Planning a trip to Iceland? Amazing! This country is guaranteed to blow your expectations out of the water. It is filled with the most beautiful scenery and is soooo easy to explore! Find my top 10 things to do in Iceland below and feel free to write in the comments if you have any specific questions!
1. The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they are planning a trip to Iceland. It is Iceland’s biggest tourist attraction, and definitely worth the visit. It’s a tad on the expensive side but considering how unique this place is, and all the great amenities at the site, I believe its worth it to check out! For more information on what you can expect, check out my previous blog post, A Day at the Blue Lagoon.
2. Drive the Golden Circle
This was my favourite day in Iceland! We spent 8 hours driving through the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen! This drive is an amazing one-day activity which will expose you to a very wide variety of things that Iceland has to offer. We made 5 specific stops along the way and a lot of mini stops that we discovered throughout the drive. Discover waterfalls, beautiful blue lakes and much more. For a detailed break down of each stop we made along the way, check out my previous blog post, 24 hours in Iceland? Drive the Golden Circle.
3. Go Glacier Hiking
You know what you should do while you’re in Iceland? Check out some ICE.
Wow.. I am so sorry. That was not funny at all….. feel free to leave.
If you decided to stay despite what just happened… then let me share my experience checking out one of glaciers in Iceland. There are a couple different types of tours you can do. The one I wanted to do (but couldn’t because it was all sold out) involved hiking around a glacier and getting an ice climbing lesson! If that seems like something you’d be interested in, check them out here.
The tour we ended up doing was Into the Glacier, Classic Tour. This tour takes you up Iceland’s second largest glacier and allows you to experience it from inside their man made ice tunnels!
Whichever tour you decide to go with, I would highly recommend doing some sort of Glacier tour.
While you are in the Western Region of Iceland, check out this cool place! Hraunfossar, also known as the Lava Waterfalls is a hidden gem that we just happened to stumble upon! We were starving, looking for somewhere to stop for lunch and ended up finding this beautiful place instead!! Turns out its a pretty popular stop, so just punch that name into Google Maps and you’ll be able to find it no problem!
There is a little coffee shop there as well that is open during the summer months!
5. Watch the Northern Lights
Iceland is known for having the best views of the northern lights. The best part about viewing the northern lights in Iceland is that:
a) You do not need to go very far to see the lights. Since the country is so isolated and there isn’t much for light pollution, you have a pretty good chance of seeing the Northern Lights from almost anywhere in the country other than Reykjavik
b) You don’t need to book a tour! Just get in your car, and drive to the darkest spot you can find! You can do your own northern lights tour.
The only problem is it’s extremely hit or miss. You could get really lucky, or you could get very unlucky. Buuuuuut luckily for you, I’ve written out all my tips for giving yourself your best chance at seeing the northern lights, check out my post on Tips for Viewing the Northern Lights.
The Southern Region
6. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
I have been to A LOT of waterfalls, all over the world and this one was by far the most amazing. It is crazy big and there is just an insane amount of water constantly flowing over it. Another unique thing about Seljalandsfoss is that they have created a path that brings you directly behind the waterfall. Side note: this is also the huge waterfall featured in Justin Beiber’s I’ll show you music video.
7. Seljavallalaug Hot Spring
This hot spring is hidden in the mountains in the Southern Region of Iceland. The infrastructure surrounding the natural hot spring was built in 1923… so its very old and authentic, I love it. To get to the hot spring, type the above name into google maps. It will take you 10 minutes off the main road to a small parking area. From there it is about a 20-30 minute walk to the hot spring. The walk there is just as beautiful and unbelievable as the hidden hot spring itself so take your time, look around and take a ton of photos!
8. Black Sand Beach
Next stop to make while driving through the Southern Region should be Black Sand Beach! The beach is beautiful and has some really cool surrounding landscapes. Enjoy a lunch at Black Sand Restaurant over looking to beach, and go visit the abandoned plane wreck, Sólheimasandur. Just be careful walking too closely to shore… the waves seem tame until a rogue wave comes in and wrecks you… in my case wrecked my phone and all my winter clothes! I had wet winter boots the rest of the trip which is not fun in Iceland…
9. Skogafoss Waterfall
Iceland is definitely not lacking beautiful waterfalls! Visit this one on your way to or from Black Sand Beach. You’ll find it right off the main road and is often less crowded than Seljalandsfoss waterfall!
10. Visit the town of Vik
The small town of Vik is the southernmost town in Iceland. This charming little town which has also been described as a village is home to only 300 people. This is a nice little stop to make while you’re in the southern region. Grab lunch, and wander through the small streets. Don’t forget to drive up to the Church known as Flatanger Church, where you can get amazing views of the village, ocean and beautiful surroundings.