Are you looking for top tourist attractions in Iceland, we got you covered in this article.
Iceland is a country known for its magnificent scenery, dynamic culture, and remarkable adventures. Iceland has a variety of tourist attractions that are sure to leave you in awe, from its breathtaking natural beauties to its cozy cafes and top-notch restaurants. Every traveler can find something new in the captivating nature of the Icelandic tourist attractions, whether they choose to hike along paths that pass by flowing waterfalls and expansive vistas or indulge in the gastronomic treats of the area’s cafes and restaurants.
The charm of Iceland’s most alluring locations can be discovered with our guide to the top tourist attractions in Iceland. This selection provides insight into the various fascinating landscapes that make Iceland a must-visit location, from breathtaking natural wonders to artistic wonders.
Table of Contents
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Reynisfjara is unquestionably the most renowned black sand beach next to Vik and is regarded as one of the greatest tourist attractions in Iceland, if not the entire globe. Additionally, it is a well-liked destination for guided excursions and road vacations. Every Game of Thrones fan wants to visit because it served as a filming site for the show (see East Watch by the Sea in Season 7).
The beach is spectacular. Not only because of the striking basalt cliffs that surround the black sand beaches but also because it seems to go on forever. We realize it’s only a few kilometers, but it will give us about an hour’s walk.
As you approach Reynisfjara’s summit, a mythological element is revealed: the remains of trolls that were terrified by the first light of dawn bear witness to their daring expeditions. This already amazing picture is further enhanced by the mysterious Reynisdrangar formations, which rise dramatically from the ocean’s embrace. Reynisfjara is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Iceland because it is a place where nature and mythology happily coexist. As you discover its alluring beauty, it becomes obvious why.
In southwestern Iceland, on the Reykjanes Peninsula, is a geothermal spa called The Blue Lagoon. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Iceland, attracting visitors from all over the world. It is simple to get to the Blue Lagoon if you rent a car or sign up for a Blue Lagoon trip because it is only a fifteen-minute ride from Keflavik International Airport or a thirty-minute travel from Reykjavik.
In 1976, Svartsengi’s geothermal waste from plants was used to create the first Blue Lagoon. Valur Margeirsson was the first to take a bath there in 1981. Since that time, the facility has expanded from an open pool with no nearby structures to a luxury spa, research center, and two luxurious hotels.
Averaging 37–39° C (98–102° F), the temperature in the bathing and swimming area is extremely pleasant. Additionally, the Blue Lagoon is home to the LAVA Restaurant, the Blue Cafe, and the Lagoon Spa. As a result, you may enjoy beverages, wellness items, delectable meals, and services like massages without ever leaving the property. On-site amenities include a little waterfall, saunas, and steam rooms.
Reykjavik is a city that combines the breathtaking scenery that defines tourist attractions in Iceland with a seamless combination of modern metropolitan style. Reykjavik, the capital and center of culture for this popular nation, draws visitors with its unique appeal, extensive past, and wealth of sights just waiting to be discovered.
The city is anything but sleepy with its abundance of wonderful restaurants, opera theaters, and iconic church! This is particularly true on the weekends when a lot of live Icelandic music is played in the bars.
Strokkur The Great Geysir
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland and an active geyser is Strokkur. It is frequently visited along with Gullfoss Waterfall and Ingvellir National Park as one of the three main landmarks in the well-known Golden Circle sightseeing tour.
Strokkur, a stunning natural wonder, dominates the enchanting Haukadalur Valley, establishing its status as a must-see among the valued tourist attractions in Iceland. The Haukadalur valley’s key characteristic and the reason it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country is strokkur. Even though Geysir still on occasion erupts to great heights, it is far from reliable enough to account for the region’s fame.
However, Haukadalur Valley offers a variety of additional attractions that make a trip worthwhile. The earth’s forces have molded the area’s natural beauty; gases, hot springs, mud pits, and other small geysers are scattered throughout, and the ground itself is brilliantly colored by substances like sulfur (yellow), copper (green), and iron (red).
The Golden Circle trip is a perfect fit for Gullfoss waterfall, which is only 15 minutes away from Strokkur and smoothly combines with Iceland’s tourist attractions. One of Iceland’s favorite journeys and a great option for an enjoyable day trip is this classic route.
The water travels from the Langjökull glacier through the Hvtá River and then plunges an incredible 32 meters (105 feet) in a two-stage cascade at Gullfoss. It stands boldly along the well-known Golden Circle sightseeing circuit and is a true gem in the category of tourist attractions in Iceland, making viewing this magnificent show of nature’s power a frequent highlight for visitors.
Gullfoss is essentially two unique features due to the two phases of the waterfall. The second drop is 21 meters (69 feet) tall, whereas the first, lesser cascade is only 11 meters (36 feet) tall. The canyon walls that descend into the vast Gullfossgjfur canyon on either side of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70 meters (230 feet). This canyon, according to geologists, was created by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the latest ice age.
Skogafoss, a captivating waterfall tucked away in Iceland’s southern reaches, is a charming episode in the story of tourist attractions in Iceland. The vestiges of the formerly nearby coastline that are currently located about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the Skogar settlement serve as its backdrop.
