Jokulsarlon is hauntingly beautiful.

40 Best Locations in Iceland

Verified Expert

A visitor admiring Studlagil Canyon in East Iceland.Iceland's landscape is home to breathtaking natural diversity and captivating locations. From rugged coastlines to serene landscapes, knowing where to begin exploring this wonderland can be challenging. That's why we've developed a handy list to help you get started!

While this natural richness is a paradise for visitors wishing to explore unique landscapes and hidden gems, choosing where to get started might seem daunting.

Luckily, we're here to help. In this article, you'll find a list of our picks for the best locations in Iceland, from mighty waterfalls and jaw-dropping canyons to soothing hot springs and geothermal spas. These locations can be discovered as stops in many of the fantastic self-drive tours available. Renting a car and driving around the island on the Ring Road to relax in some of the great accommodations available in Iceland may be the best travel experience you'll ever have.

Below, you'll find a list of forty of our favorite locations in Iceland that might help you plan your perfect vacation in Iceland. Make sure to read until the end, where you will find a helpful map of all the locations mentioned in the article. 

The Regions of Iceland

Kirkjufell Mountain in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.For this article, we have divided the best locations Iceland has to offer by region. Iceland is typically divided into six regions: South IcelandWest Iceland, North IcelandEast Iceland, the Westfjords, and the Highlands. The Reykjanes Peninsula, located on the island's southwestern tip, is often counted as a separate region because of its location and distinct landscape, as is the capital of Reykjavik due to its prominence as Iceland's largest settlement.

Each of these regions has a distinct charm to them, both when it comes to their stunning landscapes and unique geography, as well as the culture and customs of their inhabitants. As you make your way between these regions, Iceland's complex and varied nature might often make you feel as if you're traveling between different countries.

Top 5 Locations in South Iceland

South Iceland is renowned for its diverse landscapes, with massive glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and black sand beaches. It's a region where the elements converge, showcasing Iceland's stark contrasts and natural beauty. It is also where the famous Golden Circle sightseeing route is located, which is highly popular for first-time visitors to Iceland. Staying in a hotel in South Iceland is a quiet retreat amid dramatic geological formations, offering a chance to connect with the stunning nature in the region.

1. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon is hauntingly beautiful.

Jokulsarlon is a fantastical lagoon in Southeast Iceland, filled with meltwater from the nearby glacier of Breidamerkurjokull. The lagoon is full of vivid blue icebergs that drift around in the lagoon, making it an ever-changing attraction. Visitors can admire the icebergs from afar or get up close and personal on the many Jokulsarlon tours available, such as this zodiac boat tour that brings you up close and personal with the icebergs.

As the icebergs make their way across the lagoon, they drift out to sea or wash up on the nearby shore, where the pristine ice contrasts with the black sands of the accurately nicknamed Diamond Beach. If you're looking to give yourself plenty to enjoy this magical location, consider booking accommodation at Jokulsarlon Lagoon.

2. Fjadrargljufur Canyon

Fjadrargljufur Canyon is full of meandering beauty.

Fjadrargljufur is a jaw-dropping canyon full of steep cliffs, waterfalls, and meandering bends. Walkways guide visitors along the edges of the canyon, treating them to breathtaking views of the intricate patterns and deep ravines carved by water.

Located a short distance from the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Fjadrargljufur has become one of Iceland's premier attractions in recent years. This increased popularity forced the government to temporarily close Fjadrargljufur to visitors to preserve the area's delicate ecosystem, but the canyon has since been opened up again.

3. Thingvellir National Park

40 Best Locations in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park is one of three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iceland and a historically and geologically remarkable location. As one of the stops in the ever-popular Golden Circle, Thingvellir sits atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which bridges the cap between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

This rift is uniquely visible in Thingvellir in the canyon of Almannagja, and you can even dive between the continents in the rift of Silfra on a guided snorkeling tour. Historically, Thingvellir is the birthplace of Iceland's parliament, established in 930 AD, making it a site of immense cultural importance.

4. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

The black sands of Reynisfjara are one of Iceland's most iconic locations.

The world-famous Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach embodies the rugged allure of Iceland's south coast. Visitors are greeted with towering basalt columns rising amidst the mighty waves, creating raw and powerful imagery you're unlikely to forget.

