15 BEST Things To Do In Iceland [Written in 2024!]

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
June 8, 2024
Looking for an up to date guide on the best things to do in Iceland? Look no further! We spent 5 weeks exploring the country and have rounded up our faves!
things to do in Iceland

Much of the information on what to do in Iceland is outdated.

… Once-remote hot springs are becoming crowded.

… Hikes are going up in price.

… And volcanoes keep erupting!

So below I wanted to give an up-to-date and in-depth round up of the absolute best things to do in Iceland this year.

I will warn you, that it was HARD to narrow this down to 15. Because Iceland is JAM PACKED with amazing things to do.

BUT, this is our top 15.

This is based on everything we saw and did over an epic 5 weeks spent exploring all of the island.

We shipped our car here from the UK and spent the whole month of April discovering as much as we could.

And here are all of our top tips & tricks we picked up along the way.

Let’s get straight into it.

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15 Best Things To Do In Iceland

1. Weave among the icebergs

Ever since I was a teenager, I became obsessed with cebergs and being able to see them in person (an inspiration that came from both David Attenborough and weirdly, Titanic). 

I’ve seen a few of them over in the years in various locations including Alaska, but when I found that you could do tours among the icebergs in Iceland, I thought YES! 

I actually had plans to do an iceberg tour through Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon but they actually don’t start their iceberg tours until May, and I was there in April, so I was disappointed when I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. 

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

But thankfully, there’s another lagoon and another company you can see floating icebergs with and it runs earlier in the year, so I was able to go! 

This place is called Fjallsárlón Lagoon, and it’s definitely less busier than the Jokulasarlon lagoon, but just as beautiful! 

We headed out on the iceberg tour, which runs multiple times a day from 9.30 am to 4.30 and the tours runs from April to November.

The classic tour which we did costs around $45 USD per person, and it last around 75-90 minutes, with 45 minutes in boat.

I thought this was excellent value and when I tell you the scenery was breathtaking, I am not lying.

Fjallsárlón Lagoon Tour

You’re on a boat that can also get super close to the Vatnajokull Glacier (the largest in Europe), and you’re surrounded by different sized icebergs as you do so. 

They also do a luxury boat tour that’s private and takes you on land where you have lunch and champagne with views of the glacier and icebergs.

This looks incredible and is not crazy priced at $180 PP which I don’t think is crazy expensive for what it is, and a great idea if you’re looking for a special activity for a birthday or anniversary.

And, when we were there, we discovered they also offer floating overnight accommodation on the lagoon in the form of an Aurora Hut, and it looks as cool as it sounds!

Top reviewed tour
Overnight Adventure AuroraHut at Fjallsarlon
Aboard the AuroraHut, seize a night immersed in the enchanting aura of Iceland's secret paradise. Let the iceberg lagoon be your canvas for crafting indelible, awe-inspiring memories.

2. Photograph the puffins

One of the ultimate bucket list experiences of things to do in Iceland is being able to photograph the famous puffins.

There are opportunities to see puffins all over Iceland during the months of May to August, but they can arrive mid-April and hang around until mid-September! 

We got to see them at the end of April!

There are lots of different locations all across Iceland where you have the opportunity to see puffins, and you can even take a guided tour.

BUT, there is one spot in Iceland that’s known as the “best” place to find puffins, and we went. 

It’s up there with one of my top 10 life moments. Not only is there hundreds and hundreds of puffins, but there is no difficulty trying to “spot” them. You won’t need binoculars as they are literally at your feet. 

OH, and it’s free! (you can donate to help preserve the area) 

This is such an amazing experience, and there is a cafe at the location that has cameras where you can see if the puffins are there and grab a nice coffee and cake! 

You can also check this website to see the live cam of the area so you can make sure the puffins are there before you make your journey. 

Borgarfjarðarhöfn is a 9 hour drive from Reykjavík, but oh my god, it’s worth every KM. 

We actually stayed in the Blabjorg Guesthouse resort for 3 nights, which is such a wonderful hotel and the perfect place to base yourself for puffin time (it’s a 5 minute drive to the puffin spot). 

OR if you’re in a camper, there is also a campsite at this town too. 

Alternatively, there are plenty of Puffin tours from Reykjavik itself, if you can't make it as far east!

Top reviewed tour
Reykjavik: 1-Hour Puffin Watching Tour
Encounter charismatic puffins and other sea birds close-up on a 1.5-hour tour from Reykjavik and experience the wildlife in their natural environment, where they breed on small island.

