Places to Visit in Iceland, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 8,67,617 traveller reviews and photos of Iceland tourist attractions. As one of the favoured gateways to the wilds of East Iceland and the Vatnajokull National Park, the spot is a great choice for travelers eager to delve into some of the country’s top bucket-list natural sights, while a folk museum, the Ice Land Glacier Exhibition and arguably the best lobster eateries in all of Europe make lingering here for a day or two a fantastic way to get a feel for the rustic, salt-washed vibe of the seafaring locals. This is why I think it is one of the best places to visit in Iceland… READ MORE: "Why You Should Skip Iceland And Go To These 9 Under-the-Radar Places" The results of the world’s top 50 bucket list destinations include some of the most beautiful places … Being one of the most remote regions of Iceland, you could drive here for hours and not see any form of civilization – just nature at its best. Crowned by the seemingly endless ice fields of its eponymous glacier (the largest on the continent outside of the Arctic Circle), the Vatnajokull National Park makes its home over more than 13,000 square kilometers of south-east and central Iceland. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. The rainy weather in Iceland makes the country unusually suited for waterfalls and Iceland … Its waters are thought to be healing by the locals and you’ll find a lot of them making the most of their belief at Mývatn Nature Baths — a worthy alternate to the Blue Lagoon should you find yourself in the north. Vík is the perfect stopping point if you’re traveling from Reykjavik along the south to Jökulsárlón. It’s thought the lake popped into existence following a volcanic eruption more than two millennia ago, and today it’s much-loved by bird watchers, hikers and adventure seekers alike. This should be considered an important stop along your northern road trip, but doesn’t have to serve as an overnight destination. Iceland's Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport Guide. But where there is infinite opportunity, there is an overwhelming number of potential itineraries. Off-the-beaten-track and often overlooked for the southern region’s bigger pulls – the Gullfoss Waterfall and the Golden Circle – Skalholt can be found sat on the rolling fields just on the edge of the Hvita River. Plan your trip around sunrise or sunset if you’re looking for a stunning set of photographs — it’ll also be less crowded during these times. Its centre is packed to the brim with interesting independent cafes and teahouses, while the Hafnarstraeti shopping street offers up countless boutiques and craft stores. Once you cross the Botsna River after passing through the cave, you have the option of taking the north or south route toward the waterfall. For example, four localities (Selfoss, Stokkseyri, Eyrarbakki, and Tjarnabyggð) can all be found in the municipality of Árborg. The iconic landmark of Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Church … Time Commitment: You can spend an afternoon driving around this area — but the amount of time you should dedicate to the area depends on how long you want to stay at the Blue Lagoon. Thingvellir is also a hiker’s dream-come-true, boasting rugged cliff walks and mountain climbs, while history and culture buffs will love uncovering the remains of the country’s first Viking age parliament – established here in 930. In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. It’s a quick 40-minute drive from Reykjavik and there are a ton of tour buses that will take you there. Visit top-rated & must-see … Time Commitment: Driving in an out of the fjords takes time. This may be the most dramatic region of Iceland, with its sprawling cliffs and rural villages. Nearby Dyrholaey also offers scenic views. Visit the Hallgrímskirkja Church, which towers over the city … Before venturing into the Icelandic countryside to see actual volcanic sites, why not take some time to learn about volcanoes in the capital city?Located right by the old harbour in the Reykjavik city centre, the small Volcano House museum feature exhibitions on Iceland… Whichever town you choose to visit, just remember to treat it with respect and the warm-hearted locals will make sure that you feel at home. Things to See: This area is all about the icebergs and nearby Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. The piece de resistance of the area has to be the Brennisteinsalda peak though; a medley of obsidian lava sheets and iron-coloured, sulphur-spotted ridges which is viewable from the trail. This area can be difficult to reach during the winter months, given that road closures can last weeks during particularly heavy bouts of snowfall. But this humble fishing town on the edge of the sea actually has mythic roots, in the pages of the Egils Saga, and later the spot became the commercial trading centre for all of west Iceland. Things to See: If you’ve only got three days, here’s what you absolutely have to see, do, and eat: Grab breakfast at Bergsson Mathus, check out the Phallological Museum (yes, you read that right), catch a choir practice at Hallgrimskirkja, take a walk along the harbor overlooking Mount Esja, get a history lesson at the National Museum of Iceland, shop locally along Laugavegur (don’t miss Hrím Hönnunarhús for some souvenirs that will double as home decor), and taste a modern twist on traditional ingredients during dinner at ROK. Egilsstaðir is the largest city in the eastern part of Iceland and is located by the Lagarfljót river. 9 Best Day Trips from Reykjavik. that run through the Skaftafell lowlands (where there are also camping sites aplenty by summer) to the windswept, crevasse-cut glacial fields on the mountaintops. Despite its humble 18,000 people, this fishing port and seaside gem of a city on the edges of the Eyjafjordur makes some serious waves. The beauty of Reykjavik is that you could spend as much time here as you want without getting bored. On a guided Westman Islands Volcano Tour, you will be driven from Reykjavík and through Iceland's southern shores where you will visit … Time Commitment: You can easily spend an entire weekend driving around this peninsula. … Volcano House is a geological museum where you can learn about the varying volcanic mountains and landscapes of Iceland. Unlike the other waterfalls, it’s not the easiest hike to see the actual falls. If you find yourself in Iceland during June, July, or August, consider taking a trip to the Central Highlands for some serious hiking. Reykjavik is an extraordinary city, and probably the only place to actually qualify as a city in Iceland. Take a full week and explore the Central Highlands — you won’t regret it. You’ve probably already heard of this region as it’s the park where you’ll find Silfra Fissure, Gulfoss, Geysir, Öxarárfoss, abandoned farm ruins, and fields of lava rock. Either way, the hike can get steep, so make use of the ropes that have been installed for support. You will see more tourists during the warmer months, but it rises above the risk of getting stuck in the wilderness during a snowstorm. In this post, rather than bore you with places everyone else is talking about, we’ll explore some of the best ‘off-the-beaten-path’ and unique places to visit in Iceland. Here, you’ll find the iconic Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. On that note, it is often easiest to pick one region — depending on how much time you’re going to spend on the trip — and stick with it for the duration of your trip. The waves can be quite aggressive here at times, so be careful. Thingvellir National Park was once home to Iceland’s Parliament, an important organization tasked with upholding the laws of the country up until 1800. Things to See: Take a trip along the Diamond Circle, a ring of attractions including Húsavík, Ásbyrgi, Dettifoss, Goðafoss, and the rocks of Hljóðaklettar. If you’re looking to get some steps in, hike to the crest of the Hverfell Crater. Lakagigar, or “The Laki Craters,” is exactly what it sounds like: a valley full of volcanic craters. Nearby, the beautiful Tjornin pool adds an aquatic edge to the town, while the Alpingi parliament building oozes 19th-century charm and the centre pulses with the likes of the National Gallery of Iceland, the Hafnarhus and the fascinating ancient ruins of the 871±2. One of the best ways to see Iceland is by hiking. A deep-cut valley set in the very midst of south-western Iceland’s famous Fjallabak Nature Reserve, the Landmannalaugar is a hidden gem of a destination that comes complete with everything from bubbling volcanic hot springs to ochre-coloured mountain ridges. If you’re even slightly interested in camping, this is the place to do it. Some of them will only take an afternoon to experience in full, others beg for a long weekend — or longer. That being said, plan your trip to the Westfjords during the summertime for the best chances at seeing as much as possible. It’s famed as one of the most dramatic cataracts in the world, and cascades over a series of stepped rocks and terraces before plunging