10 Reasons Why Iceland is One of the World’s Hottest Destinations
Take the familiar adage that “geography is character.” Now magnify it multiple times. Squeeze it into a modestly sized island teeming with character and tuck it up there in around the attic of the world. Welcome to Iceland. Here, in B&R’s capable hands, Iceland has much more to offer than just ample personality. It’s an adventure in every direction in a country that brims with youthful exuberance—geologically speaking, that is.
1. A Land Alive
Iceland offers an incredibly variety of terrain. In one week you can bathe in natural thermal baths and navigate moss-covered lava fields before visiting Eyjafjallajokul to witness firsthand the aftermath of the infamous 2010 eruption. Once you think you’ve seen it all, you gaze out at the ocean and catch a first glimpse of the largest glacier in the world.
2. Puffs of Ash and Puffins Aplenty
In 1973 the Eldfell eruption covered much of the island of Heimay in volcanic ash and lava. Dubbed “Pompeii of the North” we visit the archaeological site to witness the fury and devastating results of Iceland’s largest natural disaster. Meanwhile, the nearby Westman Islands are home to the largest puffin colony in the world, which is a staggering site in its own right!
3. Quirky and Inviting
As a destination, it’s nothing less than mind blowing. As a place full of character, merely engage in some conversation with the locals and you’ll soon learn why. Our local guides are some of the most interesting and colourful characters we know in Iceland. They offer unique insight into Iceland’s rich history and culture. Start with our Super Bus driver / guide Kristjan, a local who’s full of stories, historical anecdotes, geological smarts and all the other necessary knowledge and arcane wisdom expected of a superior guide. He’ll even recount countless sagas and myths that have enraptured the country for centuries.
4. Vikings, Poets and Politicians
We delve into the history of Iceland when we visit the award winning Settlement Center in Borganes. The museum is filled with sagas and stories that detail the discovery and settlement of Iceland, and highlights the country’s most famous Viking and poet, Egill Skallagrimsson. A trip to Iceland wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thingvellir, location of the world’s oldest parliament buildings.
5. Spell It with a Capital Kool
With all the comforts of a 21st century European city set against a backdrop of snow-topped mountains and expansive ocean, Reykjavik offers an irresistible balance of old world charm and modern sensibility. With Europeans flocking to the city to indulge in the world class shopping and to soak up the nightlife, you will begin to appreciate why we call it the Capital of Cool.
6. Let the Viking Training Commence
Caving in Surtshellir and Rafting in Ritva, swimming in hot baths and horseback riding means there is no shortage of excitement for the kids. With stories of Vikings and epic battles, they will be just as swept up in the history of Iceland as the incredible sights it has to offer.
7. An All Natural Nightlight
The sun sets around midnight during the summer months, which means more time to soak up all the fun! Experience the wonder of daylight at midnight but don’t forget to bring a sweater, midnight sun is not as warm as it is at midday.
8. Niagara Wha’?
Add incredible waterfalls—or ‘foss’—to the perpetually restless natural wonders of Iceland. Many of these stunning cascades are accompanied by stories that go into naming them, notably the curse of beautiful Barnafoss, a threat to any who dare cross it!
9. A View from the Top
Hotel Budir is a small country-style hotel located in the Snaefellsness peninsula and 2 hrs from Reykjavik, and one of the best properties in Iceland (Travel + Leisure agrees with us). Set right on the beach this charming hotel offers incredible views, and the perfect mix of comfort and luxury. In the kitchen Chef Petur Thordarson serves up incredibly fresh, local cuisine for a meal that you won’t soon forget!
10. Door-to-Volcano in No Time
New Zealand and Patagonia may offer adventure unbound, but for many B&R travellers they are literally a world away compared to Iceland. Iceland is only 5 hours away from New York/Boston. With flights leaving regularly, and its proximity to North America, it’s a great option for your next voyage.