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With so many stunning and dramatic photos of the Iceland countryside, the waterfalls, the mountains, the pure sizzling springs, it’s inconceivable to not dream of a spectacular trip round Iceland. With so many choices of issues to do and see in Iceland, it’s a dream journey that everybody ought to take not less than as soon as.
Top-of-the-line methods to completely expertise Iceland is to take a pair weeks and do a street journey across the perimeter of the island. Alongside the way in which, you’ll tag almost the entire 12 unimaginable issues to do in Iceland which might be on this record.
In fact, Reykjavik must also be a part of your plan for Iceland, because it’s filled with nice issues to do and eat. You possibly can spend just a few days within the metropolis earlier than renting a automotive and going for a drive. There are loads of great road trip routes in Iceland. For those who don’t have time to drive all of it, select the one that matches the size of time you’ve got and hits up the sights you wish to see probably the most.
Driving in Iceland
Iceland is a small island, nevertheless it’s nonetheless reasonably giant from a touristic standpoint. You’ll want a automotive to get round to all of the locations you’ll wish to see on an Iceland itinerary. The one time I don’t suggest renting a automotive is when your journey is within the winter and the street situations don’t enable for it.
Take a look at the car rental options from Northbound.is. They’ve nearly any automotive you could be on the lookout for, from one thing small, to 4x4s to camper vans and the costs are affordable.
Remember that the climate in the course of the time of yr you select to go will play an enormous function in what you’re capable of do and see. If it’s winter once you go to Iceland, you most likely received’t be capable of make it too far outdoors of Reykjavik, during which case we propose our 4-day Reykjavik itinerary.
Touring in Iceland may be very simple to do by yourself, however for those who don’t wish to drive or work out the itinerary by yourself, a good way to see extra of the nation with much less trouble is by happening a bunch tour.
Northbound is a superb place to begin on the lookout for excursions that excite you. Use the search engine under to search out enjoyable excursions. We’ve additionally included hyperlinks to excursions for the 12 actions listed under.
Prime Issues to Do in Iceland
1. The Blue Lagoon
The long-lasting Blue Lagoon tops most individuals’s must-do record in Iceland, and for good motive. Though the Blue Lagoon is definitely a man-made thermal spa, it nonetheless has nice attraction for vacationers. The water is strikingly blue and the steam coming off is dramatic in opposition to the moon-like panorama surrounding.
You possibly can spend a complete day on the Blue Lagoon, between bathing, spa actions, and eating. They’ve three eating places: Lava for connoisseur Icelandic dishes, Moss for positive eating within the night, and Spa Restaurant for connoisseur dishes within the Spa Retreat. There’s additionally a restaurant the place you’ll be able to decide up fast bites.
If you wish to make this a full expertise, you’ll be able to keep on the Silica Resort or Retreat Hotel, situated proper on the property. Mix your stick with eating or spa remedies for the last word enjoyable trip.
See more information about visiting the Blue Lagoon.
⇒ Get tickets for the Blue Lagoon with roundtrip transportation included or mix your go to with a tour of the Golden Circle and Kerid Crater from Reykjavik (entrance charges excluded).
2. Sizzling Springs
Hveravellir Nature Reserve and Sizzling Springs
There are many different precise sizzling springs all through the nation to discover and revel in, together with some of the stunning geothermal areas on the planet, Hveravellir. Positioned within the middle of the island, between the 2 glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull, Hveravellir Nature Reserve is a surprising wilderness with pure thermal swimming pools, lava fields and climbing trails.
Hveravellir is a couple of Three hour and 45-minute drive from Reykjavik. You want a 4×Four automobile to achieve it, as there’s tough terrain on the way in which in. There are various thermal pool within the space. The temperatures range between 18 and 39 levels C. There’s a service price of 500 KR for any visitors parking or utilizing the showers and bogs.
