Why is everyone going to Iceland?

The buzz for Iceland took off when Beyonce posted several pics from the Carters trip to Iceland for Jay Z’s birthday in 2014. Thankfully we booked our trip before she broke Instagram with her pics because since then the surge of black travel to Iceland has increased SIGNIFICANTLY.

A trip to Iceland will start by flying into the Keflavik Airport. Read the review on the airport and Icelandair.

Here are a few things to check out with Reykjavik (about 45 minutes from the airport) being your base.

Frequently regarded as the „Land of Fire and Ice“, Iceland seems to be more and more popular among tourists. How come? The following list captures only a small part of Iceland‘s qualities, which should still be enough to warm you up for the trip.

Iceland is home to mesmerizing nature

Despite the common misconception, Iceland isn‘t covered in ice, that‘s Greenland. Iceland is, in fact, covered in blindingly green landscapes and rich in unique flora. Whether you are in Iceland‘s capital, Reykjavik, or in the countryside, you are surrounded by hypnotizing mountains, volcanoes, lakes, caves, and waterfalls. Here are some ideas for getting to know Iceland‘s nature:

 

  • Southern Iceland glaciers tour – besides glaciers, tours to Southern Iceland includes visiting unique beaches (such as Diamond Beach with its spectacular black sand and diamond-like ice blocks) and waterfalls (such as the surrealistically beautiful Seljalandsfoss). 
  • Golden Circle tour – if you are in Reykjavik, you can take this tour anytime and enjoy the 101 lessons in Icelandic tourism. Besides seeing amazing sceneries, waterfalls, and glaciers, these tours typically include visiting:
    • Nesjavellir power plant (seasonal)
    • Thingvellir, the oldest functioning parliament in the world

     

  • Game of Thrones tour – starting from Reykjavik, this tour is a creative way of getting familiar with Iceland‘s nature via pop culture. If you wish to walk the same path as the White Walkers and Wildings, this tour is your thing. Even if you are not a fan, this tour can still be fun, as it includes magical stops such as Lake Thingvallavatn and Thingvellir National Park.

Iceland is very interesting. There is not much daylight in the winter but that makes for a good time for the Northern lights. However, June-August has the most daylight with sometimes 24 hours of daylight in the late summer and warmer temps but only in the 50’s and 60’s. Check out how to pack for a winter in Iceland.

Iceland‘s highlands offer a great city break

If you find yourself in Iceland‘s highlands, you will most likely forget about the rest of the world. This area is one of the rare points on the globe that remained untouched and wild. For those who are tired of ATM‘s, traffic jams, nervous people and other perks of our everyday lives, this place is a rich source of tranquility and positive vibes.




Iceland‘s hot springs will leave you breathless

The entire island is rich in geothermal complexes, and although all of them are amazing, not all of them are that approachable. The most popular geothermal point in Iceland is the famous Blue Lagoon, located near Grindavik. However, at some times of the year, the Blue Lagoon can get too crowded, so you may want to consider visiting an alternative geothermal complex, such as Krauma, which is 90 minutes northeast of Reykjavik.

Iceland is the best spot for seeing Northern lights

Northern lights or aurora borealis can be seen from all over Iceland, including Reykjavik, yet, you will probably have the best view from South Iceland – if you find yourself at Jokulsarlon Lagoon, your position is perfect for experiencing the full magic of this natural phenomenon. Catching the Northern lights can be tricky as it has to be a certain time of year and weather. I, unfortunately, did not get to see Northern lights during my 5-day trip.

Reykjavik has a unique blend of cultural content and flawless nature

While many other European capitals are too urban, crowded, loud and polluted, Reykjavik is a peaceful oasis of culture surrounded by pure, well-preserved nature. You can combine visiting, for instance, Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhus, and snorkeling in the same morning. If you intend to devote more time to museums and galleries, we recommend you to get a Reykjavik City Card, which allows you to enter every museum and gallery for free.

Reyjkavik‘s nightlife is surprisingly a good time

While nightlife may not be your first thought when someone mentions Iceland, Reykjavik actually offers more than a satisfying list of pubs and clubs. Now, if you cannot really decide which of the many places are worthy of your time, Reykjavik Bar Crawl can help you orientate. This 3-hour-long tour includes several stops with different offers of music and drinks – which is just enough for you to continue your wild Icelandic night adventures on your own, at those places that will meet your exact needs!

Reykjavik hosts cool festivals

When it comes to music, arts,   and culture, Reykjavik offers just as much as any European city of that size. Those special festivals that make Reykjavik unique compared to other cities are events such as Winter Lights Festival, Secret Solstice Festival, Raflost Festival of Electronic Arts or Inglofshatid Viking Festival. In addition, Reykjavik makes Decembers extra awesome by hosting a set of events organized throughout the month to fulfill the Christmas season with joy. Add the Northern lights to everything and you got yourself a December to remember!

Icelandic cuisine is unique

Foodies from all over the world are more and more into Iceland. As you could expect, Iceland‘s traditional meals are mostly based on meat and fish but the way Icelanders prepare their food makes it a true bait for gourmets. If you get a chance, make sure to taste hakarl (fermented shark), Icelandic lamb soup (an old Viking recipe), Icelandic ice cream (you‘ll find it at any time of the year!) and skyr (Icelandic yogurt). Read about some of my favorite restaurants from my visit here.

Iceland is a popular tourist destination. Do you agree? Does Iceland live up to the hype? Comment below!

 

Find out why tourists are flocking to #Iceland! #WorkHardTravelWell

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Kim H.

Kim H. is the creator and chief editor for Work Hard Travel Well. Born and raised in College Park, Ga. She is a true "FILA" :) and UGA Alumna. Go Dawgs!