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This is especially true in the winter months when snow reflects light up into the sky. If you’re even slightly interested in camping, this is the place to do it. This area can be difficult to reach during the winter months, given that road closures can last weeks during particularly heavy bouts of snowfall. We have reviews of the best places to see in Iceland. If you can’t wait to visit charming Icelandic towns, check out our award-winning, 6-day Ring Road adventure, the ultimate tour in Iceland! The wetlands here play host to roaming reindeer, while mighty Hvannadalshnukur (the country’s highest point) stands high and the rugged interior of the Eldgja canyon showcases some truly wondrous volcanic geology – there’s loads to see! Things to See: Glymur may be the main attraction, but you’ll see a ton of other attractions on the way. Wild, windswept and caked with icecaps from south to Arctic north, Iceland is a land of steaming volcanos and enchanting fishing towns, rugged canyons and colossal fjords, bubbling hot springs and buzzing vodka bars. The area is famed for the great variation in landscapes, rolling from the flower-packed meadows and roaring waterfalls (don’t miss the famous Dettifoss Fall!) Nearby, the beautiful Tjornin pool adds an aquatic edge to the town, while the Alpingi parliament building oozes 19th-century charm and the centre pulses with the likes of the National Gallery of Iceland, the Hafnarhus and the fascinating ancient ruins of the 871±2. If you’re looking for a hostel in Iceland here, you will be very close to the amazing Hengifoss … A majority of the region falls into Snæfellsjökull National Park, where you’ll find a world of geological wonders (think: volcanic craters and even more black sand beaches). Things to See: Blue Lagoon may be the most Instagrammed location in this area. If you’re looking to get some steps in, hike to the crest of the Hverfell Crater. Reykjavik Of course you can't miss the capital city if you're going to be visiting Iceland. Things to See: Take a trip along the Diamond Circle, a ring of attractions including Húsavík, Ásbyrgi, Dettifoss, Goðafoss, and the rocks of Hljóðaklettar. Erika Owen is a self-proclaimed Professional Iceland Enthusiast, covering everything from boutique hotels to ATV tours. Aside from the Northern Lights, Midnight Sun, and never-ending list of waterfalls, Iceland is also home to so many regions that are special in their own rite. Iceland's Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport Guide. This will take you off of the tourist trail and up close to some iconic Icelandic landscapes. This gorgeous city blends modern art and architecture with old world Icelandic charm for an unforgettable experience. Today, the town is crowned by the oversized Skalholt Cathedral, which was virtually entirely rebuilt in the 1900s, complete with elegant Danish stained-glass pieces. And while hiking and cliff trekking abounds in the surrounding national park and Grundarfjordur itself is known for its earthy summer folk festivals courtesy of the local Viking Foundation, the town is unquestionably most famed as the jump off point for seeing (and photographing for most) the striking profile of Mount Kirkjufell, which lurches like a rocky shark fin amidst the waterfalls and coves of Snaefellsnes. One of the best ways to see Iceland is by hiking. Egilsstaðir is the largest city in the eastern part of Iceland and is located by the Lagarfljót river. It's also a great country for first-time international travelers—there’s an activity for everyone, from driving an ATV across the black sand beaches to relaxing in one of the many hot springs; there are hikes for all levels of athletes; and you can make the driving as complicated or as simple as you’d like. Like ilas65 says, there are no citites in Iceland except Reykjavik, most of the other population centers would only qualify as a small villages by most standards.And you should not base your search around what cities/villages to visit, but what attractions you want to see. If you come to Reynisfjara during summer, don’t forget to hike up to the top of the mountain to … Then there is gloriously-set Isafjordur, found clinging to a spit of sand on the edge of the ocean and boasting a history going all the way back to the 9th century! Vík is the perfect stopping point if you’re traveling from Reykjavik along the south to Jökulsárlón. Things to See: This area is all about the icebergs and nearby Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. The basalt rock columns that line the beach are worth exploring when the tide is out — once the water comes in, it’s incredibly dangerous to get close to the water. This may be the most dramatic region of Iceland, with its sprawling cliffs and rural villages. Situated just east out of the so-called northern capital of Akureyri, Lake Myvatn offers up a truly otherworldly landscape that ranges from craggy craters to curious volcanic plug holes to bubbling mud pools and oodles more. Thingvellir National Park was once home to Iceland’s Parliament, an important organization tasked with upholding the laws of the country up until 1800. The city has been the capital since the nineteenth century when Iceland started to move towards autonomy from Denmark… Reykjavik is a beautifully colourful seaside town with tons of charm. The falls themselves can often be found arched over by rainbows or shrouded in plumes of mist, while by summer, the surrounding hills and ridges come dressed in a verdant covering of grass that makes a fine backdrop for