What to do in Iceland?

What to do in Iceland?

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25 Amazing places to visit in Iceland

Glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, ice cave, and much more

On this page, you will learn all you need to know about what to do in Iceland. I am presenting you below 25 best sites you should visit during your trip in Iceland.

For each number you have seen on my video of Iceland, you will find here:

  • ^ Description of the site,
  • ^ Photos,
  • ^ Tips and advice,
  • ^ Useful website links,
  • ^ Personal evaluation:
Evaluation 1 stars what to do in Iceland

Interesting

Evaluation 2 stars what to do in Iceland

Definitely worth the time

Evaluation 3 stars what to do in Iceland

Not to be missed

You will see where are exactly located all these sites on my interactive map of Iceland.

As a result, these information will guide you to prepare your visits and decide easily what to do in Iceland during your trip.

Number 1  Blue lagoon

Evaluation 2 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in the southwest of Iceland near Keflavik Airport. It is a very touristy and quite expensive place, but still worth experimenting in my opinion. You will undoubtedly have a very relaxing time in this nice facility. In addition to that, you will enjoy the benefits (for the skin in particular) of its warm geothermal waters rich in minerals.
In high season, do not forget to book well in advance before going there, the number of places is limited inside. Even in winter, I happened to be unable to book a ticket a few days in advance because it was full at all times.
If the price seems too high, you can also go to other cheaper hot tubs, like the one in Mýtvan, which is in the north of Iceland.

Photos

Blue lagoon in Iceland : one of the best geothermal spa

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Blue lagoon in Iceland

Useful links

To have information about prices, opening hours, services and more: https://www.bluelagoon.com/

If you don’t have your own car and want to cumulate the blue lagoon and the golden circle in one tour, here are some good solutions:

Number 2  Reykjavik

Evaluation 2,5 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland, the largest city with around 130,000 inhabitants. You will probably start or end your trip in this city as it is one of the main points of interest not far away from Keflavik airport, where you will arrive by plane. It is possible to easily see the main places of the city in half a day, even on foot. Nevertheless, if you take more time, you can better enjoy the atmosphere of the city (especially at night) and discover, for example its street art.

The main places I recommend you to see are:
Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutherian church, very beautiful from oustide and interesting to visit inside as well. More of that, you can enjoye a splendid view of the town from the top of the church.
Harpa is a modern concert hall and a conference centre with a distinctive beautiful colored glass facade.
The Sun Voyager is an interesting and well known sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason.
Laugavegur street, one of the oldest of Reykjavík, which gathers many shops, restaurants, bars or museums such as the famous and unusual Phallological Museum, which is dedicated to male genitalia, impressive stuff I guess! 😅

Photos

Reykjavik in Iceland: hallgrimskirkja church

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Reykjavik in Iceland: hallgrimskirkja church

Useful links

You can do many activities or excursions from Reykjavik, you can find many propositions below:

Number 3  Þingvellir

Evaluation 1,5 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

Þingvellir, the “parliamentary plain” in icelandic, is both a historic site and a beautiful national park with rivers, fissures in the Earth’s crust, waterfalls, a church from 1859 and the largest natural lake of Iceland. You can also see there the famous hemicycle “the Alþing“ (Classified on the World Heritage List by UNESCO) which was the place where the Icelandic clans’ chief used to gathered since the 10th century. It is also possible to dive in the Silfra fissure.

Photos

What to do in Iceland: Path of Thingvellir

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Thingvellir in iceland

Useful links

If you don’t have your own car and want to do thegolden circle tour, or book your diving excursion to Silfra, here are some good solutions:

Number 4  Geysir

Evaluation-2-stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

Part of the very touristic golden circle, Geysir is a 3 km² geothermal field with several geysers of different sizes, which sprout water irregularly between 10 and 25 meter high. This great area is completely free to visit by foot. You will find nearby restaurants and shops.

Photos

What to do in Iceland : Strokkur Geysir water shoot

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Geysir in Iceland: Geysir water shoot

Useful links

If you don’t have your own car and want to do thegolden circle tour, here are some good solutions:

Number 5  Gullfoss

Evaluation 2,5 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

Gullfoss is also one of the three golden circle’s main attractions with its huge 32 meters high waterfall. It is a magnificent show to observe the power of water through the canyon. What is unusual is the size of the waterfall of course but also the view point you have on it. It is Indeed quite rare to observe a waterfall from above. On a sunny day, you will be able to see a beautiful rainbow over the waterfall. This visit is also a very nice walk along the river. Gullfoss is also the departure point to do snow motorcycle excursions.

Photos

Gulfoss waterfall in summer

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Gulfoss waterfall in summer

Useful links

If you don’t have your own car and want to do thegolden circle tour, or if you want to do snow motorcycle excursion, here are some good solutions:

Number 6  Seljalandsfoss

Evaluation 2 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

Easily accessible via Route 1 (ring road), Seljalandsfoss is certainly among the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. This 65 meter high waterfall is located on the south coast. What’s great about the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is the path that goes behind the waterfall. With the sun, you can see rainbows in the waterfall. A word of advice: bring a rain jacket and non-slip shoes if you don’t want to be soaking wet or slipping. In winter, the path to go behind the waterfall can be closed.

