25 Famous Iceland Landmarks + Tips on how to visit the Top Iceland Attractions

10 day iceland ring road itinerary

ICELAND LANDMARKS & TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THE TOP ICELAND ATTRACTIONS




With many incredible Iceland Landmarks to explore, it may be is hard to choose the main Iceland attractions you want to visit. The land of ice and fire is one of the most magical travel destinations on the Planet! A place with so much to see and explore with some must-visit locations that include waterfalls, natural pools, geysers – not to mention all the historical Iceland landmarks. You are about to see the BEST Iceland Landmarks and Iceland Attractions for your bucket list!

If you are thinking about visiting Iceland and you are not sure where to start, this guide provides the 25 Most Amazing Iceland Landmarks plus all the tips on how to visit the top Iceland attractions.

This Iceland Landmarks guide is a great start point to plan your trip to Iceland, as it helps you to coordinate how to visit the main Iceland attractions. In order to help you to navigate, the sections are organized by the most popular itineraries in Iceland: Reykjavik area, Golden Circle,  and Ring Road. Also, a bonus section with some less explored places and some off-the-beaten-path places in Iceland.

In addition, you can also find all the tips on how to visit each Iceland Landmark – including how to get there, the best time to visit, and the best options for accommodations.

If you are looking for more details, you can see my Ultimate Road Trip in Iceland – as here you can find all the details, plus a map, on how to visit the main Iceland Attractions. 

Also, make sure to check this guide on How to travel to Iceland on Budget and save big time with my tips – and if you are looking to go on the best adventure of a lifetime, I have prepared a complete Guide on how to go Ice Climbing and Glacier Hiking in Iceland.

Enjoy this Iceland Landmarks Guide and safe Travels!

Iceland Landmarks

PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO THE FAMOUS ICELAND LANDMARKS

During planning your trip to visit the Landmarks in Iceland and what are the main Iceland attractions you decide to visit, make sure you do some preplanning, research, and understanding what you are looking for will help make your travels far more successful and safe.

Plan your Trip to Iceland

⇒ TRAVELING TO ICELAND AND COVID-19: From April 2021, all travelers are welcome to visit Iceland. NOTE: You need to have a certificate of full vaccination against COVID. For the latest update, please visit COVID.is.

⇒ ICELAND TRIP PLANNING: Please check this complete Iceland Travel Planning. You can find all the information you need to make your trip to Iceland the best experience.

⇒ VISA FOR ICELAND: Get your Iceland visa through iVisa if you don’t want to fill out the forms yourself.

Iceland Landmarks

Book your flight to Iceland

If you live in the US, take advantage of the proximity and the prices for flights. I flew from Florida and took a direct flight of only 7 hours.

  • Choose to fly during the low season (Iceland winter time)
  • Compare prices leaving from different airports, instead of only consider a direct flight from your town. Sometimes a domestic connection is a good option and will save you some money.

There are several airlines for you to choose from, depending on your departure location. Your destination in Iceland will be the Keflavik Internation Airport (KEF). 

I recommend you browse and compare prices for the BEST DEAL with Expedia or Skyscanner to find the best options for flights. 

Iceland Landmarks

Book your rental car in Iceland

YOU WILL NEED A RENTAL CAR IN ICELAND – First of all, if you are planning to visit some of these hidden gems in Iceland, you will need to rent a car. The tours in Iceland do not take you to these places, if they would, then it wouldn’t be a hidden place, right!? Make sure you compare prices and rent your car from a reliable source like this.

Also, if you decide to rent a car I recommend checking on the road conditions before you start driving in Iceland.

Other tips to plan your trip to Iceland

⇒ ACCOMMODATIONS IN ICELAND: Great accommodation options and budget-friendly are guest houses, and you can easily find and book them through Booking.com. I also selected the best options to book accommodations close to the areas to visit.

⇒ BUDGET: It depends on your travel style, it can very expensive or you can plan to travel to Iceland on a budget. Visit my Iceland Trip Cost guide with all the details you need to plan your budget accordingly. 

⇒ TRAVEL INSURANCE IN ICELAND It doesn’t matter if you are traveling around Iceland on a private tour or driving in Iceland, what is important is to get travel insurance for any travel style. I recommend and also use reliable insurance through World Nomads before your trip to Iceland. You can just do a quick quote below, and you will be surprised to find out how little it can cost, for the benefit you will get.

⇒ GROUP & PRIVATE TOURS: Group or private tours are also great options, especially for some activities. A safe and great option I recommend is to book through Get Your Guide, as they have many options for tours, and you can plan and book ahead.  You can also check my review on the Best Glacier Hike in Iceland Tours here.

⇒ BEST TIME TO VISIT ICELAND:  Check the weather in Iceland. The time of year can make a big difference. In the wintertime, Iceland has around 4 – 5 hours of sunlight in December – January but the midnight sun dances around through the summer keeping the sky bright!

ICELAND LANDMARKS IN 3 MINUTES

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ICELAND LANDMARKS IN REYKJAVIK AREA

1) BLUE LAGOON

Iceland Landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Jessie Moore of Pocket Wanderings

One of the most popular landmarks in Iceland and considered one of the top attractions is undoubtedly the iconic Blue Lagoon. Not only is it Iceland’s most famous geothermal spa, but it’s arguably the most beautiful, with its vibrant blue waters set against the backdrop of dark volcanic rock.  

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal hot spring that’s man-made. The water is a mix of fresh ocean and volcanic water, which is bursting with health-boosting minerals and is incredibly relaxing to bathe in.

