Destination Europe

Why a visit to Iceland is top of my bucket list

Posted on
July 18, 2018

Visiting Iceland has been top of my bucket list of destinations for a few years now, but events have conspired against us each time we have tried to book a visit, but we are hoping that next year is the year we get there.

Why visit Iceland?

As a student I had a real fascination about Geology, volcanoes and earthquakes and where better to indulge in my inner geek than Iceland.
Strokkur Geyser
The country lies on the divergent boundary between the Eurasian plate and the North American plate and is one of the most active volcanic regions on Earth, where almost all types of volcanic and geothermal activity can be found thanks to the Iceland plume hotspot and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is visible on land.
Pingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
Iceland’s location close to the top of the world makes it among the very best places on the planet to see the northern lights (aurora borealis) from September – April, which stubbornly refused to shine when we visited Lapland recently.
Aurora Borealis or northern light above kirkjufell mountain in iceland
On the other end of the scale, from May until August the midnight sun in Iceland shines, although the best time to see it is around the summer solstice (21st June).
Midnight Sun
Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik is a bustling and vibrant city which is home to almost half the country’s population. As a city it has something for everyone to enjoy including galleries, theatres, museums, stylish bars, restaurants, shops and public gardens.
Hallgrimskirkja modern cathedral

Iceland with Family

Iceland is a very family friendly holiday location. In Reykjavík they have several family friendly festivals throughout the year, including; Viking Festival in March, Children’s Culture Festival in April, First Day of Summer in April, Festival of the Sea in June, Independence Day on June 17th, and Reykjavík Culture Night in August.
Viking Festival
You can see seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, mink and all the Icelandic farm animals are residents of Iceland in the Laugardalur valley at Reykjavik Family Park and Zoo. It is also home to the botanical gardens a recreation park with fairground rides and even segway tours.
Arctic Fox
No visit to Iceland would be without visiting a geothermal pool. Blue Lagoon is the most famous (and most expensive), but there are numerous family friendly ones to choose from including the Secret Pool, which even has its own mini geyser which erupts every 5 minutes or Laugardalslaug, a thermal municipal pool with kid’s pools, hot tubs, water slides, and a miniature golf course.
Secret Lagoon Iceland

Iceland ‘must visit’ attractions

Golden Circle:
Most commercial flights from the UK fly into Reykjavík, on the south coast of Iceland and the Golden Circle is the popular tourist route that consists of three equally stunning locations within a two-hour drive of the city: Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall, making them all easy to visit in one day.
Gullfoss Waterfall
It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland.
Go inside a Volcano
Thrihnukagigur (Three Peaks Crater) is a dormant volcano in Bláfjöll Country Park which last erupted over 4,000 years ago and offers the chance for tourists to be lowered down 400 ft through the crater via an open elevator system into the empty Magma chamber which has been likened to a natural colourful cathedral chamber.
Thrihnukagigur
Whale Watching
Iceland is also one of the best places in the world for whale watching, with Húsavík at the north of the country, one of the best places in the country to organise a summer whale-watching cruise. There are more than 20 different species of cetacean that frequent the waters and the species seen most regularly on whale watching tours include minke, fin, blue, humpback, sperm and killer whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises.
Whale Watching
See Icebergs at Iceland’s deepest lake
Jökulsárlón is considered one of Iceland’s natural wonders. The Breiðamerkurjökull glacier has started receding back from the Atlantic Ocean and as it melts it breaks into pieces, forming icebergs that float in a slow procession through the lake until they reach the ocean and melt.
Jökulsárlón
Go inside a glacier
Remember all those geography lessons at school all about glaciers? Well you can actually see one for your self at Langjokull, Iceland’s second largest glacier. Enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime as you journey up the white slopes on either snowmobiles or in a huge 4×4 vehicle and go deep inside the man-made ice tunnels that lead to the blue heart of the glacier.
Inside a Glacier
Head to the beach
Reynisfjara Beach is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the south coast of the country. It’s particularly famous for its enormous basalt stacks, which according to local Icelandic folklore, were once trolls trying to pull ships from the ocean to shore. However, these trolls were dim and went out too late in the night; dawn broke on the horizon, turning the trolls into solid stone.
Reynisfjara Beach
TV and Movie Set Heaven
The dramatic and ever-changing scenery of Iceland lends itself brilliantly to big, and small, screens. Movies such as Star Wars, Prometheus, Thor and James Bond plus T.V series such as Sense8 and Games of Thrones have all had set locations here.
Landmannalaugar
The majority of Iceland’s population all live in coastal areas and I would love to drive the coastal highway, stopping to go off the beaten track and explore as much as the country has to offer as possible.
Is Iceland on your travel wishlist?
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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19 Comments
  1. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    July 18, 2018

