Top 25 Most Breathtaking Places To Visit In Iceland
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Iceland, a Nordic island nation is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography, and culture. Sparkling glaciers, such as Vatna Glacier, Europe’s largest, lie across its ruggedly beautiful mountain ranges. It is a country of sharp contrasts – A place where fire and ice co-exist. Where dark winters are offset by the summer’s midnight sun. A country where insular existence has spurred a rich and vibrant culture. Iceland is not a destination. It’s an adventure set in stunning scenery. Experience the astounding beauty of Iceland’s nature from sightseeing to ice climbing and have an adventure in the wilderness where your adventure awaits. But now it’s time to check out “The Most Breathtaking Places To Visit In Iceland”. Looking forward to your visit!
Here are the Top 25 Most Breathtaking Places To Visit In Iceland.
Known for the Alpine (Althing), the site of Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries, Thingvellir are a historic site and national park in Iceland, east of Reykjavik which sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagja fault. With a history dating back to the end of the first millennia, Thingvellir has a story that is as rich as its geography. So come and discover Thingvellir – a place where Iceland’s stark geological processes are playing out right in front of you, the place where the history of the nation truly began and where almost all its major historical turns were made; and, quite simply, that’s a beautiful site with a number of things to do. So, no matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something here at Thingvellir that will fascinate you for sure.
Jokulsarlon is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajokull National Park in southeastern Iceland where its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surroundings of Breioamerkurjokull Glacier which is a part of the larger Vatnajokull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach whereas, in winter, the fish-filled lagoon hosts hundreds of seals. This ice lagoon has become one of Iceland’s most popular attractions due to its stunning beauty which is one of Iceland’s natural crown jewels. So do visit Jokulsarlon and experience the floating icebergs and the magnificent Vatnajokull glacier when you are in Iceland.
Myvatn is a volcanic lake in northern Iceland which is shallow, full of fish, interesting flora, and rich birdlife whereas the lake and the surrounding area is a nature reserve and a very popular travel destination among both locals and travelers. Lake Myvatn is one of the highlights of the north from its desolate craters to bubbling mud pools and geothermal caves, the area around Lake Myvatn is a microcosm of all the natural wonders that Iceland has to offer. Wherever you go in Iceland don’t miss taking the time to enjoy this lake itself. With gnarled lava fields on the one side and lush pastures on the other, it’s a beautiful area to spend time, with a wide range of places to explore.
Home to stunning outlet glaciers, Skaftafell is a wilderness area in Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park where its huge glaciers include Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull. Characteristic of Skaftafell is diversity and contrast and when traveling through there you will witness black sand plateau, vibrant glaciers, rivers, and icy lagoons, volcanoes, majestic mountain peaks, and dynamic floras. Its scenic nature, favorable weather conditions, and network of hiking trails make Skaftafell an ideal destination to enjoy outdoor activities in Icelandic nature. Skaftafell is a must-visit when you’re in Iceland which is also the perfect base camp for those who seek to climb Iceland’s highest mountain peak, Hvannadalshnukur.
5. Island village of Vik
Vik i Myrdal is a remote seafront village in south Iceland that sits in the shadow of the Myrdalsj0kull glacier, which covers the Katla volcano. It can certainly hold its own in the breathtaking stakes. Full of natural wonders it certainly is an alluring village and one that cannot be missed when visiting Iceland. The Vik area is truly a place of outdoor adventures. Myrdalsjokull glacier offers opportunities such as guided glacier hikes, year-round ice cave explorations, glacier-lagoon kayaking, and snowmobiling near Katla volcano. Even though Vik i Myrdal is a small village with just under 300 inhabitants, there are many things to see there and more than enough to make the journey worthwhile. Vik is Iceland’s most southerly village and one of the most popularly photographed areas in the country. If you plan to visit Iceland’s spectacular South Coast, Vik makes a convenient base whose surroundings offer dramatic coastal scenery, myriad birdlife, and breathtakingly beautiful glaciers.
6. Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull National Park is a protected wilderness area in south Iceland centered around the Vatnajokull glacier. Defined by its massive glaciers, ice caves, snowy mountain peaks, active geothermal areas, and rivers, the region includes Jokulsarlon, a glacial lagoon with icebergs, and the Svartifoss and Dettifosis waterfalls. Skaftafell is the gateway to the park with a visitor center, campground, and hiking trails. The unique qualities of this park are primarily its great variety of landscape features with its combined forces of rivers, glacial ice, and volcanic and geothermal activity create a landscape that seems almost surreal.