The charming village of Vik is located a short distance from Reynisfjara and is one of the most popular stops for travelers driving the Ring Road. Booking a hotel in Vik is a great way to explore South Iceland, as the village is nestled in a prime location near many unique attractions and is the starting point for the popular Katla ice cave tour.

5. Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss Waterfalls

A picture taken from behind Seljalandsfoss.

The waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss are considered staple stops for any travel itinerary along the South Coast, and for a good reason. Located within a short driving distance of each other, these waterfalls are both uniquely majestic. Both waterfalls can be visited on this fun South Coast minibus tour that includes a glacier hike.

Seljalandsfoss is famous partly for having a pathway leading behind the cascading water, allowing visitors to view the waterfall from behind. Skogafoss is also impressive, falling from a height of 197 feet (60 meters), making it one of Iceland's largest waterfalls. Skogafoss can be viewed from the ground or the top as a steep staircase leads to an observational platform above the cascade.

Top 5 Locations in West Iceland

West Iceland presents a rich tapestry of historical and cultural sites and striking natural settings. From Viking sagas to contemporary narratives, this region is steeped in stories that echo through its fjords and valleys. The Snaefellsnes peninsula, located in the region, is often called "Iceland in miniature," as its varied landscape showcases so much of what makes Iceland famous. This makes booking accommodation in Snaefellsnes a guaranteed way to get a glimpse of the best of what Iceland has to offer.

1. Kirkjufell Mountain

Kirkjufell below the dancing northern lights.

Kirkjufell, translating to 'Church Mountain,' is easily recognized by its distinctive arrowhead peak. Complemented by a neighboring waterfall, the already impressive mountain is surrounded by a dreamy landscape that captivates photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. An exciting vantage point of the mountain can be had on this guided 2-hour kayaking tour under Kirkjufell.

Standing as a beacon on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, Kirkjufell has become one of the most popular spots for photo opportunities in Iceland and has even been featured in popular media such as HBO's Game of Thrones. The best way to experience this area is by booking accommodation in Snaefellsnes and exploring what the region offers.

2. Glymur Waterfall

Glymur is Iceland's second tallest waterfall.

The journey to Glymur, Iceland's second tallest waterfall, is one of the most popular hikes with residents in the capital region. The trek takes visitors through a gorgeous landscape full of caves and rivers before arriving at the waterfall itself.

While the journey to Glymur is a rewarding hike, the waterfall is the cherry on top. Witnessing Glymur's cascading waters plummeting into a deep, meandering canyon is a visual feast. This secluded haven is a must-see for anyone traveling in West Iceland.

3. Arnarstapi

A sunny day at Arnarstapi.

Arnarstapi is a tiny fishing village on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula that enchants visitors with its stunning coastal cliffs and rich birdlife. The area is steeped in folklore, with legends of giants and elves echoing through the basalt formations and arches carved by the sea.

A walk along its coast reveals a harmonious blend of history and nature, where the sea meets lush green fields, offering a tranquil retreat amidst Iceland's dramatic landscapes. Fantastic accommodation options are available in Arnarstapi, which will make exploring Snaefellsnes at your own pace a comfortable experience.

4. Deildartunguhver Hot Spring

Deildartunguhver is Europe's most powerful hot spring.

Deildartunguhver stands as Europe's most powerful hot spring, offering a thrilling display of geothermal activity in West Iceland. Visitors can witness the roaring steam and bubbling waters as the spring releases vast amounts of hot water daily. 

Located nearby is Krauma Spa, which is full of water pumped from the hot spring and cooled down with freezing water from a nearby glacier. Booking admission to Krauma Spa and relaxing in the steam baths or hot tubs is a great way to get directly in touch with the geothermal energy in Iceland.

5. Vidgelmir Lava Cave

Delving into Vidgelmir is an adventure.

Vidgelmir is the largest lava tube in Iceland, formed during a lava flow that occurred in 900 AD. At an impressive 5200 feet (1585 meters) long, it is one of the country's most popular lava caves. The history surrounding the cave is quite interesting, having been home to outlaws in centuries past.

Delving into the depths of Vidgelmir is an exciting adventure, and exploring this underground wonderland alongside an expert guide gives insight into a sometimes forgotten part of Iceland's varied landscape. The cave is surprisingly accessible and can be experienced with the whole family on this lava cave tour.

