DIVERSITY OF NATURE
To discover the true beauty of Iceland you should reserve a couple of days. There are few places that you simply cannot miss and certainly you will want to come back.
There is nothing quite like lying on your back looking up at the clear sky in a dark winter’s night and watching the aurora borealis. This show often begins suddenly and is definitely worth the wait. Northern lights occur with the explosions of solar particles. When these particles interact with the atmosphere of the Earth’s magnetic field, energy is released and the sky lights up in many colours. Northern lights take place high above the ground at a height of 100-250 km, where the atmosphere is extremely thin.
The artificial lake with turquoise hot water is perhaps the most visited place in Iceland. Water at 240 °C is pumped from wells from up to two kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface for the nearby geothermal power plant and is subsequently cooled to 37-42 °C. It has a very beneficial effect on the skin. The Blue Lagoon is located 15 km from Keflavik International Airport and it is absolutely necessary to book admission in advance.
The waterfall on the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum is described as the most powerful in Europe. The falls are 100 metres wide, with a drop of 45 metres down a flow rate of over 300 m3 per second.
The area of hot geysers is located 80 km southeast of Reykjavik. The original geyser Geysir was described as active already back in 1294 and spouts water to a height of 80 m at unpredictable intervals. The neighbouring geyser Strokkur features impressive performances every 10 to 15 minutes, and its eruptions reach a height of up to 25 metres.
The most visited waterfall Gullfoss, or “golden waterfall”, lies on the glacial river Hvítá and falls to the ground in two cascades. There are 2 viewing platforms available here that bring you right up close to the waterfall.
The home of Iceland’s opera and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra is among the greatest masterpieces of contemporary architecture. It is built of three-dimensional bricks, which feature red, green and blue lights that can be controlled individually and create incredible lighting effects.
Hekla is the most active volcano in Iceland. The current elevation is 1,491 metres. Its peak is usually hidden in the clouds, and can be reached on foot.
The dominant feature of the capital city of Reykjavik is a concrete church, whose architecture was inspired by hexagonal basalt columns. Inside you will find a modern organ resembling a fighter jet and the views from the 73-metre high tower are unparalleled in the city.
One of the most interesting open-air museums in Iceland, whose oldest parts date from the 18th century, lies in the largest forest of the island. Observing the northern lights from here is an incredible experience.
A unique region near Hekla volcano, whose lava containing minerals has stained the slopes here, and therefore this area is called Rainbow Mountain.