Iceland has impressive landscapes, volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, geothermal pools, beaches, fjords, and one of the most magnificent natural shows on earth — the northern lights.
This Nordic island country wasn’t so popular a few years ago, but now it has been on every globetrotter’s mind.
Many have realized that besides its natural beauty, this place’s history, people, and fascinating culture are worth discovering.
And it’s the perfect summer destination for those who want to avoid summer heat!
Iceland’s tourism boom was recently discussed in a New York Times interview with former U.N. tourism ambassador and now Iceland’s first lady, Eliza Reid.
Reid shared wise advice for travelers interested in visiting Iceland and revealed the “secret” of the best way to get to know locals: in a hot tub or at a geothermal pool.
Here are 6 reasons why Iceland has become a top summer destination in 2023:
1) Amazing Outdoor Experiences
Nature lovers fall crazy in love with this country for its jaw-dropping landscapes and relaxing attractions — and we all want to feel at ease and enjoy beautiful spaces in 2023.
Travelers can relax, heal, and get the most amazing photos.
Quick warning: Even though it can be tempting to get the most incredible pictures in the world next to active volcanoes or a cool video of the sneaker waves at the beach, Reid also warned travelers that nature in Iceland can be very powerful and visitors should always be careful and use common sense.
2) More Direct Flights And Great Airport Facilities
One of the reasons why travelers didn’t visit this Nordic island before was because of the lack of direct flights.
Now low-cost airlines like Icelandic airline fly from over 10 cities in the United States and offer travelers affordable prices.
Another advantage in Iceland is related to services and infrastructure.
Keflavík International Airport in Reykjavík was recently recognized as one of the best airports in Europe in its category—airports welcoming 5 to 15 million passengers per year— for its service quality.
3) Year-Round Travel Opportunities
Even though summer is one the best seasons to visit this country as it has pleasant weather and lots of daylight—especially during the midnight Sun season— to explore the most amazing destinations, Iceland offers visitors top experiences throughout the year.
During winter, travelers have more opportunities to see the breathtaking northern lights.
Since nature is its main attraction, and nature is constantly changing, visitors can get different experiences every time they visit.
4) Geothermal Pools And Hot Tubs As Social Activities
As Reid explained, soaking up in geothermal pools or relaxing in hot tubs is not just a personal experience but also a social activity.
Having a wellness moment in clean and pure waters and also connecting to local culture? 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 meet Icelanders and learn about their culture and lifestyle.
It’s also an affordable experience and each place has its own atmosphere and style.
5) More Restaurants, Cafes, And Tourist Activities
Since tourism has boomed, there are now more accommodation options, restaurants, cafes, and activities for visitors.
Iceland also offers environmentally friendly tourism experiences, so travelers can explore guilt-free in one of the safest destinations in the world and also learn about responsible tourism.
In the capital, Reykjavík, travelers will find great museums, vibrant nightlife, and many restaurants and bars to choose from.
6) Delicious Local Cuisine
Have you heard about the Hákarl or the Plokkfiskur? Maybe you should check it out, or, even better, maybe you should travel to Iceland to taste it.
Icelandic cuisine is not as popular as Italian or French cuisine but is rich in flavor and creativity.
Travelers enjoy tasting local dishes like pylsur—Reykjavik’s Hot Dog—, the traditional kæstur Hákarl—fermented shark—, and the traditional fish stew, the Plokkfiskur.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com