Iceland is one of the most popular destinations in recent years. Rightly so, because this country has so much natural beauty, you want to see it with your own eyes! But where do you start? What are the most beautiful places in Iceland? Which places do you have to see? We have collected them for you!
Traveling to Iceland: Where to Visit ?
Iceland’s appeal is unprecedented. For a few years now everyone has wanted to take a trip to the land of fire and ice and that is 100 percent understandable. It is a beautiful country with much to discover. What is so special about this trip is that the tranquility literally comes to meet you. Iceland is a very sparsely populated country and most of the country is unspoilt and uninhabited. You can drive around here for hours without meeting anyone. And that is exactly what you have to do here: travel around. In two weeks you can see many beautiful places in Iceland, such as the most beautiful waterfalls and nature parks. It is a fantastic destination for hiking, bird watching and simply being outdoors a lot. The ultimate country for outdoor enthusiasts. Put these 15 most beautiful places in Iceland on your to-do list and it will be a trip you will never forget!
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and you must of course see it. Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world. The city center is compact, which you can easily explore on foot. You have a phenomenal view of the city from the tower of the Hallgrímskirkja, the almost futuristic church. This church has been in the old center of Reykjavik for more than thirty years and is the symbol of the city. For a few euros you can take the elevator up and you certainly don’t want to miss that. It is a friendly city, nice to look around for a day, but you shouldn’t spend too much time here either. You mainly come to Iceland for nature and the most beautiful places are all yet to come. A good place to start (or end) your trip, but get ready for a good dose of natural beauty!
2. Thingvellir National Park
In Thingvellir National Park you can see the separation of tectonic plates. Iceland is located on the boundary of two tectonic plates: the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Exactly at this spot an immense fissure has been created, which makes for an exceptionally beautiful landscape. This gap widens a bit every year because the plates are still moving. What is special is that you can snorkel here. The water is clear, but it is above all the place that makes it so unique. Thingvellir National Park has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a very special place, which is very easily accessible from Reykjavik (and is part of the legendary Golden Circle in Iceland).
3. Blue Lagoon
Of course, don’t miss the Blue Lagoon, the legendary geothermal hot spring and a luxurious natural spa. The beneficial spring water comes from deep holes, some at a depth of two thousand meters. The water is nice and warm and has an average temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. It is full of minerals that are good for the skin. Soaking in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, while your face feels sub-zero temperatures, is the ultimate Iceland experience. The blue color and the layer of steam hanging just above the water make it even a bit surreal. You understand that the Blue Lagoon is extremely popular, but it is so special to immerse yourself here that you should definitely not miss it when you are in Iceland.
4. Mývatn Nature Baths
Mývatn Nature Baths is also known as the Blue Lagoon of the north of Iceland, but without the crowds of tourists. This is the non-touristy, less well-known place, but certainly as beautiful and so special. Mývatn Nature Baths is also a place where locals like to come and where you can completely relax. This source is also good for your respiratory system and your skin, but especially for the mind. This is pure wellness, as it is meant to be.
To get to Mývatn Nature Baths you have to travel quite a bit – if you start your journey in Reykjavik. But the road to it is very special and a dream to drive. A domestic flight to Akureyri and from there to the Mývatn Nature Baths is also a good option if you have less time and still want to see all the most beautiful places in Iceland.
5. Dimmuborgir Nature Reserve
In the Dimmuborgir Nature Reserve, you walk through the bedrock of a volcanic eruption more than three thousand years ago. It is absolutely not difficult to get lost here among the special rock formations of lava, because all the high peaks look alike. When you walk through Dimmuborgir, try to imagine that a volcanic eruption from 2,500 years ago created this special landscape.
Dimmuborgir is located in the east of Iceland and can be combined very well with, for example, the Myvatn Nature Baths and the Godafoss waterfall.
6. Godafoss waterfall
Godafoss waterfall is the waterfall of the gods. Over a width of thirty meters, the icy water plunges more than twelve meters down here. You can hardly get above the noise of the water, but you don’t have to. This view will make you silent. The Godafoss waterfall is practically on Highway 1 – which is the only highway through Iceland, which runs in a ring over the country – and also the road you take to discover the north of Iceland.
Iceland has many beautiful waterfalls, but because it is located in the north, it is generally a bit quieter than at the waterfalls in the Reykjavik area. Really recommended to visit!
7. Dettifoss waterfall
The Dettifoss waterfall is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe: the water drops 44 meters down, over a width of more than a hundred meters. You can hear the water thunder from a distance. An overwhelming show of Mother Nature.
Dettifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park, the largest glacier in Iceland. An incredibly beautiful place where you really have to spend a few days to discover nature here at your leisure. In Iceland you should not be in a hurry but take the time to enjoy beautiful things, such as the Dettifoss waterfall.
8. Geysir and Strokkur
Iceland is one of the countries where you will find geysers, another natural wonder. It is a hot spring that intermittently sprays water and steam into the air. Geysers are quite rare worldwide, but Iceland has some. The most famous geyser is Geysir, the hot spring from which the word geyser is also derived. This normally sprays gigantic high. But neighbor Strokkur is currently the only one to see an eruption every few minutes. Watching the steaming water spray upwards is an impressive sight that you can’t stop looking at. And that should definitely be on your to-do list.
9. Vatnajökull Glacier
In the Vatnajökull glacier in southern Iceland (Europe’s largest glacier), a complex system of ice caves has formed, which are exposed for several weeks in winter. During those few weeks it is possible to take a surreal hike through these icy tunnels. When that is exactly, differs per year. This is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Iceland.
10. Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Snaefellsnes Peninsula skips most people, but you shouldn’t! Snaefellsnes has everything from lava fields and volcanoes to high cliffs and waterfalls. The peninsula is best known for the Kirkjufell mountain. From the top of the mountain you really have a beautiful view of the area. This is The peninsula is wonderfully quiet and therefore a great place for walking.
11. Glacier Lake Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón is the most famous and largest glacial lake in Iceland and a place you should not miss. Here you will find beautiful blue ice rocks that float in the water. When you stand on the edge of Jökulsárlón, you really feel like you are on a different planet than on Earth. And you might be lucky and see seals swimming between the ice rocks.
12. The Black Beach of Vík
Have you ever seen a beach with black sand? You can find this one near Vík in Iceland. Vík is tiny and is the southernmost village in Iceland. It is mainly a place known for its black sand beach. Not a tropical paradise, but an impressive place to see. To make the picture even more dramatic, there are high pointed rocks in the sea just off the coast.
Seljalandsfoss is a beautiful waterfall, but what is especially special is that you can walk all the way under it. So you are literally standing behind the water, while the water is pouring down right in front of you.
Of all the must-see places in Iceland, this is definitely one. Fjaðrárgljúfur is a gigantic gorge through which a river flows. A hiking trail has been constructed along the gorge and you should definitely walk it. This way you can not only make a great hike, but you also have the very best view over Fjaðrárgljúfur.
If you want to spend the night in a special place in Iceland, go to Fljotsdalur where you will sleep in a tiny house in the middle of nowhere. Time seems to have stood still here. No internet, no TV, nothing high tech. An outdoor shower that you can provide with hot water yourself. Here you really get away from everything, it is dead quiet. From your living room you have a view of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that caused so much nuisance in 2010. A very special experience!