It’s summer time in Europe but winter is coming to Westeros.
If you’re a GOT aficionado (like us), then we’re sure you can’t help yourself from watching the season 7 trailers just one more time. Did you ever wish that you could be a part of Westeros for just one goddamn day?
Good news – you can visit Iceland, which is pretty much the same thing. After all, they call it the land of Ice and Fire for a reason. You can expect to see glaciers, volcanoes, geothermal pools, and landscapes that are strange yet beautiful.
20 Spectacular Photos of Iceland –
Jökulsárlón / Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
Here’s what the north of Westeros “beyond the wall” would look like if it were real.Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon and it’s near Vatnajökull National Park. To make things more interesting, the water here is jeweled with several icebergs.
In Icelandic, Jökulsárlón literally means “glacier river lagoon”. It came into existence when the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started thinning from where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.This lagoon (or lake) is home to several sea fishes that reach here from the Atlantic Ocean. These fish also attract several hundred seals for their meals.
Looks familiar? You may have seen it in Die Another Day or Batman Begins. For GOT Season 7, Jökulsárlón has been a major filming spot.
Location: Askja, Central Highlands
Askja is a caldera that’s located in the middle of a lava desert. It is in Iceland’s uninhabited interiors and can only be visited for a brief time in summer.Next to Askja is a geothermal lake, Viti that’s smaller in size. It is possible to swim in Víti’s milky waters but has a strong smell because of sulfur. As if it wasn’t fiery enough, there is a “canyon of dragons” nearby. It is called Drekagil and it looks like a movie set from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Black Sand Beach, Vík
If Khaleesi’s dragons ever spit fire on a beach, the result would be something like this. Welcome to Iceland’s Black Sand beach!Vík is a popular tourist destination and is located in South of Iceland. It has glaciers, beaches and a stunning viewpoint from where you can get a bird’s eye view. The Black Sand Beach with its strange basalt columns forms a fascinating picture. It is usually a part of Iceland’s South Coast tours.
Ever thought you can go inside a volcano? Yes, you can literally go on a journey to the center of the earth and walk on fire if you visit Thrihnukagigur Volcano.
The Icelandic name for this volcano is Þríhnúkagígur and it is a dormant volcano near Reykjavík. It’s the only volcano on the entire planet where visitors can go into the magma chamber.
Jarðböðinn (Mývatn Nature Baths) and Grjótagjá
Location: East of Reykjahlíð
Mývatn is a popular destination in Iceland because of its amazing geothermal pools where one can take a relaxing bath. The geothermal lake and the area around it both are referred to as Mývatn.This lake is situated in an area that is frequently fed lava by Krafla volcano. The area around it is dominated by volcano landforms. As a result, this lake is mineral rich.
Do you remember the famous GOT episode where Jon Snow and Ygritte take a very special dip in a lagoon that’s inside a cave? Well, that lagoon cave is called Grjótagjá and it is near Myvatn Nature Baths.
Grjótagjá is a little lava cave that has a thermal spring inside it. However, the water can be as high as 50°C and is not always fit for a bath. It does look a little special, no?
Diamond BeachDiamond Beach is another beach in Iceland with black sand but it has pieces of ice on it. This ice glitters in the light like a diamond, hence giving the beach its name. This beach is near Jökulsárlón lagoon and is also referred to as Jokulsarlon Beach. Many people just stop at Jokulsarlon and turn back. However, the Diamond Beach is towards the sea and on the other side of Road 1.
Strokkur, GeysirIt is the father of all the world’s geysers, and is named appropriately; Geysir in Iceland is another popular tourist destination. Several hundreds of years back Geysir would gush out water that was up to 80 m high but the activity has reduced. Actually, the main Geysir rarely erupts but next to it is Strokkur, which erupts every few minutes. It can go as high as 30 meters high in the air before disappearing back into its hole. This natural activity can easily be perceived as an alien phenomenon.
Reykjadalur Hot Springs, HveragerdiAnother active geothermal field, the pictures of Hveragerði will remind you of GOT’s Riverlands. You can also enjoy a 3km long hike to reach Reykjadalur Hot Springs and bathe in the wild.
Fjadrargljufur Canyon, KirkjubaejarklausturMore than Game of Thrones, this landscape may remind you of the Avatar movie. This magical canyon in 2 kilometers long and up to 100 meters wide. Iceland’s Fjaðrá river flows through it. The trail that leads to Fjadrargljufur canyon starts at the car park. This canyon is close to Iceland’s famous ring road, near Kirkjubæjarklaustur village.
The Northern Lights
What can be more magical than watching the fire in the sky? Words alone won’t do justice so I will leave it to picturesHow lucky are the people who live here! Their winter nights are full of magic. Here’s one last picture that will make your eyes pop.
Are you daydreaming about visiting Iceland already? If you have visited this spectacular country and have a few pictures of your own to share, let us know in the comments.