Iceland, known for its breathtaking landscapes and unique natural wonders, has a lot to offer visitors. With so many incredible places to explore, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip. To make the most of your visit, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best places to see in Iceland. These locations each offer their own unique experiences and memories that will make your trip unforgettable.
Reynisfjara black sand beach
The Reynisfjara black sand beach on Iceland’s South Coast is one of the world’s most famous black sand beaches.
Located next to the sleepy fishing village of Vik, this unique-looking beach was formed over thousands of years by powerful waves crashing against the volcanic coastline.
In addition to its distinctive color, the beach is famous for its amazing basalt columns at one end and the rock formation offshore.
Geysir Hot Spring Area
The Geysir Hot Spring Area was one of the most memorable places I visited. Located in the southwestern region of Iceland, near the famous Golden Circle route, this geothermal area is home to a number of stunning hot springs and geysers, including the famous Strokkur.
Every few minutes, Strokkur erupts and hurls boiling water up to 30 meters (100 feet) into the air. It’s truly a remarkable sight to see. I’ve put together a complete guide to Geysir so you can make the most of your visit.
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, in the southeast corner of Iceland, is a breathtaking sight, surrounded by majestic glaciers and beautiful black sand beaches.
During my visit, I was lucky enough to witness an iceberg breaking off from a glacier and crashing into the sea – an awe-inspiring moment.
If you want to learn more about this incredible destination, make sure to check out my comprehensive guide to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Nothing beats getting an up-close and personal view of the impressive glaciers and slowly drifting icebergs at Jökulsárlón. And the best way to do so is by hopping on board a tour boat that takes you right to the heart of the action.
This nearby iceberg-dotted beach is a major attraction as well.
Landmannalaugar is a stunning natural gem located within the Fjallabak nature reserve in Iceland. It’s famous for its breathtaking hiking trails and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
One must-visit trail is the hike to the lava fields, where you can climb the mountains that rise from the graveled plains and take in the magnificent views of the surrounding landscape
During the high season, there are several tours available to Landmannalaugar, making it easier for visitors to experience its beauty. And if you’re looking to extend your stay, there are basic overnight accommodations available on-site, so you can fully immerse yourself in the stunning scenery.
Gullfoss was named after the color of its golden waters, that shimmer seductively in the sun.
As you approach the waterfall, its enormity and sheer size become apparent. Once you reach the cliff edge, you’ll find that the coursing cascades and enormous falls, which have the highest volume of water in Europe.
Lying almost at right angles to one another, the two sets of falls make for an epic sight. And the gushing roar of the water adds to the epic beauty of the surroundings.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park holds great historical and geological significance for Iceland. It was the site of the country’s first parliament in the 10th century and is located in a rift valley on the boundary of two tectonic plates, showcasing the power of shifting earth.
As you walk through the park, surrounded by majestic mountains on three sides, you’ll marvel at the cliffs, the serene lake, and the evidence of volcanic activity that demonstrate the earth’s raw power. And the best part? The park features well-marked trails that allow you to experience the most breathtaking sights in just a couple of hours.
Myvatn is a fascinating place that truly showcases the raw power of nature. Located in northern Iceland, this lake is surrounded by an otherworldly landscape that was formed by thousands of years of volcanic activity. With its crystal-clear waters and rich biodiversity, Myvatn is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
One of the main draws of Myvatn is its thriving bird population. With over 100 species of birds, you can witness them flock to the lake to feed on the abundant midges that give Myvatn its name, making it one of the best birdwatching spots in the world.
But Myvatn isn’t just about birds. The landscape around the lake is also full of unique geological features, such as pseudo-craters and lava formations. The best place to experience these features is on the lake’s South Shore, where you’ll find a rural community and a breathtaking forest of pillars, caves, and rock formations created by the draining of the lava.
Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull National Park is a wonderland of ice and fire, located in the southeast region of Iceland. It’s home to the largest glacier in Europe, which covers an impressive 14% of the country. The park is divided into four separate territories, each offering unique and awe-inspiring experiences.
One of the most popular sections of the park is the Southern territory of Skuftafel, where trails lead you past blue-tinted glacier tongues and cascading waterfalls. The park has a wealth of easily accessible features, including the powerful Detofoss, a waterfall that’s famous for the sheer volume of water that tumbles over its edge.
For more adventurous travelers, the possibilities are endless. You can climb the Vatnajokull glacier, explore a long row of volcanic craters, or discover the hidden beauty of this natural paradise.
A visit to Iceland wouldn’t be fulfilled without a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. Located on the country’s southwestern coast, Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city and is known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.
Your journey in Reykjavik will likely start at the visitor center near the breathtaking Lake Tjornin on the city’s west side. This is a great spot to get your bearings and learn more about the city’s history and attractions.
And speaking of attractions, one of the must-visits in Reykjavik is the modernistic Hallgrimskirkja Church. This iconic building offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. To get an even better view, be sure to take the lift to the observation deck on the top floor. For more insider tips, you can always check out my guide on things to do in Reykjavik.
Located just a stone’s throw from the capital city of Reykjavik, this man-made lagoon is Iceland’s most popular tourist destination.
The geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon are fed by super-heated seawater from a nearby lava flow. The minerals in the lagoon’s waters, like silica, are believed to have health benefits and add to the overall relaxation experience.
For those looking to indulge, the Blue Lagoon resort is an experience like no other. With 35 luxurious rooms, an array of pampering amenities, including spa treatments, saunas, and steamed baths, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.