Iceland is a pretty cool place and not just in the temperate sense… *ba-dum-ching* 馃槈

…cheesy (and terrible) dad jokes aside, Iceland聽is one of the best places to discover an unspoilt nature and breathtaking beauty that is unrivalled across the world!

11 Dramatic Experiences You Must Have In Iceland (14)

Any trip to Iceland is almost always going to be exciting… where else can you visit a country that has some of the world’s prettiest landscapes, stunning waterfalls, geothermal pools, the northern lights and, to top it all off, is聽being pulled聽apart constantly by the earth’s tectonic plates! *Gulp*

11 First Time Experiences You Should have in Iceland (1)

When planning a trip to Iceland, the biggest challenge can be where, how and why you should visit certain places and with a country filled with amazing experiences, I found it hard to whittle these down into one trip. That’s why I’ve decided to share the very best spots (with the help of my little doodle)聽that should be included on every first timers visit to this stunning country. Take a look at some of the very best sights Iceland has to offer below!

11 First Time Experiences You Should have in Iceland (2)

1.) See the black beaches of V铆k 铆 M媒rdal

11 Dramatic Experiences You Must Have In Iceland (37)

11 Dramatic Experiences You Must Have In Iceland (10)

Vik, is one of Iceland’s most southerly villages and a great place to discover one of the beautiful volcanic black beaches that shape this beautiful country. Make sure to pack a jacket, as those arctic winds can bring along a chill!

2.) Bathe in the Blue Lagoon

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The Blue Lagoon needs little introduction! These geothermal heated pools are a popular destination for visitors to Iceland.聽Don’t forget to use some of the silica on your body whilst you’re in the lagoon… dollop it on and give yourself a little spa treatment of your own!

Take a look at some of our tips for visiting聽the best natural sights in Iceland, here.聽

3.) Discover delicious grub and live bands in Reykjavik

Even if you don’t decide to stay in Reykavik, every first time visitor should consider at least a half a day trip to Iceland’s capital city. With its a multitude of delicious restaurants, an opera house and its iconic church – the city is far from sleepy… especially on a Friday night when many Icelandic bands play live in the bars!

Take a look at some of the best spots for some delicious grub, right here.聽

4.) Jump in an icy lake at Laugarvatn Fontana

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If the Blue Lagoon isn’t for you but you still want a geothermal experience, make sure to stop at Laugarvatn Fontana – where the natural geo-thermal activity heats the many pools and steam rooms. If you’re brave enough (like Yaya was), take a plunge into the icy lake just after your warm relaxing bath – that’s the Icelandic way! *Brrrrr*! 馃槈

Also, save your appetite for some of the moorish聽bread that they cook in the hot ground around the lake, it’s delicious!

See more on our time in Fontana, how to get there and taking a dip in the freezing lake, here.聽

5.) See a geyser erupt!

Strokkur is one of Iceland’s famous geysers – erupting every 8 minutes or so, it’s well worth a watch! Just remember not to stand too close!聽

6.) Discover the waterfall of Gullfoss

Iceland Travel Reykjavik Keflavik Waterfall Gulfoss Northern Lights Blue Lagoon Spa Geysir Geyser (17)

Gulfoss waterfall is a mere 15 minutes or so from Strokkur and can be combined quite easily on a tour of the ‘Golden Circle’. Make sure to wear some sensible shoes, especially if it’s snowing… the paths can get quite precarious close to the edge of the waterfall.

7.) Spot a rainbow at Sk贸gafoss

This epic waterfall is a towering force of nature and well worth a visit. On particularly sunny days, you might even see one of the waterfall’s famous rainbows that fill the cove!

8.) Walk behind Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is one of my favourite waterfalls to see, mainly because you can walk behind it! Around 30 minutes west of聽Sk贸gafoss it’s a must-see sight on your journey further east.

9.) See the Northern Lights at Hotel Laki

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This was one of our favourite places to catch up on some sleep聽in Iceland, not just because of its remote setting but because it offers so many amazing opportunities聽to see the Northern Lights. The lights are brightest in Spring and Autumn… and don’t worry if you think you’ll miss it – the hotel staff will wake you up at the first sight of them overhead!

Read more on our stay at Hotel Laki at seeing the Northern Lights, here.

