This is the first story in our series on the Magic of Iceland.
With summer right around the corner, now is the time to start looking if you’re serious about putting together that long awaited vacation.
For travel in the United States, there are plenty of fun, quick and easy options for the entire family. Destinations in Florida such as Ft. Lauderdale or spots along the Carolina coast are ones that first come to mind. Or if your quest is an adventure in nature, the network of U.S. National Parks may pique your interest.
But if you’re into thinking outside the box — as I was last May — and desirous of excitement off the beaten path, there are other grand possibilities.
That’s what my wife Nora and I discovered last summer after we did extensive research before making a July pilgrimage to Iceland.
Before getting into the specifics of our journey, let’s cover the basics. Iceland is a small island nation in the north Atlantic near the Arctic Circle. But it’s not as far away as you might think. The flight from New York to Keflavik, home of the international airport in southwest Iceland near the capital Reykjavík, is just over 5 1/2 hours long or similar to making a cross country flight from New York to San Francisco.
And the weather in July is probably milder than one might expect. Despite Iceland’s northern location, there were a few days (as our pictures will show) where shirtsleeves were sufficient. Don’t get me wrong: pack some sweatshirts and bring some rain gear! You need to be prepared for a wide array of conditions. But don’t let that scare you either.
Iceland is called the “Land of Fire and Ice” for good reason. In addition to its numerous volcanoes and lava fields, it has glaciers which dot the landscape. Oh, and don’t forget the waterfalls. Almost too many to count, and each one seemingly more beautiful than the next, as we discovered during our 11-day journey that reached each corner of the island.
Simply put, despite Iceland’s small size (slightly larger than the state of Ohio) it is one of the most visually stunning and beautiful places on Earth. Aided by its unique geography, it is one of the purest and most natural places too. Truly magical.
And be prepared to be welcomed by a strong and hardy people — Iceland has a small population of just over 300,000 people — who are as kind and generous as they are rugged and adaptable to nature’s fury.
Keep reading to be taken on your own personal tour. Enjoy!
Check out the entire Magic of Iceland series right here (Click on each link):
Part 1-Overview, Part 2-The Golden Circle, Part 3-Latrabjarg, Part 4-Midnight Sun Drive, Part 5-Westfjords and Isafjordur, Part 6-Fire and the Mountains, Part 7-Date Night at Hverfell, Part 8-Surreal Saturday, Part 9-Beyond Fire and Ice, Part 10–Taking the 939, Part 11-Lost in Skaftafell, Part 12-F208 Dilemma, Part 13-Volcanic Highlands, Part 14-Homestretch to Remember
More Magic of Iceland: 1. Jokulsarlon – Glacier Lagoon