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Best Places to Visit in Iceland, Top Attractions
Iceland, the island of fire and ice, has become one of the world's top travel destinations, not only for thrill-seeking adventurers but also for nature lovers looking for something different. From lush grasslands to majestic mountains, destructive volcanoes to stunning glaciers, exotic hot springs to distinct island, Iceland has it all. And with this list of best places to visit in Iceland, your vacation is sure to transform into the most epic journeys of all time. Riddled with gorgeous steep-cliffed glaciers and windswept national parks, the places to visit in Iceland beg a visit. Whether you’re looking for the quiet charm of old Viking villages, or the dazzling natural resplendence of its volcanoes and lakes, these tourist attractions will leave you asking for more. From steep waterfalls to nature reserves, Iceland is home to some of the most beautiful attractions in all of Europe. The glacial lakes in the country are some of the best tourist attractions in Iceland- whether it is the chilling beauty of Jokulsarlon or the warm and milk-blue waters of the Askja Caldera, each attraction here is more special than the last one. Those looking for a quiet vacation can also opt to visit one of the many fishing villages here, which are some of the best places in Iceland. From Hella with its whale spotting activities to the snow-capped mountains of Siglufjörður, these little towns and villages are the pride of Iceland. The Land of Fire and Ice has been calling intrepid travellers to its shores for generations. Its landscape has forged ancient lava fields, sparkling glaciers, obsidian beaches, diamond icebergs, rising mountains and cascading waterfalls. If you’re planning a trip to this incredible country and want to know where the best places to visit in Iceland are, look no further. In this guide, we’ve compiled the legendary sites of this country as well as some hidden gems. So, if you want the know-how to build that bucket-list during a holiday in Iceland, look no further.
#1- Vatnajökull National Park
Vatnajökull stretches into the highlands of Iceland, which are at its centre. The highlands are made up of volcanoes, glacial rivers, and canyons carved out by the country’s namesakes of fire and ice. If you want to see mountains, and the jaw-dropping Svartifoss waterfall, this is where you need to be.
Known for its dramatic landscapes, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is Iceland in miniature. Stretching for 90-km long, this peninsula will show you the diversity of the Icelandic landscape as it comprises It comprises lava fields, craters, waterfalls, hot springs, basalt columns, gorges, volcanoes, and quaint fishing villages all in one. Make sure to visit the Snaefellsjökull National Park, Iceland’s oldest national park, named after the 1446-metre-tall Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano and its dazzling glacier that dominate the landscape.
On the south coast lies the village of Vík í Mýrdal, looking out to the mighty Atlantic Ocean, nestled beside seaside cliffs. Located right by the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, this small community is a real slice of Icelandic maritime life. Wildlife enthusiasts will love to spot the Arctic tern and puffin populations that have made this part of the country home. One of the reasons Vík has become such a popular stopping point is thanks to the rock formations of Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar. The first is a peninsula that ends in a leaping black arch of lava, and the second refers to the incredible volcanic sea stacks that make up the daunting cliffs. This is a sight to behold!
Wander the streets and you can marvel at its iconic church, visit Akureyri Botanical Gardens, and see the Laufas Turf Homes--quaint, turf-topped examples of how Icelandic homes were made in times gone by. One of the highlights that you could get up to when you’re in the north, is to go discover its fauna.
#5- Lake Mývatn
In the north, you’ll find the other-worldly terrain of Lake Mývatn, Iceland’s fourth largest lake, which is set amongst active volcanoes. Beyond the fact that this was a filming site for Game of Thrones and many blockbuster movies, this region is home to a tremendous amount of distinct flora and fauna.
While most Icelandic trips start in Reykjavík, this is not a whistle-stop city. Starting or ending your tour in its capital is a great way to understanding the country and the culture. In Reykjavík, you’ll find fine dining, boutique shopping, and trendy bars. But its real charm is in its famed landmarks, museums, and cultural attractions.
#7- Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa, a hot spring fed by the nearby geothermal plant, meaning the water sits comfortable around 39°C (102°F). Set against a dark lava field background, the milky water is ethereal in contrast. Truly relaxing, beautiful and iconic, it is a must-see. Because of its location near the airport, but also a short journey from Reykjavík, it is ideal to add on to your trip, either at the beginning or at the end of your Iceland Trips.
#8- Golden Circle
The Þingvellir National Park is a major heritage attraction, in part because of its geographical significance (it sits at the junction of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates), and because of its importance in Icelandic history. It is here that in the year 930, over 30 ruling chiefs of Iceland joined and created a rudimentary representative parliament. When you walk through this dramatic landscape, you can still see the foundations of that site today.
#9- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The magical Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon filled with electric blue and glittering white icebergs. Watch as they drift across the lagoon and out to sea. Some even wash up to decorate the shore of Breiðamerkursandur, now famously known as Diamond Beach. For photographers, adventurers, and romantics, this is the place to be.
It’s defining trait is the shape of the cliff that allows visitors to walk behind the curtain of water. There is a footpath at the base of the falls, but make sure to be careful as the path can be slippery. Nearby you’ll also find Gljúfrabúi, another gorgeous waterfall located inside a narrow canyon. It is truly a hidden gem, and may be worth going out of your way for a fantastic photography. Half an hour’s drive away, you could also stop at Skógafoss, a magnificent 60-metre high waterfall where, according to legend, the first Viking settler in the area hid a treasure in the cave behind the cascade.
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