Unmissable Attractions in Iceland

The stunning Gullfoss waterfall is just one of many must-see sights in Iceland
The stunning Gullfoss waterfall is just one of many must-see sights in Iceland | © Michele Orallo / Unsplash
Camille Buckley

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.


Natural Feature

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).


Natural Feature

You’ll find these rock formations at Dyrhólaey in the south of Iceland

Located close to Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland, these rock formations offer spectacular views.

Ásbyrgi canyon

Natural Feature

There are many interesting basalt formations within Ásbyrgi canyon

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.


Natural Feature

Jökulsárlón is filled with striking blue icebergs

This glacial lake in southeast Iceland contains luminous blue icebergs, calved from the largest glacier by volume in Europe, Vatnajökull.


Natural Feature

Svartifoss is framed by columns of black basalt to stunning effect

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.

Lake Víti

Natural Feature

The crater in which Lake Víti lies was formed by a volcanic eruption

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.


Natural Feature

© Daniel Viñé Garcia / Getty Images

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

© STEPHEN FLEMING / Alamy Stock Photo

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.


Natural Feature

Gullfoss is a multi-tiered waterfall in southwest Iceland

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.


Natural Feature

Dimmuborgir is a labyrinth of black lava

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.


Natural Feature

© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

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.


Natural Feature

Dettifoss is one of Europe’s most powerful waterfalls

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.


Natural Feature

These basalt formations are a protected national monument

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.


Natural Feature

The Krafla area features a fascinating array of colourful sediment deposits

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

Natural Feature

© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

A smaller version of the popular geothermal Blue Lagoon spa in the south, Mývatn Nature baths offer a similar experience in a serene atmosphere.


Natural Feature

2AKYW0D Mt Herdubreid in winter, snowcovered, seen from farm Moedrudalur located between lake Myvatn and Egilsstadir, northeast Iceland.

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.


Natural Feature

Take a hike up Esja

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

Natural Feature

The Arctic Henge towers over the village of Raufarhöfn

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

© Meng Ji / Unsplash

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


Kjarvalstaðir Art Museum exhibits work by renowned Icelandic artists

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).

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

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