12 Pics + 7 Reasons = Why You’ll Visit Iceland This Year

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After seeing the photos below, sightseeing guides around the world will agree that one of the most spectacular countries you’ll ever have a chance to experience is Iceland. In fact, ForbesLife just rated it the #1 Coolest Place to Visit for 2015 saying, “Largely uninhabited, Iceland is a place where trolls and fairies are rumored to wander the painted hills, jump the ice crevices, bathe in the natural hot springs and scale the misty cliffs…Traveling to Iceland is like being transported to a parallel world where every waking moment is filled with adventure, incredible landscapes, folklore and understated pleasures. It will make you believe in the magical again.”

This is, indeed, a great testimonial but we here at GuideAdvisor decided to go straight to the source to see what other things Iceland has to offer travelers. We contacted tour guides in Iceland and learned 7 other reasons why you will want to visit the most northern country on earth. Here they are:

#1. There’s Lots of Room to Roam – Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe with a population of 325,671 in 103,000 square kms. (In comparison Portugal is just a bit smaller and has a population of 11 million.) You’ll have spectacular experiences all to yourself!

#2 . There’s Lots to See – Within Iceland’s boundaries you’ll find everything from deep fjords and icebergs to active volcanoes and hot springs. And you’ll also find some incredible tour guides.

#3. There’s Lots to DoRagnar Baldvinsson is a tour guide and “adventureholic” who lives in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik but works in the wilder areas hiking volcanos and glaciers. He says, “Reykjavík has a lot to offer in terms of activities in nature, and the ski area in the Bláfjöll is only a 30-40 minute drive away. In fact, there’s so much good stuff to do, it’s hard to pick a favourite activity! I really like riding snowmobiles because it involves a lot of action (I like to blow off steam), but if I’m in the mood to relax, I go cross-country skiing.” Other activities you can do include mountain biking, glacier tours, kayaking, caving, whale watching, hiking and bird watching.

#4. See the Northern Lights – The Aurora Borealis is one of the world’s most spectacular phenomena and Iceland is the ideal place to see them because there’s very little light pollution. Have a look for yourself in our “Epic Northern Lights” video blog or take a tour with Sæmundur Þór Sigurðsson to see them in person.

#5. Ride the World’s Purest Breed of Horse – Aside from being sure footed, sociable, friendly and hardy, Icelandic horses are also considered to be the world’s purest breed. They arrived in the country on Viking ships and are the only horses on the planet that can perform a four-beat lateral ambling gait known as the tölt (image a horse speed walking). Iceland tour guide and horse wrangler Tina Künzel says, “there’s something great about introducing travelers to Iceland, and showing them our country’s beautiful breed of horses and their unique gaits, especially the tölt, which gives the riding experience a sense of liquidity. ”

#6. Take a Dip in a Geothermal Pool – There is no shortage of hot springs in Iceland given the country’s volcanic nature, and geothermal pools have become like pubs for many locals: a place to hang out and chat with friends. Not that children aren’t welcome: in fact, the country’s largest geothermal pool, Laugardalslaug near Reykjavik, even has a water slide.

#7. The Scenic Beauty – We’ll let the following photos from boredpanda speak for themselves.

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