Destination Guide: Iceland

This little island lies halfway between North America and Europe, but it seems like another world. Iceland is an incredible destination and because it is not a large country, you can explore much of it in a short time. It is a perfect stopover for those people taking a transatlantic flight.
Although you could find many, many more reasons, here are 5 of the most compelling reasons to visit Iceland.
1.    The Landscape is out of this world. There are glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, mountains, lakes and much more. It really does have something for everybody and thanks to its compact size; you could see most of the country in a week. If you don’t have a week, make sure you at least check out the Golden Circle, which allows you to see some of the highlights.
2.    Geological activity. Iceland is one of the most geologically active places on the planet. It is a great place to see geysers, active volcanoes and hot springs. Near Reykjavik, you can actually see the spot where the European and North American tectonic plates are separating.
3.    The Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a natural hot spring on the outskirts of Reykjavik that is almost spectacular enough on its own to warrant a visit to Iceland. The water is a milky, iridescent blue and you could spend all day relaxing in the warm, therapeutic waters. Scattered around the outside of the pool are pots of silica mud that you smear on your face. The treatment is supposed to leave your skin looking years younger. There is also a spa, restaurant and convention centre there.
4.    Night and day. During the summer, the sun never really sets. There is a brief period around 3 in the morning, where it resembles twilight, but apart from that it is quite bright. It is a very strange thing to go to bed when it is full sun outside. On the flip side of that, in winter, the sun never really rises. There is a brief period where there is a bit of light and then the country is plunged back into darkness. This does make Iceland one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.
5.    Whale watching. In the summer months, whales can be seen spotted around Flaxafloi bay, which is in the heart of Reykjavik. Minke and humpback whales can be seen lazily swimming in the cold waters. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and puffins as well.

There are many, many other reasons why you should go to Iceland. You can learn about Iceland’s Viking past, explore the amazing capital city of Reykjavik, rent a car and circumnavigate the island, go snowmobiling on a glacier and the list goes on. Do yourself a favour and visit this wonderful country.

Written by Joseph Ramsey for The Essential Destination

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