With travel restrictions easing up, Iceland has quickly become a hot destination for Americans. Not only because it was one of the first European countries to once again welcome tourists from the U.S., but also because of its well-deserved reputation as an adventure travel paradise. If you’ve been feeling cooped up, stagnant, or bored, there’s no better place to go next than Iceland.
Geysers, waterfalls, hot springs, unique foods, erupting volcanoes, wild landscapes, incredible hiking and dramatic road trips – Iceland has it all. Add it to your adventure travel bucket list, and get ready to enjoy the following in the land of fire and ice:
An Epic Drive Around Iceland’s Famous Ring Road
Colloquially known as “The Ring Road,” Iceland’s Route 1 national highway offers road trippers 821 miles of natural beauty and adventure. A trip around the road is popular with tourists because it conveniently takes you to some of the country’s top sites. You’ll hit the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the far north fishing town of Akureyri, and Vatnajökull National Park. Keep in mind that although Icelanders are experts at keeping their roads clear of winter hazards, a spring or summer drive might be a more comfortable adventure option.
Eating Food You Didn’t Even Know Existed
Adventurous foodies will find plenty to excite their palates in Iceland. Popular local dishes that you might not have seen elsewhere include fermented shark, puffin meat, and boiled sheep head. But don’t worry – if none of that sounds appetizing to you, Icelandic cuisine also offers organic lamb, dairy products like skyr and cheese, and plenty of fresh-caught North Atlantic fish. And although small by world capital standards, Reykjavík (population 125,000) has a cosmopolitan food scene with something to satisfy everyone.
Hot Springs, Hot Springs, Hot Springs!
Iceland is a hot bed for volcanic and geothermal activity. And all this heated activity means one thing to the adventure tourist: hot springs. You might have heard of the Blue Lagoon, which is Iceland’s most famous hot spring, and definitely worth a visit. This destination is full-service, and includes a luxury spa, Icelandic dining, steam rooms, saunas, and the famous blue color and natural silica mud of the lagoon. But you can also seek out natural, more secluded springs. The hot springs of Reykjadalur valley, for example, are only 30 miles from Reykjavík. There, you can take a dip in a natural thermal river while gazing upon ethereal volcanic surroundings.
An Erupting Volcano
Oh yeah, and about all that volcanic activity…it is, indeed, active. In March 2021, an eruption occurred at Mount Fagradalsfjall, not far from Reykjavík. While it wasn’t a big enough eruption to disrupt air travel, as the eruption of Mount Eyjafjallajökull did in 2010, it was, and still is, a major adventure tourism draw. Travelers who rent a car can drive there and then hike to the site, or you can arrange to tour the area from above, in a helicopter. Another one-of-a-kind option is the Inside the Volcano tour, which takes adventurous visitors on a hike into a dormant volcano. And don’t forget the other exploding phenomenon Iceland has to offer: geysers. We recommend a visit to “Geysir,” which is one of Iceland’s most famous, and – no surprise here – inspired the English word, “geyser.”
Hiking Europe’s Best Glaciers
Now you know that Iceland has fire, but don’t forget it also has ice, in the form of some of Europe’s most impressive glaciers. The Vatnajökull glacier, for example, is Europe’s largest, and accessible by self-drive tours as well as with a hiking tour. The aforementioned Vatnajökull National Park offers glacier hiking, and if you’re on the Ring Road, don’t miss a stop at Jökulsárlón, a pristine glacier lagoon.
This unique mix of volcanoes, glaciers, and geysers give Iceland an other-worldly landscape, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else – a true adventure travel must-see.
But Can All This Adventure Be…Luxurious?
Absolutely! From Scandinavian-chic lodging, to fine dining, to rejuvenating spa days, to private tours, Lugos Travel will arrange everything to ensure your Icelandic experience includes a luxury touch. We understand that you want your adventure travel bucket list trip to be exceptional, and we have the expertise to make it happen. To get started planning your adventure travel to Iceland, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.