in Europe, Tips & Advice

10 Things Not to Miss in Iceland

Iceland has become one of our favourite countries and with so many natural wonders waiting to be seen, it’s only a matter of time before it’s your favourite too. The land of ice and fire boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes that remain relatively uncrowded and untouched. Where else can you discover the mystical Northern Lights alongside geyser’s and some of the most beautiful water falls known on the planet?

We have created a list of just some of the most magical Icelandic beauty spots that you may, or may not have come across in this captivating country.

10 Things Not to Miss in Iceland:

1. The Great Geysir

The Great Geyser in Iceland has been active for approximately 10,000 years and was the first geyser known to man. Since the discovery of Geysir, all other sprouting hot springs are now named after this one. When visiting Iceland, this is one of the top sights to see as hot water spouts over 70 metres high!

2. The Blue Lagoon

Spoil yourself by bathing in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, one of Iceland’s most popular attractions. The beautiful milky blue colouring is produced by the rich silica and sulfur minerals found in the warm waters. Blue Lagoon tours and transfers are frequent from Reykjavik, so there’s no excuse not to visit before your flight home.


3. Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja is one of the most impressive buildings you’ll discover in Reykjavík. It’s the tallest church of Iceland offering unsurpassed views of the capital and is Reykjavík’s best known landmark. This really is one not to miss in Iceland.


4. Askja

The Askja caldera is found in the Dyngjufjöll mountains, north of Vatnajökull glacier. Work your way down the stark sides of the Askja caldera where you can take a quick dip in Víti, a geothermal lake found at the bottom. Discover the spectacular surrounding lunar landscape as you approach Askja, where NASA’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin trained before the famous Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969.


5. Thórsmörk National Park

Thórsmörk National Park is a wide valley named after the Viking God of Thunder, Thor. With some of the most picturesque views across the landscape in Iceland, including the three glaciers that surround Thórsmörk, you will quickly realise why this is one of the country’s most popular hiking grounds with steep mountains, wild rivers and clear creeks. Make sure you don’t miss this on your travels to Iceland.


6. Þingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park is part of Iceland’s Golden Circle and is well worth visiting. Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the World’s oldest existing parliament was formed there in 930 AD. Besides from the historical significance, Þingvellir is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries that have caused a canyon running through Iceland.


7. Vatnajökull National Park

Vatnajökull National Park covers 13% of Iceland, making it not only the largest and most voluminous Icelandic ice cap, but one of the largest national parks in Europe. Vatnajökull National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience fire and ice together where hot streams erupt from frozen banks of ice.


8. The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, or commonly known as Aurora Borealis, and Norðurljós in Icelandic, are one of the most spectacular shows on Earth. You can frequently see the Northern Lights in Iceland from September through March on clear and crisp nights. Remember the Northern Lights are unpredictable and is worth checking an Aurora Forecast before heading out to hunt them.


9. Whale Watching

Iceland is among Europe’s best whale watching destinations. Get up close to orcas to humpbacks, minke whales to the giant blue whale on a boat tour from Reykjavík or Húsavík. When visiting Iceland, whale watching is one activity you should definitely not miss out on!


10. Seljavallalaug Pool

Dive into Iceland’s best kept secret… Seljavallalaug is Iceland’s oldest pool built in 1923, found nestled in a narrow valley below Eyjafjallajökull. Seljavallalaug is not the easiest place to get to but is undoubtedly worth it!

More places not to miss in Iceland


11. Gullfoss

You will discover Gullfoss on the Hvítá river, fed by Iceland’s second largest glacier, the Langjökull. Don’t miss the chance to view one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland. Get up close and feel the water spray land on your face or take in the view from the platform high up.

Don’t miss our Top Iceland posts including: Super Jeep and Snowmobiling tours, Searching for the Northern Lights on a boat, horse riding below the mountains to exploring the stunning Ice caves in Vatnajökull. Or why not check out 10 Incredible things to do in Iceland & 15 Best Places to Visit in Iceland?

Have you visited Iceland already and can recommend even more hidden secrets? Or is Iceland the one country you have always dreamed of exploring? Let us know in the comments below..

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Article written by Adam Boston

Discover the most inspiring travel stories, must do adventures, and photography of the world seen through the eyes of Adam. Uncovering what the world has to offer, from one country to another.


