Iceland a mountainous island country in the North Atlantic Ocean is famed for its sharp contrasts. This is a land where the old is juxtaposed with the new, where cities nestle alongside raw nature, where glaciers sit side by side with volcanoes. There are a comprehensive range of sites to enjoy in Iceland. To discover some of the truly awesome places to visit in this country, read on.
Here Are 11 Awesome Places To Visit In Iceland:
Reykjavik is the northernmost capital of the world. The largest city of Iceland, Reykjavik, sparkles with charm and allure. The city which is ringed by majestic snow capped mountains is steeped in history. Reykjavik is the site of some of the earliest Viking settlements. The capital city is also famed for its cosmopolitan lifestyle. Some of the top places of interest here include Reykjavik Art Museum and Gallery, Hallgrimskirkja (an ultra modern cathedral), Sun Voyager (a stunning stainless steel sculpture) and National Museum of Iceland (to name a few sites). Reykjavik also has numerous world class hotels and restaurants which serve both local and international cuisines.
2. Gulfoss Waterfall
This stunning waterfall is located is the upper regions of the Hvita River, along the Golden Circle, in the south of Iceland. This iconic waterfall, which is the most popular waterfall of the country, allows visitors to observe untamed nature at its best. The waterfall roars down from a height of 32 meters into a yawning chasm. Besides experiencing the sheer power of these falls; visitors can also enjoy spectacular rainbows which shimmer in the sunlight.
3. Thingvellir National Park
This national park and historic site is located in the municipality of Blaskogabyggd. The park was founded in 1928. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the site where Althing an open air assembly convened between 938 AD and 1798 AD. Some of the top places of interest at Thingvellir National park include, Oxararfoss waterfall, Peningagja Gorge and Lake Thingvallavatn (the location for an extraordinary dive site).
4. Viki I Myrdal
Viki I Myrdal, located approximately 180 kilometers southeast of the capital city of Reykjavik, is the southernmost village of the country. The village is inhabited by 300 people. A visit to the Viki I Myrdal affords visitors the unique opportunity to study buildings which are constructed in the local vernacular. The Myrdalsjokull glacier and the fierce Katla volcano are located here.
5. Geysir Hot Spring Area
Geysir Hot Spring Area is situated in the Golden Circle, approximately 100 kilometers from the capital city of Reykjavik. The Geysir Hot Spring Area is pockmarked with boiling mud pits and exploding geysers. Most of the hot springs in this area is aligned along a hundred meter strip of land. Visitors who come to see these spectacular natural phenomena are advised to stay within marked area.
The Westfjords, are fingers of land which protrude into the Denmark Strait. This region is connected to the mainland by a narrow tongue of land. With its dramatic landscapes, the Westfjords have become a prominent tourist site. Westfjord in a way epitomizes Iceland. This stunning, remote region of the country is famed for its unforgettable mountain-scapes. This region is a Mecca for adventure enthusiasts who arrive here in droves to enjoy adrenaline inducing activities like mountain climbing, kayaking, hiking and deep sea fishing.
Myvatn is an extraordinary volcanic lake in Northern Iceland. This shallow eutrophic lake was formed about 2300 year ago as part of a gigantic volcanic eruption. This region which is known for its spectacular natural beauty is home to a variety of endemic and migratory birds. Visitors can enjoy exhilarating treks along the numerous hiking paths located alongside the lake. There are many restaurants, cafes and small hotels in this area.
8. Blue Lagoon
The steamy water of Blue Lagoon is located in a bubbling lava field in Grindavik. The steam which rises from the geothermal springs gives the whole region an ethereal appearance. The outdoor spa area is a big hit with locals and tourists alike. Visitors can take a rejuvenating dip in the mineral rich waters of these springs. You can also opt for a one-of-a kind in water massages.
9. Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull National Park is the largest national park in Europe. This protected site was founded in 2008. This national park is located in the eastern part of the country. Vatnajokull National Park allows visitors to study the potent interplay of glaciers and volcanoes. This park is home to the highest mountain, the most powerful waterfall and the largest glacier of this country. Visitors flock to this site to study the strange landscapes carved by several millennia of glacial and volcanic activity.
The main reason to visit Selfoss, a town in southern Iceland, is to see amazing natural phenomena know as Aurora Borealis. The night sky above this town is absolutely lit with amazing colors of the northern lights. This city is home to several geysers and waterfalls.
Landmannalaugar is located in Fjallabak Nature Reserve. This region which is located in the Icelandic highlands is known for its spectacular and unique natural beauty. Visitors to this region get the rare opportunity to study the rhyolite mountains, bathe in the therapeutic waters of the geothermal pools and hike amongst breathtakingly beautiful landscapes.