Top 5 Locations in North Iceland

In North Iceland, you'll find an area characterized by a rugged coastline and quaint settlements that speak to the region's maritime heritage. Booking a hotel in North Iceland is a popular way of seeing these stunningly beautiful and tranquil locations, whether you want to soak in the incredible natural hot springs or visit the best place in all of Iceland to go whale-watching.

1. Lake Myvatn

Many consider Myvatn to be the most beautiful location in Iceland.

Myvatn is one of Iceland's largest lakes and a geological paradise. Shaped by volcanic forces, Myvatn's surrounding area is astoundingly beautiful and full of vibrant birdlife. Many intriguing locations are nearby, such as the foreboding lava field of Dimmuborgir, which is steeped in folklore and fairytales. 

The geothermal power of the area surrounding Lake Myvatn also makes for great bathing opportunities, the best of which is found at the Myvatn Nature Baths - a set of geothermally heated pools and steam baths in the area. Visitors who book a hotel in Myvatn will have no shortage of fascinating activities to choose from. 

2. Dettifoss Waterfall

Dettifoss is breathtaking to witness.

The mighty Dettifoss proudly stands as Europe's second-most powerful waterfall. Its raw energy is palpable, with massive volumes of water cascading down in a thunderous roar, creating a mesmerizing mist that often graces the area with rainbows.

The rugged canyon walls that frame this majestic waterfall bear witness to the relentless forces of nature carving through the ancient basaltic layer. Dettifoss is one of the stops in the ever-popular Diamond Circle sightseeing route, North Iceland's answer to the Golden Circle, and a visit to the waterfall can be further enhanced with expert guidance, such as on this 9-hour Diamond Circle tour with transfer from Akureyri.

3. Husavik

Husavik is incredibly charming.Husavik, often hailed as the 'whale-watching capital of Europe,' is a lovely town with beautiful old houses, a picturesque harbor, and vibrant maritime culture. Nestled on the shores of Skjalfandi Bay, Husavik boasts a cultural richness, with several fascinating museums and a quaint church.

Taking a whale-watching boat tour from Husavik is one of the best ways to see Icelandic whales up close. The magnificent marine life includes humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises, and passengers are likely to see some of Iceland's adorable puffins fluttering around. Find the perfect hotel in Husavik to plan an unforgettable visit to this jewel in North Iceland.

4. Asbyrgi Canyon

40 Best Locations in Iceland

Asbyrgi is a spectacular horse-shoe-shaped canyon in North-East Iceland. According to mythology, the canyon was formed by the hoofprint of Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of the Norse god Odin. Beneath the towering cliffs of the gorge lies a colorful forested area. You will find a tranquil pond there, which makes for an ideal hiking destination.

Whether you're interested in mythology, nature, or both, visiting Asbyrgi will not disappoint. The best way to explore the canyon at your own pace is by renting a car in Akureyri and driving to this geological marvel yourself.

5. Akureyri

Akureyri is the unofficial capital of North Iceland.

Akureyri is the largest town in Iceland outside the capital region and welcomes visitors as the unofficial capital of the north. The town boasts a thriving cultural scene, with many art galleries, museums, and cafes for visitors to enjoy. The Akureyri Botanical Gardens is the world's northernmost botanic garden, full of vibrant flora you might not expect to find so close to the Arctic Circle.

There are many Akureyri tours available, ranging from whale-watching to sightseeing tours of the biggest attractions in North Iceland, which makes booking a hotel in Akureyri a great way to establish a base of operations for those wishing to explore everything the region offers.

Top 5 Locations in East Iceland

East Iceland is a sanctuary of pristine wilderness with rugged fjords and untouched terrains. This region is less traveled, offering solitude and less hubbub compared to locations closer to the capital. Explore the charming villages and beautiful natural wonders available to those visitors who book accommodation in East Iceland. It's an area where time slows down, allowing for reflection and a deeper connection with the environment.

1. Studlagil Canyon

The blue-green water at Studlagil.

Studlagil Canyon is a geological jewel of unbelievable beauty, created by the force of a glacial river forcing its way down from the highlands. Towering basalt columns form cathedral-like walls above a vibrant blue-green river that courses through, creating a stark and otherworldly contrast.

