Lovely is the perfect phrase to explain Iceland. It’s a lovely nation with lovely waterfalls, nationwide parks, mountain climbing trails, and wildlife. Even its lively volcanoes are beautiful, simply in a barely terrifying and humbling approach. Iceland has an addictive high quality, and whether or not it’s your first go to or fifteenth, there’s all the time a brand new place or factor to expertise.
With such an thrilling and picturesque panorama, it’s no marvel there are a lot of issues to do in Iceland. This information will cowl the perfect issues to do in Iceland – hopefully providing you with some inspiration earlier than your journey.
High Issues to do in Iceland
Iceland is a giant nation and it’s filled with issues to do and see, so let’s dive straight into all the perfect issues to do in Iceland.
Be aware: If you’re visiting Iceland, one of the simplest ways to get round is to lease a automotive. You possibly can try automotive rental costs at RentalCars.com
1. Bathe within the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is well considered one of Iceland’s most well-known vacationer sights. And is it well worth the hype? We predict so.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa advanced. The water comprises a number of minerals and is a clouded, milky blue coloration due to the excessive silica content material. The well being advantages of bathing within the Blue Lagoon are infinite, however the water is particularly useful to pores and skin well being. You may also go to the Blue Lagoon all yr spherical, because it stays fixed temperatures between 37 and 40 levels Celsius.
The Blue Lagoon is commercialized sufficient to make the spa an acceptable day journey. There’s a pool bar, synthetic caves, bridges, particular person swimming pools, and a face masks kiosk handing out pure lotions. Every visitor additionally receives a gown and slippers.
Not like most geothermal swimming pools in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is definitely artifical fairly than pure. The Blue Lagoon will get its water from a geothermal energy plant subsequent door and is an unusable by-product. It undoubtedly looks like a reward for funding in renewable power sources. Learn extra: Learn how to Go to The Blue Lagoon in Iceland – Is it Price It?
The place to remain close to the Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon Retreat is an expensive escape that overlooks the lagoon and stands excessive sufficient to see the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula Your keep contains entry to the Blue Lagoon, and Non-public Retreat Lagoon.
The Silica Resort is only a 10 minute stroll from the Blue Lagoon, nestled among the many lava fields this award-winning resort is a superb possibility when staying over night time on the Blue Lagoon.
2. Go to a black sand seashore
Black sand seashores are some of the extraordinary phenomena in Iceland. In case you’ve needed to journey to Iceland for some time, you’ve most likely already seen the images of dramatic black sand seashores and the arty pictures on social media.
Whereas black sand could seem uncommon and weird, its clarification is simple. Iceland’s volcanoes have fashioned lots of volcanic minerals and rocks over the previous hundreds and hundreds of years. In some areas of Iceland, this volcanic matter has damaged down and been worn into black sand.
This personal South Coast Tour gives a glimpse into the perfect issues to do on the South Coast.
- Admire the black sand seashores of Reynisfjara in Vik
- Get pleasure from magnificent views as you drive previous the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers
- See the Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss waterfalls
- Choice to customise the tour to your pursuits. See extra particulars right here.
Visiting a black sand seashore is well among the finest issues to do in Iceland. Fortunately, you have got lots of choices. Reynisfjara Seashore is likely one of the hottest and was used as a movie set in Star Wars’ Rogue One. Reynisfjara Seashore is positioned in south Iceland, alongside the south coast.
Vik Seashore is one other good black sand seashore to go to in south Iceland, and Vik is a well-liked vacation spot on south coast street journeys anyway, so it’s usually a handy add-on. You could discover it quieter than Reynisfjara Seashore, which is all the time a bonus. Learn extra: Better of Iceland’s Ring Highway – GLACIERS, VOLCANOES AND WATERFALLS
3. Take a Golden Circle street journey or tour
The Golden Circle is like the last word introduction to Iceland. The 186-mile route loops by Reykjavik, Geysir geothermal space, and the Icelandic highlands. You’ll additionally move sights like Gullfoss waterfall (extra on that later). The route has grow to be so iconic that it’s now some of the fashionable issues to do in Iceland.
To drive the Golden Circle takes round 4 hours, though plan to take longer in winter months when circumstances require slower, extra cautious driving. In case you select to self-drive the Golden Circle route, you need to permit not less than a full day to cease and luxuriate in all of the totally different sights that you simply move.
Those that can’t drive can all the time buy a Golden Circle tour. This extremely rated tour takes you to see the perfect of southwest Iceland. This 8-hour Golden Circle tour takes you by bus from Reykjavik to the Geysir space Gullfoss Waterfall. Uncover and the place the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet in Þingvellir Nationwide Park.
4. Go to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is magical. An outlet glacier feeds the meltwater lake, however not simply any outlet glacier – Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull.
In case you’ve ever dreamt of visiting Antarctica, this glacier lagoon is the subsequent neatest thing. The lake is filled with large icebergs, and guests can e-book zodiac excursions to expertise the lagoon from the water. On the water, you may admire the size of the icebergs significantly better, and the expertise is actually awe-inspiring.
You possibly can e-book a zodiac tour on-line or whenever you arrive in Iceland. Remember that issues are inclined to promote out shortly, so attempt to e-book prematurely the place doable.
5. Hike to glacier ice caves
While you consider issues to do in Iceland, mountain climbing to a glacier ice cave has received to be some of the magical. You’ll discover many inspirational journey photos of ice caves in Iceland on-line. The ice is a surprising turquoise, and the tunnels and caverns appear like they’ve been carved from crystal.
Caves are scattered throughout Iceland, however the preferred are on the Katla, Vatnajokull, and Skaftafell glaciers. Crucial factor to find out about ice caves is their lifespan. Ice caves usually type over winter and finally soften in summer season. Due to this fact, winter and early spring are the perfect months to see glacier ice caves in full glory.
As a result of ice caves are continuously melting and forming, one of the simplest ways to go to them is with an organized tour. There are not any set mountain climbing trails to succeed in the ice caves, and you might be normally guided on a brief stroll throughout the glacier to seek out them. It’s most secure and simplest when you go to on a tour like this one.
6. See the northern lights
Seeing the northern lights is likely one of the most wonderful issues to do in Iceland. Sadly, it is usually one of many least predictable issues to do in Iceland.
As you might know, the aurora borealis isn’t particular to Iceland. Nevertheless, the nation is known for having incredible northern lights shows. In winter, the lengthy nights additionally create the proper circumstances for aurora searching. The additional nighttimes and lack of sunshine air pollution are preferrred and infrequently end in lovely northern lights shows.
You possibly can monitor the northern lights your self utilizing apps and monitoring web sites. In case you get lucky, you might even see them accidentally. Nevertheless, we advocate buying a northern lights tour to maximise your possibilities. You possibly can e-book loads of excursions on-line, together with this tour on Get Your Information.
7. Take a dip within the Myvatn Nature Baths
The Blue Lagoon is incredible – there isn’t any denying that. However if you need naturally heated and fewer touristy thermal baths, add Myvatn Nature Baths to your checklist of issues to do in Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths are positioned in Myvatn in North Iceland. The advanced is industrial however quiet and is equally visited by locals and vacationers. The baths are proper subsequent to Myvatn Lake, so they’re a wonderful addition to a day on the lake.
Whereas the lagoon is artifical, the thermal power supply is totally pure. The lagoon was constructed over pure sizzling springs, so you may reap all the advantages of mineral waters, alkalines, and naturally heated water all yr spherical.
If you’re planning to journey to north Iceland, it could be price skipping the Blue Lagoon for this quieter and cheaper spot in Myvatn. Alternatively, deal with your self and go to each. Iceland is understood for its thermal baths. Because the saying goes, ‘when in Rome, do because the Romans do’.
8. Go to the Geysir Geothermal Space
Everybody is aware of that Iceland is filled with geothermal exercise. And if you’re questioning the place is finest to expertise it first hand, Geysir Geothermal Space is your reply. Haukadalur is residence to the Geysir Geothermal Space, an approximate 3km space of effervescent geothermal swimming pools and extremely lively geysers. Even higher, it’s free to enter.
Nice Geysir is likely one of the most well-known geysers on the planet, though sadly not often explodes lately. Preserve your fingers crossed, although, and you might get fortunate. Stokkur Geysir is probably the most dependable and explodes each couple of minutes.
You possibly can simply spend about an hour strolling by the geothermal reserve and watching the explosions. Keep in mind to respect the roped-off areas. Something that might explode, collapse, or in any other case harm you is roped off, so pay shut consideration to the place you might be strolling.
9. Go to Asbyrgi Canyon
Keep in mind the whale-watching capital of Husavik? Nicely, Asbyrgi Canyon is only a forty-five-minute drive east of the city. The canyon sits within the Vatnajokull Nationwide Park, and visiting it is likely one of the most lovely issues to do in Iceland.
