Iceland and its unique landscape have inspired both ancient poets and modern creative minds. Rough volcanic rock formations and cascading waterfalls have also convinced visitors that there is something deeply spiritual about this Arctic island.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or enlightenment, Iceland is a must for anyone seeking an escape from the everyday. Follow our tips to make the most of it.
1. Experience The Northern Lights
A phenomenon famed all over the world, the Northern Lights are a must-visit for spiritual travelers. Experience the best an Iceland winter can offer by booking a tour to see Aurora Borealis.
The Northern Lights have been shrouded in myth for thousands of years. Early pagans explained the mysterious lights with legends. Some claimed the green glowing streaks formed a gateway to Valhalla, or the kingdom of the Norse gods. Others believed that the lights could ease the pain of childbirth among pregnant women.
While modern science has explained the origins of Aurora Borealis, this natural light show is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world.
We strongly recommend booking your accommodation for Iceland in advance as a lot of the best options are frequently full… Check out this post to get the lowdown on some of the best hotels for viewing the Northern Lights.
2. Lose Yourself In Iceland’s Hot Springs
We’ve talked about trips that spur on your spiritual awakening before, and Iceland is certainly one of those places. We recommend bathing in a hot spring to fully experience this.
Dotted across the island’s volcanic landscape, these pools are naturally heated by intense geothermic activity below the earth’s surface. As a result, the water is enriched with beneficial minerals.
Witness the serene side of Iceland in Westfjord. Far from the hustle and bustle of tourist areas, waterfalls, fjords and jagged cliffs surround this spectacular region. Bathe in a pool at Reykjafjordur, and breathe in the pure, fresh air. This is one of the best ways to truly let go in Iceland.
3. Discover Norse Myths Across Iceland
Iceland’s stunning geography and rock formations are indisputable natural wonders. However, did you know they’ve also inspired fantastic tales? Thor may be the star of comic books and movies now, but the hammer-wielding Norse god has origins in ancient Icelandic culture.
According to Icelandic legend, trolls and other supernatural beings helped to create this unique landscape. In Reynisfjara, local legend claimed that the volcanic basalt columns were once trolls. Meanwhile, the spirit of a female prophet is said to protect the picturesque town of Völvuleidi. When you see rural areas for yourself, you’ll understand why Icelanders continue to be a very spiritual people.
4. Visit Iceland’s Answer To Stonehenge
If you drive further north to Raufarhöfn, you’ll come across a striking circle of stone towers. This is Arctic Henge – a complex structure that has been designed to frame the midnight sun during the winter solstice.
Although the Arctic Henge is a modern creation, it takes its inspiration from Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland.
What results is something of a giant sundial – the towers cast shadows in precise locations, depending on the time of year.
5. Soak Up History and Nature at Thingvellir
Knowing a nation’s history is key to knowing its spirituality. With a visit to Thingvellir National Park, you’ll get close to Iceland’s ancient culture and its amazing nature.
A renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, this area was once the home of Iceland’s parliament. It’s said that the unique geography of the park created a nature amphitheater-style arena, where every speaker could be heard.
The undisturbed landscapes around Thingvellir are also notable. Here, you’ll find seismic fault lines, impressive rock formations and the beautiful Öxaráfoss Waterfall.
Free your mind by diving in the clear waters of Silfra and Davídsgjiá, two submerged rifts on the park’s lake.
6. Take In The Imposing Icebergs Of Jökulsárlón
There are hundreds of natural wonders all across Iceland, but Jökulsárlón is a must-visit.
Though the lagoon has served as a backdrop for numerous action movies, it’s far removed from high-octane thrills. From a distance, the sight of Jökulsárlón is a serene one. The light blue icebergs have been compared to a ghostly procession over the freezing cold water. Breathe in and appreciate all their beauty.
Getting up close to these magnificent structures couldn’t be a more different experience. Sailing among these huge icebergs can be a truly humbling experience.
7. Don’t Rule Out Reykjavik!
International flights to Iceland arrive at Keflavík International Airport near Reykjavik, but that doesn’t mean the capital is a mere stopover. There is plenty to do in this exciting and cultural city, besides arrive at the airport.
Go hiking on the nearby Mount Esja for inspiring, birds-eye views of Reykjavik. Trails around the mountain range from easy climbs to more challenging ascents, so don’t be put off if you’re an amateur hillwaker. The panorama from the “Steinn”, a point around 200 meters below the summit, is a great place to stop and appreciate how far you’ve come.
For cultural evenings in Reykjavik, check out the Harpa Concert Hall. The venue hosts a wide range of classical, jazz and world music events.