3. Drive the Diamond Circle

You will have heard of the “Golden Circle”, probably the most visited region of Iceland, but have you heard of the Diamond Circle

Located in Northern Iceland, this epic circuit of 250km in North Iceland, includes some of the most stunning sights and spots for unearthly landscapes. 

You can easily drive this in one day (we did), but if you have two days then it might be worth splitting it in two with an overnight stay half way. 

This was one of my favourite parts of driving in Iceland, and I’ll take you through the main sites on the Diamond circle below. 

1. Geo Sea

Imagine seeing a whale from here...it's possible!

Depending on the direction you are going, you can either start or end with these amazing geothermal sea baths. Natural sea water is heated to various temperatures in the different pools, which offer stunning sea views. What's truly great about these hot baths in Iceland is that seawater doesn’t have that Sulphur (eggy) smell, which some people don’t enjoy, and leads to a very pleasant experience. 

GeoSea is relatively new and the facilities are top class, super modern and clean.

Like most of the hot baths in Iceland, there is a swim-up bar inside, which is perfect for grabbing a drink, relaxing in the hot water and enjoy the amazing views. 

I visited about 20 different hot bath/hot spring resorts and natural springs, and this is my top 3. 

It costs less than $50 per person and it’s worth every penny.

Those views!

You don’t need to prebook in the lower season months (i,e outside June to September), but you can also prebook online regardless. 

And just so you know, there are both private and public showers in these hot springs for your naked shower before entering (which is the law in Iceland) 

You can buy your tickets via GYG and it's actually a little cheaper than direct!

Top reviewed tour
GeoSea Geothermal Baths Entrance Ticket
Enjoy a healing experience in a world-class geothermal bath with this entrance ticket. Feel the mineral-rich seawater and heat from the Earth's core soothe your muscles at the GeoSea Geothermal Baths.

2. Húsavík

GeoSea is located in Husavik, but it's worth visiting Husavik on it's own for it's whale watching opportunities.

It's actually known as the whale watching capital of Iceland, so if you're going to go whale watching in Iceland, then this would be the place to do so!

Top reviewed tour
Whale Watching Tour with Guide
Discover the stunning beauty of Skjálfandi Bay on a boat tour while observing whales, dolphins, and sea birds in their natural habitat. Find out why Húsavík is the whale watching capital of Iceland.

3. Dettifoss (Europe's most powerful waterfall)

Pretty epic yeah!

Dettifoss, located in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, is Europe's most powerful waterfall.

Plunging 44 meters (144 feet) into the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, it has a width of 100 meters (328 feet) and an average water flow of 193 cubic meters per second.

Its raw, thunderous power and dramatic landscape make it a breathtaking natural wonder.

You can actually access it from two different sides, East and West, and we visited on the East (because of the time of year it was the only side open).

Also keep in mind that during winter/even spring, the road to the waterfall can be closed for days at a time, so make SURE you check the road conditions here before you travel.

Otherwise, it's accessible via Route 862 or Route 864, it can be reached by a short hike from the parking areas. There are also toilets here too.

Oh, and it's completely free to visit, no entrance fee or parking fee (win win!)

4. Ásbyrgi

Ásbyrgi, a remarkable horseshoe-shaped canyon in Northeast Iceland, is part of the Vatnajökull National Park.

Believed to be formed by catastrophic glacial flooding, the canyon stretches 3.5 km in length and 1.1 km in width, with steep walls up to 100 meters high.

The lush, forested floor of Ásbyrgi is a striking contrast to the surrounding barren landscapes, featuring diverse plant life and serene walking paths.

According to llocal legend, Ásbyrgi is the hoofprint of Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse.

When visiting during winter, some routes may not be accessible, I'd personally recommend this spot more so for the summer season! 

Accessible via Route 85 from Húsavík or Route 864 from Dettifoss, it's easily reached by car and offers well-marked trails for exploration.

There is also EV charging at the parking area in the visitor centre alongside toilets.

5.Godafoss Waterfall

So pretty!

Goðafoss Waterfall, known as the "Waterfall of the Gods," is one of Iceland's most stunning natural wonders.

It's one of those waterfalls that looks truly awesome in ALL seasons!

Located in North Iceland along the Skjálfandafljót River, it features a dramatic semicircular cascade, 12 meters high and 30 meters wide.

