Iceland is a nation, endowed with geographic wonders like natural pools, fjords, hot springs, waterfalls, unique beaches and bioreserves. Its heritage monuments and vintage buildings attract tourists round the year. Though little unrecognized as a tourist hub, Iceland will never let you feel bored and dull. Instead, these unique things to do in Iceland, will surely spoil you with choices.
Here is the list of most exciting things to do in Iceland
1. Enjoy a dip in natural hot pool
Geologically, Iceland is located on a geothermal active zone and hence dotted with numerous hot springs and geysers. The plunge pool created by these hot springs are no less than heated luxury swimming pools and offer absolutely refreshing bathing experiences. Bathing in these natural hot pools are not only enchanting, but also considered as one of the most popular things to do in Iceland.
There are many hot pools in Iceland. Some are free, while some has shower facilities, separate chambers for males and females, sauna facilities and changing rooms and off course come with entrance charges. Famous natural hot pools of Iceland are Blue Lagoon, Mývatn Nature Baths, Secret Lagoon and Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths.
2. Hike upto the glaciers
Still wondering what to do in Iceland? Glacier hiking and trekking should be on your list if you’re ready for some thrill. Adorned with numerous glaciers, all around, it is a hub for adventure enthusiasts and trekkers. This is surely one of its kind hiking expeditions that include ice climbing, riding horses on the glaciers, walking over frozen lakes and viewing northern lights from the glacier zones. There are various tour operators, organizing different types of glacier hiking tours. For more details about timings and charges, get in touch with any of them.
3. Reykjavik Helicopter tour
If you are holidaying in Iceland, Helicopter tour in Reykjavik, should be on your bucket list. This many not be one of the things to do in Iceland, but it certainly is among the most exciting things to do in Reykjavik. The enthralling experience lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the package and offers jaw dropping view of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, volcanoes national parks and waterfalls. Some of the helicopters even land on mountain summits and let you admire the breathtakingly beautiful landscape of Iceland, closely.
Charges: Starting from $ 26.78 /person
4. Explore the black sand beach in Reynisfjara
Image Courtesy: worldbeachguide.com
Resting 180 kms south-east of Reykjavik, this black sand beach at Reynisfjara is a majestic wonder of Iceland. The unique black colour is due to the presence of basalt rocks, broken down from surrounding Reynisfjall mountain. Adorned with gigantic basaltic outcrops, rising amid sea, rough Atlantic waves and spectacular vistas, this black sand beach of Reynisfjara, Iceland looks striking and beautiful. Strolling on this unconventional beach is fascinating and undeniably one of the best things to do in Iceland.
5. Spend time at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Located in the south-eastern part of Iceland, Jökulsárlón is a large glacier lagoon, filled with large chunks of ice, broken from surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. It is one of the most brilliant and breathtaking places to visit in Iceland. The ice chunks glitter on the lagoon, making it one of the best sights one can imagine. Visit this beautiful landscape, admire the beauty, click some great photographs, especially if you’re looking for things to do in Iceland in May. One can even spot lot of seals and other fishes in this lagoon, during winter months.
6. Visit Thingvellir National Park
Looking for things to do in Iceland in April? Established in 1930, the Thingvellir National Park is the only bioreserve in Iceland that one must visit in the month of April and May. The park rests on a rift valley, separated by two tectonic plates; America and Europe and is the home to ravines, lakes, lava rock outcrops and alpine vegetation. Listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, one can reach Thingvellir National Park in about 45 minutes from Reykjavík. Indulge in diving and snorkelling in the natural lakes and Silfra diving spot, strolling in this huge sprawling park and spotting wildlife like Arctic foxes and Mink, Arctic ducks and golden plovers are some of the most amazing things to do in Iceland.
Timings: June to August: 9 am to 7 pm and September to May: 9 am to 6:30 pm
Charges: Free entry
7. Spend a day at Einar Jonsson Museum
Founded by Einar Jónsson- Iceland’s first sculptor, this astounding museum is one of the most important tourist attractions in Iceland. Located in Reykjavik, this museum houses the famous and spellbinding works of Jonsson, like Dawn, Remorse, Natura Mater and Outlaws. Exploring the various art galleries and admiring the marvellous works is surely one of the best things to do in Iceland, if you are an art enthusiast or history buff.
