Are you coming to Iceland for the first time and wondering where all of the country's best attractions are on the map? Do you want to know where Reykjavík's points of interest are or where the best waterfalls are along the South Coast? Find a wealth of maps below, which detail all the main sites and best attractions to be found in Iceland.
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Organising a holiday to a foreign country can be a little overwhelming, particularly if you have never been before, so most guests want to know a fair amount before they arrive. Should you stay in one place and take day tours out, or travel further afield at different hotels? Where can you find the best natural attractions, and what are the main sites around where you are staying?
A few handy maps, therefore, can take a lot of the stress out of working out what to do.
At Guide to Iceland, we have maps to help guests planning all different kinds of trips, such as the best routes around the country, the most popular waterfalls, and the highlights of the capital.
Even tourists who do not like to plan too far ahead will find them helpful for simple navigation.
If you have booked a self-drive tour or guided vacation package, in which your route, accommodation and tours will be booked for you, the following maps can still help you visualise what is ahead and get excited about your travels.
In addition to this, all individual self-drive and vacation packages come with a map attached.
While many travellers to Iceland are happy to stay in Reykjavík and travel out each day either independently or on tours, many also wish to travel around the country to witness its diversity and more remote attractions.
While this can be organised for you if you book a self-drive tour (alongside your hotels and excursions), those renting a car and planning their holiday independently will find the maps below very useful.
Above, you will find a useful map for driving around Iceland, with all of the main sights marked on it in varying colour tags.
Feel free to zoom in to get a closer look at each attraction's location one by one.
Iceland has one Ring Road (Road Number 1) that loops the entirety of the country.
Along this route, you will find multiple attractions such as waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers and beaches.
If you want to visit the Northern or Eastern regions of Iceland, then you should aspire to drive the whole circle from Reykjavík.
It is roughly the same distance to drive from Reykjavík to the town of Egilsstaðir in East Iceland, no matter whether you take the northern route or the southern route.
Whichever route you choose, you will find the landscape is vastly different in every part of the country.
It is possible to drive the Ring Road in six days, but the longer you take, the more sites you can see and the longer you can spend at them.
Those seeking to travel Route 1 and visit the Snæfellsnes Peninsula should consider this 10-day self drive tour.
The Westfjords are Iceland's second most remote area after the uninhabited Highlands, simply because the region is cut off from the Ring Road and a bit of a detour to travel to.
Many of the roads within it are gravel and snowstorms on mountain passes happen even in summer, so you'll need to take your time as you drive from one scenic fjord to another.
The Westfjords are hardly accessible during the wintertime due to heavy snowfalls, closed roads and even avalanche threats, but in summer are absolutely magical.
If you are seeking magnificent natural features, incredible landscapes and a wealth of wildlife, it is recommended to spend a few days here.
If you're on a budget, but want to spend two weeks exploring the whole country, then it is advised you book this 14-day super budget self drive tour, which includes a rental car and affordable accommodation.
If you'd prefer ensuite bathrooms during your stay, then this 14-day self drive tour is also available.
In just a day, you can enjoy a return journey that will introduce you to waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers and volcanoes.
In two days, you can even reach the magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and, if travelling between mid-October and March, the ice caves (note that many operators do not start tours here until November).
Travelling the South Coast is particularly recommended in winter, when other beautiful regions, such as the East and Westfjords are much more difficult to reach.
Though poor weather can affect Route 1 in the South, it is much easier to maintain and access.
The South Coast shares this accessibility by the two other routes on the map above, the aforementioned Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Golden Circle.
To enjoy all three of these routes on a budget, this 7-day self-drive comes highly recommended.
This map features the best locations in the Southwest of Iceland, including the sites of the Golden Circle and the many highlights of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
It also includes natural features such as Hraunfossar waterfall and man-made attractions such as the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa.
Due to the fact that the capital is nestled in the centre of the attractions of the west, it is possible to visit all of the major sites while basing yourself in Reykjavík.
