With waterfalls and glaciers, geothermal landscapes and awe-inspiring rock formations, Iceland is bursting with unmissable natural attractions. Mainly found by road trip, hike or tour guide, these extraordinary sights are sure to leave a lasting impression.
You can now book your adventure to Iceland with us, and check out the most stunning places in the country on Cuture Trip’s five-day, small-group Iceland tour.
The Geysir hot spring area, part of the Golden Circle tour, comprises a dozen boiling pits. The most active of these, Strokkur, spouts every few minutes to heights of up to 30m (98ft).
Located close to Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland, these rock formations offer spectacular views.
This horseshoe-shaped canyon in the north is said to be the hoof print of Odin’s horse in Norse mythology. Within the canyon are numerous hiking trails and interesting basalt formations.
This glacial lake in southeast Iceland contains luminous blue icebergs, calved from the largest glacier by volume in Europe, Vatnajökull.
This 12m (39ft) waterfall, inside Vatnajökull National Park, is framed by black columnar basalt. You can take a short hike from the visitor centre to get remarkably close to this unique sight, one of the smaller examples to be found among Iceland’s numerous waterfalls.
This crater was formed during a prehistoric eruption, yet Víti itself was formed during another eruption in 1875. Víti’s colour ranges from milky green to pearly blue and can be bathed in after making the steep descent down into the crater to its shores.
This black-pebble beach on the south coast features the majestic Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks and a pyramid-shaped basalt column.
Þingvellir National Park
Park, Natural Feature
This wonder became the site of the world’s first democracy in 930 AD. Fittingly, it is also where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet.
The river Hvitá forms this multi-tiered waterfall in southwest Iceland. It is part of the popular Golden Circle tour and is equally stunning in all seasons.
Located next to Lake Mývatn in the north, Dimmuborgir (“dark castles” in Icelandic) is a labyrinth of black lava formed into towering caves and formations created over 2,300 years ago.
This stunning golden-red beach on Látrabjarg Peninsula in the Westfjörds is a serene setting, where the sand appears to be glowing on a sunny day.
Dettifoss is one of Europe’s most powerful waterfalls, and is located in northeast Iceland. The huge force of water forming the fall comes from Vatnajökull glacier. The waterfall was used in the opening scene of the 2012 science fiction film Prometheus.
With a name meaning “dwarf rocks” in Icelandic, these peculiar columnar basalt formations are a protected national monument. The extensive fracture network creates a multifaceted display.
This Martian landscape created by geothermal activity in the north of Iceland has a fascinating array of colourful sediment deposits, and intriguing accompanying smells.
Mývatn Nature Baths
A smaller version of the popular geothermal Blue Lagoon spa in the south, Mývatn Nature baths offer a similar experience in a serene atmosphere.
Considered the Icelandic national mountain, and sometimes called “the queen”, this flat-topped mountain in the Central Highlands is the sole figure rising from the surrounding desert.
This is the mountain that dominates the skyline north of Reykjavík. The hike to the top is a relatively easy one and offers great views of the surrounding area.
The Arctic Henge
Towering over the village of Raufarhöfn in eastern Iceland is the sundial known as the Arctic Henge, a long-term work still under construction. The structures have been placed in accordance with allusions found in Icelandic folklore and mythology.
Natural Feature, Park
Within Snæfellsjökull National Park lies this glacier-capped volcano, used by Jules Verne in his 1864 novel A Journey to the Center of the Earth. It can sometimes be seen all the way from Reykjavík.
Kjarvalstaðir Art Museum
Opened in 1973, this building is a fine example of Nordic modernism and displays a permanent collection of one of Iceland’s most celebrated landscape painters, Johannes S Kjarval (1885–1972).
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.