For a long time, Studlagil remained relatively unknown as it can be tricky to get there. Booking accommodation in the nearby town of Egilsstadir is the best way to give yourself plenty of time to fully take in Studlagil's splendor.

2. Vestrahorn Mountain

Vestrahorn is a photographer's paradise.

Vestrahorn, situated on the Stokksnes peninsula, offers a breathtaking panorama where the mountain meets the sea. The mountain's geological composition makes it dark and jagged as it rises from the surrounding sandy coastline. Vestrahorn is a trendy photography spot because of its dramatic formation, enhanced under the northern lights in winter.

A haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts, Vestrahorn embodies the mystical and untamed beauty of Iceland, inviting visitors to meet and greet with nature at its purest. After exploring the mountain, we recommend visiting the nearby town of Hofn and having some of its famous lobster.

3. Hallormsstadaskogur National Forest

Lagarfljot and Hallormsstadarskogur with view over the surrounding mountains in east Iceland

Hallormsstadaskogur is Iceland's largest forest and one of the best places to explore in East Iceland. The forest is home to many tree species and vibrant flora, providing a habitat for various bird species. Today, over 85 tree species can be found in the forest, covering 1829 acres (740 hectares).

The fragrance of pine and birds chirping creates a rejuvenating atmosphere, making Hallormsstadarskogur an idyllic spot for picnics or hikes. There are two camping areas in Hallormsstadaskogur for those who want to spend more time in this natural paradise. You can even rent camp equipment in Iceland to keep your luggage lighter.

4. Lagarfljot Lake

Lagarfljot is a mythical location.

Close to Hallormsstadaskogur is Lagarfljot, a long, narrow lake with legends as deep as its waters. Said to be home to the mythical Lagarfljot wyrm, a serpent-like creature of Icelandic folklore, the lake beckons visitors with tales of mystery and enchantment.

Outside of the myths, the surrounding landscape of Lagarfljot has plenty of valleys and hills with picturesque vistas. The nearby waterfall of Hengifoss is Iceland's third-highest waterfall, famous for its black and red basalt rock wall, and is well worth visiting when in the area.

5. Vok Baths

Vok Baths is East Iceland's most luxurious spa.

A recent addition to Iceland's geothermal spa scene is Vok Baths, which offers world-class relaxation to weary travelers in East Iceland. The spa has two pools, which are level with the adjacent lake, hot pools that overlook it, a cold mist tunnel, and a sauna.

The on-site restaurant sells international dishes made from local ingredients, which makes pairing dinner with relaxation remarkably easy. Admission to Vok Baths is reasonably priced and comes with a free serving from the Tea Bar, which uses Icelandic herbs and spring water to produce tisane tea.

Top 5 Locations in the Westfjords

The Westfjords are Iceland's most remote region, marked by cliffs and deep fjords, offering a glimpse into Iceland's wild, untamed beauty. Visitors here can find solitude by resting at a hotel in the Westfjords or getting better acquainted with the region on the many available Westfjords tours.

1. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Hornstrandir is a location untouched by civilization.

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is among the most remote areas in all of Iceland, full of flora and fauna untouched by civilization. The iconic cliff of Hornbjarg drops sheerly into the ocean and fills up with various types of seabirds in the summertime.

If you want to catch a glimpse of Iceland's only native mammal, the Arctic fox, the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is your best bet. These delightful animals thrive in wide stretches of land and can be easily spotted. As the reserve can only be accessed by boat, the best way of exploring the area is by taking a speedboat there on a guided 11-hour hiking tour through Hornstrandir.

2. Dynjandi Waterfall

Dynjandi is actually a series of waterfalls.

While Dynjandi Waterfall is often called the "Jewel of the Westfjords," it is arguably one of the most magnificent sights in all of Iceland. Dynjandi is actually a series of waterfalls that combine to form this striking landmark, which widens in a fan-like shape as it descends. 

Dynjandi can be admired from the ground level, but those wishing to see it from the top can do so after a short hike, bringing them past several smaller waterfalls. While Dynjandi can be explored independently, getting expert guidance on a 3.5-hour Dynjandi tour might be the better option for you.

3. Latrabjarg Cliffs

In summertime, Latrabjarg fills up with millions of birds.

