Just a couple of days ago I was in Iceland before I went to Canada to visit friends and it was truly amazing. I will give you 10 reasons why you should travel to Iceland before you go to Canada (actually it are 10 reason to go to Iceland any way!).
1. Iceland has many natural wonders.
the best way to see Iceland is by renting a car and just drive around the island. Iceland has one main highway that encircles the island. You can take side roads, go off-road or just drive on the main highway, no matter what you decide, you will have a great time. When you plan to go off-road it is smart to rent a car that is 4X4 and to take insurance for damages to the car, cause you might hit a couple of million stones when you are on these roads. Whatever you decide to do, you will see many natural wonders. Iceland’s landscape is already one of them. You will see lava fields, grass lands, pine trees, waterfalls, beautiful rivers and sometimes it looks like you are on Mars.
2. Northern lights
Because Iceland is so north it is possible to see the northern lights from the end of fall up until the beginning of the spring. This natural appearance is truly amazing to see. Some Icelandic people I spoke to said it is mesmerizing every time they see the northern lights.
3. Kill jetlag
When you travel from Amsterdam to Toronto you will have a time difference of 6 hours. Iceland has only 2 hours difference with Amsterdam and this helps you adjust to the time in Toronto (if this is your destination) and while you use this reason to travel to Iceland, why not explore the island and all its beauty.
4. The Blue Lagoon
Iceland is known for its volcanic activity (more about that in the next point) and one of the main attractions of Iceland is possible because of the volcanic activity. The magma under the island brings up hot water to the surface and for centuries the Icelandic have used these natural hot springs to bath. These hot springs or baths are all around Iceland and the most famous one is the Blue Lagoon. You can take the bus from the international airport or Reykjavik and come to complete rest before you continue your journey.
5. Volcano’s, geysers and lava fields
Iceland is basically one massive volcano. Over thousands of years it experienced many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that gave the island its current shape. The result of all this activity is really beautiful. Some locations such as the Krafla Lava fields or the geysers in the south are really worth visiting, for the rest you’ll see enough when you travel across the island.
6. The food! Fish or lamb
I’m not much of a fish person, but if you’re surrounded by water I assume there is a lot of good fish to eat. I tried a traditional Icelandic lamb and it was amazing. The meat was incredibly tender. De-li-ci-ous!
7. Extremely safe
There is no need to worry about your safety in Iceland. I think there is a bigger chance you’ll get robbed by a sheep, before you’ll get mugged on the streets, but seriously. The prison in Reykjavik holds the magnificent amount of 12 cells.
On the entire island there are around 326.000 people and about 115.000 of them live in the capital Reykjavik. The city has a long and rich history that started with monks that discovered the island, Vikings came, and slowly the city was build. The center of Reykjavik is rather small, which makes it excellent for a (free) walking tour. I haven’t experienced this, but apparently the night life in Reykjavik is good in the weekends and they are proud how well this city can party with such a limited amount of people.
9. Bird watching
There are so many different birth species that visit Iceland. Just on the island of Grimsey there are over 60 different bird species. One of the most famous one is the Puffin bird. You’ll probably only find this bird in the spring and summer, so if this is your reason to visit Iceland, don’t come over in winter 😉
10. Have you ever been there?
Many people have never visited Iceland. And they should, see a new country, learn about its culture and gain experiences and memories that will stay with you forever!