The waterfall's beauty is matched by its historical significance, as it is said that pagan idols were thrown into its waters upon Iceland's conversion to Christianity.

To get to this Icelandic wander, drive along the Ring Road (Route 1) between Akureyri Akureyri and Mývatn. It'll be either the first or last stop on your DIamond Circle itinerary depedning on what way you go. We did it as our last stop before heading onwards towards Akuryryki.

It's also free to park and enter this waterfall.

6. Mývatn

Myvatan Nature Baths

This is one of the geothermal areas in Iceland with a LOT of activity!

It's known for its unique volcanic landscapes and rich birdlife.

The area features bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles, and the striking lava formations of Dimmuborgir (where you will also find the Yule Boys around Christmas)

The serene Lake Mývatn, formed by a volcanic eruption over 2,300 years ago, is dotted with scenic islets and surrounded by lush greenery.

Murph and the geothermal vibes!

Popular attractions include the soothing Mývatn Nature Baths, which is a really cool hot spring (but with a strong eggy smell). Entrance is from 5,900 ISK to 6,500 ISK. Discounts are often available for teenagers, seniors, and groups, while children under a certain age may enter for free. You can get tickets here.

Other popular places to check out are the colorful Hverir geothermal fields, which are free to enter, you just have to pay a parking fee!

Get your entrance ticket
Myvatn Nature Baths Admission Ticket
Enjoy a relaxing visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths and experience the soothing effects of the geothermal waters. Take in views of the surrounding landscape, including the volcanic crater of Hverjfall and Lake Myvatn.

4. Drive along the epic Western fjords

Iceland is truly full of EPIC driving routes, and one of those is the West Fjords route.

The Westfjords of Iceland is a remote and stunning region characterized by dramatic fjords, steep cliffs, and rugged coastline.

Completely alone...

This sparsely populated area offers breathtaking natural beauty, including pristine waterfalls, wildlife, and the mesmerizing Dynjandi waterfall.

The Westfjords road trip in Iceland typically covers around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of winding roads.

Depending on the pace and stops, it generally takes about 4 to 7 days to fully explore the region's scenic landscapes, remote villages, and natural attractions.

We spent 4 days in this area, and honestly, I’d add on a couple more if you want to do more hikes!

Drangsnes Hot Tubs

BUT, be aware if you’re visiting in the April period (which I recommend you do due to lower crowds), but some roads can be closed, and in those instances it’s good to have a bit of wiggle room on your timings in case you want to retry and visit a place! (Always check Iceland Roads for road closures)

Some of my favourite attractions in the WestFjords include: 

  • Dynjandi Waterfall: This is a majestic, multi-tiered cascade resembling a bridal veil, renowned for its breathtaking beauty and powerful flow.
  • Drangsnes Hot Tubs: Awesome local hot tubs (3 in total) perched on the water with amazing views. 2000 ISK per person and you can pay via cash in the box on site, or by card in the local shop (when it’s open). There are showers across the road for the tubs. Exact location here.
  • Hörgshlíðarlaug: Super remote hot pool feed by a natural hot water pipe. Located in a spot where you can even see seals and it’s totally free and epic!
  • Rauðisandur Beach: Rauðisandur Beach in Iceland is a strikingly beautiful and secluded beach known for its unique red and golden sands stretching along the remote coastline. The road to get there is quite sketchy, so drive it super slow, and make sure you check tide times to get the best views! 

5. Snorkel between two tectonic plates with Troll Expeditions

"Unddeerr the seeaa"

There are so many amazing things to do in Iceland, but there are a few that stand out above the rest.

Snorkeling between two tectonic plates is one of these experiences and it’s something we’d recommend to everyone reading this guide.

Due to the country’s location, Iceland sits on both the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

It’s the only place in the world where you can stand between two continental plates (and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) above ground, but there’s an even better experience waiting for you…

Within Thingvellir National Park, you’ll find Silfra, a fissure between the two tectonic plates.

It’s the most famous diving spot in Iceland, where you can head underwater to appreciate the area’s unique geology.

Yep, you heard that right - you can snorkel between two continental plates! 

If you’re looking to do this activity (and I highly recommend that you do), check out this Silfra snorkeling tour which is run by Troll Expeditions.

This is the tour we did and we had such a fabulous experience. The activity lasts for 3 hours in total and is available all year round. 

Once you get here, you’ll first give your snorkeling guide a medical form, and then you’ll be equipped with everything you need for the activity. This includes a thermal undersuit, dry suit, fins, and other snorkeling equipment. 