over the 32-meter high crevice that gives the fall its distinct appearance of disappearing into the Icelandic subterrane. Akureyri, a small city and the second most populous urban area in Iceland, is a tourist hotspot. A symphony of volcanic ridges and continental cracks, carved canyons and the flowing cataracts of the mighty Oxara River, the Thingvellir National Park is arguably the most beautiful natural enclave in all of Iceland. Despite its volcanic nature, the site is actually very young; formed from the leftover plugholes of a geothermal power plant in the 1970s. If you’re short on time, factor in a full day to take in the sights. If you want to take in the variety of Icelandic landscapes in one day, head north and slightly west of Reykjavik and pay a visit to Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Look up the abandoned farm ruins and plan a quick hike to take in the sights — chances are you’ll have the area to yourself. At once sophisticated and quirky, hedonistic and happening, Reykjavik packs one hefty punch for the northernmost capital city on the planet. Things to See: Blue Lagoon may be the most Instagrammed location in this area. The country’s second-tallest falls will require a four-hour round-trip hike. Located right on the coastline, Reykjavik is thought to be the first permanent settlement in Iceland. Yes sir, Akureyri really is worth the visit! From our time spent in Iceland and feedback gathered from our travel network here is our Top 10 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Iceland… Gullfoss Waterfall – one of the most famously stunning places to visit in Iceland. Carving its way out of the rocky inland of north-east Iceland, the chiselled gorges and ridges of Asbyrgi rarely fail to draw a gasp. There’s a robust cultural scene, from the concerts at Harpa to the Design March in the spring, and there are more restaurants than you could experience in six months straight in the city. But first, a bit of knowledge around how the country is split up. Bubbling and steaming between the rocky promontories of the Reykjanes Peninsula some 40 kilometers from the island’s capital at Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon hails in as one of Iceland’s … Its charming downtown of painted timber homes is watched over by the soaring and unforgettable needle-like spire of the Hallgrimskirkja – now a veritable icon of the Icelandic city – while oodles of hearty Scandinavian vodka bars and taverns coalesce between the streets. The Volcano House in Reykjavik. If you can’t wait to visit charming Icelandic towns, check out our award-winning, 6-day Ring Road adventure, the ultimate tour in Iceland! The falls themselves can often be found arched over by rainbows or shrouded in plumes of mist, while by summer, the surrounding hills and ridges come dressed in a verdant covering of grass that makes a fine backdrop for hiking around the banks of the Hvita River. Erika Owen is a self-proclaimed Professional Iceland Enthusiast, covering everything from boutique hotels to ATV tours. A majority of the region falls into Snæfellsjökull National Park, where you’ll find a world of geological wonders (think: volcanic craters and even more black sand beaches). Time Commitment: You could just stop by to grab lunch, or you could spend the night and make the most of the nearby hiking trails. She's also a product reviewer who's tested out everything from airplane pillows to travel adapters for TripSavvy. Technically, you could cover all of this in a day, but it’s even better when you can spend some time stopping off at scenic overlooks. Not only is it easily accessible from Reykjavik, but also comes complete with totemic sites like the Silfra fissure and the Peningagja pool, a rift lake that glimmers with coins dating back more than 100 years. The city has been the capital since the nineteenth century when Iceland started to move towards autonomy from Denmark… A number of … Visit top-rated & must-see … Hiking trails can be found piercing deep into the river-carved, glacial valley, weaving past tussock meadows, willow and birch groves and the ancient features of Ice Age cliffs. Wild, windswept and caked with icecaps from south to Arctic north, Iceland is a land of steaming volcanos and enchanting fishing towns, rugged canyons and colossal fjords, bubbling hot springs and buzzing vodka bars. Of the two Akurey is more famous as … You can visit the park at any point in the year, but if you visit during the warmest months (June, July, August), you’ll be blessed with better (read: drier and sunnier) days. The