3 LITTLE KNOWN TREASURES IN ICELAND
When you think of a getaway, Iceland is often not the first place many people consider. The Nordic island might just surprise you with its enchanting sights and black sand beaches. After reading, you will find that Iceland is more than just Northern Lights.
Reynisfjara Beach – This beach is gorgeous and an absolute must-see! With its rare black sand and basalt columns, there is much to explore on this volcanic shoreline. The black sand is lava that cooled once it hit the water and the sand is more like various small stones. White sand and red sand beaches (Westfjords) also exist in Iceland. While on Reynisfjara, you can see Gardar, which is a basalt cliff that resembles a staircase to heaven. It is a natural pyramid and was formed by columnar jointing. There are many basalt columns throughout Iceland, but this is by far the most exceptional.
Silfra – Silfra is a fantastic diving spot located in Thingvellir National Park. It is the crevice between the tectonic plates in North America and Eurasian continents. It is the only place in the world where you can dive between two tectonic plates that shift roughly 2 cm every year. The shifting of the earth creates new caverns and tunnels. There is plenty of wildlife to see on your dive/snorkel. The three main dive sites are; Silfra Hall, Silfra Cathedral, and Silfra Lagoon. The maximum depth is about 207 feet. The water is the purest in the world, and you can feel free to take a sip while diving.
Holuhraun Lava – This is a fairly new site that you can visit located in the Highlands of Iceland. You will need a 4WD to reach the landscape, and be sure you get a high-quality vehicle that is equipped to travel on the unique terrain. Holuhraun is the newest formed lava flow from a volcano that lasted from August 2014 through February 2015. When peering into the rifts of the lava, you see many beautifully vivid colors. While driving along the sand, you can still see steam in certain areas. It is a geological wonder to behold. Be careful and stay on the marked paths and to wear gloves when handling any lava rocks.
Although volcanic activity can be intimidating, it makes for very scenic after effects. Iceland is one of the most majestic islands in the world and with its waterfalls, mossy canyons, and natural pools, you will have plenty of places to explore.