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Iceland Travel Guide: Things to Do in Iceland

Let's travel to: Iceland

Known as the land of fire and ice, this place has many natural phenomenons from volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. Perfect for those looking to enjoy a bit of outdoor nature.

Brief Overview

  • The name Iceland is a tad bit misleading, you would expect there to be lots of ice, however Iceland is hardly icy. Greenland is really the land of ice with not much green at all.
  • Iceland is becoming a popular destination with the launch of WOW air which has $99 flights to Iceland
  • 11% of the country is covered with glaciers while another 30% is lava fields
  • Is the site of the oldest Parliament in the world located in Thingvellir National Park
  • Nearly twice as many sheep as people in Iceland

Useful Information:

  • Language: Icelandic
  • Currency: Icelandic Krona
  • Transportation: You have to rent a car once you land in Iceland
    • Get diesel engine as they are more fuel efficient than regular gasoline engines
    • F-roads are mountain roads situated in the middle of the country (usually narrow gravel roads with no bridges over rivers), you will need a 4x4 jeeps. Note these F-roads are only open during summer
  • Sunshine: During the peak of the summer, the sun shines 24 hours a day (and can really mess with your senses)

Hot Springs

  • Blue lagoon
    • Known as one of the 25 wonders of the world and the most visited place in Iceland
    • Relax in a geothermal spa with a silica mud mask and feel the softness of your skin when you wash the mask off
    • Offers many other services like in-water massages, tours of Blue Lagoon
  • Icelandic Hot Spring River Hike
    • Is not a major tourist attraction place yet with some stunning views, waterfalls and geothermal pools
    • Requires an hour hike north of the town of Hveragerdi before reaching a hot spring river to bathe in, believe me, it is worth it after you bask in the warm river
  • Hverageroi
    • Is the hot spring capital of the world
    • Has many small hot springs, literally with hot springs in people’s back yards

Iceland Trip

  • 1 Day Golden Circle Tour – if you are under a time crunch, you would want to do this
    • Strokkur Geyser – shoots a column of hot boiling water up to 30 metres high every 5 minutes
    • Gullfoss waterfall – an enormous waterfall plunging 32 metres deep
    • Thingvellier National Park – land between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates which are pulling apart at a few centimetres each year, also a great spot to snorkel or dive is Silfra (the water there is the clearest water in the world and you can literally drink it as you swim)
  • Waterfalls Visited
    • Glymur Waterfall: 4 hour hike to reach the second highest waterfall in Iceland
    • Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall: An amazing waterfall beside a mountain which resembles a Witches Hat
    • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: Visitors can walk behind the waterfall into a small cave
    • Gljufrabui Waterfall: A hidden waterfall accessed by wading through a river into a narrow opening in the cliff; waterfall is next to Seljalandsfoss
  • Iceberg Lagoon (Jokulsarlon)
    • Featured in two James Bond movies (A view to a kill, Die another day) and a Tomb Raider movie
    • Iceland’s deepest lake created after glaciers receded from the area, leaving behind clear, blue water that is over 1000 years old   
  • Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
    • Featured in Justin Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” MV
    • Looks like a scene out of some post-apocalyptic movie
  • Vatnajokull National Park
    • Holds Europe’s largest glacier outside the Arctic Circle
    • Has diverse scenery from powerful glacial rivers to wetlands to volcanic activity
    • Many popular hiking routes in Skaftafell with 9 different hiking trails to get really close to the glaciers
  • Visit the WestFjords – isolated and largely uninhabited, this is one of Iceland’s best kept secrets with a lot of serious Icelandic wilderness like arctic fox and many unique fauna
    • Hornstrandir National Park: This park has been unhabited since 1950s

Other things to do

  • Nightlife (Icelandic people called it ‘Jammith’)
    • The hottest party spots are all in one place near Laugavergur in Reykjavik (capital of Iceland)
    • Ranges from a relaxing place for a drink to a heaving a temple to booze and dance
    • Although bars are open all day, they don’t get busy until midnight, more like 2AM and won’t close until 5AM
  • Icelandic Phallogical Museum
    • Houses the world’s largest display of penile parts
    • A collection of over 93 species of various mammals ranging from whales, seals and even trolls
    • Currently at a count of 280 penile parts

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List by: Stephen Lung

Stephen’s passion for travelling grew tremendously after a 3 week backpacking trip in Iceland, Spain and France. From basking on the top of Europe’s Grand Canyon, to savouring tapas at a local Spaniard’s restaurant and catching some rest on 5AM train rides, Stephen makes the most out of every traveling opportunity.  

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