This unique mix gives it a high mineral content and a gorgeous blue hue. Luckily, it’s open all year round, but keep in mind that the walk to the waters can be quite chilly if you visit during the winter months. If anything, this makes getting into the waters far more inviting! 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK:

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: Reykjavik is still a good 40-45 minutes away, but luckily, you’ve got a few options for transport. Taking the car or shuttle bus from Reyjavik is the most popular way to get there. The transfer from Reykjavik to Blue Lagoon is perfect for a stress-free trip straight to the hot spring. 

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: It’s always best to make a reservation for the Blue Lagoon far in advance. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Typically, it’s best to stay in the Grindavík or Keflavík areas for easy access to The Blue Lagoon. The top option is The Retreat at Bue Lagoon Iceland with luxury suits encircled the Blue Lagoon. The boutique hotel Berg by Keflavik Airport is a great option with excellent location and reviews.

2) HALLGRIMSKIRKJA & LEIF ERIKSON MONUMENT

Iceland Landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Sylvie of Travels with Eden

One of the most famous Iceland Landmarks is the Hallgrimskirkja, the 9th largest church in Iceland.  The church is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland and one of the main attractions in Reykjavik and Iceland, visible from most places in the city.

While you are in the area, another landmark in Iceland is the Leif Erikson Monument which is located in the center of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, in front of the Hallgrimskirkja. The statue is a gift from America to celebrate 1000 years of the Iceland Parliament and has been in Reyjavik since 1930 and weighs over 50 tons! The monument reads, “Leif Erikson, son of Iceland discoverer of vineland.

The United States of America to the people of Iceland on the one-thousandth anniversary of the Althing”.Leif Erikson was the first European to land in America. It’s been argued that this happened 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The monument is a great place to visit on any trip to Reyjavik. You can really get immersed in Icelandic culture when visiting the monument.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: It is located in the center area of Reykjavik. A great option is to take a minibus Reykjavik Sightseeing to visit the key sights and learn about Iceland’s culture.

⇒ BEST TIME TO VISIT: The Hallgrimskirkja is open nearly every day, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm for self-guided visits (summer season) and with reduced hours in the winter season. Self-guided tours are free with a surcharge of 1000 ISK to climb the tower for a panoramic view of Reyjavik. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Reykjavik Residence Apartment is located in the heart of Reykjav, only 50-min from the airport. Freyja Guesthouse & Suites offer free bikes and free WiFi, situated close to the Hallgrimskirkja church.

3) SÓLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH

The plane crash is such a unique Iceland Landmark

CONTRIBUTED BY: Pam of The Directionally Challenged Traveler

One of the most unique landmarks in Iceland is a plane wreck that is often overlooked by travelers. The Sólheimasandur plane is a 1973 United States Navy plane that ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach Luckily, everyone on board survived.

The plane has been abandoned by the sea since, and until today, is and one of the Iceland attractions for visitors from all over the world. The scenery of the white plane on the totally black sand, and its surrounding landscape is surreal making you feel like you’re on another planet. 

The easiest way to get to the Sólheimasandur plane is from Reykjavik. On your way there, you’ll pass the magnificent Skógafoss waterfall and the beautiful Jökulsá river. You can’t see the plane from the road, but there is a small parking lot.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, from the parking area it’s an hour walk one way. It doesn’t look that far away because there are not any landmarks to gauge distance.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: You can rent a car in Reykjavik and drive 2 hours south along Ring Road. It’s 10 minutes from the Skógafoss waterfall or 18 minutes from Vik. If you are using your phone as a GPS, Google Maps points out the plane wreckage site.

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: There are a number of tours from Reyjkavik – You can book a group tour that includes the Sólheimasandur plane visit

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Sólheimahjáleiga Guesthouse is the closest accommodation to the plane wreck, only three minutes drive from the parking area. There are many more options relatively nearby in the towns of Vik or Skogar. 

4) GROTTA LIGHTHOUSE

A famous landmark in Iceland

CONTRIBUTED BY: Vicky of Buddy The Traveling Monkey

Grotta Lighthouse is another must-visit Iceland landmark if you are visiting the Reykjavik area,  located at the north-westernmost point of Reykjavik, just five kilometers from downtown. It was built in 1947 and the area around it was declared a nature reserve in 1974 due to its abundant birdlife.

This amazing Iceland attraction itself isn’t usually open to visitors, however, you can walk out to it during low tide. Just make sure you’re watching the tide or you’ll be swimming back! You can visit the lighthouse all year long except for the month of June when the islet is closed for bird nesting. If you’re visiting during the winter months, and the weather is cooperating, the lighthouse is also a good place to see the northern lights since it’s outside of the city.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The easiest way to get to Grotta is by car, as it’s less than a 10-minute drive from Reykjavik. However, you can also walk, bike, or take a bus. Between the main road and the shoreline is both a walking path and a bicycle path.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: The best place to stay near the lighthouse is in Reykjavik itself. If you’re traveling on a budget and looking for a unique stay, the Galaxy Pod Hostel is a good option, with Japanese-style sleeping pods that are fun and futuristic.

GOLDEN CIRCLE LANDMARKS OF ICELAND

5) KERIð CRATER

Kerið Crater is one of the most beautiful Iceland Landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Theresa of Fueled By Wanderlust

A must-visit Iceland Landmark is the Kerið Crater is located in Southwest Iceland and is a popular stop along the Golden Circle route.  

What makes the Kerið Crater worth visiting on an Iceland trip is its striking red soil on the outside, and the blue-green lake within.   This site was created by volcanic activity about 3,000 years ago and is what caused the iron deposits that form the red hue.  Today, the crater is well-loved by photographers and travelers who want to feel like they’re on another planet.

