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Rome Received Its First Snowfall In 6 Years, And Boy, Are The Pictures Amazing!

After the snow Gods blessed Tokyo earlier this year, it’s now the turn of Rome! The weather surely is currently turning bipolar with one destination after another receiving their share of soul-gratifying snowfall. While we Delhiites are stuck with a confused weather, the people of Rome are happily trotting about in heaps of crisp, white snow. Thanks to this much-awaited feat of nature, the world’s eyes have suddenly turned to the hypnotizing landscapes of Rome and people can’t get enough of the stunning pictures!

Romans are sharing breathtaking snaps of their lovable city – everything from ancient ruins to roads draped in white.

Find out why snowfall in Rome is taking the internet by storm

La neve a Roma

Image Courtesy: Piergiorgio Pirrone

snowfall rome colosseum

snowfall rome colosseum night

rome snowfall kissing

rome snowball fight

rome st peter's church

rome colosseum bike

The ancient Colosseum is seen during an heavy snowfall late in the night in Rome

Snowfall in Rome

Snowfall in Piazza Navona, Roma

Instagram and Twitter is fast filling up with fascinating pictures of the white wonderland of Rome!

It may not be a big deal for you, but Romans are overjoyed at experiencing snowfall after so many years. So much so that they can’t stop talking about it on Twitter and Instagram. Have a look at the mind-blowing pictures that people are sharing of the snowfall in Rome, and I bet it’ll seduce your traveler’s soul like never before!

1. The Colosseum being showered with snow

2. Straight out of a fairy tale!

3. Even this wee lil doggy is happy!

4. Aerial views of the Colosseum under snow, anyone?

Surreal, isn’t it? Now book a trip to Rome and go experience this fantasyland for real while the snowy magic lasts.

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Destinations Uncategorized Vietnam Travel

India Is Set To Become A 48-Billion Dollar Travel Market By 2020, And The Credit Goes To YOU!

As much as it looks like domestic travel has inspired and evoked the never-ending wanderlust in Indian travelers, a recent study carried out by Google India and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals that India is set to become a 48-billion dollar travel market by 2020. According to the report called Demystifying The Indian Online Traveler, the domestic travel market in India is expected to grow at a rate of 11 to 11.5 percent within a span of next three years.

The report not just maps the decision making process by Indians throughout the planning of a trip, but also opens up umpteen opportunities for the growth of travel industry as a whole. From the frequently visited touch points to the highest contributor to the travel industry, here are some of the key findings of the report that are informative, interesting, and intriguing at the same time.

Rajasthan, India

  • The domestic travel market in India is predicted to grow at the rate of 11 to 11.5 percent to about $48 billion by the year of 2020.
  • The biggest contributors of domestic Indian travel market will be the air travel and the hotel industry.
  • While air travel is projected to grow at a rate of 15 percent to $30 billion, the hotel industry is predicted to grow at a rate of 13 percent to $13 billion within three years.
  • With an increase in the penetration of smartphones and usage of digital wallets, the presence of travelers on online platforms is expected to increase as well.
  • The network of railways is predicted to slug through at a current pace of $5 billion.
  • With a penetration of 31 percent, the online hotel market in India is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 percent (CAGR) to $4 billion.
  • The penetration of online hotel market will increase to an extent that within a period of three years from now, one in three bookings for hotel accommodation will be done online.
  • Of all the existing touch points, Online Travel Agencies or OTA (64 percent), search engines (33 percent), and maps (26 percent) are the top three touch points that have maximum reach among the travelers.
  • When it comes to a planning a vacation which includes research, planning, and bookings, an Indian traveler spends about 49 minutes over a period of 46 days and browses through a maximum of 17 varied touch points on an average.
  • The duration of each online session which sums upto a total of 49 minutes, is observed to be below 3 minutes which is primarily due to the ubiquity of smartphones.
  • As far as research is concerned, 57 percent of the travelers have it in their opinion that they find better deals and discounts on online platforms against 12 percent of the travelers who still prefer offline sources.
  • Of the 57 percent travelers that research online, 41 percent of them find it comfortable and convenient to book their trips online.
  • Of all the factors, 76 percent of the travelers get inspired to travel via the positive word of mouth that is spread by their friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Also, ratings and reviews given by other travelers and consumers act as the prime factor for influencing the traveler’s choice of a booking channel.

