June 16th, 2015
Fun Adventures in Iceland
Beautiful Iceland is a land where surprising adventures wait around every corner. Enjoy an overview of some fascinating things to see and do while touring.
Iceland is full of surprises. For one thing, the “ice” part of the country’s name? Well, it's a bit of a misnomer. The fact that Iceland is mostly lush and green is only the beginning, though. You’re sure to be blown away by the sheer amount of things to do and see there. For instance, you can trek a glacier (okay, there is some ice), soak in hot springs, and behold the midnight sun. So pack your bags and check out some of the most fun activities, below.
Soak In a Hot Spring
The hot springs of Iceland are beyond inviting, and they tempt visitors with the promise of a long soak. These geothermal spas are rumored to have health-giving properties, and visiting costs nothing more than the price of a towel rental. The best-known hot spring in Iceland is Blue Lagoon, which is situated on a steaming lava field in Grindavík. Here, you can indulge in a relaxing water massage or get rubbed down with nutrient-rich silica mud. Unwinding from the cares of the world doesn’t get better than this. And once you're done swimming, store your damp bathing suit in a Pack-It Clean Dirty Cube, which will keep it separated from your dry clothes.
Explore a Glacier
If you have a taste for adventure, you won’t want to miss a chance to tour a glacier. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a novice, there is sure to be a trip that’s right for you. Take a horseback ride the way the Vikings did, go boating along the glacial edge, or hike the expanse of the unbelievable blue ice. Vatnajökull is Europe’s largest glacier and a national park that's beset with mountains, black sand, tranquil brooks, and all sorts of fascinating plant and animal life. Don't forget a Pack-It Shoe Sac for your muddy sneakers!
Check Out the Aurora Borealis
The spectacular phenomenon of the Northern Lights features high on the “must see” list of anyone who is visiting Nordic countries, and with good reason—the unearthly color streaks of the aurora borealis are completely gorgeous. The lights are best seen on cold, clear winter nights far away from city lights and pollution. For this reason, the period between mid-November and mid-April marks the optimal time for viewing. Your best strategy is probably to find a cozy countryside inn or homestay and be patient, as the lights can be unpredictable. The show is worth waiting for, however.
Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world and is utterly fascinating in its own right. In fact, you could spend an entire vacation here and not grow bored. You can visit old Viking grass houses, go whale watching, or ride a placid Icelandic horse. Reykjavik’s nightlife is notably enjoyable, offering the chance to go out and make merry beneath the midnight sun. A number of annual festivals allow you to immerse yourself in local tradition.
This is, of course, just an abbreviated overview of things to do in Iceland. What’s on your personal to-do list for exploring this stunning country? Sound off in the comments below.
Shannon O’Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008; she travels slowly and supports grassroots tourism along the way. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. to talk about the role travel can play in helping support developing countries and increasing global connection.
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