Bucket List Europe Iceland

Best Things to Do in Iceland, According to Travel Bloggers

From glacier walking, ice caves and climbing, to volcanoes, the South Coast, eating, and the Blue Lagoon, here are the best things to do in Iceland!

Covered with glaciers and blue tones, Iceland is likely popping up all over your social media news feeds recently. Certainly, you’ve seen those photographs of Iceland attractions featuring long-haired beauties emerging from cool-hued lagoons, adventurers cascading down giant ice blocks, and glorious walls of humbling waterfalls. Yes, the Nordic island country is certainly trending, and with such stunning Iceland tourist attractions and dirt cheap flights to Iceland, it’s easy to see why. Some even choose to have an epic road trip around Iceland! And it’s even possible to have an incredible Iceland trip in just 48 hours. But what exactly are the best things to do in Iceland? We’ve teamed up with Iceland Travel and asked a few of our fellow travel blogger friends to find out!


Photo above: David Gil


From ice caves glimmering like frozen fire, heart-pumping ice climbing, and volcano touring to Icelandic food-munching and snorkeling, these travel bloggers have certainly delivered the best things to do in Iceland.  My personal favorites?  Taking a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon, or venturing off to the South Coast for Jokulsarlon lagoon exploring, glacier walking, black sand beach viewing, and waterfall photo-ops. If that’s not one of the best things to do in Iceland, I don’t know what is!

And for organizing any of these experiences and more, there’s no better helping hand than Iceland Travel, the leading travel company in Iceland since 1937! Whether you’re looking for Northern Lights hunts, whale watching, the Fontana geothermal baths, a tour ’round Reykjavik on a tuk tuk, or some of Iceland’s more adventurous activities, Iceland Travel’s got you covered. Personally, I’m kind of obsessed with the white and black sand beaches, bird cliffs, fishing villages and more going on in Snaefellsnes, but you also can’t go wrong with a glorious Winter Wonderland package like this! But let’s get on with the opinions of our fellow travel bloggers, shall we?

Here are the best things to do in Iceland, according to travel bloggers!

 


“In Iceland, you can see the contours of the mountains wherever you go, and the swell of the hills, and always beyond that the horizon. And there’s this strange thing: you’re never sort of hidden; you always feel exposed in that landscape. But it makes it very beautiful as well.”

― Hannah Kent


Explore the Ice Cave of the Vatnajokull Glacier

Recommended by Ling of Linger Abroad

Vatnajokull Glacier ice cave: best things to do in Iceland

One of the things you absolutely should do during your Iceland visit is to take an Ice Cave Tour into the Vatnajokull Glacier. It’s a unique opportunity to be able to go inside a glacier and see the ice cave formations. These caves are formed by running water within the ice that melts and erodes the ice during warmer seasons and, over time, makes the caves big enough to explore.

This ice cave took our breaths away with its amazingly crystal clear, blue color; the easily visible air bubbles trapped within the ice, and the texture of the cave looks more like frozen fire than water. It truly is an experience unlike any other and one of the coolest (pun intended) activities you can do in Iceland. You can also do tours that visit the cave and climb the glacier too. However, you can only visit these ice caves during the winter periods and you essentially have to go through a tour group, which you book in Reykjavik or go to the town, Hofn, where several tour groups are operating. Book your spots in advance to check out this amazing natural wonder!

Book an Ice Cave Tour in the Vatnajokull Glacier Region


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Go Ice Climbing up Sólheimajökull

Recommended by Karen of Wanderlustingk

Two Climbers Ice Climbing in Iceland: Top Iceland Attractions

Ice climbing is something that you MUST try in Iceland! Even if you’ve rock climbed elsewhere in the world, the technique used for ice climbing is so different and it’s a great excuse to walk along a glacier. We did the Blue Ice trip via Arctic Adventures to see the amazing landscape of the glaciers, walk on top of Sólheimajökull, and climb up the glacier.

Ice Climbing in Iceland: Top Iceland Attractions

It is an unforgettable experience although it’s best to dress appropriately with waterproof clothing (think ski jacket/pants) and sturdy boots (not snow boots with a soft toe). I chose this tour as it was smaller than other tours that involved glacier walking. The tour included a guide who was an experienced ice climber, and there were great reviews. We were able to meet them directly at the glacier, which meant that we had more time to drive Ring Road afterwards!

Book a Glacier Walk and Ice Climbing on Solheimajokull Tour


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Go Inside the Volcano Thrihnukagigur

Recommended by Marta of Where Life is Great

Wandering inside the dormant volcano in Iceland (Top Iceland Tourist Attractions)

Do you want to feel like one of the main characters of Jules Verne’s novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth? Now you can! If I were to name my favourite unique experience from Iceland, it would be doing exactly that, and going inside a volcano. Yes, you read that right!

