A volcanic island in the northern reaches of the planet that bestrides the European and North American tectonic plates, Iceland has a whole host of natural wonders that attract visitors. From those who want to relax in the steaming volcanic waters to more active types who wish to ski on the virgin snowfalls, there is something to keep everyone occupied in this small but varied landscape.
All around Iceland, there are natural hot pools in which visitors can take a dip. Some of these pools are managed and charge for entry to a complex of pools but others are wild pools with no charge for access and no closing time.
If you’re visiting Iceland in the summer, you can take advantage of the long hours of daylight to take a dip in a natural pool in the midnight sun. Hellulaug in the west fjords near Flókalundur is an open pool with a very comfortable constant temperature of 38oc and beautiful views over the Vatnsfjörður nature reserve. Although there are no changing areas the pools are often quiet and even if you don’t go ready to strip down to your swimsuit, you’ll find that the Icelandic people are much more relaxed about public nudity than you might be used to at home.
The most famous of the hot springs in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon at Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Popular with tourists and locals, the Blue Lagoon is the most luxurious hot spring experience in the country and has a gourmet restaurant, spa beauty treatments and accommodation on-site.
Iceland’s location spanning two of the earth’s largest plates means the country continues to see a lot of volcanic activity. Travellers will remember the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and the disruption it brought to air travel across Europe.
Many tour operators offer tours leaving from Reykjavik daily, taking in sights around the active volcanic sites in Iceland, visiting geysers and lava flows from the active Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Offering some of the most breathtaking sights in the world, an eight-hour tour will cost approximately £150 for memories that will last a lifetime.
An incredible natural light show, aurora borealis is a unique opportunity to see how particles from space collide with our atmosphere. Only seen from areas of high latitude such as Iceland and most commonly occurring between October and March, it’s an experience unlike any other.
There are many ways to experience the aurora on your visit to Iceland. Frequent sea cruises depart from Reykjavik and sail north to take in the view from the water. Road tours also leave from the capital heading north and offer the chance to see the natural fireworks against the backdrop of the breathtaking Icelandic landscape.
On the piste
Although Iceland might not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking of skiing holidays, experienced skiers will find some uniquely challenging slopes in the Icelandic ski resorts.
Set around the Westfjords, Iceland’s ski resorts are often accessed by boat across the lakes. Those who love to sail as well as ski can enjoy a yacht trip across the water before setting off for the piste with their skis or snowboard. The main resort, Isafjordur, has facilities for both cross-country and downhill skiing open between November and May and are often frequented by Norwegian alpine skiing enthusiasts who enjoy the challenge and freedom of open downhill ski runs without the distraction of trees on the routes.
Those fans of cross-country skiing will be rewarded by awe-inspiring scenery around the beautiful fjords. Guided ski or snow-shoe tours are offered around Isafjorur on enquiry at your hotel.
Iceland is a small country with a vast amount of stunning countryside and natural beauty to offer. Go online book your apartment in Iceland in advance. Iceland is a perfect destination for those who love to be outdoors, book cheap car rental online to maximise your enjoyment of your trip. Your curiosity will be rewarded with memories that will last forever.