Stunning is the perfect phrase to explain Iceland. It’s a lovely nation with lovely waterfalls, nationwide parks, mountain climbing trails, and wildlife. Even its energetic volcanoes are beautiful, simply in a barely terrifying and humbling manner. Iceland has an addictive high quality, and whether or not it’s your first go to or fifteenth, there may be at all times a brand new place or factor to expertise.
With such an thrilling and picturesque panorama, it’s no surprise there are various issues to do in Iceland. This information will cowl the perfect issues to do in Iceland – hopefully supplying you with some inspiration earlier than your journey.
Prime 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.
Notice: In case you are visiting Iceland, one of the simplest ways to get round is to lease a automotive. You possibly can take a look at 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 expect so.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa advanced. The water comprises numerous 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 very useful to pores and skin well being. You may as well go to the Blue Lagoon all 12 months 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 slightly than pure. The Blue Lagoon will get its water from a geothermal energy plant subsequent door and is an unusable by-product. It positively looks like a reward for funding in renewable vitality sources. Learn extra: Easy methods to Go to The Blue Lagoon in Iceland – Is it Value It?
The place to remain close to the Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon Retreat is an opulent escape that overlooks the lagoon and stands excessive sufficient to see the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula Your keep consists of 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 lodge is a wonderful possibility when staying over night time on the Blue Lagoon.
2. Go to a black sand seashore
Black sand seashores are one of the extraordinary phenomena in Iceland. In the event you’ve needed to journey to Iceland for some time, you’ve in all probability already seen the photographs of dramatic black sand seashores and the arty pictures on social media.
Whereas black sand could appear uncommon and weird, its rationalization is easy. Iceland’s volcanoes have shaped a number of volcanic minerals and rocks over the previous 1000’s and 1000’s 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 top-of-the-line issues to do in Iceland. Fortunately, you’ve got a number of choices. Reynisfjara Seaside is likely one of the hottest and was used as a movie set in Star Wars’ Rogue One. Reynisfjara Seaside is situated in south Iceland, alongside the south coast.
Vik Seaside is one other good black sand seashore to go to in south Iceland, and Vik is a well-liked vacation spot on south coast highway journeys anyway, so it’s typically a handy add-on. You might discover it quieter than Reynisfjara Seaside, which is at all times a bonus. Learn extra: Better of Iceland’s Ring Street – GLACIERS, VOLCANOES AND WATERFALLS
3. Take a Golden Circle highway 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 one of the in style issues to do in Iceland.
To drive the Golden Circle takes round 4 hours, though plan to take longer in winter months when situations require slower, extra cautious driving. In the event you select to self-drive the Golden Circle route, it is best to permit not less than a full day to cease and revel in all of the completely different sights that you just move.
Those that can’t drive can at all times 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 the event you’ve ever dreamt of visiting Antarctica, this glacier lagoon is the following neatest thing. The lake is filled with large icebergs, and guests can guide zodiac excursions to expertise the lagoon from the water. On the water, you may recognize the size of the icebergs a lot better, and the expertise is really awe-inspiring.
You possibly can guide a zodiac tour on-line or if you arrive in Iceland. Remember that issues are likely to promote out rapidly, so attempt to guide prematurely the place potential.
5. Hike to glacier ice caves
If you consider issues to do in Iceland, mountain climbing to a glacier ice cave has bought to be one of the magical. You’ll discover many inspirational journey footage of ice caves in Iceland on-line. The ice is a surprising turquoise, and the tunnels and caverns appear to be they’ve been carved from crystal.
Caves are scattered throughout Iceland, however the most well-liked are on the Katla, Vatnajokull, and Skaftafell glaciers. An important factor to find out about ice caves is their lifespan. Ice caves typically type over winter and ultimately soften in summer season. Subsequently, winter and early spring are the perfect months to see glacier ice caves in full glory.
As a result of ice caves are continually melting and forming, one of the simplest ways to go to them is with an organized tour. There aren’t any set mountain climbing trails to achieve the ice caves, and you’re normally guided on a brief stroll throughout the glacier to search out them. It’s most secure and simplest in the event you go to on a tour like this one.
6. See the northern lights
Seeing the northern lights is likely one of the most superb issues to do in Iceland. Sadly, additionally it is one of many least predictable issues to do in Iceland.
As you might know, the aurora borealis isn’t particular to Iceland. Nonetheless, the nation is known for having implausible northern lights shows. In winter, the lengthy nights additionally create the proper situations for aurora looking. The additional nighttimes and lack of sunshine air pollution are ideally suited and sometimes lead to lovely northern lights shows.
