Top 10 Reasons to Visit Iceland

Northern lights above Dyrhólaey Rock Arch, Iceland

Iceland is a country like no other, known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unique experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, this Nordic island nation is a land of fire and ice, where glaciers and volcanoes coexist, and where the elements are constantly at play.

Despite its small size, Iceland has much to offer visitors, from the vibrant city life of Reykjavik to the quiet charm of the country’s small towns and villages. Whether you’re interested in exploring the country’s unique landscapes, experiencing its rich culture and history, or indulging in its cuisine, Iceland has something for everyone.

In this blog, we’ll explore the top 10 reasons to visit Iceland, from witnessing the Northern Lights to taking a dip in the country’s hot springs and geothermal pools. We’ll take a closer look at each of these experiences, offering tips and advice on making the most of your visit to this stunning country. So pack your bags and get ready to discover Iceland, the land of fire and ice.

Witness the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Iceland is one of the best places to witness this breathtaking display of dancing lights in the sky. The Northern Lights are visible from late September to early April, with the best time to see them being between November and February. During this time, the nights are longer, and the skies are darker, providing the perfect conditions for viewing the lights.

To witness the Northern Lights, visitors can take a tour with an experienced guide who will take them to the best spots for viewing. The lights are most visible in areas away from the city lights, making rural areas like Thingvellir National Park, Grotta Island, and Reykjanes Peninsula popular spots for viewing. However, it’s important to note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and sightings are not guaranteed, but with a bit of luck and patience, visitors can witness the magical display of colors and shapes dancing in the sky.

Explore Iceland’s unique landscapes

Iceland is a country of unique and stunning landscapes, ranging from glaciers and volcanoes to waterfalls and hot springs. Exploring Iceland’s natural beauty is one of the top reasons to visit this incredible country. Visitors can explore the rugged beauty of Iceland’s highlands or take a scenic drive along the Ring Road, stopping to admire the country’s many waterfalls and hot springs along the way.

One of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where visitors can witness massive icebergs floating in a serene lagoon against a backdrop of mountains and glaciers. Another popular natural wonder is the Golden Circle, which includes the Geysir Geothermal Area, Thingvellir National Park, and the Gullfoss Waterfall.

For the more adventurous, Iceland offers hiking trails that lead to hidden waterfalls, hot springs, and other natural wonders. Hikers can explore the Fimmvörðuháls trail, which takes them past the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, or the Laugavegur Trail, which leads hikers through colorful valleys, hot springs, and glaciers.

Experience the country’s rich culture and history

Iceland is a country with a rich cultural heritage that dates back to the Vikings, and experiencing its unique culture and history is another top reason to visit this fascinating country. The country has a vibrant arts and music scene, with many museums, galleries, and music venues that showcase Icelandic culture.

One of the most popular museums in Iceland is the National Museum of Iceland, which houses artifacts and exhibits that showcase the country’s history and culture, from the Viking age to the present day. Visitors can also explore the unique Icelandic sagas, which tell tales of the country’s early settlers and their struggles.

In addition to museums, Iceland is also known for its festivals and events that celebrate the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Reykjavik Arts Festival, which takes place in May, showcases local and international artists in a variety of disciplines, from music and theater to visual arts and dance.

Food is also an important aspect of Icelandic culture, with traditional dishes like lamb soup, smoked salmon, and skyr, a type of Icelandic yogurt, being popular among locals and visitors alike. Visitors can also take a food tour to sample Icelandic cuisine and learn more about the country’s culinary traditions.

Visit Iceland’s charming towns and cities

Iceland is home to charming towns and cities that offer a glimpse into the country’s unique culture and lifestyle. One of the most popular cities in Iceland is Reykjavik, the country’s capital and largest city. Reykjavik is known for its vibrant arts and music scene, with many museums, galleries, and music venues that showcase Icelandic culture. Visitors can explore the colorful streets of the city, sample Icelandic cuisine in the many restaurants and cafes, or take a dip in one of the city’s geothermal pools.

Outside of Reykjavik, Iceland has many other charming towns and villages that offer a more relaxed and authentic Icelandic experience. The town of Akureyri, located in northern Iceland, is known for its colorful houses and stunning scenery. Visitors can explore the town’s many galleries and museums, take a stroll along the harbor, or hike the nearby mountains.

Another charming town in Iceland is Stykkishólmur, located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The town is known for its picturesque houses and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea. Visitors can explore the town’s many museums, art galleries, and cafes, or take a boat tour to explore the nearby islands and coastline.

Indulge in Icelandic cuisine

Icelandic cuisine is a unique and delicious blend of traditional Scandinavian and Nordic dishes, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. The country’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its harsh climate and isolation, with many dishes featuring preserved or dried ingredients that can be stored for long periods.

One of the most popular dishes in Iceland is the Icelandic hot dog, which is made with a blend of beef, pork, and lamb and is served with a variety of toppings, including raw onions, fried onions, ketchup, and a sweet brown mustard. Another popular dish is the traditional Icelandic lamb stew, which is made with chunks of tender lamb, root vegetables, and a savory broth.

