Iceland isn’t high on most travelers “top” places to see, but it should be. It is literally a phenomenon that you will not see anywhere else in the world. Because the island sits on the top of North America and Eurasian tectonic plates, it has a remarkable amount of activity - from earthquakes to exciting geysers and more.
So if Iceland is on your list of “maybes” it is time to bump it to the top of your must-see destinations, especially when you enjoy some of these amazing sights while you are there.
The Northern Lights
You have probably heard of the Northern Lights, but did you know Iceland is about the only place you’ll get the real view? This spectacle is only visible in the winter months - so you will need to arrive between September and March to see them. There is no other phenomenon in the world quite like this and it is definitely a one-in-a-lifetime experience. While you can also see them in Alaska and other Nordic countries, Iceland truly has the best view.
Go to the Blue Lagoon
This is one of Iceland’s most popular sights for tourists and locals alike. The blue lagoon is a geothermal pool that gets its juice from Earth’s natural forces that are about 6500 feet below sea level. While it is pricey to go see, you will be glad you spent the money. You can also bathe in the heated pool that is heated naturally and get a massage from a very powerful, yet gentle, waterfall. Use the mineral rich silica mud to cleanse your face for a natural facial that money cannot buy anywhere else in the world. The water in the lagoon is anything but murky. In fact, it is so bright blue and breathtaking that you will think it couldn’t possibly be real. With the steam naturally coming up off the water’s smooth surface, it looks more like a mystical place from a fantasy movie rather than a place in nature.
Go Geyser Watching
Because of the volcanic activity going on below Iceland, you will see plenty of naturally occurring geysers throughout the country. These underground springs and thermal pools are located all over Iceland - some free, some you must pay for. But, you can see a powerful stream of hot water shooting straight from the ground - sometimes dozens of feet in the air. The best spot is Strokkur, located in the southwest area of Iceland right next to the Hvita River.
Visit Maelifell Volcano
If you want to see a classic volcano, go to Maelifell. During the warmer months the snow is gone so that you can see a green, mossy surface covering the volcano. The park itself has plenty to do and keep you entertained for the admission fee. You’ll see smaller volcanoes, hot springs, geysers and beautiful lava formations that were formed centuries ago. It is best to visit this area in the summer so that you can trek across the area and actually see the volcanos - otherwise they’re covered in snow.
Venture into Ice Caves
Iceland is full of ice caves; making it literally the land of snow and ice. These ice caves are breathtaking and the formations inside are all curtesy of Mother Nature. They are only open and safe to visit in the winter when the temperature is cold enough to keep the formations from falling or melting, but it is worth the chilly excursion.
Check Out Gullfoss Waterfall
This is one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in the entire world - and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Here you will find a breathtaking waterfall tucked into a canyon, which provides the waterfall with three separate terraces. The water comes from Hvita River, which plunges deep down into a stream. There are no rails, so be cautious while looking over the slopes into the waterfall. In the winter the waterfall is not as deep or powerful, but once the ice and slush melt, it is a power to be reckoned with.
See Natural Glaciers
Walk over glaciers, check out glacier pools and even climb under the glaciers of Iceland. These ice formations are some of the more popular attractions in Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Jakulfirdir Glacier Fjord. There are plenty of professional tours that will take you through the glacier parks and they can even take you to the retreating glaciers in Iceland.