Wandering inside the dormant volcano in Iceland (Top Iceland Attractions)

Thrihnukagigur is the only volcano on Earth that you can see from the inside. It is a geological phenomenon of a volcano with an empty magma chamber. After the eruption, the crater stayed open leaving enough room to build a tiny elevator.

The whole activity takes about 5 hours. It starts with a 45 min walk towards the volcano and preparation at the base camp where you will receive helmet and security ropes. After that, the adventure begins! You descend 215 m bellow the surface to discover the beauty of this gigantic natural machinery. The volcano is incredibly colourful inside, and I can assure that you will immediately be impressed by its size and beauty. Convinced? Read more about my experience in Inside the Volcano in Iceland.

Book an ‘Inside the Volcano’ Thrihnukagigur Tour


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Take a Dip in the Blue Lagoon

Recommended by Carole of Travels With Carole

Blue Lagoon: Best Things to Do in Iceland

Before my trip to Iceland a few years back, the most anticipated experience for me was a dip in the Blue Lagoon. I do adore a good hot spring, and this lagoon didn’t disappoint. I was surprised by how immense it is but enjoyed that and also liked the milky blue color of the water. I did dip into the tubs of goo that are around the edges and covered my face with it as directed, and I did enjoy a blue-colored cocktail as I danced around the pool in search of the perfect temperature. Unfortunately, I’ve been hearing lately that there are long lines to get in.

Book a Blue Lagoon Tour


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Visit the South Coast for Glacier Walking, Waterfalls, & More!

Recommended by Yoda and Dalek of Beyond Our Horizons

Top Iceland Attractions include glacier walking, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Skogafoss & Seljalandsfoss waterfalls

We visited the South Coast on an ice-cave express tour that lasted 16-18 hours. Even though this was an intense day trip with more than 10 hours sitting in a bus, it was an unforgettable experience for many reasons. The drive through the South Coast is varied (featuring waterfalls, the coast, a lava field & glaciers) making looking out the window a real treat. However, it was the attractions themselves that blew our mind.

Glacier Walking on Vatnajökull

Due to unseasonable warm conditions, our ice cave tour got cancelled but was replaced with a glacier walk on the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest in Europe. The experience is so different from snow-shoeing as it presents a deep-blue coloured landscape that’s hard to believe.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Big chunks of deep blue ice were breaking off the glacier and washing up on a beach with fine black sand. We even saw a seal swimming between the ice chunks.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

The power of the ocean was in full view here as there is no land mass between this beach and Antarctica! Plus we saw a massive rainbow.

Skogafoss & Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls

Both powerful & dramatic waterfalls giving great photo-ops

 

Top tip: Pack a lot of food!!!

Book a South Coast Tour


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Venture to Skaftafell National Park

Recommended by Shannon of SoleSeeking

Best things to do in Iceland: Skaftafellsjokull

Skaftafell National Park, in the south east of Iceland, was established in 1967 before being incorporated into Vatnajökull National Park in 2008. If you only have time for a flying visit to this huge park, visit Skaftafell and you will come away feeling like you have witnessed true Icelandic splendour.

One of Skaftafell’s main attractions is Svartifoss. The striking Black Falls suddenly emerge into view as you follow the easy 5.5km round-trip trail. Basalt columns are naturally etched into rigid lines, like organ keys playing a constant hymn of water. This part of Iceland has a slightly warmer climate and if visiting in the summer, you’ll see a large amount of vegetation on the hike, which makes a nice change from lava fields!

Another easy but highly rewarding choice from one of Skaftafell’s many hiking options is Skaftafellsjökull, where a roughly 1.5 km trail leads you to the foot of a glacier. There are no touristy gimmicks to be found here, just blissful nature and a chance to appreciate the untouched landscape. Watching gargoyles of ice stand motionless in pools of water gives the quiet area an almost eerie atmosphere. I enjoyed walking around and leaving my footprints in the black sand, knowing that they did nothing to take away from the area’s environmental purity.

Book a Glacier Wonders (from Skaftafell National Park) Tour


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Go Snorkeling

Recommended by Raksha of Solopassport

Snorkelling in Iceland, one of the top tourist Iceland points of interestSnorkeling in Iceland between the tectonic plates of North America and Europe is definitely one hell of an experience. Every tourist must have this as one of the must do items in Iceland. Snorkeling in Iceland is definitely challenging only because of the temperature of the water. Even though there is not much of marine life, the rift provides a visibility of 70 to 80 meters. For my experience of snorkeling in Iceland, check out Snorkeling Between Tectonic Plates.