basalt rock columns that line the beach are worth exploring when the tide is out — once the water comes in, it’s incredibly dangerous to get close to the water. Most will know this region as the area you’ll fly in and out of — it’s home to Keflavik International Airport. Read on and plan that trip. Let’s get started! I would recommend planning it into your itinerary the day you arrive or the day you’re leaving, giving its proximity to the airport. It’s also a wonderful place to camp, if that’s something of interest. Believe it or not, this small, snow-dusted centre in the wilds was actually one of the most powerful and important spots in the country from the 11th century onwards, and came to be hailed as the epicentre of Icelandic Catholicism. You’ll need a 4x4 vehicle to navigate this area no matter when you’re visiting. From a town topped with a charming church to the best hot springs in the north. It’s an easy drive from Reykjavik — around two hours without stops. Time Commitment: Plan to spend the better part of a day here. Park in the lot for the Glacier Lagoon and hop over the sand dunes to take in the calm scene of icebergs of all sizes sitting peacefully in the water. This snow-packed field encompasses hundreds of square kilometers and represents the fourth-largest of its kind in the country. That means travelers can expect an array of shopping opportunities and the likes of the Settlement Centre Museum, which chronicles the earliest days of Borgarnes, all alongside the more obvious draws of the surroundings: coastal hiking; whale spotting; those indelible hot springs! It's also a great country for first-time international travelers—there’s an activity for everyone, from driving an ATV across the black sand beaches to relaxing in one of the many hot springs; there are hikes for all levels of athletes; and you can make the driving as complicated or as simple as you’d like. The BEST Hotel in Miðborg, Reykjavik → Rey Apartments #14 – Laugardalur, Reykjavik Awesome place to visit in Iceland … While you can drive the Golden Circle — an in-park road that will bring you past all of the main natural attractions — in an hour or so, you’ll want to pack a picnic and explore the various hiking trails throughout the area. And while hiking and cliff trekking abounds in the surrounding national park and Grundarfjordur itself is known for its earthy summer folk festivals courtesy of the local Viking Foundation, the town is unquestionably most famed as the jump off point for seeing (and photographing for most) the striking profile of Mount Kirkjufell, which lurches like a rocky shark fin amidst the waterfalls and coves of Snaefellsnes. The wetlands here play host to roaming reindeer, while mighty Hvannadalshnukur (the country’s highest point) stands high and the rugged interior of the Eldgja canyon showcases some truly wondrous volcanic geology – there’s loads to see! One will take you around the field itself, another will take you a bit deeper into the mountain range, and another system of trails will bring you to the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Places To Visit In Akureyri: Akureyrarkirkja, Art … The total … If you’re looking for a hostel in Iceland here, you will be very close to the amazing Hengifoss … Things to See: Although chock full of tourists, Gullfoss, Silfra Fissure, and Geysir are all worth a visit. A walker’s paradise, they come complete with spots like the Hornstrandir reserve, with its Arctic foxes and seal pods, and the Latrabjarg (Europe’s westernmost point if you don’t count the Azores). The area is famed for the great variation in landscapes, rolling from the flower-packed meadows and roaring waterfalls (don’t miss the famous Dettifoss Fall!) Jagged and jutting like fingers of rock and stone into the icy rollers of the Greenland Sea, the various tendrils of the Westfjords peninsula are surely amongst the most startling and worthy natural wonders in all of Iceland. Like most major cities, it’s hard to see the night sky within Reykjavik. Reykjavik is a beautifully colourful seaside town with tons of charm. Things to See: Glymur may be the main attraction, but you’ll see a ton of other attractions on the way. Here are 10 places that are well worth checking out on your next journey to the Land of Fire and Ice. If you’re on your way along the the southern section of the Ring Road, you’ll reach Jökulsárlón two-and-a-half-hours after you drive through Vík. For nightlife, don’t miss Prikid, which plays local and international hip hop all night long; Snaps Bistro for a killer gin and