Travel guide to Iceland
Iceland is volcanically active with many geological marvels and some of the highlights are the northern lights, geysers and mountains, lava fields, glacial rivers that flow down to the sea and hot springs that supply much of the country’s heating.
Iceland is a Nordic country covering an area of just over a hundred thousand square kilometres between the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Iceland is home to just three hundred and twenty-five thousand people.
By ferry you can travel from Hirtshals in Denmark and Torshavn in the Faroe Islands to Seydisfjordur in Iceland with the Faroese ferry company Smyril Line. The ferry sails once a week between April and October and gives you the option to take your own vehicle or alternatively to travel on foot. The crossing from Denmark to Iceland is long and quite expensive, however the ship used by Smyril Line is of cruise line standard and therefore the time spent on board more than compensates, hence the popularity of this route.
Ferries dock at Seydisfjordur port in the east of Iceland and if travelling by car then you link up with the rest of the island via route 1, or the ring road which runs around the Island connecting the major cities. Many of the most popular tourist destinations are within a short distance of the ring road.
Though Iceland has no railway system, a large network of bus companies cover most destinations in the country.
There are some incredible natural phenomena to visit in Iceland. Whales can be seen from various different places in the country and whale watching tours are popular, as are tours to visit the many geysers, underground springs and thermal pools around the island.
Landmannalaugar is popular, with its otherworldly landscape of lava fields, as are the multi-coloured rhyolite mountains and the Hekla volcano.
Skaftafell Ice Cave and Vatnajökull National Park attract many visitors in the winter to view the ice caves and glaciers.
Grindavik Blue Lagoon offers visitors the chance to bathe in a geothermal spa, and of course, the famous Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis can be viewed in more remote locations from the middle of September to the middle of April.
City life also has a lot to offer in Iceland, with beautiful architecture to be found in buildings such as the Hallgrimskirkja church and the Harpa Conference and Concert Centre.
Iceland is located close to the Arctic circle in the North-Atlantic ocean, and Iceland`s population is quite tiny, with 357.000 (2019) citizens. Thanks to the Gulf Stream Iceland has a temperate climate which means mild winters and refreshing summers.
Iceland has become one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world over the last decade. Fish and fish products are still Iceland's most important revenue sources, followed by exports of aluminium and iron silicon.
In recent years, Iceland has experienced growth in sectors like biotechnology, software, and tourism, and tourism is today just as big as the fishing industry. One of the country's sources is geothermal energy. Grímsvötn volcano sits directly beneath the icecap and has a complex of calderas, about 6 - 8 km in area, and a subglacial caldera lake sustained by geothermal heat.
People and culture
Many Icelanders can trace their ancestors back to the time of the Viking Settlement around 900 AD, and there has since then been low immigration.
Iceland is a young republic (from 1944) with a directly elected president. It does not mean that Iceland has a rich and interesting history. The Icelandic Sagas is world-famous, and it is recommended to know about the Icelandic traditions, culture, and architecture, due to the many attractions and museums, especially in the capital Reykjavik.
The Icelandic people live in harmony with their beautiful nature, but also appreciate having a high quality of life, where there is time for family, friends and leisure activities. Icelanders love to share the beautiful nature of their outdoor activities like horse-riding or swimming in the hot thermal bath.
The Icelandic people are well known for having a laid-back approach to life, and everybody is known by their first name. Iceland is a nation with self-confidence because of the battle for survival against the elements as earthquake and volcanic eruptions.
Icelanders love sports
In Iceland, handball is the national sport. In the last five years, Iceland`s national soccer team has created very impressive results.
If you have the time and possibility to visit Iceland, don`t hesitate. The adventure offers are endless, and the connection to Iceland gets more and more comfortable.
The phenomenal lights
Iceland is the land of light and darkness with long summer days with nearly sunshine 24-hours a day and short winter days with only very few hours of daylight. Discover unique Northern Light experiences in winter and the long beautiful summer evenings under the Midnight Sun. Iceland has those unique natural phenomena like several other Nordic countries.
Most of the terrain consists of volcanic areas covered by lava fields and glacier. Active volcanoes like Hekla and Katla are a part of the volcanically active zone that runs through the country from northeast to south-west.
In this geothermal areas, you can find geysers, waterfalls, hot springs, mud springs and black-sand beaches.
Vatnajökull is the biggest icecap and is bigger than the rest of Europe`s icecaps put together. Most of the country is covered by lava fields, ice caps, and deserts, and 70% of the country is uninhabitable.
Throughout the country, you will also find a wide selection of excitements and activities, which attracts visitors from all around the world. Regarding the season, the beautiful nature invites to scenic walks, swimming in hot pools, skiing, water rafting, fishing in the rivers, golfing or riding the small Icelandic horse, just to mention a few. Local tourist offices and operators are always stand by to help here so you can live out your dreams here.
Ferry from Denmark to Iceland
It is possible to sail to Iceland from April to October.
By the ferry company Smyril Line, you can travel from Hirtshals in Denmark and Torshavn in the Faroe Islands to Seydisfjordur in Iceland.
See more: Ferries to Iceland
Iceland has no railway system but a large network of bus companies covers most destinations in Iceland.