Top 7 Things To See In Iceland

top 7 things to see in Iceland

Often called the land of fire and ice, Iceland is a place of rugged landscapes, dramatic waterfalls and bubbling hot springs.

Wildlife is in abundance here with numerous tours to see whales, puffins, and dolphins. There also plenty of Icelandic horse riding trips available.

For those travellers who love to explore nature and photograph the great outdoors, Iceland will be just up your street.

Whether your exploring by car, foot or cruise, take a look at our top 7 things to do in Iceland below. 

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Top 7 Things To Do In Iceland

1. Explore The Golden Circle

This amazing day trip (which can be taken from Reykjavik) explores the awesome sights of the famous 'Golden Circle'. Some of the top spots include the Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir, and the Thingvellir National Park.

You can complete this tour in just one day which makes it a great option for cruise goers stopping in Reykjavik for a day or two. You can take a guided bus tour or even hire a car and drive the route yourself. It is a popular tourist route but if you visit at the right time you can enjoy the amazing landscapes with few people around.

top 7 things to see in Iceland - golden circle

2. View The Northern Lights

One of the top reasons that visitors come to Iceland is to see the amazing natural light show - the aurora borealis - also known as the Northern Lights.

Because they are weather dependent, the lights are not always visible, so please must keep this in mind during your visit. The best conditions for aurora viewing are dark, clear nights and in a remote location away from light pollution. You can either take a Northern Lights tour in which your guide will take you to the most likely places for viewing, or you can take a drive and hunt for the lights on your own. 

3. Visit Jökulsárlón

Also known as the Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach, Jökulsárlón is a Glacier fed lake that meets Diamond Beach in Southern Iceland. Jökulsárlón contains some of the oldest icebergs in the country with many of them being over 1,000 years old.

The chunks of ice float serenely on the lagoon and lay on the beach glistening in the sun like diamonds. From Reykjavik, Jökulsárlón is around five hours drive and around two and a half hours from Vik.  You can visit all year round, but beware that driving can be a bit tricky during the winter and certain roads may be closed.

top 7 things to see in Iceland - Jökulsárlón

4. Visit A Black Sand Beach

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in Vik is another natural beauty to behold in Iceland. The surrounding cliffs end in magnificent hexagonal-shaped basalt columns at the bottom giving the area a unique allure.

The beach was formed by lava cooling quickly as it met the sea, creating the rough pebbles that have been shaped through time in the tide. When exploring the beach, you must be aware of sneaker waves. Although the tide can appear low, there are some waves that break higher up the beach pulling unwitting bystanders back with it. 

5. Go Ice Caving

Ice caves are a natural phenomena in Iceland that are formed in glaciers during the winter time. They are usually formed by water running through or under the glacier and, in fact, new caves are actually created each year.

There are two different caves that are the most popular to visit, a naturally formed cave in Vatnajökull glacier and a man-made cave in Langjökull glacier. Tours are the best and safest way to do this see the caves.  

6. Take A Whale Watching Tour

There are some amazing places close to Reykjavik to see some incredible marine life. Four different species can be seen here on a regular basis including harbour porpoises, white-beaked dolphins, Minke Whales and Humpback Whales.

If you are really lucky you may even see orcas, pilot whales, and perhaps Basking Sharks. Tours are regular at all times of year but what species you see really depends on the season and weather. 

top 7 things to see in Iceland - ice caving

7. Explore Reykjavik

The capital city of Iceland is an interesting and charming place to explore. There are so many different museums to see and the modern architecture is simply breathtaking.

The towering, iconic church of Hallgrimskirkja is a real highlights, as is the Harpa Concert Hall. Reykjavik is a charming and quirky place to explore on foot and should not be missed when visiting Iceland.

For more information, please read our page on the top things to see in Reykjavik here.  


If you have any queries or questions regarding the top 7 things to do in Iceland, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Thank you and happy travels!

Expedition Cruise Team

About the Author Burnham Arlidge

Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has cruised to some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet.

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