things to do in iceland

Last Updated on: 15th March 2024, 09:41 am

Welcome to the land of fire and ice! Iceland is a paradise for adventurers and explorers, offering a plethora of exciting activities and breathtaking sights to discover. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping Icelandic adventures or must-see places in Iceland that will leave you in awe, this extraordinary country has it all. From the stunning landscapes of the Central Highlands to the unique geological formations of the Silfra Fissure, there is a cluster of the best things to do in Iceland as a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences.

Things to Do in Iceland

Embark on a journey through the heart of the Icelandic wilderness by hiking the Central Highlands. Explore the enchanting Landmannalaugar region, famous for its vibrant hillsides, glacial rivers, and soothing hot springs. Stop and witness the natural wonders along the legendary Laugavegur hiking trail, where awe-inspiring vistas of the Icelandic Highlands await.

Dive into another world as you discover the mesmerizing underwater realms of the Silfra Fissure. Strap on your snorkel or scuba gear and immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of Thingvellir National Park. Marvel at the extraordinary rock formations and take in the breathtaking beauty of this unique diving site.

If you’re seeking an experience like no other, dare to venture into the depths of a volcano. Descend 120 meters into the magma chamber of the dormant Þríhnúkagígur volcano, located in Bláfjöll Country Park. Marvel at the awe-inspiring geological wonders that lie beneath the Earth’s surface.

For an adrenaline rush, hop onto an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and explore Iceland’s striking landscapes. Feel the thrill as you race across the country’s black-sand beaches, conquer rugged terrains, and discover iconic attractions such as the DC3 plane wreck.

Head to North Iceland for an unforgettable whale-watching adventure. Set sail from the charming town of Dalvík and encounter majestic whales in their natural habitat. Be captivated by the awe-inspiring beauty of this magical region, with its picturesque coastline and charming village of Akureyri.

These are just a few of the incredible experiences that await you in Iceland. With its enchanting natural wonders, fascinating landscapes, and diverse range of activities, Iceland truly is a playground for adventurers. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature lover, or simply in search of the best things to do in Iceland, this extraordinary country guarantees an epic adventure you’ll never forget!

Hiking the Central Highlands

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by hiking in Iceland’s mesmerising Central Highlands, specifically in the breathtaking Landmannalaugar region. Landmannalaugar is renowned for its picturesque landscape, featuring rolling hillsides, meandering glacial rivers, and soothing hot springs. It serves as the perfect starting point for the popular Laugavegur hiking trail, offering hikers the chance to immerse themselves in stunning valleys while taking in the breathtaking views of the Icelandic Highlands.

Landmannalaugar’s unique geological formations and vibrant colours create a truly mesmerising hiking experience. The vast expanse of vibrant rhyolite mountains, with hues of red, orange, and yellow, provides a stunning backdrop for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. As you traverse the trails, you’ll encounter steaming lava fields, volcanic craters, and awe-inspiring panoramas that make each step a memorable one.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner seeking a new challenge, the Central Highlands offer trails suitable for all skill levels. From short, leisurely walks to multi-day hikes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Landmannalaugar region is also home to the enchanting Frostastaðavatn Lake, where weary hikers can indulge in a refreshing swim while taking in the surrounding beauty.

The Laugavegur Hiking Trail

The Laugavegur hiking trail is undoubtedly one of the highlights of hiking in the Central Highlands. Spanning approximately 55 kilometers, this iconic trail takes you through diverse landscapes, providing a true taste of Iceland’s natural beauty. From snow-capped mountains to vast lava fields, the trail showcases the country’s dramatic contrasts in every step.

During this epic journey, hikers will pass glaciers, black sand deserts, moss-covered valleys, and geothermal areas. Along the way, you’ll encounter remote mountain huts, where you can rest, refuel, and connect with fellow adventurers. Be prepared to witness the breathtaking views of Eyjafjallajökull, one of Iceland’s most famous volcanoes, and the awe-inspiring Thórsmörk Nature Reserve.

