Why do you go on holiday? To be clearer, of course we all go on holiday to take a break from the norm, to relax and enjoy a week or so of fun unencumbered by the daily grind. The question is more, what do you look for in a holiday. For many people it’s the “sun, sea and sand” side of things while for others it’s the chance to do a spot of sight-seeing. Perhaps the key point, though, is that we all holiday for the experience.
That’s why, when planning your next holiday, you should give some thought to a country which is stacked high with experience. Specifically, the North Atlantic island nation of Iceland. While a beach break in France is much the same as one in Portugal, a holiday in Iceland is completely unique. If you’re not convinced, then read on to see why Iceland is a country you must visit at least once.
The Scenery Is Otherworldly
The first thing you’ll notice about Iceland, looking at it on a world map, is that it’s not near anywhere else. It’s Nordic, but a long way from Scandinavia; closer geographically to the UK; and still nothing like either of those places; its natural beauty is something remarkable.
It’s a volcanic island, and this makes for a landscape that genuinely looks like something from a fantasy novel. Icelandic folk tradition talks at length about the elves who inhabit the island. Stopping here for a while, you’ll start to believe it’s true. Black sand beaches dot the coasts, while 11% of the island is covered by glaciers, of which the largest, Vatnajökull, is a major tourist attraction.
The Culture Is Fantastic
Reading about Iceland for a while, you could easily come to the conclusion that Icelandic people are dreamers with fairy stories in their heads. While that would be no bad thing anyway, it’s not exactly true; they know how to build a country and base a tourist industry on more than legends. As any guide to holidaying in Reykjavik will show, there is no shortage of things to do for the culture vulture; regular live music festivals, great nightlife and a chance to sample Icelandic food.
Ah, Yes. The Food.
The most famous Icelandic delicacy is hakarl, which is fermented shark that has been buried in sand, and you may be encouraged to try it. Be advised that it’s something of an acquired taste; there are plenty of Icelandic dishes that are less of a challenge to the tastebuds. The staple diet here contains a lot of lamb, but there are excellent restaurants that serve a wide range of excellent dishes, including plenty of vegetarian options.
The Hot Springs Are True Relaxation
Come to Iceland and you’ll do a lot of walking – it’s that type of country, with so much to see and do that you’ll want to get among the scenery. After a morning of that, the best thing to do in the afternoon is visit one of the many hot springs around the country. They don’t call Iceland a land of ice and fire for nothing – this water, heated naturally underground, is one of the country’s greatest natural resources. A dip in it will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for anything.