After more than a year, experiencing a worldwide pandemic, with the ease of restrictions and the summer coming, it is more than the perfect time to travel to Iceland! Here is a short list of 10 reasons why you should visit Iceland this year.
For more than a year now, the pandemic of CoVid-19 has struck every part of the world in many manners. It has been more than a year that traveling has been under a lot of restrictions across nations. However, the good news here is that once you arrive in Iceland, you will live as there is no CoVid at all: no masks, bars and restaurants open…
What better reason for you to come?!
In addition, some of the restrictions to enter Iceland are going to change starting from the 1rst of July, new regulations regarding CoVid-19 measures will be applied. For instance, people who received the vaccine should present an approved vaccination certificate that will be valid 14 days after the second dose (or 14 days after the one shot vaccins from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson). Those people will no longer be required to present a negative PCR test before arriving here but will have to do a PCR test undergo their arrival in Iceland and to stay in quarantine the time to receive the results. This applies also for people able to have a certificate of previous infection at the border.
For the unvaccinated people, the regulations will remain the same, a negative PCR test will be needed that must have been taken within 72 hours before departure. Upon arrival, another PCR test will be taken at the airport. The passenger should follow a quarantine of 5 days in an accommodation that meets certain requirements or in case, to follow the quarantine at government quarantine facilities.
For more information, you can check the official website covid.is.
As we mentioned it in our previous articles, in Iceland, summer is a very bright season. Here you will discover the pleasure of enjoying the sunlight way longer than any other country. The polar days are rather stunishing ! In June, you can experience the midnight sun which means that the sun is not setting making the days longer during the whole summer. This way, you can enjoy even longer visiting the country or even traveling by night to avoid crowded tourist places. Another advantage is that the weather is way nicer and warmer allowing you to discover the Icelandic landscapes in another perspective than the cold one we tend to have in mind. During the whole season you have many activities that allows you to see the “sunset” on the horizon at midnight and celebrations such as buggy tours, atv tours or quad tours.
Atlantic Puffins are very cute sea birds native from the Atlantic Ocean. Every year, they come to Iceland from early April to September. Luckily for you, Iceland is the capital of the world of Puffins watching as 60% of the world’s Atlantic puffins come to Iceland for their breeding so you have high chances to spot them when you visit here!
There are different species of puffins but the Atlantic Puffins are particularly special due to their colors similar to the penguins and their colorful beak.
There are many different places where you can observe them across Iceland. In the Westman Islands, in the South, between mid-August and early September you can even get lucky enough to see some baby puffins. It is a tradition in the islands for children to go by night picking up lost baby puffins in order to return them to a better location!
In case you cannot visit us this summer, there are still some great news for you! With winter comes the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights. This incredible spectacle that can only be seen in the Arctic Circle, is happening from late August to mid-April. However, it is good for you to know that in September and March, Northern Lights are at their peak, so if you have a clear sky, you will get lucky enough to witness a lot of them!
They are many tours offering you to go on a Northern Light hunt. You can spot them from boat tours, taking you away from the lights of the city or for the most adventurous, you can hunt them from ATV.
Iceland can be a rough environment for many animals, however, the land of Ice and Fire is ideal for over twenty-three different species of whales coming every year to feed in the rich sanctuaries around the Icelandic coast. Even though you can spot the whales all year, summer still is the best moment, from April to October, to watch whales. Due to the weather that is way nicer than in winter but also because more species come to Iceland to eat while in winter some of them tend to go the equator to breed.
In Iceland, due to the volcano’s activity, there are many geothermal sites you will find across the country. In some of those sites you will be able to bathe in but in some others, this won’t be possible as the temperatures are too high. There are two famous geothermal sites part of the Golden Circle that are the two geysers Geysir and Strokkur. We also call those geothermal sites where you can bathe in “hot springs”. You can find those gems lost in the middle of nature or you have some famous sites such as the Blue Lagoon, more recently, the Sky Lagoon or more hidden, the Secret Lagoon where you can pay the entrance and enjoy it like in a spa.
The geothermal power here represents 30% of the energy produced (70% is hydroelectric) and 80% of the heating system is also geothermal.
Whatever the season, in the end, the landscapes you will see in Iceland will be mind blowing. Under the snow or under the midnight sun, Icelandic nature is simply beautiful. If you are a fan of outdoors activities and hiking, Iceland is made for you! You have many sites reachable only from hiking paths. It is making you appreciate even more the journey to reach your destination, walking through volcanic mountains, valleys looking like the moon or magnificient glaciers. In any case, you will love it! There are some hiking spots for the most sportive ones such as Laugavegur trails that can be short or long according to the time you have and your physical training where you can enjoy the beauty of nature in Fjallabak Nature Reserve.
If Iceland is also known as the land of Ice and Fire, it is not for nothing. The volcanic activity underneath the ground is at the origin of the existence of so many hot springs and geysers. You can easily spot that the landscapes are volcanic with lava fields covered by moss, black sand beaches and so on. There are many volcanoes spread across the country. Not all of them are in activity but you never know when one could enter back in activity as the famous Eyjafjallajökull that paralyzed the air traffic in 2010.
With the eruption of Fagradalsfjall in March 2021, the volcanic activity is “on” again! Meaning, it is the time for you to come visit Iceland if you want to see an active volcano with lava, explosions and everything that goes with it. It is a short hike and the most curious can follow already prepared paths!
The volcanoes are not the only natural attraction you can find in Iceland. 10% of the country is covered by ice. There are many glaciers but the biggest one is Vatnajökull that is also the biggest in Europe! The glaciers in Iceland are full of hidden gems that you can only reach by hiking or riding on top of the glaciers, or on a boat in the middle of the glacier lagoon or inside the glacier itself with the glacier cave that are possible to visit from November to March. In addition, you can also do other activities on the glacier such as snowmobile.
One famous spot close to the glacier is the diamond beach where you can witness pieces of the glacier pushed by the waves of the sea. This spectacle is even better with a sunset!
Finally, traveling to Iceland is magical and if you are a loner or an adventurer, you can also just rent a car and follow the Ring road to discover as many secret places as possible in the country. Renting a car or a van here is pretty easy and can be an amazing opportunity to fully discover the country at your own pace. There are many campsites across the whole country where you can spend the night for a small fee. So, even though the Icelandic population is not the biggest in the world, you will always find a place to stay while traveling around!