In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a small Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean; an island defined by dramatic landscapes, with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and elves. Yes, elves.
Rumors of this magical place are spreading like wildfire, and travelers have started arriving from all over the land. Though there is a delicate balance in maintaining the untouched and wild feeling of Iceland’s unique landscapes while making them accessible to tourists. Lava fields, volcanoes and thundering waterfalls might look super tough, but in fact they are very vulnerable.
Before tourists started arriving in mass, most Icelandic attractions had no need for infrastructure like car parks or ranger stations. So it’s extremely important that we are aware of our impact as travelers. As such, we have composed a letter to all those who are Iceland bound.
Iceland is a breathtaking country, famous for volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers and absolutely stunning nature. And as such, there are a lot of places that are considered a must when you’re visiting.
The Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, the Golden Circle; if you’ve researched Iceland in the slightest you’ll know the list. But just as there are many incredible ‘musts’, there are also many beautiful spots that are overlooked – undeservedly sacrificed off internet lists!
Granted, you’ll have to step far off the beaten path to find some of the gorgeous places mentioned here, but their beauty will make it definitely worth your time.
From amazing examples of modern architecture to a little known underground cave – here are the best things to see in Iceland, which most other people miss!
Iceland is one of the Earth’s hottest countries – literally. Brimming with volcanic activity, the country is blessed with a huge range of hot springs and geothermal spas, and a hot soak under the Northern Lights has become central to Iceland’s cultural identity.
Iceland is famous for it’s hot tub culture, and swimming pools have always been a hub of social activity, even in winter on a dark, frosty night. But with a huge range of swimming pools, hot springs, and spas, where do you even start?
While the country has an incredible range of natural hot springs, today we’re going to focus on Iceland’s thermal spas. The difference? Thermal spas are a cross between a man-made pool and a natural spring.
While natural springs are usually in rural locations, where the journey there is an adventure in itself, thermal spas offer the same natural water, but you’re surrounded by man made facilities.
At thermal spas you’ll have access to showers, restaurants, toilets, and storage to keep your things dry; much more than your typical hole in the ground filled with water!
Iceland has become somewhat of a trend in recent years, and as with any destination which has seen a recent surge in tourism, it’s quite difficult to find great value accommodation. Difficult, though not impossible. Especially if you’re looking at Iceland’s hostels.
With some of the highest standards of hostel accommodation in the world (in terms of cleanliness, character, rooms and facilities), if you’re heading to Iceland, it’s a no brainer to book a hostel. And if you’re looking for Reykjavík’s cream of the crop, we recommend a stay at the Loft Hostel.
Offering a range of dorms, twins and private rooms, it has a modern, clean interior, a buzzing vibe, and a great location right in the middle of the city’s bar, restaurant and cafe district. It was also voted the world’s best HI (Hostelling International) hostel in 2014. Awards aside, this is what else it’s got.
In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a small Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean; an island defined by dramatic landscapes, with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and elves. Yes, elves.
Rumors of this magical place are spreading like wild fire, and travelers have started arriving from all over the land. Though how do you know if Iceland is a country for you? Even though it’s a pretty safe bet in terms of an incredible vacation, what kind of travelers does it suit?
This is our destination page which lists all posts we have ever published about Iceland. Click for access to country specific travel tips, personal stories, photos, videos, and guest posts, as well as anything we have written which makes mention to the destination.
The age of the socially conscious traveler is officially here – a recent movement towards responsible travel has seen travelers become more conscious of their environmental and social footprint when heading abroad. People are now realizing the importance of traveling with awareness and thought.
With the idea of being conscious of our impact on both nature and culture, here are 10 easy steps for being a socially conscious traveler in Iceland.
When it comes to things to do in Iceland, Vatnajökull National Park should be at the very top of everyone’s list. Covering 13% of Iceland’s surface, this is the largest national park in Western Europe, and has a range of outstanding natural wonders which truly capture the interplay between fire and ice.
In this region white glaciers descend to black sands, hot streams erupt from frozen banks of ice, and the park is home to Iceland’s highest mountain, (Hvannadalshnúkur), largest glacier (Vatnajökull), and Europe’s most powerful waterfall (Dettifoss).
The following are the highlights of Vatnajökull National Park. Most sections of the park are completely inaccessible in winter, closed due to bad weather or lack of transportation. Plan for a trip between July and August to have more options and access to locations throughout the park.
Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice, where turbulent volcanic forces meet the icy touch of the Arctic to shape an island that is as desolate as it is beautiful. Blasted tundra, glistening glaciers and pounding waterfalls are among the many wonders vying for space in the Icelandic wilderness, and the best way to explore the extremes of this spellbinding country is to take a long walk into its heart, on the famous Laugavegur trail.
Stretching 55km from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk, the Laugavegur trail is the country’s most well-known hiking route. The four-day trek takes you past colourful mountains, warming hot-springs and steep ravines as you wind your way through the landscape of South-East Iceland.
If you are looking to test yourself physically, as well as rewarding yourself with moments of wonder, then Iceland’s Laugavegur is the trek for you.
Iceland is a country full of natural wonders, and it is difficult to remain unmoved by the amazing diversity of it’s landscape. Though contrary to popular belief, Iceland is not an island which is covered completely in ice.
Iceland is a stunning playground with everything from majestic glaciers, cracked lava fields, gushing geysers, vibrant green fjords and geothermal lagoons. Also, due to its location between two tectonic plates that are spreading apart in the mid-Atlantic range, the country has a high concentration of active volcanoes; one of the highest in the world.
In fact, Iceland has 30 active volcano systems, 13 of which have erupted since Vikings settled here in the 9th century AD. While the country tends to see an eruption on average every 5 years, most recently have proved to be harmless, seeing thousands of tourists hiking, biking or driving closer to the craters to witness nature put on a spectacular show.
The following is an Iceland guide to the country’s top 10 volcanoes for your European Bucketlist.
Iceland is a country defined by it’s outdoors. Inspiring scenery at every turn, extraordinary landscapes, and astounding natural wonders; when visiting a country with nature so inspiring, it would be a waste to spend your time solely holed up in the cities without making time for exploration of the outdoors.
The following are the top 10 outdoor activities in Iceland – adrenaline activities amid scenery so spectacular that the experience will leave you raving about your travel to this country as the trip of your lifetime for years to come.
Iceland is literally a country which takes your breath away. Inspiring scenery at every turn, extraordinary landscapes, and astounding natural wonders; you will leave the country with a determined mindset to return.
Though perhaps even more exotic than majestic glaciers grinding their way through cracked lava fields, and more captivating than witnessing glittering ice caps pierce the sky, is the opportunity to witness and interact with the country’s exotic variety of seabirds and wildlife.
Seabirds arrive by the million for the breeding season between April and August, and nest on coastal cliffs all around the country in massive colonies. And to say that they arrive in the million is no understatement – we literally spent days shooting seabirds (photography) and have more photography than we could possibly hope to edit in a lifetime.
The following are Iceland’s top locations to see birds and wildlife – because Iceland holidays can be about so much more than the Golden Circle and that famous geothermal lagoon!
The puffin is one of Iceland’s biggest wildlife draws. They arrive by the million for the breeding season between April and August, and nest on coastal cliffs all around the country in massive colonies.
To say that they arrive in the million is no understatement – we literally spent days shooting puffin photography, though we did occasionally allow them to break for lunch!
Head to Tjörnes for the best site to spot puffins in Iceland.
Tips For an Epic Icelandic Road Trip Iceland is literally a country which takes your breath away. Inspiring scenery at every turn, extraordinary landscapes, and astounding natural wonders; you will leave the country with a determined mindset to return. Majestic glaciers grind their way through cracked lava fields, gushing geysers explode with a powerful force, glittering ice caps pierce the sky, and vibrant green fjords rise from the mist of geothermal lagoons. Iceland is raw, Iceland is real; Iceland is the trip of a lifetime!! The only way to truly experience Iceland and take in all of it’s stunning scenery is to drive. And the only way to drive, is around the Ring Road. The Ring Road The Ring Road wraps it’s way around the country in a circular fashion – 1300km of mostly paved highway, this is your main road from which secondary roads break off, leading to further adventure. When planning a road trip through Iceland, break up your journey with detours along the many secondary roads which sprout off from the highway. While you could complete the Ring Road in 16 hours without stopping, we were hauling ass to cram everything into 7 days. Highly recommend pulling up a map of Iceland and choosing at least 5 mini bases for your trip. There are so many spectacular villages, attractions and sights off the Ring Road itself that you’ll miss the majority of the country by not taking detours. The Golden Circle Don’t confuse the Ring Road with the Golden Circle. While the Golden Circle is an accessible daytrip from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, this pales in comparison to the experience of driving the Ring Road. The Golden Circle is a nice introduction to Iceland; a popular tourist route which includes stops at the national park Pingvellir, the waterfall Gullfoss, and the valley of Haukadalur which plays host to the geysers Geysir and Strokkur; however having navigated our way around the rest of the country first, we arrived at the Golden Circle and were underwhelmed. Also, there are an incredible amount of tourists to fight past for a view. But it’s a great route to take in if you’re in Iceland for just the weekend. Renting a Car Renting a car is the most...
