Juian from Big and Small Travel visited Iceland the other day. He sent me this article about why he loves Iceland. Thanks Julian!
There is nothing but ocean between Iceland and Antarctica. The idea of this made me shudder a little as I stepped off the plane at Keflavik Airport. Every which way you look—toward the sky, the ground, the mountains, the sea—it all seems extraordinary on this island. Here are a few reasons why I love Iceland.
1. This is one of the few countries on Earth that is not overpopulated and overdeveloped. Iceland is pure and wild. In fact, the country is short on people—they need more workers! Within 10 minutes from the airport, we were driving through complete desolation, glistening black ground and moon-like surfaces surrounding us. Even though we were close to the biggest airport in Iceland and very near its biggest city, Reykjavik, we felt completely alone. It’s a truly unique and wonderful feeling to be outside, in such a big open space, and to hear complete silence, especially when you think about our massive world population. And it feels this way nearly every direction you travel on Iceland. You’re practically forced to look all around you in awe.
Video of me at Jökulsarlon glacial lagoon
2. On Iceland, whether you’re soaking in the Blue Lagoon, watching ice melt in Jokulsarlon, or waiting for Geysir to erupt, you’re always confronted with nature working on full-throttle. When we stayed in Vik, we realized our hotel was right at the bottom of the Katla volcano—the threat of eruption was eerily near, especially since another volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, is only 12 miles away. If that is not enough, you have glaciers and the threat of flooding always looming, too.
Video of Strokkur
Even in the city of Reyjkavik you’re (literally) hit in the face with nature. When we visited the exquisite church of Hallgrímskirkja, we went to the top to get a panoramic view of the town. Once up there, with no windows for protection, the winds were so strong I could barely stand upright! Iceland is always reminding you that Mother Nature is truly supreme.
Video of me at Hallgrímskirkja
3. Between the unspoiled land and the raw nature, Iceland’s beauty is unmatched. It’s the opposite of a tropical paradise, but just as jaw-dropping, if not purer and more unblemished. The raging waterfalls, explosive geysers, and bountiful geothermal waters are like nothing you’ll see anywhere else. A few of the most impressive sights are the glacial lagoon of Jokulsarlon and the black sand beach near Vik, with rock formations that resemble a church organ. The many rainbows we saw, especially at Gullfoss, were always a colorful reminder of the beauty all around us.
Video at Gullfoss waterfall
The memories of Iceland will always be with me. Even though I’ve been traveling through other parts of Europe, I keep thinking about my time on this splendid island in the middle of the Atlantic. I’d love to return and see more of the western and northern parts. Also, I am determined to see the Northern Lights!