You’ll then be taught how to snorkel and will be given other important information, as well as facts about the area’s geology. Then it’s time for the real fun! 

If you're thinking to yourself "won't it be freezing?!", I can assure you it's not! You will come out of the water DRY, which is super strange, but amazing, and the only place you'll feel the cold is your hands.

But, your guide will show you a technique to "swimming" that will ensure your hands still warm.

You can dip them in every now and again, but if you've got sensitive hands, then I wouldn't recommend it.

I wanted to take more Go Pro photos of my own, but my hands were freezing, which is why it's PERFECT that when you do a tour with Troll Expeditions, the snorkelling photos are included as part of the package.

So you don't need to worry...

What I will say, it was hard for us to look good in the snorkel gear, so if you want a real laugh, this this picture is for you...

The look of a horror movie

Snorkeling in Silfra is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only will you be swimming between two continental plates, but you’ll also get to appreciate the area’s pure glacier waters.

After your tour you'll be treated to hot chocolate and a chocolate bar to heat up!

All in all this is truly an experience that is suitable for everyone, it's something extremely unique and it should be on your list of things to do in Iceland!

TROLL EXPEDITIONS: Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos
Be the envy of all your friends and snorkel between the tectonic plates of North America and Europe at the Silfra Fissure in Þingvellir National Park.

6. Go Snowmobiling with Mountaineers of Iceland

Let's go!

One thing that has been high on my bucket list for a long time was to go snowmobiling and what better place to do it than the land of fire and ice?

There are opportunities for snowmobiling all across Iceland, but most visitors to Iceland find themselves based in Reykjavik and along the south coast! And that’s exactly where we were based for a week of our trip. 

We headed out snowmobiling with a company called Mountaineers of Iceland, and they’re the best in the business!

Cuddles to stay warm ;)

They offer snowmobiling and superjeep tours across various locations, but one of their most popular tours is their snowmobiling adventure from Gulfoss waterfall (probably one of the most well-known waterfalls in Iceland on the Golden Circle) 

This snowmobile tour takes place on Langjökull, Iceland's second-largest ice cap.

First you’ll meet them at the Gulfoss waterfall parking area (head a little earlier to check out the waterfall before your tour!)

Then you’ll hop on a super truck transfer from Gullfoss to base camp! 

Professional guides will lead the way through the Icelandic highlands, offering unparalleled views of the majestic Langjökull glacier and its unique surroundings. 

Upon arrival at the glacier hut, participants receive snowmobile gear instructions from friendly guides on operating the vehicles and safety procedures. You’re on the snow mobiles for around an hour, with a stop in between to take pictures.

It’s two people to a snow mobile, which was perfect for Brad and I. He drove first, then I took us back! 

Zoom Zoom!

You can pay an additional charge if you’d like your own snowmobile.

The tour is available for all groups of people. I would categorize it as easy, and even if you’ve never driven a moped, snow mobile or bike-style vehicle before, it’s super easy to pick up! 

This tour is an unforgettable way to explore the winter wonderland of Langjökull and should be high on your list of things to do in Iceland!

Some things to note: 

  • Age is limited to 6 years older and above 
  • You need a valid drivers licence 
  • Dress accordingly
  • You can fly a drone halfway through at the spot! 
  • Bring snacks!
Mountaineers of Iceland: Meet at Gulfoss Snow Mobile Tour
Expereince the thrill of snowmobiling on the second largest ice cap in Iceland Langjökull. We did this exact tour and it was excellent!

7. Explore the capital of Reykjavik

Visiting the capital city of Reykjavik is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Iceland.

I absolutely love this city as there are so many awesome places to visit. Better yet, Reykjavik is fairly small so it’s super easy to get around.

Hallgrimskirkja Church is one of the capital's most iconic landmarks. It’s the country’s largest church and it has a super cool design.

Admission is free or you can pay a small fee to walk up the tower, where you’ll get epic views of the city. 

While in the capital, make sure you visit the famous rainbow street, another of my favorite places in Iceland. Not only is it a great place to take photographs, but it celebrates Reykjavík Pride! 

Reykjavik is also home to some fantastic museums, including the National Museum of Iceland, the Whales of Iceland Museum, and Perlan.

Those wishing to relax can enjoy one of the city’s many charming coffee shops.

