Iceland is a pretty cool place and not just in the temperate sense… *ba-dum-ching* 😉
…cheesy (and terrible) dad jokes aside, Iceland is one of the best places to discover unspoilt nature and breathtaking beauty that is unrivalled across the world!
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 being pulled apart constantly by the earth’s tectonic plates! *Gulp*
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) 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!
1.) See the black beaches of Vík í Mýrdal
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
The Blue Lagoon needs little introduction! These geothermal heated pools are a popular destination for visitors to Iceland. 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!
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!
4.) Jump in an icy lake at Laugarvatn Fontana
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*! 😉
Also, save your appetite for some of the moorish bread that they cook in the hot ground around the lake, it’s delicious!
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!
6.) Discover the waterfall of Gullfoss
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 Skógafoss
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 Skógafoss it’s a must-see sight on your journey further east.
9.) See the Northern Lights at Hotel Laki
This was one of our favourite places to catch up on some sleep in Iceland, not just because of its remote setting but because it offers so many amazing opportunities 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!
10.) See some icebergs at Jökulsárlón
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 in the open ocean
Sighting some whales in the wild is a magical experience and one that’s made even better 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 get re-arranged or cancelled at a moment’s notice.