Photo: Karsten Bidstrup Photo

6 reasons to visit Iceland

Take a look at some of the best reasons to visit Iceland.

Iceland is a country with a lot of charm, and plenty of people find it's a great destination. If it's good enough for Bjork to live there and for Beyonce to visit, it's probably good enough for you. Not convinced yet? Take a look at some of the best reasons to visit we could think of:

1. It's actually really close.

If you get a direct flight to Reykjavik, it's about 5 hours from the east coast of the U.S. Of course, that changes if you're leaving from another part of the country - but compared to going to England or destinations in Europe, your flight will be a breeze. Flights to the country are also remarkably cheap, especially if you plan ahead and choose an off-peak departure time.

Think about it - in five hours, you could get from New York to somewhere in the middle of the U.S. - or you could be in the middle of a beautiful, otherworldly country full of new sights, sounds and friends.

2. Everyone should spend time in Reykjavik.

Though cruise travel around Iceland doesn't have a lot to do with the capital, consider a pre- or post-cruise extension to hang out there. It's a capital city of only 200,000 people, which is about two thirds of Iceland's whole population - but don't be fooled. Reykjavik is one of the coolest places on earth in terms of culture and events, and it's a really clean and safe city to spend time in.

There's also always the chance you'll meet Bjork, which is reason enough to go there.

3. Icelandic horses are perfect animals.

Icelandic horses are very small and old breed - they haven't changed much since Vikings brought them to Iceland in the ninth century. They're skilled at navigating the sometimes-tricky Icelandic terrain, and more than that, they're really friendly. If you meet any, they'll want to say hi and will welcome some pets. If you're into cute animals, you can't miss a visit to a place where these horses live. Play your cards right and you'll be able to ride one - and experience the special fifth gait the animals have known as the tölt, somewhere between a walk and a trot.

4. The Blue Lagoon - enough said.

Half an hour outside Reykjavik lies the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Its naturally heated water in shades of blue is set in a lava field, and you can have a lot of fun there. Feel free to take advantage of services like massages and other spa therapies, but you can also spend your whole time there simply soaking in the water. There are many tiers of the experience available, so you can just get in or have a whole day with meals, drinks and luxurious treatments depending on what you want to spend.

This is a place Beyonce spent time while she was in Iceland, so you know it's worth the trip.

5. You can't imagine the scenery.

Unless you've been to Iceland, it's nearly impossible to imagine what it looks like. From volcanic scenery to fjords and eerie stretches of land that look like something out of another world, Iceland offers views you can't get anywhere else. You won't be surprised at how present and vital legends about elves and trolls and so on are in modern Iceland once you see the land - it looks like the setting for a fairy tale or something even more fantastic.

When you visit Iceland, make sure your camera comes with you. There are views you'll never get again.

6. The northern lights.

If you choose to visit Iceland in the winter, you have a great chance of seeing the northern lights. You can take an excursion in search of them or simply hang out on the deck of your cruise ship on clear nights to absorb the beauty and the grandeur of this phenomenon, which many people consider it a life goal to see. If Iceland's scenery is like another world, the northern lights make it something from an actual fantasy novel (or a TV series - did you know a lot of Game of Thrones was filmed in Iceland?).

If none of this convinces you to take the trip to Iceland, nothing will. But if you're sold on a trip, make sure to consider all of your options. One of the best ways to see the country is through cruise travel, particularly as you'll get to see places you just wouldn't be able to get to on land. Make sure your once-in-a-lifetime trip is as good as it can be by doing your research, planning ahead and getting excited for all the wonders of Iceland.