In 1998 a survey was carried out among the residents of Iceland to see how many of them believed in the existence of Huldufolk, or elves. A whopping 54% of them stated that elves are as real as the sun in the sky. Reading this statistic you may think that Iceland natives are a tad crazy or a little bit eccentric, but nothing could be further from the truth. Icelandic folk are kind, tolerant, open and proud of their heritage. If you embark on a journey to this volcanic island, you’ll find a land of geographical wonders, atmospheric phenomenon and lovely people. Take a look at these unmissable things to do when travelling to Iceland.
The Northern Lights
Featuring on the top ten of many people’s bucket lists is witnessing the Aurora Borealis and having a front row seat to see the solar flares creating dazzling patterns and swirls of green across the night sky. To increase your chances of seeing the phenomenon, you may want to book yourself onto one of the many Iceland tours on offer. The tour leaders will know the secret vantage points to get the best views as well as sort out your accommodation and itinerary for your entire trip leaving your adventure as stress-free as possible.
Witnessing the Northern Lights is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you might be able to count yourself as one of the lucky few members of the human race that has been able to bask in the light show.
There are some spectacular waterfalls in the world including Niagara Falls and Angel Falls, but Gullfoss is holding its own among them. It may not be the largest waterfall but it’s definitely one of the coldest. Venture to Iceland in the winter, and you’ll see a waterfall frozen in time. The temperatures get so cold that the water falling over the edge freezes mid drop so what is left is a completely snow-laden waterfall. The silence of such a unique geographical feature is deafening.
A little bit gimmicky but still cool for the geek within you is the ability to straddle two tectonic plates on Iceland. At Thingvellir National Park, you’ll spot a little notice telling you the exact place to stand for one of your feet to be firmly on the Eurasian plate while the other can rest comfortably on the North American plate. Take the ubiquitous selfie and away you go.
The capital city of Iceland is small and beautiful The cathedral is a feat of modern architecture with its tall tower, wonderful stained glass and great views from the top. The city caters for old and young, meat eaters and vegetarians. There is a cool Scandinavian vibe throughout the city, and urban chic bars are popping up all the time serving warming hot chocolates on the coldest of days.
Iceland is a land of great scenery, fresh air, and elves. Once you’ve visited this island nation, you’ll see why Icelanders wouldn’t have it any other way.