10 TOP REASONS TO VISIT ICELAND

Iceland is mostly known for Northern Lights and its famous attraction, the Blue Lagoon. But there is so much more to love there. In recent years, the country became a hot travel destination and certainly not because it has a hot weather to offer. So why is Iceland attracting so many visitors, despite its harsh climate and a high price to visit? I have an answer for you. Actually, I have listed 10 top reasons to visit Iceland, including a surprise – an Icelandic food!

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is one the most popular attractions.
The iconic Seljalandsfoss waterfall is 200 feet tall and should not be missed when visiting Iceland.

10 TOP REASONS TO VISIT ICELAND

1. Iceland’s high concentration of extraordinary scenery

2. Iceland will capture your soul

3. Northern Lights of Iceland

4. Icelandic hot springs and geothermal pools

5. Icelandic horses

6. Icelandic food

7. Icelandic churches

8. High quality of life and services

9. Iceland is a safe tourist destination, even for solo travelers

10. Iceland is easily accessible

Before my visit to Iceland, I knew very little about it and did not have it high on my list of places to visit. Then my friends started to talk about a group trip there and I became curious. I checked the pictures on the Internet and I was sold. After months of planning, we took a self drive tour following the Ring Road and in nine days we covered almost every corner of the country. I truly fell in love with this one of a kind destination. I am sharing here my 10 top reasons to visit Iceland, but the list is much longer.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon is a quintessential spot in the South Coat.
Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon is a quintessential location during touring of Iceland. 

1. Iceland’s high concentration of extraordinary scenery

Iceland is loaded with spectacular attractions. Just along the Ring Road, a full circle route around the island, you will discover waterfalls, glaciers, tundra, geysers, moss covered boulders, vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, and more. I do not know about any other country that delivers such an incredible variety of scenery that could be explored in just few days.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Reynisfjara, a world famous black sand beach in the South Coast, will capture your soul.
Reynisfjara, a world famous black sand beach in the South Coast, will capture your soul.

If you are planning a visit for shorter than a week, go straight to the south coast. This is where you will find the heart of Iceland – black beaches, high cliffs, and lots of ice!

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Northern Lights or not, you will fall in love with Iceland.
Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon. If you get to see Northern Lights or not, you will fall in love with Iceland.

2. Iceland will capture your soul

Iceland not only captures your eyes, but also your soul. Despite being a highly popular tourist destination, it remains pristine  and luring. You can feel magic in the air. The scenery, combined with cold and even darkness, creates a mystic atmosphere that makes you feel like you entered a fantasy book. Wind, ice, cold, mist, peeks of sun, and ever dramatic sky give you a feeling of being alive and far from daily worries. Iceland is nature at its best!

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. It is a long drive to the top of the mountain, but you will awarded with these stunning vistas near Black Sand Beach near Vik.
After a long drive to the top of the mountain, you will be awarded with these stunning vistas near Black Sand Beach. 

3. Northern Lights of Iceland

For many people seeing Northern Lights is the main reason to visit Iceland. Because for them to happen darkness is required, winter is the best time to visit, but even then they are not easy to find. Think of Northern Lights as a bonus on the top of what this spectacular country has to offer, then will not get terribly disappointed if you do not get to experience them.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Dyrholaey Arch in Southern Iceland adds to the diversity of the area around Vik.
Dyrholaey Arch in Southern Iceland adds to the diversity of the area around Vik.

4. Icelandic hot springs and geothermal pools

Iceland is a country of contrast, the air is cold while the earth in many areas is steaming. Icelanders certainly know how to make the best of this situation. They use their hot springs to make themselves warm and happy. Yes, happy – people of Iceland are among the happiest in the world.  Soaking in warm waters, while surrounded by nature, is one of the most popular activities among Icelandic families and believed to be connected to their mental health. As a visitor, do not miss an opportunity to visit at least one of Iceland’s hot springs.

10 reasons to visit Iceland. Located on the coast of The Atlantic, GeoSea thermal bath deliver on beauty and relaxation.
Located on the coast of The Atlantic, GeoSea thermal pools deliver on beauty and relaxation.

5. Icelandic horses

Icelandic horses are part of the country’s landscape. You will find them along the roads, and even in towns. There are one of a kind, a special breed developed in Iceland. Despite the fact that they look more like ponies, they are hardy animals. Still, they are very cute and friendly.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. As cute as they could be, Icelandic horses will steal your heart.
Cute and friendly, Icelandic horses will steal your heart.

6. Icelandic food

I would never think of Iceland as a culinary destination, but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and a variety of food. Almost all local food is organic, including famous Icelandic hot dog and a pride of Iceland, a yogurt called skyr.

