Looking for the best things to do in Iceland? This Nordic island is filled with incredible natural phenomena. From thundering waterfalls to glacier lagoons, a trip to Iceland is all about immersing yourself in nature. Black sand beaches and wild, windswept landscapes set the backdrop for an unforgettable adventure. So, if you’re planning a trip to the Land of Ice and Fire, here are the top things to do in Iceland!
The Golden Circle Route
Undoubtedly the most popular sightseeing route in Iceland. The Golden Circle is a collection of three unmissable sights in the southwest of the island.
One of the most famous waterfalls on earth, Gullfoss is a must-see natural attraction in Iceland. Flowing off of the Hvita River, this unstoppable wall of water plummets down a two-stage 32-metre drop. The source of the Hvita River and Gullfoss Waterfall is the meltwater of the nearby Langjökull glacier.
Gullfoss never suffers from a lack of water. In fact, the abundant Hvita River sends up to 140 cubic metres of water over this jagged canyon per second. Be prepared to get a little wet if you go for a closer look! Furthermore, the ability to view this waterfall from above gives a unique perspective, making a visit here one of the best things to do in Iceland!
Geysir Geothermal Area
Covering an area of 3 square kilometres in the Haukadalur Valley this geothermal area is home to an amazing collection of geysers, fumaroles and hot springs. Therefore, a trip to Geysir Geothermal Area is the chance to experience Iceland’s famous volcanic activity first hand.
A major attraction on the Golden Circuit Route, this geothermal field is named after its most famous geyser, known as Geysir. It is said that all other geysers were named after this very one. Now dormant, Geysir might not be shooting huge sprays of boiling water into the air anymore, but neighbouring geysers such as Stokkor, Smiður and Litli-Strokkur continue to erupt on a regular basis. In fact, the Stokkor geyser is said to erupt as frequently as every 5 to 10 minutes!
Thingvellir National Park
A site of great historical and geological importance, Thingvellir National Park is one of the most popular tourist sights in Iceland. Situated on the meeting point of the Eurasian and American tectonic plates, Thingvellir is best known as the original site of the Althing: the world’s oldest surviving parliament. Although the Althing has now moved to Rekjavik, between the years 939 and 1798, Thingvellir was the meeting point of the chieftains of Iceland.
Early settlers would travel miles across the immense landscapes to meet in this very location every summer to make important decisions and collaborations. Therefore, Thingvellir is widely held to be the exact place where the nation of Iceland was founded. An incredibly significant site for Icelandic history and culture.
Other things to do in Iceland
After the natural wonders of the Golden Circle, you’ll find countless other things to see and do in Iceland.
The largest and most beautiful waterfall in the country, visiting Skogafoss is one of the best things to do in Iceland. Measuring 25 metres across and 60 metres high, this natural wonder is within easy reach of the Golden Circle Route. Furthermore, you can view this amazing waterfall from ground level or from a viewing platform, reached by climbing 527 steps.
Shrouded in myth and legends, Skogafoss is an important part of Icelandic folklore. The story goes that the first Viking settler in Iceland hid a treasure chest behind the waterfall around 900 AD. Although attempts were made to reclaim the hidden treasure from behind the wall of water, a golden ring was all that the locals could retrieve. In fact, the Skogar Museum now houses this very ring!
No trip to Iceland is complete without a visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon! Situated close to the capital of Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon’s milky blue thermal waters tempt visitors to relax in their warmth. Surrounded by stark black lava fields, this enormous thermal spa is the most visited attraction in Iceland. Open year-round, the Blue Lagoon has an average water temperature of 39°C (102°F). Furthermore, the mineral-rich waters, which are renewed every 48-hours, are said to have therapeutic properties.
If you visit the Blue Lagoon you can choose from different treatment packages. These might include drinks, spa treatments and mud masks as well as entrance to the Blue Lagoon. An onsite restaurant, luxury hotel and skin clinic are also available for those looking to extend their experience. Of course, this natural attraction is extremely popular, so it’s recommended to book your visit in advance.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
In southeastern Iceland, the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is actually the result of global warming. Filled with meltwater from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, Jokulsarlon is a captivating natural sight. Floating in its tranquil waters are chunks of ancient glaciers. Some of these icebergs are thought to be more than 1000-years old. Formed around 1935, it is a poignant reminder of the reality of a warming climate.
One of the best things to do if you visit the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is to take a boat trip. Sail amongst huge icebergs and witness the eerie tranquillity of this spectacular corner of Iceland. Nearby ‘Diamond Beach’ is another must-see. Here, the icebergs and glacier chunks have washed up on a bed of black sand, creating a captivating sight!
So, now you know the best things to do in Iceland are you ready to discover this magical destination? Explore our latest trips on our official website: