Iceland is an especially popular tourist destination, experiencing a spike in the summer months. Despite being home to just 320,000 residents, the Iceland Review reports that the country expects 2.7 million people to grace the Keflavík Airport this year.
Iceland’s tourism board, Visit Iceland, even launched a new tagline — “Better than Space” — that’s guaranteed to enthuse travelers seeking the most unique sceneries and experiences. And with its one-of-a-kind landscapes offering everything from snow-capped glaciers and mountains to spectacular waterfalls and lagoons, Iceland truly offers attractions that are out of this world.
However, its raw and rugged landscape doesn’t mean your trip has to consist solely of hikes and camping trips. As this article will show you, there are many ways to explore the Land of Fire and Ice without sacrificing leisure and luxury.
See the northern lights at a luxury hotel
One of the first things that come to mind when someone mentions Iceland is the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. If you visit anytime between September and late March, you can enjoy a comfortable stay at a luxury lodge with dedicated amenities for viewing this celestial spectacle of lights and colors.
About 65 miles southeast of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, Hotel Rangá ensures you get the best view of the northern lights — whether you’re relaxing on its on-site observatory, outdoor benches, or geothermally heated hot tubs. Aside from enjoying this luxury hotel’s diverse offering of gourmet Nordic dishes and exclusive continental suites, you can maximize your time outside by going on ice cave tours or going private snowmobiling on nearby glaciers.
Traverse the landscape on horseback
The surreal landscapes of Iceland’s volcanoes and mountains are best explored while riding on top of elegant Icelandic horses. The Thórsmörk Ride, in particular, follows a scenic route that takes you from the Thórsmörk Mountains to the tiny village of Skógar.
Along the trail, you’ll find expansive views of lupin fields, majestic waterfalls, and the impressive glaciers of Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. This 5-day horseback vacation starts at 6 pm upon your arrival at Reykjavik BSI Bus Station and will see you spending the nights at rustic farmhouses and mountain huts — complete with creature comforts to help you feel more at home.
Go diving and snorkeling
Beyond mountains and fields, a trip to Iceland rewards you with its magnificent underwater world, too. Our look at offbeat adventures previously mentioned the wonders of diving and snorkeling at the Silfra Rift, a geologically unique site where two or more tectonic plates meet.
To embark on a more luxurious version of this adventure, make sure to go on a guided tour that will drive you directly to the dive site in Þingvellir National Park, educate you on the history of Silfra, and provide you with safety precautions, such as choosing between a standard wet suit or the more expensive yet protective dry suit. After exploring the underwater flora and marine life, you can extend your journey by driving to the exclusive Secret Lagoon in Fludir.
See More Iceland Off The Beaten Path
Embark on a luxury cruise
Nothing says glamor and style like sailing around Iceland aboard a cruise ship. Compared to your typical cruise, luxury cruises are all-inclusive and specifically curated to immerse you in all the cultural experiences Iceland offers. Simply embark on a cruise, enjoy Iceland at a glance, and stop by for a peaceful time in quiet towns like Akureyri and Ísafjörður — where you can learn more about Icelandic culture and heritage firsthand.
Aside from on-board dining and wellness programs, Explora Journeys offers you an additional choice between exploring the wild heart of Iceland on its own — and extending your trip by connecting it with equally wondrous stopovers at Danish cities, the Scottish Isles, or the icy regions of Greenland. With all the luxury cruise has to offer, there are plenty of reasons why you should traverse Iceland’s waters in style.
Whether you travel in Iceland in solitude or with your loved ones, the luxurious experiences listed above will guarantee a memorable trip. If you’re in search of unique travel ideas and resources, feel free to check out the other posts here at The HoliDaze.