Top things to do in Iceland
June 5, 2019
Iceland is a one-of-a-kind trip. The landscape constantly changes and nature shows herself from her best side. If you’re looking for adventure, this country won’t disappoint you at all. Iceland is indeed one adventure you’ll talk about forever. Its capital, Reykjavík, is definitely a city well worth visiting. It has a lot more to offer that you might think. You will find anything from exhibitions and tours to family days out. I would highly recommend going especially to:
Perlan – Wonders of Iceland
Perlan – Wonders of Iceland can offer an ice cave, an immersive planetarium experience, a panoramic view of Reykjavík from the 360° observation deck and much more. This lovely exhibition is located in Varmahlíð 1, 105 Reykjavík. The entrance ticket starts from 29,10 € and will give you access to the wonders of Icelandic nature. Are you ready to experience them in a unique way?
(The view from the Perlan)
Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Center
If you’re not lucky enough to see the real Aurora Borealis, at least you will learn more about the science behind it. Or otherwise, if you have already experienced the northern lights, you will see them again in a different and fun way: on a 7-meter screen and on the VR goggles. It is, without any kind of doubt, a must for all the Aurora Borealis lovers. It’s a very exciting place to know more about this amazing natural phenomenon that has bewitched and enchanted generations. “Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Center” is not really well known unless you are looking specifically for it. This museum would deserve to be more popular among tourists from all over the world because it’s really interesting.
Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center
Harpa hosts a variety of events and festivals. You will be amazed by its great design and architecture. It was built recently, in 2011. It is located in the heart of Reykjavík, on the border between land and sea. Even the Icelandic Opera performs at the concert hall.
Whale watching tours
Reykjavík is among Europe’s best whale watching destinations. You get the chance to see whales in their natural environment. Whale Watching season is from April to mid-October and there are many tour operators (e.g. Elding, Whale Safari and Reykjavik Excursions) that offer excursion tours from the old harbor of the city. They last 3-5 hours and prices start from 80 €. You must wear the warmest clothing to protect yourself from the weather. It can be really hard. On these tours, you could even see other incredible animals like seals, dolphins and sharks. Elding tour operator offers a puffin watching tour as well. Puffin bird, also known as “sea parrot” or “the clown of the sea”, has become indeed a tourist attraction as well and Iceland’s most precious bird. By the way, if you can’t make it to a real whale watching tour, there’s another option, quicker and easier with kids: “Whales of Iceland – The spectacular Whale Exhibition”. It’s open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. That’s their website: http://www.whalesoficeland.is/
If you’re fond of history, it is the right place for you. The Saga Museum will let you discover everything you don’t know about Icelandic history, which is so rich of events. It’s an amazing journey through time you can’t miss. It’s open all days from 10:00 to 18:00 and you can find more info at this link: http://www.sagamuseum.is/
These activities are all located in Reykjavík, home to fewer than 200,000 people. It’s not a very big city, you can easily visit it in a few days and enjoy it at its fullest before moving to all the activities outside of the capital. That’s the only way to experience a country like Iceland in a complete way. You will move from the city to the national parks, waterfalls, beaches, geysers, lagoons and glaciers. Iceland is a country that will make you feel extremely active, healthy and close to Mother Nature. It will give you the feeling to be 100% alive. You will definitely feel more adventurous than ever thanks to all the variety of wonders to explore. Maybe only the hard weather conditions will eventually slow down your desire of adventure. Here you are my favorite activities outside the capital:
It’s the most popular tour of the island and includes everything you can’t miss if you’re visiting Iceland for a limited amount of time:
- Gullfoss Waterfall: Iceland is known for being home to many beautiful waterfalls and Gullfoss is the most famous one.
- Geysir Geothermal Field: home to the Great Geysir, the oldest known geyser, located in southwestern Iceland.
- Kerid Crater: a volcanic crater lake located in Grímsnes, South Iceland.
- Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss: the beautiful waterfalls of South-Iceland.
- Vik Village Area: a small village with under 300 inhabitants, about 180 kilometers from the capital.
- Reynisfjara: better known as Black Sand Beach, is a world-famous black-sand beach, beside the Village of Vik.
- The abandoned plane wreck in Sólheimasandur: On Saturday 24th November in 1973 a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane was forced to land on Sólheimasandur’s black sand beach. No one died in the accident and the plane has since been abandoned on the beach. To reach the plane, you have to go for a long walk. It took me about 2 hours back and forth but it’s really worth it. It’s truly considered a dream photography location, really similar to a science fiction movie set.
Plus, if you would like to rest from all the adventures before going back home, make sure to stop at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa just 39 kilometers away from the capital. It’s located in a lava field in Grindavík, on the Reykjanes Peninsula. You will find yourself daydreaming not only of this lovely scenario but about all the other ones. Trust me.