Let’s face it, Iceland is an amazing country with the most diverse, rough and breath-taking landscapes I have ever seen. It wasn’t easy to pick my top 4 most special places, since every part feels so unique for its own reasons. I do want to show you the slightly less touristic places, rather than the big waterfalls, icebergs and black beaches everybody probably already have seen.
So here are the top 4 places I visited and where you can find them!
You probably start your trip in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland. From the airport Keflavík it’s about an hour drive to the city. You can rent a car or take one of the buses that drive frequently between the airport and city.
From Reykjavík it’s an hour and a half drive to the Grábrók crater. The drive is already amazing, you’ll see the first glimpse of the mountains, snow and landscapes.
Grábrók crater is over 3000 years old and one of the best ways to start your Iceland trip. There are stairs to make it easier to climb the 170 meters and stand on top of the crater with a beautiful view over the landscape that goes beyond the horizon. What I truly loved about this experience is how quiet it was. There was absolutely no sounds to hear and because of that, it really placed me in the moment where I realized that I was actually standing on a crater in Iceland.
Mývatn Nature Bath
Most people know about the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bath. The hot water is full of minerals that have healing effects on your body. Despite the beautiful Blue Lagoon, it can be very crowded and expensive. There are many more lagoons in Iceland to visit, like the Mývatn Nature Bath. It’s a beautiful, clean place with different areas to swim in, very similar than the Blue Lagoon. The surrounding also attributes to the whole experience. An open area with mountains in the distance makes you feel you’re one with nature. It wasn’t busy at all the time I visited and the price was also lower, which made it definitely worth going and recommending it.
Iceland is all about nature, for that reason I would like to include an inside activity as well. This museum is still all about nature but also a nice place to spend an afternoon warm. If you’re interested to know more about the history of the volcanoes on Iceland, I highly recommend you visiting the Lava center. It’s a modern museum with a lot of interaction and fun ways to learn about the volcanoes. I really enjoyed it! Click here to visit the website.
National Park Thingvellir
The National Park is the perfect place to have a peaceful walk within the wild nature of Iceland. After driving and seeing so many changes in landscape, it feels calming to take a long walk and enjoy this area. There are multiple tracks you can either walk or cycle on. Even in the winter you can sometimes admire the Northern Lights.
A few extra tips before you go:
- Respect nature is so important, especially when you’re traveling in Iceland. Stay on the tracks or roads and make sure you leave no trace behind.
- Do also go to the touristic places if you can. I believe that touristic places are touristic for a reason; it is a special place everybody must see. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to go, because you’ve already seen a picture of it. Experiencing it when you’re actually there makes it so much more valuable. It’s all about creating your own experience.
- Travel between high seasons. The summer is from mid-June through August and is very busy. If you want to see the Northern Lights, you should visit in February, March, September or October. Between those months you’ll get the more quiet and spacious time. When I was traveling in May there were still buses with tourists, but not that many. Also, trying to be as early as possible gives you more time to take pictures without other people in it.
- Rent a car or join a group tour. This is the easiest way to travel around. Do be careful when the roads are covered in snow. Especially in the winter, but even in May we still experienced icy roads while driving in the north.
- Pack well. Most places have a strong, cold wind. Make sure to bring enough layers to keep yourself warm.
I hope this helps and let me know in the comments if you have questions.
Don’t forget to check out my photo gallery by clicking here. Enjoy your time in Iceland!