Sitting close to the Arctic Circle, the island nation of Iceland is largely a desolate and sparsely populated place. Much of the population sits in or around the capital city or other coastal settlements around the outskirts of the island. Most of the area of the island is uninhabited, combined of mountain ridges, deep valleys, volcanic activity with geysers and hot springs, and of course, glaciers and actual ice.
None of that might sound like a great or beautiful place to take a vacation, but the country is an increasingly popular place for North Americans to travel to. A number of reasons factor into that. The country is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, so is a very safe place to visit for citizens who like doing international travel with allied states. Iceland was of utmost strategic importance during the Cold War, and before transatlantic jet flights were common, it was a frequent stop for air travel between Europe and North America.
However, what really draws people there is the actual scenery. For more images, see Iceland Tours – Iceland Advice. Iceland’s reputation for being a cold and ugly place is being replaced with reality, thanks largely to faraway Hollywood. Movies have started filming there in the last few decades, letting big screen viewers see just how gorgeous the nation is, and that’s left them wanting more. The titles filmed there are too numerous to list, but “Die Another Day” from the James Bond franchise was partially set in the country. Science fiction films, in particular, have embraced the unusual landscapes to represent alien worlds, including “Oblivion“, “Prometheus”, and “Interstellar”.
Fans of these films got hooked on the landscapes and have started wanting to see them in person for themselves, which has been just one factor in the larger growth trend in Icelandic tourism, which is certainly flourishing. The island nation has certainly opened itself up to visitors, given the relative lack of local industry and geographic isolation.
The location of the island in the North Atlantic means that the flight times from North America are usually only a few hours, and jet lag isn’t a real issue once there. Also, for those that travel in the summer, the northerly latitudes means that days here are full of sunlight for full enjoyment.
Once here, it’s well worth considering Iceland tours of the scenic spots. A variety of tours are available, each with its own theme or set of locations that get visited. Some sample the geographic and natural diversity of the nation, while others cater to the film and TV fanbase. A few even mix in both.
In addition to a variety of location sets, there are also numerous ways in which to enjoy Iceland tours of the scenic spots. The opportunities range from guided ice cave tours self-guided tours you can enjoy at your own pace with your rental car, to organized bus tours that let you fill the day with scenery while someone else handles the driving and possibly tells you more than you could learn on your own. If you want the ultimate in simplicity, some organized tours are bus tours for the entire trip, and the fare would include hotel accommodations and most of your meals, so that you have no arrangements or details to make except staying with the group.
Other film and TV franchises that have visited here for filming include “Star Wars”, “Batman Begins”, “Fast & Furious”, and “Game of Thrones”. Not to be outdone by anyone else, the Marvel cinematic universe has filmed here for both the “Thor” and “Captain America” franchises. So, expect to continue seeing Iceland’s scenery on the big screen.