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Iceland might be a tiny island, but it has certainly made a statement on the international travel scene. There’s probably no country in the world with more extraordinary landscape contrasts than Iceland. 

On the one hand, fiery volcanoes are scattered throughout the island. On the other, glacier-carved waterfalls and fjords make a statement of their own. It’s no wonder Iceland earned itself the nickname “The Land of Fire and Ice.” 

Iceland’s natural beauty, rich Viking history, and mind-blowing geothermal pools are just some of the features that make it stand apart from its Nordic neighbors. 

I’ve had the unique privilege of traveling to Iceland three times, so I’ll share everything you can look forward to in this special place. 

Top Things to Know About Iceland 

If you plan on adding Iceland to your travel bucket list, then I’m sure you’ve got some questions. Each time I visited Iceland, I learnt something different. So here are the top things to know from my Iceland travel blog

My Top Tips for Travelling Iceland

I’ll start by saying that hiring a car is a must. Public transport is quite limited in Iceland. There’s also quite a distance between the capital, Reykjavik, and other cities and towns. So your best bet is to travel around with a car. Plus, it’s pretty easy to drive around in the country. 

There are a few benefits to driving in Iceland as well. The main one is that you can explore at your own pace. That means you can take better pictures and admire Iceland’s wonderful contrasting landscapes. 

Another thing that I should mention is that, unlike other places, you don’t need to carry too much cash around. Iceland encourages cashless transactions, and you can use your card just about everywhere. 

Iceland’s Top Attractions

Here are some attractions in Iceland that you can’t miss. 

The Blue Lagoon

The otherworldly Blue Lagoon is usually one of the places that sit at the top of many people’s lists when visiting Iceland. This unique geothermal spa is 45 minutes from Reykjavik and only 20 minutes from Keflavik Airport. 

The Blue Lagoon has numerous pools, with its mineral waters remaining a toasty 40°C (104°F) throughout the year. The lagoon’s waters are famous worldwide for their regenerative properties and ability to aid with skin ailments. 

As a result, the spa offers numerous treatments, including floating therapy and facials. A separate spa on the premises also offers additional treatments to the ones in the pools.

Ideally, you should spend around two to three hours at the spa, but there are different day-visit packages that you can choose from. I’ve written a complete Blue Lagoon review to help you decide which package works best for you. 

The Northern Lights 

Iceland is one of the best places in the Nordics to witness the incredible phenomenon of the Northern Lights (also called the Aurora Borealis). This stunning natural masterpiece blesses Iceland from September to April. 

The Aurora Borealis can be highly unpredictable. The best time to visit is in September and March when the sky’s the darkest, and you have the best chance of seeing them. 

Most Northern Lights hotels provide their visitors with evening predictions and a wake-up call service when they appear. 

Iceland’s Waterfalls

It’s believed that there are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. It’s almost impossible to visit them all unless you plan on staying in Iceland for a long time. Each waterfall is magnificent in its own way, but a few stand out. 

These include the Gullfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall, Svartifoss, Seljalandsfoss and Goðafoss Waterfall.

Iceland’s Volcanoes

Contributing to the “fire” part of Iceland’s nickname, the country’s volcanoes are quite a sight. Iceland is one of the countries with the most active volcanoes in the world. That doesn’t scare the locals, as they have learnt to live with them for thousands of years. 

You can visit numerous volcanoes safely to witness a spectacular lava fireworks display. If you prefer to stay on the safe side, then you can opt for the “Inside the Volcano” tour like me. The Þríhnúkagígur Volcano hasn’t erupted in over 4000 years, so you’re pretty safe when walking around inside it. 

The Golden Circle 

The Golden Circle is one of the most spectacular scenic routes in the Nordics, if not the world. It’s a 300 km (190 mile) round trip from Reykjavik that takes you to some of Iceland’s wonderful landmarks and attractions. 

The most notable are the Geysir Geothermal Area, Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and the Kerið volcanic crater. 

Geysir Geothermal Area

Geysir in southwestern Iceland is a special geothermal area renowned for its many geysers and hot springs. The main feature is the Strokkur geyser that shoots water 30 meters (98 feet) into the sky. 

A special treat when visiting the Geysir is that you can dig up “hot spring bread”, a rye loaf that’s been baked underground for 24 hours. It’s a speciality in the area that the locals love to eat with a smear of butter.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Reynisfjara is one of the most incredible black sand beaches in the world. The cool black-colored sand contrasted by the cool waters of the Atlantic is due to the cooled lava that settled over the beach. 

It also features some towering sea stacks that protrude out of the sea. Its otherworldly landscape has made it a popular film location. 

Choosing Your Iceland Itinerary 

Here are two of my suggested itineraries that you can follow when visiting Iceland.

3 Day Iceland Itinerary

This three-day Iceland itinerary is designed to help you get the most out of your trip if you have limited time. Highlights include the best of what Iceland offers, including exploring Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon, waterfalls, glaciers and the Geysir area, to name a few. 

5 Day Iceland Itinerary 

Three days might just not be enough to explore everything Iceland offers. If you have the luxury of more time, then you can follow my five-day Iceland itinerary

It features everything the three-day itinerary includes, with additional activities and locations. Some highlights include Bláfjöll Country Park, Reykjavik South Coast and East Fjords. 


Iceland is an incredible country, with impressive geological features and diverse terrain, it’s no doubt a bucket list destination for many. From lava fields to glaciers, and cascading waterfalls, this magical land is filled with exciting landscapes to explore.  The choice of what to do can be overwhelming, especially when considering the number of extraordinary …

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