Iceland is, for lack of a better adjective, Nordic Nirvana. Everything that world is craving for right now, Iceland already has. From egalitarianism to sustainable living, you name it, they thrive in it. Satisfyingly unique in its beauty and inspiring in its relentless endeavor to make it better year after year, Iceland is as warm in its hospitality as it is cold in its climate. Adding to the magic of Icelandic landscape are the waterfalls (Gljufrafoss and Svartifoss) and the stratovolcano, Hekla. The volcanic cave of Grjotagja further alleviates any doubt that Iceland is truly and spectacularly one of a kind. From the sheer wackiness of the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum to the other-worldly Buri cave once formed by a river of lava.
You also get to straddle two tectonic plates at Midlina. Iceland has a way with creating legends out of nothing as proved by the countless myths borne out of this land. A land tailor-made for artists, the country boasts a growing number of poets, writers, painters and dreamers. A glowing testament to the beauty of the land, a beauty that, in no lesser amount, is reflected in its people.
Get your wits about you as you visit one of the most popular and epic attractions in the country. There are no rails or barricades separating you from the powerful plunge of River Hvita. Your screams of utter delight at the magnificence of these falls are sure to be lost in their deafening cascades.
Immerse your body and mind in the healing waters of this medicinal geothermal spa and feel every shred of stress melt away in its steam. Collective sighs of relief and relaxation are common here as expected because who doesn’t love a spa break?! With beautiful Icelandic landscape cuffing it, the pool is idyllic to say the least. Simply put, the experience is the stuff of dreams.
Inspired by the Black Falls, another Icelandic wonder, this church is the tallest and most recognisable building here. It is absolutely riveting to witness the church in all its glory as the dusk falls all around it and the lights come on to reveal an which is nothing short of a masterpiece. Sounds awesome? You should see it.
There is something so very surreal about gazing up at the darkened skies and seeing a multitude of bright colours prancing about with no end in sight. Mostly shades of green or pink, these lights are so awe inspiring that you may easily lose yourself in the wonder and magic unravelling so splendidly before your eyes.
Icelandic weather is notoriously unpredictable. In summer there’s a fair chance of bright and sunny days, and temperatures can reach 17°C, but good weather is interspersed with wet and misty spells when the temperature can plummet to a chilly 10°C. When thinking about the best time to visit Iceland, it’s worth bearing in mind that most museums and attractions are only open from late May to early September, and it’s at these times, too, that buses run their fullest schedules.
Although almost all of Iceland lies south of the Arctic Circle and therefore doesn’t experience a true Midnight Sun, nights are light from mid-May to early August across the country; in the north, the sun never fully sets during June. Between September and January the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights can often be seen throughout the country. In winter temperatures fluctuate at 7–8°C either side of freezing point and daylight is limited to a few hours – in Reykjavík, sunrise isn’t until almost 11am in December; the sun is already sinking slowly back towards the horizon after 1pm.
• If you are in Iceland to witness the Northern Lights, pack heavy. Inner thermals, insulating down jackets, gloves, headrings, snow pants, woollen socks, snow boots and thermal face masks; pack enough to keep you warm.
• Even the summer months call for some good warm clothing. A windproof jacket, a pair of sunglasses, a rainproof jacket and trousers and hiking boots are a must. The arctic summer sun shines through the entire day, so pack yourself an eye mask to ensure you get a good, dark sleep.
• A swimsuit for a dip into the geo-thermal spas and a pair of binoculars to witness the orcas should definitely find space in your day pack.