This remote island is located in the Northern Atlantic Ocean just below the Arctic Circle and at the convergence of two continents, more specifically at the junction of the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. Iceland, nicknamed the land of fire and ice because of its geology is a fascinating place where many natural phenomena’s occur. The high levels of seismic and geothermic activity as well as its northern position all contribute to the mystique that draws tourists to visit her.
Aurora Borealis, also known as Northern Lights paint the night sky all hues of the rainbow. Greens, yellows, pinks, violets, blues create one of the most fascinating spectacles in the world. The best time to see them is from September to April, during Iceland’s long nights. In summer the days are long and around June 21st, the sun sets after midnight and raises at 3 am. At that time of the year the Northern Lights are not visible.
Volcanoes and glaciers continuously transform the landscape. Volcanic and geothermic activity creates hot springs and geysers. The latter erupt with violent force from the ground into gigantic steamy water columns; sometimes the water is boiling hot. Both dangerous and beautiful at the same time, fascinating!
Rugged terrain covers most of the country, which spans an area of 103,001 km2 (39,769 sq mi). Icelanders have a huge playground, which is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, climbing, and even scuba diving! Geothermal spas are also popular, the most famous and very popular is the Blue Lagoon Spa.
Approximately 334 000 people live in Iceland, although with more than one third living in Reykjavik the capital. The city runs on geothermal power, a renewable, inexpensive and clean energy.
Vikings and their slaves populated Iceland and evidence of their passing can be seen throughout the island; their history is depicted at the National and Saga museums both of which now tell their story.
We have only skimmed the surface of this remote island but what we saw we liked… happy we decided to turn our layover into a mini vacation!
Read about our experience in our post