The Wanderful Woman’s Guide to Iceland

Iceland can be described in one single word: captivating. It is home to natural spectacles such as snow capped mountains, hot springs, and rainbow-arched waterfalls, along with the sights and sounds of its bustling capital, Reykjavík. Iceland is a wonderful destination for a solo traveler, a seasoned explorer, or a family ready for an adventure. If you’ve been itching to visit Iceland, don’t wait any longer. Check out our travel guide, put together using recommendations and tips from our very own Wanderful members, here to convince you to book that flight, ASAP.

Women in Iceland

Why is Iceland a great destination for women? Well, let’s take it back a hundred years or so for the answer. For centuries, Icelandic women stayed at home as their seafaring husbands traveled. They served as farmers, hunters, and architects, managed the finances at home, and were paramount in helping the country prosper. By 1975 however, women wanted political representation, and decided to take up measures to achieve that. In order to prove how vital their roles were to the country, on October 24, 1975, 1/5th of Iceland’s female population gathered on the streets of Reykjavik and 90% of Iceland’s female population went on a professional and domestic strike. Within five years, the country had the world’s first democratically elected female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir. With this immense achievement in their history books, Iceland continues to top the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index and was recently named the world’s best place for working women. (The Guardian) Iceland is country that truly reflects the power and courage of women, therefore making it one of the top destinations for females to travel to.

Sights to See

  • þingvellir National Park: A gorgeous park, named after its former use as the original seat of parliament, þingvellir offers stunning hiking trails. You’ll see waterfalls, gorges, and historic sites. One Wanderful woman described it as “stunning and otherwordly!”
  • Sólheimasandur Plane Crash: One Wanderful woman stumbled across this famous, but hidden, plane crash and called it “by far the highlight of my trip!” The wrecked airplane lies on a black sand beach. It’s very much off the beaten path, but the stunning vista is worth the hunt.
  • Black Sand Beach: Volcanic sand makes this beach a dark, mysterious sight. At this spot in southern Iceland you can draw a straight line between the North and South Poles! One Wanderful woman even said it would “leave you speechless.”
  • The Fosses: Iceland is known for its stunning waterfalls. Wanderful women recommend checking out Gulfoss, Skogafoss, and Seljalandsfoss in particular.
  • Myvatn Nature Baths: One Wanderful woman chose these hot springs as an alternative to the blue lagoon. She says “equally as relaxing, a better price, and less busy than the Blue Lagoon.”
  • Hvammstangi: a town tucked away in the northwest corner of the country, known as the seal capital of Iceland. With a beautiful gorge and waterfall, Hvammstangi is a very peaceful place to relax with a possible sighting of baby lambs if you visit in June.

Experiences to Enjoy

  • The Secret Lagoon: Wanderful women recommend checking out the Secret Lagoon as a contrast to the more-visited Blue Lagoon Spa. A geothermal spring keeps you warm and refreshed, no matter the time of year.
  • The National Museum of Iceland: Multiple Wanderful women recommend checking out the National Museum of Iceland – you’ll learn about the country’s history, culture, and more. Besides, who doesn’t want to learn more about vikings?
  • Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon: This glacial lake in southeast Iceland boasts icebergs floating around you. Many Wanderful women recommend taking the boat tour, so you can get close to the stunning icebergs.
  • Ride Icelandic Horses: A breed of horse developed in Iceland, these steeds are as cute as they are sturdy. One Wanderful woman recommends checking out ÍSLENSKI HESTURINN – she loved her experience going on a guided horseback ride to see gorgeous natural beauty.
  • The Beer Spa: Recommended by a Wanderful woman, this unique spa calls for laying in a bathtub filled with beer, water, hops, and yeast, for 25 minutes. Young beer and live beer yeast has a cleansing effect on the skin and great health benefits.

Places to Eat

  • Grillmarkaðurinn: Located in the heart of Reykjavik, Grillmarket provides fine dining connected to the nature of Iceland. Locally sourced seafood, lamb, skyr, and more make this restaurant a delicious, decadent, and fun night out.
  • Bergsson Mathus Cafe: If you’re looking for affordable, delicious baked goods, look no further than Bergsson Mathus Cafe. Wanderful women loved its cozy interior, delicious brunch options, and affordability.
  • Bar Ananas: Wanderful women recommend Bar Ananas, a Reykjavik-based tiki bar, as a fun, vibrant spot to grab a drink alone or with friends. An extra perk? The staff is friendly and willing to give you recommendations for fun things to do in the city.
  • Braud + Co: Braud + Co is a bakery with everything from pastries to authentic Icelandic bread. It’s a repeat favorite among Wanderful women, who can’t stop recommending it!
  • Kaffi Vinyl: One Wanderful woman highly recommends splurging on this entirely vegan restaurant and record shop in Reykjavik. With a hip vibe and retro and mismatched furniture, you’ll feel just like you’re hanging out at a friend’s apartment.

In terms of concerns traveling solo, the Wanderful community can attest to the fact that it is “incredibly safe” and “a great destination for solo or ladies only!” We hope these tips help and inspire you to explore the beautiful country of Iceland. Happy Travels from the Wanderful team!

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