Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic European island country located at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland is a combination of fire and ice; where active volcanoes, geysers and hot springs occur along with glaciers, ice fields and fjords. The country of Iceland is also rich in history, literature and folklore Iceland offers many winter sporting activities with bird watching and fishing. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Iceland along with your family are listed below:

1. Up North (Norðurlands)

North Iceland provides some of the best tourist attractions and also attractive trails for the adventurous spirit to ride along. Tourist mostly flocks here to witness trails of nature and rich bird life. Once here you can also indulge yourself in some of the best activities and enjoy Europe’s biggest waterfall, or thrill yourself with river rafting. You can choose to explore the highlands or get up close and personal with the whales. You can otherwise be entertained with the mystical dance of The Northern Lights or Norðurljós.

2. Dettifoss

Dettifoss waterfalls are one of the most spectacular tourist attractions of the country. It is situated 90 km from the town Húsavík in the Vatnajökull National Park. It is indeed considered as Europe’s most powerful waterfall. You will find it on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River originating in the Vatnajökull glacier. This experience will be one of your memorable experiences of the tour. You can access the waterfall either by hiking 34 km along the canyon from Asbyrgi to Dettifoss, or drive down along the gravel road leading to the falls.

3. Godafoss

Godafoss is another most fascinating tourist attraction of Iceland. It is also popularly known as the waterfall of the gods. You will find them around 50 km from the town of Akureyri, in the Mývatn district of North-Central Iceland. You will find it situated on the Skjálfandafljót River flowing south of road 1. It is widely believed that these falls that the Lawspeaker Thorgeir Ljósvetningagoði threw the statues of his Norse (Viking) gods into, hence giving it the name Goðafoss.

4. Leirhnjúkur

Leirhnjúkur is a lava field or plain that overflowed in the year 1984 eruption. Situated near to Mývatn Lake towards the northern part of the country, this span is a solfatare field. In order to access the Krafla Mountain, you need to hike 5 km through the field on a wooden platform. The presence of different metals makes the lava colored which increases the visual appeal of the area.

5. Akureyri

Akureyri is one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Iceland. It is a large town and also t he called the capital of the North. The town is popularly known as the educational hub of Iceland, it is also one of the most popular stops among travelers inundating Iceland. You can visit Laufas, an old rectory turned museum to experience a unique culture taste of the 17th century. Other famous activities of the town comprises of skiing at the Hlíðarfjall, and Jaðar, the northernmost golf course.

6. Hofsós

Hofsós is one of the most interesting tourist attractions of Iceland. It is a little village and among the oldest trading post of the country. You will find in towards the eastern shores of the Skagafjörður Bay. The city promises you a good and relaxed atmosphere. It houses the Vesturfarasetrið á Hofsósi or the Icelandic Emigration Center, which is a regional folk museum. Hofsós also offers tourists a camping site. Besides, you can unwind at the shore observing the birds, by some basalt columns.

7. Thingvellir Historic Site

Thingvellir is one of the leading historical, cultural and geographic destinations in all of Iceland. Thingvellir is the site of Iceland’s first parliament and lies between the continental drift of the Eurasian and North American plates. It is indeed one of the popular tourist attractions of Iceland. The highly volcanic and tectonic region is in a state of constant movement as the continental plates continue to drift apart. The large cracks and valleys formed in the earth’s crust along the fault lines allow people to basically travel between two continents in one location.

8. Gullfoss Waterfalls

Gullfoss Waterfalls are also known as the Golden Falls is a spectacular double cascade waterfall positioned in a deep canyon on the Hivita River. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It is to be found in an astonishing crevice measuring 105 feet deep, 60 feet wide and stretching 2.5 km southward, Gullfoss is indeed one of most powerful waterfalls of Europe. Once here you can also view platforms and observe decks surround the waterfalls offering prime photo opportunities.

9. Geysers- Geysir and Strokkur

Towards the south of Iceland is the Haukadalur valley that is geothermically active is including multitudes of geysers. Here you can find the world’s oldest geyser, Geysir, in a rough hewn natural viewing area along with numerous other active and inactive geysers and geothermically heated pools. Geysir- from which all other geysers are named- is one of the largest geysers on site, erupting hot water 60m into the air an average of three times per day. Erupting much more frequently than Geysir, is Strokkur which will discharge hot water into the air at an average of five minute intervals.