Skogafoss’s proximity to Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull, two magnificent glaciers, gives it an unmatched sense of the grandeur of nature. By showing the harmonious coexistence of land, ice, and water in this mesmerizing environment, this intriguing occurrence contributes to the tapestry of Icelandic tourist attractions.
The 370 stairs up to the summit of Skogafoss waterfall will be worth you with a breathtaking panorama of the coastline of southern Iceland. Additionally, this is where the well-traveled Fimmvorduhals pass begins. Getting close enough to the spectacular 60-meter (197 feet) tall water curtain will engulf visitors in a mist of spray, sound, and refracted light. The waterfall continuously produces a lot of mist, thus on sunny days, a single or double rainbow is typically visible.
The Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is located on Iceland’s southern coast, receives its water supply from the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano’s melting glacier. This impressive waterfall flows into a lovely meadow. However, the biggest tourist draw in Iceland is a walkway that passes beneath a curtain of water.
A waterfall that cascades 200 feet (60 meters) down a cliff and into a pool of bedrock produces a stunning picture and stirring sound. A stunning waterfall on the southern coast is called Seljalandsfoss. You can stroll behind the waterfall because it flows over cliffs that are quite steep. You will see the waterfall itself and its surroundings in stunning detail. Remember to bring your camera, but be aware that it can get wet.
Seljalandsfoss’ fascination is further enhanced during the winter months when it casts a calm spell over the snow-draped scenery. The enchantment that surrounds Iceland’s tourist attractions is embodied in this waterfall, which serves as a tribute to nature’s unbounded ingenuity. Its views are a symphony of drama, set against a background of lush flora and a setting drenched in serenity, making it an idyllic retreat to absorb the essence of the splendor of the Icelandic countryside.
Aurora Borealis is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Iceland. The intense darkness of the Icelandic winter has several advantages. Icelanders are treated to a stunning natural spectacle from September to April: the aurora borealis phenomenon which is also known as the Northern Lights. This heavenly wonder adds a layer of magic to tourist attractions in Iceland, dazzling the skies with a beguiling spectacle that enthralls both residents and tourists.
The Greek term for the northern winds, Boreas, and the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, are the sources of the name Aurora Borealis. Iceland is a center for this spectacular light show from September to April.
On bright winter nights, tours are planned around this magnificent but erratic natural phenomenon. Excursion leaders are competent at “hunting” the lights, discovering spots where conditions are optimal for spotting them on any given night.
If you’re in Reykjavik or elsewhere in Iceland, spending the day searching for these gentle sea giants is a fantastic way to pass the time. Since its beginnings in the late 9th century, whales have played a key role in Iceland’s history. Hvalreki, which literally means “beached whale,” is the Icelandic phrase for a lucky break and serves as a prime example of this.
Whatever the season you come, you can watch whales breach under the northern lights or the light of the midnight sun. Reykjavik’s whale watching is a simple activity to do regardless of a busy plan because it is conveniently located within a short walk from the city center. Additionally, whale viewing is offered in many towns and villages across the nation, giving visitors a wide range of alternatives.
Last but not least in our article on tourist attractions in Iceland is none other than Jokulsarlon Glacier. One of Iceland’s natural crown gems is Jokulsarlon, and its neighboring black beach has been given the nickname Diamond Beach because of the way the ice pieces on it look when the sun shines, resembling diamonds.
Jokulsarlon attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to see the icebergs flow freely, take boat rides around the lagoon, and take photographs of the seals. The lagoon, which was naturally created from melting glacial water, is still expanding as more and more glacier ice chunks break off.
With a significant retreating year after year, Jokulsarlon, which is growing in size, is a visible example of how global warming is having an impact on glaciers. Because of this, each time you visit the lagoon and the neighboring glacier tongue, they will have a distinctive appearance.
Wrapping Up the Top Tourist Attractions in Iceland
Discover the mesmerizing beauties of Iceland’s tourist attractions, such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, where the splendor of nature pours. Experience the Northern Lights’ heavenly dance, take in the energy of Reykjavik, and be in wonder at the Great Geysir’s might. Immerse yourself in the allure of tourist attractions in Iceland, where each location tells a unique story of the wonders of nature and fascinating adventures.
IS THE BLUE LAGOON GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN?
There is no definite, scientifically proven explanation as to why the water in the Blue Lagoon is good for your skin. However, there’s a massive amount of evidence that suggests it.
Is the Blue Lagoon natural or man-made?
The Blue Lagoon is technically man-made, as it was formed from the runoff water of the nearby geothermal power plant. However, the water in the lagoon is natural and comes from deep underground, where it is heated by geothermal energy.
What is Gullfoss?
Gullfoss, also known as the “Golden Waterfall,” is one of Iceland’s most popular and iconic waterfalls. It is located in the southwest of the country, along the Golden Circle tourist route.
Can you walk around Gullfoss?
Yes, there are several walking paths and viewing platforms around Gullfoss that offer stunning views of the waterfall and canyon. Visitors should be careful and stay on designated paths, as the terrain can be slippery and dangerous.
Where Is the Best Place for Whale Watching in Iceland?
Though Husavik, in North Iceland, is known as “the whale-watching capital of Europe,” there are many other locations where you may go on a whale-watching expedition.