Discover Iceland’s Hidden Charms and Colorful Villages!


Arvinda Dixit

Iceland is usually referred to as the “Land of Fire and Ice”. A country that offers visitors a truly otherworldly experience. With its stunning landscapes, dramatic natural wonders, and a unique mix of outdoor adventures and relaxation opportunities, Iceland is slowly becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking something out of the ordinary. This country is mainly adored by adrenaline lovers.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best places to visit and the most enjoyable activities to partake in during your visit to this enchanting island nation.

Iceland’s Diverse Regions

Iceland is a country where you will find plenty of places that suit your preferences. Its diverse regions offer a wide range of experiences for visitors. To make the most of your trip, it’s essential to explore the different parts of the country, each of which has its own unique charm and attractions.

Reykjavik: The Capital of Cool

Best places to visit in Iceland

Always begin your Icelandic adventure from Reykjavik, the nation’s capital and largest city. Reykjavik is a vibrant and dynamic city especially known for its rich culture, artistic scene, museums, art galleries, restaurants, and warm hospitality. After visiting here, you can explore a variety of attractions, including:

  • Hallgrímskirkja: It is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It is a modernist church that offers a panoramic view of Reykjavik from its tower.
  • Street Art: Reykjavik is home to a blooming street art scene, with colorful murals adorning buildings throughout the city. You should take a street art tour to learn more about these hidden gems.
  • The Blue Lagoon: Take a short drive from the city and you can enjoy the Blue Lagoon. It is a geothermal spa renowned for its milky-blue waters. There you can relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters which are surrounded by lava fields—a classic Icelandic experience.

The Golden Circle: Nature’s Triple Delight

Want to explore Iceland’s most famous tourist route, comprising three remarkable stops that illustrate the country’s natural beauty:

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Thingvellir National Park: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only geologically significant but also historically important. It is commonly known as the site of the Althing, one of the world’s oldest parliaments. Here, you can walk between the tectonic plates and admire the beauty of the Öxarárfoss waterfall.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area: Next, you can enjoy the powerful eruption of the Strokkur geyser and explore the bubbling geothermal pools. The area’s geysers and hot springs provide a glimpse into Iceland’s geothermal energy potential.
  • Gullfoss Waterfall: Popularly called the “Golden Falls,” Gullfoss is a two-tiered waterfall that falls dramatically into a rugged canyon. You can also experience some beautiful rainbows on sunny days which often grace its misty surroundings.

South Coast Adventures

If you are heading south from Reykjavik, you’ll encounter the captivating landscapes of Iceland’s South Coast:

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall:  It offers you a stupendous walk behind the curtain of water at Seljalandsfoss for a unique perspective and fantastic and bombastic photo opportunities.

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Skogafoss Waterfall: Also, you can climb the staircase to the top of Skogafoss for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach: Explore the phenomenal striking black sand beaches, basalt columns, and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, which rise dramatically from the sea.
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon: You can also hike through the picturesque Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, which features a curving river bounded by towering cliffs.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: A Frozen Wonderland

One of the most breathtaking sights in Iceland is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Located in Vatnajökull National Park, this glacial lagoon is an alluring sight, with icebergs floating gracefully on its surface.

Best places to visit in Iceland

If you want to get up close and personal with these ice giants you can consider taking a boat tour that allows you to navigate among the icebergs while keeping an eye out for seals basking in the sun.

Vatnajökull National Park: A Glacial Paradise

Vatnajökull National Park is located in the southeast of Iceland. It is a vast wilderness that’s home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. This park serves numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks.

Best places to visit in Iceland

The Skaftafell area within the park is a popular starting point for hikes. In addition to this, it also serves as a gateway to many ice caves, which are a marvel to explore with their complex ice formations.

Akureyri: Iceland’s Second City

Located in northern Iceland, Akureyri is the country’s second-largest city. Known for its charming streets, botanical gardens, and closeness to natural wonders, Akureyri is a fantastic and mesmerizing destination in its own right.  The key attractions of this place include:

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Akureyri Church: Perched on a hill, this beautiful church offers far-reaching and comprehensive views of the city and surrounding fjords.
  • Botanical Gardens: Also, explore the peaceful Botanical Gardens which illustrates a wide variety of Icelandic and international flora.
  • Goðafoss Waterfall: Then, just take a short drive from Akureyri and you can encounter this “Waterfall of the Gods” which is a stunning cascade that figures prominently in Icelandic history and mythology.

