Iceland

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Local Icelandic Experiences

Iceland is a country of wonder and activity. The unique experiences available in the land of ice and fire come about due to its people and its landscape. Lava-spouting volcanoes clash with mighty glaciers, thundering waterfalls cut dramatic gorges through the hillside, and the otherworldly Northern Lights flicker above dramatic needle peaks.

Throw in the friendly locals and the characterful towns and cities, and you’ll love Iceland just as much as Rannveig:

“What I love most? I have to say the nature. I am an adventurous person and Iceland is just so beautiful and it’s just so different. On this small island, the variety of scenery you get, from the black sandy beaches, to the glaciers, the canyons, the volcanoes, and oh my god all of our waterfalls!

It’s difficult to find a favourite waterfall because every 500 metres there’s a waterfall, the scenery is just breathtaking. And the way we have used nature to build our experiences is just amazing. You go on these glacier hikes, volcanic tunnels, quad biking on black sandy beaches, snowmobiling on glaciers, we’re just really good at enjoying our nature.

And we respect it a lot as well. So no off-road driving, and we’re a small country and we’re all very proud of our country.”

– Rannveig (Host in Iceland)

On the hunt for a land shaped by mighty geological forces, there’s nowhere quite like Iceland. But that doesn’t mean you should disregard the cities as boring. Reykjavik in particular crackles with life and boasts a vibrant nightlife, often due to the party atmosphere creates by the warm, extremely friendly locals.

Highlights

Route 1

It’s not often we include roads in our highlights of a country, but when you have a 1,332 km long ribbon of tarmac, running in a loop around the perimeter of one of the most spectacular countries on earth, it’s hard to ignore it.

Find us another road that spans glacial fields, passes soaring, snow-capped mountains, smoking volcanoes, magnificently cascading waterfalls, stupendous, isolated bays, and simply takes you to the very ends of the earth, and maybe we’ll consider it for a country’s highlight. And in a country with so many highlights, Route 1 works as a pretty useful cheat.

Westfjords

When you arrive in Westfjords, you can guarantee you’ve got off the beaten track. Very few visitors ever reach this far-flung corner of wilderness, and it’s absolutely their loss. Jagging sheer cliffs plunge into the raging ocean, awe-inspiring fjords and huge, imposing mountains are traversed by snaking dirt roads, and wide, breathtaking bays stretch unimaginably far.

You’ll achieve a true sense of isolation in this tear-jerkingly beautiful landscape, and spend your time trekking through mountainous trails and spotting birdlife and arctic foxes, until you finally reach the final frontier of Hornstrandir, and suddenly find nothing but sea between you and the Arctic.

Reykjavik

We could bang on about Iceland’s natural wonders forever, so it’s only fair we give quirky Reykjavik, and its bags of character, a little recognition. Complete with the museums and restaurants you would expect in any European city, this little capital city stands out when it comes to trendiness.

Throw on a woolen sweater and seek one of the seemingly unlimited local hang out spots for a really good coffee, then work your way through a magnificent fish and chips at one of the many great restaurants. As darkness falls, get involved with the nightlife, which can become pretty raucous, and really, really fun in this infectious European outpost.

When is the best time to go?

All year round!

In the winter Iceland has very short days and very cold weather, but don’t let that discourage you. With these conditions comes the Northern Lights! Of course, these aren’t guaranteed, but you might be lucky! Some hotels even offer Northern Lights wake up calls so you don’t miss the stunning display while you’re sleeping.

There are many things to do in Iceland during the winter apart from the Northern Lights, such as walking on glaciers, skiing, snowmobiling and simply enjoying the winter wonderland!

Let’s not forget about the wonder that is the Christmas season in Iceland. The days and nights are so dark that the locals deck their houses and streets out with Christmas lights. Cities such as Reykjavík are beautifully illuminated and make for a magical sight.

In the summer, there are activities for everyone in Iceland. There are, of course, the famous tourist destinations such as the Blue Lagoon, but there are many other activities further off the beaten track.

Go for a hike in the mountains, visit the many waterfalls, go whale watching or drive around the country doing everything!