Landmannalaugar: A Photographic Paradise

Landmannalaugar’s stunning landscapes and vibrant colours make it a paradise for photography enthusiasts. Whether you’re capturing the vast mountain ranges, the cascading waterfalls, or the unique geological formations, every shot will be a testament to Iceland’s unparalleled beauty.

The contrast between the flowing glacial rivers and the striking rhyolite peaks creates an otherworldly spectacle that begs to be captured. As you immerse yourself in this untouched wilderness, be sure to have your camera ready to capture the vibrant hues, dramatic shadows, and ethereal light that dance across the landscape.

Recommended Hiking Routes in Landmannalaugar

Hiking Route Distance Difficulty
Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker 12 km Moderate
Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn 24 km Moderate
Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk 55 km Challenging
Landmannalaugar Loop 53 km Strenuous

These hiking routes range from moderate to challenging, catering to all levels of hikers. It’s important to come fully prepared with appropriate equipment, warm clothing, and a detailed map or GPS device. Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles, respecting the fragile ecosystem and ensuring that future visitors can also enjoy the untouched beauty of the Central Highlands.

The Central Highlands, with Landmannalaugar as its crown jewel, offer a hiking experience like no other. As you explore this captivating region, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of Iceland’s untouched wilderness, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Snorkelling & Scuba Diving in Silfra Fissure

Discover the enchanting underwater world of Iceland by embarking on a snorkelling or scuba diving adventure in the magnificent Silfra Fissure. Located within the breathtaking Thingvellir National Park, Silfra offers an unrivalled experience for water enthusiasts.

As you descend into the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be mesmerized by the extraordinary rock formations that surround you. The Silfra Fissure is formed by the gap between the North American and Eurasian continental plates, providing a unique opportunity to dive or snorkel between these majestic geological wonders.

The underwater visibility in Silfra is unparalleled, with visibility ranging up to 100 meters. This exceptional clarity allows you to fully appreciate the vibrant hues of blue and the fascinating geological formations beneath the surface.

scuba diving in iceland

Whether you choose snorkelling or scuba diving, you’ll be enchanted by the serene beauty of Silfra. Snorkelling is suitable for all experience levels and offers a more relaxed exploration of the fissure’s wonders. Scuba diving, on the other hand, allows certified divers to delve deeper into the depths, uncovering hidden marvels along the way.

Snorkelling and scuba diving tours are readily available with experienced guides who ensure your safety and enhance your experience with informative commentary about the geological and historical significance of the site. They provide all the necessary equipment, including thermal suits to keep you warm in the chilly waters.

Make sure to add the Silfra Fissure to your list of must-do activities in Iceland. It’s an extraordinary adventure that combines natural wonders and underwater exploration, making for an unforgettable experience.

Enter a Volcano

For those seeking a one-of-a-kind experience, entering a volcano is an adventure not to be missed. The Þríhnúkagígur volcano, located in Bláfjöll Country Park, offers guided tours that take visitors 120 meters down into its magma chamber. This dormant volcano provides a safe and fascinating opportunity to explore the depths of the Earth and witness the unique geological formations found within.

If you’re fascinated by volcano exploration Iceland, the Þríhnúkagígur volcano is the perfect destination. This dormant volcano offers a rare chance to venture deep into its core and discover the astonishing beauty hidden beneath Iceland’s surface. As you descend into the volcano’s magma chamber, you’ll be surrounded by vibrant colors and geological wonders that have formed over thousands of years.

Highlights of Þríhnúkagígur Volcano Exploration Details
An Unforgettable Journey Embark on a guided tour that takes you into the heart of the Þríhnúkagígur volcano, where you’ll witness the awe-inspiring geological formations.
Safe and Secure Rest assured knowing that all necessary safety measures are in place to ensure your volcano exploration experience is both thrilling and secure.
Breathtaking Views Enjoy panoramic views of the volcanic chamber, revealing an otherworldly landscape that will leave you in awe of nature’s power.
Expert Guides Knowledgeable guides will accompany you throughout the journey, providing fascinating insights about the volcano and its history.

