Visit a black beach
Visit one of the black volcanic beaches on the south shore. My favourite one is at Ingólfshöfði, by the roots of Vatnajökull glacier. The landscape is breathtaking and makes for some dramatic pictures. To get to the beach you need to get a ride with a tractor from one of the local families that will happily take you there for a small fee.
Go glacier hiking
Iceland has numerous glaciers around the country, one of them, Vatnajökull, is the biggest glacier in Europe. Hiking on one of the glacier tongues or exploring one of the many and constantly reforming ice caves is one of the best experiences you can find in Iceland. There is a good variety of glacier tours suiting your budget.
Visit Glymur waterfall
At the deep end of the Hvalfjordur lies Glymur waterfall, just an hours drive from Reykjavik. What we love about this hike is that you won’t have to walk the same way back…this trail is a loop! However, you’ll have to wade through the freezing river that feeds the waterfall to reach the other way down. A thrilling adventure and a good massage for your tired feet!
Hiking up Glymur waterfall is incredibly scenic and beautiful. You will catch a view over the whole fjord as well as the huge waterfall, which is otherwise hidden behind the gorge when viewed from below.
Experience bright summer nights
You have maybe heard about the midnight sun in Iceland. Because of how close Iceland is situated to the arctic circle, the nation gets the full on effect of seasonal changes on a unique scale. Winter comes with complete darkness but summertime brings bright nights with 24 hours of sunlight. As early as May and as late as August, Iceland’s nights are bright.
Get a taste for Icelandic music
Not everyone is familiar with Icelandic music but maybe you have heard about our famous Björk, Sigur Rós or Of Monsters and Men? In addition to them Iceland is buzzing with new and great artists. As far back as Icelandic history is recorded, music has played a major part in the nation’s culture and tradition of story telling. There are a number of music festivals all year round where you can get a real taste for Icelandic music. Our most popular music festival, Iceland Airways, is held in the capital and takes place early November every year.
Get inside a volcano
Þríhjnúkagígur is the only volcano in the world that you can actually explore from the inside, so I’d say it’s a must see when you visit Iceland. During your trip you’ll be descending 120 m into this massive magma chamber. The colours inside will amaze you! Obviously you need to do it with a guided tour, you can find the prizes here.
Visit Kirkjufell mountain
Kirkjufell is probably the most photographed mountain of the country. It isn’t difficult to see why; it has a unique shape and stands kind of solo in the middle of nowhere. Also, the close by waterfall (named after the mountain) gives you the perfect picture! You can easily reach the mountain at the north coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula, near the town of Grundarfjörður.
Go sea kayaking in a fjord
During summertime when the sea is calm you can go sea-kayaking. It’s a great opportunity to explore some of the beautiful fjords in Iceland from a different perspective. If you are lucky you might spot some unique birds or seals relaxing in the sun.
Go pub crawling in Reykjavik
The nightlife in Reykjavík is world famous! Many cafés and restaurants downtown turn to pubs after midnight and they’re all at a walking distance from each other. Icelanders don’t seem to be satisfied with spending their whole night at one club but instead visit a few pubs seeking the best mood or music, despite risking to wait in line for most of the time. If you get the chance to stay a weekend in Reykjavík you can join one of the pub crawls that take place every weekend and visit a few of the best places while meeting fellow travellers.
Taste the world’s best coffee and cakes
After many days of exploring Iceland there is nothing better than strolling around the center of Reykjavík. At every corner you will find cozy cafés with different themes and atmosphere. One thing is for sure, the cakes and coffee are world class.
Meet the world’s friendliest police
The Icelandic police got world famous after their Instagram feed went viral. People loved seeing photos of them rescuing kittens and buying ice cream for the kids. The police in Iceland does not wear guns and are indeed very friendly!
Go horseback riding
The Icelandic horse is smaller then most other breeds but what makes them really unique is their unique walking style. The Icelandic horse has 5 different gaits but most horses have only 3. The most famous is “tölt”, where at least one foot touches the ground at any given moment. The result is the smoothest ride you’ll ever experience! You could easily have a cup of tea while riding without spilling a drop.
Go river rafting in a glacier river
Iceland has some top notch rivers where you can go river rafting. Our favourite river is Jökulsá Eystri running from Hofsjökull glacier, located in the north of Iceland in Skagafjörður. Here, you get the chance to experience a full day of action and adrenaline. You will also get the chance to witness unspoilt nature at its finest that’s hardly reachable otherwise. The feeling of riding down this mighty river in-between towering cliffs of moss-lines lava rocks is truly magical!
Go snorkeling in Silfra
The Silfra fissure is one of Iceland’s best-kept secrets and is world famous for its amazing visibility. The Silfra fissure is located in Þingvellir National Park where the tectonic plates are moving apart, so you will get the chance to swim between two continents – North America and Eurasia. Make sure you wear proper dry suits since the temperature is usually between 0-5 °C!
See the one true Geysir
Due to the volcanic activities, Iceland has a lot of geysers, underground springs and thermal pools. Just an hours drive from Reykjavik you’ll find Geysir, the first geyser known to modern Europeans and where the name “geyser” derives from. Unfortunately it has been inactive for the past years, but the nearby “Strokkur” won’t let you down!
Iceland has numerous hot springs and geysers all over the country. Some of the hot springs are boiling hot but other ones have the perfect temperature to bathe in. Relaxing in a natural hot tub is a perfect way to experience Iceland.
Explore some of the amazing waterfalls
Iceland is the land of ice, fire and water! You don’t need to look far to find some stunning waterfalls. The most popular ones are Gullfoss, Glymur and Háifoss. Our favourite one is Svartifoss situated in Skaftafell, Vatnajökull national park.
The Blue Lagoon offers the most relaxing natural bathing found only 40 minutes away from Reykjavík. The water from the underground hot springs reaches 37–39 °C and is beneficial for health and skin.
Meet the friendly city cats of Reykjavík
Many visitors in Iceland get surprised over the number of cats in downtown Reykjavík. Many have misunderstood the situation and thought that many of the cats are stray cats. The truth is that people of Reykjavík love cats and they are popular house pets. Since the capital is small and safe, the cats get to roam freely around making their own business. They even have their own facebook page!
Snæfellsnes is a peninsula situated to the west of Borgarfjörður, in western Iceland. The whole peninsula is full of interesting places. You will drive past small fishing villages, lava caves, glaciers and volcanic craters.
Get lost on the roads of Iceland
The best way to explore Iceland is by car! I will promise you as soon as you leave the city you will find so many places that you want to stop at. It’s either lava fields, dramatic mountains, waterfalls or simply just a stunning road view.
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