Understand

Iceland is a stunningly beautiful place if you enjoy strange and desolate landscapes. Because it is so close to the Arctic Circle, the amount of daylight varies dramatically by season. The sun sets briefly each night in June, but it doesn’t get fully dark before it comes back up again. In the March and September equinoxes, days and nights are of about equal length, as elsewhere in the world. If you go in December, it’s almost 20 hours of darkness. Summer is definitely the best time to go, and even then the tourist traffic is still mild. The midnight sun is a beautiful sight and one definitely not to be missed. It is easy to lose track of time when the sun is still up at 23:00. Early or late winter, however, can be surprisingly good times to visit. In late January, daylight is from about 10:00-17:00, prices are lower than in the high season, and the snow-blanketed landscape is eerily beautiful. (Some sites are, however, inaccessible in the winter).


See

  • The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and the most famous sight in Iceland.
  • The Gullfoss waterfall is quite spectacular.
  • Geysir, the namesake of all geysers, and its neighbour Strokkur which erupts every five minutes or so.
  • Þingvellir National Park, a beautiful landscape of water-cut lava fields, which is historically important as the site of Iceland’s parliament from 930 AD.
  • Vatnajökull glacier is in Southeast Iceland and is Europe’s largest glacier.
  • Jökulsárlón, the largest glacier lake in Iceland, is located off Route 1 and part of Vatnajökull glacier.
  • In the colder months, one may frequently get stunning views of the Aurora Borealis, a.k.a. Northern Lights anywhere away from city lights.

Do

  • Iceland offers many hiking opportunities. Hiking in Iceland is no easy business, strong walking boots which support your ankles are recommended as the terrain is usually craggy lava rock or springy moss with hidden holes! Likewise, you’ll need to be prepared for strong bursts of sideways rain and sleet, especially in winter and shoulder seasons, and particularly in the mountains. Don’t stray into unknown terrain without proper equipment, read up more on hiking in Iceland.
  • Iceland is not well known for skiing or big ski areas but the town of Akureyri in the north has a great little ski area and the mountains of the Troll Peninsula offer world class terrain for ski touring, ski mountaineering and heli skiing.
  • Ice climbing is great with world class frozen waterfalls and plenty of glaciers.
  • Glacier hiking is one of Iceland´s most popular tourist things to do with the area of Skaftafell in the SE being the center of activity.
  • Whale watching available all year from Reykjavik and during the summer from Husavik, but sightings are most common in summer in either place.
  • There are some good opportunities to go mobiling and this can provide access to otherwise inaccessable areas.
  • Whitewater rafting is popular. In south you can raft on the big Hvita river. North Iceland has some of the best rivers for rafting, Vestari and Austari Jokulsa. The companies offering rafting are located in Varmahlid. One of them is Bakkaflot with really good facilities (hot pools, accommodation restaurant & drinks) to use after your adventure.

 

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