top 20 sights of island
Iceland is a country filled with natural beauty and unique landscapes. From glaciers and waterfalls to hot springs and volcanoes, there’s something for everyone to see and explore. Here are the top 20 sights to visit while in Iceland:
The Blue Lagoon
Located in the southwest of Iceland, this geothermal spa is one of the country’s most popular attractions. The milky blue water is rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, which are believed to have healing properties. Visitors can relax in the warm waters and take in the surrounding volcanic landscape. The Blue Lagoon also offers spa treatments like massages and facials, as well as a restaurant serving up delicious Icelandic cuisine.
The Golden Circle
This popular tourist route is a 300-kilometer loop that includes three of Iceland’s most famous sights: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss waterfall. At Þingvellir, visitors can explore a unique geological formation known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geysir is home to the famous Strokkur geyser, which erupts every 5-10 minutes. And Gullfoss is a stunning waterfall with a two-tiered drop that plunges 32 meters into a canyon.
Covering an area of 8,100 square kilometers, Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe. It’s an awe-inspiring sight and a must-visit destination for adventurers. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the ice caves and tunnels within the glacier, which are constantly changing due to the movement of the ice.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Located on the southeast coast of Iceland, Jökulsárlón is a stunning glacial lake filled with icebergs that have broken off from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier. Visitors can take boat tours to get up close to the icebergs and see the resident seals that call the lagoon home.
Iceland’s capital city is a vibrant and colorful place to explore. Highlights include the Harpa concert hall, with its striking glass façade, and the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church, which offers panoramic views of the city. The city is also home to a range of museums, galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious Icelandic cuisine.
Located in the south of Iceland, Seljalandsfoss is a picturesque waterfall that drops 60 meters into a pool below. What makes it unique is that visitors can walk behind the waterfall and get a unique perspective of the cascading water.
Another must-see waterfall in Iceland, Skógafoss is known for its impressive height (60 meters) and the stunning rainbow views that can be seen on sunny days. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the waterfall for even more spectacular views.
Hverir Geothermal Area
Located near the famous Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland, Hverir is an otherworldly landscape filled with bubbling mud pools, steaming vents, and colorful mineral deposits. Visitors can take a walk around the geothermal area to experience the unique sights, sounds, and smells of this volcanic wonderland.
Skaftafell National Park
Located in southeastern Iceland, Skaftafell is a beautiful national park filled with hiking trails, glaciers, and waterfalls. Visitors can take guided glacier hikes or ice climbing tours, or explore the park’s many trails on their own.
Iceland’s second-largest city, Akureyri is located in the north of the country and is known for its charming streets, beautiful botanical garden, and whale watching tours. The city is also home to a range of museums, galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious Icelandic cuisine.
Located in the northeast of Iceland, Dettifoss is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. The waterfall drops 44 meters and has an impressive flow rate of 193 cubic meters per second. Visitors can take a short hike to see the falls up close and feel the mist on their faces.
This volcanic caldera is located in the remote central highlands of Iceland and is a unique natural wonder. Visitors can hike to the caldera to see its stunning turquoise lake and the surrounding volcanic landscape. The area is also home to Víti, a geothermal crater lake that is popular for swimming.
This remote region of Iceland is known for its rugged coastline, towering cliffs, and stunning fjords. Visitors can hike the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, go whale watching in the nearby waters, or simply take in the breathtaking views of the region’s untouched natural beauty.
Located in the southern highlands of Iceland, Landmannalaugar is a popular hiking destination and is known for its colorful rhyolite mountains, hot springs, and lava fields. Visitors can take a dip in the natural hot springs, explore the nearby hiking trails, or camp under the stars in this remote wilderness.
This charming fishing town on the north coast of Iceland is known as the “whale watching capital of Europe”. Visitors can take boat tours to see the resident whales and dolphins that inhabit the nearby waters, or visit the town’s many museums and galleries.
Located on the west coast of Iceland, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is known for its stunning landscapes, including the famous Kirkjufell mountain and the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Visitors can explore the region’s many hiking trails, take a dip in the local hot springs, or visit the quaint fishing villages that dot the coastline.
The Northern Lights
Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. Visitors can take guided tours to see the lights in all their glory, or simply venture out into the countryside on their own to catch a glimpse of this natural wonder.
Located in western Iceland, Hraunfossar is a series of small waterfalls that cascade over a lava field, creating a stunning visual display. Visitors can walk along the viewing platform to take in the unique sight of the waterfalls emerging from the lava rocks.
The East Fjords
This remote and rugged region of Iceland is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, picturesque fishing villages, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can hike the many trails in the region, go birdwatching, or simply take in the stunning views of the mountains and fjords.
The Diamond Circl
Similar to the Golden Circle, the Diamond Circle is a 260-kilometer loop that includes four of Iceland’s most impressive natural wonders: Dettifoss waterfall, Lake Mývatn, Ásbyrgi canyon, and Húsavík. Visitors can explore the unique geological formations, hike the many trails in the area, and take in the breathtaking views of this remote and beautiful part of Iceland.
No matter what your interests are, Iceland is a destination that’s sure to leave you