Lovely is the perfect phrase to explain Iceland. It’s a lovely nation with lovely waterfalls, nationwide parks, mountaineering trails, and wildlife. Even its lively volcanoes are beautiful, simply in a barely terrifying and humbling method. Iceland has an addictive high quality, and whether or not it’s your first go to or fifteenth, there may be all the time a brand new place or factor to expertise.
With such an thrilling and picturesque panorama, it’s no surprise there are lots of 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 full of 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 best 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 one in all Iceland’s most well-known vacationer points of interest. And is it definitely worth the hype? We predict so.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa advanced. The water incorporates numerous minerals and is a clouded, milky blue shade 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 too can 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 appropriate 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.
In contrast to most geothermal swimming pools in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is definitely artifical reasonably 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 power sources. Learn extra: Tips on how 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 Personal 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 superb possibility when staying over night time on the Blue Lagoon.
2. Go to a black sand seaside
Black sand seashores are one of the crucial extraordinary phenomena in Iceland. Should you’ve wished 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 simple. 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 non-public South Coast Tour affords a glimpse into the perfect issues to do on the South Coast.
- Admire the black sand seashores of Reynisfjara in Vik
- Take pleasure in 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 seaside is well top-of-the-line issues to do in Iceland. Fortunately, you’ve gotten a number of choices. Reynisfjara Seashore is without doubt one of the hottest and was used as a movie set in Star Wars’ Rogue One. Reynisfjara Seashore is situated in south Iceland, alongside the south coast.
Vik Seashore is one other good black sand seaside 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 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 highway journey or tour
The Golden Circle is like the final word introduction to Iceland. The 186-mile route loops by Reykjavik, Geysir geothermal space, and the Icelandic highlands. You’ll additionally cross points of interest like Gullfoss waterfall (extra on that later). The route has grow to be so iconic that it’s now one of the crucial standard 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. Should you select to self-drive the Golden Circle route, it is best to enable at the very least a full day to cease and luxuriate in all of the totally different points of interest that you simply cross.
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.
Should you’ve ever dreamt of visiting Antarctica, this glacier lagoon is the following smartest thing. The lake is filled with huge icebergs, and guests can guide zodiac excursions to expertise the lagoon from the water. On the water, you’ll be able to recognize the size of the icebergs a lot better, and the expertise is actually awe-inspiring.
You possibly can guide a zodiac tour on-line or whenever you arrive in Iceland. Take into account that issues are likely to promote out shortly, so attempt to guide upfront the place potential.
5. Hike to glacier ice caves
Whenever you consider issues to do in Iceland, mountaineering to a glacier ice cave has obtained to be one of the crucial 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 preferred are on the Katla, Vatnajokull, and Skaftafell glaciers. Crucial factor to find out about ice caves is their lifespan. Ice caves typically kind over winter and finally 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 continuously melting and forming, one of the best ways to go to them is with an organized tour. There are not any set mountaineering trails to succeed in the ice caves, and you’re often guided on a brief stroll throughout the glacier to search out them. It’s most secure and handiest for those who go to on a tour like this one.
6. See the northern lights
Seeing the northern lights is without doubt 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 will not be particular to Iceland. Nonetheless, the nation is known for having implausible northern lights shows. In winter, the lengthy nights additionally create the right circumstances for aurora looking. The additional dead nights and lack of sunshine air pollution are perfect and infrequently end in lovely northern lights shows.
You possibly can observe the northern lights your self utilizing apps and monitoring web sites. Should you get lucky, you might even see them accidentally. Nonetheless, we advocate buying a northern lights tour to maximise your probabilities. 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 in order for you naturally heated and fewer touristy thermal baths, add Myvatn Nature Baths to your listing 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 power supply is solely pure. The lagoon was constructed over pure sizzling springs, so you’ll be able to 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 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 lively geysers. Even higher, it’s free to enter.
Nice Geysir is without doubt one of the most well-known geysers on the planet, though sadly hardly ever explodes nowadays. Maintain 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. Bear 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’re strolling.
9. Go to Asbyrgi Canyon
Bear in mind the whale-watching capital of Husavik? Properly, 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 without doubt 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 think about Norse mythology. Based on 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 primary journey routes. In summer season, it is best to have the mountaineering trails to your self or at the very least be very quiet.
10. Admire Diamond Seashore
In contrast to Asbyrgi Canyon, Diamond Seashore is established as a vacationer attraction. The black sand seaside is known for its chunks of washed-up glacial ice, which some have in comparison with diamonds because 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 gentle sufficient to permit a protracted sufficient melting cycle that recent ice chunks are washed up as others disappear.
Diamond Seashore is simple to search out on Google Maps, situated close to Reynivellir, just below Vatnajokull Glacier. We advocate combining it with an ice cave or glacier mountaineering expertise.
11. See Dettifoss Waterfall
It’s secure to say that Iceland has a stupendous waterfall or two, however if you wish to be blown away, visiting Dettifoss is without doubt 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 rise up shut by standing on the statement deck, only a quick stroll from the automotive park.
Should 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 for those who don’t go to an ice collapse Iceland, it is best to go glacier mountaineering 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 tough to understand, and it covers an astounding 8% of Iceland’s land mass.
