Naturally Healthy Travel in Iceland3 min read
Besides being a blast, traveling in Iceland is actually pretty healthy – whether you try to or not! When my friends and I jetted off to Reykjavik for a quick five-day vacation, we never expected to come home feeling so refreshed and rejuvenated. Below are some ways that traveling in Iceland is a healthy endeavor, naturally.
Outside of the city, you’re surrounded by nature
With only one major city, the rest of the country calls for hiking, swimming, mountaineering, and much more. No sooner did we hop off the plane than we were on our way to Blue Lagoon. There we relaxed and swam in the milky blue, silica-laden waters. It was the perfect way to revitalize after our journey.
On our second day, my friends and I embarked on a two and a half hour guided hike through Sólheimajökull Glacier. Not only was the scenery absolutely breathtaking, but we got quite a workout as well. It’s not an easy task getting used to your ice crampons and pickaxe, but once you do, you’re in for a thrilling and heart-pumping adventure. Later in the evening, we did a nighttime trek behind a gorgeous waterfall. Needless to say, by day three we were exhausted but feeling great.
Water is fresh, free, and available everywhere
Unlike our aversion to tap water here in the United States, Icelanders prefer their water from the faucet. In fact, it was only when tourism started booming in the country that they began producing bottled water. Tap water in Iceland is safe, delicious and perfectly fine to drink from any sink you find. Many restaurants and stores have a self-serve station for you to fill up as you please, so remember to bring your reusable bottles.
Efficient and stress-free
Iceland is by far one of the easiest countries I’ve ever traveled to when it comes to getting around. From the airport to the roads, everything is quick, straightforward and hassle-free. For example, when going through security at the Reykjavik airport the bins are on motion sensors, meaning, no more trying to throw your stuff on the belt while simultaneously taking off your shoes and running alongside it. There are also estimated wait times posted all around, so you never have to worry about having enough time to hit the restroom or duty-free shop without missing your flight.
It is also extremely easy to find your way around in Iceland. In addition to a convenient bus that is available for transportation straight from the airport to the city, it is also intuitive to get around on foot or by rental car. Signs are clearly marked, and the country is so small that it is impossible to get lost on their very few roads. Not to mention, there is always a friendly Icelander nearby to point you in the right direction. If you’re an anxious traveler like me, this will take a huge weight off your mind when figuring out how to get from point A to point B.
Food is fresh and filling
Despite the hefty price tag due to a strong currency, most foods available in Iceland are both natural and organic. However, if you are eating on a budget, skip the continental breakfast and grab yourself a container of skyr. Skyr is a dairy product similar to yogurt that has been eaten in Iceland since the time of the Vikings. It’s naturally fat-free and packed with protein. Just a small package in the morning kept us easily full and energized through lunch. It’s also delicious! We’re predicting skyr to be the next big health food trend here in the U.S., just you wait.
There are dozens more ways that Iceland is the perfect healthy destination. Between the environment, food and hassle-free travel, you’re sure to arrive home feeling clean and serene instead of bloated and ready to hit the gym. The only disappointing feeling you’ll have is the strong urge to go back as soon as possible!