Gamla Laugin (Secret Lagoon)
The attractive Secret Lagoon pure sizzling spring is situated close to the Golden Circle, so it’s a vacation spot that almost all guests can be in hanging distance of. It’s about 30 minutes south of Gullfoss Waterfall. That is the oldest pure swimming pool in Iceland. In fact, as of late it’s not so “secret” anymore and may even get fairly overrun with vacationers within the excessive season.
Listed here are 2 different sizzling springs to see in Iceland:
- Landbrotalaug sizzling springs
- Reykjadalur sizzling springs (and hike)
Take a look at much more natural wonders in Iceland.
3. Northern Lights
Iceland is likely one of the finest locations to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, particularly from outdoors of city the place the pitch darkness permits for the most effective viewing of the colourful inexperienced waves of sunshine. The very best time to see the lights is from October to March. It’s pretty chilly in Iceland throughout this time, so be ready for spending lengthy hours outdoors attempting to seize this wonderful scene.
There are many corporations in Reykjavik who run guided Northern Lights excursions that take you out into the countryside to hunt for the elusive lights. Staying within the metropolis, you received’t be capable of see them due to gentle air pollution.
⇒ E book a Northern Lights tour from Reykjavik.
Maybe the easiest way to make sure you’ll see them is to remain in a rustic inn that can name you in the course of the evening when the lights have been noticed. That approach you don’t have to face outdoors hoping and ready.
Three such locations are:
- Hotel Husafell, an 1:45 minute drive north east of Reykjavik, is likely one of the finest locations in Iceland to see the Northern Lights. It’s situated on the coronary heart of Iceland’s Aurora Zone and so they boast not less than Three sightings per week in winter. They provide visitor get up calls when the lights are noticed.
- At Hotel ION, within the south west, you’ll be able to look ahead to the lights from the lodge’s Northern Lights Bar, with panoramic views over Lake Thingvallavatn, or from a thermal sizzling springs.
- Hotel Ranga, in southern Iceland, presents hot-tubs full of mineral-rich volcanic water from which to view the aurora.
3. Whale Watching
One of many prime actions for vacationers in Iceland is whale watching. You possibly can take a ship tour to see the whales. However it’s not even essential to go on a tour to identify whales breaching alongside the shoreline, for those who preserve your eyes out for them.
There’s an opportunity to see many marine animals and whales within the space, from harbor porpoise and white-beaked dolphin to orcas, minke whales and giants like sperm, fin, humpback and blue whale. You may see a humpback whale breach or watch pods of orcas swim by.
The very best time to see whales in Iceland is between June and August, when not less than 11 totally different species of whales enter Faxaflói Bay to feed. Nevertheless, the season extends from April to October, so you’ll be able to nonetheless catch a sighting on the shoulder months.
Between January and March whale watching in Iceland focuses on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the place orcas come to feed. Yr spherical excursions depart from Reykjavik harbor.
⇒ E book a whale watching cruise from Reykjavik.
4. Tour the Golden Circle
One of the fashionable excursions from Reykjavik for vacationers is the Golden Circle tour. That is a simple day journey that can get you outdoors Reykjavik to see a number of the countryside with out having to lease a automotive and drive your self.
The tour contains these highlights:
- Tectonic rift at Thingvellir Nationwide Park
- Geysir and Strokkur sizzling springs – a waterspout that shoots to round 98 ft within the air
- The double-tiered and spectacular falls of the Gulfoss waterfall
The tour is by comfy motor coach or bus, with wherever from 5-30 members. You’ll spend about an hour in every place, with stops for a break and lunch. Altogether the tour is 7 hours, door-to-door.
⇒ E book a small group classic Golden Circle day trip from Reykjavik or this Golden Circle Tour with Secret Lagoon. For those who don’t wish to go together with a bunch, right here’s an awesome private tour that doesn’t price that rather more than a bunch journey.
5. Icelandic Meals & Drink
The meals in Iceland holds many surprises and adventures for the standard traveler who has by no means tried such unique meals. In Iceland, you’ll readily discover issues like minke whale, puffin, reindeer or langoustine on the menu. Lamb can also be a well-liked meat in Iceland.