Asbyrgi Canyon is a deep glacial canyon that runs over two miles. Its cliffs are as much as 100 meters tall, and the canyon is unfold out in a horseshoe form. The horseshoe form is a major consider Norse mythology. In keeping with Icelandic legend, the god Odin was using his horse too near the earth, and the horse left an enormous hoofprint on the bottom – forming Asbyrgi Canyon.
The canyon continues to be considerably of a hidden gem amongst vacationers, primarily as a result of it’s off the principle journey routes. In summer season, you need to have the mountain climbing trails to your self or not less than be very quiet.
10. Admire Diamond Seashore
Not like Asbyrgi Canyon, Diamond Seashore is established as a vacationer attraction. The black sand seashore is known for its chunks of washed-up glacial ice, which some have in comparison with diamonds as a result of their glistening look.
Outlet glaciers encompass Diamond Seashore, so new chunks of glacial ice are continuously washing up alongside its shores. Even in summer season, the temperatures keep delicate sufficient to permit an extended sufficient melting cycle that recent ice chunks are washed up as others disappear.
Diamond Seashore is straightforward to seek out on Google Maps, positioned close to Reynivellir, just below Vatnajokull Glacier. We advocate combining it with an ice cave or glacier mountain climbing expertise.
11. See Dettifoss Waterfall
It’s protected to say that Iceland has a ravishing waterfall or two, however if you wish to be blown away, visiting Dettifoss is likely one of the most wonderful issues to do in Iceland.
Dettifoss is (controversially) probably the most highly effective waterfall in Europe – a title that we expect warrants a go to. The falls are forty-five meters tall and create a mist surrounding the waterfall for a several-mile radius. Dettifoss is fed by lots of water, and the Jokulsa a Fjollum River is the most important in Iceland. Guests can stand up shut by standing on the statement deck, only a quick stroll from the automotive park.
In case you’ve watched the movie ‘Prometheus’, put together for deja vu as Dettifoss is featured as a movie set.
12. Go for a glacier hike on Vatnajokull glacier
Even when you don’t go to an ice collapse Iceland, you need to go glacier mountain climbing on the Vatnajokull glacier. The glacier is the most important in Iceland and is located in Vatnajokull Nationwide Park. The dimensions of the Vatnajokull glacier is difficult to grasp, and it covers an astounding 8% of Iceland’s land mass.
To go glacier mountain climbing, you want a information. Vatnajokull glacier isn’t a straightforward atmosphere to navigate, and also you’ll want a information with the perfect native information, tools, and glacier mountain climbing expertise. The corporate will give you crampons, an ice axe, and a helmet. Heat, waterproof layers are a should, so pack and costume correctly.
The glacial terrain is genuinely beautiful. And, when you’ve not skilled it earlier than, having the ability to stroll on ice is an unbelievable expertise. Journey lovers ought to add glacier mountain climbing to their checklist of issues to do in Iceland.
13. Snorkel Silfra
Everybody realized concerning the tectonic plates in school. However what if we instructed you that you might snorkel between them? You possibly can e-book this tour the place you’ll have the prospect to discover this UNESCO World Heritage Web site the place the tectonic plates of North America and Europe. You’ll hold dry and heat with the prime quality dry fits which might be included within the tour.
The Silfra fissure is a rift within the mid-Atlantic ridge, a boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The fissure is positioned underwater in a slender passage resulting in Thingvellir Lake and is as much as sixty meters deep in sections. The water is crystal clear, and adventurous guests flock to dive or snorkel the channel.
Silfra is positioned in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, an space of Thingvellir Nationwide Park. It’s on the Golden Circle route and fewer than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, so it is extremely simply accessible.
It might be some of the enjoyable and weird issues to do in Iceland. In any case, how many individuals have you learnt who’ve snorkeled between tectonic plates? Learn extra: Diving in Silfra – Iceland Underwater
14. Akureyri Botanic Gardens
Botanical gardens might not be the very first thing that pops into your head when taking a look at issues to do in Iceland. Nevertheless, Akureyri Botanic Gardens are undoubtedly price a go to.
The backyard is likely one of the northernmost botanic gardens on the planet. In spring and summer season, it’s a beautiful spot to wander and admire over 7,000 totally different plant species. There are additionally stone busts of vital Icelandic figures and benefactors of the gardens scattered all through.
