Lovely is one of the best 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 may be 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 one of the best issues to do in Iceland – hopefully providing 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 one of the best issues to do in Iceland.
Notice: In case you are visiting Iceland, one of the best ways to get round is to hire a automotive. You’ll be able to take a look at automotive rental costs at RentalCars.com
1. Bathe within the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is well certainly one of 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 complicated. The water incorporates numerous minerals and is a clouded, milky blue colour due to the excessive silica content material. The well being advantages of bathing within the Blue Lagoon are countless, 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 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 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 as if a reward for funding in renewable vitality sources. Learn extra: The way 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 opulent 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 Personal Retreat Lagoon.
The Silica Lodge 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 evening on the Blue Lagoon.
2. Go to a black sand seaside
Black sand seashores are one of the crucial extraordinary phenomena in Iceland. In case you’ve wished to journey to Iceland for some time, you’ve in all probability 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 easy. Iceland’s volcanoes have fashioned a number 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 non-public South Coast Tour gives a glimpse into one of the best 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 among the finest issues to do in Iceland. Fortunately, you’ve gotten a number of choices. Reynisfjara Seaside is without doubt 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 seaside 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. It’s possible you’ll discover it quieter than Reynisfjara Seaside, which is all the time a bonus. Learn extra: Better of Iceland’s Ring Street – 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 via Reykjavik, Geysir geothermal space, and the Icelandic highlands. You’ll additionally go points of interest like Gullfoss waterfall (extra on that later). The route has develop into so iconic that it’s now one of the crucial 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 circumstances require slower, extra cautious driving. In case you select to self-drive the Golden Circle route, it is best to enable not less than a full day to cease and revel in all of the totally different points of interest that you just go.
Those that can’t drive can all the time buy a Golden Circle tour. This extremely rated tour takes you to see one of the best 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 following neatest thing. The lake is stuffed with huge icebergs, and guests can guide zodiac excursions to expertise the lagoon from the water. On the water, you’ll be able to admire the dimensions of the icebergs significantly better, and the expertise is really awe-inspiring.
You’ll be able to guide a zodiac tour on-line or while you arrive in Iceland. Understand that issues are likely to promote out rapidly, so attempt to guide prematurely the place doable.
5. Hike to glacier ice caves
Whenever you consider issues to do in Iceland, mountain climbing to a glacier ice cave has acquired 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 shocking turquoise, and the tunnels and caverns seem 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 learn about ice caves is their lifespan. Ice caves usually kind over winter and finally soften in summer time. Due to this fact, winter and early spring are one of the best months to see glacier ice caves in full glory.
As a result of ice caves are consistently melting and forming, one of the best ways to go to them is with an organized tour. There are not any set mountain climbing trails to achieve the ice caves, and you might be often guided on a brief stroll throughout the glacier to search out them. It’s most secure and simplest 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, it is usually one of many least predictable issues to do in Iceland.
As chances are you’ll know, the aurora borealis shouldn’t be particular to Iceland. Nevertheless, the nation is legendary for having implausible northern lights shows. In winter, the lengthy nights additionally create the proper circumstances for aurora looking. The additional nighttimes and lack of sunshine air pollution are excellent and infrequently end in lovely northern lights shows.
You’ll be able to observe the northern lights your self utilizing apps and monitoring web sites. In case you get lucky, chances are you’ll even see them accidentally. Nevertheless, we advocate buying a northern lights tour to maximise your probabilities. You’ll be able to 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 is no such thing as a denying that. However if you would like naturally heated and fewer touristy thermal baths, add Myvatn Nature Baths to your record of issues to do in Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths are situated in Myvatn in North Iceland. The complicated is business 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’ll be able to reap all the advantages of mineral waters, alkalines, and naturally heated water all yr 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 stuffed with geothermal exercise. And if you’re questioning the place is greatest to expertise it first hand, Geysir Geothermal Space is your reply. Haukadalur is house 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 earth, though sadly not often explodes lately. Hold your fingers crossed, although, and chances are you’ll get fortunate. Stokkur Geysir is probably the most dependable and explodes each jiffy.
You’ll be able to simply spend about an hour strolling via the geothermal reserve and watching the explosions. Keep in mind to respect the roped-off areas. Something that would explode, collapse, or in any other case damage 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 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 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 remains to be considerably of a hidden gem amongst vacationers, primarily as a result of it’s off the principle journey routes. In summer time, it is best to have the mountain climbing trails to your self or not less than be very quiet.
10. Admire Diamond Seaside
In contrast to Asbyrgi Canyon, Diamond Seaside is established as a vacationer attraction. The black sand seaside is legendary for its chunks of washed-up glacial ice, which some have in comparison with diamonds attributable to their glistening look.
