11 Reasons To Visit Iceland This Year

reasons to visit iceland

Iceland is like a fairytale destination that is popular for many travellers all over the globe. Tourists are drawn to the place because of its natural beauty, ice fields, mouthwatering dishes, snow-covered volcanoes, and many more sceneries. The country is so scenic that it recently became Hollywood's favourite spot for epic scenes. Here are eleven reasons to visit Iceland this summer:

1. The sun never sets in the summer

iceland what to do

The midnight sun is one of the exclusive Iceland experiences you shouldn't miss. From the 20th to the 22nd of June, the sun sets at midnight and rises before 3 AM. On the 21st of June, the natural phenomenon is seen clearly when the sun is at its highest point.

2. Geothermal lakes

iceland tourist attractions

People from all over the world travel to the Blue Lagoon to bathe in the warm waters. With a steady water temperature of 102 degrees year-round, it's one of the top tourist destinations in Iceland. For an unforgettable experience, book a visit to the Blue Lagoon spa, one of the best hotels in Iceland, featuring 62 suites circled by the blue waters and check out the Michelin starred restaurant “Moss” at Blue Lagoon, a culinary treat prepared by world-class chefs.

3. The Golden Circle

visit iceland

Try the 300-kilometre ride around the island on "The Golden Circle" for a captivating display of nature's beauty. approx. 3 hours, or if you're me and stop every two minutes for photos, 6 hours (either way, you might need to rent a car in Iceland for this trip). Spouting geysers, dramatic cliff faces, and thundering many-tiered waterfalls are some of the beautiful features to see. There are photogenic Lutheran churches, horse farms, and restaurants offering Icelandic cuisines in between the natural attractions.

4. Whales

iceland minke whale
We wrote a bit about Iceland's whaling past here.

Iceland is the best place for whale watching. With over 23 species of whales feeding on the bountiful supply of krill and fish, you're guaranteed to spot at least the minke whale all year round. Humpback whales come to Iceland during the summer, and you can witness some of their acrobatic manoeuvres, like breaching, feeding, or slapping their flukes and tails. There are also white-beaked dolphins and about 5,000 orcas living around Iceland all year round.

5. Volcanoes

iceland volcano Laki
The volcano Laki (on the right side)

If you love escapades, you'll enjoy descending into the heart of the volcanoes. You can see the stained walls at 128 meters deep. Iceland is called the land of ice and fire, and true to its name, it experiences massive volcanic activities. The most recent eruption happened on the 19th of March when a fissure opened in the Geldingadalur area, south of Fagradalfjall volcano.

6. Glaciers

reasons to visit iceland
Note: we support glaciers. We do not support glaciers melting bc of climate change and / our riding non-humans (as depicted above)

Whether you're an experienced mountain climber or an amateur, you can go for a hike at the Oraefajokull glacier or discover the other glaciers and glacial lakes covering about 10% of Iceland. The glaciers vary in shape and size every year, but you can see some spectacular blue ice and gorgeous ice formations. Vatnajokull glacier, located in the southeast of Iceland, is the largest in Europe.

7. Delicious foods

iceland rutabaga
Okay, so the rutabaga (or: swede turnip) might not be the first thing to pop into everyone's mind when thinking about delicious food but for us vegans, it is a true delicacy (see our blogpost on being vegan in iceland :)

You can delight yourself in a wide variety of mouthwatering dishes, such as Laufabrauð (Icelandic Leaf Bread - think LOTR), Cake made from rutabaga (a kind of root vegetable), Rúgbrauð (Rye bread traditionally baked it in a pot buried next to a hot spring). For a full list of traditional Icelandic food that are also ethically sourced check out our post how to be vegan in Iceland.

8. The Northern Lights

reasons to visit iceland
Wow. Period.

Apart from being one of the top tourist destinations, Iceland is also the best spot to view the Northern lights or the "aurora borealis". The Northern lights occur all year round but are only seen in dark and clear skies from September to early April between 8 PM to 2 PM. Sometimes when there's going to be a particularly good display, Iceland collectively agrees to turn off the lights at night so they can see them better :D If you're a newbie to Iceland though, a guide to the Northern Lights in Iceland is for you - I hope you see and enjoy them!

9. It's Feminist AF

My body, my rules. Nothing about us without us.

Iceland is arguably the most feminist country in the world. Famous for The Day Off in 1974 where 90% of women went on strike from both their professional work or (but more often than not AND) their household work - the whole country came to a standstill and within a year a law was passed guaranteeing equal pay. Why haven't we done this everywhere? (#houseworkisrealwork)

But it dates back even earlier than that - women in Iceland were 'given' the vote before women in Britain and the USA. They were even the first country to have unconditional equal inheritance rights (in 1850). As Icelandic man politician Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir says "It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold" - and we agree 100%!

10. Kind locals

why go to iceland

I strongly believe that you can find kind locals wherever you go, and Iceland is no exception, here's a little example: I really need to use the toilet in the supermarket (here's an overshare - I had diarrhoea because I was so nervous about driving abroad for the first time, lol, which was unnecessary, it's really easy to drive in Iceland). ANYWAY, I asked the check out lad if I could use the bathroom and he said there wasn't one, but Subway would probably help me out. (This might not be a big deal that he volunteered this info, but in some other countries they would have said no and that would have been the end.) ANYWAY, I went to Subway and they let me use the toilet for free. Writing this out now, it seems like a lame example, but at the time it meant a lot, it was my first impression of Icelandic people and they continued to be kind and helpful throughout my entire trip. Þakka þér fyrir! (Photo source)

11. Because It's Like No Other Country On Earth

reasons to go to iceland

In fact it doesn't even look like it is from this planet! With its black soil, lava tunnels and green green moss. I've never seen a country that looks so unlike the rest of planet earth - and it makes sense, it's super isolated geographically. You'll never forget your first view of Iceland as your captain makes the decent (well unless it's cloudy and then you won't see anything, lol). To me it looked like the surface of the moon or another planet. Also, here is a vlog we made about what the top reasons are to visit Iceland (in our opinion :), enjoy!

P.S.: Another way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply is housesitting. Trustedhousesitters.com was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, feel free to click on the link to use it :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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