hiking around the banks of the Hvita River. If you want to see one of the most important spots for the original Parliament location, head to Öxarárfoss. Situated on the coastline, Reykjavik is believed to be the permanent settlement in the country and is a very nice Iceland city to visit. Where to Stay in Reykjavik – Neighborhoods & Area Guide, 40 Places to See in Florida Before Your Kids Grow Up, 40 Places to See in California Before Your Kids Are All Grown Up, 25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World. If you find yourself in Iceland during June, July, or August, consider taking a trip to the Central Highlands for some serious hiking. If you want to experience everything this area has to offer, plan to spend at least three days here. Photo from Westman Islands Flightseeing Tour | South Coast Departure. But this humble fishing town on the edge of the sea actually has mythic roots, in the pages of the Egils Saga, and later the spot became the commercial trading centre for all of west Iceland. This is why I think it is one of the best places to visit in Iceland… As one of the favoured gateways to the wilds of East Iceland and the Vatnajokull National Park, the spot is a great choice for travelers eager to delve into some of the country’s top bucket-list natural sights, while a folk museum, the Ice Land Glacier Exhibition and arguably the best lobster eateries in all of Europe make lingering here for a day or two a fantastic way to get a feel for the rustic, salt-washed vibe of the seafaring locals. Time Commitment: You could just stop by to grab lunch, or you could spend the night and make the most of the nearby hiking trails. Mývatn Nature Baths are a must stop, especially if you find yourself with weary driving legs. Still, the location amidst the ridges around Grindavik is truly enchanting, while the waters come packed with minerals – the reason for the shimmering, whitish hue of the lagoon and the driving force behind the spot’s famed healing powers. From our time spent in Iceland and feedback gathered from our travel network here is our Top 10 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Iceland… Gullfoss Waterfall – one of the most famously stunning places to visit in Iceland. Borgarnes may just look like a small dash of whitewashed timber in its position sandwiched between the coastal plains, the rising peaks of the Hafnarfjall massif and the waters of the Borgarfjordur a little north out of Reykjavik. If you want to take in the variety of Icelandic landscapes in one day, head north and slightly west of Reykjavik and pay a visit to Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The Volcano House in Reykjavik. I would recommend planning it into your itinerary the day you arrive or the day you’re leaving, giving its proximity to the airport. Reykjavik is an extraordinary city, and probably the only place to actually qualify as a city in Iceland. The rainy weather in Iceland makes the country unusually suited for waterfalls and Iceland … The capital city Reykjavik is the largest city of Iceland and offers a lot of interesting things to do and see for its visitors. Off-the-beaten-track and often overlooked for the southern region’s bigger pulls – the Gullfoss Waterfall and the Golden Circle – Skalholt can be found sat on the rolling fields just on the edge of the Hvita River. Closer to sea level, you’ll find Reynisfjara — the black sand beach that has made Vík a tourist hotspot. You’ve probably already heard of this region as it’s the park where you’ll find Silfra Fissure, Gulfoss, Geysir, Öxarárfoss, abandoned farm ruins, and fields of lava rock. A symphony of volcanic ridges and continental cracks, carved canyons and the flowing cataracts of the mighty Oxara River, the Thingvellir National Park is arguably the most beautiful natural enclave in all of Iceland. You’ll need a 4x4 vehicle to navigate this area no matter when you’re visiting. But where there is infinite opportunity, there is an overwhelming number of potential itineraries. Boasting a truly dramatic location on the small islets and finger-like peninsulas that linger in the Atlantic waters off the Hornafjordur, little Hofn is a prime example of a southern Icelandic fishing town. Also note that it can get quite windy, so dress in layers and aim to visit midday for the warmest temperature. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Reykjavik. The BEST Hotel in Miðborg, Reykjavik → Rey Apartments #14 – Laugardalur, Reykjavik Awesome place to visit in Iceland … Pair a hike along Laugavegur to compliment your hot spring soak. It’s famed as one of the most dramatic cataracts in the world, and cascades over a series of stepped rocks and terraces before plunging over the 32-meter high crevice that gives the fall its distinct appearance of disappearing into the Icelandic subterrane. Every single one is worth its own visit. Any Iceland tourist guide will tell you that you absolutely must spend some time in the capital city of Reykjavik. Explore the field behind the church for a handful of hiking trails. Whichever town you choose to visit, just remember to treat it with respect and the warm-hearted locals will make sure that you feel at home. Despite its humble 18,000 people, this fishing port and seaside gem of a city on the edges of the Eyjafjordur makes some serious waves. Jagged and jutting like fingers of rock and stone into the icy rollers of the Greenland Sea, the various tendrils of the Westfjords peninsula are surely amongst the most startling and worthy natural wonders in all of Iceland. We have reviews of the best places to see in Iceland. There are a few places in Reykjavik … Most Icelandic municipalities consist of several cities or towns. That means travelers can expect an array of shopping opportunities and the likes of the Settlement Centre Museum, which chronicles the earliest days of Borgarnes, all alongside the more obvious draws of the surroundings: coastal hiking; whale spotting; those indelible hot springs! Yes sir, Akureyri really is worth the visit! Most will know this region as the area you’ll fly in and out of — it’s home to Keflavik International Airport. This should be considered an important stop along your northern road trip, but doesn’t have to serve as an overnight destination. 10 Best Places to Visit in Iceland. The small and sleepy fishing town of Grundarfjordur makes its home on the ice-caked edge of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, where some of West Iceland’s most curious coastal formations edge their way up to the waters of the Greenland Sea. That being said, plan your trip to the Westfjords during the summertime for the best chances at seeing as much as possible. 10 Amazing National Parks and Nature Reserves in Iceland. Head to the north and you’ll find Mývatn, a volcanic lake surrounded by scenic villages and hot springs. But first, a bit of knowledge around how the country is split up. Like most major cities, it’s hard to see the night sky within Reykjavik. A deep-cut valley set in the very midst of south-western Iceland’s famous Fjallabak Nature Reserve, the Landmannalaugar is a hidden gem of a destination that comes complete with everything from bubbling volcanic hot springs to ochre-coloured mountain ridges. 8 Best Places … In this post, rather than bore you with places everyone else is talking about, we’ll explore some of the best ‘off-the-beaten-path’ and unique places to visit in Iceland. Its charming downtown of painted timber homes is watched over by the soaring and unforgettable needle-like spire of the Hallgrimskirkja – now a veritable icon of the Icelandic city – while oodles of hearty Scandinavian vodka bars and taverns coalesce between the streets. Find what to do today, this weekend or in January. Half a mile away from the capital city Reykjavik are the islands of Akurey and Lundey which are known for their gorgeous and cuddly puffin colonies. Volcano House is a geological museum where you can learn about the varying volcanic mountains and landscapes of Iceland. If you find yourself with more than a week of time, start piecing together regions for the ultimate road trip. Our Favorite Places to Stay in Miðborg, Reykjavik. Things to See: Dynjandi waterfall, meet some puffins at Flatey Island, go kayaking in Vigur, walk up to the gravity-defying cliff of Hornbjarg, check out the northernmost glacier of Drangajökull, get a lesson in local folklore at the Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft, and visit the shipwreck at Mjóifjörður. In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. It developed as an important Icelandic port and fishing center. Serving as a crucial port city and a central fishing town, the town of Akureyri is also popularly known as the Capital of North Iceland. 10 Most Amazing Volcanoes in Iceland. In all, the sheer-sided edges of the canyon run for more than three kilometers and come in at a whopping 100 meters in height at some points. Here, we take a look at 15 of the top spots that every traveler to this Scandinavian island should have on the menu (along with the uber-fresh fish of course!). Read on and plan that trip. Its centre is packed to the brim with interesting independent cafes and teahouses, while the Hafnarstraeti shopping street offers up countless boutiques and craft stores. Here are 10 places that are well worth checking out on your next journey to the Land of Fire and Ice. Sea kayaking, cliff walking and hitting the shimmering sands of Raudasandur are also all favourites. Look up the abandoned farm ruins and plan a quick hike to take in the sights — chances are you’ll have the area to yourself. It’s thought the lake popped into existence following a volcanic eruption more than two millennia ago, and today it’s much-loved by bird watchers, hikers and adventure seekers alike. Visitors to the lagoon can also enjoy in-water massages, guided tours of the curious geothermal area and luxury lounge facilities besides. The relatively mild climate and ice-free harbor of Akureyri … Time Commitment: Plan to spend the better part of a day here. Lets explore the best places to visit in Iceland: Bubbling and steaming between the rocky promontories of the Reykjanes Peninsula some 40 kilometers from the island’s capital at Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon hails in as one of Iceland’s most visited tourist attractions. Time Commitment: Many of the hikes in this region require guides and multiple days of walking to fully experience. The piece de resistance of the area has to be the Brennisteinsalda peak though; a medley of obsidian lava sheets and iron-coloured, sulphur-spotted ridges which is viewable from the trail. Located right on the coastline, Reykjavik is thought to be the first permanent settlement in Iceland. While you can drive the Golden Circle — an in-park road that will bring you past all of the main natural attractions — in an hour or so, you’ll want to pack a picnic and explore the various hiking trails throughout the area. On a guided Westman Islands Volcano Tour, you will be driven from Reykjavík and through Iceland's southern shores where you will visit … Time Commitment: You can spend an afternoon driving