Looking for a winter holiday? There is nowhere more magical than Iceland. Filled with snow, glaciers, ice caves and the world famous blue lagoon.
Contrary to popular belief Iceland is actually filled with a lot of greenery, and Greenland has a lot more ice. So whilst it’s not a complete winter wonderland it has a great balance between the two.
So what is there actually to do?
Here’s a list of all the highlights around Iceland and some handy tips:
- Blue Lagoon – is it expensive? Yes. Is it crowded? Slightly. But is it worth it? One hundred percent yes. The whole experience is surreal and the geothermal spa has plenty of health benefits. Just remember to douse your hair in conditioner beforehand, otherwise you’ll find the silica makes it very stiff and unmanageable.
- Reykjavik – Iceland is a very tiny place and so the easiest way to explore the capital is on foot. There’s nothing better than exploring the capital at your own pace, trying local food and browsing local shops.
- Glacier Trekking – An absolute must in Iceland. The only thing better than seeing the spectacular glaciers is walking on them. Not only is the scenery amazing but you’ll learn all about the natural flow and movement of the glaciers themselves.
- Waterfalls – Iceland is home to some magnificent waterfalls which are definitely worth a visit if you get time – Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss are some of the best. Remember waterproof clothing if you want to get even slightly close or you’ll be soaked to the core.
- Black Sand Beach – The black sand beach Reynisfjara is iconic due to the stacks of basalt columns that wall off surrounding cliffs. The very fact the sand is black makes the location unique and great for photos. It’s even better when you have the contrast of snow falling as well.
- Golden Circle – Perhaps what Iceland is most well known for. The circular route is easily self-driven as Iceland’s roads are sparsely populated and the majority of the journey is flat. You can visit iconic sites on the way – including Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser and Gulfoss waterfall.
- Whale Watching – Something you can only do during the summer, the majestic creatures are something you won’t easily forget. The only problem is you can’t guarantee they’ll be about, so it’s best to book with a company which either offers a refund or another opportunity to see them if you are unlucky.
- Volcanic Tubing – These incredible natural phenomena were created after volcanoes erupted and lava solidified but magma continued to flow in tunnels. Now, years later, you can actually go and explore the tunnels. You’ll need sturdy walking boots as the ground is uneven and you’ll have to duck right down in places so it’s not suitable for anyone that’s not very agile.
- Northern Lights – Without a doubt one of primary reasons a lot of people visit Iceland. And with good reason too, as they are beautiful. But the lights shouldn’t be the only reason you visit Iceland as there’s a strong chance you might be disappointed. Definitely book with a company that offers refunds or other chances if you miss them. If you want to try finding them yourself the best place to be is away from the city where there isn’t any artificial lights to get in the way.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of things you can do in Iceland. There’s also Icelandic horseback riding, ice caves, scuba diving between two continents, climbing and so much more.
It’s without a doubt a once in a lifetime experience, but it comes at a price as travelling there doesn’t come cheap. But it can be done on a budget. Loft or Kex hostel are good options to stay in, with their own bar and kitchen to cook food in. Booking activities in advance will also help you save money whilst you’re out there.
Want to know more about the Blue Lagoon? Check out Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland