Its namesake paints a picture of a barren, cold place where few inhabitants endure the conditions, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Iceland is a destination of unique and organic sharp contrasts that have spurred a recent influx of visitors. If you’re planning on visiting Iceland, don’t count on a last-minute trip. The popularity of this country will require up to a year or more of planning ahead of your anticipated departure.
Only a five hour flight from New York, a trip to Iceland is more in reach than many travelers think. Lisa is happy to share her first-hand experiences and insight for this beautiful destination and customize your trip of a lifetime!
Culture & Lifestyle
It’s easy to see why this destination is in such high-demand. Our modern times and lifestyles leave some travelers longing for an escape that is humble yet intriguing. Reykjavik, the capital, is the biggest city with a population of around 120,000 Icelanders. Skyscrapers are few and far in between, but you’ll still find a steady pulse of life and activities up to par with our modern Western lifestyle. Downtown Reykjavik boasts an iconic arts and culture scene where music, film, fashion, art, dance and literature perfectly exhibit the importance of creativity to Icelanders. Festivals are held year-round that celebrate the diverse talents and interests of the people. Embracing individuality and freedom is also an important part of the culture, thus making Iceland a leader of LGBT rights and gender equality. They were proudly led by the first openly gay prime minister in the world!
Health, Wellness and Cuisine
Iceland’s remoteness forces it to be as self-sufficient as possible. As one of the greenest countries in the world, natural occurrences like geothermal springs and a robust marine life function dynamically as tourist attractions and sustainable resources. Avid fishermen and foodies will delight in the plentiful Icelandic cod, haddock, salmon and char. In fact, foodies will find paradise in the Icelandic cuisine in general. Chefs focus on locally-sourced, organic ingredients to make traditional and new Nordic recipes.
Wellness-seekers will be drawn to rejuvenating their skin with minerals from geothermal baths and hot springs. A must-do is immersing yourself in the famous Blue Lagoon and Myvatn Nature Baths.
Natural Phenomenon and Activities
With a reputation as the Land of Fire and Ice, there are certainly plenty of extreme experiences for the thrill seekers. Locals like to say that the unexpected happens every day in Iceland. Picture yourself on a multi-day trek down the Laugavegur trail, considered to be one of the most spectacular trails in the world, or scuba diving between the continental plates of Europe and North America. Activities that you may expect like skiing and snowmobiling pale against local favorites like surfing, whale watching, caving and river rafting. Iceland is also one of the most volcanically active areas on earth, and you can go into an actual volcano during the summertime. On the other side of the spectrum, the home of the largest glacier in Europe is in Iceland. 10% of the country’s surface is covered in ice, in fact, but a breathtaking combination of glaciers and greenery can be found in Vatnajokull National Park.
Travelers that enjoy slower, more peaceful activities will find enjoyment in Iceland too. Taking a stroll in the midnight sun (the country gets nearly constant sunlight during the summer months) or lying out under the dancing Aurora Borealis are rare experiences nearly anywhere else, but signature to Iceland. As the least densely populated country in Europe, Iceland will allow you to connect with nature and make you feel like the only person in the universe.