If you’re in Akuereyri, the botanic backyard is an excellent place for only a quick stroll. Nature lovers and botany lovers will particularly admire the number of vegetation on present. Learn extra: 30 of the Finest Locations To Go to In Iceland
15. Go whale watching on a zodiac tour
For many individuals, whale watching is likely one of the finest issues to do in Iceland. The truth is, many individuals plan their Iceland journey dates to match the whale season simply to allow them to go whale watching. Guide this whale watching tour from Husavik as you undergo Skjálfandi Bay. Moreover whales, you’ll additionally see dolphins, and sea birds as you cruise in a standard oak boat.
Iceland has lots of whales. The most typical to identify are blue whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales. If you’re fortunate, you may additionally spot orcas – the most important dolphin species on the planet.
Could to September is the perfect time to see whales in Iceland. Whilst you can take whale-watching excursions alongside the south coast and Reykjavik, north Iceland attracts extra whales with its quieter waters. Husavik is in northeast Iceland and is taken into account the whale watching capital – so if you’re severe about whale watching, head there.
16. Kerid Crater
On the lookout for pure issues to do in Iceland? Kerid Crater is a incredible place to go to. The crater is over three thousand years previous and has a milky blue lake in its heart. Kerid Crater was fashioned by a collapsed magma chamber fairly than a normal explosion like most of Iceland’s crater lakes. Whereas the common customer gained’t discover the distinction, this does make Kerid a particular scientific location in Iceland.
The crater is minimize from putting deep pink rock, which creates a surprising distinction to the usually gray skies and uninteresting inexperienced of the Icelandic highlands. Guests can stroll the crater rim and right down to the crater lake at its base. We advocate permitting an hour to go to Kerid Crater and full each walks.
17. Rise up near Gullfoss Waterfall
So, as we talked about, Gullfoss Waterfall is a well-known pure vacationer attraction and is a part of the golden circle route. However, when you don’t drive the golden circle, do you have to nonetheless go to Gullfoss as a stand-alone attraction? Sure, after all.
Gullfoss Falls isn’t simply a normal single-drop waterfall. The waterfall cascades down a number of drops because the Hvita River turns a 90-degree bend. It’s thought of to be probably the most iconic waterfall in Iceland – which is spectacular when you concentrate on the variety of lovely waterfalls in Iceland.
Visiting the waterfall is likely one of the most impressionable issues to do in Iceland. It is just an hour and forty-minute drive from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital metropolis, so it’s a possible day journey. You could want to cease in Thingvellir Nationwide Park on the best way, because the route cuts straight by it.
18. Go to considered one of Iceland’s lively volcanoes
With all that geothermal exercise, it’s no marvel that Iceland normally has an exploding volcano or two. The nation is filled with lively volcanoes, so it’s all the time a matter of ready for the subsequent explosion. Since Iceland is the ‘land of fireplace and ice’, you’ll wish to expertise some hearth, proper? Simply from a protected distance.
After all, volcanoes are life-threatening and very harmful. It’s important to observe updates and subscribe to alerts from the Icelandic authorities when you journey Iceland. Equally, you need to all the time go to an lively volcano with an skilled information. Risks aren’t all the time seen; gases could be a silent, invisible danger to volcano guests.
Fagradalsfjall, Eyjafjallajokull, Katla, and Hekla are among the finest volcanoes to go to. Fagradalsfjall famously exploded in 2021, Eyjafjallajokull grounded flights with its explosion in 2010, Hekla final erupted in 2000, and Katla triggered chaotic flooding when it erupted in 1918. All highly effective and lively, it is very important go to these volcanoes on an organized tour.
19. Spend a day in Thingvellir Nationwide Park
After all, if you’re quick on time, prioritize visiting Silfra in Thingvellir Nationwide Park. However if in case you have a bit of longer and have a automotive employed, take into account spending an entire day within the nationwide park.
Thingvellir Nationwide Park is filled with cultural historical past, geography, and geology, and the world is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Web site. The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates cut up the nationwide park in half, and also you stroll between them at Almannagja Gorge or snorkel between them at Silfra. Nevertheless, the park can be residence to the world’s oldest surviving parliament, established in 930. Norse tradition and traces of paganism can nonetheless be present in Thingvellir, making it an fascinating place to spend a day.
Recreation of Thrones followers ought to observe that the park was additionally used as a filming location – so hold your eyes peeled for acquainted locations. Learn extra: Recreation of Thrones Filming Areas You Can Go to in Actual Life
20. Journey an Icelandic horse
Using an Icelandic horse is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Iceland. You could not know, however Icelandic horses are very particular. The breed has a selected, distinctive gait referred to as a tolt, which to non-equestrians appears to be like hilariously like a pace stroll.
