Best travel experiences in Iceland

written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 12.07.2021

Use this list to inspire your next travel to Iceland. Also, check out the video for a more vivid impression.

1 - The Blue Lagoon

A dip in the sublime waters of the Blue Lagoon is a quintessentially Icelandic experience. And if you enjoyed soaking in the Blue Lagoon, check out our favourite hot pools in Iceland.


© Arsenie Krasnevsky/Shutterstock

2 - Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar’s bubbling hot springs, wildly-coloured hills and rugged hiking trails are the Interior’s best-known feature.


© Ovchinnikova Irina/Shutterstock

3 - Hiking in Hornstrandir

The total remoteness and majestic landscape make isolated Hornstrandir a fantastic destination for dedicated hikers.

waterfall-greeen-hills-trekking- hornstrandir-iceland-shutterstock_1174584331

© Kristyna Henkeova/Shutterstock

4 - Askja

Scramble down the stark sides of this volcanic crater in the Interior and take a quick dip in the lukewarm geothermal lake, Víti.


© inspi_ml/Shutterstock

5 - Join the rúntur

Sample Iceland’s legendary nightlife, starting with a pub crawl round of Reykjavík’s bars.


© Mikhail Varentsov/Shutterstock

6 - Flatey

Admire the drama of the West Fjord mountains from the green, flat meadows of this tiny, peaceful island haven.

house-ocean-flatey-island- iceland-shutterstock_466839806

© Barbara Barbour/Shutterstock

7 - The Sagas

Reykjavík’s Culture House boasts some of Europe’s oldest and finest medieval manuscripts.


© Anneka/Shutterstock

8 - Akureyri

Iceland's second town Akureyri offers an engaging mix of urban sophistication, with great bars and restaurants and some decent museums.


© Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock

9 - Lake Mývatn

Mývatn’s placid spread of water is a haven for wildfowl, while the lake’s surrounds abound in volcanic formations, both extinct and highly active.

Myvatn Naturebaths, Iceland ©  Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock

Myvatn Naturebaths, Iceland © Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock

10 - The Interior

A trip into the desolate, uninhabited Interior is an unmissable opportunity to see the raw side of Iceland.


Aldeyjarfoss waterfall, Iceland © Sergio Paciencia/Shutterstock

11 - Thorsmork National Park

Hike 25km over the mountains between Þórsmörk and Skógar, right past the steaming site of the 2010 volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallajökull.


© Mat1ss/Shutterstock

12 - Breiðavík

This sweeping stretch of golden sand and turquoise water is Iceland’s most beautiful beach.


© Lab Photo/Shutterstock

13 - The Settlement Exhibition

Travel back in time to the year 871 and see the remarkable remains of one of Reykjavík’s earliest houses.


© PhotoJoJay/Shutterstock

14 - Geysir

See Strokkur erupting at Geysir, after which all geysers are named.

Strokkur geyser, Iceland © ZinaidaSopina/Shutterstock

© ZinaidaSopina/Shutterstock

15 - Þingvellir National Park

The dramatic site of Iceland’s first parliament, set in a mighty rift valley where the Eurasian and American continental plates are slowly tearing apart.


© Shutterstock

16 - West Fjords

Remote, forbidding yet totally compelling, the West Fjords are Iceland at its most scenically amazing.

A panoramic view of Hólmavík, Iceland from a hill overlooking the local church © Bill Kennedy/Shutterstock

© Shutterstock

17 - The Phallological Museum, Reykjavík

Things not to miss: Dried bull penis.

© Dmitriev Mikhail/Shutterstock

18 - Whale watching

Get up close to minke and humpback whales on a whale-watching tour from Reykjavík or Húsavík.

Humpback whale tail in Hawaii

© Shutterstock

19 - Skaftafell National Park

Skaftafell’s blend of highland plateau, summer meadows and ice-blue glaciers are best explored by hiking, biking or climbing.

Things not to miss: Wooden footpath in Skaftafell National Park, Iceland.

© naten/Shutterstock

20 - Hallgrimskirkja

Reykjavík’s best-known landmark, the striking Hallgrímskirkja offers unsurpassed views of the capital from its tower.


© Kalamurzing/Shutterstock

21 - Dettifoss waterfall

Deep inside Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, encounter nature in the raw at Europe’s most powerful waterfall.


© Thanapol Tontinikorn/Shutterstock

Rough Guides Editors

written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 12.07.2021

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