8 Reasons

Why You Shouldn't Visit Iceland
10 min read

You’ve probably been seeing an overload of Iceland photos from your favorite travel photographers/bloggers (cough-me-cough). Well, I just got back from Iceland last week, and here are eight reasons why you shouldn’t visit the Land of Ice and Fire.

1. No other views will compare to Iceland

The Icelandic landscape is one of the most diverse and mind-blowing that I’ve ever witnessed. Just the sheer diversity of the views you’ll come across will put most other countries to shame. Over the course of a three-hour drive, you can witness snowy mountains, sunny grasslands, and alien-looking lava fields. Good luck finding such a distinct countryside anywhere else.

A sunny shot of the Arnastropi coast

The silent, chilly majesty of Glacier Lagoon

Fjadrargljufur Canyon (try saying that out loud)

2. There are too many hot springs

If you know anything about Iceland, you’ve probably seen the Blue Lagoon hot spring. It’s one of the main tourist attractions in the country and draws thousands of weary travelers to its steamy warmth. What you might not know is that there are a plethora of less-commercialized (and sometimes hidden) hot springs in the country. Some are easily found with a Google search, and some require a local to tell you where to go. Seriously, how special can they be if you can soak your weary bones in a hot, natural spring every night?

The Secret Lagoon hot springs

A sunset at the Mývatn Nature Baths

3. There aren’t enough waterfalls

According to a quick Google search, there are upwards of 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. Now, I’m not saying I saw every single one while during my 10 days in the country, but I was a bit disappointed when I saw that number. I don’t know about you, but 10,000 is not nearly enough waterfalls to get me excited to explore the Icelandic countryside. Sure, you have the multi-tiered Gulfoss, the powerful Dettifoss, and everything in-between, but you need to ask yourself an important question. Are 10,000 waterfalls enough for you?

I soaked my leg for this shot of Gufufoss

See the rainbow arcing across Gulfoss?

A drone shot of my favorite waterfall, Godafoss

4. The Wild Ponies Are Better Looking Than You

As I’m sure you’ve seen, wild ponies are all over the place in Iceland. They’re super friendly and, as you can see from the photos, incredibly photogenic. Someone even braided one of the pony’s hair! The entire time I was taking photos of these friendly beasts, I was thinking, “Damn, they pose better than actual models I’ve shot.” This probably isn’t the first time those ponies have made someone self-conscious.

Look at that braid

5. The locals are too helpful

I’ll give an example. When we were in the town of Akureyri (my favorite town in Iceland), we stopped at a gas station to get coffee and donuts. In the process, we asked the gentleman behind the counter where to get a contact case (I had lost mine). Want to know what this guy did for us touristy saps? He went and grabbed a map, circled a grocery store that had a glasses shop, gave us verbal directions to the place, told us where to get food around the area, and filled up our water bottles. That’s just one example of the local Icelandians (not sure if that’s a real term) helping us along our trip. Also, the woman who worked in the glasses store? She gave me the contact case for free. The AUDACITY.

6. It’s too easy to take beautiful photos

With 10,000 waterfalls, oddly beautiful ponies, and a diverse landscape, it’s nearly impossible not to get a gorgeous photo in Iceland. How are you supposed to differentiate yourself as a travel photographer if every person who visits Iceland is coming back with incredible shots? You could literally drop your phone and the resulting photo would be worth printing. Don’t go to Iceland for the great photos you’ll take, it’s too easy.

See? Easy.

7. Road trippers just park anywhere

If there’s one thing I learned living in a van for ten days, it’s that you can sleep just about anywhere you want. There are tons of campgrounds all over the country, but we slept anywhere from a beach parking lot to a side-street in a random suburb. I’m not saying that this was entirely allowed or legal, but we weren’t hassled at all. You’ll see plenty of camper vans parked in random spots along the ring road, often next to a sight they want to see at sunrise. Is that something you want to support? Just parking in nature and waking up to Diamond Beach or the Skogafoss waterfall? What type of monster wants to have that kind of connection and access to nature?

We didn’t sleep on this road, but we could have.

8. Seeing the Northern Lights will detonate your bucket list

If you’re any type of sane person, seeing the Northern Lights should be close to the top of your bucket list. We saw the Aurora Borealis three times during our adventures, twice from the ground and once from the airplane as we flew home. The first night we saw the Lights, they appeared out of nowhere and danced across the sky for almost 20 minutes. We were screaming like possessed people (thankfully we were alone and in the middle of nowhere) and I was crying without realizing it. My first thought after experiencing the Aurora was, “I don’t think anything else on my bucket list will compare to this moment.” Do you want to experience something so mind-warping and beautiful that it makes the rest of your bucket list seem as exciting as a county fair? Think carefully.

A shot from the first time we saw the Northern Lights

Don’t Visit Iceland

If you haven’t figured it out by now (I sincerely hope you have), this entire post is purely sarcastic. Iceland is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and my road trip through the country was by far the best trip I’ve ever experienced. I’ll have a ton more content on Iceland in the coming weeks, like 5 things I wish I knew before going to Iceland, waterfalls you have to see, little-known hot springs, and more. Stay tuned!

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