Iceland is quickly becoming more and more popular with travellers and backpackers from all over the globe – and for good reason too – this island destination is packed full of incredible adventures, epic landscapes and heaps of things to see and do.
Despite the fact it’s a pretty pricey destination (especially for backpackers!) it’s becoming more an more affordable to visit Iceland – especially for long weekend, short stay or even a mini Iceland road trip!
Low cost airlines like Easyjet operating budget flights from across the UK (I nabbed a £100 return from Bristol) and longer haul airlines like Iceland Air offering stopovers in Iceland on flight to/from the USA – so it’s easier than ever to pencil it into your plans!
But what’s the big draw of the land of fire and ice?
Well here are some of the highlights from my last trip to Iceland…
Surfing? In Iceland!?
Lets face it, I don’t head to many destinations anymore unless there are some waves to be had!Given the fact it’s an island and is totally open to huge storm swells across the Atlantic (the same ones which produce awesome waves throughout Europe), Iceland has some epic surf spots!
Unfortunately during my stay the swell wasn’t playing nice – but companies like Arctic Surfers offer surf guiding in Iceland – and trust me from the footage I’ve seen it’s well worth the ice cream headaches, glassy walls and a total lack of crowds.
…so if you’re brave enough to face the elements you’ll be rewarded!
World Famous Scuba Diving
Even if the surf isn’t working it’s certainly worth getting into the water during your trip to Iceland – especially if you’re a keen scuba diver.
Iceland is home to one of the worlds most famous and unique scuba dive sites – Silfra. This huge under water gorge is actually where the continental plates of America and Europe meet – so you can get an underwater photo of you sandwiched between two continents!
Not only that but the fresh, glacial waters of Silfra offer visibility to over 100m – now that’s some seriously clear water…so make sure you have a few gulps before going underwater!
Now how’s that for an unusually travel experience?!
If scuba diving isn’t your thing you can also snorkel Silfra too – both of which are done in a drysuit so you stay reasonably snug!
Tiny (And Adorable!) Ponies
If you don’t fancy getting wet but still want some adventure how about coming face to face with some adorable Icelandic ponies?
Well maybe chest to face as these little dudes aren’t the biggest ponies you’ll ever come across!
If horse riding is something you’re keen to do then take the opportunity to trek across some of the Icelandic wilderness on horseback, although you should pack your swimming stuff anyway as some of the tours stop off at geothermal hot springs – the perfect way to chill out mid trek!
Postcard Perfect Waterfalls
Iceland is home to some of the most postcard perfect waterfalls I’ve ever seen on my travels and is famed for the abundance of spots you can bust your camera out to snap them!
My personal favourite was Seljalandsfoss, not only because of the epic rainbows rising through the mist but the fact you can follow a path right behind it for some breath taking (and refreshing!) views!
Although the sheer scale of Skógafoss was a highlight too – truly dwarfed by the wonder of nature!
And of course with incredible waterfalls comes the epic landscape of Iceland. It’s not called the land of fire and ice for nothing and there’s a huge variety of landscapes to explore – ideal for those who love to have their camera in tow!
From the bland sand beaches, to glacier lakes. Active volcanoes to mountain studded grasslands – Iceland has such a huge variety to offer. There are plenty of tours in Iceland to help you make the most of a short trip or if you fancy being more adventurous you can hire a car to explore with the Golden Circle being a popular day drive – whichever you choose make sure you take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of Iceland.
It’s not all adventure in Iceland though – and no matter how you like to travel you need to make sure you take the time to relax and enjoy your trip!
One of the most famous ways to do this is at the infamous Blue Lagoon – a geothermal spa which is well worth a visit.
If your itinerary is action packed you can actually fit this into the trip to or from the airport – and for those taking advantage of the stopover packages to/from the USA you can even fit this into an afternoon to break up your flights!
Exfoliate your skin, float around and enjoy the contrast between the cold air and the natural heated pools, just let all the tension fade away and relax.
Have you travelled to Iceland or are you planning a trip?
Anything you’d add to the to do list?