Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s the country where you can see mighty mother nature at her finest. From epic waterfalls, through to jaw-dropping lagoons, geothermal lakes, volcanic beaches, hot springs and so much more, you’ll be spoilt for choice with things to do during your vacation to the island. With a heavy selection to pick from, here are our eight best things to do in Iceland:
1. Take a Dip in the Blue Lagoon
Said to be one of the 25 wonders of the world, the incredible pastel blue color of the Blue Lagoon will leave you speechless. The lagoon is a year-round spa filled with hot water, like that of a hot spring. While the lagoon is not natural and was formed in 1976, its warm seawater is rich with minerals, such as silica, which is great for your skin and treating skin-based health issues. The best time to visit the Blue Lagoon is either late at night, where you can enjoy the midnight sun in the summer months, or during the evening when you have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights in the winter months. The lagoon is part of Iceland’s Golden Circle, which includes other top attractions such as Gullfoss Waterfall and Thingvellir national park. The lagoon is only a thirty-minute drive from the country’s capital of Reykjavik, so it’s easy to incorporate into your trip.
2. See the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis, are an epic, natural phenomena, where waves of colors move through the night’s sky. Iceland is one of the best countries to see the lights and the best time to catch a glimpse of them is from September to April when the nights are particularly dark. However, some people think there’s a better chance of seeing them in the winter months of November, December, and January.
3. Witness the Midnight Sun
Iceland is known for its day-long summers. Imagine sitting having a beer at 11 pm, or midnight, in full daylight? It will blow your mind. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, head to Iceland from the months of late May until July. If you time your visit with the summer solstice, on June 21, the sun is visible for almost twenty-four hours. Bring an eye-mask if you’re a light sleeper!
4. Marvel at Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss, or the ‘Golden Waterfall’, is Iceland’s most iconic waterfall. At the waterfall, you’ll be treated to an incredible, 360-degree view of the enormous natural wonder, which stands at 105 feet tall. Many people head to get a photo of the scenery, so try to avoid going on the weekends. It’s located in southern Iceland, on the Hvita river, which is fed water by Iceland’s second biggest glacier.
5. Go Whale Watching
Iceland is one of the top places in the world for whale watching. The ideal time to try to see whales is during the summer months of May, June, July and August. A whopping twenty species of whales frequent the waters surrounding the island, including Orca, Humpback and Blue Whales. Whales can be seen in both the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, which are on either side of the island. Most hotels and hostels offer whale watching tour packages, which you can sign up for or find tours online. Check out some of the best whale watching tours in Iceland.
6. See Lava Fields at Snæfellsjokull National Park
Snæfellsjokull National Park is known for its epic signature glacier, known as the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Alongside the glacier, you’ll see lava fields and lava tubes that you’ll be guaranteed to marvel at. It’s a top spot for nature lovers, with plenty of flora and fauna in the surrounding greenery. The park is known for its hiking trails and offers stunning views of the rugged landscape and glacier. You can also spend time on one of the park’s black beaches, such as Djúpalón Beach, which is known for its volcanic sands and eerie rock formations, which appear to look like trolls.
7. Witness the Moving Tectonic Plates at Thingvellir Plain
Have you ever wanted to see tectonic plates? Well, you can at the Thingvellir Plain, the point where the North American and European tectonic plates are slowly moving away from each other. Due to the movement of the plates, rivers have formed in the surrounding rift valley. You’ll get a new perspective of the world, as well as some chills down your spine. Exploring the surrounding park at Thingvellir Plain is a great thing to do after you’ve seen the tectonic plates — it was the former home of Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to the 18th century.
8. Explore Viking World
Visiting the Viking World museum is an absolute must in Iceland. At the museum, located in Reykjavik, you can see an amazing, replica 9th-century Viking ship that sailed across the Atlantic in 2000. You’ll also be able to find out more about the country’s history and it’s bloody Viking past. History-buffs, brace yourselves!