is another popular activity, with the rare Puffin birds being at the top of the bird watching list. They are native to Iceland and breed there in very large numbers; almost 60% of the world Puffin population is found on Iceland. You can see Puffin populations by land via the Latrabjarg cliffs, as well as by sea on the nearby islands of Lundy and Akurey.
These are only some of the top highlights to look out for if should you consider visiting Iceland.
And if you are looking for an exciting, off the beaten track island destination that will remain etched in your memory for years to come, plan a trip to Iceland, preferably in the summer months when the climate is more mild. In terms of being able to cover most of the aforementioned sites, you may also consider a cruise holiday in Iceland that will minimise distances and has predefined itineraries including optional excursions that will further immerse you into the beauties of this incredible destination by experienced guides.
Top things to see and do in Iceland was last modified: August 31st, 2018 by The Daily Traveller