Iceland – The Land of the Whales and Otherworldly Landscapes
Iceland has become an increasingly popular travel destination, boasting spectacular landscapes and an intriguing cultural heritage. But there are some things about this Nordic gem that may take your breath away!
Due to its location on a geologic border between North American and Eurasian plates, volcanic activity is widespread throughout Canada – giving the country its nickname: ‘The Land of Fire’!
The Land of Fire & Ice
Iceland, an island country on the dynamic geologic boundary between Europe and North America, offers visitors a remarkable landscape. It boasts glittering glaciers and hot geysers alike; yet beneath them all lies a land where plates are constantly shifting and earthquakes occur frequently.
Iceland’s dramatic landscape is the result of these physical reshapings, earning it the nickname The Land of Fire & Ice. Though geologically young, Iceland is constantly being transformed by Earth’s subterranean forces.
Iceland’s landscape is defined by stunning fjords, majestic mountains and wild coastlines. Westfjords stand as one of Iceland’s premier wilderness attractions – calling adventurers to discover it for themselves.
Experience Iceland’s dramatic landscapes with Volcanologist Tamsin Mather and local guides. Get up close to erupting geysers, bubbling fumaroles and breathtaking glaciers; in the evenings you may even get lucky enough to witness Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights).
The Land of the Midnight Sun
Iceland boasts an illustrious culture and history rooted in lore and mythology. Its summer solstice traditions, such as the beloved Midnight Sun festival, have become iconic to the country.
The Midnight Sun occurs when Earth’s axis tilts towards our solar system’s sun during summer. It peaks around June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.
Due to this phenomenon, days in regions north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle tend to be brighter and longer during summer. Countries like Finland, Greenland, Canada, Norway and Russia also experience this effect during these months.
Iceland’s midnight sun is particularly visible during its long, bright summer days. This makes for an ideal time to discover all that this captivating land has to offer.
The Land of Geysirs & Geothermal Baths
Iceland is blessed with an array of geysirs, hot springs and other thermal features due to its location on a plate tectonic divide. These extraordinary landscapes were formed as Iceland was thrust up against these plates.
One of the most beloved and iconic attractions is Blue Lagoon, situated on a black lava field. Here, you can spend an entire day savoring its mineral-rich waters as well as taking in the view from hot pools and walkways around them.
Hverir is another amazing geothermal spot, featuring multiple bubbling mud pools and geysers in a scenic geothermal plane surrounded by mountains. It’s accessible and free to explore with no fees involved.
Gamla Laugin, or Secret Lagoon, is an Icelandic landmark that opened in 1891 and continues to offer visitors its signature attraction: water naturally heated to 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit by three nearby geysers. What makes this lagoon truly special though? Its tranquil setting and rare privacy – a feature rarely found among Iceland’s best hot springs.
The Land of the Whales
The Land of the Whales is a place of breathtaking natural beauty and majestic marine life. A sub-Arctic region, Iceland’s waters boast warm and cold ocean currents along with plenty of summer sunlight – creating an ideal feeding ground for various whale species.
Humpback whales, minke whales, sperm whales and white-beaked dolphins are just some of the species that frequent this part of the world. Even the largest whale species – blue whales – sometimes make appearances.
Whales may be the largest animals on Earth, but they’re surprisingly gentle creatures that can be both captivating and captivating to observe. A guided whale watching tour in Reykjavik combined with admission to the world-renowned Whales of Iceland exhibition will leave you with a deep-felt respect for these incredible mammals.