Pictures of Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind!
Iceland is a compelling and diverse country where glaciers and volcanoes coexist, sometimes even side by side, and awe-inspiring waterfalls are plentiful. It is even dubbed the land of fire and ice because it is a country of such extreme atmospheric conditions. It is easy to see why Iceland tourism has picked up speed in recent years, much to the local chagrin.
Iceland also happens to be a prime destination to catch the northern lights and check out filming locations for that one show nobody has heard of called Game of Thrones. Sarcasm of course! Let me take you on a visual journey through Iceland and maybe you’ll fully grasp why the Vikings chose to settle here in 874.
Try Glacier Hiking
One bucket list activity you cannot miss while exploring these Nordic dramatic landscapes is the ultimate thrill! You guessed it, a once in a lifetime adventure awaits you when you go glacier hiking in Iceland! Once you lay your eyes on the breathtaking blue glaciers and surreal mountain vista you’ll feel as if you entered an alternate universe.
While certainly not for the faint of heart, the mildly dangerous risk is worth the grandeur reward, as you can see from the attached picture. A simple google search will bring up several glacier hiking tours you can use for this excursion, but for each one, you’ll need to know a few basics:
- They range in price from $93 – $2,000+
- The time of year, difficulty level, and price for your glacier hike is dependent on which one you choose!
- All tours will provide you with crampons, ice axes, and a safety lesson
- Each tour lasts a different amount of time. Some are 2 hours, and some last more than a few days!
- It is advised that you bring warm clothes, hiking boots, and rain gear BUT you can also rent boots and rain gear on most tours for a small fee
Search for Northern Lights
Of course, the next thing that usually comes to mind when people think of Iceland is the eye-popping aurora borealis (aka the Northern Lights) and for good reason! The Northern Lights are arguably one of the most spectacular experiences a person could witness. In Iceland you can catch them a whopping 8 months out of the year!
The best times to catch them are when it is the darkest in Iceland from November to March. Even then, catching them can be a wild goose chase!
The northern lights are very unpredictable. Even in the darkest night sky, and in the best location possible you might still have poor luck and miss them. Your best bet is to book a tour because they have people trained to find auroras, and if you miss it, they will sometimes rebook a tour for you at no cost.
Pro Tip: A little birdie told us Abisko is one the best places to spot them!
Go Chase Waterfalls
It’s time to get amped waterfall chasers! While I thought no place could beat my home state of Oregon in the waterfall category, Iceland takes the cake for waterfall power and size. With over 200 waterfalls in Iceland to choose from, how do you choose which ones to see? Some of them will obviously be more accessible and some will be closer to one another in vicinity.
The Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, and Gullfoss waterfalls are often considered among the top locations for their immense beauty and because they’re a photographers dream. BUT, if you were to land in Reykjavik (the capital and main airport everyone flies into) and wanted to check out a few waterfalls within just 2 hours from the city, you can do that too!
According to one local, you would be a fool not to check out the lesser known Bruarfoss, Gjain, Helgufoss, and Hjalparfoss waterfalls! Hjalparfoss is even a double waterfall. Who needs a double rainbow when you have that?!
Find the Fire
The land of fire and ice wouldn’t be complete without actual fire! Iceland is home to 130 active and inactive volcanos and has a unique setting on a mid-oceanic ridge. It’s easy to see why over the past 500 years Iceland’s volcanos have erupted a third of the total global lava output. In fact, the Baroarbunga volcano may be ready to erupt very soon according to experts.
One volcano that is particularly interesting is known as the Thrihnukagigur (say that three times fast) volcano. It is actually the only volcano you can enter in the entire world! Upon entering this enormous and remarkably colored magma chamber you’ll see why it is the number one reason some people visit Iceland. Oh, don’t worry, it’s been dormant for 4000 years.
Dip in the Blue Lagoon
As one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, it may be a bit of a tourist trap, but the silica seawater does wonders for your skin! It should be noted that it is best to prebook your stay here because it will fill up fast. Because of that, the optimal time to go is late at night. There are many more tips you should know before you go, so be sure to read this if you’re planning a visit.
So, have my pictures of Iceland blown your mind yet? If not then maybe you should take another scroll through them and reconsider! Where else in the world can you encounter such a diverse range of climates and enjoy activities from glacier hiking, to dropping into a volcano, to standing on two continents at once? Not many places, that’s where! Book your flight to Iceland today!
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