    WOW it looks stunning! I’ve never been before and I’m now adding it to my bucket list

  2. Reply

    Eva Katona

    July 19, 2018

    Iceland is such a unique place, there’s nowhere like there. Amazing photos!

  3. Reply

    Nicolette Lafonseca

    July 19, 2018

    Stunning shots As soon as my little ones are ready to walk a little more we are certainly headed to Iceland

  4. Reply

    Elizabeth

    July 19, 2018

    Iceland is most definitely on my travel bucket list. I spent five hours there once though, en route to Scotland from Canada 20 years ago, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. Such a beautiful country!

  5. Reply

    Dena McGuinness

    July 19, 2018

    what a beautiful place, Iceland is 100% on my travel list. These photos have made me even more envious that I’ve never been!

  6. Reply

    Mayah Camara

    July 19, 2018

    Iceland is a place on my list. It’a Just so gorgeous! Such a feast for the eye!

  7. Reply

    Nazrin

    July 20, 2018

    Seeing the northern lights in A Iceland is on my bucket list and I promise to do it at least once in my lifetime!

  8. Reply

    Jenni

    July 20, 2018

    I would love to visit Iceland, I was invited on a hen do there but couldn’t afford it at the time

  9. Reply

    Stephanie

    July 20, 2018

    So many of my friends have visited Iceland, it’s top of my bucket list too! X

  10. Reply

    Michelle Murray

    July 21, 2018

    A few of my friends have been to Iceland and it just looks breathtaking

  11. Reply

    Treasure Every Moment

    July 23, 2018

    Aww it is an amazing place to visit – we went last year and were blown away! We would love to visit again one day 🙂

  12. Reply

    Stephanie

    July 23, 2018

    There is so much to see and do there, and I have heard so many great things about it too! I will be adding it to my bucket list for sure!

  13. Reply

    Helen

    July 23, 2018

    Iceland has been on our wishlist for the longest time now. It looks such a stunning country with so much to see and do. I really want to see the Northern Lights and do all the winter excursions, but it looks so beautiful and has loads to do in the summer too. I can’t decide which season to visit first!

  14. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    July 24, 2018

    Iceland is my favourite country in the whole world – I visited for the first time in December last year, and then again at the end of March this year. I’m glad you mentioned Laugardalslaug – definitely a more family friendly option than the Blue Lagoon, which in my opinion is extremely over-rated x

  15. Reply

    Jenny

    July 24, 2018

    I can’t wait to visit Iceland one day, there’s so much to see and do.

  16. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    July 24, 2018

    Iceland is such a beautiful country. I’d love to visit one day – I didn’t realise there was so much to do!

  17. Reply

    Louise

    July 25, 2018

    Iceland has been at the top of my travel bucket list for quite some time now. And when I get there I’d love to see the Northern Lights and snorkel between continents. Although there’s loads of other things I’d love to do too 🙂
    Louise x

  18. Reply

    Ashleigh Dougherty

    July 25, 2018

    I have wanted to visit Iceland for the longest time ever. The blue lagoon would be the dream 🙂

  19. Reply

    Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels

    July 29, 2018

    It is top of my bucket list too – I really hope to make it there next year. Kaz

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk