Thingvellir National Park was once home to Iceland’s Parliament, an important organization tasked with upholding the laws of the country up until 1800. Of the two Akurey is more famous as … Most will know this region as the area you’ll fly in and out of — it’s home to Keflavik International Airport. You don’t even have to leave Reykjavik, if you’re looking to just get away for a long weekend. Its charming downtown of painted timber homes is watched over by the soaring and unforgettable needle-like spire of the Hallgrimskirkja – now a veritable icon of the Icelandic city – while oodles of hearty Scandinavian vodka bars and taverns coalesce between the streets. Before venturing into the Icelandic countryside to see actual volcanic sites, why not take some time to learn about volcanoes in the capital city?Located right by the old harbour in the Reykjavik city centre, the small Volcano House museum feature exhibitions on Iceland… Find what to do today, this weekend or in January. Hiking trails can be found piercing deep into the river-carved, glacial valley, weaving past tussock meadows, willow and birch groves and the ancient features of Ice Age cliffs. It developed as an important Icelandic port and fishing center. It’s known for its otherworldly appearance, as verdant peaks poke their way out above the ice-carved valleys, metamorphic creations crowd above the crevasses and quick sand pools lurk on the edges of Solheimajokul – one of the most striking offshoots of the Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Nearby, the beautiful Tjornin pool adds an aquatic edge to the town, while the Alpingi parliament building oozes 19th-century charm and the centre pulses with the likes of the National Gallery of Iceland, the Hafnarhus and the fascinating ancient ruins of the 871±2. Our Favorite Places to Stay in Miðborg, Reykjavik. In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. Despite its volcanic nature, the site is actually very young; formed from the leftover plugholes of a geothermal power plant in the 1970s. Today, the town is crowned by the oversized Skalholt Cathedral, which was virtually entirely rebuilt in the 1900s, complete with elegant Danish stained-glass pieces. Half a mile away from the capital city Reykjavik are the islands of Akurey and Lundey which are known for their gorgeous and cuddly puffin colonies. The piece de resistance of the area has to be the Brennisteinsalda peak though; a medley of obsidian lava sheets and iron-coloured, sulphur-spotted ridges which is viewable from the trail. Nearby Dyrholaey also offers scenic views. Off-the-beaten-track and often overlooked for the southern region’s bigger pulls – the Gullfoss Waterfall and the Golden Circle – Skalholt can be found sat on the rolling fields just on the edge of the Hvita River. Bubbling and steaming between the rocky promontories of the Reykjanes Peninsula some 40 kilometers from the island’s capital at Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon hails in as one of Iceland’s … This will take you off of the tourist trail and up close to some iconic Icelandic landscapes. The country’s second-tallest falls will require a four-hour round-trip hike. Also note that it can get quite windy, so dress in layers and aim to visit midday for the warmest temperature. Carving its way out of the rocky inland of north-east Iceland, the chiselled gorges and ridges of Asbyrgi rarely fail to draw a gasp. Visit top-rated & must-see … 9 Best Day Trips from Reykjavik. Botnsdalur valley, Þvottahellir cave, Botnsa River and the Hvalfell Mountain. Where to Stay in Reykjavik – Neighborhoods & Area Guide, 40 Places to See in Florida Before Your Kids Grow Up, 40 Places to See in California Before Your Kids Are All Grown Up, 25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World. But where there is infinite opportunity, there is an overwhelming number of potential itineraries. Unlike the other waterfalls, it’s not the easiest hike to see the actual falls. A deep-cut valley set in the very midst of south-western Iceland’s famous Fjallabak Nature Reserve, the Landmannalaugar is a hidden gem of a destination that comes complete with everything from bubbling volcanic hot springs to ochre-coloured mountain ridges. It’s thought the lake popped into existence following a volcanic eruption more than two millennia ago, and today it’s much-loved by bird watchers, hikers and adventure seekers alike. If you can’t wait to visit charming Icelandic towns, check out our award-winning, 6-day Ring Road adventure, the ultimate tour in Iceland! I would recommend planning it into your itinerary the day you arrive or the day you’re leaving, giving its proximity to the airport. Here, you’ll find the iconic Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. … There are a few places in Reykjavik … The spot is also shrouded in Norse legend; thought to have been created by the footfall of Odin’s mythic horse, Sleipnir. If food is on your mind, head to Restaurant Sudur Vik where you’ll find some incredible pizza. If you’re short on time, factor in a full day to