Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic that has been gaining popularity for its geological wonders and tourist-friendly accommodations. Ranked highest in the world for its quality of life, this little country has a lot to offer.

Getting there
Good news: WOW air has several flights to Iceland from North America (including from BWI, CLE and CVG) and they’re affordable … really affordable. The airline even offers a stopover option that gives travelers the chance to break up long-haul journeys across the Atlantic with 24 hours in the land of fire and ice. You can cover a lot of ground by staying in Reykjavik, from mingling with modern Vikings to swimming in a geothermal pool.

It sounds too good to be true
While getting there is affordable, Iceland can be expensive compared to other European counties because of its geographical location. Most sit-down restaurants charge $20 to $40 per plate, and alcohol carries a high tax. Airbnb offers a lot of affordable and unique options for lodging. Check out Lonely Planet for a budget-friendly itinerary.

5 Magical Reasons to Visit

Iceland is one of the best places in the world to witness the northern lights.
The extreme darkness creates the perfect conditions for viewing the multicolored light show, also known as the aurora borealis. On clear winter nights, sightseeing trips are organized around this spectacular – though fickle – natural phenomenon. There are no guarantees you will see the northern lights during your stay, so track activity before you go.  

They believe in elves.
More than half of Icelanders believer in the Huldufolk – the hidden people. It’s more of a nod to the country’s beauty rather than a fairytale.

Come home looking 10 years younger.
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The sulfur- and silica-rich water has many benefits, including age-defying healing powers. Be sure to pre-book your entrance ticket, and smother your face in the silica mud mask, located in the lagoon.

Visit the fire
Iceland is one of the most volcanically active areas on earth, with a volcanic event occurring every five years on average. The geothermal wonders and mountainous landscapes are all a result of the unsettling activity. Pay close attention to the weather conditions when traveling, and visit for updates.

And then the ice.
It’s hard to ignore the country’s namesake when visiting. Iceland is covered in more than 4,500 square miles of glacier. Glacier Guides offers tours and extreme experiences in the Vatnajökull National Park. Those looking for a shorter but stunning walk can book a Glacier Wonders tour May 16 through Oct. 30.

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