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. Lakagigar, or “The Laki Craters,” is exactly what it sounds like: a valley full of volcanic craters. 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. This region of Iceland is incredibly tricky to visit during the winter, as the roads aren’t maintained like the main routes and can often be overrun with snow and ice. Our Favorite Places to Stay in Miðborg, Reykjavik. 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. 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. Park in the lot for the Glacier Lagoon and hop over the sand dunes to take in the calm scene of icebergs of all sizes sitting peacefully in the water. Hiking trails surround the entire region, while a campsite right in the middle of the Landmannalaugar and a separate mountain hut offer outdoorsy types the base point they need for hitting the famous Laugavegur trail. Mývatn Nature Baths are a must stop, especially if you find yourself with weary driving legs. 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 … 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. Before venturing into the Icelandic countryside to see actual volcanic sites, why not take some time to learn about volcanoes in the capital city?Located right by the old harbour in the Reykjavik city centre, the small Volcano House museum feature exhibitions on Iceland… 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. 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. 9 Best Day Trips from Reykjavik. 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. This area can be difficult to reach during the winter months, given that road closures can last weeks during particularly heavy bouts of snowfall. The relatively mild climate and ice-free harbor of Akureyri … If you’re looking for more movement, head across the street to the Diamond Beach, another black sand beach that happens to be the landing point for many glacier pieces tumbling through the water. Explore the field behind the church for a handful of hiking trails. Akureyri, a small city and the second most populous urban area in Iceland, is a tourist hotspot. Most Icelandic municipalities consist of several cities or towns. 10 Must-See Natural Attractions in Iceland Posted on June 18, 2013 October 8, 2020 Author: Angela Ayles Situated at the edge of the famous Arctic Circle and located in one of the most active volcano spots in the whole world, Iceland … It’s an easy drive from Reykjavik — around two hours without stops. A number of … Things to See: Although chock full of tourists, Gullfoss, Silfra Fissure, and Geysir are all worth a visit. The iconic landmark of Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Church … 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. 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. 10 Amazing National Parks and Nature Reserves 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. Botnsdalur valley, Þvottahellir cave, Botnsa River and the Hvalfell Mountain. 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!). 10 Best Places to Visit in Iceland. Places To Visit In Akureyri: Akureyrarkirkja, Art … 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. Vík is the perfect stopping point if you’re traveling from Reykjavik along the south to Jökulsárlón. The black beach, one of the most iconic places to visit in 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. If you want to see waterfalls, caves, lava fields, and streams all in one day, drive an hour north-east of Reykjavik toward Glymur Waterfall. This should be considered an important stop along your northern road trip, but doesn’t have to serve as an overnight destination. 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! On that note, it is often easiest to pick one region — depending on how much time you’re going to spend on the trip — and stick with it for the duration of your trip. Take a full week and explore the Central Highlands — you won’t regret it. Reykjavik is a beautifully colourful seaside town with tons of charm. Time Commitment: Take an afternoon to spend exploring the Mývatn area and longer if you’re paying a visit to the local hot spring. 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. Thorsmork is another trail you’ve probably seen on Instagram — its dramatic views show off some of Iceland’s most interest geology. 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. 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. Photo from Westman Islands Flightseeing Tour | South Coast Departure. This snow-packed field encompasses hundreds of square kilometers and represents the fourth-largest of its kind in the country. Read on and plan that trip. But where there is infinite opportunity, there is an overwhelming number of potential itineraries. You will see more tourists during the warmer months, but it rises above the risk of getting stuck in the wilderness during a snowstorm. Time Commitment: It’s best to plan at least three days over the weekend in Reykjavik. There’s a robust cultural scene, from the concerts at Harpa to the Design March in the spring, and there are more restaurants than you could experience in six months straight in the city. Technically, you could cover all of this in a day, but it’s even better when you can spend some time stopping off at scenic overlooks. 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. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Reykjavik. Sea kayaking, cliff walking and hitting the shimmering sands of Raudasandur are also all favourites. 