Iceland’s Bold Tourism Campaign Challenges Space Travel

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northern lights appear over Mount Kirkjufell in Iceland

NEWS - In an effort to boost its tourism campaign, Iceland launched a weather balloon into outer space, with a billboard orbiting Earth saying, "Iceland. Better Than Space." It's their way of enticing those space-curious travelers to come and visit this famous land of fire and ice. Go to Iceland for an out-of-this-world experience without the challenges of galactic travel!

This is a clever ad for a spacesuit-clad would-be galactic traveler whose space flight keeps getting delayed. This pretty much captures the essence of their tourism campaign.

Why put yourself through all those ordeals when you can go to Iceland instead? No flight delays or cancellations until who knows when, you don't have to spend so much money or wear a very uncomfortable spacesuit. Best of all, you won't worry about the oxygen supply!

Reports say you need $450,000 to book a trip to space whereas you only need to spend around $150 a day in Iceland.

Other perks include eating fresh food, not having everything float in the air, meeting actual humans (no alien encounters!), and celebrating the rich culture of Icelanders.

Now, you won't get these in space, right? These experiences are what make Iceland better than space!

As the ad says, "In many ways, Iceland is a lot like Mars... if Mars had hot tubs!"

NASA Compares Iceland to Outer Space

Even NASA agrees. According to their researcher Kelsey Young, "Iceland is an amazing analog for both the Moon and Mars." Its unique surroundings and diverse habitats resemble the outer world so much.

That's why before sending astronauts to the moon (or space), they always send them to Iceland first to test their suits, tools, and vehicles, among other things.

After all, you can't recreate everything in a lab. Lucky us, there's Iceland to serve as a practice site! And it is indeed very relaxing to soak yourself in a hot tub while gazing at the wonders of nature right before your eyes.

To illustrate their point, here are just some ways that Iceland gives us otherworldly vibes.

Otherworldly Icelandic Sights

Hengifoss Waterfall

The Hengifoss Waterfall is found in Eastern Iceland. It stands out among all the other waterfalls on Earth because of the prominent lines of red clay sandwiched between basalt rock layers. Many say this looks a lot like Mars, the red planet.

Studlagil Canyon

For more basalt rock formations, you can visit the Studlagil Canyon and be amazed by its varying heights. The blue-green water running through it makes it even more magical.

Diamond Beach

Talk about a black and crystal-white backdrop! The glaciers far away and icebergs that have been washed ashore create a stark contrast with the volcanic black sand. The ice glistens so brightly when it reflects the sunlight making it look like a real diamond on the ground.


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Iceland is a geyser hotspot since it is surrounded by more than 30 active volcanoes. Visitors are in awe of the steaming hot water shooting way up in the sky. You can also see hot sulfuric gases coming out of the fumaroles, and find geothermal water spouts and other geological delights in their vicinity.

Aurora Borealis

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What can be more otherworldly than these majestic northern lights dancing in the midnight sky? It truly gives you a glimpse of the secrets of the galaxy here on earth.

So, to all Earthlings out there, you might want to consider going to Iceland and you'll realize that you don't need to spend big bucks on extra-terrestrial travel for an out-of-this-world experience.

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