Iceland – the land of trolls and fairies. Especially since Iceland fascinated the rest of the world during the European Football Championship in 2016 with its fighting spirit and battle cry, Iceland and its 300,000 inhabitants have become world-famous. Besides the great Icelanders, the land has a magical and absolutely stunning landscape which makes this country even more special. This summer I had the chance to visit Iceland for the very first time and let me tell you, it was love at first sight. In the next couple of weeks and months I will post a few articles about my trip through Iceland, but for now I would love to show you 15 of my favorite photos I took while traveling this amazing country. I hope you like them as much as I do and maybe they convince you that Iceland is the perfect destination for your next holidays. Enjoy!
1. The magic of the Geysers
Iceland is the land of volcanos and geysers. There is rarely another place on earth where there is so much volcanic activity than on this island. If you travel through Iceland, you will find countless craters, bubbling swamps and huge fields of lava rocks. One important part of this volcanic activity are the geysers which can be found in quite a few places in Iceland. One of the most famous geyser is close to the world-famous “Golden Circle” near Reyjkavik. This geyser is called “Strokkur” and it erupts every 5-10 minutes. The bubbling water head can reach a height of 35 meters. What a great spectacle! It’s just unbelievable what nature creates. I could have watched the eruption of the geyser for ages. No matter how often you watch it, it still remains an exciting experience.
2. Experience what plate tectonics really means
Who doesn’t know plate tectonics from geography lessons in school? Well, although I’ve learnt quite a bit about this topic, I had always struggled imagining how those processes really happen and how they look like. As I traveled Iceland, I got a very clear insight in what plate tectonics actually means and what kind of dimensions it can have. Iceland really is the perfect country to understand geography and its impacts. For example there are the Eurasian and American plates that both cross Iceland. There are a few spots where you can see both plates and get a close insight in how they look like and what they’re made of. One of those places is the so called Thingvellir National Park which is also located at the famous “Golden Circle”.
The slot you can see behind me is the gap between the Eurasian and American plate. The gap is quite huge and can be seen in several parts of the Thingvellir National Park. It’s really fascinating and definitely worth a visit. Even if you’re not a big geography fan, make sure you don’t miss it.
3. Lava rocks as far as the eye can see
If we talk about volcanic activity, geysers and plate tectonics, we shouldn’t miss the amazing fields of lava rocks which can be found in the whole country. They are extreme huge and really fascinating. As already mentioned there are lots of places where you can find lava rocks but there are certain spots where those rocks are concentrated in giant dimensions. One of those places is located next to Mytvan which is a lake close to Akureyri. Here you find massive fields of lava rocks which have quite curious formations:
4. The wild, untouched nature of Iceland
Iceland is a true paradise for all nature lovers. As the country has only 300,000 inhabitants, many parts of Iceland are wild and untouched. There is rarely another country where I’ve found such an amazing landscape and beautiful nature (New Zealand is definitely another of those countries). If you travel through Iceland, always remember: The journey is the reward. Driving through Iceland is an experience on its own and just amazing. I could’ve stopped every 10 meters as the scenery is just breathtaking! Besides the spectacular geysers, waterfalls and lava rocks, I especially loved the endless meadows with its beautiful flowers and the wild rivers and creeks:
5. Cute Icelandic horses
When there is one typical animal in Iceland then it’s the world-famous Icelandic horse. You can find them everywhere in Iceland and they just make the picture of Iceland’s landscape perfect. The horses are extremely important to Icelanders which is why it’s forbidden to import foreign horses to the country. The Icelandic horses are really cute and absolutely great for a long ride. For me, the best way to explore a new landscape is riding a horse. It’s just amazing and absolutely beautiful. So if you know at least a little bit how to ride a horse, make sure to do a ride in Iceland. You will love it!
6. Divine waterfalls
Iceland is famous for its gigantic waterfalls. There are countlesss waterfalls in this country but two of the probably most famous ones are close to Reyjkavik on the Golden Circle:
Many of those waterfalls are not only absolutely beautiful but also have an interesting history of origins. For example, the Godafoss Waterfall is also known as the waterfall of the gods. Once upon a time, there was a king who had to decide whether Paganism or Christianity should be state religion. As he chose Christianity he went to the waterfall and threw all left pagan idols into the waterfall. That’s why the waterfall is called “Waterfall of the gods”.
Even if you don’t believe those legends, the scenery of the waterfalls are absolutely stunning and breathtaking. As mentioned, there are heaps of waterfalls in Iceland but each of them is unique in its own way and definitely worth a visit.
7. The feeling of entering a foreign planet
If you travel through Iceland, you will find places where you get the feeling of leaving the Earth behind and entering a foreign planet. Or have you ever seen something like that before?
This landscape has reminded me of White Island in New Zealand, you can find the post HERE. It’s just unbelievable what Mother Nature creates. This landscape seems to be from another planet, it’s bubbling, hissing and steaming everywhere. It’s absolutely amazing and a Must Do when visiting Iceland.
8. Breathtaking fjords
Another highlight of my Iceland trip had been the amazing fjords which are pure magic. My favorite fjord is the one that leads to Isafjördur, it’s just incredibly beautiful!
If you’re on a boat, it’s absolutely stunning going to Isafjördur. You can see the deep blue sea and the fjords in front of you and the snowcapped glaciers in the background. What a view! This place is definitely one of my favorite spots I’ve ever been to. I could’ve stayed there forever.
9. Beautiful Icelandic fishing villages
There are many fishing villages along Iceland’s coast where you can find pure bliss and peacefullness. Here is the perfect place to take a break and to relax. I just loved the typical houses which perfectly fit into the stunning landscape:
Isn’t it just beautiful? And let me tell you, it’s even more beautiful in reality. Iceland is a true paradise. I’ve seen so many great and stunning places while traveling this amazing country and as I said at the beginning, it was love at first sight. I will write a few more posts during the next couple of weeks and months, so stay tuned. For now, I hope you’ve loved these 15 photos as much as I do and hopefully you got an insight in the land of trolls and fairies 🙂