Café Babalú is a really cute spot and is known for its welcoming atmosphere and quirky interior. If you’re looking to shop, there are plenty of great spots nearby where you can pick up a souvenir or two as well.

Now, there’s no denying that Reykjavik is an expensive destination. However, when it comes to dining, those on a budget can head to the city’s street food establishments. Popular spots include Icelandic Steet Food and 101 Reykjavik Street Food.

You can pick up local street food elsewhere in the city too, with Iceland’s capital being famous for its hot dogs.

Although just a ‘fancy’ version of a traditional hot dog, they are delicious and there are veggie options too.


The best place to try one is Víkinga Pylsur, a popular hot dog stand located near the church. Honestly, don’t miss out! 

8. Visit the Blue Lagoon

blue lagoon iceland

The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland and I've been twice now!

This geothermal spa is famous for its unique geothermal seawater, which boasts a milky-blue appearance.

This water is rich in algae, silica, and minerals, making it great for your skin.

So much so, that there’s a research facility on-site that finds remedies and cures for skin ailments. That tells you all you need to know really! 

Other facilities at the Blue Lagoon include a sauna, steam room, steam cave, massage waterfall, and a mask bar, all of which are included on your day visit. There’s even an in-water bar, where you can choose from a selection of beverages without having to leave the lagoon.

Not only can you relax in the water, but there’s also an on-site spa here. As well as offering a more private lagoon, the spa features other fantastic facilities, such as a cold well and outdoor terrace. Of course, you can opt for a treatment or two as well. 

While at the Blue Lagoon, you can enjoy a fantastic dining experience at one of the site’s restaurants; Lava Restaurant, Spa Restaurant, Moss Restaurant, or Blue Café. The Lava Restaurant is popular as it offers epic views so you’ll want to reserve a table in advance. 

The Blue Lagoon is around a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik for those with a car. Destination Blue Lagoon also offers hourly bus services so you can easily get here with public transport.

Alternatively, you can book this awesome Blue Lagoon tour. It includes transfers from Iceland’s capital, your entrance ticket, a towel, a silica mud mask, and one drink.

Whatever you do, just make sure you book in advance. There are three different ticket options (comfort, premium, and signature), so do your research to see which one is best for you! 

I've always done comfort, and went in the evening (6pm). Comfort includes a towel, facemask and a drink!

Also, there is FREE EV charging at the Blue Lagoon, so you can charge your car whilst you do all the relaxing...

Get your entrance ticket
Blue Lagoon: Entry Ticket with Drink, Towel, and Mud Mask
This is the option I choose every time. Enjoy a drink of your choice, a mud mask and don't worry about bringing that towel! Everything you need to relax in these healing waters.

9. Relax in Hvammsvik Hot Springs

What a view!

You might be thinking, why are you recommending two "hot water experiences" in a row, aren't they all the same?

You'd be VERY wrong with that mindset.

If I had to suggest you could go squeeze one hot spring destination into your time in Iceland, I'd highly suggest you choose Hvammsvik!

Located in Iceland's scenic Hvalfjörður fjord, this unique destination features eight natural hot spring pools of varying temperatures, seamlessly blending into the coastal landscape.

You can also enjoy a steam bath, sea bathing, and kayaking, making it a versatile spot for relaxation and adventure.

We started with the hot pools, which went from super hot, to cooler, then when feeling brave, run into the sea for a cold dip, and back into the hot pools (probably best to choose the one with the swim up bar -hehe-) to get warm again and enjoy a refreshing drink! 

We typically spend just over 2 hours in hot springs, and this was a great amount of time to enjoy the views, test all the pools and more.

BUT, what's really unique about Hvammsvik is their Atlas Challenge. If you're feeling STRONG then you can try it out at your own risk.

There are 3 stones of different weight:
“The Lightweight” – 75kg
“The Standard” – 120kg
“The King” – 170kg

To successfully complete the challenge you need to lift a stone up on your shoulder and keep it there for 5 seconds.

A video recording is needed to verify a successful lift and to reclaim your reward, post the video on Instagram, tag @hvammsvik and use the following hashtags:

#hvammsvik , “hvammsvikAtlaschallenge and “hvammsvikhotsprings.

If you've successfully done this, then GO YOU, and also tag me too @cazzyandbradley ;)

Easily accessible from Reykjavik being only a 45 minute drive, Hvammsvík promises a tranquil retreat with stunning views and diverse activities. You can even book transfer options too.

