The land of ice and fire - and full of contrasts. On the one hand, volcanoes are bubbling and the hot HotPots invite you to take a dip. On the other hand, there are huge glaciers and harsh weather conditions. Iceland is characterized by breathtaking nature and you can visit the highlights for free, usually only a small parking fee is due. However, Iceland is not a cheap travel destination, but it is worth every dollar. Take a look at what there is to discover in this great country.
Looking for accommodation it depends on how you want to explore Iceland
- Circle Iceland via the ring road: In the off-season you can spontaneously book hotels on site
- Besuch im Süden: Ein zentrales Hotel in der Nähe von Selfoss, von dort aus Tagesausflüge in den Süden. Oder ein Hotel im Südwesten (Snaefellsnes), eins im Süden(Selfoss) und eins im Südosten (Höfn)
- Visit to the North: Hotel in Akureyri
You can find cheap hotels or holiday apartments on booking.com
Hjörleifshöfdi (Yoda Cave)
The cave with the special shape that looks like Yoda can be found in southern Iceland near Vík. To get to the cave you just have to take the small turnoff from the ring road and drive over the gravel road to the sea.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is where the Vikings come together for their gatherings, just 40km from the capital Reykjavík. Here you can experience the breathtaking tectonic architecture of Iceland and even snorkel between the continents.
The two tectonic continental plates of America and Europe meet in the Silfra fissure. As a highlight, you can go snorkeling in the 2-4 degree cold water. Don't worry about the cold, you'll be wrapped up in a dry suit and then warm cocoa and biscuits will be waiting for you. As a tour guide I can recommend Troll Expeditions , the guides are super nice and take excellent care of your needs.
On March 19th, 2021 the volcano erupted and became a tourist highlight. You can find the volcanic area on the Reykjanes peninsula, only about 40 km from the capital Reykjavík. The area around the volcano is now well developed and there are many parking spaces from which hiking routes to the lava field and the volcano start. The way to the lava field is quite easy to manage. In order to get up to the volcano, however, you should take the right equipment with you and not underestimate the steep climb.
The geyser is one of the highlights of the Golden Circle. The eruption takes place about every 10 minutes and can reach a height of 35m. The geyser belongs to the hot water geysers. The geyser field can be visited free.
The capital of Iceland has a lot of highlights.
Hallgrimskirkja is hard to miss. You can also climb the tower for a nice view over Reykjavík. From the church you come in a straight line to the street with the rainbow on the ground. In general, there is a lot of colorful graffiti and art in the city.
At the harbor you will find the sunride statue. It is one of the top photo-highlights in the city.
Reykjavík is also home to many museums, one of which is the Phallogical Museum, which exhibits both educational and whimsical specimens.
The Kerid Crater Lake is famous for its deep blue water. You can find him near Thingvellir National Park. The crater lake can be visited free of charge, only parking fees have to be paid.
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
The Glacial Lagoon is a lake at the foot of the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest in Iceland. You can do various boat tours on the lake. You can also get very close to the seals on the ice floes or watch a glacier break off. With the Zodiac boat tour you get very close to the seals and you get a protective suit against the cold.
Diamond Beach takes its name from the chunks of ice washed up from the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, which glitter like diamonds in the sun.
Most popular waterfalls
Have you always wanted to go behind a waterfall? Then Seljalandsfoss is the place to be.
A very special waterfall is right next to Seljalandsfoss. You can only reach it via the stream that flows out, as it is surrounded by rocks.
You can find Öxarárfoss in Thingvellir National Park near the Silfra fissure.
You will find Skogafoss not far from Seljalandsfoss, so both can be easily combined. To avoid the tourist groups, you should come early in the morning or late in the evening.
The waterfall with its basalt columns is unique and is located in the national park of the same name. The ascent to the waterfall is adjusted, but takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on your condition.
One of the lesser known waterfalls in Iceland. Here you can still enjoy the peace away from the tourist crowds. The waterfall is about 30 minutes from Thingvellir National Park.
Kirkjufellsfoss is one of Iceland's most famous photo highlights. The waterfall takes its name from Mount Kirkjufell behind it. You can find him on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Gullfoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland and is part of the Golden Circle.
There are many places to watch whales in Iceland. On the Snaefellsnes peninsula, Olafsvík is very suitable for this. Of course, no provider can give you a guarantee for a sighting. Unfortunately, I didn't see any whales either, but did see dolphins and a basking shark.
! be careful- Sheeps everywhere !
Especially if you are traveling by rental car, you should pay attention to the sheep and wild animals. It's easy for a sheep to cross the street and usually 1-2 more will follow, or a whole flock will come towards you. Here you should first stop and then drive on slowly, most of the time they will quickly move to the side.
The Snaefellsnes peninsula is in western Iceland. There are great whale watching tours here and you can also spot seals.
Ytri Tunga: this is where you can find the seals. You should behave quietly and keep your distance so you don't scare the animals. If you are lucky, they will offer you great photo opportunities.
Djúpalónssandur: is a great beach with fascinating rock formations. On the beach you will also find a few small wreckage parts of old boats.
Ólafsvík: excellent place for whale watching tours
Búðakirkja: here is the next photo spot, the black church of Búðir
Reynisfjara Beach is the famous black beach with the basalt columns. However, you should not underestimate the surf here and only visit the cave when the sea is calm, otherwise there is a risk of death!
In summer, the rock is the absolute HotSpot for puffins. The road to the lighthouse has been freshly renovated and from above you have a magnificent all-round view.
Vík í Mýrdal
The church in Vík is also made famous by the Netflix series Katla But apart from the film location tourism, you can also experience action here, e.g. paragliding. An absolutely breathtaking experience flying over Reynisfjara black sand beach.
Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck
The US plane that made an emergency landing in 1973 is now an absolute tourist magnet. All crew members survived the crash, but the wreckage of the plane was simply left behind. To get to the wreck you have to walk a 4km path from the parking lot to the beach. In summer there is also a shuttle bus.
The lava tunnel in Raufarhólslellir is really worth seeing and also very suitable for a bad weather day. You can visit the lava tunnel with a guided tour, you can find tickets hereThere is also an exciting experiment in the tunnel - a few minutes in complete darkness.
The water for the Blue Lagoon comes from a depth of 2000m and is still 38 degrees in the pool and contributes to absolute relaxation. The Blue Lagoon is a by-product of the geothermal power plant next door. In the Blue Lagoon you can pamper yourself with masks or in the spa. The Blue Lagoon is located close to Keflavik Airport, so it is good to visit on arrival or before departure. You can find tickets here bluelagoon.com