Icelandic cuisine might be renowned for its peculiar delicacies (fermented shark meat, anyone?) and potent beverages (like fiery Brennivín, a spirit containing upwards of 35% alcohol), but the arctic isle also has a reputation for deliciously good fast food. If you’re pondering what to eat in Iceland, the safest option is to head to one of the many street food vans for a classic a hot dog, or ‘pylsur’ – one of the country’s most popular dishes.
From eerie ancient lava fields to snow-capped glaciers, few places do otherworldly scenery like Iceland and the arctic isle is full of the kind of landscapes that no photograph can do justice. Whether you’re spending one week or more in Iceland or only have a couple of days to take in the highlights, be sure to add at least 1 of these extraordinary destinations to your itinerary. Here are 10 of the most beautiful places to visit in Iceland.
If you find yourself in Iceland on Halloween, you might be disappointed to find that many of the Europe and America’s spooky traditions are passed over in the arctic isle. While the holiday still makes a good excuse to party, the Icelandic approach to Halloween is rather lackluster and the ubiquitous fancy-dress and groups of trick-or-treaters seem to be largely absent from the evening’s events.
As the days start getting shorter and the summer crowds disperse, autumn marks the start of Iceland’s off-season. Traveling in autumn can mean that you are more limited for tours and public transport, but there are also a lot of benefits including cheaper prices, fewer crowds and cooler weather ideal for sightseeing. Plus, there’s plenty going off in Iceland in autumn – here are some ideas.
Horse lovers have long been captivated by the majestic Icelandic horse – native to the island, the small, hardy equines are famed for their unusual gait, known as a ‘tölt’ and their favorable temperaments. In fact, so proud are the Icelandics of their breeding, that importing horses to Iceland has been forbidden under Icelandic law for the past millennium. Today, many of Iceland’s native horses live in semi-wild herds, cared for and ridden during the winter months, then taken to graze in the lush mountain pastures in the spring.
Just 12km east of Reykjavik, the small town of Mosfellsbær makes an easy side trip from the capital and its rugged hills and valleys have long served as a weekend recreational ground for city dwellers. Set on the brink of the Kollafjörður fjord, Mosfellsbær is ideally situated for hiking and the most rewarding hike is to the 914-meter summit of Mt Esja from where the views stretch over the Snæfellsjokull glacier, the Reykjanes peninsula and across to Reykjavík. Alternatively, the peak of Lagafellsklif is less taxing but equally impressive, with views reaching the capital area on clear days.