Husavik is a town in Norourþing municipality on the north coast of Iceland on the shores of Skjalfandi bay with 2,182 inhabitants. The most famous landmark of the town is the wooden church Husavikurkirkja, built-in 1907. Being renowned as the whale-watching capital of Iceland, thousands of travelers visit Husavik every year with the hope of spotting whales, and sailing through the ocean waves in pursuit of these wonderful creatures is an experience no one should miss and will certainly never be forgotten.
Hofn is an Icelandic fishing town in the southeastern part of the country that lies near Hornafjorour fjord. The town is the second largest in the southeastern part of Iceland which offers scenic views of Vatnajokull. With its extensive fishing industry, it is also famously known as the lobster capital of Iceland, offering diverse lobster dishes and celebrating an annual Lobster festival. Hofn is a great base for exploring the magnificent lands of Vatnajokull National Park. So be sure to drop by at the park’s Visitor Centre in the beautiful historical building, Gamlabud, by the harbor.
Selfoss is a town in southern Iceland on the banks of the Olfusa river which is the seat of the municipality of Arborg. The town is a centre of commerce, farming, horticulture, and small industries in South Iceland having a population of about 7.000 people. It offers hiking trails to Helliskogur forest along the Olfusa river or up the mountain Ingolfsfjall, a good swimming pool with an outdoor pool, water slides, sauna, hot tubs, and excellent fitness center.
Famous for its natural beauty and pleasant climate, Egilsstadir is a town in East Iceland on the banks of the Lagarfljot River. The vicinity that Egilsstadir is located in is called Fljotsdalsherao and it is home to a progressive, energetic society, in keeping with the special environment of the area. Famous for its natural beauty, many scenic attractions, and pleasant climate, Egilsstadir and its vicinity are favorable for outdoor recreation. The area is known as the green heartland of the East. With interesting places from the glacier in the south to the sea in the north. Egilsstadir is the biggest town in the area and offers amazing opportunities for foodies, history buffs, and nature enthusiasts which is located right on the famous Ring Road in the midst of the stunning reindeer region of the Eastfjords. So, this place is definitely worth your attention.
Situated in the west of the Icelandic interior or Highlands of Iceland and can be seen clearly from Haukadalur, Langjokull is the second largest ice cap in Iceland, after Vatnajokull. The glacier isn’t wide but it is very long which is why it was given the name Langjokull or “long glacier“. Its volume is 195 km³ and the ice is up to 580 m thick. The highest point of the ice cap is about 1,450 m above sea level. Langjokull sits happily within ‘The Golden Circle of Iceland’s main tourist attractions that generally include Pingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Haukadalur, a geothermal area that contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur, amongst other smaller attractions. So, it is a popular location to visit in Iceland, being a never-ending source for adventures, explorable by Super Jeeps or Snowmobiles often including visits to mesmerizing Ice Caves.
Eyjafjallajokull is one of the smaller ice caps of Iceland, north of Skogar and west of Myrdalsjokull. The ice cap covers the caldera of a volcano with a summit elevation of 1,651 metres. It consists of a volcano that is completely covered by an ice cap. The volcano has erupted relatively frequently since the last glacial period, most recently in 2010. Eyjafjallajokull has many glacial outlets, the most famous being Gigjokull. Many rivers flow from its meltwater, and one of these falls into the beautiful South Coast waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, which it is possible to fully encircle. You should definitely visit this amazing place that became one of Iceland’s most famous landmarks when it erupted in 2010 stopping all air traffic with its gigantic ash plume and causing quite the scene in all major television stations all over the world with its ill pronounceable name.
Myrdalsjokull is an ice cap in the south of Iceland which is the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. Set along Iceland’s popular south coast, Mydalsjokull is one of Iceland’s most easily accessible glaciers, jam-packed with activities. Incredible ice caves, majestic volcanoes, and magical waterfalls are all in the vicinity of this natural giant that makes for some unforgettable experiences. Do you know – Iceland’s popular Fimmvorduhals Pass hiking route lies between Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers? Experience the south from above while snowmobiling on the Myrdalsjokull glacier on your Iceland trip where you can have an adventure in the wilderness and experience the breathtaking views over South Iceland.