“My name is Thor”, he said. “Are you ready for some action?!” We nodded enthusiastically, and grabbed jumpsuits and helmets before jumping onto monster ATV’s. We were about to experience the Icelandic Outback. Quad biking with Safari Quads is the ultimate Icelandic adventure. Riding well off the beaten path, often through lakes, rivers and ravines, we powered our way uphill through extraordinary scenery before reaching the peaks of Hafrafell & Úlfarsfell where we were greeted with spectacular panoramic views over Reykjavik. Booked onto the Twin Peaks tour, this was not your average quad ride. The safari quads were huge, and, in this instance, size definitely made for a more memorable experience! Incredibly large and powerful vehicles, fully equipped with 4WD to tackle more difficult terrain, we had an absolute blast zipping through back roads and mountain trails as we made our way through the mountain ranges. We tackled every type of terrain possible, literally off-roading through river crossings and rocky roads, through mud and grass routes, and climbing steep hills on the side of intimidating mountain tops. We watched the countryside change into wilderness as we took in the beautiful back-country of Reykjavík. Quad biking in Iceland was an exhilarating experience and a great way to experience the great outdoors. We can’t wait to revisit in winter and take the tour again, this time at night, with the hopes of watching the northern lights dance over our heads. Click to enlarge photographs. Size matters! Atop our mammoth safari quads! Getting ready for some epic action! Quad Bike Safari Iceland About Megan Claire Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home. Follow their journey on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Thank You to Safari Quads for providing our tour. All opinions are our...
If you were dared to jump from a cliff in the middle of a magnificent canyon in Iceland, and plunge into arctic waters for some glacial river swimming, would you do it? What if you were dared to jump into a raft and navigate your way through some of the most pumping waves and rapids South Iceland has to offer? Well, I’m daring you now! White Water Rafting is a fairly epic adventure, and Iceland is a pretty spectacular location for it. Rafting the Hvítá River with Arctic Adventures was a fantastic way to explore Southern Iceland, and a great way to combine intense adventure with spectacular sightseeing. We gently floated through scenic canyons, paddled furiously through exciting rapids, and put our balance to the test by standing on the side of the rocking raft, dangerously close to the edge! Throw in some cliff jumping for glacial swimming, and a relaxing hot tub and sauna back at basecamp at the end of the day, and you’ve got yourself an incredible amount of river fun! White Water Rafting We gently floated through scenic canyons, paddled furiously through exciting rapids, and put our balance to the test by standing on the side of the rocking raft, dangerously close to the edge! We gently floated through scenic canyons, paddled furiously through exciting rapids, and put our balance to the test by standing on the side of the rocking raft, dangerously close to the edge! We gently floated through scenic canyons, paddled furiously through exciting rapids, and put our balance to the test by standing on the side of the rocking raft, dangerously close to the edge! The River Fun rafting day trip is a grade 2 white water rafting trip, suitable for every skill level! The team at Arctic Adventures was absolutely fantastic and really made our trip memorable. Fun, personable guides had us racing with other rafts, engaging in incredibly fun river games (which generally saw the uncoordinated (me) land in the river), and competing to see how many members of the other boats we could give a good old glacial water facial! While you may instantly shiver at the thought of glacial swimming, with the amount of warm, waterproof clothing and gear...