tonic; Hurra for local music; and Kiki for an incredibly friendly queer scene. Guided hiking is uber-popular here, with spots like the Fimmvorduhals pass and the ridges of Eyjafjallajokull both offering daring getaways. Serving as a crucial port city and a central fishing town, the town of Akureyri is also popularly known as the Capital of North Iceland. The self-proclaimed capital of North Iceland can come as a real surprise. Mývatn Nature Baths are a must stop, especially if you find yourself with weary driving legs. Half a mile away from the capital city Reykjavik are the islands of Akurey and Lundey which are known for their gorgeous and cuddly puffin colonies. Any Iceland tourist guide will tell you that you absolutely must spend some time in the capital city of Reykjavik. Boasting a truly dramatic location on the small islets and finger-like peninsulas that linger in the Atlantic waters off the Hornafjordur, little Hofn is a prime example of a southern Icelandic fishing town. Reykjavik Of course you can't miss the capital city if you're going to be visiting Iceland. Things to Do in Iceland, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 867,635 traveler reviews and photos of Iceland tourist attractions. We have reviews of the best places to see in Iceland. Pair a hike along Laugavegur to compliment your hot spring soak. The town is located just behind a mountain range, which can make it a little tricky to visit during the winter months, but it’s one of the more populated towns along the route. Closer to sea level, you’ll find Reynisfjara — the black sand beach that has made Vík a tourist hotspot. This region of Iceland is incredibly tricky to visit during the winter, as the roads aren’t maintained like the main routes and can often be overrun with snow and ice. If you want to see one of the most important spots for the original Parliament location, head to Öxarárfoss. 10 Most Amazing Volcanoes in Iceland. But there’s a lot more to this region, including an even better viewing point of the Silfra Fissure than what you can see in Thingvellir National Park. You’ll also find the lighthouse at Gunnuhver, the “Bridge Between Continents,” the yellow Hópsnesviti lighthouse, and a fisherman’s cottage called Stekkjarkot that dates back to the 1800s (it’s now open to the public). In all, the sheer-sided edges of the canyon run for more than three kilometers and come in at a whopping 100 meters in height at some points. Thorsmork is another trail you’ve probably seen on Instagram — its dramatic views show off some of Iceland’s most interest geology. Time Commitment: Set aside an entire afternoon to hike to and from Glymur Waterfall. Our Favorite Places to Stay in Miðborg, Reykjavik. If you’re looking for more movement, head across the street to the Diamond Beach, another black sand beach that happens to be the landing point for many glacier pieces tumbling through the water. Situated just east out of the so-called northern capital of Akureyri, Lake Myvatn offers up a truly otherworldly landscape that ranges from craggy craters to curious volcanic plug holes to bubbling mud pools and oodles more. If you come to Reynisfjara during summer, don’t forget to hike up to the top of the mountain to … 8 Best Places … Pack a picnic and you’ll be thanking yourself all day long. Today, the town is crowned by the oversized Skalholt Cathedral, which was virtually entirely rebuilt in the 1900s, complete with elegant Danish stained-glass pieces. Botnsdalur valley, Þvottahellir cave, Botnsa River and the Hvalfell Mountain. Visitors to the lagoon can also enjoy in-water massages, guided tours of the curious geothermal area and luxury lounge facilities besides. The relatively mild climate and ice-free harbor of Akureyri … Then there is gloriously-set Isafjordur, found clinging to a spit of sand on the edge of the ocean and boasting a history going all the way back to the 9th century! Things to See: Don’t visit the area without paying a visit to Landmannalaugar, or “The People’s Pools.” This area is full of hot springs, perfectly located to give tired hikers and shepherds a place to relax. This is also the spot where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates (the North American and Eurasian plates, to be specific) at the Silfra Fissure. Also note that it can get quite windy, so dress in layers and aim to visit midday for the warmest temperature. This gorgeous city blends modern art and architecture with old world Icelandic charm for an unforgettable experience. The black beach, one of the most iconic places to visit in Iceland. 