For travel geeks, Iceland is always a ‘must visit before you die’ destination. Located in the Northern Atlantic, Iceland is endowed with nature’s rarest gems, from volcanoes, geothermal lagoons to ice caves and serene passages. Travellers across the world wait for the day when they can finally land at Keflavik International Airport and step into the Land of Fire and Ice.
However, it’s overwhelming to experience everything that the island country has to offer for a first time visitor. The bucket list for Iceland goes on and on as every street and every turn has something unique waiting to surprise its guests.
Nonetheless, here are 10 such Bucket List Experiences to have in Iceland that will make your first trip or the next one even more memorable.
PS – To make your trip to Iceland more economical, rent a self drive vehicle, and do the Golden Circle Road Trip from Reykjavik – Reykjavik, which is also one of the Most Scenic Road Trips in Europe. And all the experiences shared below, can easily fit in your Iceland Road Trip Itinerary.
Get Mesmerised by the Northern Lights | Aurora Borealis
The purpose of visiting Iceland can not be justified if one misses the chance to observe the Northern Lights. If visiting the country between September and April, the aurora will be there, shining in all its glory. The light is pretty evident from the capital city of Reykjavik but the pollution takes away a bit of its vibrancy. For the best experience, moving to the Golden Circle or Ring Road or another countryside is the wisest thing to do. There are plenty of guides available in the main city who take tourists to show the Northern Lights in the outskirts.
Walk on Black Sand at the Black Sand Beach
Nature has gifted Iceland with some remarkable features on the planet. Black Sand Beach is one of them that attracts a lot of tourists every year. This extraordinary phenomenon has taken place due to the volcanic origins of the island. As the name suggests, this extraordinary beach has black sand. One may not sunbathe on this beach, but mere walking on the sand will be a surreal experience. It’s mandatory to visit Black Sand Beach if you have Iceland on your Travel Bucket List.
Click Some Instagrammable Shots of the Plane Wreck
The Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck is one strange tourist attraction to visit in Iceland. It’s literally a plane wreck in the middle of The Black Sand Beach. The location has gained unsolicited exposure in many movies, shows and music videos. Probably this is the reason for its rising popularity among tourists. Whatever the reason, this place is undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable locations in Iceland. Take your time clicking pictures to your heart’s content.
Go Hiking on Glaciers
The Sólheimajökull glacier extends from the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the black sand plains of South Iceland. For those who want to add some thrill to their regular wandering, trekking on this glacier becomes a must. What separates this particular glacier from other glaciers scattered around the island, is its association with the fierce volcano Katla. Created due to the volcano’s eruptions, the ash, rugged rock formations, impenetrable ice ridges and gaping water cauldrons have made the glacier a room for adrenalin stimulation.
Experience the Ice Caves
Iceland’s Ice Caves have the most breathtaking serenity to offer in the whole world. The melted water of summer creates glacial rivers that slash through the ice caps. When the temperature falls, and the rivers stop flowing, the spectacular ice caves of numerous shapes, sizes and colours are created. The Ice cave season starts from mid-October and continue till the end of March. Through the ice caves, experience standing in the middle of a quiet blue crystal where the time has frozen and the antiquity has seized modernity.
Hear the Roar of Waterfalls in Iceland
A visit to Iceland is incomplete without exploring the beautiful waterfalls that are spread across the island of Iceland. Due to the innumerable glaciers, Iceland is home to some of the most stunning ever-flowing waterfalls in the world. Interestingly, all the waterfalls of Iceland have stories attached to them. Some are of battles or folklores, some are of history, tragedy, or even of love. Bring contentment to your soul by setting eyes upon the phenomenal waterfalls of Iceland. Some of the notable Waterfalls in Iceland that should be there on your Iceland Travel Bucket List are – Kirkjufellsfoss | Hraunfossar | Bruarfoss | Hrafnabjargafoss | Godafoss | Skogafoss | Seljalandsfoss
Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is another wonder that Iceland has to offer. Situated at a 15-minute drive from the Keflavík International Airport, The Blue Lagoon sets a contrast with the surrounding hand made of black lava. The temperature of the water in the lagoon sits at 39 degrees centigrade throughout the year making it perfect for bathing. The Blue Lagoon is a must on the bucket list if visiting Iceland is on your radar.
Go on a Whale Watching Tour
The strategic positioning of Iceland makes it a perfect spot to observe marine life. Whale Watching is one such activity that reaches the bucket list of every tourist who visits Iceland during the summer. The whales are mostly seen in the months of, June, July and August. There are plenty of agencies or companies that take tourists to whale watching. Packages are also available if considering sea angling and puffin watching as well. Marine enthusiast or not, don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness these epic creatures live in action.
Experiencing the Local Cuisine
Is any visit ever complete without trying out the local cuisine? The rustic lifestyle of Iceland stood through the test of time which is well evident in their cuisine too. The harsh circumstances have shaped the food habit into a minimal one. The diet predominantly consists of lamb, dairy and seafood. The bread and the smoky lamb is a perfect treat for a cold, quiet evening. The capital city of Reykjavík has some premium restaurants that serve authentic dishes of the island, made palatable for travellers from across the World.
Scuba Diving in Silfra Fissure
When it comes to water, Iceland has everything to offer pertained to it. From waterfalls to bathing lagoons, whale watching and now Scuba Diving. The excellent location that the island has makes it ideal for scuba diving. Silfra Fissure is ranked as one of the top ten best spots for scuba diving in the world. 60 kilometres away from the capital city, this is located in the Mid-Atlantic Dorsal Rift in Þingvellir National Park, Iceland’s largest park, covered by UNESCO World Heritage. It is essentially Scuba Diving between the two tectonic plates – North American and Eurasian plates.
And there you have it – 10 Experiences that should definitely find their place on your Iceland Travel Bucket List. All the wonders that the country has, will take a never-ending list to have covered them all. However, for first time travellers, the list has been narrowed down to the top ten which is an attempt to make the visit to Iceland less overwhelming and more memorable.