Take a tour of Iceland, to the Land of Fire and Ice, and witness some of Mother Nature’s most incredible achievements. Discover a startling landscape of rumbling volcanic fields and bubbling thermal pools, plunging waterfalls and spouting geysers, distant glaciers and sparkling ice caves.
The Nordic island country of Iceland lies just below the Arctic Circle, in the middle of the North Atlantic.
Although remote, Iceland is one of the world's top travel destinations. And it is also perhaps one of the few places in the world really deserving of its description as a ‘natural wonderland’, a place where all the Earth’s natural power and beauty are revealed in the surrounding landscape.
Explore the country’s vibrant capital, Reykjavík, set on a headland jutting into the crystal-clear waters of Faxaflói Bay. Lying between the mountains and the sea, Reykjavík is the world’s most northerly capital, situated almost on the Arctic Circle, and with its colourfully-painted wooden houses, it presents a wealth of sights for nature lovers and lovers of art and culture alike.
Make the most of your tour to Iceland by taking the famous Golden Circle tour, which includes visits to Þingvallavatn, Iceland’s largest freshwater lake, and to the extraordinary sight of Þingvellir, where the world’s oldest national parliament, the Alþingi, was established in 930AD. The tour will also include a visit to the stunning Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most beautiful natural wonders.
Elsewhere, immerse yourself in Mother Nature’s most startling spectacles, from the multihued igneous mountains and lava fields of Landmannalaugar National Park, and the spectacular Skaftafell Ice Cave at Vatnajökull National Park, to one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe, the Dettifoss Waterfall.
Visit in the summer and take in the phenomenon of the midnight sun’s golden and pink hues as you experience 24-hour sunlight. Or perhaps take in some of the country’s most interesting towns and villages. Visit Akureyri, the largest town outside the capital, and renowned for its beauty. The north-western town of Ísafjörður invites its visitors to see some of the oldest timber-frame houses in Iceland at the Westfjords Heritage Museum. On the opposite end of the map is the charming and quirky town of Seyðisfjörður, with its Waterfall Lane of over 20 sparkling cascades and the snow-capped mountains that provide a stunning backdrop for the town’s colourful wooden houses.
Iceland is a country blessed with plenty of striking and contrasting landscapes, giving its visitors plenty to see and do. We have listed the top three things to do on your holiday in Iceland.
Unsurprisingly, given that Iceland is surrounded by the ocean, fish and seafood are some of the most popular elements of Icelandic cuisine.
Cod, haddock, mackerel, and monkfish are available in most restaurants, hardfiskur (dried, salted fish) is considered a delicacy, and Icelandic fish stew is a national favourite in cold weather. This traditional, hearty meal combines fish, potatoes, onions and béchamel sauce and often served with rye bread.
Despite Iceland’s climate, a range of vegetables are farmed on the island. And beyond obvious cool-weather crops like potatoes, carrots and kale, the development of greenhouses heated with the island’s abundant volcanic energy has allowed Icelandic farmers to expand their output to include tomatoes, cucumbers and even bananas and grapes.
If you’re a committed carnivore, Icelandic lamb is a real treat that you don’t want to miss, and, like their Danish neighbours, Icelanders are particularly keen on hot-dogs (pylsur) which are found on street stalls everywhere, and eaten with ketchup, relish and onions. Finally, if you find yourself in need of a warming tipple, Brennivín is Iceland’s signature distilled beverage. This clear, unsweetened schnapps is also known as Black Death, and made from fermented potato mash seasoned with caraway seeds.
First time to Iceland? You might find these questions (and answers) useful...
The south of Iceland tends to average around 0 °C in winter, while the north is a little colder, around −10 °C.
The coldest part of Iceland is the northern part of the island range, where temperatures dip as low as −30 °C.
It depends on what you want from your trip. The summer months bring warmer temperatures and midnight sun, so are understandably popular with many visitors. However, many people go to Iceland in search of the Northern Lights - for the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights, visit in September and October or February and March.
Iceland is considered a very expensive country to visit, with food, transport and accommodation all costing a lot. You can save money on these by booking into an all-inclusive escorted tour.
Known as 'The Land of Fire and Ice', Iceland is home to stunning landscapes, including some of the largest glaciers in Europe and several active volcanoes.
The Blue Lagoon, a large outdoor thermal bath is one of the country's most popular draws, along with the chance of seeing the Northern Lights (see below).
Yes. Although sightings of the Northern Lights can never be guaranteed, you've got more chance of seeing them from Iceland than most other countries.
For the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights, visit in September and October or February and March, when the nights are longer and the auroras tend to peak.
Yes. English is taught as a second language in Iceland and almost every Icelander speak it fluently. Below are a couple of Icelandic phrases you might find useful:
Hello – hallo
Goodbye – bless
Thank you – Þakka þér fyrir
Do you speak English? – talar þú Ensku?
Whether stewed, boiled, fried, roasted or grilled, fish has been a mainstay in Icelandic cuisine for as long the country has been inhabited. Delicacies like plokkfiskur, which is a sort of mashed fish stew, are eaten daily throughout the country.
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