Restaurant food is sophisticated, even in off the beaten paths locations, but you will pay for it. If you are on a budget, do not plan to dine out too often, portions are small but the prices are high. Of course fish is a very popular item on Icelandic menu, but do not be surprised do find shark or horse there, and even puffing.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. You must try Icelandic famous hot dog!
Friend, Bryan, enjoying famous Icelandic hot dog.

In grocery stores, you will find almost everything you would find in the USA, plus some Icelandic specialties like, fermented shark, which does not taste like chicken!

7. Icelandic churches

The magic of Iceland applies to its churches. They match perfectly with their surroundings, some sitting proudly on the edge of the cliffs, others hidden far from the road, even covered with grass.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Adding a distinctly quaint feel to the town, one of the most significant landmarks in Húsavík is the church.
Adding a distinctly quaint feel to the town, one of the most significant landmarks in Husavik is the church.

Some break the harshness of a scenery, others add to the beauty of Icelandic towns. If possible, go in and spend some time there. You will find an uninterrupted peace.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Simple but moving interior of a modern church in town of Stikkisholmur.
Simple but moving interior of a modern church in town of Stikkisholmur.

8. High quality of life and services

Despite harsh climate and isolation, Iceland managed to become one of the highly developed countries. Its tourism industry is well developed and so is its health system. Hotels are simple but very clean and deliver what you need for a comfortable stay. English is widely spoken. To my surprise, Polish is also very popular due to large Polish immigration. It felt like home there.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Modern Harpa Concert Center in Reykjavik.
Modern Harpa Concert Center in Reykjavik. The design was influenced by Iceland‘s exceptional and dramatic nature.

9. Iceland is a safe tourist destination, even for solo travelers

Many popular travel destinations in the world experience a high rate of crime, mostly pick pocketing but often even more serious assaults. It is not the case in Iceland. There is practically no crime in the country against tourists or among Icelanders themselves. I can’t imagine a safer country to travel to, even solo.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland, one of the safest countries in the world. There are babies in those strolled getting their daily dosage of a fresh air.
You see it right. There are babies in those strollers getting their daily dosage of a fresh air.

10. Iceland is easily accessible

Despite its geographical isolation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland is very easily accessible from the rest of Europe and from America. The major airline serving the country is Icelandair that offers inexpensive flights, even a free stopover on the route between America and Europe.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. The Sun Voyager sculpture located in Reykjavik symbolizes a dreamboat – an ode to the sun, discovery, progress, and freedom.
The Sun Voyager sculpture located in Reykjavik symbolizes a dreamboat – an ode to the sun, discovery, progress, and freedom.

Keep in mind, that Icelandair is a budget airline and what you initially see as your price is not necessarily what you will pay at the end. Your initial price only covers one carry on luggage which may not be enough to take considering Iceland’s cold and unpredictable climate.

10 top reasons to visit Iceland. Iceland is not just about Northern Lights and the Blue Lagoon! Here are your top 10 reasons to visit it, including Icelandic food! #iceland #icelandtravel

LEARN MORE ABOUT ICELAND:

The Complete Guide to Planning an Iceland Road Trip

4 Season Guide to Packing for Iceland

Visiting GeoSea: Essential Guide to Iceland’s New Geothermal Pool

Please share your favorite reasons for visiting Iceland.

Not a fan of a cold weather? Then how about One Week in Portugal?

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4 thoughts on “10 TOP REASONS TO VISIT ICELAND

  1. I read every word with nostalgia!!! I just love Iceland! But you forgot one thing to travel to Iceland… the wonderful people of Iceland, warm and charming! Love Iceland. Actually, I go there as often as I can! At least ounce a year and do all my connecting flight to Europe in Iceland, thats how much I love that place, maybe one day Ill move there!!! :)))

    1. Thank you for your comment. I did not forget, but during my visit I did not meet any local people. To my surprise, almost everyone I spoke to was Polish. I guess, some of them could be called local since they live there for a while. There were all very nice and professional, but since I am Polish ( living in America and visiting Poland often), I did not find it very Icelandic. This is why I hope to go back, stay in less touristy places and meet Icelanders. I am sure, my experience will be similar to yours… I will rename my post to: 11 Reasons to Visit Iceland. What is your advice to meet Icelanders?

      1. Its true, there is a lot of Polish people! And I want to say that I love your blog and you are an amazing woman! Very strong and I admire you, maybe well meet in Iceland!!! That would be great! Im going in April!!!
        Keep on travelling Yvonne!

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