Why Iceland Is The Most Offbeat Place in Europe

Why Iceland Is The Most Offbeat Place in Europe

Why Iceland Is The Most Offbeat Place in Europe

Are you searching for a magical place filled with extraordinary attractions? From mighty waterfalls, huge volcanic and geo thermal areas, incredible glaciers and icebergs, hot springs, steam vents, picturesque mountain ranges and charming fishing villages-Iceland has it all.

Wherever you are in Iceland and whatever you decide to do, you will not be too far away from one or other natural wonder. This breathtaking northern destination which is forever shaping and reshaping itself also has some of the unworldly landscapes in the world. Be it experiencing the northern lights in Reykjavik or taking a thrilling snowmobile ride in the Landmannalaugar islands or seeing the beauty of the lava caves in the Snaefellsnes peninsula, Iceland doles out anything your heart crave for.

Are you a Bollywood film buff? Iceland’s least explored places have been shooting locations for many Bollywood films. Remember the Gerua song from the movie Dilwale where you see Kajol’s dress blowing and swirling dramatically in the wind and Shah Rukh Khan standing on top of an abandoned airplane. Yes, the entire song was shot here and no wonder its visuals are still etched in heart and soul of movie enthusiasts.  None out there might have thought of being in the beautiful south coast before, which has lately seems to be getting particularly popular among movie-makers where one see lots of TV shows, music videos, commercials and films being filmed.

While most people who visit Iceland wander around Reykjavik and make day trips to the Golden Circle sites, much of the country remains unexplored. Sometimes it’s not all about nature that why the people hit Iceland, it also could be that it’s a place to feel remote, and a place where could take in the surreal scenery without messing it up. But beyond natural marvels and photogenic landscapes, Iceland has a whole other side to offer its visitors: a delectably cool and quirky side that will satisfy even the most offbeat of curiosities. Iceland has many secret places that will make your experience truly unforgettable. Discover Iceland off the beaten path and see where to find Icelandic hidden gems.

Húsafell : Nature’s glory

Hraunfossar Falls

Husafell is a stunning place between lava mountains and Langjokull glacier.  A visit to Husafell area is a delight since the area is known for good weather conditions anytime. It is a paradise for nature lovers. Husafell‘s nature is characterized by dense woods – the Icelandic kinds, with low trees, mainly birch.

A short drive from Húsafell on Route 518 is enough to see the beautiful Hraunfossar (Lava Waterfalls). Amazing is the series of waterfalls streaming over 900 meters out of a lava field. Watching the rainbows near the falls on rainy/sunny days is a treat in itself.  Deildartunguhver is a hot spring in Borgarfjordur, about 30km away from Husafell. This hot spring is known to be the most voluminous natural hot spring in the world.

Barnafoss is another wonderful waterfall named for children who went missing from a nearby farm and drowned in the river. It will be one of the world’s greatest wildernesses to see the world’s largest man-made ice cave on a guided tour in a monster truck. Langjokull glacier is the second largest glacier in Iceland and never before have travellers been able to see the remarkable blue ice at the heart of an ice cap glacier.

Hikers are with a lot of options, especially in the months of June-August in Húsafell, where get easy walks and climbs to Mount Strútur and Oddar. Explore Iceland´s largest lava tube cave, Víðgelmir, located only 15 minutes away from Húsafell. The nine-hole Húsafell Golf Course, pools, two hot tubs, and a big water slide necessarily make a good time for anyone. This is truly Iceland, in its full, beautiful, idiosyncratic glory.

Fjallsarlon Glacier Lake

Fjallsarlon Glacier Lake

Jökulsárlón is some glacier lagoon which one won’t miss on a tour to Iceland, but it can be crowded as well. If you want to spend some time enjoying the views by yourself you can head to the nearby, still quite an unknown place, called Fjallsárlón.

Fjallsárlón is a glacier lake at the south end of the glacier Vatnajökull. On the lagoon, you can see floating icebergs that calve from the edge of the glacier. Iceberg boat tours on the lagoon that gives you the opportunity to learn about and get in touch with Icelandic natural forces. Breathe in the amazing view of the massive glacier and staring into the void of the mountains behind. Most importantly, there are fewer people visiting, so you can be sure to enjoy your time there alone with nature.

