What to Include in Your Iceland Itinerary
What to Do When Traveling in Iceland
Planning a trip to the land of the midnight sun? Iceland is a vast, unspoiled volcanic wonderland of cinematic vistas, fresh clean air and friendly, welcoming people. If you are looking to go off the beaten path, there is no better place. From food to eat and places to see, here’s what to do when traveling in Iceland.
Reasons to Visit Iceland
There are many reasons to visit Iceland, including:
- The northern lights. There are not many other places in the world where you can see this spectacular natural phenomenon.
- The landscapes. From pink volcanic rock, to waterfalls, to crater lakes, to rushing rivers, the natural vistas of Iceland are pristine, surreal and simply jaw-dropping.
- The food. The cuisine of Iceland is one of a kind and you will get to taste plenty of unique flavors.
- The people. The warmth of the locals will be one of the highlights of your trip. Their country hosts more than six times its population in tourists every year, yet they still greet visitors with smiles and open arms.
Amazing Things to Do in Iceland
What amazing adventures should be on your Iceland to-do list? Here are a few of the big cannot-miss experiences.
Soak in the Blue Lagoon
The pale blue waters of this thermal bath are geothermically heated to 37C and are rich in minerals such as Sulphur and silica.
Dive Into the Silfra Fissure
Go for a dive down into this deep underwater chasm between the continental plates of Eurasia and North America. With over 100 meters of water visibility, it is one of the top 10 dive experiences in the world.
Take a Road Trip on The Golden Circle
This incredible route is one of the most scenic drives in the world. You’ll pass by waterfalls, geysers and volcanic craters as you make your way around the island.
See the Northern Lights
Witnessing the lights of the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky is an experience that should absolutely be on your travel bucket list. The best time to see them is in the winter, on a dark, cold and clear night.
What to Eat In Iceland
Iceland has its own unique cuisine and the restaurant scene in Reykjavik is alive with vibrant and creative chefs cooking up traditions with new twists. Here are some things to try:
- Skyr. This thick and creamy yogurt is somewhat like a mix between yogurt and cottage cheese. It’s often served with tart berry jam.
- Lamb. Icelandic sheep roam the rolling green hills, drink glacier water, and eat wild plants and berries, which makes their meat delicious. Lamb is served in many ways, including stewed with root vegetables or roasted with a spiced gravy.
- Fermented shark. Although it may not be a typical snack for locals, fermented shark is a traditional Icelandic food that should be on the “must-try” list if you have an adventurous palate.
- Rye bread. Authentic Icelandic rye bread is made by burying the dough underground next to a bubbling geyser. The soft spongy bread takes about a day to cook and has a texture similar to cake.
The Best Hiking Trails in Iceland
There are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the wild and beautiful landscapes of Iceland. Plus, the good news is there are no dangerous animals and not even any mosquitos! Here are some of the best hiking paths to check out.
This easy climb will take about two to three hours up and one to two hours down. It’s easy to get to (you can even take a bus to the bottom of the mountain) and the views are quite simply spectacular.
This area is home to three different trails, including a beautiful trail over fields of volcanic rock to Brennisteinsalda (known as the most colorful peak in Iceland). At the end of the hike, rest your tired legs in one of the geothermal pools!
For a longer trek, this incredible journey will take you through stunning glaciers and fjords. It’s a two day trip, with camping sites along the way.
Where to Stay
The tourism industry in Iceland has boomed in recent years, which means more hotels, guesthouses and apartments have opened their doors to travelers.
When it comes to finding a place to stay, there will be options for every travel style and budget. In the main cities you will find hotels in various price ranges, as well as locally owned guesthouses and backpacker hostels. If you are traveling outside of the cities, there are several beautiful camping sites, cabins and cottages as well. Some of the top places to stay are:
- Kvosin Downtown Hotel
- Fosshotel Reykjavik
- Reykjavik Downtown Hostel
- Black Pearl Apartment Hotel
All of the above include luxury, mid-range, hostel, and bed and breakfast options.
You Are Ready to Tour Iceland!
So, what will it be? Are you bold enough to try fermented shark? Or, maybe the hiking trails are more up to your liking. No matter what you choose, you are sure to have an exceptional experience while in Iceland.