Top 5 Things to Do in Iceland

landscape photo of Aurora lights

Embrace the Land of Fire and Ice as we embark on an adventure through the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland! With its cascading waterfalls, towering glaciers, and geothermal wonders, Iceland is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

In this guide, we’ll unveil the top 5 must-do experiences that will leave you spellbound by the beauty of this Nordic gem. From chasing the elusive Northern Lights to soaking in the soothing waters of the Blue Lagoon, get ready to discover the wonders that await you in Iceland.

See the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Experiencing the Northern Lights in Thingvellir National Park is an absolute must-do when visiting Iceland. This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a stunning backdrop for witnessing the Aurora’s dance, offering dark skies that enhance your chances of encountering this celestial spectacle – and proximity to Reykjavik ensures easy access during your stay. By day, explore the rugged terrain and marvel at the tectonic plates’ collision before settling in for an unforgettable night of Northern Lights viewing.

In short, Thingvellir National Park offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and accessible wonder—a quintessential Icelandic experience not to be missed.

We suggest booking a tour with a guide who knows the best spots and how to get there – and with a company who will let you try again on another day if the first day doesn’t pan out to see the Lights!

Go Offroading at Holuhraun  

Holuhraun is the site of Iceland’s most recent volcanic eruption, which occurred between 2014 and 2015. The landscape is characterized by vast lava fields, volcanic craters, and surreal geological formations, offering a rare glimpse into the raw power of nature. (You’ll 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 – or a great private ntour guide.) Be careful and stay on the marked paths and wear gloves when handling any lava rocks!

Visit Reynisfjara Beach

Reynisfjara Beach isn’t your average beach destination—it’s a mesmerizing black sand beach with a backdrop straight out of a fantasy novel. Here, striking jet-black sand contrasts dramatically against the crashing waves and surrounding cliffs, while ancient basalt columns rise from the ground, adding an otherworldly charm to the landscape. The powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean create a symphony of sound and a spectacle of spray, offering an exhilarating and humbling experience.

Bird enthusiasts (like me!) will find plenty to marvel at, with numerous seabird species nesting along the cliffs, including puffins and fulmars. Legend has it that the distinctive Reynisdrangar sea stacks were once trolls turned to stone by the light of dawn, adding to the area’s mystical allure. In short, Reynisfjara Beach is a place of raw natural beauty, geological wonders, and enchanting stories—a must-see destination for anyone visiting Iceland.

Go for a Dip at Seljavallalaug

Seljavallalaug is like stumbling upon a secret slice of paradise in Iceland’s wild landscapes, and let me tell you, it’s totally worth the adventure. Picture this: nestled in a quiet valley, surrounded by rugged mountains and trickling waterfalls, you’ll find one of Iceland’s oldest swimming pools, dating all the way back to 1923. And here’s the kicker—it’s heated by natural geothermal springs, so you can soak in warm, soothing waters while soaking up those epic views. Plus, since it’s still somewhat under the radar, you won’t have to jostle for space with crowds of tourists.

Whether you’re up for a scenic hike or just craving some serious relaxation time, Seljavallalaug delivers the goods for an off-the-beaten-path Icelandic adventure you won’t soon forget. (Also, good news: the water is not that hot because it does mix with colder water. Whew!)

Explore the Old Harbor, Architecture and the Art Scene in Reykjavik

Begin your Reykjavik adventure with a leisurely stroll through the Old Harbor area, where you can admire the colorful boats bobbing in the water, browse charming shops and boutiques, and indulge in a coffee or a bite to eat at one of the cozy cafes or seafood restaurants. No visit to Reykjavik is complete without seeing Hallgrimskirkja, the city’s iconic church. Take the elevator to the top of the tower for panoramic views of Reykjavik and beyond—a must for any Instagram feed. Immerse yourself in Reykjavik’s vibrant arts and culture scene by exploring the city’s numerous galleries and museums. From contemporary Icelandic art at the Reykjavik Art Museum to learning about the country’s history at the National Museum of Iceland, there’s something to captivate every visitor.

photo of gray cathedral during daytime

So pack your bags and prepare to be captivated by the wonders of this extraordinary island nation. Iceland awaits—let the adventure begin!

Ready to embark on your Icelandic odyssey? Contact your favorite travel advisors at Chronicle Travel Company today and let us help you plan the adventure of a lifetime!