Exploring the Þríhnúkagígur volcano is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the incredible forces that shape the Earth. As you descend into the volcano’s depths, you’ll be mesmerized by the natural beauty surrounding you – from the vibrant colors of the rock walls to the intricate formations created by centuries of volcanic activity.

So, if you’re looking for a thrilling and unique adventure, consider volcano exploration in Iceland. The Þríhnúkagígur volcano awaits, ready to reveal its mesmerizing secrets to those brave enough to enter its depths.

dormant volcano iceland

Ride an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

Get your adrenaline pumping by riding an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) across Iceland’s distinctive landscapes. ATV adventures offer thrill-seekers the chance to power through the country’s black-sand beaches, rugged terrains, and even reach iconic attractions like the DC3 plane wreck.

Whether you prefer a short adventure near Reykjavik or a longer tour exploring the wild scenery, ATV riding is a thrilling way to experience the best of Iceland. Strap on your helmet, rev your engine, and prepare for an exhilarating journey through this stunning country.

atv adventure iceland

Exploring Iceland’s Black-Sand Beaches

One of the highlights of your ATV adventure in Iceland is the chance to explore the country’s black-sand beaches. These unique natural wonders, such as Reynisfjara Beach and Stokksnes Beach, offer dramatic landscapes and breathtaking views. Feel the wind in your hair as you navigate the sandy shores, witnessing the contrast between the ebony sand and the crashing waves of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Quad Biking in Iceland’s Rugged Terrains

Quad biking is a popular activity in Iceland, allowing you to conquer the country’s challenging terrains. Whether you’re cruising through rocky mountain trails or maneuvering across moss-covered lava fields, quad biking provides an adventurous way to explore Iceland’s untamed landscapes. Feel the thrill as you navigate bumpy tracks, conquer steep inclines, and soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of your surroundings.

Quad biking through Iceland’s rugged terrains is an unforgettable experience. The combination of adrenaline-pumping adventure and stunning natural beauty makes for an incredible journey.

Unforgettable ATV Tours

There are various ATV tours available throughout Iceland, catering to different preferences and levels of adventure. Here are some popular options:

  • Reykjavik City Tour: Explore the outskirts of Iceland’s vibrant capital city, winding through lava fields, mountains, and rivers.
  • Golden Circle Tour: Embark on a thrilling ATV adventure through iconic sights such as Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir Geothermal Area.
  • South Coast Tour: Ride along the stunning South Coast of Iceland, witnessing awe-inspiring waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and charming coastal villages.

Whichever tour you choose, you’re sure to create lasting memories and experience the beauty of Iceland in a unique and exhilarating way.

Tour Duration Highlights
Reykjavik City Tour 2 hours Lava fields, rivers, mountains
Golden Circle Tour 4 hours Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area
South Coast Tour 5 hours Waterfalls, black-sand beaches, coastal villages

Embark on an ATV adventure in Iceland and witness the country’s breathtaking landscapes like never before. Whether you’re exploring black-sand beaches or conquering rugged terrains, quad biking offers an adrenaline-fueled experience that will leave you in awe of Iceland’s natural wonders.

Whale Watching in North Iceland

If you’re a whale watching enthusiast, North Iceland is the place to be. With its stunning coastline and abundance of marine life, it offers the perfect opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close. One of the most popular destinations for whale watching tours is the charming town of Dalvík, located in North Iceland. Here, you have a remarkable 99.5% chance of spotting whales during your excursion.

Dalvík is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, making it an ideal base for exploring the region’s breathtaking landscapes. After an exciting day of whale watching, take the time to stroll through the charming village of Akureyri, known as the “Capital of North Iceland.” This vibrant town offers a variety of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and a botanical garden.

Frequent Whale Sightings in Dalvík

Dalvík’s strategic location on the shores of the Eyjafjörður fjord provides excellent whale spotting opportunities. The nutrient-rich waters of the fjord attract various species of whales, making it a haven for both common and rare sightings.

