Almost at the top of the world, Iceland is a country of natural wonders and friendly locals who love their food and festivities. Volcanoes continue to shape the landscape, glaciers and fiords carve the slopes, geysers gush, and hot springs soon soothe any aching muscles from a day out exploring this magical country often described as ‘supercharged splendour’.
Iceland is a hotspot to view the impressive Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights. Travel away from a major city, and many hotels offer a wake-up service if the lights begin to do their dance across the night sky.
This stark volcanic island has very little vegetation, yet, a diverse range of animals call it home. There's reindeer in the east, the white and blue arctic fox, Icelandic horses which rarely reach 150 cm tall, and within the nutrient-rich ocean surrounding Iceland, over twenty different species of whales and dolphins play.
Icelanders have a deep passion for their local food said to be some of the healthiest in the world. Meat lovers should sample Kjötsupa, a traditional lamb meat soup and the spirited could try Hrútspungar which is sour ram's testicles. Fish play a large part of the local menu and while in the country’s capital Reykjavik, try the famous Reykjavik's Hot Dog at Reykjavik's Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – they have been making them for over 60 years.
There are so many festivals and things to see and do in this small Nordic Country. Here are a few of other highlights to add to your list: Kerid Volcanic Crater, Geyser Geothermal area, Gullfoss Waterfall – a spectacular two-tiered waterfall and the most visited waterfall in Iceland. Then there’s Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and so, so much more.
Summer sees long days of sunlight with the midnight sun during the warmest time of the year. Its the best time to see the reindeer around Mount Snæfell, in Vesturöræfi and Brúaröræfi in the east, and perfect for hiking season along with numerous festivals.
For the Northern Lights, February to March and September to October are considered some of the best times. May to September offers excellent whale watching opportunities, and many visitors combine a trip to see the orcas and the Northern Lights. During winter, even though the sun shines for only a few hours a day; the Icelanders still go about their merry affairs with festivals lasting into the wee hours with much fun, and merrymaking.