Earlier this month I wrote a post on my must visits in the UK for 2016 and have crossed one of them off already. Writing them down seems to put them at the forefront of my mind, so I have decided to do a series of posts on where I want to visit abroad and at the very top of that list is Iceland.
I never did get to university but if I had I would have studied Geology and where better to indulge in my inner geek than Iceland as the country lies on the divergent boundary between the Eurasian plate and the North American plate. It is also 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.
I would love to visit Iceland’s Volcanoes up close and see some of the beautiful landscapes that they have forged which include rift valleys, geysers, hot springs, rhyolite mountains, columnar basalt formations, lava fields and lunar-like craters. There is even an opportunity to go inside Thrihnukagigur which has been dormant for the last 4000 years where they literally lower you down to the bottom on an open elevator.
My other must-see is the Northern Lights in Iceland and the country is lucky enough to have them visible for 8 months of the year. They can be seen as early as August, as soon as the night skies get dark enough and weather conditions are favourable and as late as April from any corner of Iceland. I would love to see them concurrently with a sunrise or sunset as I have been told it is one of the most spectacular sights you’ll ever see in your life.
No visit to Iceland would be complete without a visit to its capital Reykjavík, home to over half the country’s population. Reykjavík is home to stylish bars, restaurants and shops, and the nightlife is every bit as wild as its landscape and during the light summer nights, the city barely sleeps.
Reykjavík also makes a good base for visiting Geysir, the original geyser, the ancient parliament site of Þingvellir, spectacular waterfalls at Gullfoss and the famous and sublime Blue Lagoon.
Iceland is also one of the best places in the world for Whale watching, another thing on my travel wishlist and to the North of Iceland, Húsavík is 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.
Hubby is a bit of an adrenalin junkie and has his sights set on a 90m zip line over the Reykjafoss waterfall in Hveragerdi so the trade-off for me would be a visit to the Blue Lagoon to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to our skin which apparently would be brilliant at helping my psoriasis.
2016 has to be the year we at least book this trip – I am excited just looking at all the photo’s.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com