Discover the Ancient Wonders of Iceland
by Roy Witman © 2008
Viking ships and frigid ice expanses.
Snowcapped mountains and rolling hillsides. Water,
water and more water. You might imagine all these
when someone mentions Iceland. While they are part
of what you'll find, the wonders of Iceland reach much
farther. According to the Iceland Tourist Board
website, Iceland is closer than you think, but far
different than you ever imagined. Nothing could be
Mystery, Myths and Mountains
Ancient legends of Leif Eriksson and other Vikings
along with the Midnight Sun shroud Iceland in
mystery. Stunning mountain ranges offer scenery
similar to that found in the movie The Sound of Music
during spring and majestic, jagged peaks during
winter. All of these are true depictions of Iceland.
However, over the years several myths about this
gorgeous slice of nature have also developed. Let's
clear a few of those up.
Did you know...
Wintertime temperatures in several areas of
Iceland are higher than those in New York City and
other eastern seaboard towns.
Iceland is only a 5-hour flight from the east
coast of the United States. That's 1 hour shorter than
flying from Boston to Seattle!
June, July and August offer nonstop fun
because Iceland has daylight round the clock.
Iceland is virtually a pollution-free country being
almost completely powered with geothermal and
Iceland has the capability to grow delicious
organic fruits and vegetables in greenhouses year
Did you also know that celebrities including
Saturday Night Live's Will Forte and mega-star Jodie
Foster rave about what fun they had in Iceland?
Foster, in her interview with late-night host David
Letterman, called Iceland “fantastic” and specifically
named the lava fields, glaciers, whales, puffins,
thermal pools and neon-blue water as some of her
While not considered a “celebrity,” the United
Nations named Iceland the best country in the world to
live. Quite impressive!
Nature At Her Best
If the outdoors is your thing, Iceland won't
disappoint! As Jodie Foster mentioned, glaciers and
lava fields are very popular sights in Iceland. In
addition, you'll encounter spewing geysers and
steaming solfataras, volcanoes, raging rivers and
breathtaking waterfalls. Then there are the
With the largest razorbill colony in the world,
Iceland boasts a healthy and diverse bird population.
Puffins, skua, eiders, Arctic terns, waders and other
unique species are found all throughout the country.
Add to that an excellent selection of whales, dolphins
and porpoises and you've got a show sure to entertain
your entire family.
From seasonal festivals to the world-famous Blue
Lagoon geothermal spa (known to cure skin diseases
such as psoriasis!) to whitewater rafting, Iceland is a
unique playground offering plenty for all to do and see.
Since it's closer (and warmer!) than you previously
thought, why not make plans to cruise to Iceland for
your next vacation?
Read more about European Cruises.