Why does everyone want to travel to Iceland? Ok, maybe not everyone; some people are cowards when it comes to colder climates. In my recent travels to Europe and Central America, I’ve met several travellers lusting for Iceland. There are several reasons why people want to travel to Iceland. I’m just going to point out a few.
Iceland is located in the North Atlantic and has a population of 330,000. Sixty percent of Icelanders live in or around the northernmost capital city in the world, Reykjavik.
The Land of The Midnight Sun. Due to Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, the country highlights near 24-hour sun in the summer and 20 hours of darkness in winter. I went to Iceland in June with a head torch and flashlight. Stupid me, I never had to use them. I’ve seen the sun set partially, move to the left, and rise, right back up.
Iceland brought global attention when its Eyjafjallajökull Volcano erupted several times in 2010. The ash clouds from the Eyjafjallajökull eruptions caused air-traffic to shut-down in Northern and Western Europe, stranding thousands of passengers.
There not’s much traffic on Iceland’s Ring Road (Route 1 or Highway 1). This allows drivers to leisurely view Iceland’s scenic beauty in camper vans (more challenging in winter). And what’s with skateboarding in Iceland? You can thank The Life of Walter Mitty for that. I guess Iceland travel is much easier with a skateboard.
Reykjavik has a horde-size nightlife on Friday and Saturday nights. It doesn’t really start until midnight but parties until 4 or 5 a.m. The Reykjavik nightlife is in the city center, along Laugeavegur Street and the nearby roads. Most of the bars and clubs are within walking distance. You can see the after-crowd eat at Pizza Royal. Yes, Pizza Royal is open until 7 a.m. on weekends. Some travelers just want to party, and they’ll travel to Iceland to do it.
Geysers – they’re shooting up boiling water from a grounded vent in Iceland. You can check out the famous geysers Strokkur and Geysir in the Haukadalur Valley.
What’s Iceland travel without fish? Iceland knows fish. I’ve eaten their national dish of plokkari; it’s a pie-like meal with potatoes, fish, milk, etc. But the best soup I’ve ever tasted was the fish soup at Reykjavik Fish. I wish I wrote down a description of the taste. I recall the fish soup having ginger in it which gave my taste buds a whirl. Dip your rye bread in the soup and take a bite.
Iceland has some of the most powerful and do-not-swim-near waterfalls in the world: Gulfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, just to name a few. Professional photographers travel to Iceland just to capture its waterfalls.
Iceland is home to large glaciers and icebergs. Most notably is the area of Jökulsárlón. Unfortunately, global warming is accelerating the speed of melting glaciers.
See one of the greatest light shows on Earth – The Aurora Borealis. Charged particles from the Sun collide with gaseous particles in Earth’s atmosphere, sometimes lighting the sky green. If you’re lucky, you can see The Aurora Borealis with colors of pink, red, blue or violet.
Have you traveled to Iceland? Or when are you going?