As I live in Iceland since March 2014 I have explored the country extensively and therefore want to share my best experiences in this amazing country. What to explore you can read in the next paragraphs.
1. A weekend in Reykjavik
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is one of the most charming capitals in the world, full of culture, events, good vibes and an incredible night life scene that transforms it in the capital of fun during the weekends.
Spending a weekend in Reykjavik is a must when you are in Iceland. Hopping on and off all the bars of Laugavegur, the main street, is a social activity that you need in order to discover the night scene of the Northernmost capital in the world. Happy hours in Iceland are between 4pm and 8pm, and that’s the time to start getting in the party vibes as the beer is much cheaper than later at night. Icelanders are night owls thought, and after the happy hour, they probably all go home to keep drinking with friends. They come downtown again only after 1am, when the parties start all over. The night doesn’t finish until 6 in the morning and Laugavegur is constantly full of people and cars, loud music and noise and warm food stalls. You have to try it once to believe it.
Best place in town to enjoy the real Reykjavik nightlife vibes is Hurrà (www.hurrareykjavik.is) , a concert venue where every weekend local artists play live.
Many people come to Iceland and decide to use Reykjavik as a hub point, while touring around. The truth is: there is no better way to discover Iceland than by a road trip outside its capital city. Despite the beauty and charm of Reykjavik, I have to say the capital is not Iceland at all. As soon as you get out of town the real Iceland starts to surprise and enchant you with its Natural settings that makes it so unique in the world. Rent a car instead of booking a tour, book a night somewhere in the middle of nowhere, go discovering and go far away, the further you go form Reykjavik the better; Iceland is a place full of unknown wonders to be discovered, look for those not written on your guide book, talk to locals, stop anywhere to enjoy the landscape. There is no better way to fall in love with Iceland than by road tripping along its roads.
If you would like to rent a vehicle, Happy Campers ( www.happycampers.is) is the best and funniest way to go around Iceland while being independent.
3. A bath in a natural hot spring
Once kept secret and enjoyed only by locals, natural hot spring are finally becoming more and more accessible to travelers visiting Iceland thanks to the internet.
Remember that many are in private properties and contacting the wonder would be a nice and polite gesture; Icelanders are very peaceful people and most probably they will allow you to bath in their property , and this is the reason why it would be appreciated to ask before. Best hot spring experience remains watching the Northern Lights while bathing in those hot waters. Possible and unforgettable.
Around Lake Myvatn there are several ones that are stunning, among those there is the Secret Lagoon, a Natural hot spring set in a lava canyon. Ask the locals and good luck in finding it.
4. Attain a concert
You can attend a concert everywhere in the world, but not everywhere in the world you can attend a concert of an Icelandic band. These people know how to make music, how to create the atmosphere, how to make people having a good time and how to enjoy themselves. No night out starts without a concert or some live music played around. And because everybody in Iceland is somewhat involved in music and plays an instrument, the quality of music is really high. Everyone should come to Iceland at least once in their life, to experience Airwaves, Reykjavik 5 days music festival held everywhere in town, or for the harder tones lovers, Eistnaflug, theMetal festival in the East. There is something for everyone, all year around, and a concert is always the best way to get into the local atmosphere.
5. Northern Lights and Midnight Sun
There is something amazing for everyone in Iceland, whether you come in the dark and long winter time or the never ending bright sunny summer nights, Iceland is always able to make you fall in love and get a promise to be back.
Northern Lights and Midnight Sun are two phenomenons that will definitely leave you speechless when experienced for the first time. If you manage to experience them both you can barely believe they belong to the same sky. It is like Mother Nature loves to have fun and enchant humanity up here, where very few can see her masterpieces. You would never stop wondering about such a kind of speechless beauty. I guess even Icelanders feel the same despite they experience this since the day they were born.
The nature in Iceland feels so much more alive than in any other corner of the world. You see it moving, breathing, dancing, you see it doing an effort to leave you speechless and to make you fall in love with this country forever. This must be the secret why you never visit Iceland only once in life.
If you want to have more information about traveling to Iceland then a nice website to check out is Visit Iceland.
Emanuela is a travel blogger who is on the road since 2005 and writes about her experiences in her blog my1stimpressions and write for I Like Local once in a while. Currently she is living in Iceland.