Known for its dramatic landscapes, Isafjorour is a town in the Westfjords region of northwest Iceland that is considered the capital of the region and is the centre of trade, commerce, fishing, and tourism. The nature of the narrow fjord encircled by tall and steep mountains means that the plane has to fly so close to the mountains that you feel like you can reach out and touch them and when you touch down on the tarmac it’s like you’ve landed at the edge of the world whose calming experience, immediately thrusting you into the slower rhythm of life in the fjords. The town of Isafjorour buzzes with life in summers but tones down a bit in winter which is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the beauty of Icelandic nature but still keep the comforts of small-town life, with basic services, amazing restaurants, and museum options when the weather doesn’t plan out. Worth the visit in any sense.
Seyoisfjorour is a picturesque town in the southernmost tip of Iceland enveloped between snow-clad mountains and waterfalls. The beautiful Seyoisfjorour town is famous for its well-preserved old wooden building which is, without doubt, one of the most picturesque towns in Iceland. Inhabited by about 700 people the town acts as one big family, Seydisfjordur is a welcoming town booming with creativity and rich in history. Seyoisfjorour is encompassed by 25 waterfalls including Gullfoss falls renowned for its crashing sprays and is famous for birdwatching, you can watch around 100,000 birds of 40 species in the town making Seyoisfjorour an ultimate destination for birdwatching. It’s also a good destination for hiking. The most popular hiking path among tourists starts from the town center and follows the East bank of river Fjaroara. Visit Seydisfjordur to experience the flourishing art scene, delightful hiking trails, enjoy the local cuisine, and the sensation of this unique town.
Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) is an archipelago off Iceland’s south coast, formed by underwater volcanic eruptions. Vestmannaeyjar is Iceland’s best-kept secret with a rich history, unique landscape, and heartwarming and welcoming inhabitants. This island consists of fifteen islands, with Heimaey Island being the largest and the only one that is inhabited, with a population of roughly 4200. Aside from their incredible natural beauty, the islands have the world’s largest population of nesting puffins in summer and their own fascinating history. You haven’t seen Iceland until you have visited the Westman Islands. Westman Islands is one of the wonders of nature, surrounded by mountains, islands, volcanoes, puffins, and other seabirds that also have one of the most beautiful and extraordinary 18 hole golf courses in the world. Vestmannaeyjar is where time stands still.
Heimaey, literally Home Island, is an Icelandic island. At 13.4 square kilometers, it is the largest island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago and the largest and most populated island off the Icelandic coast. Heimaey is 4 nautical miles off the south coast of Iceland. Heimaey is a cheerful, vibrant island that draws locals and visitors alike throughout the year. It is much more popular in summer, however, as more Atlantic Puffins nest here and in the rest of the Westman Islands than anywhere else in the world. Visit several stunning natural sites and learn about the volcanic eruption that took place in 1973 at the Eldheimar Museum.
Situated in a dramatic landscape of lava fields right next to the Atlantic Ocean, Grindavik is a beautiful Icelandic fishing town on the south coast of the Reykjanes peninsula that boasts breathtaking natural beauty with priceless gems of nature, such as Eldvorp, Selatangar, Gunnuhver, Brimketill, the fierce lava, the Reykjanes Light House, and much more. Surrounded by mossy lava fields and natural wonders this place has a certain small-town charm but plenty to offer in activities and delicious food. The town is close to ‘the Bridge Between the Continents’, where visitors can learn about the Mid Atlantic Rift that runs through Iceland. Grindavik offers every imaginable service that a tourist might need – A vibrant village that inhabitants fondly call home, welcomes you.
Hellnar is an old fishing village on the westernmost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula which used to be one of the largest fishing stations of the peninsula, with the oldest written record of seafaring there from 1560. With a year-round population of fewer than ten residents, it’s amazing to imagine this sleepy coastal village was for centuries one of the largest fishing towns beneath the Snaefellsjokull ice-cap. The attraction is the rocky shore, cliffs, and strong currents bashing the shoreline. Also at Hellnar, you’ll find a typically Icelandic church on top of a hill. With either the mountainous landscapes or the Snaefellsjokull glacier as a backdrop, the Hellnar church gives travelers yet another opportunity to capture some wonderful photos of the charming Icelandic landscape. Hellnar is a charming destination for those who seek the thrill of being in the company of the elements.