10.) See some icebergs at J枚kuls谩rl贸n

The Unexpected Glacier, Iceland (14)

This huge glacial lake is filled with icebergs galore! It’s a great way to see the unspoilt beauty of glaciers in Iceland… oh, don’t forget to grab a hot chocolate from the cute little cafe right beside it!

11.) Spot some whales聽in the open ocean

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Here Is How To See Whales (And Dolphins) In Iceland! Whale watching in Reykjavik (38) (38)
Sighting some whales in the wild is a magical experience and one that’s made even better聽by the abundance of other sea-bearing animals that call these waters home. Just make sure to plan ahead and think of a contingency, as the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, tours can聽get re-arranged or cancelled at a moment’s notice.

Read more to plan your whale watching tour聽in our blog post, here.

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See all of our Iceland posts, right here…

…and always, if you’ve any questions about planning your trip just drop us a question below – we’re always happy to help! 馃檪

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  • What a great roundup for a first timers trip to Iceland. I always recommend the south coast as well, it is full of so many gems to discover:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Kaelene – you’re so right! Hopefully we’ll be back in Iceland soon… we might be asking some tips from you…. if that’s okay? 馃檪

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Thank you for this post! My boyfriend has been mentioning that our next trip should be to iceland and this may get the ball rolling =o) Quick question: what month or time would you recommend going to iceland?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      That’s amazing! You’ll both LOVE Iceland! Okay, so we like to visit Iceland in March or September time – the days are pretty long in these months and the Northern Lights are strongest. We would personally avoid winter just because it’s not light for that many hours… Hope that helps 馃檪

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Danielle Theriault

    Looks amazing! I can’t wait to visit Iceland in the future. Saving up my pennies so we can have a once in a lifetime trip! 馃檪

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Danielle – honestly you’ll love your trip! Pop us a little message when you do decide to go.. happy to help with any tips/advice in any way we can.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • The map is so cute! And as ever, I love your photos. I went to Iceland a couple of years ago but felt very rushed and didn’t really see the Northern Lights so I’d love to go again. Or maybe I’ll visit Norway instead 馃檪

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Emmie! 馃檪

      That’s the hardest thing about Iceland I think.. .there’s never enough time but you’re so right, it’s a great excuse for another trip!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • NEED to go to Iceland. Very helpful map:-)

    • Same!

      • HandLuggageOnly

        Take us back with you Maxime 馃槈

        Lloyd & Yaya xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Yvonne – It’s such an incredible country to explore! 馃檪

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Don’t mind me, just dreaming away of Iceland…
    Saved this blogpost to my ‘travel inspiration’ collection on Bloglovin, hopefully it will come in useful soon!

    Maxime |

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Honestly, you’ll love Iceland Maxime, it’s such an incredible country to explore!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Wow your photos are incredible! Iceland is high up on my bucket list of places to visit and this map will definitely come in useful when I finally make it there 馃檪 xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Matilda – that’s so kind of you to say! 馃檪

      Iceland is such a beautiful country! Do let us know if you organise a trip… happy to help with as much info/advice as possible.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Amber Holyoake

    I desperately want to go to Iceland! It’s such a long way from Australia but I’ll make it there eventually.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’ll love it Amber – you should definitely include it on your next trip to Europe… even if for a short weekend.

      Do let us know if you decide to visit… happy to help with advice etc.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Amber Holyoake

        Thanks, will do! 馃檪

  • What amazing adventures! That map is so helpful. I’ve heard a lot about so many different places to visit in Iceland but they all start to blur together. The Blue Lagoon is at the top of my Iceland list!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Rachel! Iceland is incredible isn’t it. You’ll love the Blue Lagoon! 馃檪

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Sabrina Brett

    Great Post! What month did you visit Iceland?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Sabrina 馃檪

      We visited in March (but we’ve also visited in October). Both were really great times to go for the Northern Lights and relatively good daylight hours.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Ashley Prince

        Love this post! How was Iceland in October? That’s when I’m going and I’m afraid its too far away from the “on” season to be able to do everything I want to.

        • HandLuggageOnly

          It’s actually a great time to go. We visited in early October (so the days are a little longer) but it still gets dark to see the Northern Lights. You’re going to have the best time!

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