1 | Whale Watching
Taking a whale watching cruise is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland and for good reason – the ocean around Iceland is teeming with cetacean giants!
2 | Blue Lagoon
The milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon are by now one of Iceland’s most famous attractions. The mineral-rich water is pumped up from the depths of the earth and mixed with sea water to form a pool of water at the perfect temperature.
3 | Þingvellir
Þingvellir is important from both a historical and geological standpoint. For centuries, this was where Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament, met, but it’s also where the Earth’s tectonic plates slowly pull apart to form cracks and crevices in the earth.
4 | Gullfoss
Gullfoss is a thundering stream of water cascading down in two tiers before reaching the canyon below. The name translates to Golden Waterfall and it’s from this waterfall that the Golden Circle takes its name!
5 | Geysir
Geysir, the original erupting hot spring, giving its name to all the geysers out there, is pretty quiet these days. Its neighbour Strokkur, however, ejects boiling water 20m in the air every 6-10 minutes.
6 | Krýsuvík
Iceland’s geothermal heat is immensely powerful and at the Krýsuvík geothermal area, you can see the effects clearly on the earth’s surface. Multicoloured hills, steam rising from the ground, and bubbling hot springs are a sight you must see to believe!
7 | Hraunfossar/Barnafoss
No tour of the west coast of Iceland is complete without a stop at Hraunfossar waterfall, where the water streams out from underneath a lava field before flowing over red cliffs into the foaming water below. Just above Hraunfossar waterfall is Barnafoss, another stunning waterfall.
8 | Deildartunguhver
Deildartunguhver is Europe’s most powerful hot spring. Don’t get too close to the source, 180 litres of boiling water gush out of the spring per second! The spring is the source of the water in Krauma spa’s many hot tubs.
9 | Glymur
One of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, Glymur, is just a short drive away from the city. It’s only accessible by a hiking trail but the view is well worth the hike.
10 | Reykjadalur valley
The valley north of Hveragerði is one of the most popular hiking routes in Iceland. That’s not just because of the beautiful nature and majestic mountains surrounding the valley but mostly because of the hot springs at the end of the route, some of them at the perfect temperature for bathing!
11 | Skálholt
There’s been a church at Skálholt for more than 1,000 years and before the Reformation, it used to be the seat of one of Iceland’s two catholic bishops.
12 | Langjökull
Iceland has some of the largest glaciers in Europe and Langjökull glacier is just a few hours away from the city. You can go hiking or snowmobiling on the ice, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even go inside the glacier!
13 | Esjan
Mt. Esjan towers over the Reykjavík City skyline. It’s the locals’ favourite spot to go hiking and when you see the view, you’ll know why!
14 | Bláfjöll
Although Icelandic winters are milder than you’d expect, the people of Reykjavík still love skiing and their favourite spot to do it is at the Bláfjöll ski resort.