Posted on November 20, 2015
If you’re going to visit a country that’s as incredible as Iceland, you have to do it properly. Its sparse population and arctic landscape mean that there are plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten track and create a totally unique experience for yourself. Check out these five places in Iceland that you might not necessarily find in the opening pages of a guide book.
1. West Fjords
Despite this area being breathtakingly beautiful, only 3% of tourists make it out to the West Fjords. The terrain is, simply put, dramatic. There are jagged crags, icy coastlines and huge mountains – with only small areas of flatland which are home to a small group of 7000 residents. Látrabjarg peninsula is Europe’s most westerly point, where you will find cliffs alive with puffins and razorbills. Breiðavík is an unusual beach, which offers a stretch of (unexpected) golden sand.
2. South Western Iceland
The southwest of Iceland is relatively small, spanning just over 200km. The country’s original parliament was set up here over a thousand years ago, so there’s plenty of history to uncover. Head to the South Coast to witness the waterfalls and even active volcanoes! You can also catch a ferry out to Westman Islands and explore island life. This is the wettest and windiest part of the country, though the temperatures remain fairly mild.
3. Kirkjufell Mountain
In the small town of Grundarfjörður in the west of Iceland you will find this amazing mountain erupting out of a plain landscape. With waterfalls surrounding it, this is an incredibly cool spot to watch the Northern Lights from. You can get here by catching a bus from the bigger cities.
Based in the capital city of Reykjavík, this attraction might bring in quite a few tourists but it is important to have a bit of outstanding man-made architecture on the list. The church was inspired by Black Falls and it is the tallest building in the city. Make your way to the top for panoramic views of the city, or simply take in its eerie, but beautiful, facade.
5. North West Iceland
Get a feel for local town and village life by heading to North West Iceland. An idyllic landscape replete with meadows, farmhouses and barns. Eyjafjörður is the country’s largest fjord, Hólar í Hjaltadal is a historical site that has long been an educational hub and Siglufjörður is a very pretty fishing village.
Be sure to take a good pair of walking boots and a quilted coat with you, Iceland’s scenery mean that you’ll be spending most of your time taking in the mesmerising outdoors.
Images by Moyan Brenn used under the Creative Commons license.