 

Book a Snorkeling ‘Into the Blue’ Iceland Tour


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Eat Icelandic Food

Recommended by Jia of JiahuiMuses

Icelandic Food: things to eat in Iceland

When in Iceland, besides admiring the beautiful scenery and landscapes, you can’t go wrong with filling your stomach with the delicious, authentic and maybe, even a little bit peculiar cuisines at times, exclusively in Iceland. Here are some recommendations for you to try out.

Icelandic Hotdogs

There is one famous chain right in downtown Reykjavik named Bæjarins Beztu which found its fame when it was named the best hot dog in town in 2006. When it doubt, simply order with “everything” — ketchup, chopped onions, mustard, remoulade (sauce similar to tartar) — and get your hotdog served fresh and piping hot.

Icelandic Fish, Pickled Herring: Things to eat in IcelandBæjarins Beztu Location

Pósthússtræti & Tryggvagata
(Located right on Tryggvagata Street)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Hours: 10 am – 1:45 am

Icelandic Fish

Pickled herring is a delicacy in Europe and is a traditional dish for Christmas, especially in the Nordic countries. These pickles are usually accompanied with biscuits, rye bread, etc. and come in a variety of sauces such as strawberry and curry. How’s the taste? You have to try them to experience it for yourself.

Icelandic Food, Lamb and other things to eat in Iceland

Icelandic Lamb

If you have not tasted Icelandic lamb, you have not lived (or so they say). Hangikjöt (smoked lamb), is a favourite with the locals and is often served as a cold dish.

 

 

 

 

Book a Reykjavik Food Walk Tour


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That’s all folks—the best things to do in Iceland according to travel bloggers! We hope their suggestions will stir up some ideas of Iceland tourist attractions for you and satisfy those eager Iceland-lovin’ eyes. Of course in a country with so many things to do, there are plenty more Iceland tourist attractions to indulge in as well. Even in the capital alone, one can easily be overwhelmed with things to do in Reykjavik, let alone the rest of the country! Luckily, Iceland Travel offers every tour you need to itch any Iceland travel bug you got. From seeing the Northern Lights, going whale watching, visiting the Fontana geothermal baths, or basically anything else (just search your keywords!), Iceland Travel has an option available for you, in addition to the Iceland activities suggested by our fellow travel blogger friends. With its turquoise waters and captivating glacier-filled landscapes, Iceland will surely make a glorious trip for any traveler! But just as a plus, if you book a tour through Iceland Travel, let us know and we’ll give you a shoutout on social media!!


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From glacier walking, ice caves and climbing, to volcanoes, the South Coast, eating, and the Blue Lagoon, here are the best things to do in Iceland! From glacier walking, ice caves and climbing, to volcanoes, the South Coast, eating, and the Blue Lagoon, here are the best things to do in Iceland! From glacier walking, ice caves and climbing, to volcanoes, the South Coast, eating, and the Blue Lagoon, here are the best things to do in Iceland!

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Brandy Shearer
    March 14, 2017 at 9:56 am

    We JUST booked a trip to Iceland. Could not have found this at a better time. THANK YOU!

  • Reply
    Kim Blogs
    March 14, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Awesome. I only knew about the hikes and the lagoon but not the scuba diving. That looks so dope. Definitely on my travel “to do” list

  • Reply
    Tarah Vongbouthdy
    March 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Some amazing photos! Iceland is so dreamy! We cant wait to visit!

  • Reply
    Allison Wong
    March 25, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Such great info! I’m adding to my Iceland wish list now!

  • Reply
    Katie
    March 25, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Just pinned this because I’m going to Iceland soon & this is an awesome guide! Thanks so much for sharing because it’s definitely helped to give me some inspo for my trip!

  • Reply
    Megan Johnson
    March 26, 2017 at 2:03 am

    The ice caves look amazing! I mean it all does, but that’s something I’ve wanted to see for so long! I love it!

  • Reply
    Steph
    March 26, 2017 at 2:10 am

    I seriously wish I came across this post before my trip last month; these adventure activities are right up my alley! What a great post 🙂

  • Reply
    Lyssie
    April 11, 2017 at 5:01 am

    I’m heading back to Iceland for the 3rd time (seriously, I could move there) and I’m so excited! There are so many things to try it would take years to try them all but I can’t wait to add on to my list…snorkeling between the plates will definitely happen on this trip! And you inspired me to look into going into a volcano too…I’ve never rock climbed and would probably be terrible at it but it looks so pretty and colorful and I love Jules Verne so I think it might have to happen! It’s either that or ride an Icelandic horse on my last day….

  • Reply
    What did I pack for Iceland? - Look Left
    June 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    […] too. If your boots are really good, like mine are, you won’t need any other kind of shoes. In Iceland you’ll want to see Nature […]

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