The only part of West Iceland you may wish to spend more than a day traversing is the Snæfellsnes Peninsula; this 2-day winter tour is a great option to make the most of each location, whereas this 6-day self-drive of the region (including the Golden Circle) is tailored towards Northern Lights hunting.
Iceland is world-renowned for its incredible attractions, with waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes and fascinating towns and villages.
If you are seeking to witness such natural and cultural delights, the following maps are a great place to start.
Iceland boasts an almost endless number of waterfalls.
Behind every nook and cranny, one can find a waterfall of some description within Iceland's landscape.
You don't even need to leave the city borders of Reykjavík since there is a waterfall found right in the valley of Elliðaárdalur!
It would be impossible to try to count all the waterfalls that exist in Iceland; a number of them have no names and, each year, new ones form from melting glaciers or changes in the ground due to earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
Some cease to exist due to a lack of water supply or the redirection of rivers.
However, above, you can find a map of some of the most dramatic, most powerful and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.
Gullfoss is the most famous waterfall in Iceland. It can be found on the world-renown Golden Circle route.
They also both have other waterfalls right by them, 'hiding' in plain sight.
Gljúfrabúi is tucked in between two cliffs forming a hidden cave, only a five-minute walk from Seljalandsfoss. Hiking up the trail at the top of Skógafoss, meanwhile, will lead you to around 30 more waterfalls, one after the other.
Dynjandi, in the Westfjords, tumbles down like a crown, earning it the title 'The Crown of the Westfjords'.
And then there are all the smaller ones that are still impressive due to their picturesque nature or location, like Kirkjufellsfoss, that nestles close to the cone-shaped Kirkjufell mountain on the Snæfellsnes peninsula or Hraunfossar, that trickles out of the lava in the western part of Iceland.
No matter which direction you head, you'll be sure to find some impressive waterfalls.
If driving the Ring Road or through the Westfjords, you'll see more than you'll be able to count, providing countless photo opportunities and some magnificent sights.
Every small town in Iceland will have a swimming pool.
The Greater Reykjavík area has a whopping 17 of them! In addition to the swimming pools, there are also a number of hot springs and spas you can bathe in, both man-made and natural.
The swimming pools are easily found, as there will be a sign pointing the way to each one within each town, and since Iceland's towns and villages are small, finding them takes just minutes.
Arguably, the most stunning swimming pool in Iceland is the Infinity Pool, boasting an undisturbed ocean view, at Hofsós in North Iceland.
Picture by Ása Steinarsdóttir
The natural pools are harder to pin down as many of them do not show up on Google Maps and a number of them are in the middle of nowhere, with no roads whatsoever leading up to them.
Most of these are unmarked as well, so it's best to ask the locals if there are any hot pools in the vicinity.
The pools also vary in look and size, as well as temperature.
Some natural hot springs are forbidden to enter, either because of danger (such as too high temperature or danger of rocks falling) or to protect the pools and the delicate surrounding nature.
If the hot springs are on private land, be sure to ask for permission before entering the pool.
The above map is from a 15-day summer hot spring self drive tour, that both lists a number of pools, spas, geothermal areas and natural hot springs, as well as notable attractions along the route.
Which pools to seek out depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for modern comforts like a changing room, showers and bathrooms, you'll be looking for something quite different to a pool that requires you to rough it, stripping outdoors in the sun, rain, wind or snow.
The Blue Lagoon is considered to be more of a spa than simply a hot pool.
Here, you will find showers, restrooms, changing facilities, on-site massages, a bar, a café and a restaurant - and even a hotel if you want to spend the night or have your own private access to the lagoon.
The Mývatn Nature Baths, found in North Iceland, offer a similar, cheaper but slightly less luxurious experience.
For a fee, you can enjoy this pool, which is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. You can also bathe here by taking the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
To lower the temperature inside the sauna, you simply open the door to let in some fresh air.
