Sam Visser

May 3, 2018

The 3 Destinations You Can’t Miss While in Iceland

Iceland, known by its nickname as the Land of Fire and Ice, continues to attract nature lovers from around the globe – and for very good reason. No true travelers journey is complete without a visit to this Nordic island nature that boasts a selection of bubbling natural hot springs, active volcanoes and awe-inspiring waterfalls.

With something to see around every corner, Iceland has a lot going on, making it a bit overwhelming to plan and decide on what and where to visit.

For that reason, we’ve put together the three must-visit destinations that can’t be absent from your itinerary during your visit to Iceland:

  1. Pristine black sand beaches – Reynisfjara and the town of Vík í Mýrdal

Situated on the southern coast of Iceland, Reynisfjara is world-renowned for both it’s dramatic basalt columns and its black sand beaches which are draped with stones and pebbles of different shapes and sizes, giving this location a setting similar to something you’d see in a movie (after visiting, you might find that some scenes from Star Trek: Into Darkness might look a bit familiar).

Reynisfjara gained its popularity in 1991 when it was named by National Geographic was one of the top ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. The beaches enormous basalt sea stacks, coupled with gloomy sea mist formed by the crashing waves of the ocean, often makes for a quite unique setting.

Icelandic folklore states that the rocky columns jutting out from the hillside, better known as Reynisdrangar, were once a group of trolls who pulled in ships right out of the ocean. Once dawn hit the island, the trolls immediately turned into stone, keeping them on a show for centuries to come.

Outside of the obvious reasons, some say that Reynisfjara draws in adventure lovers due to its somewhat violent past. The sneaker waves of Reynisfjara are known for their extreme strength and sly-nature of creeping up onto shore at rapid speeds and pulling in unbeknownst tourists deep into the freezing waters of the Atlantic ocean. Exhibit caution when visiting the beach, including never turn your back to the waves and always keep a safe distance.

  1. One of the island’s most famous waterfalls – Skógafoss

Visiting Iceland and not seeing any waterfalls really is not an option. Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s tallest waterfalls, weighing in with a drop of nearly 200 feet tall. During sunny days it’s very common for a single, or even double rainbow to be produced directly in front of Skógafoss, making for another picturesque Icelandic view.

Not only is it possible to climb to the top of Skógafoss during the summer months, but it’s also worth making your way directly behind the waterfall for a view you’ll never forget. Normally not accessible during the winter months, be sure to bring proper footgear since the waterfall produces a large amount of spray, often times making surrounding surfaces quite slippery.

According to Icelandic folklore, those who travel behind the fall can find a chest filled with gold and many treasures. Locals found the chest, but it soon disappeared as soon as they made their reach to unlock it. Although many have ventured, some believe that the chest still remains hidden. Be sure to have a look for yourself, as you never know what you may find – in the worst case, you’ll always have the breathtaking view reaching out into the Icelandic countryside. 

  1. A geothermal spa rich in minerals like silica and sulfur – Blue Lagoon

This man-made geothermal spa has gained quick popularity since it’s opening in 1992 and is now considered one of the most visited (and most relaxing) attractions in all of Iceland. The warm waters of the lagoon (on average, somewhere around the 98-104 °F mark) are rich in minerals which are considered by many as to have vast healing properties.

The origin of the geothermal water found in the Blue Lagoon originates deep below the earth’s surface, where both freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. On its way to the surface, the water draws in a wide variety of minerals, and other natural ingredients which greatly benefit the human body.

Visiting the lagoon requires a pre-booked reservation, which can be added to any of these Iceland Adventure packages. The lagoon has its own secure locker rooms and fully supplied showers, making for a comfortable experience. (hint: apply a lot of conditioner to protect your hair!). Once inside of the lagoon itself, head over to the swim-up bar and grab your share of the silica mud mask – a deeply invigorating and restoring mask rich in all-natural properties.

Ready for a drink? Head over to the swim-up bar for an Icelandic beer or a refreshing smoothie to quench your thirst. Last but not least, be sure not to miss the cave, including a mini waterfall and a set of saunas and steam baths to relax you even further.

Not only is the Blue Lagoon another picturesque destination known for its turquoise tinted water that glistens in the sun’s light, but it’s also a great spot to come for some deep relaxation whether after a long flight or after the completion of a trek around the island. The Blue Lagoon has become a symbol of the island and is certainly a treat that no trip to this Nordic island is complete without.

Ready to plan your Iceland Adventure? Check out any of these Iceland Trip Packages for better deals than traveling on your own:

5-day Iceland Land-only PackageFrom $499

  • 5 Days, 4-Nights in a Double Occupancy room at T10 Hotel in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
  • 4 Continental Breakfasts
  • 5-Day Compact Car Rental (VW Golf or Similar)
  • Airport Pickup for Rental Car
  • Optional discounted tours/activities available

5-day Iceland Flights & Northern Lights PackageFrom $699

  • Round-trip International flights from NYC, BOS, BWI, ORD, or SFO to Reykjavik
  • Double occupancy accommodations for four nights at Hotel Cabin or Similar in Reykjavik
  • Four continental breakfasts
  • Northern Lights tour / Golden Circle tour
  • Optional discounted tours/activities available

5-day Iceland Self-drive W/ FlightsFrom $699

  • Round-trip International flights from NYC, BOS, BWI, ORD, or SFO to Reykjavik
  • Double occupancy accommodations for four nights at Hotel Cabin or Similar in Reykjavik
  • Four continental breakfasts
  • 5 days car rental to explore country on your own
  • Optional discounted tours/activities available