What are the most romantic and beautiful places in Iceland? Are you looking for a little love nest for you and your partner? Perhaps you want to propose in a unique destination? If love is in the air and you're looking for some romance, then here are our top destinations for intimacy in Iceland.
When Iceland is filled with stunning landscapes it may be hard to choose where to go for a romantic destination. It doesn't come as a surprise that many couples choose to come to Iceland to get married—and Guide to Iceland can help you plan your wedding in Iceland! But which place to choose for a lovey-dovey getaway? Following is a list of my favourite romantic locations in Iceland, mostly within a few hours drive from Reykjavík.
Obviously, if you want to be on your own then you should rent a car and drive yourself to these locations—but it can also be fun to go on a tour (and in some cases necessary!)
Þórsmörk is an oasis in the highlands of Iceland and my number one romantic destination. Obviously it's the company that makes the location romantic but it helps to be surrounded by stunning views. Experiencing the midnight sun here is something that will stay with you forever.
This green valley is filled with beautiful rock formations, mountains, rivers and great hiking paths for every level. You can choose to sleep in Volcano Huts, Skagfjörðsskáli hut, Básar hut or you can bring your own tent and nestle in a small clearing.
So you have the choice of camping, glamping, dormitory accommodation or you can even rent a private small cabin. All the choices are pretty rustic and simple, but that adds to the charm in my opinion.
Þórsmörk is known for having slightly better weather than its surroundings—but even if it rains, it just makes it cosy and intimate listening to the drops on the roof of your tent.
From Básar you can hike up to Eyjafjallajökull glacier and see the steam rise from the ground where the famous volcanic eruption took place in 2010. The ground there is still warm and it's nice to sit down and feel it warm up your legs as you look over the stunning surroundings. It's also a pretty spectacular location for a marriage proposal!
There are also plenty of gorgeous other hikes inside and around Þórsmörk, such as over the ridge Kattarhryggur (Cat's Spine), up to the top of Valahnúkur mountain or hike into Stakkholtsgjá canyon, pictured above, where you'll find a waterfall at the bottom of the canyon.
Þórsmörk's beauty is mentioned in the story of Burnt Njal (Brennu-Njáls saga). Gunnar, a famous and strong Viking, had been outlawed. As he was riding out of Þórsmörk he looked back and said that the hill was so beautiful that he would not leave. And still, today, when you go to Þórsmörk, you'll never want to leave.
Þórsmörk is mainly accessible during summer. I wouldn't advise driving yourself to Þórsmörk, as you'll need to cross some rivers on the way - and you should definitely NOT attempt to go there in wintertime on your own!
Snæfellsjökull is the glacier that crowns the end of Snæfellsnes peninsula. Surrounding it is a national park, filled with birdlife, hiking trails and small fishing villages. You'll also find nice rocks, such as the Lóndrangar that are pictured here above.
Between Arnarstapi and Hellnar is a beautiful and easy hiking trek (less than an hour) and a nice little café by the seaside in Hellnar.
Djúpalónssandur is another gorgeous location, a black, pebble beach with some remains of a shipwreck scattered across the pebbles and sand. Nearby is the stunning Djúpalón lake, as you can see in the aerial video here above.
In the small village Rif, you can find a café called Gamla Rif that serves one of the best seafood soups I've ever had. You'll surely find it, just ask the locals—but be aware it's only open during summertime.
The mountain Kirkjufell has also become a favourite spot for photographers and Game of Thrones enthusiasts, with its iconic triangular shape (that mountain that's 'shaped like an arrowhead') and the nearby waterfall.
But my personal favourite is trekking up to the top of Snæfellsjökull glacier in the middle of the summer and standing on top of the glacier, looking towards Reykjavík on one side and over Breiðafjörður on the other in a twilight of different shades of pink, orange, golden and purple. Simply ideal for lovebirds. Even better if you remember to bring a bottle of hot chocolate and a blanket with you and sit down on the glacier in the midnight sun.
To top it off, rent a cabin out in the wild that you can have all to yourself. In wintertime, there's nothing more romantic than soaking in your own hot tub while watching the dancing Northern Lights above.
