Iceland is filled with incredible landscapes including, but not limited to waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers. This list of top 10 things to do in Iceland are my personal highlights and are mostly free or inexpensive activities. Please check out the interactive map at the bottom of this post for locations.
I was lucky enough to visit Iceland in summer and fall, both seasons offer an endless list of activities. Both times, we rented a car and drove around the island. I think that driving is the best way to see Iceland, just make sure you download your favourite Spotify playlist and buy your re-loadable gas card from the gas station. Not all stations take credit card and we spent a good 15 minutes on our first trip trying to figure out how to pay at the pump. We used an ORKAN and N1 gas card.
Also, it’s no secret that an Iceland holiday is expensive and since we are not experienced campers, we opted for Airbnb. A night stay ranged from 120 CAD to 200 CAD. The advantage is that we were able to cook our own meals and pack lunches for our hikes. Groceries are also expensive in Iceland, but it still takes your money further than a meal at a restaurant. Our second time in Iceland, we brought our own jar of Nutella and packs of noodle soup from home. All the elements required for a balance diet. Overall, most of our budget went to accommodation, car rental and gas. The following list of things to do in Iceland are perfect for a tight budget, with the exception of the glacier hike.
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND
- Reykjadalur – Iceland Hot Spring Hike – Jumping into a hot spring is a must when you are in Iceland. Reykjadalur is only 45 minutes away from Reykjavik but it is one of my most memorable hot spring experience. Be prepared for the 1 hour hike to the bathing area, it’s well worth the effort. Click here to read more.
- Skogafoss – This gorgeous waterfall is a popular stop on the Ring Road, but it also gives you access to the Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail. Find out how you can extend this stopover to a full day or a 5 day hiking adventure click here.
- Glymur Falls – Exploring waterfalls and hiking are my favourite things to do in Iceland. My first hike was to Glymur falls, a 2.5 km trail that takes you down a gorge and back up to view the second highest waterfall in Iceland. For tips and more information please click here.
- Nudluskalin -In my opinion, this is the best noodle house in Iceland, serving a sour and spicy soup called “Noodles for the Soul”. Read more about Nudlaskalin by clicking here or check out their site at www.nudlaskalin.com. I also did my own take on the recipe for “Noodles for the Soul” if you’d like to try it out please click here.
- Vatnjokull National Park – An amazing area in South East Iceland where you can take guided glacier hikes and get sweeping views of ice covered mountains. One of the highlights of our October Iceland Holiday. Please click here for the whole adventure.
- Mt Bjolfur Avalanche Barrier Hike in Seyðisfjörður – I had a hard time finding the trailhead for this hike. But the search was worth this view of Seyðisfjörður. For more information on the hike visit the article by clicking here .
- Myvatn – This area in Northern Iceland offers varied landscapes. Each stopover made me feel like I was stepping into a different world. Read more here.
- Hoffel Hot Pots – Iceland simplicity at it’s best, 4 hot tubs with a view of Hoffels Glacier. One of the best things to do in Iceland. More details here.
- Landbrotolaug Hot Pot – This natural hot spring made me feel like I had my own piece of paradise. Read more here.
- Northern lights – The most elusive of Iceland’s attractions. I have some tips to help you spot this beauty in your visit to Iceland. Read more here.