And they’re only a 3-hour flight away!
Planning an adventure in Iceland and want to make sure you take in all the very best bits? We’ve got you covered with this quick guide to our very best things to do in Iceland. (And the great news is, you can pop them ALL on your Iceland itinerary since they’re all within driving distance of Reykjavík!)
Speaking of Reykjavík, WHAT a place to start your Icelandic adventure…
In Iceland’s capital, quirky charm meets urban cool. This fabulous city is known for its vibrant culture and friendly locals. Explore the colourful streets, visit the striking Hallgrímskirkja church, and indulge in the city’s eclectic culinary scene – make sure you try a traditional plokkfiskur fish stew and a local craft beer! The capital makes an urban change from everything else you’re likely to do on your adventure, but no list of the best things to do in Iceland would be complete without it!
Did you know our Bucket List Iceland Winter Adventure starts with a quick stop in Reykjavík?
2. The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle HAS to feature in any list of the best things to do in Iceland. As you journey through these Icelandic marvels you’ll spend most of your time drooling and wondering which portal you nipped through to get here – because these natural beauties are absolutely otherworldly.
The iconic Golden Circle is a route that leads you through three extraordinary sites: the historic Thingvellir National Park, the powerful Geysir geothermal area (be careful not to stand too close or you might get blown 30m into the air!), and the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, a breathtaking spectacle where the Hvítá River plunges into a rugged canyon.
3. Skaftafell National Park
Nestled between glaciers and volcanic landscapes, the wilderness wonderland that is Skaftafell National Park offers a diverse range of hiking trails and stunning vistas. Marvel at the contrast between lush greenery and glacial ice in this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. It’s pretty damn sublime.
4. Black Beaches of Vik
If you want the best things to do in Iceland, this has got to be up near the top of the list. Visit the dramatic shorelines of the black sand beaches of Vik, where basalt columns rise from the sea, creating a stark contrast against the dark sands. Witness the crashing waves and the iconic Reynisdrangar sea stacks that add an ethereal beauty to this coastal wonder. Probably don’t dip in though, it’s pretty nippy in there.
No-one’s gone swimming in the Reynisdrangar on one of our Iceland Winter Adventures yet! Will you be the first? Click here to check out the dates and itinerary.
5. Borgarfjordur hot springs
The Borgarfjordur region is packed with unbelievably captivating beauty and glacial views for days. Explore the scenic landscapes, including Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, framed by the backdrop of glaciers. Those are views you won’t forget in a hurry (though do take your camera, you know, just in case).
6. Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
While you’re in the Borgarfjordur region, stop by the Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver as it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Iceland. Confronted with nature’s steamy mistress, you’ll witness the sheer power of geothermal activity, where boiling water surges from the Earth in unstoppable fashion. This hot spring not only provides energy for local heating but also offers a unique opportunity to witness raw geothermal power. Definitely not one to miss.
Relaxing in the spas at Deildartunguhver is always one of the highlights for our Bucketlisters who visit Iceland with us. Click here for more info, and be sure to check out day 6 of the itinerary for those spas!
7. Vatnajokull glacier and ice caves
Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, is an absolute sight to behold. Pay a visit and you’ll discover the mesmerizing ice caves that form within the glacier, showcasing nature’s sculptural artistry in shades of blue and white. It’s hard to believe the formations and hues are natural, but they are!
8. Glacier Lagoon
You won’t regret journeying to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a surreal landscape of floating ice sculptures, where icebergs drift majestically on the serene waters. The most avid explorers will take a boat tour to get up close to the sparkling ice sculptures, creating a truly magical experience that’ll leave you breathless. (Maybe literally, it can get pretty cold over there.)
9. Snæfellsjökull National Park
When you’re looking for the best things to do in Iceland, you can’t miss the mystical adventures that await in Snæfellsjökull National Park, home to the iconic Snæfellsjökull volcano. This magical location inspired Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and offers a mix of glaciers, lava fields, and coastal cliffs for an enchanting day or two. No decent Iceland itinerary would be complete without it!
10. Vatnshellir Lava Tube Cave
Take things underground in the captivating lava tube, formed over 8,000 years ago. You’ll go deep beneath the earth’s surface and discover a mesmerising world of geological wonders. Walk the subterranean passages adored with stunning rock formations and gape in disbelief at the dance of the light on the cave walls.
When are you going to tick Iceland off your Bucket List?
The eerie silence and surreal beauty of Vatnshellir create an atmosphere of otherworldly enchantment that’s pretty fitting for the whole country really. Because Iceland is most definitely a haven for nature junkies and there’s obviously so much to see. So when are you going to just take the plunge and do it?!
If our run-down of the best things to do in Iceland have whetted your appetite, make sure you check out our itinerary (because it covers ALL the best things to do in Iceland!) – click here for the Bucket List Company Iceland Winter Adventure itinerary.
If you don’t book it now…will you ever?