Ever since Icelandair began offering a free one-week stopover in Iceland on flights between North America and Europe, travel to Iceland is easier than ever before. However, whether you knew about it or not, Iceland has always been one of the most fascinating places in the world. Where else can you find people that are descended from Vikings, who still believe in elves, and who love hanging out in bubbling pools in the ground? If you’ve never been to Iceland, let this article be your wake-up call — the land of the midnight sun is waiting for you!
The main airport in Iceland is located in Reykjavik, the biggest city in the country and their capitol. Although Iceland only has a population of about 332,000 people, the majority of them live in the southern part of the country surrounding Reykjavik. Reykjavik is a really fun city to visit — there are tons of hotels available, or book an Airbnb if that’s more your style. From there, it’s easy to get around. The Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Museum of Iceland are both interesting, and will tell you a lot about the history of the island. Make sure not to miss any of Iceland’s interesting cuisine, like cured shark, or black pudding.
You’ll probably recognize Jökulsárlón from the Instagram photos of anyone who has ever been to Iceland. And who could blame them! Jökulsárlón is a spectacular glacial pool that’s less than a five-hour drive from Reykjavik. Jökulsárlón is roughly 11 square kilometers in area, and visitors can spend hours admiring the large chunks of glacial melt floating in the serene water. Smaller chunks often wash up on the rocky shore, and it’s a really rare opportunity to be able to see them so close. However, the whole existence of Jökulsárlón is bittersweet as these gorgeous floating glacial chunks come from Iceland’s largest glacier, which is slowly melting due to global warming.
3. The Blue Lagoon
Located a mere hour away from the Reykjavik airport, the Blue Lagoon is the perfect place to visit if you’re on a short stopover. This lagoon was actually built out of the run-off from a geothermal energy plant, and became wildly popular with locals after several people ventured into the water and found that it helped soothe their skin problems. Whether you believe in its curative properties or not, the Blue Lagoon is a relaxing and beautiful place to spent an afternoon, floating in the warm, sea-blue water. There’s even a shuttle bus that runs hourly between the airport and the Blue Lagoon.