Photo from Hot Spring Hike of Reykjadalur Valley
Reykjadalur is a valley just outside of Reykjavík. Through it runs a warm river. It's warm all year round so you could possibly go there in the wintertime and sit in hot water whilst watching the Northern Lights. (Basically any hot tub/river/hot spring is the most romantic place on earth if you have the Northern Lights putting on a private dance above you!)
Nevertheless, I'd rather recommend going there in the summer. It's quite popular so chances are you won't be there on your own. If you go mid-week and in the middle of the night you might be in luck and have the place all to yourself.
My advice: Firstly book a table at Fjöruborðið (At the Seashore) for the best langoustine you will possibly ever have. They are busy for a reason, make sure you reserve a table. The restaurant is situated in Stokkseyri, a short drive from Hveragerði where the hike starts to Reykjadalur.
Photo from Hot Spring Hike of Reykjadalur Valley
Then you can hike up to Reykjadalur in the evening (don't worry, it doesn't get dark in summertime!), bring a bottle of wine and maybe some chocolate or strawberries. Then enjoy a glass of wine with your loved one whilst sitting in warm water underneath the midnight sun. After you've had your fill of the warm water you can jog down to the scenic village of Hveragerði, maybe even spend the night there.
This is easy to do on your own, just rent a car and drive to Hveragerði (or Stokkseyri first for the lobster dinner!). The drive from Reykjavík to Hveragerði is only about 45 minutes.
You can also take a bus to get there (but then your timing won't be as flexible). The hike is about 1,5-2 hours going up and 1-1,5 hours going down.
The locations I've mentioned so far I think are best in the summertime, so what about the wintertime?
Well, if you're coming to Iceland during wintertime, then you can't miss out on a natural glacier cave in the southeast of the country. The ice caves in Vatnajökull glacier are only accessible during certain weather conditions (it needs to be cold! Otherwise they will melt and become very dangerous...) and you have to go with a guide inside them so you can't really be on your own. They are also only open from between either October and November until March, depending on your tour operator.
However, this is one of the most popular places in the country for proposals to take place. I mean, it looks like a crystal palace from a fairytale, so it's not really surprising - you'll be hard pressed to find a more magical natural beauty!
And even if it's cold, Iceland's cold weather is fairly dry so you can dress it off with plenty of warm layers. What makes this place even better is that it's far away from Reykjavík, so you'll need at least 2 days (even better to take 3) to go there and back - and there are plenty of gorgeous places on the way.
My favourites include the cliffs at Dyrhólaey, Seljalandsfoss waterfall (that you can walk behind) and Gljúfrabúi waterfall (inside a cave), Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon and Skaftafell nature reserve (hike up to Svartifoss waterfall, it's gorgeous!).
And the créme de la créme is of course Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach! So it's the perfect weekend getaway, far from the stress of city life.
Also, because it's wintertime there's a chance you'll see the Northern Lights dancing above you at night - or that you need to cuddle up tight if there's a snow blizzard raging outside.
Just imagine: Enjoy a sleep in inside your private rented cabin, enjoy a good breakfast together, go for a short scenic drive towards the glacier lagoon, explore the gorgeous crystal ice cave in the early afternoon, stroll along the Diamond Beach in the late afternoon, have a nice warm drink and admire the Northern Lights at night dancing over the glacier lagoon—or snuggle up in a hot tub with snowflakes melting on your face on a cloudy day.
You can drive the south coast yourself, this 3 day winter self drive tour (that includes accommodation and a visit to the ice cave) gives you great flexibility to do so.
This video can give you an idea of what you might see on the south coast of Iceland!
These are just a few of my favourite places, but there is plenty more to choose from!
For more exciting and romantic locations in Iceland, check out these 20 hidden gems in Iceland to see some locations off the beaten path. The best hot springs in Iceland are great for a relaxing soak in nature and if you're looking for something you can't find elsewhere this list of the most unique experiences in Iceland provides you with some exciting activities.
What do you think is the most romantic location in Iceland? Tell us in the comments!