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In Thingvellir National Park, adventurous types can dive and snorkel in the rift between the European and North American continental plates. Photo: Thomas Kolbein Bjørk Olsen
In Thingvellir National Park, adventurous types can dive and snorkel in the rift between the European and North American continental plates. Photo: Thomas Kolbein Bjørk Olsen

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5 unique experiences in Iceland

The beautiful natural landscape alone is reason enough for most people to visit Iceland. But there are plenty of different options for those looking for an experience off the beaten track.

Snorkeling between continents

In Thingvellir National Park, adventurous types can dive and snorkel in the rift between the European and North American continental plates, which runs right through Iceland. As you float around in the Silfra rift, surrounded by amazing colors, don’t miss the chance to gulp down some of the extremely pure water, which offers clear visibility for an incredible 150m.

www.dive.is

Sigurbjörg Karlsdottir. Photo: Thomas Kolbein Bjørk Olsen

Visit the elves

Visitors from all over the world flock to Hafnarfjordur for one of Sigurbjörg Karlsdottir’s guided tours, which are based around the information provided by one of Iceland’s most famous seers. During the walking tour through the small town, Karlsdottir tells tales of folklore and points out the places where elves, trolls, dwarfs, and other “hidden people” are said to live. Beings which, according to surveys, more than half of Icelanders profess to believe in.

www.alfar.is

Off-road to the airplane wreck

On Saturday, November 24, 1973, a Douglas Super DC-3 aircraft belonging to the US Navy was forced to make an emergency landing on Solheimasandur’s black sandy beach. All those on board survived, but over 40 years later, the plane is still there and has become a popular place to visit. GPS coordinates and a four-wheel drive vehicle are essential if you want to visit the photogenic but remote wreck site in southern Iceland. Coordinates: 63.459523,-19.364618

Cold surfing

Iceland only has one surf tour operator, which isn’t all that surprising, given that the sea temperature rarely rises above 10 degrees. But world-class waves and unique landscapes are attracting more and more surfers to the island in the North Atlantic. At Arctic Surfers you can hire equipment, try out adventure surfing, or have a customized tour that includes both surfing and snowboarding.

www.arcticsurfers.com

Crawling and climbing in caves. Photo: Thomas Kolbein Bjørk Olsen

Iceland from the inside

The Snæfellsjökull National Park, just over half an hour from Reykjavik, is home to the enormous Vatnshellir cave system, which hides underneath the lava field. The cave’s intriguing formations of solidified magma can be explored, if you don’t mind plenty of crawling and climbing.

www.icelandexcursions.is

Text: Eva Paulsen

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