If you’re taking a trip to Iceland, be sure to make the most of it. This remote island country is known for its gorgeous landscapes, particularly its waterfalls and geothermal pools, and has a rich culture, history, and folklore. Check out these 15 things to do in Iceland so you don’t miss out!
1. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon Spa
This spa is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, and not just because it’s only a short ride from the airport. Relax in the aqua-blue lagoon and soak up the mineral-rich water. Although the lagoon is man-made, the water is heated by output from the nearby geothermal power plant.
2. Go glacier hiking and ice caving
Those that crave adventure on their trip to Iceland will find it here. Glacier hikes are available year-round to those of all skill levels, but it’s still necessary to hike with a guide and proper gear, such as crampons and a helmet. The same goes for ice caves, which have their share of hazards. Don’t let the potential danger intimidate you: The experience of seeing the glass-like ice of the Crystal Caves is an unforgettable experience.
3. Go snowmobiling in the Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is almost two hundred miles of sightseeing starting in Reykjavik and looping into Eastern Iceland and back. It’s a common route between Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall, which takes about three hours to drive.
4. Go whale watching
If you’ve never seen a whale in the wild, we’d strongly recommend that you take a whale watching tour while in Iceland. There are over twenty species of the island’s coastline, most commonly minke and humpback.
5. Eat puffin
Iceland is full of bizarre foods. There’s hákarl, a fermented shark dish, as well as ram’s testicles, sheep’s head, blood pudding, whale blubber, and fish stomach stuffed with fish liver. And you thought haggis was bad. In comparison, puffin isn’t that bad. Supposedly it tastes like chicken when eaten cooked and like fish when eaten raw.
6. Have a night out in Reykjavik
See how Icelandic clubs differ from the local ones back home. Reykjavik has a buzzing nightlife, whether you’re looking for live music, stand-up comedy, or cabaret performances!
7. Go horseback riding
Considering their diminutive stature, Icelandic horses are more like ponies. A horseback riding will allow you to interact with one of these charming animals while taking in Iceland’s breathtaking landscape.
8. Visit the Penis Museum
You can’t take a trip to Iceland without going to the The Phallological Museum. This museum has over two-hundred animal appendages, bearing a striking resemblance to an online chat forum. There are also four human penises on display and a donation station where visitors can sign up to donate their members post-mortem. In addition to it’s distinctive displays, this museum’s gift shop alone is worth a visit.
9. See the Dettifoss Waterfall in Northern Iceland
Iceland is known for it’s amazing waterfalls and Dettifoss, found in Vatnajökull National Park, is by far the most striking. Consider visiting the falls in winter when they’re surrounded by snow for a particularly scenic trip.
Fun fact: The Dettifoss Waterfall is the most powerful in Europe.
10. Go dogsledding
Dogsledding isn’t unique to Iceland, but why not take the opportunity to combine sightseeing with cuddling fluffy dogs?
11. Visit the Skaftafell Nature Preserve
This natural park is packed with attractions, such as Jökulsárlón, a glacier lagoon, and the Svartifoss waterfall, surrounded by basalt lava columns.
12. Tour iconic buildings
Iceland is known for it’s stylized architecture. Visit the preserved turf houses that dominated the landscape in Viking times, as well as the many stunning churches like the Hallgrimskirja Church and the Húsavíkurkirkja Church.
13. Visit the Thrihnukagigur magma chamber
This exciting tour includes a moderate hike to the crater as well as an elevator ride descending 400 feet into the volcano itself. Booking costs $370, but it’s worth it for what a trip that boasts #7 ranking on CNN Travel’s “Must-See Places in the World”!
14. Buy an Icelandic sweater as a souvenir
Icelandic sweaters are gorgeous and one-of-a-kind. Be sure to buy one while in Iceland, as it’s difficult to find authentic apparel outside the country.
15. Witness the Aurora Borealis
Instead of taking a tour with a group of strangers, sneak away with your party to an isolated spot on the coastline, like the seaside by Seltjarnarnes. This will ensure that you’re far enough from the city’s light pollution to see one of the most rare and awe-inspiring experiences in the world.