10. Mýrdalsjökull Glacier

Mýrdalsjökull Glacier is considered one of the perfect locations for tourist who love adventure. They are situated towards the Southern Iceland, in a straight line on top of the volcano Katla. Most SouthShore tour excursions include the chance to climb on the glacier and take photos. More in depth tours of the glacier including ice walks in search of blue ice, hiking, and snowmobiling. It is among the top tourist destinations of the country.

11. Vidoy Island

Vidoy Island is indeed one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the country to be found in Reykjavik Bay. Here you will find the second oldest church of Iceland. This spectacular island is full of nature trails that attract plenty of tourists. It is also home to the John Lennon Peace Memorial commissioned here by Yoko Ono. The round monument contains a spotlight which annually lights up the sky between Lennon’s birth and death dates (October 9 to December 8).

12. Reykjavík

Reykjavik is one of the most exciting tourist destinations of Iceland. This trendy capital is flooded in thriving cafes, high-energy clubs, friendly pubs, and a brightly-colored old town plenty of beautiful wooded houses gathered together. It is considered one of the trendiest cities of the world, as Icelanders are obsessed with design, technology, and architecture.

13. The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is indeed one of the most famous tourist attractions of Iceland. You will find it quite populated all the time but the experience of visiting this place is surely worth it. This huge, milky-blue spa is fed by mineral-rich heated seawater from the closeby geothermal plant. Add the silvery towers of the plant, rolling clouds of steam, and people covered in white mud, makes it one of the best attractions of the world.

14. Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park is one of the immensely popular tourist attractions of the country. It is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites and is interesting for two reasons: It is the original site of the longest-running parliament in the world, and it’s also where the North American and European continental shelf plates are being torn apart.

15. Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon is a natural marvel that is situated towards the South coast of Iceland. It can be viewed best from the water; most tours include a boat cruise among the glaciers. Huge blocks of ice that have broken off Europes biggest glacier, Vatnajokull float around the lagoon. It is one of the most interesting tourist attractions of Iceland.

16. Glacial Trek

Glacial Trek is another most fascinating tourist attraction of the country. During the winter months, the glaciers get a bit sturdier, and groups of tourists are led across them. It is said that there’s no better way to see the glaciers than to walk on them. Once here you will find the nature that is incredibly beautiful.

17. Asbyrgi

Asbyrgi is perhaps the most famous and beautiful attractions of Iceland. It is indeed counted as one of nature’s wonders. It is 3 1/2 km long canyon with up to 100 m high walls occupied by fulmars during the breeding season. Asbyrgi is the northernmost section of the National Park Jokulsargljufur.

18. Myvatn

Myvatn is one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Iceland. The immense beauty of this region attracts large number of tourist mostly during summers, though it is not less beautiful in the winter. Most famous attractions of this place include the lava formations at Dimmuborgir, Mt. Hverfjall, Krafla, and the geothermal area east of Namaskardur. The lake is drained by the Laxa, one of the best salmon fishing rivers in Iceland.

19. Skaftafell

Skaftafell is another most interesting tourist attractions of the country that occupies approximately 1,600 sq km of area, which spreads over three valley glaciers of the glaciers Skeidararjokull, Morsarjokull and Skaftafellsjokull towards the southern fringes of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier ice-cap.

20. South shore

South shore of Iceland is another fascinating tourist destination. When leaving Reykjavik you will first cross a mountain range to enter the wide plains of the south. Here you can witness tens of miles to the mountains of the highlands and in good weather.

21. Westmann Islands – Vestmannaeyjar

Vestmanneyjar is well known for its sparkling volcano activities, and is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the country. You will find these islands situated in an active volcanic area, which erupted last during the Heimaey eruption of 1973. Vestmannaeyjar, the Westmann Islands, are a group of 15 to 18 steep and rocky islands, with green mountain sides and ridges.

22. Latrabjarg

Latrabjarg is another most interesting tourist attraction of Iceland. These immense sea cliffs that you will find at Iceland’s westernmost point show that the “ends of the earth” come with a bang, not a whimper. The utter beauty with volume of birds is indescribable, and the puffins are mainly willing to have their picture taken.