Icelandic horses are additionally very uncommon, and as soon as they’ve been exported from Iceland, they’re not allowed to be imported again into the nation. Due to this, you very not often discover an Icelandic horse outdoors of Iceland.
There are trekking facilities throughout Iceland, so you may take your choose of which space you wish to discover on horseback. If you need, you may select a black sand seashore journey. If you’re skilled, attempt a herd journey, the place you run alongside lovely Icelandic terrain with a herd of free horses. Learn extra: The Icelandic Horse – All you Have to Know About this Lovely Breed
21. Eldhraun Lava Fields
A lava discipline is perhaps probably the most Icelandic factor you’ve ever heard. Sure, complete sections of land at the moment are lava fields following volcanic explosions from centuries in the past.
Eldhraun Lava Fields have been fashioned by an explosion within the late 18th century. Over two years, the lava finally cooled to type a lava rock space of 218 sq. miles. Over the centuries, a fragile inexperienced moss has grown over the rock – creating the lava discipline phenomenon.
Moss is extremely protected in Iceland, so that you mustn’t stroll on the lava discipline. Nevertheless, you may park alongside the fields and take pictures from the roadside. Consider it as an enormous, fully protected nature reserve.
22. Take a day journey across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
A day journey across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is our last suggestion of issues to do in Iceland. Quick on time? Fancy a street journey? Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a good possibility. You’ll want a automotive, however you might be richly rewarded for the drive. A day journey across the peninsula is a good way to cram lots in a short while as there’s a lot to see in such a small space.
We advocate together with Budir Black Church, Kikjufellsfoss Waterfall, Landbrotalaug Scorching Springs, Vatnshellir lava tube, and seal recognizing at Ytri-Tunga Seashore. Choose a number of sights earlier than you set off and plot a tough route. Then you may all the time detour as you go. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an ideal place to unleash your interior adventurer.
Iceland Quickfire FAQs
Now we’ve lined the perfect issues to do in Iceland, let’s take a look at some generally requested questions.
Learn how to get to Iceland
Flying is the preferred technique to go to Iceland. As an island, Iceland is unattainable to succeed in by any transport apart from ferry or airplane. And whereas ferries sail from Denmark and you should buy cruises to Iceland, flying is way more sensible.
Keflavik Worldwide Airport is the one place you may fly to from abroad, and it’s only a quick drive from the capital metropolis, Reykjavik. Reykjavik is in northeast Iceland and is the proper base to discover northern Iceland, the south coast, or the golden circle route.
If you wish to go to western Iceland or are on a time restrict, it can save you an overland journey by catching a home flight from Reykjavik Airport.
Getting round Iceland
As we’ve touched on, home flights are a superb choice to skip overland journey when visiting Iceland. Nevertheless, one factor to emphasize is that Iceland primarily consists of wilderness and the occasional sparsely populated, distant city or village. You possibly can drive for hours simply to succeed in a ‘close by’ attraction or a café to eat. Learn extra: Icelandic Meals: 15 Conventional Dishes to Attempt in Iceland
Due to this fact, even when you take a home flight to succeed in a particular space, be ready to rent a automotive or buy coach excursions to see belongings you need. Buses aren’t all the time dependable, and the routes are normally very restricted.
After all, you may all the time simply embrace the space and embark on a street journey. Automotive hires and gas will be costly in Iceland, however the freedom could also be price it. Reykjavik is an efficient start line for street journeys and has probably the most automotive rent choices. Save time to weigh up and analysis your transport choices. Evaluate rental automotive costs right here.
Finest time to go to Iceland
The very best time to go to Iceland is massively depending on what belongings you wish to do.
If you wish to go whale watching, you’ll have to go to between late spring and fall. In case you’re going to see the midnight solar, you’ll have to go to in the summertime months. And, if you wish to see the northern lights, keep away from summer season and go to within the winter months – when nights are darkish and lengthy.
Planning a visit to Iceland is exclusive in comparison with different locations. You actually should know all the perfect issues to do in Iceland earlier than selecting when to go to. In brief, weigh up what you wish to get out of your journey to Iceland, after which let the seasons choose your dates for you. Try What to Pack for a Winter Journey to Iceland
Visiting Iceland is unbelievable. Whether or not you go to the highest Iceland sights, see the northern lights, or simply admire volcanic landscapes, Iceland shall be memorable. There are such a lot of locations to go to in Iceland that touring across the nation feels easy at occasions.
Iceland is all about journey, so tick off the bucket checklist issues to do, uncover the hidden gems, and also you’ll quickly study firsthand how wonderful the nation is.