Iceland is a Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is 103,000 km² in the area. On the map, it is close to Greenland and the Faroe Islands and it lies a few kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. If on your next vacation you decide to fly to the Ice Land, know that it takes nearly three and a half hours of flight between Paris and Reykjavik if there is no stopover. If you’ve already booked your plane tickets, it’s time to start planning your trip. It would be a shame if you missed one of these most beautiful places in Iceland.
The Blue Lagoon
We are not talking about the cocktail that you can taste somewhere in Iceland, but about a place, more precisely a spa. Located in the southwest of Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most important tourist sites of this country which is in fourth place of the happiest countries in the world. It is its artificial lake, more than 200 meters in length, that makes the reputation of this resort. On-site, the hot springs are well in a milky blue hue. Once there, you can swim in the lagoon, relax in the spa and have a meal in one of the restaurants of the Blue Lagoon. Don’t forget to stop by her store where you can find products and skincare products.
If you really want a change of scenery for this stay in Iceland, go to Eldhraun. “Eldhraun” is an Icelandic term that can be translated as “fiery lava desert”. This name is very strange, but it is actually a lava flow that was formed during the eruption of Laki in 1783. Over time, this lava flow has been covered by a good layer of foam turning green to yellow. This area of more than 500 km² is located in the south of the country, more precisely in the municipality Skaftarhreppur. Getting to Eldhraun is not that complicated, as the place is easily accessible for all cars. As this is a large area, you can stop anywhere to admire this unusual Icelandic landscape.
With an area of 8,000 km², Vatnajökull is Iceland’s largest ice cap and Europe’s second-largest glacier, and the continent’s second-largest glacier. These titles already prove that you have to find time to visit it: it is a must-see that can be found in the southeast of the country. To visit this place and its surroundings, it is best to contact a local agency for an excursion. You can explore the ice caves and indulge in activities such as kayaking and mountaineering. Moreover, if your stay takes a sporting turn, consider taking out suitable insurance.
The Silfra Rift
Icelanders will call this fault “Silfrugja” and it is located in Thingvellir National Park. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it can only be discovered underwater. The Silfra fault is a normal fault with a weak release compared to the extension of the two rock compartments. If you are passionate about diving, you must not miss the Silfra fault which is one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world. Don’t be afraid: a dry suit and the right equipment will protect you from the cold. For this marine exploration, you must also be accompanied.
After Reykjavik which is one of the recommended destinations for solo travelers, Akureyri is the second-largest city in Iceland. It is nicknamed “the capital of the north” of the country and is located five hours from Reykjavik. It’s a small town, but there are many things you can do here. To fully enjoy it, you can even stay there for a few days. It is for example possible to leave Akureyri for a boat trip to the Eyjafjörour fjord. If you go in summer, you may come across humpback whales. All year round, white-nosed dolphins, seals, and porpoises will punctuate your boat trip. If you want to stay on dry land, you can still visit the peat houses, take a trip to Akureyri Church or take a stroll through the city’s Botanical Garden.
Jökulsarlon is located in south-eastern Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. It is a glacial lagoon with huge shimmering blocks of ice that globetrotters call “diamond beach”. Indeed, these blocks of ice seem to be arranged on the black sand. Stopping there is like an obligation because you can take beautiful photos there to build your “Iceland vacation” photo album. A short tour of this lagoon will allow you to discover the beauty of the local fauna. You will be able to see fish, seals, but also sea birds such as gulls, eiders, and arctic terns. If your stay is scheduled between November and March, you may also have the chance to visit the ice caves around this glacial lagoon.
So far you’ve only seen the icy side of Iceland, but this country also has its Highlands with a backdrop of a crystal blue lake, rivers, lava fields, expanses of centers, reddish craters, and plains as far as the eye can see. To go to Landmannalaugar, you will have to take a 4 x 4, but once there, leave your vehicle and go on foot for a hike or a trek. If you have the soul of an adventurer, you can stay and sleep in the area and go camping. You will be able to multiply the hikes and treks to better discover these Icelandic Highlands.
For this stay in Iceland, plan your schedule according to your expectations. If you plan to see the Northern Lights, you will have to choose the season in which you want to go. It would be a shame if you made this trip and couldn’t see this natural wonder. Some of the places where you can see the polar aurora are the beach of Vik I Myrdal, the Port of Borgarnes, and the Snaefell peninsula, among others.