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10 Breathtaking Places To Visit In Iceland While You’re Young

10 Breathtaking Places To Visit In Iceland While You’re Young

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Iceland is becoming a travel hot spot. The hikes and views aren't for the faint-hearted, so see these places to visit in Iceland while you're young!

Ever since the eruption of Iceland’s E15 in 2010, the country’s tourist industry has received a huge boost. Many tourists flock there each year to see its natural wonders, its unique culture and its fascinating history, preserved through years of isolation and careful conservation. That’s not even considering the Icelandic language which has changed little since the time of the Vikings, making it a historical marker in its own right. So grab some tickets and head right over! And be sure to check out these wonderful places to visit in Iceland.

Note on pronunciation: Icelandic words are rather hard to say. Following these general rules will ease much of the problems:

  • Vowels are pronounced like the “short” vowels of English. Ó and Ú are pronounced like the “long” forms of the vowels.
  • Á is pronounced like the “ow” in ‘cow’.
  • Ð/ð is pronounced like the “th” in ‘that’ while Þ/þ is pronounced like the “th” in ‘thin’.
  • É is pronounced like the “ye” in ‘yes’.
  • Ey is pronounced like the “a” in ‘make.
  • H is typically silent when followed by a consonant. An exception is the HV combination which is pronounced as KV.
  • Í and Ý are pronounced like the “e” in ‘be’.
  • J is pronounced like the “y” in ‘yes’.
  • LL is pronounced like “tl,” even at the end of words.
  • Ö is pronounced like the “u” in urgent. Au is pronounced like ö followed by the “e” in be.

1. Skógafoss (Skógar)

Wonder doesn’t begin to describe the emotions felt by those who visit Skógafoss. From the mossy rocks which surround the area to the grandeur of the waterfall itself. There is no way to hate this experience. Hearing the sounds of the falls and feeling the water on your skin is super rejuvenating. If you love the natural world, you’ll love coming here.

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2. Öxarárfoss (Þingvellir)

Þingvellir National Park is already well-known to travelers as one of the most significant places to visit in Iceland for its important role in Iceland’s history. Either that or its proximity to the North American plate boundary, that is! But if there’s one attraction which you cannot miss during your visit, it’s Öxarárfoss. It’s a waterfall, just like Skógafoss, but what makes it unique is the scenery that you’ll see there. Tall, rocky land masses that seem endless stand in contrast to the sunken plain the falls spill into. It’s a spectacular image that’ll please the art nerd in you. It’s truly a place you don’t want to miss.

3. Dyrhólaey (Vík)

Let’s step away from waterfalls for a second. Literally translating to “Doorhole Island,” this place is not an island but a peninsula and one of the most fabulous one’s in the country. Look past the aesthetically-gorgeous lighthouse and you’ll find a grand rock formation in the shape of an arch. In pictures it’s unique, but in person it is a testament to the power of erosion and the spectacular force of nature. Snap some pictures, because this is one location you’ll want to remember.

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4. Landmannalaugar (Hálendið)

A landmark like no other, Landmannalaugar offers some of the best views of the mountains, hot springs, rivers and lakes that make up the Icelandic highlands. From arrival, you have the opportunity to camp, fish, hike, bathe in or drive through this area and explore the steep terrain that surrounds you. Compared to other places to visit in Iceland, this is less of a place and more of an experience. Huts are scattered around the place so that hikers and campers will always have somewhere to rest. But rest is especially important if we’re talking about the trail to…

5. Þórsmörk (Hálendið)

…a mountainous region located close to E15! The trail which connects this region with Landmannalaugar is known as the Laugavegur trail and it is the ultimate experience for any hikers who plan to go to Iceland. The trail takes several days to complete but the landscapes that you’ll encounter are well-worth the length. Of particular note is the Valahnúksból mountain which boasts an out-of-this-world view of the Krossá and Hvannárgil river valleys down below. A gorgeous site and a must-see for sure!

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6. Hringvegur (Countrywide)

Hringvegur or “Ring Road” is the main highway that travels in a loop around Iceland. Traversing it isn’t just something for road-trip lovers though. Ring Road is well-known among cyclists for its wide-range and generally flat surface. On top of that, the highway is a good connecting point to other bike trails around the country, making it a necessary part of any bike enthusiasts visit!  If you are planning to bike it, be prepared for the weather, which can range from cold to windy to impassible in the winter. Be sure you have places to stay overnight and if not, enough camping materials to make it through the night.

7. Seljalandsfoss (Suðurland)

A lot of the most beautiful places to visit in Iceland are stunning waterfalls. The last waterfall on this list is perhaps the most special. You can walk behind these falls. Through a narrow but adrenaline-pumping pathway, you can head behind Seljalandsfoss, allowing you to feel, see and smell it up close like with no other waterfall in the country. And the views you get more than make up for any terror or panic felt during it. This is a must-see but be sure to bring a steady camera-holding hand; this is one place you wouldn’t want to drop it!

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8. Harpa (Reykjavik)

While most of the renowned places to visit in Iceland are outdoors, the architecture is worth mentioning. If you need an example of a building that just screams Iceland, this is it. The Harpa Concert Hall is a building with texture; its glassy walls appear to resemble fish scales or a rocky landscape and it is a beauty from both the inside and out. The selection of things to see here includes Iceland’s national opera house and philharmonic, as well as a number of shows aimed at tourists that’d be perfect for those with children. But you can’t go to Reykjavik and miss its most famous site…

9. Hallgrímskirkja (Reykjavík)

Named for Icelandic poet Hallgrímur Pétursson, this surreal yet gorgeous church is spectacular on the outside and simple on the inside. It resembles a spaceship more than a house of worship, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s intrigued both locals and tourists since it was built. It’s a defining feature of the city skyline. Occasionally, the church holds choir and classical music performances, but if that’s not up your alley, the observation deck is readily available too.

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10. Reynisdrangar (Reykjanes)

What is there to say about this majestic part of Iceland’s geography? Reynisdrangar’s black sand beach has a mossy, mountainous zone and a large basalt cave with pillars resembling platforms lining the edges. Dyrhólaey may be a testament to nature’s power, but this is where you go to honor nature itself. It feels like a sacred temple, as if even leaving a footprint in the sand would disturb the place. It may be crowded, but it’s great to visit even with all the hustle and bustle of other tourists.

What are your favorite places to visit in Iceland? Where have you dreamed of visiting? Let us know in the comments!