Top 10 things to do in Iceland
Located in the northern hemisphere, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland offers a world of striking contrasts. Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, freezing arctic weather tussles with geothermal heat to create some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. Your clients can see sparkling glaciers, fiery volcanoes and so much more with our suggested top 10 things to do in Iceland.
1. See the mighty waterfalls on the Skógá Trail
Iceland is home to many iconic natural landmarks including countless cascading waterfalls. For a magical experience, your clients can walk the path behind the famous Seljalandsfoss and stroll the Skógá Trail (Waterfall Way). Along the Skógá River, they’ll encounter over 20 waterfalls to reach the scenic Skógafoss, a route highlight which featured in the Game of Thrones.
2. Ride snowmobiles across a glacier
With 11% of the country covered in glaciers, there’s a huge choice of frozen landscapes to explore. Vatnajökull is not only the largest glacier in Iceland but in all of Europe, where we recommend hiking and ice caving tours. At Langjökull, Iceland’s second largest glacier, your clients can hop on a snowmobile for an exhilarating ride across snowy landscapes.
3. Explore the northernmost capital in the world
Iceland's charming capital Reykjavik hosts a treasure trove of activities for all kinds of travellers. In the old town it’s well worth admiring Hallgrimskirkja Church Tower and Harpa Concert Hall, before heading to the coast. Soak up stunning Atlantic Ocean views along Reykjavik’s black-sand coastline and drink in the fresh sea air at Grótta Island Lighthouse.
4. Go whale watching
Iceland has some of the best whale watching in the world, where over 20 species have been recorded in surrounding waters. Some species reside here all year long, while others just pass through for the spring/summer feeding period. Depending on the season, it’s possible to see minke and humpbacks, orcas, white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and various sea birds.
5. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon
Located just a 20-minute drive from Keflavík Airport, what better way to start or end an Iceland adventure than relaxing in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon? One of Iceland’s most famous attractions is considered a bucket-list spot, situated in the middle of a black lava field. Your clients will love soaking in the mineral-rich blue water and feeling rejuvenated by the white silica mud, known for its healing properties.
6. Walk along a black-sand beach
Nothing compares to the stark beauty of a black-sand beach. One of the most famous is Reynisfjara on the southernmost point of Iceland, where jagged basalt rocks jut through the sands and giant waves crash to the shore. The aptly named Diamond Beach is particularly otherworldly, where chunks of ice sparkle amongst jet-black sands.
7. Search for the Northern Lights
What could be better than seeing the dancing neon lights of the aurora borealis? As Iceland sits within the so-called ‘Aurora Oval’, there’s a good chance of seeing this beautiful natural phenomenon across the country (although the further north, the longer the hours of darkness are). The best time to spot them is between October and March on a wilderness tour led by knowledgeable guides.
8. Watch puffins by the coast
Nicknamed sea parrots, Puffins spend the winter at sea before visiting their favourite breeding grounds by Iceland’s shores during the spring and summer. They’re best observed amongst the rocky ocean cliffs in the early mornings or evenings, as they often spend the day at sea hunting for small fish. These brilliant birds can dive down 60m under water!
9. Go on an Iceland horse-ride
The Icelandic horse can be traced back to the settlement of the country in the 9th century, and the breed has remained pure for over 1,000 years. Today there are close to 80,000 horses in Iceland, known for their intelligence and friendly nature. Perfect for beginners and experts, saddle up and take a horseback ride through the beautiful countryside or along one of the sandy beaches.
10. Marvel at a volcano
There are about 130 volcanoes scattered across the country, and volcanic activity is responsible for much of Iceland’s beauty. We recommend your clients embark on a guided hike or snowcat adventure to the summit of one of the most popular sites, Snaefellsjokull, easily accessible from Reykjavik. If hiking isn’t their thing, a helicopter tour is bound to be a more leisurely, yet equally unforgettable experience.