As you get closer to the glacier, you get to see some interesting background mountains. Walk up to the lake edge and admire dramatic views of the breaking ice. A number of floating icebergs is smaller than in another glacier lagoon, but they still have beautiful blue colour.

Vatnajökull glacier crawls down a steep slope into the Fjallsárlón lagoon, making a picturesque sight to behold. The Vatnajökull National Park provides a wide variety of unique landscapes.

Fishing village of Flateyri

West Fjords are stunning, the mountains are high and steep, and the roads are narrow. This is the place to go if you want to explore Iceland undisturbed. Flateyri, a century-old trading post was home to a fleet of decked vessels and the base for shark-hunting and whaling operations.

When in Flateyri, it’s just like being in quiet fishing village. It also an opportunity like no other to find more fishing activities. The scenes are amazing and you find foreign sea anglers do the catching.   Flateyri is also the perfect base for hiking trips to the mountains and fjords surrounding the village. The fjord also offers great opportunities for kayaking.

The old village bookshop is a museum now where visitors can learn about the history of Flateyri while buying second hand books and visiting the old merchant’s home. An international doll museum, the popular Nonsense Museum, a small shop, a restaurant/pub and a nice swimming pool are some other things you will find here. Across the fjord you will find a white, sandy beach, a rarity in Iceland. This beach hosts the annual sand castle competition which attracts hundreds of participants every year, children and adults alike.

The mystic Strandir

Strandir

Strandir are the East part of the West Fjords. It’s hard to list beautiful places in Strandir. There are high mountains on one hand and the sea on the other. There are waterfalls, high cliffs, driftwood on the beach. There aren’t a lot of people there, which makes enjoying nature there even more special.

Here you can find some of the most remote human habitation in Iceland. Centuries back the place was known to be the home of witchcrafts and sorceries, and that’s why one see the Museum of Sorcery & Witchcraft, which combines interesting historical facts about the grim events of the Icelandic witch hunts with local folklore linked to the supernatural.  There are two small towns there, but mostly there is just nature. A haven for bird-lovers, especially in early summer, this area offers easy hiking treks for everyone in summer and winter alike.

It’s just not all… There’s much more to explore!

Snorkel between two continents

Silfra Fissure

Iceland is a country packed to the brim with adventures, be it exploring the central highlands, venturing deep into an ice cave, diving or snorkelling. Silfra Fissure in Lake Þingvallavatn boasts of being a good location for snorkelling. Immerse yourself in the clearest water in the world and float between two continents!

Ride Majestic Icelandic Horses

Icelandic Horse

Icelandic horses are hardy creatures that are beautiful to ride along the snowy white landscape. For all those interested in trying the Icelandic horse, a trek on the hardy, sure-footed Icelandic horse is an experience to remember.

Photography tour

You don’t really have to look out for places or need to know the depth of field, aspect ratio or metering, every photo taken here seems to be fit the postcard tag, all you need is click it. Even though more or less every photo taken here looks fabulous, a photography tour will help you find that perfect combination of colour, timing, attraction and location.

Adventure

Glacier Hiking

There is no place in the world that offers a much wider and richer spectrum when it comes to true adventure, be it glacier hiking, ice climbing, ice caving, climbing into volcanoes, climbing down lava caves , kayaking and river-rafting, snowmobiling, skiing,  or snorkelling with whales. Don’t just go see places, be prepared to taste some of Iceland’s best adventure experiences.

Quirky museums

If you’re the kind of person who likes to return home with better travel anecdotes than any of your friends, a visit to this rather unusual museum is sure to elicit somewhat more incredulous reactions than the typical ‘oohs!’ and ‘ahhs!’ which accompany holiday photos of waterfalls and volcanoes. Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum of Holmavik, Phallological Museum of Reykjavik or Stokkseyri’s Wonders Museum offers an insight into endearingly weird and wonderful Iceland.

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