Here you'll find sleek hot tubs and saunas as well as a stylish restaurant. Other new spas include the Geosea baths in North Iceland, which are fed with naturally heated saltwater, and the Vök Baths in the east.
There are around 130 volcanoes in Iceland, although most are dormant.
The sheer amount of volcanoes means we could not feasibly put all of them on a map, but you can see the most famous ones above.
Some of them are very picturesque from afar, such as Snæfellsjökull, which crowns the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and, in clear weather, can be seen from the capital.
It's also famous for being the entry point to the Earth's core in Jules Verne's classic book, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.
Other volcanoes require challenging but spectacular hikes to reach, such as Eyjafjallajökull, which is found right by the famous Fimmvörðuháls trek.
This peak, submerged under a glacier, was responsible for wreaking havoc in 2010 when it erupted with little warning.
You can even enter the now dormant caldera of a volcano with the Inside the Volcano tour. This is the only place on earth where you can descend into and explore a vast and colourful magma chamber.
Other volcanoes are tucked away in the Highlands, such as Bárðarbunga or Holuhraun, where their destructive powers can change the landscape but do no harm to towns or villages nestled on the country's shores.
Even so, the effects of the ash on farmland and air travel can still be catastrophic.
From time to time, travellers will contact us and ask about other cities in Iceland besides Reykjavík. In short: There are none.
Reykjavík itself is considered a small city by international standards, with less than 300,000 inhabitants in the Greater Reykjavík Area.
The largest town outside Reykjavík's greater area is Akureyri in North Iceland, with just shy of 20,000 inhabitants.
Another moderately large town in East Iceland is the town of Höfn, which hosts around 2,200 inhabitants.
The largest town in the South of Iceland is Selfoss, with just under 7,000 people.
As a result, there is a limit of how many restaurants and grocery shops you can find in each town, as well as a limit on how many hotels are in each town.
Iceland has recently become increasingly popular with travellers, so we recommend you book your accommodation well in advance and shop for food in the larger towns you come across.
Almost all guests will spend at least one night of their holiday in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital.
Easy to navigate and full of fabulous cultural attractions, the following maps will help you make the most out of this beautiful city.
Reykjavík is full of interesting attractions, including impressive architecture, art galleries, museums, parks or markets. You can enjoy it all in Reykjavík.
The beacon that towers over the centre of town is the 74.5-metre tall church Hallgrímskirkja, visible from almost every angle in Reykjavík and beyond the city limits.
From its top, you have a great view of the city, although visitors need to give a small contribution to take the lift up.
Another viewing platform is found at Perlan, or The Pearl, that also houses several exhibitions, a café and a restaurant.
The Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Centre is an attraction both due to its impressive architecture—featuring a glass façade lit up with LED lights—as well as its many concerts, festivals and exhibitions.
Make sure you check the events calendar for Harpa before your visit.
For natural beauty, visitors can enjoy the views of the city pond, Tjörnin, located right next to the City Hall.
The City Hall is open to all visitors, and occasionally you might catch some live music or an interesting photo or gallery exhibition here.
If you're looking for art, then there are dozens of art galleries, museums and street art exhibits to choose from.
The main art galleries have been included in the map above, but many other smaller ones can be found on the main shopping streets of Laugavegur, Skólavörðustígur, Hverfisgata and the surrounding streets.
Beautiful art sculptures can also be found dotted around the city, the most famous one being Sólfarið, or The Sun Voyager, that has impressive seaside views.
Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden has free entry and is located right next to Hallgrímskirkja church.
If you venture towards Laugardalur, Reykjavík's recreational area, then you can also visit Ásmundarsafn Sculpture Museum.
Laugardalur also has a botanical garden, family adventure garden & zoo, the country's largest swimming pool Laugardalslaug, a football field, a skating rink and a campsite.
This is where the annual music festival, Secret Solstice, takes place.
Markets are not common in Iceland, but you will find the fleamarket Kolaportið by the old harbour.
