Iceland scored 4th in a 2006 study of happiness, “World Map of Happiness,” which was produced by Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester who sought to understand global projection of international differences in subjective well-being.
I certainly felt happy in Iceland. Natural beauty does that for me and Iceland delivered big time! Iceland is stunningly beautiful and very unique with its many volcanoes, glaciers, icebergs, basalt columns, waterfalls, Northern Lights, and puffins.
Many people stay in Reykjavik and visit the Golden Circle, which includes many beautiful sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pingvellir (Thingvellir), Gulfoss waterfall, and the Geysir area where you can see erupting hot springs and other geothermal features. However, I highly recommend getting out and driving Iceland’s Ring Road, which I did in 2017. Ring Road encircles the entire country covering more than 800 miles on Route 1. You could take in all the beauty within 24 hours, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, give yourself five to ten days to drive and take in the beauty.
Akureyri sits at the base of Eyjafjordur Fjord in northern Iceland, one of the most beautiful areas ---and my favorite city---in the country! Whale watching is a popular thing to do and whale season lasts from June to October. However, don’t dismay if you miss the whales. Akureyri is a charming town in itself with plenty of things to do. It is also the gateway to the spectacular beauty of the north, most notably the Myvatn region (including Lake Myvatn), Dettifoss Waterfall (reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe), Godafoss Waterfall (one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland) and Asbyrgi Canyon, a glacial horseshoe-shaped depression.