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Novelist | Speaker | Adventurer

9 Amazing sites for a magical Iceland vacation

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Iceland, the 3rd happiest country in the world, is a land of magic. Starting with the name Iceland, which may inspire you to conjure up images of ice and icy landscapes. You’ll have to trek to Greenland for the ice and icy wonders of your dreams. Vikings from Norway settled Iceland sometime in the 800s. Connecting the Icelandic horses in the country today is unique in the fact since they are direct descendants from their ancestral Vikings’ horses.

 

Magical sites to explore in Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja

The tallest building in Iceland and one of the most visually impressive, rising 244 feet above the streets of Reykjavik is Hallgrimskirkja, It is situated in the capital city’s center and has become one of Reykjavik’s best-known symbols.

Álfaskólinn (Elfschool)

Learn about Iceland’s hidden folk at this school dedicated to the study of elves.Road crews in Iceland will sometimes hire folklore experts to determine if certain boulders are homes to elves, and will divert the road around the boulder if it turns out there are little people living within it.

The Volcano Show at Red Rock Cinema

A charmingly eccentric magma chaser presents his complete history of the island’s eruptions since 1947, in cinematic form, just for you.  Hidden on the back quarters of a house on one of Reykjavik’s many hills is a bright red oversized garage known as the Red Rock Cinema. Inside, a man by the name of Villi Knudson has spent years showing just one movie, albeit in three languages depending on the day.

Natural Wonders

Reykjadalur

Magic abounds around Iceland’s “Smoky Valley” which is a beautiful river that is shrouded in a constant cover of steam clouds. It’s located within the vicinity of the quaint town of Hveragerði, just 45 kilometers away from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. This smoke-shrouded, hidden valley is a part of one of the largest geothermal areas in the country. For the adventurous, there is also a popular local hiking trail leading into the valley after about an hour’s trek, which is eventually dominated by a gorgeous geothermal river. 

Silfra

This natural Icelandic fissure allows divers to swim right between two volatile tectonic plates. The rift sits in the gap between the North American and Eurasian continental plates, where an imperfect seam allows explorers into the watery depths an opportunity to dive towards the center of the Earth

Hvítserkur

It rises from the sea like a stone monster.  Starting as the plug of a volcano, over the years the craters surrounding the rock plug gave way to the pounding Atlantic Ocean to leave the outcropping Hvítserkur behind. Icelandic legend has it that the rock was a troll who forgot to retreat from the light and was turned to stone in the sunrise, though from some angles it is said to look like a dragon drinking from the water.

Art

Víddaflakk (Interdimensional Hopscotch)

Check out the plaque that tells one part of Eliala Mei-Ning’s story in an imagined parallel universe.  Kcymaerxthaere is a “parallel universe that intersects with much of our linear Earth, but with different stories, creatures, peoples, even laws of physics and qualities of existence.” It has been likened to a novel with every page in a different place.

Selárdalur Valley

A “simple-hearted artist” turns an isolated Icelandic valley into his own art museum.  Farmer-turned-Folk artist Samúel Jónsson never managed to make much of a living as a painter, but after he retired the “simple-hearted artist” devoted his last years to churning out as much creativity as possible.

Stykkisholmur, Iceland- The Library of Water

This collection of unique liquids allows visitors to wander the waters of Iceland’s glaciers Known as “Vatnasafn” in the native Icelandic, the Library of Water is a long-term project that has set out to capture the spirit of Iceland through its waters, weather, and words.

Are you interested in more Iceland magic?

Pick up this book.

The Little Book of the Hidden People: Twenty stories of elves from Icelandic folklore by Alda Sigmundsdottir  (Author, Translator)

Icelandic folklore is rife with tales of elves and hidden people that inhabited hills and rocks in the landscape. But what do those elf stories really tell us about the Iceland of old and the people who lived there? In this book, author Alda Sigmundsdóttir presents twenty translated elf stories from Icelandic folklore, along with fascinating notes on the context from which they sprung.

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