And if you want to leave the city centre for some nature and beautiful sunset views (or to see the Northern Lights) then head to the lighthouse at Grótta or the Imagine Peace art installation at Viðey Island.
Alternatively, you can head to Elliðaárdalur valley to enjoy a midnight picnic right next to a waterfall within the city borders.
Reykjavík is a city whose nightlife is easy to navigate on foot, especially if you're staying in the centre.
There aren't many nightclubs, but Reykjavík's venues lead double, or triple lives as cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, music venues and clubs.
You'll find almost all the bars you'll need on, or by, Reykjavík's main shopping street: Laugavegur.
There are only a few exceptions. It can take as little as a few seconds to go from one bar to the next in this lively Nordic capital.
If you're planning on barhopping, then perhaps you'd like to start by sipping on a cocktail at your own hotel.
Many of the upscale hotels in Reykjavík double as popular hangout places for fancy cocktails, or house restaurants where you can have a glass of wine or two with your meal.
If you're only going for a drink, you might want to look up which ones have a happy hour by using this convenient Appy Hour app.
If you're more into craft beers, then there are a few craft beer locales where you can start your night instead, the best bars for craft beer in Reykjavik being Skúli, MicroBar, Mikkeller and Friends and Bryggjan Brewery.
See also: Where to Stay in Reykjavik
Following a drink at a hotel or a craft beer bar, you can go to one of the hostels, such as Kex Hostel or Loft Hostel where it's likely you'll encounter a live band performing, a poetry reading or even a drag-show.
Here the crowd will be more relaxed and it's easier to mingle with strangers when you're both laughing at the same jokes by a stand-up comedian or enjoying the same live jazz.
To end the night, choose between a multitude of bars that double as nightclubs, with music playing long into the night (most venues close at 5 am on weekends).
If live music, theatre, cabaret, poetry or comedy is your thing, then there are also multiple venues to choose from that offer that sort of entertainment.
See also: Icelandic Music
Gaukurinn is the venue of choice for the Icelandic drag scene, Drag-Súgur, as well as stand-up comedy in English. Tjarnarbíó, Iðnó and Þjóðleikhúskjallarinn host an array of theatre performances, live music and improv comedy throughout the week.
Reykjavík Kabarett has regular cabaret performances around town, switching between venues.
For weekdays, there is live jazz with free entry, at Bryggjan Brewery on Sunday nights, Húrra on Monday nights, Kex Hostel on Tuesday nights and at the Peterson Suite on Wednesday nights. Múlinn Jazz Club in Harpa Concert Hall also has jazz nights on Wednesdays for a small fee.
Dillon, Gaukurinn and Bar 11 are more likely to have live rock, metal or electronic music being performed.
Bíó Paradís, or Paradise Cinema, is not only a great spot to watch Icelandic classic films (with English subtitles) or art house international films, they also serve beer and have a cosy and relaxed sofa area, frequented by locals looking to relax or play games.
As mentioned above, there are hundreds of swimming pools found all over Iceland, and 17 within the Greater Reykjavík Area.
Note that many Icelandic swimming pools would be considered spas in many other countries, still with an unbeatable entry price.
The largest pool within Reykjavík, and all of Iceland, is Laugardalslaug, which sports both an indoor and outdoor pool, saunas, a massage room, seven hot tubs and also a cold tub.
As if that wasn't enough, then there's also a large gym next door called World Class and a secluded spa called Laugar Spa, for an additional cost.
The most central swimming pool in Reykjavík is Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, that used to only have an indoor pool and two outdoor hot tubs, as well as a sauna.
In 2017, however, it was renovated and reopened with an additional outdoor pool, another sauna and some more hot and cold tubs.
Two other pools are rather close to Reykjavík's city centre, Vesturbæjarlaug and Seltjarnarneslaug.
Both of those are outdoor (heated) pools with a number of hot tubs and saunas.
Is there a map missing that you'd like to see on this list? Did these maps help you plan your trip to Iceland? Let us know in the comments!