When Norse explorers first landed on the shores of Iceland, they believed that the island was home to mythical giants. From the soaring mountains to glaciers that can span the horizon, Iceland is nothing short of awe-inspiring. On this island nation, natural beauty is combined with a culture that values time spent with loved ones and appreciating everything life has to offer.
No matter what you are into, Iceland likely has an experience for you. If you are an adrenaline seeker or are seeking a relaxing, rejuvenating getaway, Iceland is a hidden gem of a destination that is only now starting to get the attention that it deserves.
The People of Iceland
As an island nation, Iceland has historically been focused on both their independence as a country and their togetherness as a people. This has led to a culture that values one another, one where your friends, family and neighbours are appreciated and can be relied upon. In this regard, equality is a fundamental aspect of Icelandic society; the country is seen as a forerunner for both LGBT and women’s equality and is consistently ranked as one of the best countries to live in for women.
Beyond that, the people of Iceland are very welcoming to tourists. Anyone travelling to the country often find smiles from strangers and a willingness to help out. Though the Icelandic language still exists, everyone in Iceland speaks English fluently.
What might take some visitors by surprise is how laid-back Icelandic towns are after working hours. Icelanders are incredibly hard-working people, as they have had to be to survive the harsh winters and the nature of being an island with limited natural resources, but this mindset leads to after-work hours being laid back, spent with family, enjoying what life has to offer.
Don’t let that discourage anyone looking for an active nightlife, though! Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is a popular destination for backpackers and boasts an incredible nightlife.
The Landscape of Iceland
For anyone who visits Iceland, it will take no time at all to realize why Vikings believed giants lived on the island. Glaciers, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, lava fields and volcanoes all make up the diverse landscape of Iceland.
If you decide to rent a car and drive around the Ring Road that is just over 1,300 kilometres long, you can see volcanic rocks, ancient ice fields, icebergs floating in crystal-clear water and awe-inspiring mountain peaks... all in just a few hours of driving. The various landscapes of Iceland are something from a fantasy novel.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when traveling around Iceland: