If you’re looking for a holiday with a difference we think we’ve found the perfect place to spend the coolest seven days, Iceland! Iceland is a Nordic European country situated in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, with a population of only 320,000. Iceland is basically one very large volcanic island, which by the way, is still active! But don’t be put off by this, there are many breath taking views and activities for you see and do whilst you’re here and we’ve listed our ‘Top 5 Coolest’.
- The Golden Circle – Geysir
The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in Iceland, the main stop offs include; Þingvellir national park, the Gullfoss waterfall and Haukadalur Valley, which is a geothermally active area. Within Haukadalur Valley there are two stop offs, Geysir and Strokkkur. Geysir is a spectacular, 10,000 year old hot spring, not the sort you can bath in! You’d be forgiven for thinking you were on the moon when visiting Geysir, the mammoth craters within the ground, filled with water, mud and steam look completely out of this world. The famous Strokkur crater spouts water every few minutes, up to heights of 15 meters.
The Glacier Lagoon, Vatnajökull
The glacier lagoon in the Vatnajökull area is around 4 hours away from Reykjavík, but it is most definitely worth the drive. If you do the drive on a clear day, there are waterfalls, beautiful moss covered mountains and glaciers to visit on the way. The lagoon is filled with glaciers around 1,500 years old and Vatnajökull is the largest ‘ice cap’ in Europe, covering more than 8% of Iceland. Whether you plan on taking a stroll along the waterfront or jumping aboard the 40 minute guided boat tour, make sure you take your camera. These are some sights not to be missed! Whilst you’re over this way, make the most of your trip by visiting the Skaftafell national park, here you can hike up to Svartifoss waterfall or do a bit of ice climbing! How cool!
- The Blue Lagoon
This geothermal spa is the most popular tourist attraction in Iceland and with its warm, milky blue waters, surrounded by black lava it’s very easy to see why. The blue lagoon is man-made and re-filled every two days by the nearby geothermal power plant. The temperature of the lagoon is on average 37-39⁰C and even on sunny days is filled with tourists from all over the globe, making the most of the mineral rich, warm waters, which are amazing for the skin. The lagoon is only 20 minutes away for the airport and 40 minutes from Reykjavik, so definitely an option for a daily swim on your holiday.
- The Night Life – Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik is a must for a wild night out after a day of glacier climbing. It’s renowned for being unbelievably expensive, but as the bars don’t usually get busy until after 12am most people will head to the liquor store to purchase their alcohol and have pre-drinks before they go out. Also, make the most of your money with ICE currency exchange rates. Try not to start drinking too early though; otherwise you could be in bed by 12am! Don’t plan anything too adventurous the next day, maybe just a relaxing day in the Blue Lagoon, as the Icelandic’s love to go all night.
- Whale Watching
From May-September you can take a whale watching boat ride with any of the local tour companies for 2-3 hours, at various locations around Iceland. If you do manage to catch a glimpse of one of nature’s giants this is definitely an experience you will never forget and if you don’t you still get to take in the magnificent coastline of Iceland by boat.
Be warned, whale meat is a local delicacy in Iceland, so don’t be too offended when offered a whale dish to eat after watching them.
Aurthor Bio: Leah Jarratt is a regular guest writer for ICE Ireland currency exchange, making the most of your currency exchange and providing easy to pick up locations across Ireland.