If you know us, you know that we love traveling! We’re so lucky to get to see the world with our families. Every time we travel to a new place, we like to keep track of our favorite destinations that we visited. What good is the list if we don’t share it with others? For all you kindred traveler spirits, here are our top five destinations in beautiful Iceland! Tip: Contrary to its name, Iceland is NOT covered in ice!
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is known as one of Iceland’s most popular destinations, so we wanted to see what all the hype was about. It certainly didn’t disappoint! The Blue Lagoon is a geothermic spa situated on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This region is known for its volcanoes and barren landscapes so The Blue Lagoon really stands out! This is one destination you really don’t want to miss. It’s now one of the world’s most popular spas and it’s no wonder why. The spa is open all year and the gorgeous milky-blue water is around 102 degrees Fahrenheit 365 days a year. The spa also offers mud masks, facials, psoriasis treatments and more to give you the luxury treatment you deserve. We were lucky enough to get a spot, but only because we booked in advance! Depending on when you go, you may need to plan out your spa day several weeks beforehand. We’re not kidding when we say it’s worth it. The hype is well-placed and we had a very wonderful time. Fun fact: The Blue Lagoon is not a natural hot spring and was actually formed besides a power plant! Don’t worry, though the water is safe and free from anything that’s not good for you. Check out The Blue Lagoon on this guide to Iceland for more info.
Thingvellir National Park
Another incredible location in Iceland that we love is Thingvellir National Park. It’s located on the hugely popular Golden Circle Route and attracts millions every year. Thingvellir was named a national park in 1930, making it the first in Iceland. It’s rich in history to the Icelandic residents because it used to be the gathering site for the Icelandic parliament. People would flock to the area for up to two weeks while the assembly met to make important government decisions. Thingvellir National Park is also rich in geographical significance. The whole area sits atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a fissure that extends between the Eurasian and North American continental plates. It’s over 9,950 miles long! As the plates move, volcanoes erupt. Iceland is home to a lot of seismic and volcanic activity and the Thingvellir National Park is dotted with shield volcanoes. The last eruption in the area was around 2,000 years ago, but experts aren’t sure when we can expect new activity. Until then, we highly recommend Thingvellir National Park where you can observe nature and even diver between the tectonic plates! Check out the park’s website to learn more: https://bsyl.ink/ThingvellirNationalPark.
Third on our list of must-see Iceland destinations is the Hallgrimskirkja Church. It’s the main landmark of Reykjavik and you can see its tower from just about anywhere in the city! This enormous church is 240 feet tall! No wonder we were able to see it so easily from anywhere! Hallgrimskirkja is open every day to visitors, so of course, we had to include it as a stop. The tower is also open to the public for a reasonable admission fee every day except for Sundays from 10:30-12:15 for mass. From the top of the tower, you can see the city from a once-in-a-lifetime perspective. We highly suggested visiting the tower because it’s not every day you get to look down on an entire city from 240 feet up! We highly recommend making the church one of your stops for an unforgettable experience. Learn more about the building here: https://bsyl.ink/HallgrimskirkjaChurch.
We cannot get enough of waterfalls and Gullfoss Falls did not disappoint. You’ll find this natural wonder in the Hvítá river canyon in South-West Iceland. Its location is super convenient because it’s only about two hours from Iceland’s capital. We know, two hours seems like a lot, but the route takes you through even more gorgeous parts of Iceland and time flies by. The water that flows down Gullfoss Falls travels from the Langjökull glacier and down the Hvítá river. In the summer, approximately 459 cubic feet of water surges down the waterfall every second. You don’t quite understand that volume until you experience it for yourself in person. It’s truly incredible and makes you appreciate the raw power of nature. Fun fact: there are actually two stages to Gullfoss Falls that are just lumped together in the name. The first is around 36 feet tall while the second is 69 feet tall! If you want to learn even more fun facts about Gullfoss Falls, take a look at Guide To Iceland.
Hunting the Northern Lights
Last but not least, our trip to Iceland wouldn’t be complete without hunting for the Northern Lights. We’re pretty sure that seeing the Northern Lights is on just about every bucket list ever made. Iceland is one of the best places to see them and we were determined to catch a glimpse. A few things we learned are a) the Northern Lights season is from September to mid-April b) you have a much better chance of seeing the lights if you travel outside of populated areas and c) the Icelandic Met Office offers a prediction for how visible the lights will be on a given day. These three things will instantly make hunting for the Northern Lights easier because they set you up for success. You should also hunt when the skies are clear and there is ample darkness or you won’t be able to see the lights. You can go on a self-driving tour to hunt for the perfect spot or sign up for one of the daily tours hosted by professional companies every day in the winter. There are many touring companies available so if you really want to see the Northern Lights, we recommend signing up for a tour of the areas with the best views. The Northern Lights are something you won’t want to miss so if you’re in Iceland, make hunting them a top priority before you leave!
Whew! We know that was a lot to take in, but we just couldn’t cut any of these destinations off the list. There were, even more, we wanted to include, but we can’t talk forever. Iceland is a beautiful place to visit with so many attractions and destinations that you’ll never run out of things to do. We hope you have as much fun in Iceland as we did. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay adventurous.