10 Most Amazing Volcanoes in Iceland. Visitors will find the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall roaring over the escarpments and bluffs of south-western Iceland. She's also a product reviewer who's tested out everything from airplane pillows to travel adapters for TripSavvy. Head to the north and you’ll find Mývatn, a volcanic lake surrounded by scenic villages and hot springs. You’ll find this scenic town about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital city; the exact halfway mark along the southern part of the Ring Road (a route that circles the entire country). Top attractions in the area include the Namaskard mud pools, the black lava monoliths of Dimmuborgir, hike-able Vindbelgjarfjall at just over 500 meters above sea level and the sulphuric Myvatn Nature Baths (great if you don’t want the crowds of the Blue Lagoon!). From a town topped with a charming church to the best hot springs in the north. One will take you around the field itself, another will take you a bit deeper into the mountain range, and another system of trails will bring you to the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. 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. … A walker’s paradise, they come complete with spots like the Hornstrandir reserve, with its Arctic foxes and seal pods, and the Latrabjarg (Europe’s westernmost point if you don’t count the Azores). If you find yourself with more than a week of time, start piecing together regions for the ultimate road trip. If you’re looking to get some steps in, hike to the crest of the Hverfell Crater. 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! The waves can be quite aggressive here at times, so be careful. There’s shopping, incredible food, lively bars, and colorful homes waiting to be photographed. If you’re on your way along the the southern section of the Ring Road, you’ll reach Jökulsárlón two-and-a-half-hours after you drive through Vík. The Volcano House in Reykjavik. The spot is also shrouded in Norse legend; thought to have been created by the footfall of Odin’s mythic horse, Sleipnir. If you come to Reynisfjara during summer, don’t forget to hike up to the top of the mountain to … 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. 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. 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. This gorgeous city blends modern art and architecture with old world Icelandic charm for an unforgettable experience. 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! The city has been the capital since the nineteenth century when Iceland started to move towards autonomy from Denmark… Things to See: Glymur may be the main attraction, but you’ll see a ton of other attractions on the way. The BEST Hotel in Miðborg, Reykjavik → Rey Apartments #14 – Laugardalur, Reykjavik Awesome place to visit in Iceland … Most will know this region as the area you’ll fly in and out of — it’s home to Keflavik International Airport. Plan your trip around sunrise or sunset if you’re looking for a stunning set of photographs — it’ll also be less crowded during these times. At once sophisticated and quirky, hedonistic and happening, Reykjavik packs one hefty punch for the northernmost capital city on the planet. A lot of questions here, too many to answer all. 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. In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. Yes sir, Akureyri really is worth the visit! The rainy weather in Iceland makes the country unusually suited for waterfalls and Iceland … Time Commitment: Many of the hikes in this region require guides and multiple days of walking to fully experience. 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. Guided hiking is uber-popular here, with spots like the Fimmvorduhals pass and the ridges of Eyjafjallajokull both offering daring getaways. 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. Of the two Akurey is more famous as … If you want to experience everything this area has to offer, plan to spend at least three days here. One of the best ways to see Iceland is by hiking. Things to Do in Iceland, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 867,635 traveler reviews and photos of Iceland tourist attractions. Things to See: This area is all about the icebergs and nearby Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. Reykjavik is an extraordinary city, and probably the only place to actually qualify as a city in Iceland. If you want to see one of the most important spots for the original Parliament location, head to Öxarárfoss. Visit top-rated & must-see … In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. Also note that it can get quite windy, so dress in layers and aim to visit midday for the warmest temperature. 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!) This will take you off of the tourist trail and up close to some iconic Icelandic landscapes. 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. Caked in ice all year round, the soaring ridges of the mighty Katla caldera play host to Iceland’s wild and arctic Myrdalsjokull Glacier 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. If you’re even slightly interested in camping, this is the place to do it. 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. 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. There are a few places in Reykjavik … 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. The beauty of Reykjavik is that you could spend as much time here as you want without getting bored. Things to See: Blue Lagoon may be the most Instagrammed location in this area. Despite its volcanic nature, the site is actually very young; formed from the leftover plugholes of a geothermal power plant in the 1970s. 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. 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. This may be the most dramatic region of Iceland, with its sprawling cliffs and rural villages. This is also the spot where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates (the North American and Eurasian plates, to be specific) at the Silfra Fissure. 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. 8 Best Places … Here, you’ll find the iconic Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. Time Commitment: Set aside an entire afternoon to hike to and from Glymur Waterfall. On a guided Westman Islands Volcano Tour, you will be driven from Reykjavík and through Iceland's southern shores where you will visit … 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. Where to Stay in Iceland: Best Places & Hotels.