take in the sights. The Volcano House in Reykjavik. Mývatn Nature Baths are a must stop, especially if you find yourself with weary driving legs. Wild, windswept and caked with icecaps from south to Arctic north, Iceland is a land of steaming volcanos and enchanting fishing towns, rugged canyons and colossal fjords, bubbling hot springs and buzzing vodka bars. Serving as a crucial port city and a central fishing town, the town of Akureyri is also popularly known as the Capital of North Iceland. The capital city Reykjavik is the largest city of Iceland and offers a lot of interesting things to do and see for its visitors. It's also a great country for first-time international travelers—there’s an activity for everyone, from driving an ATV across the black sand beaches to relaxing in one of the many hot springs; there are hikes for all levels of athletes; and you can make the driving as complicated or as simple as you’d like. Time Commitment: Set aside a few hours to take in the views here. Volcano House is a geological museum where you can learn about the varying volcanic mountains and landscapes of Iceland. You’ll also find the lighthouse at Gunnuhver, the “Bridge Between Continents,” the yellow Hópsnesviti lighthouse, and a fisherman’s cottage called Stekkjarkot that dates back to the 1800s (it’s now open to the public). Caked in ice all year round, the soaring ridges of the mighty Katla caldera play host to Iceland’s wild and arctic Myrdalsjokull Glacier Park. That means travelers can expect an array of shopping opportunities and the likes of the Settlement Centre Museum, which chronicles the earliest days of Borgarnes, all alongside the more obvious draws of the surroundings: coastal hiking; whale spotting; those indelible hot springs! Things to See: Blue Lagoon may be the most Instagrammed location in this area. Everything You Need to Know About Driving Iceland's Ring Road, Landmannalaugar: The Complete Guide to Iceland's Central Highlands, The 10 Best Things to Do in Iceland During the Winter, Iceland's Golden Circle: The Complete Guide, Everything to Know About Iceland's Snaefellsjokull National Park, These Are the Best Blue Lagoon Tours in Iceland, The Complete Guide to Skaftafell National Park, Thingvellir National Park: The Complete Guide, Iceland's Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach: The Complete Guide, How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. But first, a bit of knowledge around how the country is split up. For the best time, plan your visit to Reykjavik around a weekend — preferably a long one — so you can take in its vibrant nightlife. Vík is the perfect stopping point if you’re traveling from Reykjavik along the south to Jökulsárlón. The wetlands here play host to roaming reindeer, while mighty Hvannadalshnukur (the country’s highest point) stands high and the rugged interior of the Eldgja canyon showcases some truly wondrous volcanic geology – there’s loads to see! Like ilas65 says, there are no citites in Iceland except Reykjavik, most of the other population centers would only qualify as a small villages by most standards.And you should not base your search around what cities/villages to visit, but what attractions you want to see. It’s a quick 40-minute drive from Reykjavik and there are a ton of tour buses that will take you there. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Reykjavik. Pack a picnic and you’ll be thanking yourself all day long. Believe it or not, this small, snow-dusted centre in the wilds was actually one of the most powerful and important spots in the country from the 11th century onwards, and came to be hailed as the epicentre of Icelandic Catholicism. Things to See: Budirkirkja, a quaint church along the coast that’s been painted black; Vatnshellir, a cave system created from volcanic activity; Djúpalón, a beach with boat ruins and black sand; Kirkujufell, a mountain that looks like a church steeple from one side with neighboring waterfalls; Stykkisholmur, a town full of intriguing museums and a stunning hike to a lighthouse; and Saxholl, a volcanic crater you can climb to the top of. Take a full week and explore the Central Highlands — you won’t regret it. 10 Most Amazing Volcanoes in Iceland. Meanwhile, the twin spires of Akureyri Church mimic the snow-mantled summits that shroud the town on all sides, and the local craze for mayo-doused, chip-packed hamburger buns has now become a legend in its own right. Park in the lot for the Glacier Lagoon and hop over the sand dunes to take in the calm scene of icebergs of all sizes sitting peacefully in the water. And while hiking and cliff trekking abounds in the surrounding national park and Grundarfjordur itself is known for its earthy summer folk festivals courtesy of the local Viking Foundation, the town is unquestionably most famed as the jump off point for seeing (and photographing for most) the striking profile of Mount Kirkjufell, which lurches like a rocky shark fin amidst the waterfalls and coves of Snaefellsnes. Once you cross the Botsna River after passing through the cave, you have the option of taking the north or south route toward the waterfall. 