You possibly can observe the northern lights your self utilizing apps and monitoring web sites. In the event you get lucky, you might even see them accidentally. Nonetheless, we suggest buying a northern lights tour to maximise your possibilities. You possibly can guide 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 implausible – there isn’t any denying that. However if you would like naturally heated and fewer touristy thermal baths, add Myvatn Nature Baths to your checklist of issues to do in Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths are situated 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 vitality supply is fully pure. The lagoon was constructed over pure scorching springs, so you may reap all the advantages of mineral waters, alkalines, and naturally heated water all 12 months spherical.
In case you are planning to journey to north Iceland, it could be value skipping the Blue Lagoon for this quieter and cheaper spot in Myvatn. Alternatively, deal with your self and go to each. Iceland is thought 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 dwelling to the Geysir Geothermal Space, an approximate 3km space of effervescent geothermal swimming pools and extremely energetic geysers. Even higher, it’s free to enter.
Nice Geysir is likely one of the most well-known geysers on the earth, though sadly not often explodes lately. Maintain your fingers crossed, although, and you might get fortunate. Stokkur Geysir is probably the most dependable and explodes each jiffy.
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 damage you is roped off, so pay shut consideration to the place you’re 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 big consider Norse mythology. In line 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 remains to be considerably of a hidden gem amongst vacationers, primarily as a result of it’s off the principle journey routes. In summer season, it is best to have the mountain climbing trails to your self or not less than be very quiet.
10. Admire Diamond Seaside
Not like Asbyrgi Canyon, Diamond Seaside 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 resulting from their glistening look.
Outlet glaciers encompass Diamond Seaside, so new chunks of glacial ice are continually washing up alongside its shores. Even in summer season, the temperatures keep delicate sufficient to permit a protracted sufficient melting cycle that contemporary ice chunks are washed up as others disappear.
Diamond Seaside is straightforward to search out on Google Maps, situated close to Reynivellir, just below Vatnajokull Glacier. We suggest combining it with an ice cave or glacier mountain climbing expertise.
11. See Dettifoss Waterfall
It’s secure to say that Iceland has a fantastic waterfall or two, however if you wish to be blown away, visiting Dettifoss is likely one of the most superb issues to do in Iceland.
Dettifoss is (controversially) probably the most highly effective waterfall in Europe – a title that we predict 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 a number of water, and the Jokulsa a Fjollum River is the biggest in Iceland. Guests can stand up shut by standing on the statement deck, only a brief stroll from the automotive park.
In the event 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 in the event you don’t go to an ice collapse Iceland, it is best to go glacier mountain climbing on the Vatnajokull glacier. The glacier is the biggest in Iceland and is located in Vatnajokull Nationwide Park. The scale of the Vatnajokull glacier is difficult to understand, 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 surroundings to navigate, and also you’ll want a information with the perfect native information, gear, 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 gown properly.
The glacial terrain is genuinely beautiful. And, in the event 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 discovered concerning the tectonic plates at college. However what if we informed you that you may snorkel between them? You possibly can guide 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 top quality dry fits which are 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 situated 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 situated 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 vitally simply accessible.
It could be one of the enjoyable and weird issues to do in Iceland. In spite of everything, 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 is probably not the very first thing that pops into your head when taking a look at issues to do in Iceland. Nonetheless, Akureyri Botanic Gardens are undoubtedly value a go to.
The backyard is likely one of the northernmost botanic gardens on the earth. In spring and summer season, it’s a beautiful spot to wander and admire over 7,000 completely different plant species. There are additionally stone busts of necessary Icelandic figures and benefactors of the gardens scattered all through.
In case you are in Akuereyri, the botanic backyard is a superb place for only a brief stroll. Nature lovers and botany lovers will particularly recognize the number of flora 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. In reality, 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 conventional oak boat.
Iceland has a number of whales. The commonest to identify are blue whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales. In case you are fortunate, you might also spot orcas – the biggest dolphin species on the earth.
Could to September is the perfect time to see whales in Iceland. When 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 critical about whale watching, head there.
16. Kerid Crater
In search of pure issues to do in Iceland? Kerid Crater is a implausible place to go to. The crater is over three thousand years previous and has a milky blue lake in its heart. Kerid Crater was shaped by a collapsed magma chamber slightly than a regular explosion like most of Iceland’s crater lakes. Whereas the typical customer gained’t discover the distinction, this does make Kerid a particular scientific location in Iceland.
The crater is lower from placing deep purple rock, which creates a surprising distinction to the sometimes gray skies and boring inexperienced of the Icelandic highlands. Guests can stroll the crater rim and all the way down to the crater lake at its base. We suggest 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, in the event 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 regular 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 might want to cease in Thingvellir Nationwide Park on the way in which, because the route cuts straight by it.