The cliffs of Latrabjarg are a must-see for any nature enthusiast or birdwatcher. The cliffs are remarkably impressive, reaching heights of 1,440 feet (440 meters) and stretching for 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) along the sea. 

In the summer, Latrabjarg fills up with millions of nesting birds, including the puffin. Thousands of puffins nest near the top of the cliff, allowing visitors to look closely at Iceland's most adorable resident. Taking a Latrabjarg hiking tour from Patreksfjordur will bring visitors up close and personal with the winged inhabitants of Latrabjarg, with a local expert 

4. Isafjordur

Isafjordur is the unofficial capital of the Westfjords.

Isafjordur is the largest settlement in the Westfjords and acts as the cultural hub for the region. There are many options for accommodation in Isafjordur, and the town has more options for restaurants and general amenities than any other part of the region.

With colorful old houses set against a unique natural backdrop, taking a stroll through the charming streets of Isafjordur is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Visiting some of the town's museums will give insight into the local culture, while a more adventurous alternative would be to go on a 2-hour kayaking tour and paddle around the fjord.

5. Raudasandur

Golden sands are an unusual sight in Iceland.

The golden sands at Raudasandur Beach are an unusual sight in Iceland, as most beaches in the country are black due to the volcanic nature of the island. The name of the beach directly translates to "Red Sand," which makes sense due to the reddish hue of the beach.

The beach stretches for about 6 miles (10 kilometers) across the coastline and is home to various species of birds and marine wildlife. This geological oddity is best enjoyed on a scenic 6-hour walking tour to Raudasandur, where a local guide regales visitors with stories of legends and tales of the beach and the Westfjords in general.

Top 5 Locations in the Highlands

The Icelandic Highlands are the country's only uninhabited region. Here, vast expanses of volcanic landscapes, quiet meadows, and glacial rivers unfold in a powerful and otherworldly manifestation. It's a haven both for those seeking solitude and thrill-seekers wishing to explore the rugged terrain on a Highlands tour. The Highlands invite visitors to step into a realm where the forces of nature craft the awe-inspiring scenery amidst Iceland's primal elements.

1. Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar is a jewel in the Highlands.

The area of Landmannalaugar is one of the most popular spots in the Highlands, offering unique and dramatic landscapes. Thanks to the geothermal activity in the area, there are multiple natural baths in Landmannalaugar, which make for a soothing reward after a long day of trekking and hiking.

Landmannalaugar marks the northern end of the Laugavegur hiking trail, one of Iceland's most popular trails, which ends at Skogafoss Waterfall on the other end. Visiting the area on a super-jeep tour of Landmannalaugar is a good way to see this pearl of the Highlands while traveling in comfort and style.

2. Thorsmork Valley

Thorsmork is a beautiful destination in Iceland

The valley of Thorsmork, named after the Norse god Thor, is a haven of natural beauty surrounded by glaciers and rugged mountains. This isolated area, accessible only by crossing rivers, offers adventurous spirits an immersive experience amidst lush forests, glacial rivers, and volcanic landscapes.

Thorsmork features a network of trails that lead visitors through vibrant birch woods, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic mountaintop viewpoints. A visit to this area is an unforgettable experience, and as with Landmannalaugar, a super-jeep tour of Thorsmork is the way to go if you want to avoid having to worry about getting there and focus on taking in these mythical surroundings.

3. Lakagigar

Laki was the site of a frighteningly powerful eruption in the 18th century.

Lakagigar, or Laki, is a series of craters in the Highlands that stand as a stark reminder of Iceland's volcanic prowess. This extensive row of craters carved through the landscape in a massive eruption in the 18th century, altering climate and ecosystems on a global scale.

Today, visitors can traverse the haunting yet beautiful, lunar-like landscapes, where lush moss softens the blackened lava fields, and vibrant flora gradually reclaim the ground. Lakagigar offers a glimpse into the transformative power of nature that affected not just Iceland but the world as a whole.

4. Askja

Askja is a location of mysterious beauty.

Askja is a caldera in the remote central Highlands that is home to quite a diverse volcanic landscape that once served as a training ground for Apollo astronauts. Although responsible for an enormous eruption in the late 19th century, Askja today is quite serene. The crater of Viti is filled with enchanting blue waters, and the area is also home to Iceland's second-deepest lake, Oskjuvatn.

