Iceland, despite its name, is a mountain and verdant country in the Northern Atlantic. It consists of seven major regions; Southwestern Iceland, North Iceland, East Iceland, the Interior, West Iceland, South Iceland and the West Fjords, each has its own charm and something special to offer the adventurous traveler.
Urban playgrounds abound for visitors in Iceland. Reykjavik is the capital with well over 200,000 residents; here you will find a vibrant nightlife regardless of what time of year you visit. Soyoisfjorour has beautiful fjords, clear water, and many shops and restaurants. Husavik is the place to go if you want the comforts of a city along with the ability to view whales in their natural habitat by boat or on the shore.
Þingvellir National Park is an unspoiled reserve, where you can see the division of the continental plates of North American and Europe. Vatnajökull National Park is the home to Europe’s largest waterfall, Iceland’s highest peak (Hvannadalshnukur), and the largest glacier at Vatnajokull. Mývatn is Iceland’s lake region in the north of the country, where many flock to its alien landscape; due to thousands of years of volcanic activity the landscape is comparable to the moon.
Gullfoss, or the golden falls, rests on the border of the barren Interior region where you can see a double waterfall! What must be seen though is the Blue Lagoon; here you will find natural springs and spa, health center and swimming. The milky clean blue waters are a site to behold, due to the jets coming up from deep below the surface, it never gets cold.
Hiking is plentiful in Iceland, but we suggest you make sure you wear real shoes; many tourists have fallen through holes or been caught on sharp rocks because the footing can be so unsure here. Glacier hiking is your best bet, you can find many instructors and gear rentals in Skaftafell. In Akureyri and the Troll Peninsula you can find some small skiing resorts, including helicopter skiing! In the winter, climb Iceland’s tallest waterfall to experience a real rush.
Shopping, Dining, and Drinking
Be sure to pick up some woolen hats and gloves, and if you visit the National Gallery, buy some original works of art like sculptures and jewelry. Food is rather pricey in Iceland, but one thing you must try is their pylsa! It’s like a hotdog, but piled with caloric deliciousness Icelandic style. Alcohol is expensive, so be sure to hit the duty free shops to save up to 40% off drinks before you leave the airport.