THE 10 TOP MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS IN ICELAND
Geysers, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, northern lights: Iceland is truly the triumph of nature! A trip to this remote island in Northern Europe will be impossible to forget, whether it's a honeymoon, a self-drive holiday with friends or even a trip alone, to regain contact with nature and with oneself.
The power of nature here manifests itself through the power of the geysers and volcanoes, with the roar of the majestic waterfalls and in the great silences of its green expanses.
Can't wait to leave now, can you? Excellent choice, here are the 10 natural attractions you should not miss on a trip to Iceland.
What to see in Iceland: 10 must-see destinations
1. Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a large natural geothermal swimming pool and spa on the Reykjanes peninsula, about forty kilometers from the capital Reykjavík. The waters of the lagoon derive from the Svartsengi geothermal plant and flowing into the subsoil, in contact with the fluid lava, are transformed into electricity that supplies the municipal heating system reaching a temperature of 37-39 ° C. At this point, the water is pushed into the lagoon, which is said to have healing effects. Those who want to bathe must adhere to strict hygienic rules.
2. Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is located southwest of the island, near the Reykjanes peninsula. Unesco heritage since 2004, its name means "plain of the assembly" because one of the first parliaments in the world was founded here in 930. Thingvellir is located on a fracture caused by the drift of the continents, recognizable by the frequent gorges and canyons that characterize the area. Thingvellir Park is part of Iceland's most famous tourist route, the Golden Circle, along with Gullfoss waterfall and Haukadalur geysers.
Gullfoss is one of Iceland's most famous waterfalls and part of the Golden Circle. Located in the south-western area, its name means "golden waterfall" and is generated by the Hvítá river. Because of its beauty and double jump, it is nicknamed "the queen of all Icelandic waterfalls".
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake south of the Vatnajökull glacier, halfway between the Skaftafell National Park and the town of Höfn. It is thought to have been generated due to the melting of the glaciers and made its first appearance in the early 1900s. It is currently the deepest lake in Iceland. Its most interesting feature is the large presence of icebergs floating on its surface, produced by the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. These icebergs are very picturesque to see, because their color varies from blue to yellow, thanks to the sulphide of the volcanoes. Some are even black because of the ash.
Skógafoss waterfall is found in northern Iceland and originates from the Skógaá river, generated by the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Its jump takes place on what was once a cliff on the sea. Together with Gullfoss, it is perhaps the waterfall most appreciated by visitors in the country. With the play of light caused by the sun's rays, in fact, it generates splendid rainbows. A local legend tells that the first Viking who arrived here hid a trunk of gold coins in the cave that can be seen behind the waterfall. For this reason, when the sunlight hits the curtain of water, we see the reflection of the hidden treasure. This legend must have a fund of truth because a ring with runic engraving, which is said to have been tied to the trunk, is now preserved in Skógar museum! Moreover, local legends also tell us that the water in this waterfall is magical and that those who bathe in it can find a lost object.
Godafoss is one of the most beautiful and photographed waterfalls in Iceland, located to the north and generated by the river Skjálfandafljót. Even this waterfall is linked to an ancient legend: around the year one thousand Iceland became Christian and it is said that the statues of the northern pagan gods were thrown into this waterfall, whose name means precisely "waterfall of the gods". According to other legends, the name derives from the three jumps of Godafoss, each symbol of the sacred triad of the northern divinities, Odin, Thor and Freyr.
Landmannalaugar is a mountainous region of southern Iceland. Located near Hekla volcano, it is one of the main tourist attractions of the country because of its spectacular landscape. Its geological formations and its rhyolite mountains become multicolored with sunlight. It also serves as an excellent starting point for hikes to the mountains and glaciers.
8. Vatnajökull National Park
Vatnajökull National Park in the south-east of Iceland is the largest nature park in Europe and is home to the Vatnajökull, the island's largest ice sheet. Founded in 2008, it includes the national parks of Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur.
Dettifoss is the largest waterfall in Iceland and Europe, formed by the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which also forms Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss waterfalls, all within the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Its name means "waterfall of the water that ruins" because of the power of its waters during the jump. It was formed due to a strong volcanic eruption followed by an earthquake that changed the course of the river. Water sprays are visible even one kilometer away.
Geysir or large Geysir is a geyser in the Haukadalur valley, the oldest known. It seems that the same term "geyser" came into use because of the Geysir, which in turn took its name from an Icelandic verb with the meaning of "erupt". Its eruptions of boiling water are irregular and can even reach 60 meters, one of the highest in the world.
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