Lonely Planet Ranks Iceland’s Arctic Coast Way Third

The Arctic Coast Way will offer a unique travel experience.

The Arctic Coast Way will offer a unique travel experience. Photo/Visit North Iceland

Vala Hafstað

Iceland’s Arctic Coast Way ranks third on the 2019 Best in Europe list of Lonely Planet, featuring the essential European destinations to visit this year. At the top of the list is Slovakia’s High Tatras mountain range, followed by Madrid, Spain.

The Arctic Coast Way (Norðurstrandarleið) is set to open June 8. It covers 900 km (560 mi) along the north coast of Iceland.

This is how Lonely Planet describes the route:

“Running 800 km from Hvammstangi in the west to Bakkafjörður in the east, the newly founded Arctic Coast Way winds between 21 villages and four islands along Iceland’s elemental north coast, wowing with the natural wonders for which Iceland is rightly famed – thunderous waterfalls, colossal glaciers, steaming fumaroles – and endless opportunities for snow sports, wildlife watching and wilderness adventures. In short, it’s the best of Iceland, minus the crowds.”

The Arctic Coast Way.

The Arctic Coast Way. Map/Visit North Iceland

Visit North Iceland, the official travel guide to North Iceland, describes the route in detail here, including a list of the main attractions:

Twenty-one fishing villages from Hvammstangi to Bakkafjörður, the northernmost point of Iceland and the only place to cross the Arctic Circle, perfect places to see the midnight sun and northern lights, boat crossings to six islands, excellent places for whale, seal and bird watching, stunning coastal hikes and a wide selection of outdoor activities, 18 geothermal pools, and many music and culture festivals.

The Arctic Coast Way offers tourists a destination away from the crowds. Most tourists who visit the country tend to focus on areas in South Iceland, such as the Golden Circle. The Arctic Coast Way is sure to offer a most interesting travel experience.

According to mbl.is, the route is divided into three themes: In Northwest Iceland, the focus is on history and tales; in Eyjafjörður fjord and on part of the Tröllaskagi peninsula, the emphasis is on the fishing villages and traditions related to them; finally, in Northeast Iceland, the forces of nature will be in the spotlight. The route is expected to change slightly during the winter, since some roads will be closed in wintertime.

In order to participate in the project by using the Arctic Coast Way brand name, travel service businesses, municipalities and villages on the route must fulfill the requirements listed below:

Requirements for participating in Arctic Coast Way project.

Requirements for participating in Arctic Coast Way project. Visit North Iceland

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