To go glacier mountaineering, you want a information. Vatnajokull glacier will not be a straightforward surroundings to navigate, and also you’ll want a information with the perfect native data, tools, and glacier mountaineering expertise. The corporate will offer 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, for those who’ve not skilled it earlier than, with the ability to stroll on ice is an unbelievable expertise. Journey lovers ought to add glacier mountaineering to their listing of issues to do in Iceland.
13. Snorkel Silfra
Everybody realized in regards to the tectonic plates in school. However what if we advised you that you possibly can snorkel between them? You possibly can guide this tour the place you’ll have the prospect to discover this UNESCO World Heritage Website the place the tectonic plates of North America and Europe. You’ll hold dry and heat with the top quality dry fits which can 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 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 extremely simply accessible.
It could be one of the crucial enjoyable and weird issues to do in Iceland. In spite of everything, how many individuals are you aware 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 price a go to.
The backyard is without doubt 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 fans will particularly recognize the number of flora on present. Learn extra: 30 of the Greatest Locations To Go to In Iceland
15. Go whale watching on a zodiac tour
For many individuals, whale watching is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Iceland. Actually, many individuals plan their Iceland journey dates to match the whale season simply to allow them to go whale watching. E book this whale watching tour from Husavik as you undergo Skjálfandi Bay. Apart from 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. If you’re fortunate, you may additionally spot orcas – the biggest dolphin species on the planet.
Might 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 severe about whale watching, head there.
16. Kerid Crater
On the lookout for pure issues to do in Iceland? Kerid Crater is a implausible place to go to. The crater is over three thousand years outdated and has a milky blue lake in its middle. Kerid Crater was shaped by a collapsed magma chamber reasonably than a typical 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 reduce from placing deep crimson 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 advocate permitting an hour to go to Kerid Crater and full each walks.
17. Stand 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, for those who don’t drive the golden circle, must you nonetheless go to Gullfoss as a stand-alone attraction? Sure, after all.
Gullfoss Falls isn’t simply a typical single-drop waterfall. The waterfall cascades down a number of drops because the Hvita River turns a 90-degree bend. It’s thought-about to be probably the most iconic waterfall in Iceland – which is spectacular when you consider the variety of lovely waterfalls in Iceland.
Visiting the waterfall is without doubt one of the most impressionable issues to do in Iceland. It’s only 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 way in which, because the route cuts straight by it.
18. Go to one in all Iceland’s lively volcanoes
With all that geothermal exercise, it’s no surprise that Iceland often 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 following explosion. Since Iceland is the ‘land of fireplace and ice’, you’ll wish to expertise some fireplace, 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 all the time go to an lively volcano with an skilled information. Risks aren’t all the time seen; gases is usually 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 induced 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 Website. 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 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 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. Experience an Icelandic horse
Using an Icelandic horse is without doubt 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 seems to be hilariously like a velocity 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 hardly ever discover an Icelandic horse outdoors of Iceland.
There are trekking facilities throughout Iceland, so you’ll be able to take your decide of which space you wish to discover on horseback. If you would like, you’ll be able to select a black sand seaside experience. If you’re skilled, strive a herd experience, 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 subject may be probably the most Icelandic factor you’ve ever heard. Sure, total sections of land at the moment are lava fields following volcanic explosions from centuries in the past.
Eldhraun Lava Fields have been shaped by an explosion within the late 18th century. Over two years, the lava finally cooled to kind 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’ll be able to park alongside the fields and take photographs from the roadside. Consider it as a large, utterly protected nature reserve.
22. Take a day journey across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
A day journey across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is our last advice of issues to do in Iceland. Brief on time? Fancy a highway journey? Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a good 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 so much in a short while as there may be a lot to see in such a small space.
We advocate together with Budir Black Church, Kikjufellsfoss Waterfall, Landbrotalaug Sizzling Springs, Vatnshellir lava tube, and seal recognizing at Ytri-Tunga Seashore. Choose a couple of points of interest earlier than you set off and plot a tough route. Then you’ll be able to 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 have a look at some generally requested questions.
Tips on 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 aside from ferry or airplane. And whereas ferries sail from Denmark and you should buy cruises to Iceland, flying is rather more sensible.
Keflavik Worldwide Airport is the one place you’ll be able to fly to from abroad, and it’s only a quick drive from the capital metropolis, Reykjavik. Reykjavik is in northeast Iceland and is the right 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. 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 succeed in a ‘close by’ attraction or a café to eat. Learn extra: Icelandic Meals: 15 Conventional Dishes to Attempt in Iceland
Subsequently, even for those who take a home flight to succeed in a particular space, be ready to rent a automotive or buy coach excursions to see stuff you need. Buses aren’t all the time dependable, and the routes are often very restricted.
After all, you’ll be able to all the time simply embrace the space and embark on a highway journey. Automotive hires and gasoline could be costly in Iceland, however the freedom could also be price it. Reykjavik is an effective 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.
Greatest time to go to Iceland
The perfect time to go to Iceland is massively depending on what stuff you wish to do.
If you wish to go whale watching, you’ll have to go to between late spring and fall. Should 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. Briefly, weigh up what you wish to get out of your journey to Iceland, after which let the seasons choose your dates for you. Take a look at What to Pack for a Winter Journey to Iceland
Visiting Iceland is unbelievable. Whether or not you go to the highest Iceland points of interest, see the northern lights, or simply admire volcanic landscapes, Iceland will likely 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 listing issues to do, uncover the hidden gems, and also you’ll quickly study firsthand how superb the nation is.