Map of the leading tourist destinations in Iceland
Iceland's main attraction lies in its dramatic landscapes, which vary from
glacial to volcanic. Numerous sections of its coast and fjords are
spectacular and its snow capped mountains are glorious. During winter, the
Northern Lights are worth a trip just for a view on a cold, clear night.
Iceland is a difficult destination to categorize. From a travelers
perspective it is one main city and a few villages separated by glaciers,
volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers and enchanting natural landscapes that can
be, surprisingly, quite green in the summers.
If Iceland were more conveniently located, it would be a tourist hotspot.
As it is, it is both out-of-the-way and time-consuming to tour, since its
settlements hug the shoreline and are connected by a single, main road that
circumnavigates the country.
It is hard to categorize Iceland as an add-on destination due to the
time it takes to travel there and the determined effort required to
explore its unique and varied landscapes. Even so, if you get the
opportunity to visit, take it without hesitation as Iceland is a
treasure, especially to those who love the great outdoors.
Note that in summer, the sun will dip below the horizon late in the day
but never really set. What this means is that you can explore almost
to the moment you drop from exhaustion.
Best Places to Visit in Iceland
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Besides being the center of Icelandic culture, Reykjavik is
considered the gateway to the country's beautiful and pristine
landscapes. It is, also, the northernmost of the world's capital cities.
The capital offers all the amenities that are nice to get back to
when you have been out in the country for a few days. The city has
a number of thermal pools and spas and they are a popular attraction
with locals and residents. If you have the chance, take a soak and
meet the locals, it's sort of like the pubs in Ireland.
Golf is also a noted attraction in Reykjavik and around the
Capital Area. How about a round at midnight next June?
Cruises for whale and bird watching are popular in Iceland and many
can be arranged in or near the capital.
Many European travelers go to Reykjavik for the nightlife, which, we
understand can be quite exhausting due to the length of the nights
in winter at this latitude.
Finally, Reykjavik can be a good place to arrange a viewing of the
Northern Lights, depending on the season of your visit.
Check the official tourism website of
Reykjavik for details on visiting,
The Ring Road (Highway 1)
Iceland's villages and other populated areas are located on or near
the ocean. The Ring Road is an approximately 800 mile long highway
that loops around the country and connects to all of the country's major
The Ring Road hugs the coast in the south of the country, but is
positioned to catch the southern tips of the fjords and bays in the north
coast of the country.
Many consider a drive on the Ring Road a drive of a lifetime. If you
are considering this, you might want to read this
excellent review from the Travel Section of the New York Times.
Visit these official Iceland tourism websites
www.icelandtouristboard.com for a review of the country's regions. The
sites provide additional details on our recommended best places to visit, as
well as information on locations that did not make our list.
For country facts on the Iceland, as well as travel information related to
visas, driving rules, safety, medical conditions, visas and other travel-related
information, see this page on
Iceland Travel from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. State
Department. Regardless of your home country, we think you will find the
information provided to be useful when planning a trip to Iceland.
If you need information about another travel destination, try our
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
Iceland From Below Tour
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Iceland South Coast and Jokulsarlon Lagoon Day Trip from Reykjavik
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Golden Circle Classic Day Trip From Reykjavik
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Reykjavik Sightseeing Tour