You can explore all over the Kerið Crater, walking around its entire diameter and descending a gradual path to the lake at the bottom.  The best time to visit the crater is first thing in the morning or early evening in order to avoid large tour groups. 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The largest nearby city is Reykjavik, which is about fifty-four minutes away by car. It is possible to visit the Kerið Crater by driving to it yourself and paying a small entrance fee of 400 ISK. 

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: Alternatively, you could join a tour group that makes this stop as part of a Golden Circle day trip.

⇒ WHAT TO WEAR: As the area is rocky with loose soil in some areas, wear sturdy hiking shoes for stability.  Dress in activewear you can easily move around in and make sure to bring a good quality jacket – it may be windy or even rain.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Lambastadir Guesthouse is located in the Golden Circle in a great location. If you are looking for a very unique stay and on a budget, Ásaharun Guesthouse is the best option. There are more accommodation options in Selfoss you can check.

6) THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK

Considered one of the most fascinating Iceland Landmarks, the Thingvellir National Park is in your Golden Circle route. A valley in Thingvellir represents a rarely seen geographical phenomenon, with the Eurasian and American tectonic plates once met, and are now slowly drifting apart.

Iceland’s history is very evident here, as it is the place where the Parliament Alphigi was founded, in the year of 930 c.e. and here is where the Icelandics gathered to make laws and big decisions all the way through 1798.

Þingvellir is a UNESCO protected heritage site and recent studies have led to the conclusion that Þingvellir National Park is a natural wonder on a global scale and that Þingvallavatn Lake and Þingvellir’s ecosystem form a unique whole.

This Iceland attraction is home to a rich history, to the alluring Law Rock and Almannagjá but also a place of great beauty, birch forests, and some of the most enchanting waterfalls in Iceland. Make sure when you are planning a trip to Iceland you add this must-visit place.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: You can rent a car in Reykjavik and get on Road 36 that will take you to Þingvellir and follow the road signs. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the national park. This destination is included in your Golden Circle itinerary. Alternatively, you can take a tour from Reykjavik 

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE:  Rated one of the top ten activities in the world, you can go snorkeling or diving in between if you join a tour in Silfra Fissure 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY:  A great area to stay close to many attractions is Selfoss – A great recommendation is the Hotel Grimsborgir as it is located only 13-min from the Thingvellir National park.

7) GEYSIR GEOTHERMAL AREA

One of the top Iceland attractions and the most famous Icelandic geyser is the Great Geysir, the king of all geysers.

The Geysir Geothermal area, along with the Thingvellir National Park and the Gullfoss Waterfall make the Golden Circle Route

The word geyser in the English language is taken from this particular geyser. The name Geysir originates from the Icelandic verb að geysa or to gush and is very fitting as the Great Geysir has at some point in time spouted up to about 170 meters (557.743 ft).

Unfortunately, one of the major Iceland attractions has gone quiet. But when it did it seems as if his baby brother, Strokkur, gained the power Geysir lost and now shots into the sky every 4-10 minutes. Unlike his big brother, Strokkur is very timely and predictable.

One of the main reasons that Geysir entered a period of inactivity was due to the fact soap used to be pumped into the vents to make the eruptions more dramatic; it damaged the structure of the vent and prevented water from building up. Strokkur, therefore, is guarded against all interference, with chains keeping visitors a good distance away. 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: You can rent a car in Reykjavik  the hot spring area is approximately 100km from Reykjavik, on route 35, or route 37 from Reykjavik through Thingvellir

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: If you don’t have a car, you can book an organized Golden Circle Tour. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Litli Geysir Hotel is located only 200 meters from the world-famous Geysir hot spring.

8) GULFOSS WATERFALL

Gulfoss is part of the Ring Road one of the best Iceland attractions

CONTRIBUTED BY: Melissa of Parenthood and Passports

Gullfoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. One of the main Iceland attractions and highlights of Iceland’s Golden Circle, Gullfoss attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The tiered waterfall cascades down in a stair-step pattern before making a unique 90-degree turn and plunging 69 feet into the Hvita River Canyon.  

This natural wonder in Iceland was once at risk of being dammed up to fuel a hydroelectric plant that would generate electricity for the island. However, after a heated charge and legal battle to stop the plan to harness the waterfall’s energy, Gullfoss was saved and is now a protected landmark in Iceland.  

While the waterfall is open year-round, in summer, Gullfoss is at its most powerful, sending 459 cubic feet of water down the cascades every second. A poncho or rain jacket would come in handy if you want to walk up to the edge of tiered cascades.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: Located about 1.5 hours away from Reykjavik, this powerful waterfall is open year-round and is free to visit. Just a short hike from the parking lot, a wooden boardwalk takes you close enough to the mighty falls that you’ll feel the mist on your face. You can rent a car in Reykjavik to visit or alternatively, book an organized Golden Circle Tour. 

⇒ WHAT TO WEAR: A poncho or rain jacket would come in handy if you want to walk up to the edge of tiered cascades.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: You can easily visit Gullfoss as part of a Golden Circle day trip from Reykjavik or stay a bit closer to the Golden Circle in a remote log cabin hotel like Hotel Lambafell. 

FAMOUS ICELAND LANDMARKS IN THE RING ROAD

9) BLACK SAND BEACH

Iceland Landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Lavina of Continent Hop

One of the most visited and famous Iceland attractions is the Black Sand Beach at Vik. Located about an eleven-minute drive from the center of the town of Vik, the Black Sand Beach of Reynisfjara is not only one of the rarest beaches on earth due to the color of its sand but also has a rugged coastline with stunning formations out in the sea. 