Ticket prices will vary depending on the time of day, if you want to include a beverage, towel and wading shoes (water shoes), but ALL ticket prices include unlimited access to eight hot springs, steam room, beaches or jump into the ocean as well as free use of our paddle boards . Also use of unique authentic facilities and changing rooms including private showers.

I personally loved the shower area of these hot springs, the private showers are large, convenient and just makes the experience more comfortable for everyone involved.

After you've enjoyed the hot springs, you can visit the onsite Stormur Bistro & Bar which does a very popular seafood soup, and they even offer a vegan soup version too! 

  • Other great spots hot spring spots include
    • Vok baths
    • GeoSea
    • Myvatan Nature Baths
    • Secret Lagoon
    • Drangsnes Hot Tubs
Hvammsvik Hot Springs Entrance Ticket
Included in the admission is unlimited access to eight hot springs, steam room, beaches or jump into the ocean as well as free use of paddle boards. Enjoy unique authentic facilities and changing rooms including private showers

10. Watch a Geyser erupt 

I have dreamed of seeing a geyser erupt ever since I was little and there’s no better place to do so than Iceland.

It’s estimated there are between 20-29 active geysers in the country too, so you won’t be short of options. 

The Golden Circle, Iceland’s iconic road-trip route offers some of the best geyser viewing.

The route is 300 km (186 miles) long and will take you to some of the country’s most iconic attractions. One of these is the Geysir Geothermal area! 

This geothermal area is home to a bunch of active geysers, including ‘Strokkur Geyser’ which is the most popular. This geyser erupts every 8-10 minutes and reaches heights of up to 20 meters (sometimes more).

Strokkur Geyser

Although currently dormant, I’d suggest heading to the Great Geysir during your visit as well. Back in the 1900s, this geyser used to erupt regularly, reaching heights of up to 170 meters. That may not be the case now but the area is still very geothermally active. 

The Golden Circle is easily accessible from Iceland’s capital and I’d recommend hiring your own vehicle for the best experience. Those who don’t want to drive themselves can tour the Golden Circle on this full-day tour from Reykjavik.

The tour lasts for 8.5 hours and visits the Geysir Geothermal area among other popular destinations along the route. 

The Geothermal Park Hveragerði / Hveragarðurinn is another popular spot to watch a geyser erupt. The Geysir here erupts roughly every 20 minutes and you’ll also have the opportunity to boil an egg in one of the local hot springs. Plus, it doesn’t get too busy here! 

Myvatn Geothermal area is another place I can highly recommend. Located in the North of Iceland, this spot also offers superb boiling mud pools (and a strong smell of sulphur).

11. Hike on Europe's Largest Glacier with Arctic Adventures

Embark on an exhilarating journey with the "Into the Glacier" tour, where you'll explore the stunning ice tunnels and caves of Langjökull, Iceland's second-largest glacier!

This unforgettable adventure begins with a scenic drive through the breathtaking Icelandic Highlands until you reach basecamp!

(Remember to check our Iceland car rental guide to get your car sorted!)

Once you make it to base camp, all you need to do is check it and you'll get sorted with crampons and a helmet, ready for your journey to an ice wonderland.

Guided by experts, in a small group of12, you'll wander through a mesmerizing maze of blue-hued ice, witnessing the glacier's beauty from within.

The tour also offers fascinating insights into the glacier's formation and the effects of climate change.

The great thing about this tour is that it's truly suitable for most people, and you're guide will base how fast and how far you'll go based on the group feeling!

We were a pretty speedy group, so we even got to go into a crevasse, which was super cool!

After you've hiked on the glacier, at certain times of the year you'll be able to enter an ice cave, which is truly awesome!

Perfect for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike, this tour promises an awe-inspiring experience in the heart of Iceland's frozen wilderness!

You can do this tour ALL YEAR ROUND! So there really is no excuse on your next Icelandic adventure.

Exploring the largest glacier in Europe is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. This ice cave and glacier hike tour allows visitors to explore the stunning natural formations and crevasses on Vatnajökull with an expert guide.

12. Visit epic waterfalls

Gullfoss waterfall

Iceland is famous for its waterfalls and you should certainly visit a couple during your trip.

It’s thought that there may be as many as 10,000 waterfalls in the country, but there are some that stand out above the rest.

Gullfoss Waterfall is perhaps one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland and is found along the popular Golden Circle Route. The water cascades down in two stages, with the falls having a combined height of 32 meters (105 feet).

