Since travelling to Iceland in June 2016, I have had an infinite amount of friends asking me for tips, tricks and “must sees”. In response to this, I decided to do a post about my favourite places in Iceland.
Myself and two friends rented a campervan and traveled the entire Ring Road in 6 days (not recommended by most). We had the time of our lives – here are my favourite spots along the way (in no specific order)
1. Þingvellir National Park
Snorkeling (or diving) between the tectonic plates
This was one of my most memorable experiences in Iceland. After getting bundled up in a two layer dry suit, we had the chance to snorkel in some of the purest and clearest water in the world. While pricey, it was definitely a worthwhile experience. **Note if you have your diving certification – the dive also looked incredible**
Favourite waterfall of the north (Tip: Foss = Waterfall)
This waterfall in the North is beautiful and powerful. You could spend hours just walking around.
A beautiful day hike
A good hike in the Myvatn Lake area with some challenging terrain and breathtaking views at the top. Bring up some beers and snacks and enjoy the view. Stay on the path both ways – we had quite the adventure going down the wrong side of the mountain.
4. Myvatn Nature Baths
A good alternative to the Blue Lagoon
We didn’t venture to the blue lagoon as we had heard it was too busy, too expensive and too touristy. The Myvatn Nature Baths were heavenly after a long day of hiking and driving. The baths are open late, so if you are there in the summer you can hang out while the sun lingers at sunset. They also serve drinks in the pool.
5. Driving through the East Fjords
The drive from Northern Iceland, through the Easy Fjords and down to Hofn was absolutely breathtaking. The landscapes changed drastically within kilometres – it was surreal.
The Glacier Lagoon
I had never been anywhere near the Arctic, or even seen an iceberg – so the glacier lagoon was fascinating. We went when the sun was “setting” and it was beautiful. We spent our time skipping rocks and trying to capture mini icebergs.
“The most beautiful canyon in the world”
If I had to pick a favourite place in Iceland, I think this would be it. Wander up and down the sides of the canyon, risk your life walking out onto small paths, or take a dip in the glacier fed river below.
A waterfall for the adventurous
A popular spot in Iceland where you can walk right up to the waterfall and climb up the steps to the top. Ignore the rope fence at the top and wander beyond the crowds, to the river and down into the caves below.
The opposite of the Blue Lagoon
If you are into “off the map”, “roughing it” kind of places, than this hot pot is for you. Seljavallalaug is a 25 metre stone swimming pool in the middle of a gorgeous valley. You have to trek a little bit to get there from the parking lot and the change rooms are basically a scene from horror movie, but that’s all part of the experience, right? Bring some Icelandic beer and relax in the middle of nowhere in this naturally heated pool.
Good food, good nightlife and beautiful scenery
It wouldn’t be a trip to Iceland if you didn’t spend some time in Reykjavik. Reykjavik is a charming city and Iceland’s capital. If you are into nightlife, spend your night hopping from bar to bar and finish the night hopping from food truck to food truck. The bars range from Irish pubs with live music to nightclubs with DJs. Reykjavik is home to some of the best fish and chips I have ever had. Warning – spending more than a day or two in Reykjavik is a good way to burn a hole in your wallet…you’ve been warned.
Now, these are only 10 of my favourite places in Iceland and there are so many places I didn’t get to visit while I was there – the West Fjords, the Highlands… Iceland is so vast and there is so much to explore, so don’t let this list restrict you!