Situated between a mountain range and the sea, Grundarfjordur is a small town, situated in the north of the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland. The town lies deep in a beautiful fjord surrounded by mountains with the striking Mt. Kirkjufell standing out as the majestic landmark. Visitors to Grundarfjordur will likely visit the town’s main landmark, the photogenic Kirkjufell, which translates to ‘Church Mountain’. Clearly distinguishable, and standing alone on the edge of the sea, its dramatic slopes, steeple-like peak, and surrounding shorelines make it one of the country’s most beautiful summits. Grundarfjordur offers a wide range of outdoor activities including hiking, bird watching, fishing, horseback riding, skiing, ice-climbing, and camping.
Hella is a small town in southern Iceland on the shores of the river Ytri-Ranga that is situated 94 kilometers to the east of Reykjavik on the Hringvegur between Selfoss and Hvolsvollur. The town is surrounded by numerous stunning tourist attractions and nearby nestles the voluminous Hekla volcano visible from the Hella. You can explore the beautiful waterfalls near Hella like a visit to Thjofafoss, Aegissidufoss or Urridafoss never disappoints. Hiking is also popular from the settlement, particularly in the direction of the notoriously explosive volcano, Hekla, which is within a clear view. Hella is the perfect place to stay if you are looking to explore the South Coast if you are driving the Ring Road or simply want to escape the city life or Reykjavik.
Hvolsvollur is a small town of 950 people in south Iceland, conveniently located by the Ring Road that is situated in the municipality of Rangarthing Eystra, which is an excellent location from which to base for exploration of South Iceland. It is often traveled through or stopped off by those exploring the South Coast or encircling the country. Hvolsvollur has a number of interesting hiking routes in its vicinity. Among interesting sights is the large and peculiar rock Drangurinn by the farm Drangshlid, under the Eyjafjoll mountains. This town is also a perfect launching point from which to explore the Golden Circle, which consists of the Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Pingvellir National Park. Hvolsvollur isn’t much to look at the moment you arrive there but given the chance, this little village will surprise you, in the best way! Again, Hvolsvollur is an excellent place to stay when exploring the fascinating South Coast of Iceland.
Home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history, Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland, is the country’s capital and largest city where its striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. Reykjavik is usually a starting point for road trips circling the Ring Road, and to its north is the miraculous Snaefellsnes Peninsula, to the southeast is the spectacular South Coast, and the famous Golden Circle is only within a 100-kilometer radius. It has a vibrant cultural and design scene, with plenty of exciting adventure tours, vivid nightlife, modern museums, world-class restaurants, galleries, shops, bars, and clubs for you to explore throughout your stay.
Hvalfjordur is only 50 km from Reykjavik that gives an excellent opportunity to enjoy the unique beauty of Icelandic fjords, with its sloops, shores, canyons, and waterfalls and its somewhat controversial history of whaling. Its landscape is varied and beautiful, with wide areas of flat land along majestic mountains, green vegetation in summer, and beaches cut with creeks. It is home to Glymur, Iceland’s highest waterfall, a surprising amount of trees, a historical old naval base, a thermal pool, and a fabulous nature. There are also plenty of interesting hiking trails in the area, such as Sildarmannagotur, leading north, and Leggjabrjotur, leading east towards the area of Thingvellir National Park. Today, the 30 km long fjord is a tranquil place after an undersea tunnel leading the way through the fjord opened to public traffic in the year 1998, making a visit even more desirable!
Blnduos, which means the mouth of the river Blanda, is one of the busiest tourist stops in Iceland that has a population of around 880 people. It is a service centre for the local area and a common stop for travelers of the Ring Road. The town has always been a service center and a popular pit stop for those traveling from the south to the north in Iceland. Also for those on a road trip traveling the Ring Road and looking for great things to see in Icelandic nature. Birdwatching is very popular in the area, as well as horse riding tours. The nearby lakes and rivers are some of the best in the country for fishing trout and salmon. Blnduos is placed near the Vatnsnes Peninsula and is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders making it an ideal place to stay for a day or two and explore the fascinating nature and surroundings.