23. Aldeyjarfoss

Aldeyjarfoss is one of the beautiful places to visit in Iceland; you will find it towards the northwest part of Iceland, at the doorstep of the desolate highlands, these pummeling falls crash into a fantastic theater of columnar basalt. The scene that you will find here is awesome and believable.

24. Hornbjarg

Hornbjarg is of the most attractive tourist destinations of the country. These pilgrims that you will find towards the northwest part of the country are treated to the most arresting sight on the country’s entire coastline. An undulating, razor-backed ridge is etched against the sky: On its inland side, a steep slope scoops down to a mead owed plateau.

25. Hverfell

Hverfell is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Iceland. The most Monolithic of all the monuments to Iceland’s volcanism is this tephra explosion crater near Myvatn, a jet-black bowl of humbling proportions, with a stark, elemental authority.

26. Askja

Askja is indeed one of the most sought after tourist destinations of Iceland. It is an amazing staggering whorl of volcanic mountains, circling an 8km-wide (5 mile) bowl formed by collapsed magma chambers. It is considered one of Earth’s grandest pockmarks.

27. Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi is one of the spectacular tourist destinations of the country. It is a wonderful beautiful seaside setting towards the southern coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula quite close to the glacier. You will find this region of Iceland occupied with amazing cliffs and sea stacks plentiful in bird life, this is a peaceful location to enjoy birds, seals and the sounds of ocean surf.

28. Hellnar

Another most beautiful destination of Iceland that is quite similar to Arnarstapi in beauty is Hellnar. It is considered an area that is steeped in mysticism and wisdom of the early settlement of this area of Iceland. Hellnar is directly under the glacier and affords some of the most enjoyable vistas of sea and land to be found in western Iceland.

29. Helgafell

Helgafell is one of the spectacular tourist attractions of Iceland and it is said that about this place that it is a magical region and those who climb it without looking back or talking will have three wishes granted. From the easily reached summit a lovely view can be enjoyed. It is an amazing place to visit in Iceland.

30. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Iceland. You can visit this place by boat and it is considered one of the best places for hikers and walkers to enjoy unspoiled land with magnificent vistas and wildflowers afoot. You will find here that the southeastern end is bordered by the ice cap Drangajökull.

31. Ísafjarðardjúp

One of the fairly attractive tourist destinations of Iceland is Isafjardarfjup. This large, indented fjord divides the northwestern fjord region of Iceland in two and represents the focal point of activity and sites in this remote though beautiful and friendly part of Iceland. this area looks exceptionally beautiful especially during summer. It is one of the best places to enjoy with your whole family.

32. Glaumbær

Glaumbaer is one of the most attractive and interesting places to visit in Iceland. It is indeed one of the well preserved turf homes of Iceland, you will find that this museum is completely furnished with farmhouse implements and kitchen and pantry materials from the 18th century.

33. Víðmýri

Vidmyri is one of the prominent tourist attractions of the country. It is among the famous churches of Iceland. This very small wooden church with a turf roof was constructed during the year 1834 is a classic example of the simplicity of Icelandic life in bygone days.

34. Grímsey

Grimsey is another most impressive tourist attraction of the country. This is an island cut in half by the Arctic Circle and a popular place for day trippers. This famous island outpost is considered one of the finest places for bird lovers and well worth a day’s visit for walkers to enjoy its peaceful setting.

35. Mývatn

Myvatn is indeed one of the natural gems of Iceland and a famous national conservation landmark. The area is completely filled by beautiful bird life, diversity of natural phenomena and right next door to geothermal and volcanically active areas. You can also arrange for yourself some of the best tours to fully explore the area.

36. Ásbyrgi

Another interesting place to visit in Iceland is Asbyrgi. It is a famous horseshoe-shaped canyon, part of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park that lures the visitor into its cliff surrounded center green with trees and grasslands. Location: East of Húsavík and north of Dettifoss.

37. Laki

One of the most interesting places to visit in Iceland is Laki. It is the place of the most devastating volcanic eruption in recorded history (1783) of Iceland. Still today you can find its craters steaming. You can also get an opportunity to some of the fabulous views of the region. It will be one of your memorable experiences.

