Iceland - the tiny European country may be on the chilly side, but it's jam packed with amazing scenery and adventure around every corner. Just a short 5 hour flight away from the East Coast USA, this should definitely be on your must go list! Here is my personal list of the top 5 things to do in Iceland: Adventure Edition. Do one, or do them all! Most can be done in just a long weekends time!
5. See the Aurora Borealis (aka the Northern Lights) by boat
|Photo courtesy of secretescapes.com|
Sure, you can also trek to Alaska or Canada for a possible sighting, but Iceland is in the Arctic Circle and well positioned to have some of the best views of this phenomenon in the world. Why is viewing this considered an adventure, you ask? Well, the lights can only be viewed late at night in winter months, and it gets colddddd. Be prepared to look like a space cadet with an extra layer suit given to you by the tour company, you will need it! You can always take a shot of their famous Brennivin to help keep warm...
4. Ride the Icelandic Horse, Geysers, and Waterfalls
|Gulfloss Waterfall in the Golden Circle|
Mountains, waterfalls, Geysers - you name it, Iceland has it! The most famous way to get an eyeful of these incredible natural beauties is on a Golden Circle tour where you will see Thingvellir National Park, Gulfloss waterfall, and the original Geyser. Don't just take a bus to these attractions, do it on horseback! The Icelandic Horse is unique to the country - they don't let horses from other countries even set foot here, so you can be sure you are riding a horse not seen anywhere else in the world!
3. Diving or Snorkeling Silfra
|Photo courtesy of Dive.is|
Also in Thingvellir National park, but worth a stop, is the Silfra fissure. This is one of the top dive sites in the world as it is the only place you dive or snorkel between two tectonic plates that are North America and Europe. It also offers incredibly clear waters for great visibility, but the water is freezing, so make use of the wetsuit provided! Not many people can say they have done something like this, so brave the cold for the bragging rights!
2. Go INSIDE a live Volcano
|Photo courtesy of icelandnaturally.com|
Iceland is perhaps one of the most well known countries in the world for serious volcanic activity, thanks to the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010 that disrupted flights throughout Europe and the more recent eruptions occurring this year. Of course, any good adventure junkie is probably asking themselves, how can I get close to this action? Well, I've got some good news for you! You can actually get lowered inside one of Iceland's famous volcanos, and it's one of the only places in the world you can do this! Book the tour at insidethevolcano.com , where you will get intimate with Thrihnuagigur volcano, an experience not to be missed! The only bad news is this can only be done in summer months, so if this is a must for you, plan accordingly!
|On the glacier, getting ready to ice climb|
Lace up your crampons and grab your ice pick, this adventure is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. You will walk over deep crevasses and unsteady ground, following your guide to a good climbing spot. There is nothing like being in the middle of no where with nothing but beautiful blue, glacier ice surrounding you, whilst getting ready to get climbing. Ice climbing uses a lot of technique, but if your a newbie, be prepared to put your upper body strength to use and muscle your way up. It's unique, it's a great workout, and Iceland is one of the best places in the world to get it done!
Don't forget to take some time to relax after all these incredible adventures and get into the Blue Lagoon, preferably with your drink of choice in hand. You've earned it! Skal!
|The relaxing Blue Lagoon|