Photos

Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland

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Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Number 7  Skógafoss

Evaluation 2,5 stars

Description & advice

Skógafoss is an impressive waterfall of 60 meters high and 25 meters wide. To the right of the waterfall, you will find a staircase of 370 steps, which after some effort, will allow you to access an observation platform where you will enjoy a superb view. At the top, you can also start a hike leading to the Filmmvorouhals pass. Without going too far down this path, you can see other waterfalls. You can also camp and spend the night near this waterfall, restaurants are available nearby.

Photos

Couple kissing in front of Skogafoss waterfall

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Skogafoss waterfall

Number 8  Sólheimasandur plane wreck

Evaluation 2 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

If you are looking for an unusual place, you will certainly be delighted by this famous site, located on the black sand beach of Sólheimasandur. After 4 km by foot from the parking lot (or you can also take a shuttle if you’re short on time), you will find the Douglas Super DC-3 plane in the middle of nowhere. There’s really nothing around for several kilometers around. The landscape is very amazing and looks like the image we have of the surface of the moon. Be aware that this site is now very touristy, so if you want to take a photo without too many people, you will have to arrive very early. For the record, on November 24, 1973, the plane was forced to land on the black sand beach of Sólheimasandur after having a serious icing problem, luckily without causing any casualties.

Photos

solheimasandur-plane-wreck-man-top-iceland

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Solheimasandur plane wreck

Number 9  Landmannalaugar

Evaluation 3 stars what to do in Iceland

Description & advice

The Landmannalaugar is a vast natural region with mountains, lakes, volcanoes, natural hot spring baths… in the middle of the highlands of southern Iceland. This is one of the best places if you want to hike. Personally, the hikes I did there will truly stay by the best memories I have of Iceland. From the Brennisteinsalda campsite, you can start incredible hikes from a few hours to a few days, and of different difficulty levels. You can buy hiking maps over there, or you can also download them in advance with my Iceland travel guide.

The Landmannalaugar is only accessible between mid-June and mid-September depending on the road conditions. So check the weather and road conditions before going to Landmannalaugar because the fords are sometimes too deep to cross them. There are three main roads to reach the Landmannalaugar. The F208 from the north, with few rivers to cross, the F225 from the west (near Mount Hekla) and the F208 to the south (between Vík and Kirkjubàjarklaustur).

You can also access the Landmannalaugar from Reykjavak or Skaftafell by the daily tourist bus. For sleeping, there are not many options, the main one is the large Brennisteinsalda campsite which has a natural hot spring bath nearby. Obviously make sure you pack your camping gear well as there isn’t much to buy there.

Photos

landmannalaugar-amazing-landscape-hiking-iceland

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Landmannalaugar hiking

Useful links

If you don’t have your own car and want to explore the Landmannalaugar area, here are some solutions you can consider:

Number 10  Dyrhólaey

Evaluation 2 stars

Description & advice

Dyrhólaey is a small peninsula and a 120 meter high promontory with a massive arch from where you can have a magnificent view of the sea and the coast. In addition to that, Dyrhólaey has been a nature reserve since 1978, the place where I had the chance to see many puffins up close at the end of the day. At 10 p.m. in summer, the light is still good for observing puffins.

Photos

puffins-sunset-dyrholaey-peninsula-iceland

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Puffins at Dyrholaey

Number 11  Reynisfjara

Evaluation 2 stars

Description & advice

Reynisfjara is a beautiful black sand beach on the south coast of Iceland, near Vík í Mýrdal. One of the main attractions of this beach is its huge piles of basalt, on which you can observe thousands of sea birds such as puffins, fulmars or guillemots. It’s a great place to take pictures. National Geographic has named Reynisfjara one of the top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet.
However, be careful with the waves there, it is well known that this beach is particularly dangerous if you get too close to the sea. I’ll talk a little more about this in my section Safety in Iceland.

Photos

reynisfjara-black-sand-beach-view-iceland

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Reynisfjara beach

Number 12  Fjaðrárgljúfur

Evaluation 2 stars

Description & advice

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a magnificent canyon of 100 meters deep and 2 kilometers long. Its rock bed is around 2 million years old and was shaped at the end of the last ice age.
If you have the proper shoes, you can walk inside the canyon in the crystal clear water of the river, but be careful if the current is strong. I also advise you to discover the canyon from the top of the observation platforms along the canyon to contemplate the majestic view of the site. You can access this site with any type of car, but in winter you may need a 4×4 vehicle.

Photos

fjadrargljufur-canyon-iceland

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Number 13 Svartifoss

Evaluation 2 stars

Description & advice

Svartifoss is a fairly unique waterfall located in Skaftafell National Park in the south of Iceland. 20 meters high, it is surrounded by rock formations in a column of black basalt, which earned it the name of the “black waterfall”.
To observe it, you have to climb a path from the Skaftafell visitor center (open all year) for about 45 minutes (about 1.5 kilometers). The path to the waterfall is good, but it is quite steep. Along the way you will see other beautiful waterfalls. Do not try to dive into the water as its bottom is covered with sharp rocks.

Photos

svartifoss-waterfall-man-alone-iceland

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Svartifoss waterfal

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