Situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean just West of Norway, Iceland is a rapidly growing tourist destination among backpackers and luxury travellers alike. Perhaps best known for her natural beauty and luxurious geothermal pools, Iceland is home to a diverse array of landscapes and adventurous activities.

 

Iceland is by far one of my favourite travel destinations – Here’s  are 17 reasons to fall in love with Iceland this year:

 

It’s the Perfect Road-trip Destination:

Iceland is definitely the perfect road-trip destination! The roads are easy to navigate, the country is small enough to get some serious miles in and the views are incredible! Regardless of the season or direction you are headed, the scenery along Iceland’s ring road is to-die-for. Every now and then, snow-capped mountains or gushing waterfalls peek through fog or clouds alongside the highway, offering the perfect photography opportunities.

car rental for iceland road trip - the pink backpack travel blog iceland
My SUV rental from SADcars

Plus, a road trip through Iceland makes for quite the adventure! Chase the summer midnight sun or winter northern lights, camp under the stars, or simply drive and enjoy the views! I rented an all-wheel drive SUV for my winter road trip from SADCars and was not disappointed! Check them out for 15% off your online reservation.

It’s a photographer’s dream:

Regardless of whether you are hiking in the capital city or driving down the highway, Iceland will reward you with epic views.

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
Reykjavik’s seriously got it all!

17 Reasons to Fall in Love with Iceland this Year - the pink backpack travel blog

It’s rustic:

The country side has a rustic beauty with farms and cottages situated at the base of mountains. Bright cabins add a splash of colour to a whimsical field or rolling hills. I could hardly resist stopping to take pictures along the way – who can blame me with scenery as magnificent as this?

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland

It’s isolated:

If you’re like me and you like to avoid the crowds, there are many beautiful places in the country for you to seek peace and quiet (or the perfect instagram photo!). It’s not hard to find solitude outside of Reykjavik, considering 1/3 of Iceland’s entire national population resides in the capital city.

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
Instagram: @thepinkbackpackblog

It’s interesting:

From Vikings and ghosts to elves, Iceland has a rich history and interesting culture to discover. There are countless museums, open air exhibits and galleries in Reykjavik and beyond for you to gain perspective on both Iceland’s past and current society. There are even unique tours and workshops to help you delve into curious beliefs of ghosts and elves, or retrace the country’s history through time.

The Horses…enough said:

Icelandic horses have become iconic. The majestic and fluffy horses can be seen all over the country side (and instagram!). You can even explore lesser-known areas on horseback tours or stay on a horse farm for a night or two for a more rustic experience.

There are Hot Pools EVERYWHERE:

Reykjavik has an interesting combination of modern urban flair infused with cultural traditions. For example, trendy restaurants and shops exist all over the city, while the old custom of soaking in a hot pool continues to thrive. Sit in a cafe and people watch or grab a bowl of the local soup and finish your afternoon with a soak in one of Iceland’s beloved hot pools.

Natural geothermal pools:

What could be better than Iceland’s hot pools? Their natural geothermal pools. Hidden around the beautiful countryside are outdoor hot pots and hot streams, offering unique ways to relax post-adventure, star gaze or watch the northern lights.

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
Hidden hot pot for one in the country side

The coffee is damn good:

Everyone says that Icelandic coffee is to-die-for. I’m not really sure why because I don’t think coffee beans are native in Iceland, so the coffee really isn’t ‘Icelandic’ – but guess what? The coffee really was that good! Plus there are endless hipster cafes and cozy coffee shops to sip your jetlag away, warm up in after a hike, or simply just relax and people watch!

icelandic coffee cafe babalu via the pink backpack travel blog
Snapchat: @thepinkbackpack

It offers a ‘natural high’:

For the adrenaline junkie, a visit to Iceland offers plentiful opportunities for adventure! From stunning mountain range treks, glacial hikes, kayaking through a fjord, scuba diving, rappelling down a volcano, helicopter touring above the landscapes or even exploring the countryside by horse, there are endless ways to get outdoors and chase that rush.

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
The arches of Arnapsti

There are TONS of waterfalls:

If you’re into chasing waterfalls, well, Iceland’s got you covered. With 30+ recorded waterfalls, and I’m guessing countless more hidden gems, you can chase to your little heart’s content!

You can even walk behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall if you’re not afraid to get a little wet!

It’s budget friendly:

Iceland is known for being one of the most expensive countries in the world. However there are definitely ways to get around this for those with a budget in mind. Many of my favourite activities in Reykjavik were entirely FREE.

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
One of Reykjavik’s beaches – free and check out that mountain view!

These include hiking Reykjavik’s wooded trails, walking along the beaches, taking photographs of the mountains, enjoying the view at Perlan’s observation deck, seeing the ducks and swans at the central city pond, taking the free city walking tour, checking out the town’s library and marina!

reasons to fall in love with Iceland in 2017 - the pink backpack travel blog
Exploring the stykkisholmur lighthouse – a free and easy day hike in the Snæfellsnes peninsula

The Beaches:

reasons to fall in love with Iceland in 2017 - the pink backpack travel blog
Reynisfjara beach

Iceland is home to many gorgeous and diverse beaches, but what draws many tourists is the allure of its unique black sand beaches! Even during winter, a walk up and down the beach is incredibly beautiful.