Kerala In Monsoon

According to Vikas Agnihotri – the Industry Director, Google India, “India’s domestic travel market is on an acceleration path. One of the key findings of the report is that by 2020, one in three hotel rooms will be booked online – a clear indicator of the growing importance of digital in travel research, planning and booking. There are several actionable insights for domestic online travel players including the role of mobile and the level of curation and personalization that Indian travellers are looking for.”

On the other hand, Abheek Singhi, Senior Partner and Asia Pacific Head of Consumer Practice, BCG said, “Travel is a high investment – both monetary and emotional – category. Technology has led to democratization of travel through better information and price discovery – and shall lead to 11-11.5% growth in years ahead. The question is ” how to address the 17 different touch points of three minutes each over 49 days!”

Himalayas In India

While it was also observed that Indians travelers seek customized services over privacy in a recent report by Amadeus, this study by Google India and BCG only comes in as an added advantage for the travel businesses especially those who have their presence, online.

As much as it’s clear that a vacation for majority of Indian travelers is a serious business, the evolution of domestic Indian travel market will be an interesting turn of events in the near future. However, it all boils down to how the leading online travel portals capture the needs of the travelers right at the planning stage of a vacation, which is not just a trip, but a well-thought and well-planned call of action by the travelers of India.

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A Stay At This Shipwreck Lodge In Namibia Will Take You Back To The Happier Times Of Titanic!

Set on the popular Skeleton Coast and spread across a deserted region of about 146,600 hectares, this African paradise offers a Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia in which, one wouldn’t mind sinking at all. In middle of all the skulls and bones that reside on the coast, an offbeat accommodation awaits in the northwestern region of Namibia that lets you relish the taste of luxury amidst African wilderness like none other.

Shipwreck lodge in Namibia

  • Inside Skeleton Coast Park
  • At the heart of Skeleton Coast Central Concession
  • On the banks of the Hoarusib River Mouth
  • Between the rivers of Hoarusib and Hoanib
  • Perched between the massive dunes
  • Overlooking Atlantic Ocean
  • At a distance of just 68 kilometers to the north of Möwe Bay

Cannot give shape to your imagination yet? Well that’s how mesmerizing your stay would feel like at these luxurious cabins built in the shape of an actual shipwreck. While the whole lodge comprises of eight twin-sharing rooms and two family tents, each of the wrecks or the rooms will offer:

  • Fully-furnished rooms
  • A lamp and a wood-burning stoves
  • Huge windows
  • A private swimming pool
  • A shower, toilet, a washbasin, and other facilities that run on solar power
  • A writing desk
  • A coffee or tea station

Shipwreck lodge

While staying at Skeleton Coast National Park’s first ever lodge is an experience in itself, you will also be taken through the mind-blowing relics of the Karimona shipwreck, the Ventura Bomber, the Suiderkus Shipwreck, the deserted diamond mines of the Westies, and the remains of Flamingo pools’ reeds.

Other Experiences That Are Not To Be Missed At All!

  • Excursion to the seal colony on Mowe Bay
  • Dune bashing on the Namibian desert
  • Go for a sundowner drive
  • Say hello to hyenas at the Clay Castles on a 4×4 drive
  • Go on a full-day excursion on River Hoarusib
  • Enjoy a scrumptious lunch on the beach (subjected to feasible weather conditions)

Shipwreck lodge Skeleton Coast

Please Note: While the work is still in progress, the hotel will be open for bookings from June 2018 onwards.

Details Of Shipwreck Lodge In Namibia

Location: Shipwreck Lodge – Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Website | Phone: 0026-461-228-104
Price: (based on double-sharing per person)

  • Introductory Rate: 8685 NAD / 47530 INR / 730 USD (1st June 2018 to 31st July 2018)
  • Peak Season: 12220 NAD / 66875 INR / 1028 USD (1st August to 15th November 2018 and 20th December 2018 to 6th January 2019)
  • Low Season: 10200 NAD / 55818 INR / 858 USD (16th November to 19th December 2018 and 7th January to 30th June 2019)

Don’t know about shipwreck-diving, but we are all in to indulge in this stunning Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia. So, how many of you are eager to stay here? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Home On Wheels: A Tiny House That Allowed A Couple To Travel 45,000 Miles

The couple from Long Island (both documentary filmmakers) fell in love with each other in North Carolina and decided to build a house that’ll let them travel across the country. The tiny 130-square-foot house of Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons has allowed them to travel across 36 US states and a Canadian province. They live a nomadic life now!