An attraction that should be part of your Iceland itinerary, this beach also has caved and hexagonal rock formations making taking a walk here one of the things you should do on your trip. 

While it is open to the public all year round, it gets very chilly in winter, and the winds here can be pretty bad so when visiting around this time, make sure to layer up well and wear appropriate footwear as you wouldn’t want to get your feet cold here! The best time to visit is around spring and summer.  

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: You don’t need a guide and can quickly get here by hiring a car. Walking to the beach is also possible however takes about an hour to get here from town. 

⇒ WHAT TO WEAR: Make sure to wear a warm jacket when you go visit. It gets really cold and windy. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: There are many lodges and hotels in the area. Vik Cottages and Hotel Kría are some of the good accommodation options in the area

10) DIAMOND BEACH

Diamond beach is one of the most famous landmarks in Iceland

CONTRIBUTED BY: Lania of The Travelling Twins

Iceland attractions are one of the most beautiful in the world. Icelandic landscapes are breathtaking. One of the most Iceland Landmarks is Diamond Beach.

Diamond Beach is a term used by tourists, as it’s more catchy than its real name, Breiðamerkursandur, which is a real tongue twister.

It’s been rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it’s hard to argue with that assessment. The beach itself is made up of black sand on which you can find washed out big parts of the iceberg. Which are part of a nearby Jökulsárlón glacier. Big ice chunks in contrast with black sand look like big shiny diamonds.

You can’t help but be awed by how picturesque everything looks after driving through miles and miles. You can spend a long time on the beach as the scenery is constantly changing,

The icebergs float down the river and into the Atlantic ocean, where some of them get washed ashore and sparkle on the black beach like diamonds after having been polished by the waves and later again taken away.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: Diamond Beach is a destination worth the long drive to get there – it’s over 4,5 hours drive from Reyjavik or it should be in your Ring Road self-drive itinerary.

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: Alternatively, you can visit Diamond Beach and other amazing sites by taking a full-day tour from Reykjavik to the South Coast.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: A great place to find close by accommodations is in the town of Vík. A great option is the Hótel Kría located 5 minutes walk to the black beach.

11) JOKULSÁRLÓN GLACIAL LAGOON

famous Iceland Landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Martha Knight from May Cause Wanderlust

Jökulsárlón is a spectacular glacial lagoon and one of the best Iceland attractions of South Iceland.  It was formed from meltwater from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and as the glacier melts, huge chunks of ice break off and float serenely in the lagoon. 

These icebergs come in varying shades of white, blue, and black, which is residue from historic eruptions over the glacier. As they melt and get smaller, the icebergs float out of the lagoon into the Atlantic, where the fierce waves push them back onshore at the Diamond Beach, which is just across the road.

It is stunningly beautiful and definitely worth a stop if you are driving the ring road – and even as a destination in and of itself. There are coach tours available from Reykjavik, but you will have more flexibility to explore if you drive yourself. You’ll know when you are close because you’ll see the icebergs from the road.

When you’re there you can wander the shore of the lagoon and marvel at the scenery from the land. You can also do ice hikes on the glacier itself, and take boat rides in the lagoon.  

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: It takes about 4.5 hours to drive there from Reykjavik (non-stop) –

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: If you are not driving your own car, a great alternative is to take a Small-Group Sightseeing Tour to the South Coast & Jokursarlon from Reykjavik, including visiting Diamond Beach and other Iceland attractions. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: If you want to stay overnight in the area, there is a Fosshotel about 25 minutes south of the lagoon, and other budget accommodation options at the small town of Hof, which also has a picturesque turf-roofed church

12) GODAFOSS WATERFALL

Godafoss waterfall is one of the must visit Iceland attractions on the Ring Road route

CONTRIBUTED BY: Smita of My Faulty Compass

Located in Northern Iceland, you can find one of the top Iceland attractions. Goðafoss is the waterfall of the Gods and you have to see it (and hear its rushing sound!) to believe its magnificence! The river Skjálfandafljót’s blue waters feed this waterfall falling from a height of 12 meters.

Goðafoss is a huge waterfall in the shape of a horseshoe and you can get really close to the water both at the top and the rushing river at the bottom of the fall. There are viewing platforms on either side of the waterfall that you can easily walk between to take in the stunning sight from all sides!

Iceland is a country full of wondrous natural beauty and Goðafoss is one of the most remarkable of Iceland’s waterfalls

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The Godafoss is located right on the Ring Road, and there are 2 free parking lots, so you visit both sides of the waterfall.

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: If you don’t want to drive the Ring Road, you can take a 4-7 Days tour from Reykjavik to visit the wonders of the Ring Road. 

⇒ BEST TIME TO VISIT: Visit during the summer for beautiful clear turquoise waters or during the winter to see it nearly frozen.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: The closest places to stay are the Einishus Cottages Guest House, located only 6 miles from Godafoss waterfall town of Myvatn (45 minutes drive). You can also stay at Akureyri (30 minutes drive)

13) SELJALANDSFOSS WATERFALL

Iceland attractions are everywhere in the country and the waterfalls are some of the best landmarks to visit in Iceland

CONTRIBUTED BY: Cosette of Kars Travels

One of the must-visit Landmarks in Iceland is Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall in Southwest Iceland, along the ring road. It’s 128 kilometers (80 miles) from Reykjavik, almost 2 hours of driving.