Hellnar’s windy & rocky beach

 

reasons to fall in love with Iceland in 2017 - the pink backpack travel blog
Another black sand beach in Eyrarbakki at sunset!

It’s Clean:

Iceland is impeccably clean! You will notice no trash or litter on the streets and your lungs will immediately feel the fresh, unpolluted, costal air. In fact, I felt so healthy while in Reykjavik that I decided to write an entire post about all the health conscious activities I did in the city!

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
Fresh air and mountain views!

It’s Green:

Iceland emphasizes sustainability. It utilizes geothermal energy sources via underground reservoirs of steam and hot water to generate electricity, which is both efficient and environmentally friendly. In addition, Iceland’s recycling game is on another level – not only do citizens recycle, but they separate paper, plastics and tin from organics and electronics. Even hostels and street corners offer separate bins to promote convenient recycling.

It’s Veggie Friendly:

Despite rumours of locals eating sheep heads and puffin (in some cases this is true), there are tons of vegetarian and vegan options! Reykjavik’s dining and cafe scene offers up some serious food inspo and is surprisingly one of the more accommodating countries I’ve been to for vegan food.

Reasons to fall in love with Iceland; vegan food in Reykjavik
Vegan lunch at Lemon juicery

It’s Inspiring:

There is something so special and inspiring about being outdoors – particularly, time spent in untouched nature. When surrounded by stunning landscapes, I never fail to leave with new perspective on whatever issue I’d been dealing with and a more balanced attitude.

Iceland - reasons to fall in love with iceland
The arches of Arnapsti

With Iceland’s National Parks, famous beaches, towering mountains and sky-high waterfalls, you are sure to feel inspired. Prepare to harness this feeling throughout your entire trip!

Overall:

All in all, Iceland is a stunningly beautiful, one-of-a-kind travel destination with interesting culture, diverse activities and welcoming locals – seriously, do yourself a favour and plan a visit this year!

 

_________

This post was sponsored by Loft Reykjavik Hi Hostel

 

Xo,

Stephanie - the pink backpack travel blog

P.s. Did you enjoy this article? … Be sure to share it or pin one of the images below to your Pinterest travel board!

 

Related: Healthy Things to Do in Reykjavik

Related: Easy Day Hike in Reykjavik

 

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34 Comments

  1. Island is really peaking right now! Its like the new in-country but I get it – its such a remote and beautiful place 🙂 Hope to go there one day 🙂 Great photos! Nana

  2. Iceland was already on my travel wishlist but this post makes me want to go sooner than later. The waterfalls, cute horses, and geothermal pools make me want to book a flight right now. I am also glad to see that the cuisine is vegetarian-friendly. Thanks for all the great details!

  3. You are so on point with this post. Iceland is on my list for all of these reasons. I mean, who does;t love ponies, hot springs, and waterfalls. Add great coffee and veggie friendly and I am SOO there. Thanks for letting me know that I just need to go ASAP.

    1. Thanks Kelly!! Am I right?! Who doesn’t love horses and beautiful nature. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. This looks so dreamy! Were you there in summer or winter? I would love to go but i’m not great with the cold and the rain. Is it as beautiful in the summertime?

    Waterfalls and thermal pools though….Looks incredible!

  5. I can’t wait to travel to Iceland later this year for ALL of the reasons you mentioned! I’d love to hike around and enjoy all of it’s beauty.

  6. Iceland is truly amazing! I spent a month there 5 years ago and I would love to go back to explore even more. And I totally agree, it is a paradise for photographers. There so many uniques and beautiful places there. I don’t remember seeing that arch on your pictures. Hmm… must go back! 🙂

  7. As an outdoor lover, Iceland hold so many activities that I would want to do. Your pictures are so gorgeous, I want to do everything you’ve photographed. The horses alone make me want to visit!

  8. I recently did a road trip of Iceland and this brought back so many memories! I agree it’s budget friendly, all the sites you see and waterfalls are free of charge, although the food can be expensive but there are cheaper options. I missed the Icelandic coffee but what as delicious was the Icelandic chocolate cake! Did you see the Justin Bieber video filmed at Seljalandsfoss?

  9. Iceland is high on every traveller’s list right now, isn’t it! Fabulous photos, as expected. I really liked that you can go behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall…have been dreaming of such a waterfall since long.

    1. Hi Chelsea, so happy you loved the post 🙂 I will definitely check out your article, thanks for stopping by.

  10. Yet another post on Iceland and I am as mesmerized as ever. I don’t know if I go there, I will ever feel like coming back. How many days trip would you recommend for a slow and steady indulgence in the most beautiful parts of iceland

    1. Hi Neha, I totally relate. In terms of slow travel, I think you could definitely do 10 days if you have a car rental and don’t have winter weather to deal with. I had 7 days and honestly could have probably done 2 weeks as I only made it about 1/3 around the island due to snow.

  11. “It offers a natural high.” I couldn’t agree with you more! I cannot think of one other country that just instilled that much adrenaline in me at first glance. I loved loved loved the bounty of geothermal pools as well. And it truly is inspiring. Great list! Will be pinning this one for sure 😉

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