The couple first considered reducing the size of their house from American-sized homes that are around 2,500 ft when they came back from a road trip together. Parsons was the one who introduced the idea of not only down-sizing the house, but going super tiny.

the couple in front of their house

Alexis said “Our personal journey to tiny living was born out of desire to simplify, create more flexibility and embrace everyday adventure.”

They started the construction in the autumn of 2014, and it took them about 9 months to build the home. Stephens says that the construction was slow and long, but it was worth the wait and effort. The main challenge of the entire project was to build a house “on wheels”, which comes with legal placement or parking issue.

Stephens says “Christian and I poured our hearts into the building of our tiny house, and it contains all of our belongings. The first time we took it on the road my heart was pounding, but the more we’ve done it, the less stressful it’s become.”

inside the tony wheel house

Although their wonderful house is small, but it has every essential thing they need during their travel. The tiny home has a kitchen, living space, bathroom, kitchen, a small refrigerator, and a small bedroom. If you’re interested in their life and progress of their home, you can follow them on Tiny House Expedition.

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This Valentine’s Day, Rent Gladden Island in the Caribbean Sea For the Perfect Date

You read that right! This Valentine’s Day skip the flowers and chocolates routine, or (GASP!) The forbidden gift certificate or the horror of horrors – Cash! To woo your date, not to mention impress them to no end, you can now rent an entire island resort just for the two of you.

view of gladden island Caribbean sea

According to travelandleisure, Gladden Island, located just off the coast of Belize and a mere four hours away from Miami, is a luxury private island that is still available for rent this V-Day.

Teetering right on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef, this is the epitome of seclusion. You know what that means, no one far and wide to interrupt those all-important cuddles. Imagine being surrounded by turquoise waters till as far as the eyes can see, with cozy lagoons visible on the horizon and whale sharks going about their yearly migration!

But wait, being alone on this island doesn’t mean you have to do all the cooking and cleaning on your own. The fantastic wait staff and the cleaning crew that comes with your island reside on another smaller island, right behind Gladden Island. And the best part is that they can slide in and out of the place, cleaning and cooking as they go, without being at all intrusive; all this at a moment’s notice.

room at gladden island caribbean

For $3,073 a night it is actually pretty reasonable, considering that this is a world-class, one-of-a-kind, elegant, utterly luxurious, fully furnished accommodation for two. Did we mention, you can also dine on local dishes prepared by guest chefs who come highly recommended from global kitchens?

For that extra-special bonding session, make sure to book a couple’s spa therapy at the island itself or charter a boat to take your honey on an island hopping trip. Your personal concierge at Gladden Island can take care of the booking for you!

You know what they say, Go Big or Go Home! Better make it fast; we are sure there are many lined up to Rent Gladden Island to woo their partner with this grand Valentine’s Day gesture.

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Why Going On A Honeymoon In Maldives & Staying At Sun Island Resort Was A Perfect Idea!

My honeymoon in Maldives was the most special trip of our life and now it is my most special memory. The lush greenery, luxuries of the resort, and the precious moments spent with my wife are forever ingrained in my heart and would be so till the end of times.

Choosing our honeymoon destination was tricky for we wanted a honeymoon where we could chill and enjoy each others company. For this, there were many amazing options on board like Thailand, Bali, and Mauritius but we ultimately went with Maldives for we loved the idea of staying at an island resort and doing nothing but relaxing.

I searched for a lot of packages on internet, till I stumbled upon TravelTriangle – a marketplace for travelers and travel agents where one could get a tailor made package as per their own preference and budget.

beaches in maldives

So I raised a request for Maldives honeymoon package and was soon contacted by a representative from TravelTriangle. He understood my needs and further connected me to three of their best agents for customized packages. After receiving the quotes from multiple agents, I chose the best one that would guide our honeymoon since he provided us with best quotes and customizations.