Seafood is also a staple of Icelandic cuisine, with dishes like smoked salmon, pickled herring, and fish soup being popular among locals and visitors alike. Additionally, skyr, a type of Icelandic yogurt, is a popular snack or breakfast food that can be found in many grocery stores and cafes.

Relax in the country’s hot springs and geothermal pools

One of the most unique and enjoyable experiences in Iceland is taking a dip in one of the country’s many hot springs and geothermal pools. The country is home to a vast network of geothermal areas, which provide an endless supply of natural hot water for bathing and relaxation.

One of the most popular hot springs in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon, located in the Reykjanes Peninsula. The lagoon’s warm, milky blue waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, which are said to have healing properties for the skin. Visitors can relax in the lagoon’s warm waters, enjoy a massage, or indulge in a mud mask.

Other popular hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland include the Secret Lagoon, located near the Golden Circle, and the Mývatn Nature Baths, located in northern Iceland. Many of the country’s towns and villages also have their own local swimming pools, which are heated by geothermal energy and are a popular spot for relaxation and socializing.

Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and skiing

Iceland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with a vast array of activities available year-round. In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding through the country’s stunning landscapes, including rugged mountains, lush valleys, and stunning waterfalls. Many of the country’s national parks, including Thingvellir National Park and Vatnajökull National Park, offer a wide range of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels.

In the winter, visitors can enjoy a range of winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding. Many of the country’s ski resorts, such as Bláfjöll and Hlíðarfjall, offer a variety of runs for all skill levels, as well as opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Other popular outdoor activities in Iceland include glacier hiking, ice caving, and kayaking. These activities provide a unique and thrilling way to experience Iceland’s stunning natural beauty up close.

Take a scenic drive along the Ring Road

One of the most iconic and popular ways to explore Iceland’s stunning landscapes is by taking a scenic drive along the Ring Road, also known as Route 1. This 1,332-kilometer highway circles the entire country, taking visitors through some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in Iceland.

The Ring Road offers stunning views of the country’s mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and coastline, with many opportunities to stop and explore along the way. Visitors can stop at popular attractions like the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and the Myvatn Nature Baths.

In addition to these popular stops, the Ring Road also passes through many small towns and villages, offering visitors a chance to experience authentic Icelandic culture and lifestyle. Many of these towns offer unique attractions, such as museums, galleries, and cafes.

Go on a whale watching tour

Whale watching is a unique and unforgettable experience that is a must-do activity for any visitor to Iceland. The country’s coastal waters are home to a variety of whale species, including humpback whales, minke whales, and blue whales.

There are many whale watching tours available in Iceland, with boats departing from many coastal towns and cities, including Reykjavik, Akureyri, and Husavik. These tours provide visitors with an up-close and personal experience of these magnificent creatures, as well as the opportunity to see other marine wildlife, such as dolphins and seals.

One of the most popular whale watching destinations in Iceland is Husavik, known as the whale watching capital of Europe. The town’s waters are home to many different whale species, and visitors can take a tour with an experienced guide who will provide insights into the whales’ behavior and habitat.

Attend Iceland’s vibrant festivals and events

Iceland is a country with a vibrant arts and culture scene, and attending one of its many festivals and events is a must-do activity for any visitor. From music and film festivals to cultural and culinary events, there is always something happening in Iceland.

One of the most popular events in Iceland is the Reykjavik Arts Festival, which takes place in May and showcases local and international artists in a variety of disciplines, including music, theater, visual arts, and dance. Another popular event is the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, which takes place in November and features performances by some of the country’s best-known musicians, as well as international acts.

Other notable events in Iceland include the Reykjavik Food and Fun Festival, which takes place in February and showcases the country’s culinary talents, and the Icelandic Saga Trail Running Race, which takes place in August and offers runners a chance to explore Iceland’s stunning landscapes.

Contact Us To See These Top 10 Highlights On Your Tour of Iceland

From its stunning natural landscapes and unique culture to its outdoor activities and vibrant festivals, there are countless reasons to visit this amazing country. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, an adventurer, or a culture enthusiast, Iceland is sure to delight and amaze you.

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, be sure to contact our tour planning specialists. We can help you create the perfect itinerary that includes all of the top 10 reasons to visit Iceland and more. With our expertise and local knowledge, we can ensure that your trip to Iceland is an unforgettable experience that you will treasure for a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today and start planning your dream trip to Iceland!

SideBar Tour Request

Our Contact Form

Contact our team of expert tour planners by filling out the form below with your travel dates!

Tour Request
Sandra Iceland Travel Planner

Meet Sandra! An Icelandic local with years of itinerary planning experience, Sandra is the perfect person to plan your dream trip to Iceland. Get in touch with her today for your free itinerary!

Email us

Let us know your questions!

Call our team

US: +1 (619) 333-5619

Other Destinations

Tour other countries around the world!