38. Hveravellir

Hveravellir is among the most amazing tourist attractions of the country. You will find this hot springs oasis positioned right in the middle of Iceland on the Kjölur route and offers geysers and hot pools that are considered ideal for swimming. It is today one of the most visited tourist attractions for scheduled tours and travelers heading north near Langjökull.

39. Skaftafell National Park

Skaftafell National Park is a very famous place to visit in Iceland. You will find that Skaftefell has been shaped by the glacier, volcanic eruptions under the glacier, consequential to floods and water erosion. It is said that on a clear day, it is one of the loveliest vistas in Iceland are to be experienced. Lowlands, lava beaches, rushing rivers, hillside farms and the massive glacier make this a paradise for hikers. A very famous place considered just ideal for family picnicking also.

40. Eldgjá

Eldgja is considered as the most extensive explosion fissure in the world. It is a 15-mile long rift and includes one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Iceland in its interior. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions of the country.

41. Dynjandi

Dynjandi is another interesting and one of the popular places to visit in Iceland. it is situated towards the northwestern fjords at the head of the northern arm of Arnarfjörður, this waterfall fans out as it cascades down 200 feet. It also spawns many other beautiful waterfalls below it.

42. Kjolur

Kjolur is a highland road that establishes a lick between the south and north of Iceland. The highest part of the Kjolur road, Blafellshals, reaches 550 meters over sea level and you can also witness some of the fantastic view to all directions. North of Blafellshals lies the 8th biggest lake in Iceland, Hvitarvatn glacier lake, which is 29, 6 square kilometers, 84 meters deep and 421 meters over sea level.

43. Hekla

Hekla is one of the most beautiful attractions of the country. It is considered a beautiful and the most relaxing mountain of Iceland. This volcano erupts rather frequently, six times in the 20th century and last in 2000; it is a great place to visit and hike through.

44. Þósmörk

Posmork is one among the top tourist attractions of the country. It is a well maintained natural preserves in Iceland, this region is considered just perfect for hiking mostly during the summer months. It can be a challenge to get to due to the many rivers that have to be crossed. Once here you will find beautiful hiking trails and glacier vistas.

45. Landmannalaugur

Landmannalaugur is another most exciting tourist attraction of Iceland. It is considered a paradise in the interior completely occupied with multi-colored rhyolite rock formations and a warm hot spring river suitable for swimming and relaxing. This is a camper’s location and worth a visit with experienced tour guides.

46. Dyrhólaey

Dyrholaey is another interesting tourist destination of Iceland. It is a superb headland jutting out into the Atlantic towards southern most part of the country. The 360 feet summit with its remote lighthouse offer some of the spectacular views of the east and west along the southern coast and a look down through a natural arch big enough for a small plane to fly through and for boats to motor through.

47. Reykjavík Arts Festival

The country of Iceland is also famous for their fairly attractive festivals. The Reykjavík Arts Festival is an annual festival of the arts showcasing a collection of internationally known artists from the fields of music, theater and literature. It was held every two years from its inception during the year 1970 and then annually from 2004 to till dates. From conventional to extreme, from classical to avant garde, artistic and cultural events have been presented at the Reykjavík Arts Festival from all the continents of the world and from home.

48. Icelandic Phallological Museum

The Icelandic Phallological Museum is perhaps the only museum in the world that has a collection of a country’s phallic specimens, the Icelandic Phallological Museum contains a collection of approximately around 80 penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland.

49. Listagil Arts Centre

Listagil is a famous and amazing “Street of the Arts”, that is made out of old industrial buildings. The center includes some of the interesting and varied activities that includes the Akureyri Art Gallery, Akureyri School of Art, artists’ studios, exhibition halls, restaurants and plus a visitors’ studio for the benefit of traveling artists.

50. Vestmannaeyjar Museum of Natural History

Vestmannaeyjar Museum is probably the one of Iceland’s best natural history museums. It has an amazing research aquarium that includes some of the peculiar creatures of the deep and it played role in returning Keiko, the orca whale of Free Willy fame, back to Icelandic waters. You will also find some beautiful natural species that are on display plus a rock and mineral collection.

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