Outlet glaciers encompass Diamond Seaside, so new chunks of glacial ice are consistently washing up alongside its shores. Even in summer time, the temperatures keep gentle sufficient to permit an extended 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, slightly 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 fantastic 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 most important in Iceland. Guests can rise up shut by standing on the commentary 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 for those who don’t go to an ice collapse Iceland, it is best 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 tough to understand, and it covers an astounding 8% of Iceland’s land mass.
To go glacier mountain climbing, you want a information. Vatnajokull glacier shouldn’t be a straightforward atmosphere to navigate, and also you’ll want a information with one of the best native information, tools, and glacier mountain climbing 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 mountain climbing to their record of issues to do in Iceland.
13. Snorkel Silfra
Everybody discovered in regards to the tectonic plates in school. However what if we informed you that you might snorkel between them? You’ll be able to 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 preserve dry and heat with the prime 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 might be one of the crucial 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 value a go to.
The backyard is without doubt one of the northernmost botanic gardens on the earth. In spring and summer time, it’s a beautiful spot to wander and admire over 7,000 totally different plant species. There are additionally stone busts of essential 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 quick stroll. Nature lovers and botany fans will particularly admire the number of flowers 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 greatest 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. Ebook this whale watching tour from Husavik as you undergo Skjálfandi Bay. In addition to whales, you’ll additionally see dolphins, and sea birds as you cruise in a standard oak boat.
Iceland has a number of whales. The most typical to identify are blue whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales. In case you are fortunate, you might also spot orcas – the most important dolphin species on the earth.
Could to September is one of the best 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 critical 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 previous and has a milky blue lake in its middle. Kerid Crater was fashioned by a collapsed magma chamber fairly 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 hanging deep pink rock, which creates a shocking distinction to the sometimes gray skies and uninteresting 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. 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, for those who don’t drive the golden circle, do you have to nonetheless go to Gullfoss as a stand-alone attraction? Sure, in fact.
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 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 without doubt 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. It’s possible you’ll want to cease in Thingvellir Nationwide Park on the way in which, because the route cuts straight via it.
18. Go to certainly one of Iceland’s lively volcanoes
With all that geothermal exercise, it’s no marvel that Iceland often has an exploding volcano or two. The nation is stuffed 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 hearth, proper? Simply from a protected distance.
In fact, volcanoes are life-threatening and very harmful. It’s important to watch 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 danger to volcano guests.
Fagradalsfjall, Eyjafjallajokull, Katla, and Hekla are a number of the greatest 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 lively, it is very important go to these volcanoes on an organized tour.
19. Spend a day in Thingvellir Nationwide Park
In fact, if you’re quick on time, prioritize visiting Silfra in Thingvellir Nationwide Park. However when you have a little bit longer and have a automotive employed, take into account spending a complete day within the nationwide park.
Thingvellir Nationwide Park is stuffed with cultural historical past, geography, and geology, and the realm 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 house 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.
Sport of Thrones followers ought to observe that the park was additionally used as a filming location – so preserve your eyes peeled for acquainted locations. Learn extra: Sport of Thrones Filming Places You Can Go to in Actual Life
20. Journey an Icelandic horse
Driving an Icelandic horse is without doubt one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Iceland. It’s possible you’ll not know, however Icelandic horses are very particular. The breed has a selected, distinctive gait known 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 not allowed to be imported again into the nation. Due to this, you very not often discover an Icelandic horse exterior 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’d like, you’ll be able to select a black sand seaside trip. In case you are skilled, strive 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 Lovely Breed
21. Eldhraun Lava Fields
A lava area is perhaps probably the most Icelandic factor you’ve ever heard. Sure, total sections of land are actually lava fields following volcanic explosions from centuries in the past.
Eldhraun Lava Fields had been fashioned 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 area phenomenon.
Moss is extremely protected in Iceland, so that you mustn’t stroll on the lava area. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to park alongside the fields and take pictures 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 ultimate advice 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 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 Seaside. Decide a number 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 inside adventurer.
Iceland Quickfire FAQs
Now we’ve lined one of the best issues to do in Iceland, let’s take a look at some generally requested questions.
The way to get to Iceland
Flying is the preferred strategy to go to Iceland. As an island, Iceland is not possible to achieve by any transport apart from ferry or airplane. And whereas ferries sail from Denmark and you should purchase 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 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’ll be able to drive for hours simply to achieve 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 for those who 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 all the time dependable, and the routes are often very restricted.
In fact, you’ll be able to all the time simply embrace the gap and embark on a street journey. Automotive hires and gas may be costly in Iceland, however the freedom could also be value it. Reykjavik is an effective place to begin for street 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 most effective 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 time 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 need to know all one of the best 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 points of interest, see the northern lights, or simply admire volcanic landscapes, Iceland can 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 record issues to do, uncover the hidden gems, and also you’ll quickly study firsthand how superb the nation is.