Dettifoss Waterfall is another must-visit. Located within Vatnajökull National Park in North Iceland, Dettifoss is considered to be one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. 200 cubic meters of water plunge over the edge every second, so this place will certainly blow you away.

I also love Kvernufoss Waterfall, which is found in South Iceland, around a 30-minute drive from Vik. This 30-meter (98-foot) waterfall is hidden away in a small canyon. To get here, you’ll need to hike from the car park at Skógar Museum.

While exploring Southern Iceland, I highly recommend you visit Seljalandsfoss too. This waterfall is 60 meters (197 feet) high and cascades over steep cliffs. It’s one of Iceland’s more special destinations, as you can actually walk behind the falls! 

So fun!

Gluggafoss is another popular waterfall. It’s located in the Fljótshlíð area of Southern Iceland and is often overlooked by many travelers, making it one of Iceland’s hidden gems. Often referred to as ‘Window Falls’, this waterfall is known for its unique geology as the river has created several tunnels in the bedrock, where it has weaved its way through.

Just one more recommendation I promise! Finally, we have Kirkjufellsfossar, one of the most photographed places in the country. With several cascades and a backdrop of the towering Mt. Kirkjufell, it’s not hard to see why! 

All of Iceland’s waterfalls are free to visit which is a huge bonus. Some of them do require parking charges of between 300-1000 ISK though, so just keep that in mind. 

13. Spot the Northern Lights

This isn't my photo, but an idea of what you can get! (Photo by Balazs Busznyak on Unsplash)

Lots of people visit Iceland in the winter months in the hope of catching  the beautiful Northern Lights.

Thanks to it’s position on the arctic circle, it’s possible to see the northern lights in Iceland, and actually the “best” region for doing so is the north, near Mývatn as it’s known as the capital of the northern lights.

Why? The further north you go anywhere, the better chance you have of seeing them! 

BUT it’s super important to note that you cannot see the northern lights in Iceland during the summer months (the midnight sun era), because that gives you 22-24 hours of daylight and you NEED complete darkness to see the northern lights. So you won’t be seeing them in May- till early September!

The best months November to February, this is becuase you have more hours in darkness, and can see them without having to wait up super late for it to get dark. 

We went to Iceland in April, and we didn’t see them.

Not because they weren’t there, but because the dark season was beginning to end, we would have to wait up until 2am in the morning for the chance, and since we’ve seen the Northern Lights quite a few times, we didn’t want to!

Tips for seeing the Northern Lights

1. Choose a clear, dark night away from city lights for the best viewing conditions

2. Head out between 10 PM and 2 AM when the auroras are most active

3. Check aurora forecasts and weather conditions to increase your chances

4. Dress warmly and be patient, as the Northern Lights can be unpredictable

14. Explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula 

Although not as popular as the Golden Circle and Southern Iceland, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula has so much to offer.

Many of the best things to do in Iceland are located in this area, so you don’t want to rush your time here.  

A highlight of visiting this peninsula has to be Snæfellsjökull, which is the jewel of Snæfellsjökull National Park.

This glacier-capped volcano reaches up to 1,446 m (4,744 feet) above sea level and boasts a small ice cap at its summit. 

Kirkjufell Mountain is also located in this area of Iceland, along with Kirkjufellsfoss, the waterfall that I mentioned previously. As one of the most photographed destinations in Iceland, you don’t want to leave this place off your itinerary.

Vatnshellir Cave is another popular spot that offers an unforgettable experience. Dating back 8,000 years, this impressive lava cave offers you the chance to appreciate Iceland’s unique geology, as you can explore it on a guided tour. 

If you’re still not convinced, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is the ultimate destination for nature lovers too. There’s the beach of Ytri Tunga which is a favorite spot with seals or you can head on a whale-watching tour, such as this one which runs between February to September.

The tour starts from the town of Olafsvik, where you’ll head out on the water for 2-3.5 hours. On this boat trip, you’ve got a chance to spot various marine life. This includes humpback whales, orcas, sperm whales, harbor porpoises, seals, and puffins.

Other places to visit on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula include the Arnarstapi Cliffs, Djúpalónssandur Beach, Berserkjahraun Lava Field, and Svöðufoss waterfall.

Although it’s possible to see the highlights in just one day, I’d recommend spending at least 2-3 days in this part of Iceland. You’ll also want to hire a car to explore the peninsula as public transport is few and far between. 

