10 Things to Do in Iceland Before You Die

Iceland 10 Things to do in 2018

Ever wanted to visit Iceland?

Ever wondered what to do there?

Below is a carefully curated list of the 10 Best Things to do in Iceland in 2018 Infographic!


10 Things To Do In Iceland Before You Die Infographic

With its abundance of glaciers, mountains, volcanoes, and lakes, Iceland seems to be the ideal location for outdoor activities.

We have compiled 10 things to do in Iceland for anyone looking to explore this beautiful country.

Don’t get me wrong; Iceland, truly, is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise, but most people aren’t aware of all that it has to offer. That’s why we broke it down to the most unusual, relaxing, delicious, and even maybe a little odd, things to do in Iceland.

If you are looking for one of our customized experiences and to venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems of Iceland, contact us for an initial consultation.


10 Things to Do in Iceland Before You Die

Embed 10 Things to Do in Iceland Before You Die on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

10 Things to Do in Iceland Table of Contents

Click on the Iceland location you want to learn more about!


Iceland Black Sand Beaches
Section 1:Lounge on a Black Sand Beach
Ice Cave Tour in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Section 2: Ice Cave Tour in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Icelandic Puffins
Section 3: See Puffins
Strokkur Blow
Section 4: Watch Strokkur Blow
Gullfoss Waterfall
Section 5: Water Rafting through the Gullfoss Waterfall
Þríhnúkagígur volcano
Section 6: Hang out Inside of a Volcano
Blue Lagoon
Section 7: Relax in the Blue Lagoon Spa
Thingvellir National Park
Section 8: Touch Two Continents at Once at Thingvellir National Park
Golden Circle
Section 9: Snowmobiling through the Golden Circle
Northern Lights Iceland
Section 10: Marvel at the Northern Lights
Dogsledding in Iceland
Bonus Section

1. Things to do in Iceland: Lounge on a Black Sand Beach

Iceland Black Sand Beaches
When you think of paradise, the first thing that pops into your head is probably a white sandy beach and palm trees, right?

Well, what about a lava beach created by magma flowing into the ocean and cooling into an apocalyptic-like landscape?

Along the coast of Iceland, you will find several volcanic beaches composed of tiny black pebbles and rugged stones that are essentially cooled pieces of lava.It’s not the type of beach you want to lay in the sand and get your tan on, but it does offer views straight out of a movie with its black sand, basalt columns, unique lava formations, massive cliffs, and amazing caves.

The black sand beach is one of the many unique attractions Iceland has to offer, not to mention it is full of history and culture. Sure, you may not leave with a bronzed tan, but how many people can say that they walked on lava?

2. Things to do in Iceland in Winter: Ice Cave Tour in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Ice Cave Tour in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Is there such a thing as too many nature-made lagoons when in Iceland? We don’t think so which is why an Ice Cave Tour from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is next on the list.

There is something special about wandering through a massive ice cave and being surrounded by crystal clear blue ice. On this tour, you travel from the magical Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and end your journey in the crystal ice cave in Vatnajokull Glacier.

The natural ice cave tours are only available in the winter months in Iceland, but visitors can explore the tunnels all year. Don’t forget your camera as this is something you will never want to forget.

3. Things to do in Iceland in Spring: See Puffins

Icelandic Puffins
A trip to Iceland wouldn’t be complete without getting the full puffin experience.

Not to mention the kids will be in their glory. Every spring 60 percent of the world’s puffins travel to Iceland during the nesting season, between April and August.

Don’t worry about traveling far to see these animals as Iceland has the largest puffin population in the world, with colonies scattered all around the country. If you really want the full experience, we suggest taking a boat tour to Vestmannaeyar which is home to over 1.1 million puffins.

A boat tour will take you around the coastline of the island where you can observe the birds in their natural habitat. With their clown-like faces and huge bills, be prepared for your kids to request a pet puffin when you return home.

4. Things to do in Iceland: Watch Strokkur Blow

Strokkur Blow
There she blows! Step aside, Moby Dick. We’re talking about one of the greatest natural attractions in Iceland, Strokkur geyser. Strokkur is a powerful hot spring that erupts every 4-8 minutes and spouts water up to the height of 40 meters.

This famous geyser is surrounded by 50 other hot springs and mud pots Iceland’s Golden Circle. This geothermal landscape is home to spewing mud pots of unusual colors, hot pools, warm streams, and active steam vents.

