ICELAND

Capital of Iceland: Reykjavik
Official language: Icelandic
The currency: Icelandic Krona (ISK)
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Population
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% of the country covered by snowfields and glaciers
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% of Iceland is lava fields

Iceland is famous for geothermal energy, hot springs, geysers and the unrealistic beauty Iceland will blow the visitor away. The last country in Europe to be settled, with at least 13% of the country covered by snowfields and glaciers and the language that remained virtually unchanged for the last 1000 years is just a small tip of the iceberg that makes this country unique. Even thought 30% of Iceland is lava fields, the volcano eruptions occur once every 5 years and in places where no one lives. With the area of 103,000 km2 it makes the country the most sparsely populated in Europe. The next closest thing to a trip to another planet, due to its stunning desolate landscapes, this country is probably different from most destinations you have ever travelled to. The Iceland’s capital and the largest city is Reykjavik. Its northern latitude makes this city the northernmost capital of a sovereign state. Consider the population of Iceland of just over 300 thousand people, 200 thousand of Icelanders live in Reykjavik. Needless to say - this is the most populous city in the country by far.

Must see places in Iceland

If you are planning your visit to Iceland, make sure you visit these amazing places

Reykjavik, capital of Iceland

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is the capital and the largest city of Iceland and most of Icelanders live there. This relatively small capital city has so much on offer that will amaze even the most experienced travellers that seen it all. Immerse in a vibrant music scene in concerts in the city centre, explore nature parks and gardens, experience local dining, take a cycling tour – there is definitely a bit for everyone in this amazing city. It is also one of the best places to go whale watching in Iceland. Although available all year around, it is best done in summer. Reykjavik is also a home for many outdoor geothermal spas, where you can relax with Icelanders.

Landmannalaugar Iceland

Landmannalaugar

No this is not another pronunciation test. Located in southern part of Iceland’s highlands and comprised of unusual geological formations and expansive lava fields, Landmannalaugar area is another Iceland destination popular with tourists and a must see place. This area is available to visit in summer months from June to late September. It is truly hiking capital of Iceland where the visitors can enjoy the spectacular spectrum of colours of the surrounding mountains, the most popular of which are Bláhnjúkur and Brennisteinsalda. If you into hiking, this is the ultimate place.
Thrihnukagigur Iceland

Thrihnukagigur

You don’t necessarily need to pronounce it properly (you can try) but Thrihnukagigur volcano is the only place in the world, where you can enter the magma chamber! To get to a volcano, you must be willing to do a bit of a hike (about 1 hour) but it is well worth it. Here you will decent down the cavity in an open cable lift to a depth of 120 meters. Imagine a crater big enough to swallow a Statue of Liberty with the ground space of a football field. Don’t worry about the volcano eruption, you are about 4000 years late for its last eruption and the rumour has it is not due in a near future either.

Vatnajökull National Park

Covering 14% of Iceland itself and covering all of Vatnajökull glacier which is Europe’s largest, this enormous national park has a diverse landscape and stunning views. Vatnajökull National Park is also a home to a biggest glacial lagoon, a picturesque lake with floating icebergs. Combine this with volcanic activity and geothermal energy and you will get the idea of what to expect in this stunning place and you will understand why Iceland is widely known as the Land of Fire and Ice.

The Blue Lagoon

This is the most famous geothermal pool in Iceland and perhaps the main tourist attraction in the country. And for a good reason. Here, you can experience the aquamarine waters; get yourself properly soaked in a mineral rich water while sipping on a glass of champagne. There are plenty of things to do there and this place is suitable for all seasons. By the way, this beauty is not that far from Reykjavik and is suitable for an all day stay. If you are after more extreme swimming, you can try the cold waters of Arctic, like some locals do.

Must do activities in Iceland

Immerse into the beauty of Northern Lights, relax in hot springs, watch the giant whales and do hiking, hiking, and hiking!

Ice climbing Iceland

Ice Climbing

What would be the point of calling the country Iceland if it weren’t for the vast 8000 square meters of glacier where you can get a first-hand experience of untamed nature by ice climbing on the glaciers? As difficult as it sounds, these daily ice climbing tours are led by professionals and are available for people at any levels of experience, including the beginners.

Go Hiking!

We mentioned this activity 3 times for a good reason. Iceland, with its extraordinary landscape, is no less than a hikers’ paradise. If you love hiking, you will love hiking in Iceland. Keep in mind that strong walking boots is a must for hiking as the terrain can be as hard as a tough lava rock. Literally.
Aurora Iceland

Enjoy Aurora Borealis

Aurora borealis – imagine a night club with a fancy display of lights. Now close your eyes and imagine the same in the sky. No this is not a dream. Without going into a boring scientific explanations of how exactly this happens (you can Google it if you want) it is a natural display of lights in the atmosphere, usually seen in temperate latitudes. Iceland is a perfect country to experience this phenomenon, which by the way found its name from the Roman goddess of dawn.

Relax in thermal baths

If hiking is not your thing or if you wish to relax after doing one, then definitely consider bathing in thermal baths in Iceland. Geothermal energy is a local natural wonder. With naturally heated water, you will understand why this is deeply embedded in an Icelandic tradition. The most famous geothermal spa in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon located in a lava field in Grindavik.

Visit the Caves

Iceland is a home to many active volcanoes creating unique geological conditions that make Iceland a special place to see many awesome rock formations. Unique tube caves are one of the results of this natural phenomenon and can be seen all year around. Imagine that these caves were formed by magma making its way underneath the earth surface and you’ll understand why they are call tube caves. Bear in mind that some caves are accessible only in certain seasons. Safety first. While you are at it, you can also enter the magma chamber. And why not, Iceland is one of very few countries on Earth that make this possible.

Iceland: The Land of Ice and Fire

Enjoy the stunning aerial views and amazing scenery of Iceland taken by Uprisa.com

Best Time to Visit Iceland

Tourists visit Iceland between May and October

The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable all year around, so this is a hard one. The rule of thumb is that the busiest summer months anywhere in Europe are between June and August and Iceland is no exception. While the weather is better, expect the higher prices and more crowds, just like anywhere else. So our word of advice is to visit the country in May, September or early October and you will be alright but then again, it all depends on what you want to see or do. That said, rest assured there is always plenty of things to do in Iceland all year round.

Iceland – the chilling name makes you think about ice-cold winters, snow fields, bogging down in a snow, Antarctica like iceberg terrain and minus unimaginable temperatures? Think again! Despite what this country’s name suggests Iceland is not all that chilling cold. The winters are amazingly mild for its latitude and you can expect the weather to be around 0 C in lowlands and around minus 10C in highlands. It is true that the northern parts of Iceland can get to -25C to -30C but still hardly the coldest country on Earth! That said, don’t expect to be fried in hot tropical sun in Icelandic summer either. The average summer temperatures here range between 10C and 13C and 25C considered very warm. Long 24 hour summer sunshine is replaced by just a few hours of daylight in winters.

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