HomeIceland Tours & Vacations 2021-2022Iceland Travel Guide

Top 7 Things to Do in Iceland

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Man overlooking Godafoss waterfall in northern Iceland

Godafoss waterfall in northern Iceland

Iceland is undeniably an epic destination, with every corner of the country a thrilling adventure with so many things to do.

The natural elements twist and turn between fire and frost, seemingly endless winter nights, and the midnight sun of summer. Iceland’s natural wonders abound, and there are so many fantastic ways to enjoy them.

The island is diverse in its beauty, with unforgettable hikes and shimmering glaciers, quaint coastal towns, and dramatic caves, and so much more.

1. Immerse into Iceland’s Epic Beauty

Oxararfoss in Thingvellir National Park, Iceland,

Oxararfoss in Thingvellir National Park, Iceland,

Iceland’s national parks are an impressive display of natural grandeur and an essential part of the national heritage. The delicate ecosystems set the foundations for the magnificent wilderness found around the national parks, perfect for adventures and discovery meant to set your imagination alight. Diverse topography, black sand beaches, elegant fjords, epic lava fields, and craggy mountains shape the inspiring visions of protected lands and wildlife while shaping the surrounding culture of Iceland.

Best Places to Visit for National Parks: Thingvellir National Park | Vatnajokull National Park | Snaefellsjokull National Park | Skaftafell National Park | Jokulsargljufur National Park

Best Time to Visit: June | July | August | September | October

2. Discover Natural Wonders On Foot

Hikers on Laugavegur trail in southern Iceland

Hikers on Laugavegur trail in southern Iceland

Hiking in Iceland is one of the most rewarding ways to experience the island’s natural beauty and infamous drama. Trails wind through colorful landscapes and reveal hidden waterfalls or meandering streams. Instead of passively watching the scenery pass through the car window, hiking immerses you in the essence of Iceland, allowing you to touch the smooth moss or feel the ice-cold water from a glacier. Whether crunching the black pebbles of a basalt-crusted beach or witness the snowmelt on a distant mountain, hiking in Iceland makes you part of the landscape.

Best Places to Visit for Hiking: Mount Esja | Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Landmannalaugar | Fimmvorduhals Trek | Hvannadalshnúkur

Best Time to Visit: June | July | August | September

3. Explore How the Past has Shaped the Present

Traditional turf houses in Glaumbaer, Iceland

Traditional turf houses in Glaumbaer, Iceland

Iceland has an incredible cultural history with distinct folklore and connection to nature. Hot springs, volcanoes, museums, contemporary art galleries, and cultural villages form the foundations of the connection to the communities and vibrant landscapes. Heritage feels nuanced and yet fascinating as it immerses you in nature itself with the gorgeous scenery and timeless stories.

Best Places to Visit for Cultural Heritage: Thingvellir National Park | Surtsey Island | Reykjavik | Akureyri | Siglufjordur | Hveragerdi

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July | August | September

4. Uncover the Drama and Glitz of Ice

Skaftafell Blue Ice Cave in Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Skaftafell Blue Ice Cave in Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Iceland is a natural wonder, with the glaciers across the island like jewels in the crown of the pristine scenery. The process of creating a glacier can take centuries and span hundreds of thousands of feet. With 269 named glaciers that overtake mountains to streams, Iceland’s icy surfaces are intrinsic to the natural landscape that reveals an essential part of the island’s cultural fabric. Iceland’s glaciers are for more than sightseeing and can plunge you into the thrills of hiking and climbing the surface or venturing into a glacial cave to explore the glow beneath the ice.

Best Places to Visit for Glaciers: Vatnajokull | Solheimajokull | Langjokull | Eyjafjallajokull | Svinafellsjokull

Best Time to Visit: July | August | January | February

5. Wander the Landscape Off the Beaten Path

Single track in Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Single track in Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Iceland is a perfect destination for mountain biking, with endless treasures easily discovered from the saddle of your bike. An excellent network of country roads connects glistening fjords and lakes glinting with icebergs, majestic hot springs, to coastal plains shimmering with black sands. Biking in Iceland is a scenic sport that allows you to actively become part of the landscape in a safe way that respects the surrounding wilderness from the highlands to picturesque villages.

Best Places to Visit for Mountain Biking: Reykjavik | Oskjuhlid | Borgarfjordur Eystri | Landmannalaugar

Best Time to Visit: June | July | August | September

6. Embark on an Adventure Seen through the Sky

Puffins in Heimaey, Iceland

Puffins in Heimaey, Iceland

The jaw-dropping scenery acts as a backdrop to the impressive number of bird species found across Iceland. From puffins circling steep cliffs to red-necked phalaropes circling in a small pond, the landscape teems with birdlife making it possible to see the likes of razorbills and arctic terns, even white-tailed eagles and snowy owls. Iceland is a wonderland of wildlife with chances for spotting avifauna stretching from Reykjavik to the Westfjords, Lake Myvatn to the highlands for seemingly endless opportunities to witness the marvels of birdlife in Iceland’s dynamic ecosystems.

Best Places to Visit for Birdlife: Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Lake Myvatn | Thingvellir National Park | Western Fjords | Vatnajokull National Park | Flatey Island

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July

7. Find Flavor in the Past and Present

Fillet of lamb served with grilled langoustine and mixed salad

Fillet of lamb served with grilled langoustine and mixed salad

Iceland's cuisine is shaped by tradition, lifestyle, and the surrounding landscape for a unique culinary experience. Gastronomy across the island highlights the customs of hunting, gathering, and farming while also revealing an evolution of technique and aesthetic in artisanal creations that has breathed life into New Nordic Cuisine. Dishes can range in familiarity with ingredients like lamb and cod or bring to light atypical dishes using puffin or shark with every recipe giving you a sense of Icelandic tradition and contemporary tastes.

Best Places to Visit for Food: Reykjavik | Akureyri | Isafjordur | Stykkisholmur | Hofn

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July | August | September

More Travel Information & Tips

Blue lagoon geothermal pool in Iceland

Blue lagoon geothermal pool in Iceland

Iceland brings a unique blend of culture and nature to reveal fascinating heritage. You can bask in soothing geothermal pools on a romantic getaway or hike along textured lava fields as a family, with every activity introducing more of Iceland’s dramatic allure. Thinking of planning a trip? Our Iceland Travel Guide has helpful information to discover your perfect experience. You can also speak to an Iceland travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

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