Reykjavik is the capital of meals in Iceland and there are various unimaginable consuming choices in a small radius. A lot of the prime eating places provide a chef’s tasting menu with wine or beer pairings so you’ll be able to get pleasure from the most effective of what they’ve to supply, with out having to decide on the dishes your self.
A few of our favourite locations to eat in Reykjavik are:
Learn more about the foods you need to attempt in Reykjavik and the place to eat them. Top-of-the-line methods to attempt a bunch of issues in only a few hours and have a enjoyable time doing it’s to guide a food tour in Reykjavik.
Craft Beer in Iceland
Apart from the nice meals, Iceland can also be dwelling to some actually nice craft beer. Very first thing it’s good to know is the phrase for beer in Icelandic is “Bjor”, and the phrase for cheers is “Skál”.
One of many main breweries in Iceland is known as Borg Brugghus. They make loads of nice beer like Ufrun (session IPA_, Solveig (hoppy Weizen), Ulfur (triple IPA), and a few seasonal favorites.
Brothers Brewery is a craft beer brewery that may be a must-stop within the distant Westman Islands. Most of their beers are named after colourful characters, and native legends.
Kaldi Brewery was the primary micro brewery to open in Iceland and yow will discover their beer in bars in Reykjavik (solely within the bottle), and of their small hometown of Árskógssandur, which is 25 minutes from Akureyri within the north, the place in addition they run brewery excursions.
⇒ Take a look at all of the superior meals and drinks Reykjavik has to supply on a Beer & Food Tour.
6. Horseback Using
Even for those who’ve by no means seen on in individual, it’s probably that you just’ve seen many photos of the gorgeous Icelandic horses. These horses are a pure breed of the horses that have been delivered to the island by the Vikings 1,000 years in the past. No different horses are allowed on the island, to maintain the breed pure.
Using on a Viking horse is a good way to expertise the luxurious valleys and steep mountain terrain of Iceland in entire new approach. Whereas these horses are small in stature, they’re robust and highly effective. And it’s a novel using expertise, whether or not you’re skilled or not.
Excursions can be found to swimsuit any degree of rider, from an hour-long stroll to a multi-day trip that features tenting within the wilderness and using alongside a herd of unfastened horses, following historic routes into distant areas. Select your individual journey!
Listed here are just a few good horseback using adventures to attempt:
You possibly can discover Iceland on foot via a whole lot of climbing trails across the nation. Though you’ll need a automotive to get there, when you’ve arrived at a nationwide park you’ll be able to depart the automotive behind and go exploring on foot.
The climbing trails in Iceland typically lead behind unimaginable waterfalls or straight up a glacier. It’s not simply your typical mountain path. For that reason, it’s good to ensure of your expertise and health degree earlier than embarking on a path.
- Landmannalaugar is considered one of Iceland’s finest climbing vacation spot. The geothermal exercise there means there are rivers and streams which might be heat and nice for a dip after a day of trekking. There are three main hikes at Landmannalaugar.
- In Þingvellir Nationwide Park you’ll be able to hike via the Almannagjá gorge. On the prime is a view of Iceland’s largest lake, Þingvallavatn, and on the backside you’ll see Öxarárfoss waterfall. This hike is simple and accessible for everybody.
- In Snæfellsjökull Nationwide Park, there’s a simple and fashionable 30-minute hike between Arnarstapi and Hellnar on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The hike has no main elevation modifications and takes 1-hour there and again.
It normally takes a little bit of climbing to get to the caves in Iceland. As a consequence of intensive volcanic exercise on the island, there’s huge quantities of terrain underground within the lava caves to discover.
- Leidarendi is a lava tube near Bláfjöll within the Blue Mountains in southwest Iceland. It’s lower than 30 minutes from Reykjavík, making it a well-liked spot for vacationers to discover. These caves are colourful and thrilling, with polished cave partitions, stalagmites, stalactites and different fascinating formations.
