Why Iceland Should Be On Your Bucket List
Famous for its natural beauty, Iceland's ruggedly stunning and tectonically active landscape offers some of the most stunning natural attractions paired with an endless array of activities.
Famous for its natural beauty, Iceland's ruggedly stunning and tectonically active landscape offers some of the most stunning natural attractions paired with an endless array of activities. Experience vast, unspoilt landscapes, from bubbling geysers to powerful waterfalls, awe-inspiring glacial lagoons and the elusive Northern Lights – for those lucky enough to see them – while trying your hand at activities like snowmobiling, kayaking or horse riding on Icelandic horses. Luxury travel specialists from the renowned tour operator, Scott Dunn, share the top 5 reasons why this is one country that can’t be missed on a bucket list.
- Natural phenomena: The Northern Lights
One of this Earth’s most stunning natural displays, and one of the most popular reasons to visit Iceland, the Northern Lights is definitely number one on the list! Scott Dunn has a range of luxury boutique boltholes that are perfectly placed for stargazing, with the chance to catch the Aurora – a phenomenon that’s well worth the wait to witness. Take a trip with a private guide from Hotel Canopy by Hilton as night falls to hunt out the brightest location that night or don a fleece-lined boiler suit to brave the crisp air at the luxurious Hotel Ranga, or simply relax in an outdoor hot tub while waiting for nature to do its thing! The lights can be seen across the Arctic Circle from early autumn to early spring, so make sure to plan the trip accordingly.
- Action packed experiences: Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull Volcano and kayaking on Heinaberg glacier lagoon
One of the most thrilling experiences for adrenaline seekers is to go snowmobiling on Iceland’s famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Riding the super jeep on a glacier to get there is a fun and exciting adventure in itself, but the adrenaline really kicks in at the base camp where you’ll start the snowmobiling journey. The landscape is stark, stunning, and completely untouched – on a clear day your private guide will take you to a vantage point with amazing views of the Westman Islands and the Fjallabak highlands. Equally impressive is Vatnajökull National Park’s Heinaberg glacier lagoon, where you can paddle between incredible ice formations, and even take a break to step foot on the Vatnajökull glacier. If you are in luck, you may spot seals swimming in the lagoon or relaxing on an iceberg for the ultimate encounter with wildlife.
- Nature at its best: The Golden Circle
A huge highlight to see in Iceland is the most famous trio of natural attractions known affectionately as the Golden Circle. The trio is comprised of the Gullfoss waterfall, Strokkur Geysir and Thingvellir National Park. Geysir is one of the most impressive hot spring areas of Iceland, where bubbling mud pools meet steaming hot streams, while the Gullfoss boasts spectacular white water cascading down a 32 metre drop into an impressive canyon. Summer days can produce beautiful rainbows through the misty air, and winter is equally as dramatic as part of the waterfall freezes over. Last, but definitely not least, Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a real spectacle as one of the only places in the world where tectonic plates are visible above sea level. An experienced guide will provide fascinating insights into the natural phenomena, where you can see the lines of the North American and Eurasian plates.
- Unparalleled luxury: A range of some of the world’s best luxury lodges
There’s no shortage of incredible lodges and hotels to complement an adventurous getaway in Iceland. The country has some of the most impressive lodges, from luxurious retreat Deplar Farm, which is hidden in the depths of northern Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, to the unique architecture of Hotel Ion, designed to resemble a world war bunker, nestled on the edge of Pingvellir National Park.
- Photographer’s dream: South Shore Safari
An incredibly diverse region, South Shore’s most treasured natural sights, including impressive waterfalls and black lava sand beaches and dunes, are best explored with a guided jeep safari to guarantee the most iconic photo opportunities. Stop at the mighty Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can walk behind the water and feel the cold spray on your face. Back in the jeep, follow the glacier river from Sólheimajökull down to the black sand beaches lining the roaring North Atlantic ocean. Visit the Dyrhólaey; a 120 meter high rock inhabited by a variety of bird species, including the charming puffin, as well as the famous Skógafoss waterfall, one of the largest in Iceland at an impressive 60 meters in height. To top off an incredible day, there will be a short stop at the Sólheimajökull glacier for the chance to observe the magnificent glacier up close.
For more information on Scott Dunn’s tailor-made Icelandic itineraries, visit scottdunn.com or call (+65) 3158 6530 to speak to a destination specialist.