Like most of the Highlands, Askja can only be accessed in summer with a four-wheel drive or as part of a guided group, such as on this breathtaking 12-hour tour of Askja from Myvatn. Askja is a popular destination for hikers, with mountain huts to reside in, and remains one of Iceland's best photography spots.

5. Kerlingarfjoll Mountains

Kerlingarfjoll are home to significant geothermal power.

Kerlingarfjoll is a mountain range nestled between glaciers and a world of geothermal activity and diverse landscapes. The region boasts a rich tapestry of hot springs, snow-capped peaks, and rhyolite mountains, displaying an array of colors.

A haven for hikers, Kerlingarfjoll offers trails leading to scenic viewpoints and geothermal areas, such as Hveradalir, where steam rises amidst vibrant mineral deposits. Seeing and hearing the bubbling water and watching steam rising amidst the colorful peaks of Kerlingarfjoll is an unbelievable experience.

Top 5 Locations on the Reykjanes Peninsula

The Reykjanes peninsula is the first region most visitors to Iceland will see after landing at Keflavik International Airport. Lava fields stretch as far as the eye can see, punctuated by geothermal sites and rough coastlines. The region represents the raw, untamed spirit of Iceland, offering visitors an opportunity to witness the Earth in its elemental state. Renting a car at Keflavik Airport helps you get started on your adventures in Iceland right after you land, while booking accommodation in Keflavik is a good way to explore this rugged region in more detail.

1. Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's most popular attraction.

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and one of Iceland's most popular attractions. Situated in a coarse lava field, it draws visitors from all over the world to take a relaxing soak in its distinct, milky-blue waters. The water in the lagoon is actually wastewater from a nearby geothermal power plant and is considered to have notable skin benefits. 

The Blue Lagoon is a true hot spring empire that includes a hotel, multiple restaurants, cafes, massage areas, and a gift shop. Booking admission to the Blue Lagoon to experience its soothing waters is part of nearly every travel itinerary in Iceland, and there are many Blue Lagoon tours and packages available to tailor to different needs. Many travelers choose to book a hotel at the Blue Lagoon to get even more time to unwind in luxury.

2. Bridge Between Continents

Have you ever walked between two tectonic plates?

The Bridge Between Continents is a simple structure that stands as a testament to Earth's dynamic forces. This simple structure straddles the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, giving visitors a tangible connection to the geology of our planet. Here, one can walk between the two continents, gaining firsthand experience of the slow yet relentless movements that shape our world.

The Bridge Between Continents is a great stop when exploring the Reykjanes peninsula, where travelers can take in the geology and symbolism. It is also a good spot to get memorable photos, such as "holding" the bridge while standing in the crevice below.

3. Lake Kleifarvatn

Kleifarvatn is a tranquil lake.

Kleifarvatn, the largest lake on the Reykjanes peninsula, embodies a quiet kind of beauty. Its clear, deep waters evoke a peaceful atmosphere among the coarse volcanic landscape that surrounds it. In fact, Kleifarvatn is not fed by any rivers but by the porous lava rock around it. 

The tranquil vibes of Kleifarvatn make it a popular spot for walks and recreational activities. Photographers will have a field day with the ducks and swans that commonly swim around on the lake.

4. Fagradalsfjall and Litli-Hrutur Volcanoes

This Mordor-like landscape is actually Litli-Hrutur Volcano.

Reykjanes is home to two of Iceland's newest volcanoes, Fagradalsfjall and Litli-Hrutur. The world took note of the Mordor-like landscape that emerged around Fagradalsfjall in 2021 and again in 2022. People from all over the world flocked to see the volcanic forces in person and again as the nearby Litli-Hrutur erupted in 2023. 

While the eruptions have since stopped, the aftermath is a sight to behold. It is amazing to see how the lava spread and solidified to further alter the landscape on the peninsula. There are a number of great volcano tours available where insight from a local expert will detail the effects of the eruptions, and there is nothing quite like seeing the newly formed lava field from a birdseye view on a helicopter tour of the eruption sites.

5. Krysuvik Geothermal Area

A walk through Krysuvik is a colorful one.

The area around Krysuvik is a great showcase of Iceland's active geothermal landscape. Krysuvik is full of mud pools and steam vents that have colored the surrounding earth in hues of red, yellow, and green, painted by minerals brought to the surface. Wooden pathways safely guide visitors through the area, allowing them to witness the varied manifestations of geothermal energy.