15. Discover Black Sand Beaches

Thanks to Iceland’s volcanic activity, the country boasts several black sand beaches.

The sand is ground down from volcanic material, where lava flows have cooled and solidified, giving these beaches a striking appearance - perfect for keen photographers. 

Reynisfjara is perhaps the most famous of Iceland’s black sand beaches. Located near the town of Vik on the South Coast, it boasts impressive basalt sea stacks and basalt columns.

(It was also a Game Of Thrones Filming location!)

Just make sure you stay away from the water’s edge as the waves are extremely powerful here. 

Diamond Beach is another popular black sand beach along the South Coast. It’s next to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and is famous for its huge diamond-shaped blocks of ice that can be found along the shore. Honestly, this place is magic!  

Those planning a trip to Iceland will likely have seen photographs of the Solheimasandur plane wreck. This iconic wreck is located on Sólheimasandur Beach, which is famous for its black sandy shores. 

Such a cool place!

If you’re interested in Iceland’s striking black sand beaches, don’t miss out on Stokksnes either. This headland is located along the southeastern Icelandic coast and is known for its jaw-dropping scenery. From here, you’ll get epic views of Vestrahorn Mountain!

Visiting these black-sand beaches is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Iceland. Some are easily accessible from the capital of Reykjavik, while others will require you to travel further afar.

What I will say is that you’re best off hiring a car, as some of these beaches are quite remote. Luckily, there are some fantastic car rentals on offer in Iceland so you won’t be short of options. 

How to get around Iceland

This was an epic view!

In our humble opinion, by far the best way to get around Iceland is by driving it yourself.

It gives you the opportunity to see so much more than you ever would by relying on tours. And gives you total flexibility in planning your itinerary; whether it’s 3 days in Iceland or a whole month (like us!).

Better still, having your own vehicle in Iceland will actually save you a whole tonne of money.

It means you don’t need to stay in the heart of Reykjavik and then take tours. Opening up a whole host of more unique (and affordable) accommodation options.

Driving yourself to Iceland

We actually drove our vehicle to Iceland from the UK. There is a ferry route that comes from Denmark, and which stops on the Faroe Islands along the way.

The ferry cost us around 2,000Euros round trip, and our total trip was about 7 weeks (4 weeks in Iceland, 1 week in the Faroe Islands, 1 week on the actual ferry total, and 1 week getting to and from Denmark).

Renting a car in Iceland

But if you don’t fancy driving here then, great news, it’s cheap to rent a vehicle in Iceland. I recommend using Discovercars, as they have the largest array of vehicles, and really helpful filtering options for helping you find the ideal vehicle.

They are who we use for renting vehicles all across Europe as they tend to also be the cheapest. For more help, check out our in-depth guide on the best car rentals in Iceland.

Renting a campervan in Iceland

Your next best bet is to rent a campervan in Iceland. As you may know, we love campervanning.

We converted our own camper back in 2020 and then spent 3 years driving almost all of Europe, as well as North and South America.

Being in your own vehicle+home gives you ultimate flexibility in terms of what you see, but also the breathtaking views you get to enjoy each night and morning.

You can see everything we have listed above, and also enjoy some great campsites and wild camping spots. To start learning more about this option, check out our guide on the best campervan/motorhome rentals in Iceland.

Booking individual tours

If driving yourself isn’t something you want to do, then your final options will be to rely on tours to get out and about and discover the more exciting and far flung things to do in Iceland.

Many of the best tours operate excursions from around Reykjavik; but just be aware that some of the things listed above are based on the northern end of Iceland so may not be accessible solely by tour operators.

Wherever possible I have added tour links above. But for help finding more, I recommend using:

Other common Iceland FAQ

What’s the best way to get to Iceland?

The best way to reach Iceland is typically by air, with Keflavik Airport being the country’s main airport. Approximately 20 airlines offer regular flights to Iceland all year round from various countries, including many in Europe and North America.

Alternatively, you can catch the ferry (M/S Norröna) which runs weekly from Denmark. It stops off at the Faroe Islands along the way, and you’ll be able to bring your car along.

What’s the best time to visit Iceland?

This all depends on what you want from your trip. Those who are looking to see the Northern Lights should visit between September and early April. If you visit in December, you can also explore the country’s Christmas markets. 

Travelers who wish to explore the island and get involved in outdoor activities should visit during the summer (between June and August).

What will you get up to in Iceland?...

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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