Top 10 Cool Things To Do In Iceland (that aren't necessarily on the Golden Circle tour)
I've recently had the pleasure of planning an amazing quick trip to Iceland for a great couple. While doing that I thought I would put together a list of the top unique things to do in Iceland. It's such an amazing country at any time of year.
Whale Watching Tour – There are many tours available that allow you to see whales as well as puffins. Minke whales are the most common in Iceland.
Engage with Naturalists and experience rare sightings that will leave you in awe.
It is best to whale watch in the summer months, preferably April through September. Make sure to follow instructions carefully and be safe.
Blue Lagoon Spa – This mineral-rich attraction is minutes from the Keflavik International airport. There are many spa options available due to the geothermic forces and many natural elements. The lagoon is man-made and renewed every two days with fresh water.
You can easily access the site via car or bus, and there is a possibility of a stopover on your way to or from the airport. There is nothing like a soak in a hot springs after a long overnight flight!
West Fjords – Located relatively close to Reykjavik, the Fjords are breathtaking.
You need to plan well and leave time to really explore all this area has to offer.
They have so many great attractions - it may be tough to fit it all in during a day trip.
You can visit a myriad of special sites, such as the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum or the famous Látrabjarg cliff.
Skogafoss – The perfect place for you to get a shot with a double rainbow, Skogafoss is the most scenic fall in Iceland. With a drop of over 60 meters, the view is spectacular.
There is also a legend of gold that lies within the falls. Take your chance and search if you dare…
Silfra - Silfra is an amazing diving spot located in Thingvellir National Park that you can't see or experience anywhere else in the world. It is the crevice between the tectonic plates in North America and Eurasian continents.
These tectonic plates shift roughly 2 cm every year, and this shifting of the earth creates new caverns and tunnels. Diving with a guide is the best way to go.
You will likely see a lot of wildlife to see on your dive/snorkel, as this water is the purest in the world and attracts a lot of wildlife - you could even take a sip of the water with no reservations.
Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) – This sight is at the top of many lists, however, you need to know the best possible location to view this wonder. Thingvellir is by far the finest area to see this wonder.
Be sure you check the weather so that you have a combination of dark and partially clear skies. That being said - being able to see the Northern Lights is a bit of a gamble. You could go on a tour and see nothing, and then be back at your hotel where they put on a show.
Holuhraun - This is a fairly new site that you can visit located in the Highlands of Iceland.
You will need a 4WD to reach the landscape, and be sure you get a high-quality vehicle that is equipped to travel on the unique terrain. It the newest formed lava flow from a volcano that lasted from August 2014 through February 2015.
When peering into the rifts of this geothermal wonder you can see many beautifully vivid colors.
Be careful and stay on the marked paths and wear gloves when handling any lava rocks. The area is still highly thermal and potentially dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. As a result of all this thermal activity, you will see steam rising in certain areas.
Reynisfjara Beach - This beach is gorgeous and an absolute must-see!
With its rare black sand and basalt columns, there is much to explore on this volcanic shoreline. The black sand is lava that cooled once it hit the water and the sand is more like various small stones.
While on Reynisfjara, you can also see Gardar, which is a basalt cliff that resembles a staircase to heaven. It is a natural pyramid and was formed by columnar jointing. There are many basalt columns throughout Iceland, but this is by far the most exceptional.
Party in Reykjavik – This small town has the best party spots in Iceland, hands down!
There are multiple bars and restaurants to choose from. Make sure you are in Reukjavik on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to experience the party atmosphere.
Seljavallalaug – This natural pool is one of the oldest in Iceland and you will surely have a memorable experience when visiting. The water is not that hot because it does mix with colder water.
Start building your list for visiting Iceland, and be sure to reach out when you are ready to start planning. It's closer, and easier to get to than you think!
To book your next dream vacation - when the time is right to travel - reach out to me through email at Alicia@EveningStarTravel.ca, or by calling 587 772 2525. I am located in Sherwood Park, Alberta (a suburb of Edmonton), and am a Travel Advisor specializing in River Cruising, Beach Escapes, and Custom Vacations. I am the owner/operator of Evening Star Travel, and I book travel for clients all across Canada.