18. Go to considered one of Iceland’s energetic volcanoes
With all that geothermal exercise, it’s no surprise that Iceland normally has an exploding volcano or two. The nation is filled with energetic volcanoes, so it’s at all times a matter of ready for the following explosion. Since Iceland is the ‘land of fireplace and ice’, you’ll wish to expertise some hearth, proper? Simply from a secure distance.
After all, volcanoes are life-threatening and intensely harmful. It’s important to observe updates and subscribe to alerts from the Icelandic authorities when you journey Iceland. Equally, it is best to at all times go to an energetic volcano with an skilled information. Risks aren’t at all times seen; gases generally is a silent, invisible threat to volcano guests.
Fagradalsfjall, Eyjafjallajokull, Katla, and Hekla are a number of 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 brought about chaotic flooding when it erupted in 1918. All highly effective and energetic, you will need to go to these volcanoes on an organized tour.
19. Spend a day in Thingvellir Nationwide Park
After all, if you’re brief on time, prioritize visiting Silfra in Thingvellir Nationwide Park. However when you have just a little longer and have a automotive employed, think about 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 break up the nationwide park in half, and also you stroll between them at Almannagja Gorge or snorkel between them at Silfra. Nonetheless, the park can also be dwelling 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 attention-grabbing place to spend a day.
Recreation of Thrones followers ought to word that the park was additionally used as a filming location – so hold your eyes peeled for acquainted locations. Learn extra: Recreation of Thrones Filming Places You Can Go to in Actual Life
20. Trip an Icelandic horse
Driving an Icelandic horse is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Iceland. You might not know, however Icelandic horses are very particular. The breed has a specific, distinctive gait known as a tolt, which to non-equestrians seems hilariously like a pace stroll.
Icelandic horses are additionally very uncommon, and as soon as they’ve been exported from Iceland, they’re now 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 decide of which space you wish to discover on horseback. If you’d like, you may select a black sand seashore trip. In case you are skilled, attempt a herd trip, the place you run alongside lovely Icelandic terrain with a herd of unfastened horses. Learn extra: The Icelandic Horse – All you Must Know About this Stunning Breed
21. Eldhraun Lava Fields
A lava subject is likely to be probably the most Icelandic factor you’ve ever heard. Sure, whole sections of land are actually lava fields following volcanic explosions from centuries in the past.
Eldhraun Lava Fields had been shaped by an explosion within the late 18th century. Over two years, the lava ultimately 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 subject phenomenon.
Moss is extremely protected in Iceland, so that you mustn’t stroll on the lava subject. Nonetheless, you may park alongside the fields and take images from the roadside. Consider it as a large, fully protected nature reserve.
22. Take a day journey across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
A day journey across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is our remaining advice of issues to do in Iceland. Quick on time? Fancy a highway journey? Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a superb possibility. You’ll want a automotive, however you’re richly rewarded for the drive. A day journey across the peninsula is a good way to cram quite a bit in a short while as there may be a lot to see in such a small space.
We suggest together with Budir Black Church, Kikjufellsfoss Waterfall, Landbrotalaug Sizzling Springs, Vatnshellir lava tube, and seal recognizing at Ytri-Tunga Seaside. Decide a number of sights earlier than you set off and plot a tough route. Then you may at all times detour as you go. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an ideal place to unleash your inside adventurer.
Iceland Quickfire FAQs
Now we’ve lined the perfect issues to do in Iceland, let’s have a look at some generally requested questions.
Easy methods to get to Iceland
Flying is the most well-liked method to go to Iceland. As an island, Iceland is not possible to achieve by any transport aside from ferry or airplane. And whereas ferries sail from Denmark and you should purchase 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 brief 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 great choice to skip overland journey when visiting Iceland. Nonetheless, 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 achieve a ‘close by’ attraction or a café to eat. Learn extra: Icelandic Meals: 15 Conventional Dishes to Strive in Iceland
Subsequently, even in the event you take a home flight to achieve a particular space, be ready to rent a automotive or buy coach excursions to see belongings you need. Buses aren’t at all times dependable, and the routes are normally very restricted.
After all, you may at all times simply embrace the gap and embark on a highway journey. Automotive hires and gasoline might be costly in Iceland, however the freedom could also be value it. Reykjavik is an efficient place to begin for highway journeys and has probably the most automotive rent choices. Save time to weigh up and analysis your transport choices. Examine 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 the event 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 must 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 will probably 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 be taught firsthand how superb the nation is.
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