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Iceland has impressive landscapes, volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, geothermal pools, beaches, fjords and one of the most magnificent natural spectacles in the world: the northern lights.
This Nordic island country wasn’t so popular a few years ago, but now it’s on every globetrotter’s mind.
Many have realized that in addition to its natural beauty, the history, the people and the fascinating culture of this place are worth discovering.
And it is the perfect summer destination for those who want to avoid the summer heat!
The tourism boom in Iceland was recently discussed in a New York Times interview with former UN tourism ambassador and now first lady of Iceland, Eliza Reid.
Reid shared some sage advice for travelers interested in visiting Iceland and revealed the « secret » to the best way to meet the locals: in a jacuzzi or geothermal pool.
Here are 6 reasons why Iceland has become one of the top summer destinations in 2023:
1) Incredible outdoor experiences
Nature lovers fall madly in love with this country for its amazing landscapes and relaxing attractions, and we all want to feel comfortable and enjoy beautiful spaces in 2023.
Iceland has one of the best tourist attractions in the world, The Blue Lagoon. This impressive geothermal spa has mineral-rich hot water, and many say it even has healing properties.
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Travelers can relax, heal and get the most amazing photos.
Quick warning: While it can be tempting to get the world’s most incredible pictures next to active volcanoes or a cool video of waves crashing on the beach, Reid also cautioned travelers that nature in Iceland can be very powerful and visitors should always be careful and use common sense.
2) More direct flights and excellent airport facilities
One of the reasons that travelers did not visit this Nordic island before was due to the lack of direct flights.
Now, low-cost airlines like Icelandic Airlines fly from more than 10 cities in the United States and offer travelers affordable prices.
Another advantage of Iceland is related to services and infrastructure.
Keflavík International Airport in Reykjavík was recently recognized as one of the best airports in Europe in his category—airports receiving 5 to 15 million passengers a year— for the quality of their service.
3) Travel opportunities throughout the year
Although summer is one of the best seasons to visit this country, since it has a pleasant climate and plenty of natural light, especially during the midnight sun season, to explore the most incredible destinations, Iceland offers visitors the best experiences during all year.
During the winter, travelers have more opportunities to see the impressive Northern Lights.
Since nature is its main draw, and nature is constantly changing, visitors can get different experiences each time they visit.
4) Geothermal pools and Jacuzzis as social activities
As Reid explained, soaking in geothermal pools or relaxing in hot tubs is not just a personal experience but also a social activity.
Have a moment of well-being in clean and pure water and also connect with the local culture? It sounds like a plan! And yes, Iceland ranks as one of the best spa and wellness getaways.
Visiting and getting to know the different pools is also a way to get to know the Icelanders and learn about their culture and lifestyle.
It is also an affordable experience and each place has its own atmosphere and style.
5) More Restaurants, Cafes And Tourist Activities
Due to the tourism boom, there are now more accommodation options, restaurants, cafes and activities for visitors.
Iceland also offers eco-friendly travel experiences, so travelers can explore one of the safest destinations in the world guilt-free and also learn about responsible tourism.
In the capital, Reykjavík, travelers will find great museums, a vibrant nightlife, and plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.
6) Delicious Local Cuisine
Have you heard of the Hákarl or the Plokkfiskur? Maybe you should check it out or better yet, maybe you should travel to Iceland to give it a try.
Icelandic cuisine is not as popular as Italian or French cuisine, but it is rich in flavor and creativity.
Travelers enjoy tasting local dishes such as pylsur – Reykjavik hot dog -, the traditional kæstur Hákarl – fermented shark – and the traditional fish stew, Plokkfiskur.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com