8 Best Places … If you want to see waterfalls, caves, lava fields, and streams all in one day, drive an hour north-east of Reykjavik toward Glymur Waterfall. A majority of the region falls into Snæfellsjökull National Park, where you’ll find a world of geological wonders (think: volcanic craters and even more black sand beaches). If you’re looking for more movement, head across the street to the Diamond Beach, another black sand beach that happens to be the landing point for many glacier pieces tumbling through the water. 10 Amazing National Parks and Nature Reserves in Iceland. Visitors will find the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall roaring over the escarpments and bluffs of south-western Iceland. A number of … One will take you around the field itself, another will take you a bit deeper into the mountain range, and another system of trails will bring you to the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. You’ll need a 4x4 vehicle to navigate this area no matter when you’re visiting. Lets explore the best places to visit in Iceland: Bubbling and steaming between the rocky promontories of the Reykjanes Peninsula some 40 kilometers from the island’s capital at Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon hails in as one of Iceland’s most visited tourist attractions. The falls themselves can often be found arched over by rainbows or shrouded in plumes of mist, while by summer, the surrounding hills and ridges come dressed in a verdant covering of grass that makes a fine backdrop for hiking around the banks of the Hvita River. On a guided Westman Islands Volcano Tour, you will be driven from Reykjavík and through Iceland's southern shores where you will visit … Things to See: Take a trip along the Diamond Circle, a ring of attractions including Húsavík, Ásbyrgi, Dettifoss, Goðafoss, and the rocks of Hljóðaklettar. This is also the spot where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates (the North American and Eurasian plates, to be specific) at the Silfra Fissure. 10 Must-See Natural Attractions in Iceland Posted on June 18, 2013 October 8, 2020 Author: Angela Ayles Situated at the edge of the famous Arctic Circle and located in one of the most active volcano spots in the whole world, Iceland … While you can drive the Golden Circle — an in-park road that will bring you past all of the main natural attractions — in an hour or so, you’ll want to pack a picnic and explore the various hiking trails throughout the area. In Iceland, you’ll find eight regions: Reykjavik, South Iceland, Westman Islands, West Iceland, East Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, and the Highlands. The iconic landmark of Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Church … In this post, rather than bore you with places everyone else is talking about, we’ll explore some of the best ‘off-the-beaten-path’ and unique places to visit in Iceland. It’s famed as one of the most dramatic cataracts in the world, and cascades over a series of stepped rocks and terraces before plunging over the 32-meter high crevice that gives the fall its distinct appearance of disappearing into the Icelandic subterrane. If you find yourself with more than a week of time, start piecing together regions for the ultimate road trip. Located right on the coastline, Reykjavik is thought to be the first permanent settlement in Iceland. Iceland's Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport Guide. We have reviews of the best places to see in Iceland. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. This should be considered an important stop along your northern road trip, but doesn’t have to serve as an overnight destination. The rainy weather in Iceland makes the country unusually suited for waterfalls and Iceland … A symphony of volcanic ridges and continental cracks, carved canyons and the flowing cataracts of the mighty Oxara River, the Thingvellir National Park is arguably the most beautiful natural enclave in all of Iceland. Time Commitment: Set aside an entire afternoon to hike to and from Glymur Waterfall. Find what to do today or anytime in January. Lakagigar, or “The Laki Craters,” is exactly what it sounds like: a valley full of volcanic craters. Time Commitment: You can easily spend an entire weekend driving around this peninsula. Boasting a truly dramatic location on the small islets and finger-like peninsulas that linger in the Atlantic waters off the Hornafjordur, little Hofn is a prime example of a southern Icelandic fishing town. Technically, you could cover all of this in a day, but it’s even better when you can spend some time stopping off at scenic overlooks. Here are 10 places that are well worth checking out on your next journey to the Land of Fire and Ice. Then there is gloriously-set Isafjordur, found clinging to a spit of sand on the edge of the ocean and boasting a history going all the way back to the 9th century! Erika Owen is a self-proclaimed Professional Iceland Enthusiast, covering