The waterfall is one of the most famous and beautiful ones in Iceland with 60 meters high. The cool thing about this waterfall is that one can walk behind it and come out on the other side. The waterfall is a single-drop fall, falling from a cliff into the Seljalandsá river below.

If you are planning to walk behind the waterfall, make sure you dress properly. Wear sturdy shoes, since the path behind and around the waterfall is slippery. Wear a poncho or rain jacket for the spray coming from the fall and wear waterproof pants. 

Seljalandsfoss is a visitable year-round, in wintertime, the surroundings of the fall will be covered in snow. Since it’s close to the ring road, it’s perfect for a 2-day itinerary in Iceland.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: You will need a car to visit. There’s a car parking close to the waterfall. The waterfall doesn’t have an entrance fee. Near the waterfall is a food truck that sells the famous Icelandic hotdogs

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: If you don’t want to drive the Ring Road, you can take a 4-7 Days tour from Reykjavik to visit the wonders of the Ring Road. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: A good hotel to stay at is the Midgard Base case located 18km from the waterfall, hot tub, and shared kitchen, and excellent reviews. 

14) HVERIR GEOTHERMAL AREA

Myvatn area in Iceland is an incredible place to explore the landmarks of iceland

CONTRIBUTED BY: Agnes of The Van Escape

List Item

The Iceland Landmark of Hverir Geothermal Area is also known as Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area. So when driving, follow the sign Namafjall, which you see on road signs. This Iceland attraction is famous for many smoking fumaroles and boiling mud pots, surrounded by sulfur crystals of many different colors. There is a lot of sulfur smell in the air.

The sparse landscape, bare of any vegetation really makes you feel like visiting another planet. It is often compared to Yellowstone, but it is not that spectacular and huge, and there are no geysers. But it still is amazing and worth a visit.

The best idea for exploring Hverir is taking a small hiking trail up to Námaskarð pass and Námafjall mountain, which returns to the highway and the parking lot. But wear good footwear, because the ground usually is muddy and sticky. One hour or two should be enough to visit Hverir.

Lake Myvatn, with the town of Reykjahlid, is a great option to stay for a night in the area. 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The Iceland Landmark of Hverir Geothermal Area is located in Northeast Iceland, on the east side of Lake Mývatn. It’s right by the Ring Road, 6km East of Lake Myvatn and the town of Reykjahlíð. So it’s easy to access on your Iceland Ring Road trip. The best option is to get there by rental car. and there is no need to have 4×4 for visiting Hverir. The Hverir parking is right after the mountain pass on the south side of the road.

⇒ BEST TIME TO VISIT: It’s open 24 hours a day, but the best time for a visit is about noon and mid-afternoon when the light is the strongest

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: You can go on a Lake Mývatn tour from Akureyri on a full-day journey to visit this area of extreme contrasts.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Lake Myvatn, with the town of Reykjahlid, is a great option to stay for a night in the area. The family-run Vogafjos Farm Resort is set in a unique natural environment on the eastern shore of Lake Myvatn. 

15) MYVATN NATURE BATH

Iceland Landmarks
The famous Blue Lagoon is at the Reykjanes Peninsula

CONTRIBUTED BY: Tegan + Alex of Why Not Walk Travel Guides

While Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is arguably the country’s most famous thermal bath, Iceland has dozens of other geothermal pools and hot springs to explore while you visit. If you happen to find yourself way up north in Myvatn, you should absolutely check out Myvatn Nature Baths, or Jarðböðin við Mývatn.

It’s a great way to relax and unwind if you’re driving the Ring Road, in an absolutely breathtaking and ethereal setting. Plan to visit the Iceland Attractions of Myvatn Natural Pool and Hverir Geothermal Area on the same day, as they are very close

Keep in mind that this Iceland Attraction is pretty far north here– the Lonely Planet guidebook describes Akureyri as “a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle,” and the landscape is really neat and different to other parts of Iceland, definitely worth visiting!

Remember that in Iceland you must strip totally naked inside the locker room and rinse off prior to putting your swimsuit on and entering the thermal baths. You should also plan to bring your own travel towel, to save money on the rental and be able to dry off more comfortably. Plan to spend about two hours soaking in the baths, and be sure to allocate some time for exploring the rest of Myvatn’s nature offerings.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: Lake Myvatn is located in North Iceland, 90 km (55 mi) from Akureyri, 175 km (108,7 mi) away from Egilsstaðir, and 475.2 km (295 mi) from Reykjavík, right off the Ring Road.

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: Make sure you buy your ticket for the Myvatn Natural Pool in advance, or if you are traveling in the low season, you can try to buy the entrance fee when you get there (tip: they have student discounts!).

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Best options for accommodations you will find in Myvatn – A great option for accommodation is the Hotel Laxá, located less than 30 min from the main sites.

16) REYKJADALUR HOT SPRINGS

Reykjadalur Hot spring is one of the must visit attractions in Iceland if you are driving the Ring Road

CONTRIBUTED BY: Jessica of Uprooted Traveler

If you’re looking for amazing Iceland attractions to visit and to have an unforgettable experience while road-tripping in southwestern Iceland, be sure to add Reykjadalur hot springs to your itinerary.  

To reach these hot springs (which literally means “steam valley”), you will need to hike 1.2 miles one-way up into the mountains; to find the starting point, put “Dalakaffi” in GPS, which is a small coffee shop at the trailhead. From here, you’ll climb a trail winding through the rolling green hills of Iceland that’s arguably better than sitting in hot springs- past towering waterfalls; pools of milky blue water (from the earth’s natural silica); steaming mud pots; and adorably gruff Icelandic sheep.