The Westfjords: Remote and Rugged

Best places to visit in Iceland

For those looking forward to solitude and unspoiled nature, visit Westfjords. The Westfjords offer a remote and less-visited region of Iceland. Here, you can enjoy dramatic cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, and beautiful fjords. One exceptional attraction of the place is the Dynjandi waterfall, a majestic series of cascades that seems to flow from the heavens.

The Eastfjords: Hidden Gems

The Eastfjords of Iceland are known for their clear beauty and charming fishing villages. Check out the key attractions of the place:

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Seydisfjordur: It is a picturesque village famous for its colorful houses, art scene, and a ferry connection to the Faroe Islands and Europe.
  • Petra’s Stone Collection: Also, make a visit to the Petra’s Stone Collection in Stöðvarfjörður. It is a place where you’ll find an astonishing array of minerals and stones, collected over a lifetime.

Húsavík: Whale-Watching Paradise

Húsavík a place often called the “Whale-Watching Capital of Iceland”.

Best places to visit in Iceland

It is a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts. You can take a whale-watching tour from this charming town to watch various whale species, including humpback whales, minke whales, and orcas. The Húsavík Whale Museum provides valuable insights into these awe-inspiring and adorable creatures.

The Highlands: A Wilderness Adventure

Best places to visit in Iceland

Iceland’s Highlands are a remote and less-explored region. These are accessible only during the summer months. This area offers volcanic landscapes, hot springs, and unique hiking routes like the Laugavegur Trek and the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. It’s an amazing destination for those seeking a true wilderness adventure.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Iceland in Miniature

Often referred to as “Iceland in Miniature,” the Snæfellsnes Peninsula offers diverse landscapes that showcase the country’s natural beauty:

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Snæfellsjökull National Park: Here you can visit this park, which is home to the famous Snæfellsjökull volcano, featured in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
  • Arnarstapi: Also, take a visit to this charming coastal village and walk along the cliffs to see nesting birds and stunning views of the ocean.
  • Vatnshellir Cave: One can also descend into the depths of the earth with a guided tour of Vatnshellir Cave, a lava tube formed by volcanic activity.

The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar): A Volcanic Haven

You should take a short ferry ride from the mainland that will take you to the Westman Islands. There you will get a panoramic view of a volcanic archipelago that offers unique experiences such as:

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Eldfell Volcano: Climb to the top of Eldfell Volcano, which erupted in 1973 and shaped the island’s landscape.
  • Puffin Colonies: These Westman Islands are especially known for their puffin colonies and providing fantastic opportunities for birdwatching.

Experience the Midnight Sun

Best places to visit in Iceland

In the summer months, one who visits Iceland can experience the phenomenon of the Midnight Sun when the sun never fully sets, providing endless daylight. This is the perfect time for outdoor activities like hiking, photography, and simply enjoying the beautiful landscapes around the clock.

Delicious Icelandic Cuisine

Among all this, don’t miss the Icelandic cuisine which is a unique blend of traditional Nordic fare and modern culinary trends. Make sure you try local delicacies such as:

  • Fermented Shark (Hákarl): Not for weak-hearted, but trying hákarl is a cultural experience you won’t forget.

Best places to visit in Iceland

  • Lamb Stew (Kjötsúpa): Don’t forget to taste a hearty bowl of Icelandic lamb stew, a comforting dish often prepared with root vegetables.
  • Rye Bread (Rúgbrauð): Taste the dense and sweet rye bread that Icelanders bake using geothermal heat.
  • Fresh Seafood: Iceland’s cold waters are full of seafood, and dishes like fresh salmon, cod, and langoustine are a must-try.
  • Skyr: Sample Iceland’s famous yogurt-like dairy product, skyr, often served with berries and honey also offers you a taste of heavenly dish.

These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Iceland. With its rich culture and history, Iceland has something to offer everyone. For more such content about traveling, bookmark our website and also share it with your friends.