- The Skaftafell ice cave close to Hofn can also be fashionable with vacationers for its pure landmarks, blue partitions and ice formations. You possibly can discover it and the close by glacier on this tour from Hofn.
- The Vatnshellir ice tube is likely one of the most simply accessible caves in Iceland, situated on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It’s an 8,000 yr previous lava tube reaches over 200 meters and goes 35 meters under the floor. You possibly can take a 45-minute tour of the cave.
9. Discover Thorsmork
Thorsmork, additionally written as Þórsmörk, is a mountain vary within the south of Iceland, named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. Thorsmork valley is surrounded by glaciers on three sides, mountains and glacial rivers, and is a real outside playground for guests who get pleasure from journey.
It’s some of the fashionable climbing areas in Iceland, with infinite trails of varied lengths stretching throughout the valley. You too can go on nature walks, jeep excursions, and volcano viewing. There are campgrounds and different lodging obtainable.
» See extra of the best glaciers in Iceland.
10. Go to Snæfellsnes
Lush valleys, hovering mountains, lava fields and craters are a part of what makes this peninsula on the west a part of the island so fascinating. Apart from exploring the various panorama, try the well-known Snæfellsjökull glacier, go chook watching and take a stroll alongside the white and black sand seashores.
Since this space is so packed filled with issues to do, vacationers typically select to take an extended street journey to the peninsula to expertise it throughout Four to five days.
⇒ Uncover these wonders on a Snaefellsnes Peninsula Day Trip from Reykjavik with Kirkjufell Mountain and Djúpalónssandur Seaside included.
11. Landmannalaugar & Saga Valley
In summer time, Landmannalaugar and the Saga Valley are alive with vibrant colours, lush vegetation, and even wild horses. It’s tucked away within the highlands in Fjallabak Nature Reserve, the place climbing and trekking abound, and the place you’ll be handled to wonderful vista views of surrounding mountains and volcanoes. The Hjálparfoss Waterfall is likely one of the prime sights.
The terrain is sort of otherworldly on this a part of the nation, because of the intensive lava flows, and should depart you feeling such as you’ve stepped into one other universe.
You possibly can go to this space by automotive, or on a group tour leaving from Reykjavik. The journey takes about Three hours every approach, so many vacationers plan to spend not less than one evening there as a way to see and do extra.
These cute Altantic puffins are motive alone to go to Iceland, which is dwelling to one of many largest colonies of puffins on the planet. They aren’t terribly elusive both. You will discover them in numerous locations in Iceland.
One of many Three largest chook cliffs in Iceland is Látrabjarg Cliffs within the Westfjords – the westernmost level in Europe. Two different outstanding chook cliffs the place you’ll be able to see puffins are Hornbjarg and the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve Park, each within the north west of Iceland. You possibly can mix different actions with birding to fill out your itinerary, like climbing, particularly within the Hornstrandir NRP.
Different puffin areas are the Westman Islands, Breidafjord and Lundey – which is known as Puffin Island. It’s simply only a fast boat trip from Reykjavik and has a puffin colony of over 20,000 birds.
These are actually simply scratching the floor of issues to do in Iceland. You may simply embark on a multi-week journey across the island and nonetheless not see the whole lot. Put together your self for a high-adventure journey!
Have you ever already been to Iceland? What are your favourite issues to do in Iceland?
The place to Keep in Reykjavik Iceland
Many guests to Iceland begin their journey in Reykjavik, which we extremely suggest. It’s a enjoyable metropolis, with loads of issues to do, and good locations to remain.
Listed here are our favourite locations to remain in Reykjavik.
For those who haven’t tried Airbnb but, there are some actually nice choices from Superhosts that may provide a extra comfy, feel-at-home, expertise than a lodge.
For extra decisions, try these Hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland
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Laura Lynch, creator and author of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, licensed wine knowledgeable, and worldwide meals specialist. She has written about journey and meals for over 20 years and has visited 70+ international locations.
12 Unbelievable Issues to Do & See In Iceland