Currently there's 52 comment(s)

  • Tim | UrbanDuniya

    Commented on 03/02/2015 at 02:23

    This is easily the most beautiful of a number of Iceland-related posts I’ve read recently – now I really want to go there!! 😀

  • Jess @UsedYorkCity

    Commented on 03/02/2015 at 14:52

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We were actually just talking about how Iceland is next up on our list, but trying to narrow down a good time to go. Have you been in May? Haha trying to align with vakay time;-)
    Jess @UsedYorkCity recently posted…$25 Massage In Manhattan? Yes, please!My Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 03/02/2015 at 18:19

      Hi Jess, glad to hear Iceland is next up on your list. In terms of when to visit – We plan to go back again but in the summer where the midnight sun is calling for us! 😀 You won’t be able to see the Northern Lights in May, as they usually appear during the winter months until around mid April at the latest. You shouldn’t visit Iceland just for these as I think everyone knows just how unpredictable they are! From April onwards you also won’t be able to visit the ice caves as they will be un safe / melted away by then.. but you’ll have much more wildlife to see and even dog sledding onto of a glacier 🙂

  • Catherine

    Commented on 03/02/2015 at 18:57

    These all sound like amazing experiences! Have wanted to see the northern lights since I was a little girl, but the whale watching and the geyser sound amazing too!
    Catherine recently posted…Top Tips For Visiting Istanbul’s Bizarre BazaarsMy Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 03/02/2015 at 20:08

      We’ve got a northern lights boat tour planned, as well as having our own 4×4 to go out into the dark, searching for the Northern Lights. If we’re lucky enough we may see them, but if not there’s always another time as Iceland already has a place high up on the ‘love this country list’ 😉
      Adam Boston recently posted…10 Facts we didn’t know about IcelandMy Profile

  • Rebekah

    Commented on 04/02/2015 at 14:49

    Iceland is high on my list of places I am dying to visit. All the pictures of the place just look unreal. There are some crazy cheap fares being offered from the US to Iceland right now so I’ll have to keep my eye on that

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 05/02/2015 at 08:12

      Do it! Travel to Iceland before it changes too much and it becomes too touristy to really experience Iceland how it should be experienced… If there’s cheap air fares, then there’s no excuse! 🙂

  • Maria

    Commented on 05/02/2015 at 15:06

    Thanks!!! Iceland looks awesome. Can’t wait to go!

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 06/02/2015 at 20:25

      Make sure you send us some photos of when you go – Iceland is one place I don’t think I could ever get enough of 🙂

  • Susie

    Commented on 09/02/2015 at 19:13

    Iceland is in our bucket-list for this year! I loved your tips and suggestions. Thanks for sharing!
    Susie recently posted…Travel to Lake Piediluco – A Hidden Gem in Umbria, ItalyMy Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 11/02/2015 at 08:07

      Hi Susie, glad you loved our 10 things not to miss in Iceland! What was your favourite tip?

  • bevill hutchinson

    Commented on 10/02/2015 at 22:10

    We returned from our second trip to Iceland a couple of weeks ago, and have to say that it is the most fascinating, beautiful and friendly place that i have possibly ever been to. Can’t wait to return in April

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 11/02/2015 at 08:08

      Going back for a third visit – that’s Iceland for you 😀 Hope you have another wonderful time Bevill, make sure you let us know how it goes…

  • jANI Jack

    Commented on 16/02/2015 at 05:34

    The images of the Iceland are really cool and attractive. I really love Island due to wonderful Views of clear water. At this time, I am going to grand central terminal new york tour with my whole family. After seeing your blog, I will try to go there into one of these Iceland in future.

  • Becky Padmore

    Commented on 15/03/2015 at 19:11

    Amazing photos, we’re huge Iceland fans too!

  • Flora

    Commented on 29/03/2015 at 03:19

    Amazing photos, Iceland is really a beautiful country!

  • Tim Berty

    Commented on 08/04/2015 at 09:16

    My sister (not same blood) has husband in there and now she living in there also. I’ve not a change to visit and meet her since she got married.

    But maybe one day.
    Tim Berty recently posted…How to embed Facebook videos on my website ?My Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 20/10/2015 at 20:51

      Why wait? Although you may realise why your sister is now living out there – it’s a very lovely and friendly country
      Adam Boston recently posted…Horse Riding in IcelandMy Profile

  • Wandering Me

    Commented on 13/04/2015 at 19:19

    Love the image for Thórsmörk National Park. Looks very rugged. Looking forward to visiting Iceland for the first time later this year.
    Wandering Me recently posted…What to Wear in an Arabic CountryMy Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 08/10/2015 at 09:01

      You will love Iceland. We cannot wait to go back again!