Entering this captivating site is like stepping onto another planet, full of hot springs, steaming vents, bubbling mud pots, and fumaroles. Getting expert insight about Krysuvik from your guide on a small group 6-hour tour of Reykjanes will elevate your visit and make it all the more memorable.

Top 5 Locations in Reykjavik 

Reykjavik is Iceland's bustling capital, full of history and colorful buildings. Booking accommodation in Reykjavik is the most popular way of staying in Iceland, as visitors can make use of the city's plentiful amenities and see its many attractions. The city is the departure point for many available day trips from Reykjavik, which offer everything from horseback riding to whale-watching, and the city is also the focal point of many intriguing Reykjavik walking tours.

1. Hallgrimskirkja Church

Hallgrimskirkja is Reykjavik's most iconic building.

Hallgrimskirkja church is Reykjavik's most iconic structure, towering over the central capital. Its modern design is inspired by Icelandic nature, particularly the basalt columns, and it also resembles Thor's hammer, a nod to pagan beliefs that make up an important part of Iceland's history. 

Visitors can enjoy Hallgrimskirkja's simplistic but majestic interior or take the elevator to the top of its tower to get a birdseye view of Reykjavik's downtown area. To get the full story on Hallgrimskirkja's construction and importance, as well as insight into Reykjavik and Icelandic culture, we recommend taking a walking tour of Reykjavik with a local guide.

2. Harpa Concert Hall

Harpa is the cultural center of Reykjavik.

Harpa is Reykjavik's flagship concert hall and conference center, a modern building with a glass facade that changes lights and mirrors the daily happenings in the harbor area. There are several large halls inside Harpa that host a variety of cultural events, from rock concerts to political conferences.

Outside of events, Harpa is a nice location to visit. Its location offers a nice view of Reykjavik's harbor, and you can even book a table at Hnoss, an excellent restaurant located inside Harpa. After marveling at Harpa's architecture, taking a stroll around the harbor is a nice way of taking in the city's atmosphere.

3. Perlan

Perlan offers an unparalleled panoramic view.

Perlan is an unusual but fascinating landmark located on Oskjuhlid Hill in central Reykjavik. A rotating glass dome that stands on top of six water tanks, Perlan is one of Reykjavik's most popular tourist destinations, housing a museum, restaurant, and multiple exhibits. Visiting the Wonders of Iceland exhibition will even allow you to step inside a recreated ice cave.

Visitors to Perlan will be treated to one of the city's best panoramic views as they see the city stretch in every direction while they stroll around on the observation platform surrounding the dome. Perlan is a bit outside the immediate downtown area, so the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus is a good way to get there while also seeing the city's main attractions.

4. Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager is actually not a Viking ship.

The Sun Voyager is a large steel sculpture that sits on Reykjavik's coastline. While observers often interpret it as a Viking longboat, the artist meant for it to be a dreamlike vessel and a homage to the sun and unexplored territories.

The Sun Voyager is very popular with visitors in Reykjavik, but the city is full of sculptures, statues, and street art. The Reykjavik City Card grants access to all City Museums and Galleries, including the National Museum of Iceland

5. Laugavegur Shopping Street

Laugavegur is Reykjavik's main artery.

Laugavegur is the primary shopping street in Reykjavik and the main artery in the downtown area. Here, you will find a mixture of retail stores, from well-known brands to independent boutiques, and restaurants ranging from cheap to fancy, cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs, and more. Be careful not to mistake the shopping street for the Laugavegur hiking trail, or you might end up with a rather hefty cab fare.

In the daytime, walking down Laugavegur is a great way to connect with the city's culture, partake in its cuisine, and browse Icelandic goods. As the evening sets in, Laugavegur fills up with people as it becomes a hub for Reykjavik nightlife. A good way to get acquainted with Icelandic drinking culture is on a guided beer & schnapps tour that will take you around Laugavegur and the downtown area, helping you settle in while wetting the whistle. 

Map of the Best 40 Locations in Iceland

Now that you know our picks for the best 40 locations in Iceland, here's a map of where to find them:


That concludes our article on the best 40 locations to see in Iceland. Do you agree with our list? Did we miss any of your favorite locations? Let us know in the comments below!