What to do and see in Iceland: The Best Places and Tips

August 17, 2017 Fernanda Pittenger

Iceland (/ˈaɪslənd/ ( listen); Icelandic: Ísland, pronounced [ˈistlant]) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 348,580 and an area of 103,000 km (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population.

White River, Blaskogabyggd 801, Iceland +354 486 6500
Excellent
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4.5 based on 10 reviews

Gullfoss

Considered by many to be the country's most beautiful waterfall.

Reviewed By David C

Amazing views of the Waterfalls with various viewing platforms. Some with a lot of stairs but others you can walk to quite easily. Very windy so wrap up warm and keep hold of your camera as can quite easily be blown out of your hand. We visited at the end of March where snow was around the edges but the waterfall was in full flow. Free toilets in the main block don't use the ones where you have to pay. If you like the views you can easily pass a hour here if you don't mind the wind.

Skolavorduholti, Reykjavik 121, Iceland +354 510 1000
Excellent
49%
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38%
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4.5 based on 15 reviews

Hallgrimskirkja

Reviewed By Jpet68

A must visit while in Reykjavik. A beautiful church in the heart of Reykjavik that terminates the end of one of the quaint shopping and cafe streets (Skólavörðustígur). For a little extra you can climb the bell tower and take in views of Reykjavik.

3. Jokulsarlon Lagoon

Skaftafell National Park | Route 1, Jokulsarlon, Iceland +354 478 2222
Excellent
90%
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5 based on 3 reviews

Jokulsarlon Lagoon

Reviewed By NL_Koen - Oldenzaal, Overijssel, Netherlands

We've visited this place today. I'd agree with everyone else it's a must see. It wasn't as impressive now, end March, as I see on many photos here. Only two large ice chunks were floating in the water. Nice to see but not super spectacular. The glacier a little bit further down the ring 1 towards Reykjavik was more impressive. Large parking lot. Free of charge. Clean free restrooms in the white building where you can book the ice cave tour. The diamond beach right across the road was lovely. Our kids of 1.5 and 3 very much enjoyed playing in the black sand, with the beautiful rocks and the large ice chunks washed ashore. We also saw a seal struggling to get through the current into the water pool at the glacier.

4. Dynjandi (Fjallfoss)

Route 60 | Latitude: 64.65 Longitude: -15.15, Hrafnseyri, Iceland
Excellent
86%
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5 based on 375 reviews

Dynjandi (Fjallfoss)

Dynjandi (also known as Fjallfoss) is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords region of Iceland and is considered to be one of the most impressive Waterfalls in all of Iceland. The waterfall in made up of 7 Waterfalls, each with its own name, one of which is Dynjandi. Dynjandi means “thunderous”. The total height of the Waterfalls is about 100 m.

Reviewed By Paula S

The drive from Isafjordur is quite the experience, initially heading through the Vestfirdir tunnel, then traversing several hairpin turns and switchbacks while climbing up and down the mountain passes around the fjords. The first section of road is paved, and then becomes hardback with gravel. Well maintained. Exciting drive, but not for the faint hearted! The weather was misty and rainy, making the drive that more challenging, but in the end, so worth it to see Dynjandi and the lesser Falls connected together. Lovely and short hike up to the highest falls, Dynjandi. Beautiful and colorful lichen and fall flora adorn the path. Great views of the fjord. Spectacular on a clear day! Make sure you take a side trip towards Flateyri - golden Beaches, turquoise waters and interesting chimneys and small hills abound.

5. Bruarfoss Waterfall

Brekkuskógur, Brekkuskogur, Iceland
Excellent
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5 based on 249 reviews

Bruarfoss Waterfall

Reviewed By JHChicago2014 - Chicago, Illinois

Bruarfoss Waterfall is hard to find, but worth the hunt. Not located on many maps or in travel books, use google maps or a god device to try and track down how best to reach. There is a small trail, and a few fences to climb over. You do have to park on public streets, so be kind and don’t block anyone’s driveway or cause a traffic issue.

hot Springs area of Landmannalaugar to the glacial valley of Porsmork, Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Excellent
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5 based on 240 reviews

Laugavegur

Reviewed By BlueHero - New York City, New York

Laugavegur is definitely the MOST beautiful trekking trail I have ever been to. It is more beautiful than Inca trail and much easier to hike too. Within the 4-day-3-night journey, we hiked from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk while staying in huts at Hrafntinnusker, Hvanngil and Emstrur. Most people stayed at Álftavatn instead of Hvanngil where the facility is older. Many young people camped instead of staying in huts. Camping at night, especially at Hrafntinnusker could be brutal due to the weather. The wind at Hrafntinnusker was particularly strong because of its location.
The trail itself was very clearly marked and not so strenuous. The scenarary along the trail was stunningly beautiful everywhere. From hot spring to glacier, from black desert to icelandic colorful meadows and Forests, you just need to see it to believe it.
The kitchens in the huts were well equipped. The bathrooms were smelly even though they are all seperated from the living places.
Most people on trails were young pals. I think parents should bring along more kids as they can handle it. My two boys (10 and 12 years old, respectively) were essentially the only kids we saw during the entire trekking trip and I am so proud of them.

7. Fjadrargljufur Canyon

Route 206 3.5KM off The Ring Road, Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Iceland
Excellent
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5 based on 535 reviews

Fjadrargljufur Canyon

Reviewed By TravelcrazyAntwerp - Schoten, Belgium

My husband and I went to this canyon in May 2017 on a misty day.
We managed to find the correct turnoff from road 1with our GPS, but otherwise you could use the coordinates of the guesthouse called "Hunkubakkar" which is situated halfway route 206 to the parking lot near the canyon.
Route 206 is a grit road full of potholes, but you can drive a normal car up there.
Parking is free, and there are some bathroom facilities near the parking lot.
You can walk for a very short distance along the bank of the river, or take a hike along the rim of the of the canyon.
The 2 km walk is uphill but it isn't very strenuous.
There are several viewing platforms along the way, and the views are very nice, even in the mist.
It's certainly worth a stop on the way to Skaftafell National park.

8. Skaftafell National Park

Skaftafell, Vatnajokull National Park 785, Iceland +354 470 8300
Excellent
77%
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4.5 based on 932 reviews

Skaftafell National Park

Reviewed By Sean S - London, Canada

This was a great place to park the camper over night. When we woke up the next morning, we had an entire park to discover! Great trails, and an informative information centre. Perfect stop for those travelling through!

Skogar, Iceland
Excellent
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4.5 based on 2 reviews

Skogafoss

Reviewed By treeCheshire - cheshire

Perhaps I was spoilt by visiting Gulfoss and Seljalandsfoss before this waterfall and for that reason not as taken back as I feel I should have been. That being said this is still a good place to visit and great for photos. There are steps to the top of the waterfall I think 450 steps in fact. Waterproofs and good shoes highly recommended along with common sense as it can be very icey underfoot.
Free to visit and if I remember correctly a donation box but I could be mixing this up with Seljalandsfoss.

10. Reynisfjara Beach

Route 215, Vik, Iceland
Excellent
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Reynisfjara Beach

Reviewed By mlteh800 - Klang, Malaysia

The location is at the black sand beach. Is very windy as is beside the ocean.. the sand is black volcano sand.. with the special stone formations. Be careful of the waves though as is might goes very high most of times.

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