around this area — but the amount of time you should dedicate to the area depends on how long you want to stay at the Blue Lagoon. Crowned by the seemingly endless ice fields of its eponymous glacier (the largest on the continent outside of the Arctic Circle), the Vatnajokull National Park makes its home over more than 13,000 square kilometers of south-east and central Iceland. Things to See: Budirkirkja, a quaint church along the coast that’s been painted black; Vatnshellir, a cave system created from volcanic activity; Djúpalón, a beach with boat ruins and black sand; Kirkujufell, a mountain that looks like a church steeple from one side with neighboring waterfalls; Stykkisholmur, a town full of intriguing museums and a stunning hike to a lighthouse; and Saxholl, a volcanic crater you can climb to the top of. Time Commitment: Driving in an out of the fjords takes time. Lakagigar, or “The Laki Craters,” is exactly what it sounds like: a valley full of volcanic craters. This way you’ll get the best views of the outstanding and beautiful Icelandic landscapes. It’s an easy drive from Reykjavik — around two hours without stops. The iconic landmark of Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Church … She's also a product reviewer who's tested out everything from airplane pillows to travel adapters for TripSavvy. Guided hiking is uber-popular here, with spots like the Fimmvorduhals pass and the ridges of Eyjafjallajokull both offering daring getaways. A lot of questions here, too many to answer all. Let’s get started! Of the two Akurey is more famous as … But there’s a lot more to this region, including an even better viewing point of the Silfra Fissure than what you can see in Thingvellir National Park. Not only is it easily accessible from Reykjavik, but also comes complete with totemic sites like the Silfra fissure and the Peningagja pool, a rift lake that glimmers with coins dating back more than 100 years. It’s known for its otherworldly appearance, as verdant peaks poke their way out above the ice-carved valleys, metamorphic creations crowd above the crevasses and quick sand pools lurk on the edges of Solheimajokul – one of the most striking offshoots of the Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Either way, the hike can get steep, so make use of the ropes that have been installed for support. Being one of the most remote regions of Iceland, you could drive here for hours and not see any form of civilization – just nature at its best. Time Commitment: Take an afternoon to spend exploring the Mývatn area and longer if you’re paying a visit to the local hot spring. Some of them will only take an afternoon to experience in full, others beg for a long weekend — or longer. Thingvellir is also a hiker’s dream-come-true, boasting rugged cliff walks and mountain climbs, while history and culture buffs will love uncovering the remains of the country’s first Viking age parliament – established here in 930. From a town topped with a charming church to the best hot springs in the north. … Everything You Need to Know About Driving Iceland's Ring Road, Landmannalaugar: The Complete Guide to Iceland's Central Highlands, The 10 Best Things to Do in Iceland During the Winter, Iceland's Golden Circle: The Complete Guide, Everything to Know About Iceland's Snaefellsjokull National Park, These Are the Best Blue Lagoon Tours in Iceland, The Complete Guide to Skaftafell National Park, Thingvellir National Park: The Complete Guide, Iceland's Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach: The Complete Guide, How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. For nightlife, don’t miss Prikid, which plays local and international hip hop all night long; Snaps Bistro for a killer gin and tonic; Hurra for local music; and Kiki for an incredibly friendly queer scene. It’s a quick 40-minute drive from Reykjavik and there are a ton of tour buses that will take you there. Take a full week and explore the Central Highlands — you won’t regret it. In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. Time Commitment: You can easily spend an entire weekend driving around this peninsula. The town is located just behind a mountain range, which can make it a little tricky to visit during the winter months, but it’s one of the more populated towns along the route. The total … Where to Stay in Iceland: Best Places & Hotels. 9 Best Day Trips from Reykjavik. Despite its volcanic nature, the site is actually very young; formed from the leftover plugholes of a geothermal power plant in the 1970s. Things to See: If you’ve only got three days, here’s what you absolutely have to see, do, and eat: Grab breakfast at Bergsson Mathus, check out the Phallological Museum (yes, you read that right), catch a choir practice at Hallgrimskirkja, take a walk along the harbor overlooking Mount Esja, get a history lesson at the National Museum of Iceland, shop locally along Laugavegur (don’t miss Hrím Hönnunarhús for some souvenirs that will double as home decor), and taste a modern twist on traditional ingredients during dinner at ROK. Of knowledge around how the country ’ s not to be the most dramatic region of Iceland out! The most dramatic region of Iceland tourist attractions to hike to See the actual falls of! Being said, plan to spend the better part of a day here city in Iceland best. Charming church to the Westfjords during the summertime for the warmest temperature worth checking out on your next journey the. The other waterfalls, it ’ s shopping, incredible food, lively bars and... 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