10 Reasons to go to
Iceland this summer
1. It's on the Green List
Okay we are getting this out the way first, as it's not an exciting reason - but it is an important one! Iceland is on the UK's green list (and there's no reason it won't stay there that we can foresee) and if you are double-vaccinated you don't have to test before you go - this means it's a top hassle-free holiday destination this summer.
2. Long daylight hours
Lots of people like to visit Iceland in the winter months as they want to see the Northern Lights, totally valid and an amazing experience. However an Iceland summer is something worth experiencing too, thanks to midnight sun! The days in the summer are long - as we write this article the sun won't be setting until just before midnight and it will rise again about 3am. Why is this great? This means that there is SO MUCH daylight you can use to explore all the sites - you can fit a lot into one day.
3. Great food
Chances are if you say to someone "hey I'm going to Iceland!" they'll promptly suck in the air, shake their head and say something like "food and drink is expensive there". Now, yes food and drink can be costly (in all honesty everything is a little costly) however there are a ton of options available and not all of it is going to break the bank. One of the top recommendations to try is one of the many hot dog stands you'll see around, and you may be thinking… Hot dogs? Iceland? But yes we can confirm the hot dogs here are amazing - and for 2 people it's like £7, we've paid more at the cinema.
If you're heading to Reykjavik it's worth booking on to the Reyjavik Food Walk - if you're a massive foodie then they'll take you to loads of the top local spots and everything's included in the price so make sure you turn up hungry! This includes the fermented shark - however we have to say we think this is more of a tourist shtick then an actual Icelandic delicacy.
4. It's quiet
Iceland has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it's not hard to see why. But this does mean in "normal" times some of the most popular sites get pretty crowded. Sites along the Golden Circle (like Gulfoss, Thingvellir etc) have massive parking lots and oftentimes in the height of tourist season you'll likely end up queuing - but right now? Those parking lots are nearly empty. This is a GREAT time to go and see those famous sites, and actually see them, not the head of the person standing annoyingly in front of you. On our recent trip we didn't get to Skogafoss until 10:30pm (see above mentioned long daylight hours!) and we had it all to ourselves, usually you'd be extremely lucky to get a photo of the waterfall without someone in it.
5. Reykjavik is great for a short break
If you don't want to hire a car and just want a city break - Reykjavik is a great option. We mentioned it above but there's amazing food to be had here (you kind find some of our recommendations below) - plus there's lots of great shopping to be done and museums to visit.
The city itself is situated on a peninsula so you can take a stroll around the waterfront paths and look out to the mountains across the way. It gave us Vancouver vibes, in a smaller, less busy and don't need a 9 hour flight kinda way (and we LOVE Vancouver so it's high praise).
We've sort of covered this off in the points above, but we think it's worth it's own shout out. There's a lot of different things you can do in Iceland, and it makes every day fun and interesting. We explored for 4 days and no day was the same, whether we shopped it up in the city, hiked up a volcano, got soaked by a waterfall or deafened by a nesting seagull colony on the cliffs - every day was awesome.
7. There's a new volcano
Talking of hiking up a volcano - Iceland has a new (well geologically ancient but newly erupting) volcano on the scene. It began erupting at the end of March and there's no way to tell when it will stop - but at just a 45 minute drive from Reykjavik (and just along the road to the Blue Lagoon) this is a pretty once in a lifetime opportunity to see lava flows! We'll let you know, it's a bit of a hike (it's a long uphill climb and we took about 4 hours round trip) so it's not going to be for everyone - but if you can manage it, please do, you won't regret it.
8. Short flight
It might not be an overly inspiring reason but the flight time is around 2.5 hours and the time difference is only 1 hour - which makes it entirely reasonable for a short trip. Of course, there's so much to do that you can easily spend a week or two here properly exploring. Plus, there's not many places only 2.5 hours flight away with such amazing otherworldly scenery to explore.
The summer months are a great time to spot some of the native wildlife of Iceland - whether it's the famous Icelandic horses or the sheep that provide the soft Icelandic wool.
Iceland is also the top European destination for whale watching, and it's one of the must do things whilst you're in town - you can pick up day tours from Reykjavik. Plus at this time of year Iceland is also home to 60 percent of the world's Atlantic puffins - and you can catch them nesting on the cliffs.
A little less exotic perhaps but downtown Reykjavik is also known for it's very friendly cats!
10. Life feels "normal"
You can't escape from the current reality of course, and we know social distancing measures are important - however in Iceland because the population is so small they dealt with Covid-19 amazingly well and as such you no longer need to wear masks or social distance for the most part. There are plenty of hand sanitizing stations and general safety measures, but in general you can enjoy being out and about and not constantly patting your pockets to make sure you have a mask.
At Holiday Extras we're all about hassle-free travel - so we've read all the documents and done all the research so you don't have to.
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