lighthouse, Arctic, Arctic Coast Way,
Photo: Visit North Iceland

Iceland’s new Arctic Coast Way ranks highly

Set to be opened on June 18, a new official touring route along the northern coast has been ranked third among places to visit in Europe this year by Lonely Planet.

Iceland’s Arctic Coast Way ranks third on Lonely Planet’s 2019 Best in Europe list. The list features the opinions of contributors to the travel website on the essential European destinations to visit this year.

Slovakia’s High Tatras mountain range was first on the list, followed by Madrid, Spain.

The Arctic Coast Way will be opened on June 18 as the first official touring route in Iceland, according to Visit North Iceland. It spans 900km along the coast and comprises 21 fishing villages from Hvammstangi to Bakkafjörður.

The northernmost point of Iceland, the island of Grímsey, which is the only place in the country crossing into the Arctic Circle, is on the route, which also provides many other places to experience the midnight sun and northern lights.

Available activities include boat crossings to six islands, sites for whale, seal and bird watching, coastal hikes and a wide selection of outdoor activities. Tourists can also enjoy 18 geothermal pools and multiple music and culture festivals.

A less visited destination
Compared to other parts of the country, Iceland’s Arctic Coast Way offers tourists a destination away from the crowds.

A majority of tourists to the country stay in South Iceland. For example, a very popular southern site is the Golden Circle. So, Visit North Iceland asserts that the Arctic Coast Way will provide multiple interesting attractions with fewer other tourists.

The route is divided into three themes, according to Morgunblaðið. In northwest Iceland, the focus is on history and stories. In Eyjafjörður fjord and on part of the Tröllaskagi peninsula, the emphasis is on the fishing villages and traditions related to them. And, finally, in northeast Iceland, natural forces are primary attractions.

The route is expected to change slightly during the winter since some roads will be closed in wintertime.

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