Geothermal baths, towering waterfalls, spectacular geysers, glacier trekking, Northern Lights, the charming town of Reykjavik. There are so many reasons to visit Iceland – and word is spreading! Iceland is fast becoming a bucket list location in 2023, and not just because it’s chock-full of so many wonderful and unique attractions. The Land of Fire and Ice also serves as a quick getaway destination for families, couples, and small groups looking for an accessible, safe, and modern country.There’s a lot to love about Iceland, and one of the best times to travel to Iceland is fast approaching (spring and summer)! Below is a mini-travel guide to Iceland along with the tops reasons why you should visit this year:
The rugged and wild landscape is the country’s trademark, attracting anyone with a great sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. One of the best things to do in Iceland is hiking, and the Icelandic landscape is a playground for both the novice and advanced. With a number of exceptional day-trips from Reykjavik, families and slower-paced travelers can experience an incredible amount of the country’s offerings (like the views from the top of Mt. Esja, the scenery at Reynisfjara Beach, or the otherworldly terrain at Laugahraun Lava Fields). More dedicated hikers might be interested in checking out some of the epic national parks, like Vatnajokull, which houses Europe’s largest glacier. And waterfall chasers, take note: Iceland is flush with gushing, powerful waterfalls that spill from the top of gigantic gorges and nestle amongst emerald green cliffs. Whether you travel far and wide, or stay close to Reykjavik, the thrill of discovering an Icelandic waterfall is bound to be a memorable trip moment.
If you’re pressed for time, consider booking an ATV tour and snowmobiling tour, which is a great way to traverse the rough terrain and get up close and personal to some stunning natural attractions!
Ideal for Northern Lights viewing
Also known as Aurora Borealis, The Northern Lights are among the top reasons to visit Iceland. The best chance to catch the swirling green, red, and blue lights dancing across the sky is between the months of September – April, when the nights are long and the sky is dark for the longest period of time. Another condition needed for optimal Northern Lights viewing are clear skies (cloud cover blocks the lights). Booking a small group tour operated by experts who monitor the weather conditions, and the activity of the northern lights increases your chances of seeing an unforgettable light show.
Iceland was made for the adventurous, but that doesn’t mean there’s not something for those looking for a more laid-back vacation. Geothermal tourism is huge, thanks to the abundance of naturally-occurring hot springs in Iceland. The most famous of them all, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, attracts travelers with opaque blue waters and the glowing green hills that surround them. For an even more novel experience, a visit to the newly open Sky Lagoon is a must. Alternatively, visitors can discover a little-known hot spring and thermal river in the Reykjadalur Valley, or take a dip in the oldest pool in the country. And you don’t have to go far to experience these natural wonders – all these hot springs are within 1 hour or less from the capital.
Reykjavik isn’t just your entry and exit point to the country. While you’ll probably want to take-off from the city and explore the stunning natural surroundings, the modern and quirky Icelandic capital deserves to be discovered. Hallgrimskirkja Church is one of the iconic symbols of Reykjavik. A modern cathedral and the largest church in Iceland, Hallgrimskirkja features a striking architectural style and a 244-foot meter tall tower with beautiful city panoramas. The Sun Voyager is a (relatively) new steel sculpture built on the city’s waterfront to commemorate Iceland’s 200 year anniversary. Symbolic of discoveries, hope, and freedom, the Sólfar (in Icelandic) is one of the most photographed places in the city. Reykjavik also offers impressive shopping and nightlife, the best of which are clumped together in the city center. Wandering up Laugavegur, you can find lively bars, chic clubs, atmospheric cafes, and plenty of boutiques. So grab yourself a brennivin cocktail (or shot, if you’re brave enough) and soak up the buzz of the capital. Or better yet, meet up with fellow intrepid travelers on a Reykjavik Food Walk Tour and try the best of Icelandic cuisine!
From many cities on the east coast, Reykjavik is a relatively quick flight. Many airlines offer non-stop flights which are ideal for travelers who want to maximize their time on the ground. This type of accessibility makes Iceland a great choice if you’re looking to get away for a week or less. Parents with school-age children who are quickly approaching Spring Break might consider Iceland for a convenient family getaway in March or April. Kids can let their adventurous spirit run free while adults will feel a deep sense of appreciation for the natural world and unique culture that Iceland presents. A trip to Iceland will not soon be forgotten by anyone in the family!
Contact me and let’s discuss how we can personalize your trip to Iceland!