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
8. Spend the evening at Imagine Peace Tower
In the loving memory of John Lenon, Imagine Peace Tower is a tower of light in Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay. This tower of light is projected from a white stone monument, that has the word ‘Imagine Peace’, inscribed in 24 different languages. The lighting phenomena happens at different times of the year like 9th October to 8th December, 21st December to 31 st December, 18th February and 20th-27th March. If you happen to be in Iceland, during these months, do not miss to experience this astounding illumination event.
9. Watch opera and light show at Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall
Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre is one of the most significant landmarks of Iceland. Adorned with steel framework and geometric shaped colourful glass panels, Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre offers guided tours through various concert halls and performance areas. If you have passion for music; watch any of the spectacular opera shows, performed by Icelandic opera, regularly. Moreover, the fascinating and well-coordinated light and sound show illuminates the main building, portico and terraces with vibrant colours and is surely one of the best things to watch in Iceland. This wonderful light and sound show, outside the building attracts plenty of tourists and natives each day.
Timings: 8 am to midnight
Entry fees: $ 14.88/person
10. Visit Hallgrímskirkja church
Hallgrímskirkja church is the icon of Reykjavík city, located at Skolavordustigur Street. This is an age old Lutheran parish church, 74.5 metres and considered to be one of the tallest structures of Iceland. Climbing up to the top to enjoy the panoramic view of Reykjavík city and Snaefellsjokull glacier is one of the most enthralling things to do in Iceland. The church has a huge pipe organ, statue of Leifur Eiríksson, gigantic relic and stairway; all reflecting old world charm. The gigantic pipe organ is immensely powerful and competent of filling the huge space of the church with its buzzing sound and acoustic, during Sunday masses and music conferences.
Timings: 9 am to 9 pm
Entry fees: $9.92/person
Does it sound exciting enough? Let us know how many of these exciting and fun things you tried while you were in Iceland.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Iceland
What is there to do in Iceland?
There are many interesting things to do in Iceland that will keep your interest alive. Some of the things to do in Iceland are watching the Opera and Light show at Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall, exploring Thingvellir National Park, and seeing the Black sand beach in Reynisfjara.
What is the best time of the year to go to Iceland?
The best time to visit Iceland is during Summers as the temperatures are higher and the weather tends to be slightly warmer. It’s best to plan a trip between April and June. However, hikers consider July to August as a great time to visit the destination. However, September-October and February-March are the best time to see the Northern Lights.
Is it safe to visit Iceland during covid times?
The Government of Iceland have issued strict covid guidelines for different vaccination stages. If you are completely vaccinated, then you aren't required to quarantine or test for covid on arrival. Unvaccinated individuals are supposed to test for covid on arrival and have to quarantine themselves for 5-6 days. All travelers must provide a negative RT PCR test performed 72 hours prior to departure.
What are the best outdoor activities to do in Iceland?
Many adventure enthusiasts visit Iceland to indulge in adventurous activities such as glacier hiking and ice climbing on the Sólheimajökull Glacier, hiking along the Krafla Fires, Camping in Landmannalaugar, White water rafting, whale watching, scuba diving in Silfra, and exploring Porsmork.
Are people in Iceland fluent in English?
Yes, Icelanders are quite fluent in English. In fact, almost every Icelander can speak English as it’s taught as the second language in the country. German, Spanish, Dutch, and French are other languages they are fluent in.
Is Iceland a safe place to travel to?
Yes, Iceland is quite a safe place to travel to. In fact, Iceland is one of the safest countries in the whole world. However, you need to be cautious about the weather conditions and the natural hazards it tends to cause.
What is Iceland known for?
Iceland is known for having the most extreme geological contrasts. It is also known as “The Land of Fire & Ice”, and rightly so as it is home to some of Europe’s largest glaciers and the most active volcanoes in the world. It is also the land of darkness and light.
What should I pack for Iceland?
Windproof jackets, rain pants, nice shoes (with good grip), gloves, and woolen caps are some of the things that you must pack for Iceland. The weather in Iceland could get a little harsh sometimes and you should make sure to carry all the essential things that you may need.
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