At the end of your hike, you’ll reach a river, where a wooden boardwalk and privacy dividers have been constructed to help bathers get in and enjoy the springs. Here, you can change into your bathing suit (protip- wear it under your hiking clothes before starting out), or alternatively, lots of bathers decide to bare it all!

The river is hotter the farther upstream you go, so you’ll likely need to explore a bit before finding water that is the perfect temperature. When you find the right spot, sit back, relax, and drink in the awesomeness that is the Land of Fire and Ice.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: These hot springs are tucked up in the mountains of the Reykjadalur valley, near the town of Hveragerði, about a forty-five-minute drive from Reykjavik (and conveniently located on the way to other popular stops along the Ring Road).

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: You also have the opportunity to visit the Reykjadalur Hot Springs from Reykjavik with a small group tour.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: The Frost and Fire Hotel is located by the bubbling geothermal springs with an outdoor pool and 2 hot tubs. 

17) DETIFOSS WATERFALL

Detifoss is a famous landmark in Iceland and one of the top Iceland attractions you need to add to your itinerary

CONTRIBUTED BY: Constance of The Adventures of Panda Bear

One of the most visited and incredible Iceland Landmarks is the Dettifoss Waterfall. It is located in the northeastern part of Iceland, and is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe and definitely the most powerful of Iceland’s waterfalls.

It is an especially popular destination for people visiting the city of Akureyri, the second-largest city in Iceland after Reykjavik. 

The viewpoints on either side are a bit different so that might be the decision-maker in which route is taken. From the west side, it is a wider view of the waterfall and it is easy to see the waterfall’s entire span. On the east side, the sheer power of Dettifoss is shown.  

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The waterfall can be accessed via two main roads — Route 862 which is located to the west of Dettifoss and Route 864, located to the east of Dettifoss. Route 862 is a friendlier drive along a paved road to a parking lot leading to the waterfall. Route 864, on the other hand, can be a rougher drive depending upon the rental car as it requires travel on a gravel road. For this reason, Route 864 is typically closed in the cooler months once it starts snowing.

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: Getting a rental car is ideal to visit Dettifoss as it is located almost 2 hours drive away from Akureyri.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: The Skulagardur Hotel has a magnificent location and views, and it is very close to the Detifoss waterfall.  

18) Sólheimajökull Glacier

Glacier hike in Iceland Landmarks is a must visit

Now talking about one of the must-visit Iceland Landmarks: the breathtaking Sólheimajökull Glacier

If you are planning to visit Reykavík, it is by far the favorite place to go on a Glacier Hike and Ice climbing because it is only 2-hours driving, which makes it a very convenient location and it can be done a day trip.

The Sólheimajökull Glacier is about 10 to 13 kilometers long, starting from the rim of the volcano Katla and about 1 to 2 kilometers wide.  The glacier is located underneath the ice cap of Mýrdalsjökull. Sólheimajökull covers up around 44 square kilometers and the average thickness of the glacier ice is believed to be around 200 meters thick.

What makes it one of the most amazing Iceland attractions, is because of the landscape around the glacier is changing from day to day because of the movement and the melting of the ice. Every day it is a little bit different and it is a great place to see how land develops and constructs from time to time. 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: It is located only 2-hours driving from Reykjavik, It is one of the most easily accessible glaciers to reach from Reykjavík, just 158 kilometers (98 miles) away. it is incredibly easy to find, laying just off of the Ring Road that encircles Iceland.

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE: Experience the incredible opportunity to go Glacier Hike on this tour, or if you feel really adventurous take the combo Ice Climbing + Glacier Hike tour

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: A great place to find close by accommodations is in the town of Vík. A great option is the Hótel Kría located 5 minutes walk to the black beach.

ICELAND LANDMARKS | HIDDEN ATTRACTIONS IN ICELAND

19) FJAðRÁRGLUJÚFUR CANYON

Canyon is an incredible and one of the top Iceland attractions

CONTRIBUTED BY: Carol of Is This Even a Road

The breathtaking Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is an amazing Iceland landmark and it can be found in South Iceland. Fjaðrárgljúfur (pronounced as Fiath – raor – gliu – vur) was formed when the Fjaðrá river carved through the 2 million-year-old palagonite rock.

The hiking in the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is an incredible experience. The area is covered in a dense green layer of moss, giving it a fairy tale appearance.

The trail became worn after over-tourism due to its popularity after a Justin Beiber video was filmed there. It is only open in the summer so check online before going

The serpentine canyon is 1.24 miles long and over 320 feet deep. An upper trail hike path has a long gradual incline and takes less than an hour. At the trail’s end is a wooden observation deck with an otherworldly view of the waterfall and canyon.  

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: Fjaðrárgljúfur is located about 45 minutes west of Vik just off of Ring Road, 6 km west of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. In Kirkjubæjarklaustur, stop at the Kirkjugolf church floor and the waterfalls Systrafoss and  Stjornarfoss. From Ring Road, turn north onto 206 (4×4).

⇒ PROT TIP: After 2.3 kilometers, a small parking area is on the right before the bridge. Additional parking is available on the sides of the road leading to the trail. Admission is free and a WC is near the parking area.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Eat and stay at nearby Kirkjubæjarklaustur. A great accommodation option is the Magma Hotel, located within 1.9 mi of Kirkjugólf and Systrafoss twin waterfalls.

20) LÁTRABJARG CLIFFS

Látrabjarg Cliffs is one of the top Iceland famous landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Katja of Globe Trotting

The Westfjords are the oldest and most remote region in Iceland. They’re also home to some of the country’s most dramatic sights and landmarks.