You’ll be hard pressed to find a hostel better than the Bus while traveling through Iceland. With incredibly friendly staff, cheap rooms, a spacious common area and fully decked out kitchen (self catering) to boot, the Bus Hostel is the best value for money Reykjavik currently has on offer. And the cleanliness is astounding! Ticking all of the boxes by offering free high speed wifi, free breakfast (toast), free parking, free bike rental, a bar area, fridge in the common kitchen, and coffee facilities; we enjoyed the added delight of book swapping, board games, and a foosball table, where, with close to every country represented, we staged our own version of the World Cup! Sadly Australia lost horrifically to the United States. My husband obviously doesn’t understand the concept of “happy wife, happy life”! I let him win! Book swapping! Loved the Bus Library. The cozy, homey feel of the hostel made us feel instantly at home. The majority of our time at the hostel was spent in their common area, socializing with travelers from all over the world. Nora was from Norway, traveling through Iceland on the way to a year working in Budapest. Henry was from the UK, hitting up Scandinavia before he had to return to school. Adam, Carmi and Gil were from Israel, and had just spent a year backpacking through South East Asia. Everyone had a story, and had fascinating stories to tell. Records played from a vinyl record player, yelling and cheering would sporadically fill the room as Brazil scored another foosball goal, and very serious conversations ensued as to which addition was the best on the famed picture wall. The interior design of the hostel is what really makes it unique. Oozing with character and quirky charm, the interior design adds to the atmosphere, and really goes a long way to making this hostel fun. So we’ve established that the hostel is fun, but all hostels are fun right? What makes this one any different from the next? Well, it’s CLEAN! So clean! Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean! We were genuinely astounded with the cleanliness, not only of our room, of the self catering kitchen, or of the quirky common area, but most...
Once upon a time, on her first few trips abroad, there was a girl who would always return home with foreign gifts and goodies from exotic destinations and far off lands. For mum, a Guess handbag straight from the streets of Milan. For the grandparents, a handwoven recreation of the last supper. Weaponry from the tower of London, Pacific Island artifacts, plush toys, designer clothing and African art – there was nothing which didn’t make it home, and she loved the joy these gifts would bring loved ones upon her return. However unfortunately now, with a travel itinerary so hectic and round the world tours so packed, it would send her broke to return home with such lavish souvenirs from each and every far off land (though it kills her inside). Also, she doesn’t have the packing space. And though she no longer buys, she still takes joy in what each family member and friend would have loved, and so without further ado, I give you the gifts I would have bought you from Iceland…if I had more money and space to pack everything. We actually had the time of our lives running around the gift shop in the Golden Circle while it poured outside with rain. Finding ‘things I would have bought’ for each person we love and hold most dear was an incredibly fun and entertaining way to spend the better half of an afternoon. (Try it sometime!) And even though they’re not actually receiving these gifts – it’s the thought that counts! About Megan Claire Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home. Follow their journey on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter....
Sitting at the foothills of a spectacular volcano, Námafjall is a high-temperature geothermal area with fumaroles and mud pots which boil with relentless energy.
Colorful, vivid minerals and gigantic mud craters make this natural attraction a truly awe inspiring sight to behold. Stand back and watch as the mud bubbles to temperatures above 200 degrees celsius, marvel at the sulfur crystals of many different colors, and walk through the steam springs, noting the sulfur in the atmosphere.
We crouched low in a vibrant field of dandelions on the edge of a spectacular coastal cliff in the North of Iceland. It was bitterly cold, and the air was crisp, however we remained still, hands frozen but index fingers poised motionless above the shutter button ,waiting for the perfect moment to snap the money shot. Above our heads hundreds of puffins flitted around like anxious bumblebees, ducking in and out of pot holes in the side of the cliff, plunging into the Arctic and emerging with a beak full of transparent sardines. A cautious approach meant we were within metres of hundreds of these comic creatures. And though we snapped thousands of photos, each one better than the next, we continued to fail to capture the split second before flight, with wings outstretched and chests puffed out proudly. The key to wildlife photography is patience, and often you’ll be sitting observing a scene for hours on end before capturing the perfect photo. It’s all about timing, patience and a little bit of luck. So with this in mind, after hours of staking out one of Iceland’s largest puffin colonies sitting on the edge of a cliff which dramatically dropped into the Arctic, I got half lucky. Half lucky in the sense that I was zoomed in too far so only got half the shot! We left Tjörnes that afternoon without the shot that we were after, and so without further ado, I give you the almost money shot of Iceland’s famous puffins. The puffin is one of Iceland’s biggest wildlife draws. They arrive by the million for the breeding season between April and August, and nest on coastal cliffs all around the country in massive colonies. With literally hundreds of puffin photos to sort through and edit, watch this space for more puffin tales! About Megan Claire Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home. Follow their journey...