10 Amazing National Parks and Nature Reserves in Iceland. Head to the north and you’ll find Mývatn, a volcanic lake surrounded by scenic villages and hot springs. If you want to see waterfalls, caves, lava fields, and streams all in one day, drive an hour north-east of Reykjavik toward Glymur Waterfall. A lot of questions here, too many to answer all. In short, this one’s not to be missed! Every single one is worth its own visit. This way you’ll get the best views of the outstanding and beautiful Icelandic landscapes. Here, we take a look at 15 of the top spots that every traveler to this Scandinavian island should have on the menu (along with the uber-fresh fish of course!). For the best time, plan your visit to Reykjavik around a weekend — preferably a long one — so you can take in its vibrant nightlife. Where to Stay in Reykjavik – Neighborhoods & Area Guide, 40 Places to See in Florida Before Your Kids Grow Up, 40 Places to See in California Before Your Kids Are All Grown Up, 25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World. Things to See: Dynjandi waterfall, meet some puffins at Flatey Island, go kayaking in Vigur, walk up to the gravity-defying cliff of Hornbjarg, check out the northernmost glacier of Drangajökull, get a lesson in local folklore at the Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft, and visit the shipwreck at Mjóifjörður. Still, the location amidst the ridges around Grindavik is truly enchanting, while the waters come packed with minerals – the reason for the shimmering, whitish hue of the lagoon and the driving force behind the spot’s famed healing powers. Meanwhile, the twin spires of Akureyri Church mimic the snow-mantled summits that shroud the town on all sides, and the local craze for mayo-doused, chip-packed hamburger buns has now become a legend in its own right. Time Commitment: It’s best to plan at least three days over the weekend in Reykjavik. Top attractions in the area include the Namaskard mud pools, the black lava monoliths of Dimmuborgir, hike-able Vindbelgjarfjall at just over 500 meters above sea level and the sulphuric Myvatn Nature Baths (great if you don’t want the crowds of the Blue Lagoon!). It’s known for its otherworldly appearance, as verdant peaks poke their way out above the ice-carved valleys, metamorphic creations crowd above the crevasses and quick sand pools lurk on the edges of Solheimajokul – one of the most striking offshoots of the Myrdalsjokull Glacier. If you find yourself with more than a week of time, start piecing together regions for the ultimate road trip. Like ilas65 says, there are no citites in Iceland except Reykjavik, most of the other population centers would only qualify as a small villages by most standards.And you should not base your search around what cities/villages to visit, but what attractions you want to see. You don’t even have to leave Reykjavik, if you’re looking to just get away for a long weekend. Things to See: Budirkirkja, a quaint church along the coast that’s been painted black; Vatnshellir, a cave system created from volcanic activity; Djúpalón, a beach with boat ruins and black sand; Kirkujufell, a mountain that looks like a church steeple from one side with neighboring waterfalls; Stykkisholmur, a town full of intriguing museums and a stunning hike to a lighthouse; and Saxholl, a volcanic crater you can climb to the top of. This is especially true in the winter months when snow reflects light up into the sky. Sea kayaking, cliff walking and hitting the shimmering sands of Raudasandur are also all favourites. 7 best places to visit in Iceland Hiking in Hornstrandir. If food is on your mind, head to Restaurant Sudur Vik where you’ll find some incredible pizza. It developed as an important Icelandic port and fishing center. 10 Must-See Natural Attractions in Iceland Posted on June 18, 2013 October 8, 2020 Author: Angela Ayles Situated at the edge of the famous Arctic Circle and located in one of the most active volcano spots in the whole world, Iceland … Hiking trails surround the entire region, while a campsite right in the middle of the Landmannalaugar and a separate mountain hut offer outdoorsy types the base point they need for hitting the famous Laugavegur trail. There’s shopping, incredible food, lively bars, and colorful homes waiting to be photographed. Photo from Westman Islands Flightseeing Tour | South Coast Departure. Most Icelandic municipalities consist of several cities or towns. Time Commitment: Set aside a few hours to take in the views here. 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