Later, after a few discussions and some changes, everything was planned as per my choice and we were ready for our trip to begin.

My wife and I were very excited for our first ‘official’ holiday together and were now more than looking forward to a spectacular vacation. Thankfully though, it exceeded our expectations.

Trip Details Of Our Honeymoon In Maldives

  • Duration: 4 Nights 5 Days
  • Cost: INR 196000 (for two)
  • Inclusions: Flights, Meals (all), Transfers, and Hotel
  • Exclusions: Money spend on restaurants not part of the package and personal expenses

Day 1: A warm and sunny welcome into the tropical paradise

sun island resort in maldives

airport in male

We took our flight from Delhi and it was a connecting one. From Delhi we reached Trivandrum and from there we proceeded to Male, where we took another flight to our resort in Maldives, The Sun Island Resort.

india to male flight

nihal and his wife in maldives

This was a beautiful property on a private island and we were astounded by how large it was. We were given welcome drinks upon our arrival and post a quick check into the Beach Bungalow, we settled in. We were quite happy that our room was well decorated and that it also had a complimentary cake and a fruit basket for us.

lobby of sun island resort

maldives sun island resort

Next up was exploring the resort and we immediately began that after we rested for a while. It is worth noting that this resort is huge and has so many beaches and yes, we did get an option to to rent a cycle but we chose not to since we wanted to walk and stop wherever we wanted to.

sun island resort at night

The restaurant for lunch was 5-7 minutes away from our bungalow and since we had opted for a full-board package, all of our meals were included. Later, after chilling at the beach (this time a different one), we had our dinner and called it a night. So far, everything was pretty amazing and I had a feeling, it was only going to get better (and I was correct!).

Maldives Honeymoon Packages On TravelTriangle

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Day 2: Relaxation Mode – ON

nihal and his wife at sun island resort

beach bungalow sun

garden in sun island resort

nature sun island resort

sun island resort food

sun island resort beach bungalow

nihal with his wife at sun island resort

beach of sun island resort

We were truly settled into our resort now and quite frankly loving each moment since there was nothing to do but to enjoy each other’s sweet company. Today, we explored some more beaches, chilled even more and spoke to many people, including a family of Europeans who had come with their families and had been staying here for more than 15-20 days. The Indians on the other hand were mostly honeymooners just like us – spending precious moments with each other and soaking in some tropical love.

Planning your honeymoon in Maldives but confused about what to do? These Maldives honeymoon stories help you find your best honeymoon trip ever!

Real honeymooners. Real stays. Real opinions to help you make the right choice.

Day 3: The Water Villa experience

beaches in sun island resort

beaches of sun island resort

things to eat at sun island resort

Today, in the afternoon, we were shifted to the water villa and quite frankly, it was the best place to stay. Our villa was over water and had access to go directly into the water from the room to swim and snorkel. It was raining in the afternoon and soon my wife and I went for a romantic walk in the rain and it was one of the best experiences ever.

outdoor eating at sun island resort

water villa transfer sun island resort

sun island resort chill

This was followed by an amazing spa session, discount vouchers of which were already included our package and if there was one word to describe it, I would choose heavenly.

Later in the night, there was a candle light romantic dinner arranged for us on the beach and we couldn’t have asked for more. It was one of those experiences that we would always cherish and let’s just leave it to that.

Day 4: Another day in paradise

water villa at sun island resort

water villa at sun island resort

nihal and his wife at the water villa at sun island

water villas in line at sun island

maggie noodles in maldives

honeymoon at sun island resort maldives

nihal and his wife at the sun island resort maldives

water villa entry maldives

Today, since it was mostly raining and also because we were tanned a lot, my wife and I decided to stay in our water villa only. And yes, in the evening when we did venture out, we were amazinfe by the Christmas and New Year festive spirit all around. Everything was beautifully decorated and we truly loved the vibe and excitement in the resort today.

Day 5: Till we meet again, Maldives!

water villa maldives

nihals wife in front of the water villa

This was the last day of our honeymoon in Maldives and to be honest, we did not want to leave at all but it was time for us to go so we couldn’t help it. Finally, after one last breakfast, we checked out of the resort and headed back to the airport for our flight back to India.

maldives water villas

Our 5 day honeymoon in Maldives was a heavenly experience. It was the most relaxing holiday we had ever had and if time permits, we would definitely want to return to this paradisaical country for another romantic vacation. It was the best of rejuvenation, romance, and luxury, and we couldn’t have asked for more.

sun island resort honeymoon maldives

  • High Points:
    Sun Island Resort is an excellent property and we loved the hospitality and experience that it offered
    Experiences at the Beach Bungalow, Water Villa, and the Spa
  • Low Points: None
  • Tip for travelers:
    If you’re traveling during a busy or a festive season, it is always better to book at least a month or two in advance for it would help you save a lot of money.
    Always go for a full board all inclusive package for it is much more value for money and includes almost everything apart from special paid activities and restaurants not part of the deal

Looking To Book An International Honeymoon?

Book memorable honeymoon on TravelTriangle with 650+ verified travel agents for 65+ domestic and international destinations.

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Eiffel Tower Closed As Heavy Snow Pummels France

The Eiffel Tower is turning away tourists as a thick blanket of snow has covered the entire northern France, creating transport chaos in Paris. According to the company that runs this 19th-century wonder, the tower has been closed to ensure the safety of visitors.

Hundreds of drivers in cars got trapped in the snowfall and caused worst-ever traffic jams in the area surrounding Paris. Workers were seen clearing snow from Eiffel Tower’s intricate ironwork, stairs, and platforms.

cars stuck in jam due to snowfall

Snowfall caused a heavy traffic jam in the city.

French authorities have told drivers in Paris to not come on roads until Friday due to the harsh weather. Also, officials has already warned of dangerous conditions in one-fourth of France.

people enjoying snowfall

People enjoying snowfall in Paris

Even after all this havoc, some tourists are appreciating the freak weather of Paris and how beautiful the tower looks in snow. People were seen enjoying the crazy weather on streets. Also, some flights from Paris airports were also cancelled or delayed.

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India’s Outbound Travel To Touch 40 Million Mark By 2020! Long Live Travel

Travel sector in India is on a roll! The ongoing travel revolution has won the confidence of budding entrepreneurs and today Indian companies are competing with foreign multinational giants.  Speaking at the IAMAI’s 12 India Digital Summit, MMT’s CEO Deep Kalra emphasized the importance of a reliable model for a startup and that travel revolution is here to stay. Thanks to the social media that has been leveraged well by the travel industry. The travel industry is a successful outcome of good startup ecosystem and an entrepreneur’s ability to present exceptional business models and see them thrive.

MakeMyTrip founder sounded quite positive about the future of startup ecosystem and also maintained that it is here to stay. “However, it is imperative for the Indian companies to do well. Let the foreign capital come and let them do well. But I want Indian companies to equally do well,” he said to stave off foreign companies domination.

The remarkable growth in the number of Indians traveling today would peak even more and by 2020 Indian can see as many as 40 million travelers going abroad. And this holds the key to success for Indian travel industry. Such is the situation in the inbound and outbound travel that airlines and hotels are actually experiencing full booking. People are forever busy making travel plans and their desire to travel seems never-ending, thanks to the social media phenomenon that has rekindled the desire to travel in people. The folks are more aware of travel and the business is primarily generated through mobile phones. MakeMyTrip alone has recorded 70 percent of its total booking through mobile out of which 90 percent is from MakeMyTrip app.

Even the Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had a few words for the Make In India initiative at the event and stated that the time is perfect for Indian business models to lead the world. Sharma added that Paytm did 225 million transactions last month and during the fiscal, it is all set to achieve 14 billion gross merchandise value.

Lauding the government’s initiative, Sharma said that in the seven years between 2018 and 2025, Indian economy would shoot up by USD 2.5 trillion and it is the digital industry majorly contributing to the growth of the economy. The accomplishments of Flipkart founder Sachin and Binny Bansal was particularly mentioned by Mr. Sharma.

IAMAI’s 12 India Digital Summit mostly discussed the building positive environment around startup culture. Travel is the next big thing and Indian travel industry is here to thrive!

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Jatayu Adventure Camp: Ramayana-Themed Park For Thrill, Peace & More

If you’re somebody mesmerized with Ramayana and adventure, you now have yet another attraction to jot down in your travel bucket list. Perched on a 1000 ft tall hill, in Kerala’s Chadayamangalam village, the 65-acre Jatayu Adventure Camp features a 200-ft tall sculpture of Jatayu, a mythical vulture from Ramayana.