“Whale watching in Dalvík is an incredible experience. The fjord’s calm waters and diverse marine ecosystem create the perfect conditions for spotting these magnificent creatures. It’s truly awe-inspiring to see them in their natural habitat.” – Visitor Review

During your whale watching adventure, you may encounter a variety of species, including humpback whales, minke whales, and even the elusive blue whale. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide fascinating insights into the behaviors and characteristics of these magnificent creatures.

Discover the Natural Beauty of North Iceland

While Dalvík is best known for its whale watching opportunities, the region offers much more to explore. The stunning landscapes of North Iceland are a nature lover’s paradise, with rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls, and vast wilderness to discover. Take a scenic drive along the coastline, hike through pristine national parks, or soak in hot springs surrounded by picturesque scenery.

Here are some of the top attractions in North Iceland:

  • The dramatic Dettifoss waterfall, known as Europe’s most powerful waterfall.
  • The otherworldly landscapes of Lake Mývatn, renowned for its geothermal wonders and birdlife.
  • The tranquil town of Húsavík, often referred to as the “Whale Watching Capital of Europe.”

With its stunning coastline, rich marine life, and breathtaking landscapes, North Iceland offers an unforgettable whale watching experience. Get ready to be captivated by the beauty of these majestic creatures and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this enchanting region.

Species Best Time to Spot
Humpback Whale May – October
Minke Whale All year round
Blue Whale June – September
Orcas January – March
Sperm Whale April – November

Conclusion

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure? Look no further than Iceland, a true paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. With its diverse range of activities and attractions, this incredible country has something to offer for everyone.

Start your journey by hiking in the breathtaking Central Highlands, where you’ll be surrounded by picturesque landscapes and awe-inspiring views. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Silfra Fissure and explore the unique underwater world. Or descend into the depths of the dormant Þríhnúkagígur volcano for a truly extraordinary experience.

But that’s not all. Hop on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and conquer Iceland’s rugged terrains, including the famous black-sand beaches. Join a thrilling whale watching tour in North Iceland and witness these magnificent creatures up close. As you explore this extraordinary country, don’t forget to visit charming towns like Dalvík and Akureyri, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

In Iceland, adventure awaits at every turn. So pack your bags, delve into our Iceland travel guide, and get ready to experience the best that this stunning country has to offer. From hiking and snorkelling to volcano exploration and ATV riding, there’s no shortage of activities to make your Icelandic journey truly unforgettable.

FAQ

Where can I go hiking in Iceland?

One of the best areas for hiking in Iceland is the Central Highlands, specifically in the Landmannalaugar region. This picturesque landscape is the starting point for the popular Laugavegur hiking trail, offering stunning views of the Icelandic Highlands.

Is snorkelling or scuba diving available in Iceland?

Yes, Iceland offers the unique opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive in the Silfra Fissure, located in Thingvellir National Park. Silfra is known for its crystal-clear waters and extraordinary rock formations, making it a must-visit diving site.

Can I explore a volcano in Iceland?

Absolutely! The Þríhnúkagígur volcano, located in Bláfjöll Country Park, offers guided tours that take visitors 120 meters down into its magma chamber. It’s a safe and fascinating way to explore the depths of the Earth and witness amazing geological formations.

What can I do on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) in Iceland?

ATV adventures in Iceland allow you to ride across the country’s distinctive landscapes, including black-sand beaches and rugged terrains. You can even reach iconic attractions like the DC3 plane wreck. Whether it’s a short adventure near Reykjavik or a longer tour, ATV riding is a thrilling way to experience Iceland.

Where can I go whale watching in Iceland?

North Iceland, specifically the town of Dalvík, is a popular hub for whale watching tours. With a 99.5% chance of spotting these majestic creatures, it’s an opportunity to explore the beautiful coastline, encounter various whale species, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.

What other attractions does Iceland offer?

Iceland offers a wide range of attractions and activities, including visiting the capital city Reykjavik, exploring charming villages like Akureyri, and witnessing the stunning landscapes throughout the country. There’s so much to see and do in Iceland!