One such wonder that you must put on your Westfjords itinerary are the Látrabjarg bird cliffs. These cliffs are not only the westernmost point in Iceland but of Europe as well. They rise dramatically from the ocean, soaring over 400m in places and stretching for 14 kilometers. There are no guardrails along the cliff edge so do be careful when walking along. 

During the summer months, the cliffs are home to thousands and thousands of birds including razorbills, fulmars, and guillemots who take shelter in the nooks and crevices on the cliff faces. Visit during this time and you’ll hear the birds long before you hear them.

Undoubtedly the star attraction, however, are the puffins. These cartoonishly cute birds spend the summer months here before heading out to sea to spend the winter bobbing along the ocean waves. 

The Látrabjarg cliffs are also a great spot for seeing the Northern Lights. Its remote location and complete lack of ambient light mean you’ve got a good chance of seeing the magical aurora borealis. 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: To visit this area you can rent a car in Reykjavík and drive up to the Westfjords. Látrabjarg is located some 417 km away from Reykjavík, if you take ring-road 1, road 60, road 62 and then turn on road 612 for Látrabjarg. Road 612, a 36 km long gravel road, leads to Látrabjarg.

⇒ PRO TIP: Remember to fill up on gas before going to Látrabjarg as there is no gas station in this area. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: A lovely Stay is at Fosshotel Westfjords in the Vicinity of Puffins galore at Látrabjarg in the Westfjords of Iceland

21) HRAUNFOSSAR & BARNAFOSS WATERFALL

Hraunfossar is one of the hidden gems iceland attractions

Among the most famous Iceland Landmarks, you will find many waterfalls so why visit Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls in Iceland? The answer is easy: Because they are stunning. 

It is very easy to visit the waterfalls, you do not have to do much walking. It is just a stone´s throw away from the parking slots. It is very easily accessible – you do not even need to wear proper shoes.

The water running between the lava layers creating the Hraunfossar Waterfalls (hraun= lava and fossar= waterfalls) is from the Langjökull glacier, the second-largest glacier in Iceland. In Iceland you have many high waterfalls but not that many wide ones – what makes Hraunfossar one of the most unique Iceland attractions is that the waterfalls are almost 1000 meters wide.

It really depends on when you visit Hraunfossar – the watercolor can change. After rainy days, it does not look as clear – but on sunny days, the watercolor is insane.

Above Hraunfossar, there is another waterfall – Barnafoss. It is just a 2-minute walk max. This waterfall looks less spectacular but is wild, fast, and powerful.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: Located in Borgarfjörður in the West of Iceland, about 120km away from Reykjavík. It is very easy to get there – at any time of the year. You can rent a car in Reykjavik – there is a parking slot very close to the waterfalls

⇒ BOOK IN ADVANCE:  A great option is to on a guided tour from Reykjavik 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Close to the waterfalls are secret pools, the Canyon Baths, the pools at Husafell Hotel (it is also a beautiful place to stay overnight!), and some beautiful areas for walks and hikes.

22) SELJAVALLAUG POOL

Seljavallalaug Pool is a great Iceland attractions that you can visit and relax during your vacation in Iceland landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Danny of Danny Explores

Selljavallalaug Pool is a breathtaking Landmark in Iceland,  tucked away in the Southern Icelandic mountains, just 30 Minutes north of Vik and a couple of hours south of Reykjavik. To access the pool there is around a 30-minute hike from a small car park that is off of route one, so make sure you have a suitable vehicle to access this.

 It’s recommended to visit in summer as the hike can sometimes be quite treacherous in the winter however if you get a clear day the views around the pool can be stunning especially when the mountains are covered in snow. 

Among some hidden-gems Iceland attractions, this is the oldest outdoor swimming pool in Iceland and is naturally heated by a spring that surfaces in the mountains. The pool has become more popular with tourists in recent years as it is free to use and is a great alternative to the blue lagoon. The walk to the pool itself is something quite spectacular you’ll be surrounded by high peaks covered in snow and a fascinating river that trickles down the valley.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: To reach Seljavallalaug from Reykjavík, you must rent a car and drive east along the Ring Road that encircles the country for just over an hour and a half, before turning onto Route 242 for the car park. 

⇒ WHAT TO PACK: Make sure you pack a towel and bring snacks for the hike.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: If you are planning to visit the pool it’s recommended that you stay in Vik as this is the largest nearby town with restaurants shops and access to fuel. Hótel Kría has a restaurant and it is located 5 minutes walk to the black beach.

23) ARTIC HENGE

Artic Henge is an Iceland attraction that is a great day trip from Reykjavik

CONTRIBUTED BY: Suzanne of Meandering Wild

If you are looking for historical Iceland Landmarks, The Arctic Henge should make your bucket list. Located in the far northeast of Iceland and is one of the furthest points from Reykjavík.  

Arctic Henge or Heimskautsgerðið in Icelandic is a giant sundial that is aligned to capture the rays of sunlight through the huge arches and cast shadows in specific places.  The henge is about 50 meters in diameter and the gates are 6 meters high.  In the center is a 10-meter high column supported on four pillars.  Eventually, this will have a glass prism.

To really appreciate the Arctic Henge it is best visited on a sunny day so the shadows can be seen and the light effects can be appreciated.  In the summer months, the midnight sun will give a surreal sunset behind the monument. 

In the winter months, this is a perfect location to watch the northern lights dance in the sky above the columns and gates.

