Isn’t it full of ice? This is the question I get asked the most about Iceland. No, it is not. Unless you are referring to Greenland. Which by the way has way more ice, so don’t let the names fool you. Even if it was, it is not a bad thing. We are humans and we find a way. We always do. Just know, there is no place like Iceland. Nature is busy in Iceland. There is something extraordinary to see every day. Just have a look.
My first visit to this glorious place on earth was in July 2013. I have been back 8 more times I think and I now get to call it my second home! That should speak volumes. I have seen The North, East, South and a bit of the West. I hope to write so much about Iceland in future posts, but in this one, I will share 10 reasons why you should go to Iceland.
1. Any season is a good season to see Iceland. (There is a part of me, that wish, I could keep this beautiful place to myself, just like some of the locals, because the tourist numbers are growing everytime I visit.) I have seen it in the summer when it was 21 degrees and in winter when it was 5 degrees. And all the other seasons in between, and each time, it feels totally different. Nature is busy at work on this beautiful island.
The landscape is stunning every time. In winter, you see so much ice and at this point, it is really Iceland.
It is just magical to see how even the giant waterfalls freeze.
2. Talking about waterfalls, this island has plenty of it. You will literally be chasing waterfalls in pretty much every town. Where in the world, can you actually walk behind a waterfall? Each is spectacular. You could build an entire gallery or make up your own fairy tales on these amazing waterfalls if you are into fairy tales.
3. You don’t have to drive or walk too far to experience nature in Iceland. There is plenty of it in different shapes and colours.
You can book tourist buses like Flybus right from the main International airport, Keflavik to the city centre or to most of the major attractions. A year before, I went to Iceland, I had researched about it thoroughly, although I could not pronounce half the names of the places. (I see you twisting your tongue about the airport above and the capital, Reykjavik, well, try the famous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull that erupted and grounded air traffic across European airspace and many parts of the world for days.) However, no amount of research prepared me for this magical place.
I have never said “wow”, so many times in my life and you will do the same.
4. Right from the airport, purple fields will welcome you in the summer.
If not, the lava fields will always welcome you.
5. This place has been compared to living in space or on the moon. Just ask any NASA astronaut, I kid you not. So, until space travel becomes affordable or a daily occurrence, please just go to Iceland. You can thank me later. Oh and whilst you are at it, please, please, please give the utmost respect to nature. There is a reason it has stayed that way for you to experience.
Is it affordable? I hear you ask. It depends on where you are coming from. If you are coming from the UK, there are plenty of super cheap deals on Wow air (www.wowair.com) and Easyjet (www.easyjet.com) you can get flights for as low as $20, if you book in advance. In any case, there are also a lot of cheap and great deals from most European destinations like Germany and Denmark. If you’re coming from Amsterdam, (which is my usual route on KLM from Ghana) Wow air or Icelandair have really cool deals. Check their websites for deals from most destinations. If you are coming from or going to the US or Canada, there are amazing stopover deals. If you are coming from any part of Africa or Asia, get to any of the European hubs and armed with your Schengen visa, you are good to go. Yes, yes affordability, well, Iceland is not cheap generally. It’s not SouthEast Asia, even in South East Asia, Singapore is not cheap. Hello? 6. On the plus side, you do not get to pay to see most of the amazing attractions, the lovely and one of a kind horses only found in this magical land. Just don’t call them ponies, they really don’t like that.
7. The air is super clean and there is fresh water everywhere. These are great trade-offs and you cannot quantify these in monetary terms. Now listen up, because I am going to speed through these ones…
8. If you ever wanted to learn golf, Iceland is the place to do it. It is not a sport for just the rich and fancy. It is considered an everyday sport.
9.Tell me where in the world you are encouraged to take your swimming suit or shorts because there might be a free hotpot (no, not the Chinese one, bring your mind here, I am talking nature’s own jacuzzi, not food.) on the way somewhere all to yourself?
If you don’t find a free one, you will get a super affordable one in pretty much every community. It’s a national sport, well almost. Football is still king.
10. The people, oh mine, the people! Iceland can have some tricky cold winds and unpredictable weather, but most of the people are super warm, nice, hardworking, resilient, friendly and funny. Just a few words I can manage to describe these lovely people. At least the ones that I know and I know at least 30 Icelanders. (Its more, I am trying to be modest here. ) That is quite something for a country with a population of less than 350,000. If you are a solo traveller, especially female, I cannot recommend a destination safe enough. In any case, this is the most feminist country in the world! Want to make a friend fast, call out the name of the famous volcano correctly, no I don’t mean Hekla, that is so easy. I mean the one that erupted a few years ago, yes, this one; Eyjafjallajökull and you will have won their respect and a life long friend. Iceland is the only place I have found people passionate about ice cream in summer and winter. Maybe that is how it got its name.
So vamejo to Iceland. You will never be the same and you will always find a reason to go back. Don’t say, I didn’t warn you. Again, just thank me later!
Clearly, Iceland is amazing. I get to call this place home and it’s on many people’s bucket list. This place will inspire you to live, create and be resilient. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org to plan and visit, so we cross it off your bucket list.
Ready to experience the land of fire and ice? Send me an email edem@vamejotravel and let’s iron out the details.