Sales of dirt bikes have surged since the pandemic hit. This is one adventure that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world, and kids as young as three are getting in on the action, making it a great activity to enjoy as a family.
With just a few months to go before I give birth to my first baby boy, I’m already worried about what kind of mischief he will get up to; balls in the house, skateboarding accidents, and viral social media challenges like the recent Tik Tok Milk Crate Challenge.
At first, the thought of dirt bikes terrified me, but after reading up I found that they are actually quite safe and a great way to get your kids outside and away from staring at screens.
Like anything, it’s about being prepared rather than preventing your child from experiences. Learning to ride a dirt bike at a young age can set up your child for better success when it comes to driving a vehicle later on, and can be a rather safe activity with the right equipment and teaching your kids the correct safety procedures.
If your child has shown interest in dirt bikes, here are some things I learned which will help get them prepared to ride and kick start their dream of exploring the world on two wheels.
Whether you’re considering selling your home and switching to an RV lifestyle, or simply want to plan an epic road trip around the country in a rented motorhome, there are a number of things to take into consideration.
Both permanent RV living and simple RV holidays both allow you to travel with your accommodation, giving you greater flexibility on where you can travel and stretching your travel budget considerably, but driving a motorhome is far different than road-tripping with a sedan or SUV.
Traveling via an RV, whether it be a motorhome, campervan, or caravan, allows you to travel while also maintaining many comforts of home since it does pretty much act like a home on wheels.
RVs allow you to ditch expensive hotels and instead opt for sleeping sometimes in stunning natural settings without needing to rough-it by pitching a tent. You can enjoy a comfortable bed, cooking facilities, clean private bathroom and shower, and more depending on the type of RV you purchase or rent.
If you’re new to the world of campervans and motorhomes, check out this comprehensive guide filled with beginner advice, safety tips, and essentials you’ll need to ensure your RV road trip or transition to an RV lifestyle is enjoyable and stress-free.
As an independent travel agency, there’s so much you have to do in a day. But one of the most important things on the list is to promote the services you offer.
The travel industry is about building loyal customer connections, and especially now that travelers are looking for COVID safe experiences, trustworthiness is big. You need to present yourself as the most cost-effective and most reliable option out there, in a way that garners the most attention.
These days the most modern and effective way to promote your travel agency is to market it online. While putting up flyers in your neighborhood might help, the only real way to exponentially increase your reach and scale your brand is with digital marketing.
If the marketing aspect of your business seems overwhelming, don’t worry. We’re here to help! We’ve compiled our favorite strategies for promoting your travel agency online. Read on to find out what they are.
As cruise companies begin to successfully relaunch voyages around the world, it’s time to think about cruise holidays again. And especially if you’re a bit rusty when it comes to planning out vacations, you can make things easy on yourself and book a cruise where everything is taken care of for you.
Fully vaccinated travelers are now able to embark on a range of exciting cruises departing the U.S. whether you’re looking to explore the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, California and Baja Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean, or Hawaii.
While some cruises enforce the use of masks for certain areas of the ship, everything else is pretty much as normal, with endless dining, entertainment, activities, and of course shore excursions all available.
We all need an easy holiday right now, so leave it to cruise lines to manage everything for you including your meals, transport, activities, and daily full-service housekeeping.
Whether you’re into wildlife, food, shopping, scuba diving, or archaeological ruins, there’s a cruise to suit any personality. Here’s a deeper look into the top five cruise destinations within the U.S. to get you inspired.
While it may seem almost impossible not to fall in love with horses, not everyone’s always eager to book a horse riding holiday or tour. If you’re an avid equestrian looking to combine your love of horses and travel but find you’re having a bit of difficulty convincing your partner or best friend to tag along, there are thankfully a number of options for planning a horse riding trip that will appeal to even non-horse enthusiasts.
There are many reasons why people may not be eager to get in a saddle. Some may have a fear of horses or at least falling off one, had a bad experience in the past, or simply have never been around horses and are unsure of what is all involved with horseback riding.
Thankfully, there are a number of thrilling horse experiences available all around the world that can cater to a wide range of personalities and interests. Whether your partner is into sports, history, wildlife, or simply spending time in awe-inspiring landscapes, there is guaranteed to be a horse riding experienced that will appeal to even the fussiest of travelers.
If you’re ready to get back in the saddle and encourage your partner to as well, here are some ideas for planning a horse riding holiday that may turn you both into avid globe “trotters”.