Founded upon the Scandinavian heritage, Iceland is a Nordic country surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean from all sides and has a population of only 0.3 million citizens which makes it the least densely populated country in Europe. Capital city and the biggest town of the country is Reykjavik. Iceland’s economy majorly depends upon its manufacturing and service industries with preferences given to software management, biotechnology and finance. Iceland embodies every kind of natural marvel, such as geothermal geysers, volcanoes, gigantic cliffs, aurora lights, and ice fields. Thrill-seeking adventurers and ordinary tourists crowd the country in thousands of numbers during the travelling season. Thus, the country’s tourism industry has played a vital role in its economy.
Situated in the center of the capital, Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja is a unique church with a striking architecture. It is amongst the tallest structures and top tourist destinations in Iceland. Hallgrímskirkja was constructed in 1940 and its design is themed on the basalt lava formations of the Black Falls, a mesmerizing natural wonder of the country. It has a towering elevation of 73 meters and offers wonderful panoramic views of the city and the surrounding scenery. A sculpture of a famous explorer, Leifur Eiriksson, is engraved at the church’s gates.
9) Whale Watching
Whale watching is a highly renowned tourist activity that happens year round in the shorelines across the country. It is during the warmer months in the summer season when regular day trips are arranged by local companies when the chances of seeing these amazing creatures are relatively high. Small ships and ferries are filled with throngs of visitors. Luckily, these sea giants surface near the boats and people can observe these natural spectacles more easily. Moreover, other marine tours such as island exploration and bird-seeing are also organized.
8) Glacier Park
Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park is one of the few National Parks located in Iceland. It has a craggy and frigid landscape and contains surreal natural structures, volcanoes, and hot geysers. Maelifell Volcano is the undeniable gem of this wild landscape, with its lush green surface covered in moss during summers. Glaciers with their miraculous lengths and breathtaking beauty are a highlight of the park. To the south, Landmannalaugar National Park can be explored. Its voluminous lava fields surrounded by hiking trails and horse-riding tracks offer an immaculate wilderness experience.
7) Lake Mývatn
Formed as a result of a catastrophic lava eruption thousands of years ago, Lake Mývatn is a shallow water body located near the city of Akureyri. The area boasts impressive natural scenery and is well-known for its richness in bird-life, vegetation and volcanic craters. This unique landscape also contains hot mud pools and boiling pits which are highly impulsive. The waterfall of the Gods is still one of the best tourist attractions in the whole Iceland. Visitors must tour the Information Centre to get to know the place better and explore its natural treasures.
6) Hornbjarg Nature Reserve
Hornbjarg creek is Iceland’s most remote place in the far north and boasts an unrivalled experience of being on the “edge of the world”. The beautifully carved ridge with its lavish green grasslands stoops down to a wonderful plateau and has a vertical drop of more than 500 meters. These magnificent ridges and dramatic cliffs collectively form the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Visitors can take one-way boat rides filled with incredulous views of these mammoth structures. Moreover, they can run up the hiking pathways to reach these scooping hills and enjoy the solitude of the surrounding environment.
5) The Geysers
Due to volcanic hustles, underground hot springs and thermal pools can be found throughout the country. StrokkureGeysir is a small town in Iceland which is internationally famed for its fountain gushers. It is located in the southwestern region of the country and is also a favorite stopping point in “Golden Circle”. The place amounts to hundreds of thermal geysers and fountains that spout boiling streams of water after short intervals of time. This natural phenomenon of exploding geysers is observed by thousands of visitors. A Geyser Centre with informative exhibits and presentations for the travelers has also been set up nearby.
4) Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis, commonly known as The Northern Lights is a thrilling natural paradox and is experienced in Iceland every year. This spectacular natural light, also called as polar light, results due to the drastic changes in solar activities. The country has large deposits of remote places filled with titanic, snow-laden peaks with crystal-clear lakes which provide an impeccable setting for viewing these colorful bands of natural light. Most prominent destination is the Pingvellir National Park where special campsites have been established for the visiting groups of tourists.
3) Skaftafell Ice Park
Spanning nearly 5000 kilometers, Skaftafell is a preservation land located in the southern part of the country. It constitutes of intensely beautiful glaciers and gorgeous underground ice caves which are bathed into a dazzling lime-blue light. Adventure-seekers can trail on the numerous hiking aisles and campgrounds that ultimately lead to natural wonders such as the Black Fall. The floating, gigantic icebergs and sublime, desert-sand cliffs offer an ideal outdoor experience. Several visitor centers are based around the area where trips to the snowy peaks are organized.
2) Gullfoss Waterfall
The majestic Gullfoss Waterfall is a part of River Hvita which meanders around different canyons and finally descends sharply to create a powerful stream. Gullfoss comprises of three terraces from which the springs spurt through and collectively have a staggering height of 32 metres. Being one of the most astonishing waterfalls of its kind, Gullfoss is also a part of the renowned Icelandic trip called “Golden Crown”. With no rails and safety barriers, heavy floods are recorded here every once in a while. This spine-tingling extravaganza attracts thousands of tourists annually.
1) Blue Lagoon
Located in a lava field near Reykjanes, Blue Lagoon is a man-made geothermal spa and one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Iceland. This pale-blue colored natural swimming pool is fed by underground hot springs and offers a unique bathing and relaxing experience. The crystal clear water is maintained at 40 degree Celsius year round and contains rich minerals which are extremely beneficial for human health. Apart from soaking in this enchanting pool, visitors can have a trip around the surrounding landscape with its impressive contrast and may visit the fishermen’s town of Grindavik.