  • Rouven |

    Commented on 16/04/2015 at 09:51

    Wow, it’s really hard to choose only ten 😉
    I’d probably add Hverir, Dettifoss or Gullfoss, and a natural hotpot to the list. I never really understood the fascination with Geysir and the Blue Lagoon though….
    Rouven | recently posted…Tips on Whale Watching in IcelandMy Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 20/10/2015 at 20:49

      Thanks Rouven, it really is hard to choose the top 10.. we have so many favourites and loved viewing the waterfalls all over the south of ICeland during our time there. Breathtaking and a nice change to just stop and watch nature at its finest.
      Adam Boston recently posted…A Drive Across IcelandMy Profile

  • Jack

    Commented on 24/04/2015 at 11:17

    Iceland is one destination that is always on my bucket list. Thanks for the article
    Jack recently posted…Thalaiyar Falls: One of the best and major attraction of KodaikanalMy Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 08/10/2015 at 09:03

      Definitely worth visiting, it’s one of those places that’s truly breathtaking everywhere you visit

  • Anand BV

    Commented on 03/08/2015 at 17:55

    Pics really made my day!! It’s a dream destination for me and my girlfriend. One day I would like to take her there. Thank you for sharing

  • Talita

    Commented on 07/08/2015 at 18:51

    I loved your post, The Blue Lagoon is very cool

  • Philip

    Commented on 08/10/2015 at 07:05

    A place we must come before dying. Awesome Iceland. Thanks for sharing us your pics

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 08/10/2015 at 09:04

      DO it! You’ll kick yourself for not visiting sooner! 🙂

  • Melinda

    Commented on 21/10/2015 at 02:46

    Just got back On sunday night After a 10 day trip to Iceland. First time visit. Loved it so much That I cant wait to go back after only being home two days. Your pictures are great. I cant wait to look nack through all 700 of mine.

  • juli

    Commented on 21/10/2015 at 17:20

    Spent 3 days in Iceland mid September. Not long enough! Gullfoss should be on the list. Geyser is interesting, but for anyone that has been to yellowstone it is underwhelming. Perhaps some day I might go to blue lagoon but there are so many more places i’d like to see in Iceland. Blue lagoon is incredibly expensive, both the attraction itself and the transportation to it. I understand it is not a natural occurrence more a result of the power plant?

  • Betina

    Commented on 02/11/2015 at 21:26

    I really enjoyed your post ! Good job.

  • annastraveltribute

    Commented on 01/01/2016 at 17:41

    Unbelievable! Must go there =) My boyfriend and I would like to go for our 5year anniversary but are wondering whether it’s a very expensive country?

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 06/01/2016 at 18:42

      Hi Anna, forget your worries about expense.. you can get by without breaking the bank. You’ll love Iceland, it’s like no where else you’ll have visited

  • Linda March

    Commented on 13/01/2016 at 11:06

    The Geyser, the blue lagoon and the northern lights are enough of a reason to visit iceland. But there are many many things to see in this country.

    How did you get along the country ? Did you rent a car or there are some public transport solutions ?
    Linda March recently posted…Pink ClothingMy Profile


    Commented on 25/01/2016 at 16:02

    UOW! AmazING!!!! All the pictures of the place just look unreal!

  • Lwd

    Commented on 16/04/2016 at 02:17

    I loved your post, The Blue Lagoon is very cool

  • Norman

    Commented on 17/05/2016 at 09:41

    The Northern Light is UNBELIEVable. we are coming! Thanks for very nice post, adam!

  • Hiking Gear Guru

    Commented on 06/06/2016 at 11:27

    The only thing I knew about Iceland was the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. This volcano stopped half of europe’s air transportation for a while. I’ve heard lots of great things about the nature of iceland, but never honestly looked the country up to see these amazing places. iceland is definitely on my list of countries to travel to from now on. it’s funny how such places go unnoticed if someone doesn’t bring them to your attention. thank god for the internet for allowing us to see these places and add them to our go-to lists.

  • LARA

    Commented on 09/07/2016 at 14:57

    Amazing photos, Iceland is really a beautiful country!

  • Jonny

    Commented on 03/08/2016 at 18:57

    Wow. Amazing photos I wish I will visit ONE DAY.

  • John Winger

    Commented on 15/08/2016 at 08:14

    Wow, just amazing. One country with such different looks. I wish I am there someday. I surely will be.
    John Winger recently posted…Importance of Sternum Strap on BackpackMy Profile

  • Jorge Limma

    Commented on 14/09/2016 at 03:59

    Wooow! Very Amazing photos 😀 Iceland is really a beautiful country! <3

  • Daisy

    Commented on 04/10/2016 at 04:40

    amazing places, sensational photos, the northern lights should be the most touching ..


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