Landing at Reykjavik, was like something out of a movie. The plane easily gliding to a stop on what seemed to be one huge sheet of ice, and looking at the window and seeing nothing but snow and…well nothingness. The white nothingness took my breath away, it was like nothing I had seen before. We spent the next few days exploring Iceland, but barely scraping the surface of what this country has to offer.
If you have the extra time and money, because let’s be real here Iceland is expensive, I highly suggest spending a few days or even weeks exploring a naturally beautiful place that has captured the hearts of so many.
To help you plan for your trip of a lifetime to Iceland, here are 10 of the most unique and beautiful places to see while you are there
This church is situated in downtown Reykjavik and is one of the easier spots to see. It’s definitely worth heading inside to the top to get some great shots of Reykjavik and the surrounding area while shaking off the chill from outside.
Located in southwest Iceland and part of the famed Golden Circle, this waterfall makes for a breathtaking site. There is a staircase you have to climb down (or up depending on where you park) but the views definitely make the climb worth it. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, however there are still empty areas where you can take unobstructed pictures, and benches where you are able to just sit and watch the waterfall.
3. Blue Lagoon
When you think of Iceland, I am sure a picture pops into your head of people in a hot pool surrounded by snow with white clay stuff smeared on their faces. The water they are in is a beautiful blue color and it seems like there is no one else there but them. For this reason the Blue Lagoon is an iconic place to visit, and is easily accessible to all…if you make reservations. This place becomes crowded quickly and it’s hard to move around, so be prepared for the crowds, but enjoy the beautiful water!
4. Fridheimar Greenhouse
This is located in the Golden Circle as well, and is a must stop for many reasons. The greenhouse uses Iceland’s geothermic energy to grow greens and tomatoes, and also let me just say the tomato soup and bread are AWESOME! Learn how the greenhouse works, and get some warm soup before you head back out into the cold.
5. Reykjadalur Hot Springs
Less than an hour outside Reykjavik, this beautiful hot springs is just a short hike from the car. The views on the way to the hot springs are stunning and worth the drive in and of themselves, however don’t forget your swimsuit, so you can enjoy some of Iceland’s natural hot springs.
6. Raufarholshellir Lava Tunnel
This is one of the longest lava tubes in Iceland and it’s located just 30 minutes outside Reykjavik. The total length of the tunnel is an impressive 4500 ft and is a great opportunity to walk in the path that lava flowed. Make sure you wear good hiking shoes for this and definitely bring your camera as the tunnel is absolutely stunning.
7. Strokker Geyser
There a couple of different spots to see a geyser in Iceland, however this is the most famous because it erupts every 8-10 minutes. There are other small ponds of warm water around causing certain areas to look like the snow is steaming which makes this a favorite for me, even with the crowds of people.
Another one of Iceland’s famous waterfalls, only this one you can walk behind! There is a small cave located behind the waterfall that is a popular place for photographers. Definitely on the “can’t miss this” destination list.
9. Thingvellir National Park
This UNESCO World Heritage site (named in 2004) is the site of the world’s oldest parliament and tectonic plates. One of the few sites science and history collide! You can actually see where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. I may have geeked out a little over that, but it’s definitely a very unique spot.
10. Northern Lights
Would any list about Iceland be complete without this? If you are trying to plan your trip around seeing them, just know they are very unpredictable and the best months to see them, are usually the worst weather wise in Iceland.