While I may not actually be able to travel as much as I hope this coming year, I do have a wishlist a mile-long. I’ve been dreaming about eating beignets in New Orleans, exploring Angkor Wat in Cambodia, finding my inner strength in Bhutan’s dzongs or swimming in the waters off the coast of PEI. However, there is one destination that consistently pops into my head when I think of travel in 2012: Iceland.
Every image I’ve seen of Iceland gives me shivers; a sense of isolation and amazement. Home to 320,000 inhabitants, the country is known as the land of fire and ice for it’s abundant glaciers and volcanic activity.
The country seems like the perfect place to get lost amidst steaming geysers, rolling hills, candy-coloured buildings and biting winds. Geographically far from my home in Vancouver (5720 kilometres), Iceland is accessible by a 7.5 hour flight on Icelandair. Prices this coming February are approximately $930 round trip – definitely not budget friendly but something to consider.
I was thrilled to read about Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park. The park is Europe’s largest national park, covering 12 000 square kilometres and a diverse range of ecosystems, such as glaciers and geothermal energy hotspots. The park will aim to provide opportunities for economic and rural development and allow visitors to experience the culture and history of the region. I believe that tourism plays an important role in environmental protection and conservation and it is clear from this initiative that there are others that feel the same.
The park’s official website offers more information for curious minds.