Iceland isn’t exactly the destination you think of when dreaming of a European vacation. It’s a place that geographically-challenged Americans know exists, vaguely, and occasionally hear about on the news.
But then somewhere in the early 2010s, Iceland became a tourist destination. Suddenly there were discount airlines offering enticing prices for tickets to Europe, so long as you do a stopover in Iceland. You can probably also map the popularity of traveling to Iceland against the rise of Game of Thrones. But really all their tourism bureau needs to do is get you on that plane. Once you’re there, the landscapes will sell themselves.
Iceland is probably one of the most tourist friendly places you can go. It’s practically like Disneyland, everything is labeled, there’s scheduled pick ups and drop offs, everyone speaks English, and the itineraries are planned for you. The houses and towns are quaint, the landscapes are majestic. It’s a country that lives with the forces of nature, with a culture that follows the unpredictability of nature. It’s precious because it feels like a special part of the earth has been preserved by generations of Icelandic caretakers.
Whether it’s the waterfalls or the beaches, the geysers or the lagoons, Iceland really does make a breathtaking backdrop. It makes you feel tiny. It makes even the most stubborn city girl want to give that ring road a whirl.