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Iceland is a country of extraordinary natural beauty and captivating landscapes. It offers serene moments in nature, adrenaline-pumping activities, unique animal encounters and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. This list of the top things to do in Iceland will help you plan an unforgettable trip filled with beautiful sights and exciting adventures.

Top Things To Do in Iceland - Puffins





Road Trip Iceland - Best Things To Do

The best way to experience everything Iceland has to offer is on a road trip. Most of the top destinations are located outside the cities with very few public transport options. While tours are an option, driving is the best way to experience these sights at your own pace.

Fortunately, Iceland is well-designed for road trips, boasting well-maintained highways that are incredibly scenic, and facilities such as supermarkets, petrol stations and guesthouses are available at regular intervals.

Iceland's three most popular tourist routes are the Ring Road, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Golden Circle.

Need help planning your Iceland road trip? Check out our 10-Day Iceland Itinerary to get started.


There is a plethora of stunning waterfalls dotted around Iceland. It’s almost impossible to miss these powerful cascades as you make your way around the country, each one more impressive than the last. Many popular spots, like Skógafoss, Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss, can be seen from the highway or heard roaring in the distance as you approach. Other gems like Gljúfrabúi, Svartifoss and Öxarárfoss are tucked away in caverns, national parks, and remote valleys, worth the hikes and adventures to reach them.


In the land of fire and ice, some of the best attractions are the natural hot pools heated by the geothermal activity Iceland is known for. From the famous Blue Lagoon to the floating Vök Baths, the increasingly popular Sky Lagoon and the privately-owned Hrunalaug, visitors are invited to escape the cold and experience the relaxing and rejuvenating effects of the mineral-rich waters.

Planning to visit The Blue Lagoon? Check out our Know Before You Go guide.


Although far from the idyllic imagery of white sand and turquoise water, Iceland's dark, dramatic coastline is captivating. The waves from the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto black sand, framed by basalt columns and pooling around chunks of ice, is a sight like no other.

Reynisfjara is a must-visit black sand beach in South Iceland. This expansive coastline is the perfect example of the moody atmosphere heightened by the towering basalt columns around the eerie Hálsanefshellir Cave.

Diamond Beach is another black sand beach that cannot be missed. Here, icebergs from the Jökulsárlón glacier are washed onto the coastline in varying shapes and sizes. With the dark sand underneath and the sun shining from above, the beach really does look like it’s littered with diamonds.

The picturesque black, volcanic sand also draws visitors to Solheimasandur, a site on the coastline of South Iceland. Set amongst the dark, isolated landscape is the wreck of a US Navy plane that crashed in 1973 (everyone survived).


Best churches to see in Iceland -Seyðisfjarðarkirkja

Icelandic architecture embraces simplicity, blending modern innovation and cultural heritage and harmoniously merging the man-made with nature. A popular way to see and capture this is by searching for Iceland’s unique and picturesque churches.

You will spot churches all over the country, but we recommend starting with Hallgrímskirkja, Búðakirkja, Seyðisfjarðarkirkja, Víðimýrarkirkja and Vík í Mýrdal church.

For more information on these churches, check out our guide to the 5 Best Churches To Visit in Iceland.


Icelandic Horses

Icelandic horses are a beautiful and majestic breed, renowned for their thick manes, sturdy build, unique gait, and gentle nature. These horses are ingrained in the Icelandic culture, purebred in the country for over 1,000 years and resilient to the harsh climate and landscape.

You will have no trouble spotting Icelandic horses on your travels, with many grazing on farmland by the side of the road. If you want to get up close, you can visit stables or book guided riding tours.

Top Things To Do in Iceland - Where to see Puffins


If you travel to Iceland in Summer, you must go looking for the Puffins. These adorable birds have bright bills, big watery-looking eyes and an adorable waddle. Summer is nesting season and the best time to spot them in their natural environment.

We recommend heading to Borgarfjörður eystri, where the colonies descend upon Hafnarhólmi for nesting season. Boardwalks, viewing platforms and a bird-watching hut have been set up so you can get up close without destroying their nesting burrows.

This town in East Iceland may seem like a big journey from the main tourist route, but it’s worth making room in your itinerary for the detour.


This one has got to be on everyone’s bucket list. Seeing the northern lights is a sought-after experience but one that cannot be guaranteed. Iceland is one of the top countries to see this natural phenomenon, so keep an eye on the night skies and keep your fingers crossed for a glimpse of this colourful wonder.


Check out our 10-Day Iceland Itinerary to help get your planning started.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use too.

Click here to see our Google Maps for Top Things To Do in Iceland.

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