There are as much as twenty adventure activities to look forward to, including zip lining, rock climbing, rappelling, laser tag, paintball, and archery.

But the park isn’t just about getting the adrenaline rushing; you can soothe your senses at the Siddha Healing Cave. The view, of course, from this point is something to cherish, whether you’re taking the ropeway, or are simply standing on the special observation deck. For the lovers of height, the heli-taxi tour is all you’d want.

ziplining in Jatayu Adventure Camp

Also, the 6D theatre gives you an enthralling experience of viewing the battle of Jatayu and Ravana. According to legend, the bird was killed when it was trying to save Sita from evil Ravana. This adventure center is believed to be the very place where Jatayu died, and one can even stumble upon Lord Ram’s footprints on a stone.

Currently it’s open for the groups (consisting of 10-100 people), and the whole construction will be completed by April. The fee is INR 3,500 per person and includes 15 to 20 activities. It is easily accessible, and is located at a distance of 45 km from Thiruvananthapuram (1 hour’s drive). From Kochin, Jatayu Adventure Centre
163 km away, which is a 4 hour’s drive.

To give you a fair idea of what awaits, here’s a video

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18 Magical Reasons To Visit Iceland That You Just Can’t Say No To!

The Gods had patiently (and creatively!) carved out the landforms of Iceland. It’s true that wherever you turn your head, you’re sure to find picture-perfect landscapes in Iceland that might even fetch you thousands of followers on Instagram! But we suggest you leave your cameras aside and enjoy the marvels of nature with bare eyes, and not a viewfinder.

But why should you really visit Iceland? There are hundreds of reasons why Iceland is an artist’s muse and a photographer’s fascination, and we bring you some of them right here:

The world is still oblivious to the beauty the Land of Fire and Ice beholds. We have unveiled here a small part of it that will surely leave the world gasping for breath!

18. The sun refuses to set in the summers

The sun refuses to set in the summers

Since Iceland is situated just below the Arctic Circle, the days are way too long in the summers. Between mid-May to late July, the ‘Midnight Sun‘ sets after midnight and rises again before 3 AM. Imagine having dinner and going to bed while the sun still shines bright right outside the window!

It might be eerie and require some getting used to, but it sure as hell will give you a unique perspective to Iceland’s strange landscapes.

17. And when it does set, multi-coloured lights dance in the sky

when the sun sets, multi-coloured lights dance in the sky

Iceland is among the best places on the planet to see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) from September to mid-April. Get into your super jeep on a still winter night, get far away from the city’s electric lighting, and you’re sure to have the best nightly sightings of this astral show ever!

Where: Just outside Reykjavík

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16. The Blue Lagoon Spa is unlike any spa in the world

The Blue Lagoon Spa is unlike any spa in the world

Crystal-blue geothermal water, a tantalising heat of about 102 degrees, and spectacular views of snow-covered lava rocks in every direction – How can a dip in this jacuzzi not be on your bucket list?

Soak up in the Blue Lagoon all day long, absorbing its age-defying healing powers, and you’ll surely emerge feeling like a new person! It’s the best way to unwind after a long day in Iceland and to catch up on the latest gossip.

Where: Laugardalur Park, outside downtown Reykjavik

15. The crystal ice caves look like they’re from another world

The crystal ice caves look like they're from another world

Take up any Glacier Tour or Ice Climbing Tour in Iceland and you’ll surely get a chance to visit one of Iceland’s many ice caves. These ‘crystal caves’ temporarily form at the edge of glaciers and are completely mesmerizing from the inside.

In fact, don’t worry about ‘finding’ one. The country possesses more than 4,500 square miles of glacier, so there’s no way you won’t be walking on or under ice during any part of your trip.

Where: Solheimajokull glacier on the south coast of Iceland

14. The beaches have black sand, basalt caves…and ICEBERGS!

Though Iceland doesn’t have sunny weather during most of the times, its gorgeous beaches are still something to write home about.

The beaches have black sand, basalt caves...and ICEBERGS

While some have black sand, others are dotted with oddly shaped rocks.

iceland black sand beach

While some boast of columns of unique basalt caves, other have table-sized glasslike icebergs tumbling in the surf.

