Iceland is a remarkable country, a land of incredible extremes and breathtaking beauty. This tiny island in the frozen North Atlantic Ocean offers some incredible experiences for the adventurous traveler, from gushing geysers and bubbling natural hot springs to ice-covered volcanoes spewing fire or vast glaciers which shape the landscape before your eyes.
The main attractions of Iceland are well known, and some of the most famous sights can be overcrowded. So how can you see more of Iceland without getting caught up in the crowds, and what can groups and solo travelers do to discover even more exciting adventures on this magical, magnificent island?
Straddle two continents
Iceland sits right on the edge of two of the massive tectonic plates that make up the globe, the Eurasian and North American plates. In Silfra, part of Thingvellir National Park, you can don a wetsuit, and take a scuba diving trip into the icy waters to literally touch the chasm that splits the continents.
Travel with puppy power
One of the most evocative images of Nordic life is that of the dog sled, and almost everyone will have dreamed about taking a ride with a team of huskies. Dog sled tours to the top of the glacier just outside Reykjavik are available all summer, and are a truly delightful way to see some of Iceland’s beautiful great outdoors.
A ride on a dog sled will be a truly unique memory, particularly for families with young kids, who will adore their cute chauffeurs. Just don’t forget to pack light, so you don’t give the dogs more to carry than they need to!
Explore beneath the ice
Iceland’s glaciers are majestic, awe-inspiring natural features, and really bring home the power and beauty of nature. Adventurous travelers can hike to the top of most of them, which is a pretty special experience, but an even greater thrill awaits under the surface.
Many of Iceland’s biggest glaciers are filled with natural ice caves and otherworldly frozen tunnels, and during the winter it is possible to explore many of them. If you are visiting during the summer, Iceland’s largest glacier, Langjökull, is filled with a complex of ice tunnels which have been carefully hollowed out to provide this magical experience year round.
Dive into the winter sea
A dip in one of Iceland’s geothermally heated hot springs is a must for any visit to the island, but you’d be forgiven for avoiding the icy waters of the Atlantic that surround you. However, just a few minutes from downtown Reykjavik is the innovative man-made beach of Nautholsvik, which is entirely heated by the same geothermal energy that powers the Blue Lagoon. Run down the beach and dive into the sea, which gets up to around 19°C! If that is still a bit chilly, there are several natural jacuzzis at a far more luxurious 35°C…!
Iceland is an adventurer’s paradise, and offers loads to discover for groups and solo travelers looking to explore beyond the famous attractions. Break the mold, and try something new when you visit the land of ice and fire!