20 Coolest Things to Do in Iceland

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It is rare to visit a country where each attraction is more beautiful than the last, but that is exactly what Iceland offers.

The landscapes of Iceland are straight out of a fairytale, with spectacular waterfalls and bubbling hot springs that will leave you breathless.

Uncover hidden caves, get lost among dramatic canyons and marvel at surreal glaciers that seemingly go on forever.

Iceland has so many fantastic experiences, it’s hard to narrow it down.

Here are 20 of the coolest things to do in Iceland that you don’t want to miss.

1) Jökulsárlón

There are many beautiful places to visit in Iceland, but one of the most iconic is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

There are countless broken icebergs all along the coastline; the contrast between the black beach and the white icebergs in the distance is stunning.

The unique landscape at Jökulsárlón is truly a paradise for photographers.

2) Kirkjufell

Kirkufell Mountain, located near the northern coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, has been the filming location for many blockbuster movies, including Game of Thrones.

It’s arguably the most famous mountain in Iceland, and the cascading mini waterfalls and rolling countryside make it a beautiful place to visit.

3) Thórsmörk

A hiker’s paradise, Thórsmörk offers unparalleled panoramic views of the valley below from the top of the hill.

Hike between the valleys of Thórsmörk and Skógar and you’ll find incredible views of Eyjafjallajökull.

The hiking trails vary in difficulty but no matter which path you choose, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking scenery that simply cannot be missed while in Iceland.

4) Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the middle of a rift valley where the North American and Eurasian continental plates are slowly drifting apart (about 2 CM every year).

Known for its spectacular clear waters, Silfra is the only place you can dive or snorkel between two tectonic plates.

If you are a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones, you definitely don’t want to miss this stop!

5) Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss is one of the many beautiful waterfalls found in Iceland.

Seljalandsfoss is the only waterfall in Iceland where you can walk behind and observe it from a completely different perspective.

You’ll have to climb a bit in some spots so make sure you have appropriate footwear!

6) Landmannalaugar

It’s no secret that Landmannalaugar is one of Iceland’s crown jewels – a place full of stunning hiking trails, untouched natural beauty, dramatic colorful hills, and bubbling sulfur springs.

Anyone in good shape should be able to do the trails here and at the end, you’ll find a natural hot spring, so remember to bring your towel!

7) Gullfoss Waterfall

Located in the canyon of the Hvítá River, the massive Gullfoss Waterfall is an Icelandic treasure.

Only an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik along the Golden Circle, it’s one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions.

The sheer power of this waterfall is impressive, and you’ll see many colorful rainbows here.

8) Viti Crater

Among Iceland’s surreal landscapes is Viti Crater, a circular crater filled with emerald blue water, encircled by colorful mountains and geothermal fields.

Experience incredible views as you trek through the volcanic area as well as the nearby geothermal plant from its summit.

The crater is located within the Krafla caldera, just ten minutes away from Myvatn, making it a worthwhile spot to check out.

9) Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Reykjadalur means “Steam Valley” and this place truly lives up to its name.

This is the place to go if you want to relax in a natural hot spring in the middle of the mountains.

The beauty is not limited to the spring itself; hikers can enjoy a scenic 3 km walk filled with stunning turquoise water, green valleys, and geothermal hot spots.

10) Kolugljúfur Gorge & Waterfall

Unlike other things to see in Iceland, Kolugljúfur has a relatively low volume of tourists and that’s what makes it so special.

Being only a 20-minute detour off the Ring Road, the untouched beauty of the Kolugljúfur canyon is a sight that will leave you speechless.

And if that’s not enough, Kolugljúfur waterfalls is located just on the other side of the road.

11) Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Also known as “Iceland in Miniature”, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is an area famous for its spectacular scenery in western Iceland.

Stunning landscapes, impressive waterfalls, volcanic scenery, hot springs, and quaint fishing villages can be found on a day trip from Reykjavik.

12) Glaumbaer Farm

A low-key destination and less likely to be visited by most tourists, Glaumbær is a beautiful historic turf house site located in Skagafjörður in North Iceland.

Get a glimpse of how life was back in the 18th and 19th century in Iceland.

13) Geysir & Strokkur

Located in the Haukadalur valley, this geothermal area contains several famous geysers, including Geysir and Strokkur.

Strokkur is very active and often erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, but the Great Geysir doesn’t erupt very frequently anymore.

14) Dettifoss and Selfoss Waterfall

One of Iceland’s most iconic sights, Dettifoss waterfall, displays the power of nature in all its glory.

At an impressive 100 meters wide and 45 meters tall, it’s the largest waterfall in Europe and truly represents nature at its most magnificent.

Selfoss is another waterfall in Iceland about 1 km from the majestic Dettifoss. In comparison, it’s only 10 meters in height but you’ll see some incredible rainbows here.

15) Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a stunning canyon in southeast Iceland, stretching 2 kilometers long and 100 meters deep.

Beautiful waterfalls can be found within the deep canyon and the path along it offers incredible views.

16) Grjótagjá

Located near Lake Myvatn, Grjótagjá is a lava cave with a magical hot spring inside.

Water temperatures could get very high in the summer so it’s not recommended to take a dip. The opposite is true in the winter though!

Did you know? The famous Game of Thrones scene between Ygritte and Jon Snow was filmed here.

17) Reynisdrangar Cliff

Reynisdrangar are a group of striking basalt sea stacks found on Reynisfjara Beach in southern Iceland.

This stunning cliff rises from the ocean and has stacked columns of different sizes and shapes.

Reynisfjara Beach was voted as the most beautiful black-sand beach in the world – you’ll realize why when you see it.

18) Goðafoss Waterfall

Towering over 12 meters in height and 30 meters in width, Goðafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland and also known as Waterfall of the Gods.

This horseshoe-shaped waterfall is easily accessible from the Ring Road (no detour required).

19) Skaftafell

In southern Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park lies Skaftafell, a mountainous region of spectacular beauty.

There are active volcanoes, sweeping valleys, massive glaciers, and endless flat sandy plains in this area, providing a brilliant opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery.

Skaftafell’s most notable attraction is the Svartifoss waterfall.

20) Hverir

Located at the foothills of Namafjall is Hverir, a geothermal area that resembles the landscape from a completely different planet.

There are a number of geothermal fields in Iceland, but Hverir is arguably the largest and most easily accessible one.