Iceland’s landscapes represent fictional worlds in many fantasy epics. Here are the most beautiful places to visit in Iceland.
Black sand beach
Reynisfjara black sand beach on the South Coast of Iceland is one of the most famous black sand beaches.
Located next to the sleepy fishing village of Vik, the unique-looking beach was formed over millennia by fierce waves pulverizing the volcanic coastline.
In addition to its distinctive color, the beach is famous for the amazing basalt columns at one end and the rock formation offshore.
Geysir & Strokkur
Geysir Hot Spring Area is one of my favorite places to visit in Iceland.
The eruptions at Strokkur can hurl boiling water up to 30 meters (100 feet) every few minutes, making it a remarkable scene. Check out my complete guide to Geysir in this article.
Seeing the sights and sound of an iceberg breaking off the glacier and crashing into the sea was one of the most breathtaking experiences I’ve ever experienced.
The best place to witness this display of nature’s power is at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Southeast Iceland.
While you can view the lake with its slow-moving iceberg from Iceland’s ring road, nothing is better than seeing them up close from the deck of a tour boat.
This nearby iceberg-dotted beach is a major attraction as well.
Located within the Fialaback nature reserve in Iceland, Landmannalaugar is renowned for its scenic hiking trails.
Popular treks include short hikes to the lava fields and climbing up the nearby mountains that ridge the graveled plains.
There are frequent tours to this region during the high season, and rudimentary accommodations are also available for overnight stays at the site.
Gullfoss was named due to the color of its waters that shimmer seductively in the sun.
The sheer size and scale of Gulfoss only become apparent the nearer you approach. Once you reach the cliff edge, you’ll find that the coursing cascades and the enormous falls have the highest volume in Europe.
Lying almost at right angles to one another, the two sets of falls make for an epic sight. And its gushing road provides the perfect soundtrack to the dramatic surrounding.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park has great historical importance to the island nation. It’s where Iceland’s parliament was established in the 10th century.
Also, its location in the rift valley on the boundary of two major tectonic plates makes it a park with geological significance.
Surrounding by mountains on three sides, the valley’s cliffs, lake, and evidence of volcanic activity demonstrate the force of the shifting earth in a dramatic fashion.
Also, this Iceland’s first national park features marked trails that let you explore the best sights in two or three hours.
Formed thousands of years ago by a river of hot lava, Myvatn is a great place to go birdwatching. More than 100 species frequent this lake to feast on the midges that give Myvatn its name.
Shaped by volcanic eruptions spouting up through the water, the pseudo-craters landscape also attracts visitors.
The best place to visit the craters is on the lake’s South Shore, near a rural community. A forest of pillars, caves and rock formations created as the water drained away is displayed at the lava fields east of Myvatn.
Vatnajokull National Park
This park is home to the largest glacier in Europe. The park is so large that it encompasses around 14 percent of the country. It’s divided into four separately managed territories.
The park’s most visited section is the Souther territory of Skuftafel, where trails lead you past blue-tinted glacier tongues and waterfalls.
The park has a wealth of easily accessible features, including the powerful Detofoss – a waterfall famous for the sheer volume of water that cascades over its corner.
For more adventurous travelers, you can climb the Vatnajokull glacier or explore a long row of volcanic craters.
A visit to Iceland wouldn’t be fulfilled without a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.
Most visits begin at the visitor center near the picturesque lake Tiernan on the city’s Westside.
For a panoramic view of the capital, ride the lift to the observation deck on the modernistic Hallgrim Church east of the lake. Check out more things to do in Reykjavik here.
Located on a peninsula less than an hour’s ride from Reykjavik, the blue lagoon is Iceland’s most popular tourist destination.
This man-made lagoon is fed by superheated seawater vented from a nearby lava flow.
The geothermal waters contain minerals like silica believed to have health benefits. However, the chance to relax in a steaming lagoon surrounded by black lava rocks attract most visitors.
In addition to the restaurant overlooking a lagoon, a 35-room resort features an array of pampered amenities, including spa treatments, saunas, and steamed baths.