Legend has it that Strokkur was created when a series of earthquakes hit the geothermal area during a massive volcanic eruption. The combination of the two events created an unbelievable natural event that will leave you in awe during your next Iceland vacation. Perhaps, in this case, two wrongs can make a right.

5. Things to do in Iceland in July: Water Rafting through the Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall
Water rafting, sounds a bit extreme, right? But what better way to view Gullfoss Waterfall than to get up close and personal.

Gullfoss is an iconic waterfall that offers spectacular views and sends water plummeting down 32 meters into a rugged canyon.
On a sunny day, it is very common to see a colorful rainbow stemming from the mist of the falls.

Gullfoss is not only known for its breathtaking views, but it also offers water rafting for the adventure seekers. Accessible for the newbies, rafting down Hvita river you can experience an adventurous ride through Iceland’s powerful currents and ancient valleys. If you don’t mind getting a bit wet, water rafting may be the perfect activity to give you the adrenaline rush you’re looking for!

6. Things to do in Iceland in Fall: Hang out Inside of a Volcano

Vacation was great. The people were nice, food was good, oh! and I hung out inside of a volcano!

Iceland consists of 130 active and inactive volcanoes due to its location on top of two tectonic plates.

Among these volcanoes, Þríhnúkagígur volcano is the only one that you can explore on the inside.
This is the only volcano in the world which allows tourists to travel inside because it has been dormant for over 4000 years.
When you enter the enormous volcano, you will walk straight into a breathtaking magma chamber which is considered to be one of the most remarkable sights on Earth.

You will then be lowered down 120 meters in a lift to the bottom of the volcano where you will have the opportunity to explore. The inside walls are unexpectedly colorful and make for a great photo op. I mean come on, how many people do you know that have been inside a volcano?

7. Relax in the Blue Lagoon Spa

Did you really go to Iceland if you didn’t take a dip in the iconic Blue Lagoon Spa?

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa, filled with seawater believed to have healing powers. Seems tacky, doesn’t it?

Legend has it that the lagoon has worked miracles on all kinds of skin conditions because of its mineral-enriched water.
The lagoon is surrounded by lava, making the water both warm and enchanting year-round.

For years, the Blue Lagoon has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland.
The attraction has evolved over the years to transform into a full-blown spa with a hotel and an award-winning restaurant. The restaurant, Lava, is extraordinary with walls constructed of rock and atmosphere lighting that highlights the ambience of the lagoon. Grab a bite, slap on a mud clay mask, and let the lagoon do the rest.

8. Touch Two Continents at Once at Thingvellir National Park

Sure we’ve heard of touching two states at once, but two continents? May sound pretty unbelievable, but you can actually do that by snorkeling Iceland’s Silfra Fissure.

At Thingvellir National Park, tourists have the opportunity to dive between and touch the Eurasian and North American continental plates, allowing you to be in two continents at once.
That is not the only surprising thing the tour offers that seems a bit unrealistic. The water in Silfra Fissure is so clean and clear due to constant filtering by lava rock that it’s actually encouraged to drink it. Oh, and don’t let the name “Iceland” prevent you from jumping in the water.

The water is definitely cold, but a drysuit keeps you warm and dry while you explore the deep depths of Iceland.
Snorkeling, not your thing? Well, maybe you are a Game of Thrones superfan like us.
If that’s the case, you will be in binge-series haven at Thingvellir National Park because scenes from the show were actually filmed at this exact place!

Keep an eye out for the location that Brienne and the Hound battled to death and take advantage of the photo op. Game of Thrones filmed many scenes throughout Iceland due to its impeccable landscape, making it the perfect medieval backdrop. You may not be looking to jump into the cold waters of Iceland, but at least you can have the ultimate fan moment at Thingvellir National Park.

9. Snowmobiling through the Golden Circle

If you ask anyone about what to do in Iceland, they will more than likely recommend the Golden Circle Tour, and with good reason!

The Golden Circle Tour depicts some of Iceland’s most amazing natural wonders.
It consists of three equally beautiful locations: the unique geology of Thingvellir National Park, the natural phenomenon of Geysir hot springs, and the incredible Gullfoss Waterfall.

These attractions can all be seen within a day and offer unique amenities to satisfy every type of tourist, from the site seers to the extreme sports lovers.

Perhaps, the most adventurous way to experience the tour is snowmobiling across Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Langjokull.
Experience this scenic journey while combining unimaginable sightseeing with the fun of riding a snowmobile.

