Iceland has become one of our favourite countries and with so many natural wonders waiting to be seen, it’s only a matter of time before it’s your favourite too. The land of ice and fire boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes that remain relatively uncrowded and untouched. Where else can you discover the mystical Northern Lights alongside geyser’s and some of the most beautiful water falls known on the planet?
We have created a list of just some of the most magical Icelandic beauty spots that you may, or may not have come across in this captivating country.
10 Things Not to Miss in Iceland:
1. The Great Geysir
The Great Geyser in Iceland has been active for approximately 10,000 years and was the first geyser known to man. Since the discovery of Geysir, all other sprouting hot springs are now named after this one. When visiting Iceland, this is one of the top sights to see as hot water spouts over 70 metres high!
2. The Blue Lagoon
Spoil yourself by bathing in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, one of Iceland’s most popular attractions. The beautiful milky blue colouring is produced by the rich silica and sulfur minerals found in the warm waters. Blue Lagoon tours and transfers are frequent from Reykjavik, so there’s no excuse not to visit before your flight home.
Hallgrímskirkja is one of the most impressive buildings you’ll discover in Reykjavík. It’s the tallest church of Iceland offering unsurpassed views of the capital and is Reykjavík’s best known landmark. This really is one not to miss in Iceland.
The Askja caldera is found in the Dyngjufjöll mountains, north of Vatnajökull glacier. Work your way down the stark sides of the Askja caldera where you can take a quick dip in Víti, a geothermal lake found at the bottom. Discover the spectacular surrounding lunar landscape as you approach Askja, where NASA’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin trained before the famous Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969.
5. Thórsmörk National Park
Thórsmörk National Park is a wide valley named after the Viking God of Thunder, Thor. With some of the most picturesque views across the landscape in Iceland, including the three glaciers that surround Thórsmörk, you will quickly realise why this is one of the country’s most popular hiking grounds with steep mountains, wild rivers and clear creeks. Make sure you don’t miss this on your travels to Iceland.
6. Þingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is part of Iceland’s Golden Circle and is well worth visiting. Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the World’s oldest existing parliament was formed there in 930 AD. Besides from the historical significance, Þingvellir is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries that have caused a canyon running through Iceland.
7. Vatnajökull National Park
Vatnajökull National Park covers 13% of Iceland, making it not only the largest and most voluminous Icelandic ice cap, but one of the largest national parks in Europe. Vatnajökull National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience fire and ice together where hot streams erupt from frozen banks of ice.
8. The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or commonly known as Aurora Borealis, and Norðurljós in Icelandic, are one of the most spectacular shows on Earth. You can frequently see the Northern Lights in Iceland from September through March on clear and crisp nights. Remember the Northern Lights are unpredictable and is worth checking an Aurora Forecast before heading out to hunt them.
9. Whale Watching
Iceland is among Europe’s best whale watching destinations. Get up close to orcas to humpbacks, minke whales to the giant blue whale on a boat tour from Reykjavík or Húsavík. When visiting Iceland, whale watching is one activity you should definitely not miss out on!
10. Seljavallalaug Pool
Dive into Iceland’s best kept secret… Seljavallalaug is Iceland’s oldest pool built in 1923, found nestled in a narrow valley below Eyjafjallajökull. Seljavallalaug is not the easiest place to get to but is undoubtedly worth it!
More places not to miss in Iceland
You will discover Gullfoss on the Hvítá river, fed by Iceland’s second largest glacier, the Langjökull. Don’t miss the chance to view one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland. Get up close and feel the water spray land on your face or take in the view from the platform high up.
Don’t miss our Top Iceland posts including: Super Jeep and Snowmobiling tours, Searching for the Northern Lights on a boat, horse riding below the mountains to exploring the stunning Ice caves in Vatnajökull. Or why not check out 10 Incredible things to do in Iceland?
Have you visited Iceland already and can recommend even more hidden secrets? Or is Iceland the one country you have always dreamed of exploring? Let us know in the comments below..