Where: Reynisfjara Beach (basalt caves) | Jokulsarlon beach (icebergs and black sand0

13. It’s exactly as beautiful as it looks in the Game of Thrones

iceland game of thrones

After using artificial snow in season one, the makers of GoT shot in the wilds of Iceland. Wanna know which Icelandic locations feature in this fantasy drama series?

  • Mance Rayder’s wildling army camped at Lake Myvatn near Akureyri in season three
  • Jon Snow and Ygritte spent the night at the cave of Grjotagja
  • Vatnajokull glacier is the location of “the land beyond the Wall

12. Forget Game of Thrones, all of Hollywood loves it!

iceland interstellar

Owing to its breathtaking landscapes and surreal topography, Iceland has played host to dozens of Hollywood (and Bollywood) blockbusters. It’s a beloved land of cinematographers and filmmakers! You may have spotted some of its regions in movies like:

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (shot in Seljavallalaug)
  • Interstellar (the place where Matthew McConaughey sought another world)
  • Noah (the hill where Russell Crowe, followed by two of each animal, reckons mankind’s second coming)
  • Prometheus (the place where Michael Fassbender arrived to understand the darkest secrets of the farthest galaxy)

Fun Fact: The song ‘Gerua‘ from the Bollywood flick ‘Dilwale‘ was shot at locations like Sólheimasandur (the black sand beach with plane remnants), Jökulsárlón (the glacial lake), and Skógafoss (a waterfall with basalt formations) in Iceland.

11. Birdwatchers will never want to leave!

Birdwatchers will never want to leave

From northern waterfowls, gaudy harlequin ducks, Golden-tufted Slavonian grebes, ptarmigans, red-necked phalaropes, to the delightful puffins, you’re sure to find the most amazing of bird species in Iceland unlike anywhere else. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that birdwatching is one of the major reasons to visit Iceland.

Where: Dyrholaey | Skjalfandi Bay

10. You can descend into and roam under a volcano!

You can descend into and roam under a volcano!

Iceland has countless active volcanoes. As a matter of fact, Iceland exists because of volcanic eruptions. Though the chances of spotting an active volcano erupting are next to none on your trip to Iceland, a visit to one will definitely be a thrilling experience.

You can take the Þríhnúkagígur volcano tour that will take you on an excursion into the cold heart of a dormant volcano. They’ll let you descend into the mountain with the use of small elevators, where then you can roam around and explore the caverns.

Where: Þríhnúkagígur volcano

9. The volcanic rivers look like abstract paintings

volcanic rivers iceland

volcanic rivers in iceland

Many of Iceland’s rivers flow via its glacial ice, greenscapes, and beds of volcanic ash. From the skies, this landscape looks more like an abstract painting or digital art than a natural phenomenon. And a good one too!

8. You might come across Elves (not kidding!)

The one thing you must never do in Iceland is upset an elf!

Better yet, what you really shouldn’t do in Iceland is upset Icelanders over the concept of elves. They take their elf-stories very seriously and are firm believers in the existence of these Huldufólk (hidden folk). They believe they are everywhere – hiding behind rocks, behind waterfalls, and even in volcanoes and glaciers. Do not disturb them if you wish to return home in one piece!

Icelandic-Elves

In a survey done in 2006, 37% of Icelanders said they believe elves exist. So much so that most of Iceland’s roads and construction projects get altered or halted so as not to disturb these creatures. Many families even have small wooden elf houses in their gardens. Curious, isn’t it?

Tip: Wanna know about elves but too scared to ask the locals? Visit the Elf School in Reykjavik for all your queries.

7. Pink, Green, Yellow, Purple – the mountains of Landmannalaugar have all the colours of the palette

Landmannalaugar

Move over ‘lush green hills’. Add a little colour to your love for mountains at Iceland’s Landmannalaugar region. A popular destination in Iceland for both nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, Landmannalaugar is also home to the multicoloured rhyolite mountains that display a magnificent array of colors – pink, green, yellow, purple, black, brown, white, and more!

