Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The 15 Best Places to Visit in Iceland

February 29, 2024

Iceland is an island country located in the Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Scotland. It has a very small population of just a few hundred thousand people. However, it is visited by many tourists, because Iceland has become a very popular destination in recent years.

Iceland is a place where you’ll find a wealth of natural attractions. That’s why we recommend it for nature and hiking lovers. Traveling around Iceland, you can see volcanoes, glaciers, lava fields, flower fields, beautiful horses and cute sheep, as well as endless stunning mountains and waterfalls. Iceland is a land of extraordinary colors and shapes.

In addition to the amazing scenery, you can enjoy Icelandic cuisine, such as lamb soup or any of the fresh and delicious fish. Or you can try one of Iceland’s wonderful thermal spas to relax for a while.

Our list of the top 15 things to see in Iceland has been created to give you a rough idea of where to go in Iceland.

So here are the 15 best things to see and do in Iceland. The top places to see include waterfalls, geysers, beaches, canyons, mountain peaks, in fact everything Iceland has to offer.

1. Reykjavík

Reykjavík is Iceland’s capital and largest city. Its most famous monument is its uniquely shaped church, the Hallgrimskirkja, which is one of the symbols of Iceland. There are also a number of museums in the Icelandic capital, and you may want to visit one of them if you are interested.

2.Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon thermal baths are located about 45 minutes by car from Reykjavík, near the village of Grindavík. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Its warm waters are rich in minerals. This is particularly beneficial for people with skin conditions. The water temperature averages 40°C and changes approximately every two days. In the spa area there is sauna, steam bath, carved lava cave and mini waterfalls for your enjoyment. Tickets should be bought online in advance, as it is a very popular destination in Iceland.

3. Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park is also one of Iceland’s most famous tourist destinations. Here you can find the border between two continents, Europe and North America. That’s right, you can walk in Thingvellir at the meeting of two tectonic plates. Knowing this information gives extra meaning to a visit here besides being a beautiful place.

You can reach the breathtaking Öxarárfoss waterfall from a separate entrance next to the national park. It’s definitely worth a visit, we think it’s one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Iceland.

4. Strokkur Geysir

In fact, you won’t find just one geyser here, but many. Yet Strokkur is the most famous, because it is the one that erupts most often (every 5–10 minutes). If you visit here, you are almost guaranteed to see an active geyser erupting into the sky. It’s a great adventure, don’t miss it.

Geysir is also famous because it is the largest geyser, but it only erupts very rarely.

Next to the geyser park there is a very good restaurant called Restaurant Geysir Glima, where you can choose from a variety of Icelandic dishes.

5. Kerid Crater

Kerid Crater is a picturesque lake formed in a volcanic crater about 3000 years old, accessible on foot. Its beautiful water color changes with the weather, ranging from blue to green most of the time. The crater is fully walkable in a circle.

6. Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is a giant waterfall that you can walk behind on the hiking trail. It will be an unforgettable experience to see a huge waterfall from behind.

7. Skógafoss

Skógafoss is also a huge waterfall in the south of Iceland. Next to it you can walk up a staircase to the top of the waterfall. The area is a very photogenic place

8. Reynisfjara

Reynisfjara is one of Iceland’s most famous places, and many people come here to take photos. The basalt hillsides, the black rocks rising out of the sea and the volcanic black sand with its varying grain size make for a stunning sight. Sometimes you can also see puffins here.

9. Fjaðrárgljúfur

Iceland’s most spectacular canyon, easily accessible by a gravel road. The canyon offers breathtaking views from both above and below, so it’s worth hiking up the trail next to it.

10. Diamond Beach

In south-east Iceland you can find the also famous Diamond Beach, where you can see different chunks of ice on the black sandy beach. It’s a stunning sight. It gets its name from these pieces of ice, because they look like diamonds in the black sand.

11. Lindarbakki

We chose the village of Borgarfjördur for our trip. Here there is a puffin viewing area where you can see plenty of puffins during the summer. Another interesting attraction of the village is Lindarbakki, where you can see small wooden houses covered with grass.

12. Stuðlagil Canyon

The Stuðlagil Canyon is one of Iceland’s most famous destinations.

It is quite easy to get lost and take the wrong route in Studlagil Canyon. The road that leads there is very bad, which is why a 4×4 car is recommended.

We recommend two routes. The first is the quicker option. Drive to the point marked „Studlagil Canyon” on Google Maps. From there, a staircase leads down to the side of the canyon, but you can’t go down to the water. It’s great for quick photos and viewing.

If you want to spend more time here, choose the second option. Drive along the extremely difficult road to the point marked „Parkplatz Klaustrusel – Studlagil”. You will find a parking lot there. From the car park, you can take a short hike (about 2-2.5 km just there) on foot to reach the canyon, from where you can walk down to the water and take the best photos. Along the way you will also come across Studlafoss Waterfall, which has some stunningly beautiful basalt formations.

13. Hverir

Hverir is a geothermal area in North Iceland. The photos already show how special this place is. For average people who don’t understand geology, it will just be a walk among strange formations smelling of rotten eggs (sulphur). The formations are usually steaming and bubbling. If you are interested in geology, you should read more about it, because Hverir is a unique area on Earth.

14. Goðafoss

Goðafoss is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It is located in the Mývatn region in north-central Iceland, south of the main road 1. There are two car parks on either side of the waterfall. From there you can admire the waterfall from several viewing points, depending on which side you park. The waterfall has a huge water yield.

15. Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell Mountain is one of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. Almost everyone has seen photos of it. This cone-shaped mountain is such a special sight that it is a must-see for tourists. It is usually photographed with the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in front of it. It’s not a time-consuming programme, but the journey is quite long.

Iceland, of course, not only has these 15 attractions, but an almost unimaginable number of them.

For example, if you’re looking for more unmissable outdoor adventures in Iceland, read also the other articles we recommend.

Furthermore, if you are specifically interested in adventure tours in Iceland, we recommend the post under the link for more information.

In Iceland, thousands of wonderful waterfalls, numerous lava fields, unique lakes and thermal baths await tourists in almost any part of the island. Iceland is the destination where you can relax in nature, admire breathtaking landscapes, enjoy hikes and natural wonders.

The above list can be easily viewed during a round trip in Iceland, of which you can find our itinerary by clicking here. Our 7 day Iceland round trip itinerary includes all the places on this list, plus lots more to see in Iceland.

Moreover, in our Iceland travel guide, we show you the things that visitors to Iceland should know before their first trip. It’s worth preparing well for a trip to Iceland and organizing the trip thoroughly, so we can give you some useful information or ideas.

We hope we have given you enough inspiration for your trip to Iceland and that you enjoyed our article above. As mentioned above, we have written several articles about Iceland, so if you need more information for your trip to Iceland, read those too.

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