Have you visited 66 degrees north of the Earth’s equatorial plane? I believe Iceland is the epitome of enchantment. If you haven’t stepped foot on its lava rocks, black sand beaches or immersed yourself in the Blue Lagoon, now is the time to make your travel plans.
Here are five reasons why I fell in love with Iceland in 2017. This is the first in a series of posts on the topic because the reality is: there are likely one million compelling reasons to visit Iceland!
1.) Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach
Iceland is the juxtaposition of natural wonders. The blue glaciers along the black sand coastline of the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon are spectacular. The scene changes constantly with the light.
The lagoon was formed by the receding Breiðamerkurjökull glacier where large segments of ice separate from the glacier – floating into the lagoon before gliding out to the ocean. The coastal beach across from the lagoon (Diamond Beach) will have you mesmerized for hours watching the ice sculptures tumble and dance. They take on a wide array of forms and colors and range from translucent to the most brilliant shade of blue.
If Mother Nature is an artist, Diamond Beach is her gallery.
2.) The Sky Above Iceland
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, are best witnessed from mid-September through mid-April. My first visit to Iceland was in early April. Every night we ‘hunted’ for the incandescent light show. During my late October visit, I was treated to an explosion of color and ever-changing light.
Sunsets are pure bliss. The transition from day to night seems slow and deliberate, lingering with the softest light.
The Mydral church on the hill in Vik was one of my favorite spots in Iceland. Not only is the church charming, but it also offers views of the entire town. Vik overflows with blessings: Reynishverfi and the famous basalt columns are natural marvels.
4.) Icelandic Horses
These beauties are as calm as they are majestic. They graze on the most beautiful pastures – often seaside. Their beautiful long mane and markings make each extraordinary.
5.) Geothermal Pools
Iceland is home to some of the most incredible natural hot springs. I highly recommend your itinerary include the popular Blue Lagoon and some of the off the grid natural hot spring adventures. The geothermal pools just might be the highlight of your trip.
The Blue Lagoon requires that you purchase tickets online before your visit. Plan ahead!
Seljavallalaug is off the beaten path and requires a beautiful hike to reach the geothermal pool. A beautiful river flows near the pool and the area is full of hiking options. The river is a beautiful bliss blue!
The Fontana Geothermal Bath offers unique healing powers. Soak in a natural pools, listen to bubbling hot springs in the steam rooms and take a refreshing plunge in the nearby freshwater lake.
We didn’t make it to Reykjadalur, which translates to ‘Steam Valley,’ but we hear it is a hidden gem. More information via this link: Reykjadalur Hot Springs. Another gem is the Gamla Laugin, also known as “The Secret Lagoon.”
Coming soon: another post on Iceland’s waterfalls, lush forests and friendly people.
Did you know the band Of Monsters & Men is from Iceland?