10. Marvel at the Northern Lights

If seeing the Northern Lights is at the top of your bucket list, you’ve come to the right place.

Iceland is the optimal destination to view the Northern Lights if you are traveling between September to April when the dancing lights are visible.

There are certain conditions to increase your chances of seeing some aurora activity which is why opting for a tour guide is ideal. Thingvellir National Park serves as the perfect location to take in the beauty due to little unnatural light and its remoteness from the city. In optimal conditions, the lights appear in the sky in a variety of bright colors, varying between green, purple, red, pink, orange and blue.

Whether you choose to take a tour or search for the lights on your own, prepare to discover a breathtaking experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.


1. Horseback Riding Tour at Husey

If you are a nature enthusiast, then get ready to saddle up for a scenic horseback ride through Húsey.

Húsey is a farm located between two rivers at Héraðsflói bay that offers unique birdlife, reindeer visits and seal watching all on the back of an Icelandic horse.

These seals aren’t afraid to get up close and personal so be prepared to interact with these friendly animals resting on the riverbanks.

Both long and short tours are available which gives tourists the opportunity to see Iceland from different perspectives. These tours are truly a paradise for Icelandic nature lovers and not to mention you get to play with seals!

2. Bake Bread in an Active Geyser

Don’t worry, foodies, we didn’t forget about you.

There are a number of ways to bake bread, but have you ever done it in an active geyser?

It may sound crazy, but it is a very common tourist attraction when visiting Iceland.
You will have an opportunity to bake Hverabrauð, which is a sweet rye bread that literally means “hot spring bread.”

It is made by burying the dough in caskets under the ground near a hot spring till the bread reaches the temperature of 212 °F.

After all, there is nothing quite like eating freshly made bread from a steaming casket in the ground. Right?

3. Dogsled with the Kids

Dogsledding in Iceland
So you can’t get enough of Iceland’s breathtaking beauty and majestic scenery, but your kids definitely can.

Spice things up by taking them on a dogsled tour through the highlands and glaciers where you can get the best of both worlds!

Tours take place year-round and are perfect for young kids, encouraging them to enjoy Iceland in a unique and fun way. Dog sled teams are made up of Alaskan huskies, Greenlandic dogs, and Siberian huskies that work through anything with their tails wagging. Enjoy taking in the massive glaciers and stunning waterfalls while your kids enjoy their time with the dogs. Make this the ultimate family vacation your kids won’t forget.

4. Things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland: Treat Yourself with Some Shopping

Shopping in Iceland
Iceland doesn’t scream luxury fashion, but there are several hidden gems throughout the country that might leave you surprised.
Let’s start in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Reykjavik is a popular shopping destination in Iceland with a saturated supply of boutiques, local shops, and farmers markets.

One of the most visited shopping attractions in Reykjavik is Kolaportið, the city’s biggest and busiest flea market.
Tourists flock to the market to pick up locally made goods such as sweaters, home décor, shoes, and authentic food of all kinds.
Perhaps the most diverse place for shopping in Iceland is the Hús Handanna Art and Design Shop, located in the eastern part of the country.

Here you will find handmade crafts, wool-wear, fashion, ceramics, jewelry and even art. Sure you may not find Louis Vuitton on every corner, but you will leave Iceland with enough homemade goods to earn some bragging rights.

5. End your Day with Some Volcanic Tea

We don’t know about you, but the thought of drinking volcanic rock has never really crossed our minds.

We have always been a tea extraordinaire, which is why we didn’t think twice when given the opportunity to try the unique tea of Iceland. The herbs used in Icelandic tea are picked directly from lava fields, giving it a natural earthy flavor.

Seems extra and expensive, doesn’t it? That’s what we thought too until we saw it on the shelves in almost every gift shop we came across. All we can say is after tasting the volcanic tea, how can we ever go back to Lipton?

Ice Cave Tour in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Well, there you have it.

Whether you are a nature lover, adrenaline seeker, foodie, or fashionista, there is something in Iceland that is guaranteed to capture your heart.

The tourist sights are great, and we definitely recommend checking them out, but sometimes it’s refreshing to get off the beaten path and discover a new country in your own way.

Be sure to take these unusual ideas with you for your next trip to Iceland.

Still, need help?

Contact us at info@chloejohnston.com, and we will create a personalized itinerary for you for your next Iceland vacation.