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The Arctic Henge is located on one of the furthest points from Reykjavík.  The nearest town to the henge is Raufharhöfn, which is about 600km from Reykjavík, and it can only be reached by car and is open at all times.  The roads to Raufharhöfn are intermittent gravel and paved and while it is possible in a 2WD car, 4WD makes it much more comfortable.  In the winter months, the road may be closed so always check before traveling.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: Places to stay are limited close to Arctic Henge, but Húsavík has a range of options and is 130km away or the small town of Þórshöfn has a couple of small hotels.

24) DYNJANDI WATERFALL

Iceland Landmarks

CONTRIBUTED BY: Allison of Eternal Arrival

Iceland is a country known for its impressive waterfalls. Many of these waterfalls can be very crowded, particularly in Southern Iceland and along the Golden Circle. But one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls, Dynjandi, can be found in the little-visited region of Westfjords in Iceland.

While it is still a popular place to visit on an Iceland itinerary most people do not make it to the Westfjords due to the remoteness of the region and its location away from the Ring Road.  But if you can brave unpaved mountain roads and getting off the beaten path, Dynjandi is one of the most amazing Iceland attractions and worth the visit!  Dynjandi is an impressive waterfall composed of seven distinct cascades.

It is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland and the largest in the Westfjords, at 100 meters tall (330 feet tall).  It fans out beautifully from top to bottom, 30 meters wide (100 feet wide) at the top but doubling in width by the bottom (60 meters / 200 feet wide). It is easy to walk to from a short trail. You will have to park along the main road if all of the parking spots are taken and then walk to the waterfall. The road to get there is quite scary if you have a fear of heights, and it is unpaved but passable in a regular car.  

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: It’s located about 1.5 hours from Patreksfjörður, 40 minutes from Flókalundur, and 30 minutes from Þingeyri. All of these are small Westfjords villages but they are worth visiting.

⇒ BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit Dynjandi is in the summer when the falls are at their best. Try to avoid visiting in the mid-day hours if possible as the light will be harshest. 

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: You can stay in any of the towns nearby but the closest is Þingeyri. Located in Þingeyri in the Westfjords region, Gemlufall guest house features a terrace and sea views.

25) STRANDARKIRKJA CHURCH

One of the hidden main attractions in Iceland

CONTRIBUTED BY: Džangir of Dr Jam Traverls

Last, but not least of this amazing list of Iceland Landmarks is the Strandarkirkja (meaning church on the beach) is a church located on the south of Iceland side of Reykjanes Peninsula (meaning smoke point) in South of Iceland

The church here was built in the 12th century. When you arrive at this place you will find this church close to the beach on the lawn. Close by is a pole with an Icelandic flag and statue Landsýn. This church is wooden, small, and with a modest Scandinavian interior and exterior. It has the status of a miracle church by locals.

The story behind is that sailors in the storm were guided to the safety of the coast by the glowing angel. Sailors made promises that they will build a church out of gratitude. After church was built many other miracles were reported at the site. So this became a popular pilgrimage place and brought riches to the church.

For many years this area, Selvogur (Seal cove) was prospering by gifts from land and sea. But in the last 100 years, people moved to cities and today in areas lives less than 20 people. 

TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT THIS ICELAND LANDMARK

⇒ HOW TO GET THERE: The best way to arrive here is directly from Keflavík International Airport, just an hour away or from Blue lagoon 45 minutes away.

⇒ WHERE TO STAY: The capital city Reykjavik is close by, another 1-hour drive. The boutique hotel Berg by Keflavik Airport is a great option with excellent location and reviews. Hotel Rangá has a stargazing observatory on-site, this luxury hotel is in a beautiful remote location next.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE

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World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.

Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

BEST PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT FOR THE ICELAND LANDMARKS

There are so many amazing opportunities for photos and videos, so it is impossible not to capture the amazing moments while traveling around. Therefore, do not forget to bring your camera equipment with you:

ICELAND LANDMARKS FINAL THOUGHTS

The land of fire and ice offers incredible opportunities for exploring some of the most amazing and dramatic landscapes on the Planet!

If you only have a few days or 10-days to do a road trip in Iceland, it can be hard to decide what main attractions in Iceland to visit – but I hope that this guide of the main Landmarks in Iceland focusing on each area, helps you to decide and work on the best itinerary for your visit.

If you are looking for the more off-the-beaten path, check my 10 Incredible Hidden Gems in Iceland – prepared by a local guide, exclusively for the readers of this blog.

If you have any questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you. Just leave me a comment below. As always, thanks for reading and keep healthy and be safe!

ICELAND LANDMARKS: WHAT IS NEXT

If you are going to travel to Iceland, pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for will help make your travels far more successful and safe.

Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your  trip:

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4 thoughts on “25 Famous Iceland Landmarks + Tips on how to visit the Top Iceland Attractions

  1. Megan says:

    That canyon (not going to attempt to spell it!) looks stunning! I think Blue Lagoon would call my name every evening after a day of adventure in the cold. I could use some geothermal waters that are so beautiful!

  2. Holidays from Hels says:

    What an amazing country Iceland is. We really enjoyed visiting Vik and watching baby puffins learning to fly by tumbling from the cliffs into the sea. I would love to go back to see Diamond beach and the Glacial Lagoon (and the Northern Lights if the clouds decide to play ball).

  3. Krista says:

    This is such a fantastic guide! I was only in Iceland for 5 days a couple of years ago so was unable to visit many of the places you mentioned. I’ll save this post for my next trip!

  4. Erin says:

    All of those photos make me want to hop on a plane immediately! I’m such a cold weather destination type of girl. 🙂 I love all the helpful tips you included about the best times to visit and how to get to each destination…it’s one of the most helpful guides I’ve read.

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