10 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Iceland For An Unforgettable Adventure
Updated: Feb 2
In modern times, Iceland is consistently celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty, its diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes, and the untouched, preserved nature of the land.
It is for these reasons that Iceland remains a popular place for adventurers, tourists, and those wishing to escape the grind of daily life and immerse themselves in nature.
10. Gunnuhver Hot Springs
Iceland is somewhat famed for its, at times volatile landscape, acting as home to countless volcanoes and hot springs.
The largest hot springs in Iceland are the Gunnuhver springs, perhaps some of the most unique sights in Iceland.
Located at the southernmost point of the Reykjanes peninsula, the Gunnuhver hot springs are named after a suspected witch, a woman known as ‘Gunna’, who supposedly cursed the people of the peninsula after her untimely death from starvation.
9. Hengifoss Waterfall
One of the highest waterfalls in Iceland, Hengifoss has a 128m drop into the magnificent gorge below.
If the beauty of the waterfall wasn’t enough, the hollowed-out basin where the water cascades down has been tinged with the colors of the various volcanic eruptions that occurred in the Tertiary Period when Iceland was formed.
8. Diamond Beach
While one might not immediately associate Iceland with beaches, the island has many - although they might not be suitable for sunbathing.
Diamond beach is an especially famous beach, thanks to its volcanic black sand, and the beached shards of ice crystal that give the beach its name.
Known as Breidamerkursandur in the Icelandic tongue, the ice travels to the beach from the tip of the Breidamerkurjokull glacier, the largest in Europe.
7. Gljufrafoss Waterfall
A small waterfall on Iceland’s southwest point, Gljufrafoss is a breathtaking visual sight surrounded by a tight cave system.
As the water cascades down into the caves, hikers can traverse the tunnels and walkways, experiencing the beauty and might of the structure firsthand.
There are also additional wooden walkways and staircases, allowing those brave enough to climb higher up and view this natural phenomenon from an entirely different perspective.
6. Silfra Rift
Silfra is the name of a naturally formed rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, located in the Thingvallavatn valley.
Spring-fed with groundwater, the fascinating rift allows tourists to scuba dive and snorkel around the area, drawn by the clear water and near-constant visibility from end to end.
This truly is a unique and amazing experience and allows those brave enough to view this naturally occurring phenomenon up close and personal.
5. Strokkur Geyser
Located near the Hvita river in the southwestern part of Iceland, Strokkur is the most visited geyser in Iceland and is one of the largest examples of fountain-type geysers, capable of erupting up to 130 feet in some instances.
Nestled on the geothermal plains of the Haukadalur valley, Strokkur erupts every 6-10 minutes, so it is a near certainty that you will get to witness this awesome natural phenomenon in person.
While there, why not check out the numerous mud pools, geothermal vents (or furmeroles), and the other geysers scattered throughout this volatile yet beautiful region?
4. Hvitserkur Cliff
Known locally as the ‘dragon of Iceland’, Hvitserkur is an unusual natural basalt stack formation, which resides on the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula of northwestern Iceland.
Resembling a dragon drinking from the water, the distinctive erosion patterns have made it a famed landmark and powerful source of folklore in the local region, with tourists coming from miles around to visit and see the ‘dragon’ with their own eyes.
The region known as Westfjords is an impressive, sprawling peninsula in the northwestern part of Iceland, home to vast plains, mountains, hills, and coastal areas.
Lying on the Denmark Strait, Westfjords are home to many species of wildlife, including puffins, which can be found in and around Latrabjarg, and is a great place to hike, explore, spot wildlife, and take in the staggering natural beauty of the scenery.
2. Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull national park is the home of the world-famous glacier. In fact, the name ‘Vatnajokull’ literally means ‘Glacier of Lakes’, and as the largest glacier in Iceland, the name is certainly fitting.
Located in the southwestern part of Iceland, and amassing nearly 8% of the entire country’s landmass, Vatnajokull glacier is not only a feat of natural beauty, but a testament to the sheer diversity that the country has to offer, but also a great place for exploring.
You will be taken in by the staggering beauty of Vatnajokull, but also tinged with sadness, as the literal effects of climate change can be seen, and indeed heard, throughout this region, as the colossal glacial walls crack, shift, and groan under the weight of rising water temperatures.
1. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Translated to ‘Glacial River Lagoon’, Jokulsarlon is a glacial lake in the southern part of Vatnajokull.
Home to seals, puffins, and arctic seabirds (such as Arctic terns and skua), the area is rich in fish and other forms of food, which make it a thriving natural habitat for the species who call it their home.
The site of several films over the years, including the James Bond films View To A Kill and Die Another Day, as well as the Christopher Nolan favorite Batman Begins, the region is one of beauty, awe, as well as tragedy, as the ongoing effects of climate change continually cause the nearby glaciers to recede, the waters to expand and warm up, and the future of the wildlife of the region to become evermore uncertain.
And there we are, the 10 most beautiful places to visit on your Icelandic adventure.
The one thing that is clear is the sheer beauty of the country’s landscapes, and the diversity of sights, sounds, and experiences the land has to offer.
Why not pay it a visit and see for yourself?
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