Though the collapse of Iceland's three largest banks in 2008 left this Nordic nation scrambling to get back on its feet in the area of tourism for nearly half a decade, tourists are now flocking to Iceland to get away from it all. Estimated economy growth this year is around 1.9 percent and is expected to boost to 2.1 percent in 2014.
What is it about Iceland that keeps its visitors yearning to come back time and time again?
Maybe it's the legendary folklore, the captivating landscape ranging from glaciers to volcanoes to the breathtaking Blue Lagoon, or perhaps it's the friendly locals who in a recent study declared Iceland as one of the greatest places to live. According to the 2013 World Happiness Report released by Columbia University's Earth Institute, Iceland ranked in as one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world.
Pure thermal energy pools and spas are a tourist hot spot in Iceland as they leave your body and mind feeling relaxed and anew. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream keep the temperatures in Iceland mild, deceiving those who take the country's name too literally.
Iceland's capital Reykjavik is considered to be among the best organized, cleanest, and safest cities in the world. The city has an array of sights to see, with galleries and museums that are open year-round varying from collections displaying work from local artists, poets and authors, to museums dedicated to national historic treasures. For the outdoor type, there are endless areas to wander including a wide range of beautiful gardens and parks throughout the city.
Summer is a great time to visit Iceland since it is an ideal spot for whale watching, hiking, and exploring the numerous outdoor activities the country has to offer. Experience the interesting summer night life with activities ranging from midnight golf to street parties with dancing and live music. The natural phenomenon, Midnight Sun is something you're sure to remember as you'll be able to see the sun (given clear weather) 24 hours a day around the solstice.
Winter in Iceland is the best time to experience the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and watch as the gorgeous multi-colored spirals of majestic light paint the sky above you. Travelers from around the globe swarm the Icelandic shores to get a glimpse of this amazing and one of a kind natural spectacle.
Exploring this intriguing, magical country is an unforgettable experience, so if you're looking to travel to a truly unique destination, Iceland is the perfect place, any time of year.