everything from boutique hotels to ATV tours. Time Commitment: Many of the hikes in this region require guides and multiple days of walking to fully experience. If you’re looking for a hostel in Iceland here, you will be very close to the amazing Hengifoss … Akureyri, a small city and the second most populous urban area in Iceland, is a tourist hotspot. Closer to sea level, you’ll find Reynisfjara — the black sand beach that has made Vík a tourist hotspot. Time Commitment: Take an afternoon to spend exploring the Mývatn area and longer if you’re paying a visit to the local hot spring. Things to Do in Iceland, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 867,635 traveler reviews and photos of Iceland tourist attractions. READ MORE: "Why You Should Skip Iceland And Go To These 9 Under-the-Radar Places" The results of the world’s top 50 bucket list destinations include some of the most beautiful places … Head to the north and you’ll find Mývatn, a volcanic lake surrounded by scenic villages and hot springs. Read on and plan that trip. Its centre is packed to the brim with interesting independent cafes and teahouses, while the Hafnarstraeti shopping street offers up countless boutiques and craft stores. Despite its humble 18,000 people, this fishing port and seaside gem of a city on the edges of the Eyjafjordur makes some serious waves. Things to See: Although chock full of tourists, Gullfoss, Silfra Fissure, and Geysir are all worth a visit. Either way, the hike can get steep, so make use of the ropes that have been installed for support. Time Commitment: Plan to spend the better part of a day here. If you want to see one of the most important spots for the original Parliament location, head to Öxarárfoss. Top attractions in the area include the Namaskard mud pools, the black lava monoliths of Dimmuborgir, hike-able Vindbelgjarfjall at just over 500 meters above sea level and the sulphuric Myvatn Nature Baths (great if you don’t want the crowds of the Blue Lagoon!). The basalt rock columns that line the beach are worth exploring when the tide is out — once the water comes in, it’s incredibly dangerous to get close to the water. Things to See: Glymur may be the main attraction, but you’ll see a ton of other attractions on the way. You’ve probably already heard of this region as it’s the park where you’ll find Silfra Fissure, Gulfoss, Geysir, Öxarárfoss, abandoned farm ruins, and fields of lava rock. Whichever town you choose to visit, just remember to treat it with respect and the warm-hearted locals will make sure that you feel at home. Situated on the coastline, Reykjavik is believed to be the permanent settlement in the country and is a very nice Iceland city to visit. Explore the field behind the church for a handful of hiking trails. The small and sleepy fishing town of Grundarfjordur makes its home on the ice-caked edge of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, where some of West Iceland’s most curious coastal formations edge their way up to the waters of the Greenland Sea. Here, we take a look at 15 of the top spots that every traveler to this Scandinavian island should have on the menu (along with the uber-fresh fish of course!). Things to See: Dynjandi waterfall, meet some puffins at Flatey Island, go kayaking in Vigur, walk up to the gravity-defying cliff of Hornbjarg, check out the northernmost glacier of Drangajökull, get a lesson in local folklore at the Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft, and visit the shipwreck at Mjóifjörður. From a town topped with a charming church to the best hot springs in the north. This region of Iceland is incredibly tricky to visit during the winter, as the roads aren’t maintained like the main routes and can often be overrun with snow and ice. If you’re even slightly interested in camping, this is the place to do it. You’ll find this scenic town about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital city; the exact halfway mark along the southern part of the Ring Road (a route that circles the entire country). This is especially true in the winter months when snow reflects light up into the sky. Situated just east out of the so-called northern capital of Akureyri, Lake Myvatn offers up a truly otherworldly landscape that ranges from craggy craters to curious volcanic plug holes to bubbling mud pools and oodles more. Plan your trip around sunrise or sunset if you’re looking for a stunning set of photographs — it’ll also be less crowded during these times. Sea kayaking, cliff walking and hitting the shimmering sands of Raudasandur are also all favourites. Guided hiking is uber-popular here, with spots like the Fimmvorduhals pass and the ridges of Eyjafjallajokull both offering daring getaways. This gorgeous city blends modern art and architecture with old world Icelandic charm for an unforgettable experience. The self-proclaimed capital of North Iceland can come as a real surprise. The relatively mild climate and ice-free harbor of Akureyri … In short, this one’s not to be missed! 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