Iceland is one of the most amazing destinations in the world. It is a land of rugged beauty and unspoiled lava fields, fierce mountains, and glacial rivers. The country is small, but there is so much to see that you will find unusual that you will probably return in the future.
To see it is a good idea to hire a car and trek around the island using the Golden Circle or Ring Road. To that end, renting a campervan Iceland is straightforward, offers adventure, and good vendors provide plenty of choices. Now you have transport sorted what to do in Iceland?
Drive The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is the name given to a circular road that takes in much of the best attractions in Iceland. Best driven counterclockwise to avoid tourist crowds, this route takes in:
2 Þingvellir National Park – A UNESCO protected site, this park is the site of Iceland’s first parliament. Þingvellir translates to “Fields of Parliament” and this could be the site of one of the oldest democracies in the world. It is believed to have been used for parliamentary functions since 930 AD.
Today you can visit the park and explore the areas where new laws would have been made centuries ago.
3 Gullfoss Waterfall – Seeing the water cascading below is an awe-inspiring and beautiful experience. Gullfoss is viewed from above as the water falls into a gorge below. This is a place of natural wonder that needs to be visited and no doubt you will take plenty of pictures. This is one of the most remarkable places you will see when you visit Iceland in the summer.
4 Geysir Hot Spring – Featuring hot springs, boiling mud pits, and exploding geysers including the lively Strokkur that sprays water over a 100 feet into the air, this is one of the most popular places to visit in Iceland. The geothermal field runs along tectonic lines and covers a surface area of three square kilometres.
Whale watching is very popular in Iceland and tours can be found all around the island. Whales often spotted include humpback whales, orcas, white-nose dolphins, pilot whales and if you go in the summer, you might see the biggest creatures on the planet, blue and fin whales.
Experience The Midnight Sun
Due to Iceland’s location, it experiences months of continuous daylight and darkness. If you go in the summer months, you will experience 18 hours of sunlight as a minimum. In June this stretches to 24 hours of daylight. It is profound to be exploring a mountain in broad daylight when your body is telling you it should be night. This is something you can only experience in a handful of places in the world.
Experience the Northern Lights
Outside of the summer, it is possible to see the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. It is a naturally occurring phenomena over the Earth’s north pole. When it occurs, the whole sky lights up in a dazzling, mesmerizing display. There is nothing quite like it on Earth.
Riding the Icelandic Horse
The Icelandic horse is a rare breed of the animal that was introduced to the country by Norwegians 1100 years ago. The horses have evolved to be very sure footed and have an additional gait to trot and canter. The Icelandic as they are known can tolt, which is like a sideways gait. They can also run at incredible speeds. This is known as skeið. They are quite small for horses, but they are big in heart and spirit.
There are tour operators where you can ride these magnificent and unusual beasts.
Take a Campervan around the Ring Road
As well as the Golden Circle the next most popular route is the Ring Road which takes in much of the same attractions as the Golden Circle. Much of Iceland’s most famous places to see are off the Ring Road, so taking a campervan and having an adventure is a great way to see the country.
Take a Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
The volcanic waters of the Blue Lagoon are a place which many flocks to. The waters are a constant 39°C and have skin-enriching properties. It is often frequented by the rich and famous with celebrities such as Bjork has been seen here and so has Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z.
The Blue Lagoon is part of The Golden Circle, but there are plenty of dedicated spa breaks you can enjoy.
Explore Snaefellsnes Glacier and Volcano
One of the most remarkable sights in Iceland is the twin-peaked glacier named Snæfellsjökull. The glacier sits over a volcano on the tip of a peninsula. Around it is an array of lava fields and a coastline that encompasses three sides of the mighty glacier.
To view head for the now abandoned hamlets of Búðir and the Lóndrangar and feel at one with the land. Snaefellsnes is important to Icelanders, and it was declared a National Park in 2001.
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