Iceland surges in popularity among U.S. travelers

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The Rangarping Eystra waterfall in southern Iceland.
The Rangarping Eystra waterfall in southern Iceland. Photo Credit: Felicity Long

While London and Paris are still the most popular destinations in Europe for American travelers this summer, Reykjavik soared from 17th to third, according to Allianz Global Assistance.

To determine the ranking, Allianz analyzed travel that went through its partners' online booking processes, generating five- to eight-day itineraries for roundtrip flights from May 28 to Sept. 3 originating at U.S. airports.

Since 2015, London has been top destination, followed by Paris. Reykjavik was 28th in 2015, 16th in 2016 and 17th in 2017, and third this year.

"Thanks in part to increased direct airlift from the U.S. to the island nation, Iceland's otherworldly landscapes and colorful city homes have been trending on social media in recent years," Allianz said. "Despite talk of over-tourism and discussion to potentially limit the number of annual visitors to the country, Reykjavik's popularity continues to rise this summer."

Reykjavik's rise bumped last year's No. 3 destination, Rome, to No. 4. Amsterdam, seventh last year, was the No. 5 most popular spot this year. Dublin holds the same ranking it did last year in position No. 6.

Barcelona fell from fifth to seventh, and Athens fell from fourth to eighth. Madrid fell one place to ninth, as did Frankfurt to tenth, rounding out the top 10.

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