Where: Landmannalaugar region

6. It’s “Europe’s Best Place For Whale-Watching”. Savvy?

whale watching tour iceland

Humpbacks, minkes, bottlenose, blue – you name it, they have it! Whale Watching is a rage in the fish-rich North Atlantic and Arctic waters around Iceland between the months of April and October. People from around the world come to witness these majestic rulers of the sea. Sailing through the quiet, calm bay flanked by snow-capped mountains while joyful whales of all shapes and sizes hop around in the ocean – simply magical!

Icelanders don’t just promise a 99% sighting chance during this time, but deliver on it! Nothing can beat the experience of a face to face encounter with Icelandic whales in their natural habitat.

Where: Reykjavik | Husavik

5. Harpa has more to offer than just Icelandic Opera

harpa iceland

You think natural wonders and dramatic landscapes are all that Iceland has? No way. It boasts its remarkable share of urbanisation and avant-garde architecture. The most prominent example of this is the Harpa, the dazzling concert hall and conference center known for its ultra-modern design and bubbling creative energy. If its rich exteriors of glittering glass-block facade do not blow off your mind, the unimaginably luxurious interiors definitely will!

Fun Fact: The outer glass-block facade changes color on the Reykjavik Harbor.

4. The unique waterfalls are a sight for sore eyes

iceland waterfalls beautiful

If you’re wondering how something as common as ‘waterfalls’ could have landed in the listing of reasons to visit Iceland, then you really need to take a trip to this paradise right away. The waterfalls of Iceland are it’s one of the most sought after attractions.

iceland basalt waterfalls

Surrounded by a variety of natural landforms like basalt caves, glaciers, and more, each of the many falls in Iceland is unique and equally flabbergasting for travelers of all types.

Where: The Svartifoss Waterfall, one of the best waterfalls in Iceland

3. Foodies will not leave disappointed!

Fermented shark. Smoked puffin. Smoked trout. Smoked lamb. Butter-drenched potatoes. Dried fish. Mashed cod au gratin. Fresh waffles – Some may not entirely find it appetising but Iceland’s cuisine surely provides for a mean hearty dinner.

iceland cuisine

Iceland bears some of the harshest living conditions on earth, and that is reflected in the diet of the Icelanders. In addition, advancements in greenhouse and farming technologies are what contribute to the fresh, natural ingredients you’ll find in any Icelandic kitchen.

iceland vegetarian cuisine and dessert

It’s surely an ecstasy for meat lovers, but Iceland’s cuisine provides loads of options for vegetarians as well. It speaks volume of the locals’ culinary creativity. Embrace it for once, and every dish on your platter will turn into a delightful adventure!

Tip: Since most of Iceland’s ingredients are imported, food tends to be a little expensive. On an average, a meal for two costs around INR 2,700/- (£30) in a restaurant in Iceland.

2. You can explore the country on foot, bicycle…or Icelandic Ponies!

iceland super jeep

The diversity of landforms in Iceland can be explored via different means. You can take hiking tours up mountains and dormant volcanoes, jog through jungles, stroll on the black beaches, climb crystal glaciers, ride super jeeps on tough terrains, or ride bicycles cross-country. There’s no dearth of ways in which you can explore this paradise.

However, if you’re looking for an authentic Icelandic experience, then horseback should be your style!

icelandic horses

An Icelandic horse is a unique, pony-size breed known for its strength, and sure-footedness in extremely rugged terrain. Their shaggy hair might make them look like they have a lot of ‘swag’ about them, but they are surprisingly gentle and spirited creatures. They can get you to and fro almost all inaccessible Icelandic wilderness, while making you feel like an original Viking settler at the same time.

1. The people of Iceland are super cool

There’s a reason Iceland continuously tops the measurement for quality of life – the United Nations Human Development Index. It happens to be a progressive, modern society where Icelanders take pride in their past. Friendly, generous, and happy, the natives of Iceland will surely welcome you with open arms and let you have the best of experiences in their country.

fun people of iceland

Life isn’t easy for Icelanders, but you’ll always see them with a smile on their faces! The harsh natural environment has taught Icelanders how best to exist under extreme conditions and harness natural resources that they create for their own sustenance and prosperity.

Fun Fact: There are no orphanages in Iceland!

Amazing, aren’t they? Got any more fascinating reasons to visit Iceland? Pop them in the comments below.

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