Iceland has emerged in the past decade as one of Europe’s hottest (coolest?) travel destinations.

But what makes it so special?

If you are planning a visit to Iceland, prepare yourself for stunning waterfalls, and, depending on which time of year you visit, the chance to peek at the Northern Lights.

Read these comprehensive Iceland travel guides, articles and tips. From the best time to travel to Iceland, what you need to pack to a peek at Iceland’s beautiful beaches – here’s what you need to know to plan your trip.

Golden Circle

A trip around the Golden Circle is a must do activity when in Iceland. Check out the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall as a priority – it’s one of Iceland’s most famous attractions and for good reason.

Other stops on the Golden Circle circuit include Þingvellir National Park, the location where the continental plates meet, Geysir and Strokkur geysers.

Reykjavik

Take some time out to explore Reykjavik’s thriving buzz.

From art, to music and spectacular attractions, there’s plenty to do and see in the Icelandic capital.

You won’t be able to miss the towering Hallgrímskirkja church, which offers 360 degree views over the whole city. The stunning architecture is inspired by Svartifoss waterfall in South Iceland and is truly unique in design.
There’s plenty of culture on offer, including museums, galleries and the famous Harpa Concert and Conference Hall, which in itself is an architectural masterpiece. Not to mention a penis museum. Yep, you read that right.

Akureyri

This humble fishing port, with a small population of 18000 people, is a surprising Icelandic gem that’s definitely worth visiting. It’s a great spot to hang out in some independent cafes of teahouses or have a shop around in the boutiques or craft stores.

Grundarfjordur

Grundarfjordur may not be the most talked about town in Snæfellsnes but it’s filled with plenty of nature lead activities. This town is home to one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, Kirkjufell and is real sight to behold.

This is the ideal place to slip on some hiking boots and get exploring. You’ll see stunning waterfalls, hike nature trails and catch glimpses of the local wildlife. You can also take boat trips in the summer months and go deep sea fishing.

In summer, you can also be treated to a ‘Viking Reenactment’ by the Viking Association as they transform the town into their stage.

The Blue Lagoon

This geothermal spa is one of Iceland’s biggest attractions. With a picturesque backdrop and gorgeously warm water to swim in, it’s no wonder.

Not only is the water great for relaxing in, but locals swear by the fact that it nourishes the skin.

That said, one local driver I met joked that everyone came out of the Blue Lagoon looking like a troll… who knows. There’s only one way to find out and that’s giving it a go yourself.

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