One could say that Iceland is an island still in the making - a volcanic laboratory which is being powered by natures elements - from hot water shooting geysirs, bubbling muddy lakes to gigantic glaciers carving their way through massive lava fields.
The island of fire and ice with the unpronounceable names for its many volcanoes makes for a magical, beautiful landscape of endless adventure.
Iceland is also a country of darkness and light, a short summer with days of constant daylight contrasts with long winters and dark days that only bring a few hours of sunshine. Whatever season you chose to visit, Iceland can be visited all year long and every season has its very own special highlights to offer.
OUR ICELAND ADVENTURES
The Nordic island of Iceland covers an area of 103,00km2 and has a population of just over 350,000, making it the most sparsely populated area in Europe. The main airport of the island is Kevlavik Intl Airport, located in Southwest of the island and around 50km from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik. Around two thirds of the population lives in Reykjavik or the surrounding area while the towns and villages in the rest of the country have mostly a population of under 10,000.
Iceland can be split up into eight different main areas, seven of those are connected by the 1,300km long ring road, which takes you around the whole island and to many of the biggest attractions of Iceland.
A country made from fire and ice with fire spitting volcanoes, glittering glaciers and hot water spitting geysers - you will feel the power of nature in Iceland every single day. Iceland’s outstanding scenery has everything to offer for the thrill seeking adventurer - from snowmobile rides on ancient ice, hiking in some of the most surreal and beautiful landscapes to discovering the inside of a volcano or ice cave before finishing the day with a soothing dip in one of the natural hot thermal springs that can be found all over the island.
REGIONS OF ICELAND
Set in a bizarre surround of volcanic formation, Reykjavik is the biggest cultural center of Iceland. You will find laid-back museums and chique galleries, a vibrating musical scene and a colorful squad of local artists and designers. Festivals take place throughout the year and visitors enjoy the small, but lively nightlife with a big range of cafes, bars and clubs.
Reykjavik has become a popular stopover spot between Europe and North America over the past couple of years, bringing many short breakers in need of walking and cycling tours or day excursions to the surrounding area. The town lacks major attractions, but is the perfect base to explore some of Iceland’s beauty in just a few days as many tours take you from your hotel along the Southern coast or the Golden Circle route and back in just one day.
Southwest Iceland and the Golden Circle
Moving into the heartland of Iceland, you will find a mountainous landscape with thundering waterfalls, hot water spitting geysers, endless white ice and fantastic hiking opportunities. If you follow along the coast, a magical scenery with picturesque valleys, pretty waterfalls and impressive black sand beaches unfolds while a wall of black basalt mountains and volcanoes is towering in the back. The mountains offer fantastic hiking opportunities and allow you to get very close to the surreal landscape of hidden valleys in the middle of a volcanic landscape.
The peninsula of Reykjanes in Southwest of Iceland is not only home to the famous Blue Lagoon, but also impresses with a bizarre volcanic landscape. Cycling or hiking tours let you encounter a moon-like landscape with craters, fields of black lava and bubbling hot springs.
Most parts of the area can be discovered from Reykjavik, but to fully enjoy the area with all its beauty and activities, it is advisable to spend some nights outside Reykjavik.
The area North and Northwest of Reykjavik is dominated by the colorful Snæfellsnes peninsula, characterized by bizarre lava landscapes, crystal clear blue waters, the glimmering Snæfellsjökull glacier and the Breiðafjörður bay, filled with thousands of tiny islands. The long peninsula offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities like beautiful coastal walks, hikes across lava fields or treks over the ice cap on top of the restless volcano. The Western area is also known as Sagaland due to its rich Viking history
A spectacular landscape made from cliffs, rocks and fjords is waiting for you in the Northwestern part of Iceland and the mountains formed from dark basalt rock resembles fantasy worlds known from the Lord of the Rings. Land strings between the fjords like long fingers reaching for the sea set in twilight. The wild, lonely landscape on the edge of the Arctic circle is the perfect setting for mountain-biking, kayaking, skiing or breath-taking hiking adventures. But the Westfjords are also a great spot for wildlife spotting and the sea cliffs of Latrabjarg are a popular nesting place and world famous for bird-watching. The Arctic Fox Centre in Sudavik is dedicated to research, but is also a nursing home for the small foxes, the only land mammals in Iceland.
You will find pretty much anything in Northern Iceland - small islands, lonely peninsulas, snowy peaks covered in ice, bubbling muddy pots, sleepy fishing villages, thundering waterfalls, rugged lava fields or natural lakes filled with hot thermal waters. Northern Iceland is also a great place to go on a whale watching tours and the small town of Husavik is known as the whale watching capital of Iceland. While you find the Golden Circle in the Southwest of Iceland, you will find the Diamond Circle in Northern Iceland, waiting for you with the wonderful Ásbyrgi canyon, the mighty Dettifoss waterfall and the moon-like landscape around the wonderful thermal water filled Myvatn Lake.
Often under-estimated, eastern Iceland does not focus on loud marketing and is not as well developed for mass tourism, but it comes with discrete charme and a dramatic landscape. If you decide to travel by ship from mainland Europe, you will arrive to Seydisfjörður and will enjoy the breath-taking view along the long fjord while sailing into the port. You will find Iceland’s longest lake, the Lagarfljot, in the area, which is filled with melt waters from the Vatnajökull glacier and is said to be the home of an ancient monster since Viking times, which was last spotted in 2012. The northeastern coastal area entices visitors with hiking and kayaking adventures in a dramatic setting, where waterfalls plunge from raw back mountains, while you can encounter wild reindeer herds between abandoned farms and naked mountains in the heartland.
The 200km long section of the ring road between Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Höfn takes you through giant deltas made from glacial sand, around mountain chains and glacial tongues. The area is dominated by the impressive Vatnajökull glacier and its melting waters stream down the steep slopes into the sea. Blue ice blocks from the glacier float in the beautiful and extremely photogenic Jökursarlón lagoon and you can take a boat or guided kayaking tour to explore the icy giants and meet the local seals. Skaftafell National Park on the Western side of Vatnajökull is a mecca for anybody seeking adventure and offers a wide choice of activities to explore the National Park - from glacier trekking, snowmobile adventures, ice-climbing, ice cave tours or hiking, the area has something to offer for anybody seeking to get active in a breath-taking scenery.
The vast landscape of the hinterland is lonely, raw and deserted, which makes for the special draw for visitors looking for complete remoteness. The infrastructure in the area is very basic with practically no shops, accommodation or emergency services. The area is great and rewarding for long hiking or cycling tours and holds some scenic highlights for the visitor, like the lava fields at Askja, the warm thermal waters of the Viti-crater or the magnificent ice sculptures in the geothermal caves at Kverkfjöll.
Visit our selection on travel information, facts and all kinds of stuff about Iceland in our travel bonanza.