Most Popular Destinations for Icelanders in 2020
In 2020, when Icelanders were unable to travel abroad, they traveled domestically instead. Their most popular destination was no doubt Stuðlagil canyon in Jökuldalur valley, East Iceland, mbl.is reports.
What makes the canyon is stunning is the blue-green color of Jökla river (a.k.a. Jökulsá á Dal), running through it, and the 30-meter (98-ft) high basalt columns on both sides.
After the building of the dam for Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric power plant, which opened in 2009, the water level of the river in Stuðlagil dropped by 7-8 meters, revealing the canyon.
Vök Baths, near Egilsstaðir, East Iceland, which opened in July of 2019, was a popular destination as well. What distinguishes these geothermal baths are their floating pools – the first and only ones of their kind in Iceland.
What sparked the idea for the resort was the holes which used to form in the ice of Urriðavatn lake, due to 75° C-hot (167° F) geothermal water at its bottom, now used to heat houses in Egilsstaðir and vicinity. The word vök means a hole in the ice.
The Sea Baths in Húsavík, North Iceland, drew large crowds this year. Numerous people posted pictures of themselves at the geothermal baths, against the beautiful backdrop of Kinnarfjöll mountains and Skjálfandi Bay.
Giljaböð baths at Húsafell, West Iceland, were popular as well. These geothermal baths opened in September of 2019. Their location is highly unusual: they’re nestled in a ravine. To access the baths, you must descend steps that take you down into the ravine. A bus takes tourists from the Húsafell Information Center to the location.
The luxury Hótel Geysir , in Haukadalur valley, Southwest Iceland, was no doubt one of the country’s most popular hotels in the summer. The 77-room hotel opened in August of 2019.
Seldom, if ever, have as many Icelanders visited the West Fjords as in 2020. The biggest attraction there was probably the magnificent waterfall Dynjandi.