TOP 10 Iceland
Top 10 places of interest in Iceland
We would like to recommend the following TOP 10 highlights which Iceland has to offer
The northernmost capital on earth
The capital Reykjavík is the northernmost capital on earth. Reykjavik with its 120.000 inhabitants is the biggest town in Iceland. The name Reykjavík means „Smokey Bay“ (Reykja=Smoke, Vík=Bay). The reason for this is the steaming hot natural springs in this area. According to the book of Landnámabók the Viking Ingólfur Arnarson founded Reykjavik. Until the end of the 18th century, Reykjavik only consisted of several farms. Today Reykjavik is a dynamic and booming town. Especially in the field of art & design. Musicians such as „Björk“, „Sigur Rós“, „Emiliana Torrini“ and „Of Monsters and Men“ are well known. Various sightseeing highlights will invite you for a longer stay in Iceland. You can combine a Reykjavík stay with a road trip through Iceland.
Bathing & Wellness in a natural hot spring
Bláa Lónið (Blue Lagoon) is the wastewater of a nearby geothermal power plant. The power plant uses 240 °C hot water from 2 km under the earth to produce electricity and warm water for the district’s heating system. After the usage for energy production, the water is pumped into the lava fields. Due to this a milky blue hot water lagoon with a temperature between 37 to 42 °C has been developed. The typical blue-white colour occurs from the diatom. A wellness stay in the Blue Lagoon will reduce skin diseases, especially psoriasis. A wellness stay in the milky blue water of the Blue Lagoon will create unforgettable memories.
The Blue Lagoon is located between the airport and the capital Reykjavik. A visit is recommended on the way to and from the airport. Special transfer buses drive to and from the Blue Lagoon.
Thingvellir, Geysir, Waterfall Gullfoss
The „Golden Circle“ is the classic day tour from Reykjavík. On this tour you will visit Þingvellir, Geysir and the waterfall Gullfoss.
The old parliament Þingvellir is located at the crack of tectonic plates between Europe and America. Þingvellir means “area of the moot“. In 930 a.c. Norwegian Vikings held law congregations here. As a result, Þingvellir is one of the oldest parliaments on the earth. In the year 1000, people in this location decided for Christianity and in 1944 independency was declared.
The „Big Geysir“ gave its name to all existing Geysirs on the earth, but only erupts very seldom. Its little brother „Strokkur“ (Butter chum) is located right next to Geysir and erupts very regularly (approx. every 5-10 minutes). The hot water column reaches a height of 35 meters.
The waterfall Gullfoss (gull = Gold, foss = Waterfall) is a waterfall on the river Hvítá. The average flow is 110 ³ per second. The maximum recorded flow during the last century was 2.000 m³ pro second. The waterfall falls over 2 steps 30 meters deep.
If you visit the Golden Circle you can make a bath in the so called „SPA Laugarvatn Fontana“ which is located directly at the lake Laugarvatn. Address: Laugarvatn Fontana, Hverabraut 1, 840 Laugarvatn. You can integrate this bath in a hot spring in your Self Drive Tour around Iceland.
The volcanic Islands
The volcanic Islands „Vestmannaeyjar“ are located 20 km away from the south coast of Iceland. The Westman Islands consists of 14 Islands. On the main Island Heimaey there are approx. 4.000 inhabitants. In the year 1973 an eruption of the volcano Eldfell took place. All inhabitants had to be evacuated in the middle of the night. If you visit these amazing Islands you can go on a hike on the volcano or observe thousands of puffins along the coastline. The Westman Islands can be reached with the ferry. It is a great highlight of your roadtrip in Iceland. A overnight stay is recommended.
The Rainbow Mountains
Landmannalaugar means „hot spring of the people of Landsveit“. The colourful mountain scenery has its origin by a close erupting volcano. The volcano Bláhnjúkur is made of grey-blue pitchstone. The volcano Brennisteinsalda is made of red-brown quartz trachyte and rhyolite stones. Further colours have their origin in sulphur and chalk. Neon green moss and white snow fields create even more amazing colours in this area. A black obsidian lava field called Laugahraun is completing the colour palette. The multi day hiking path „Laugavegur“ is he most famous hiking path in Iceland. This trekking path starts next to Landmannalaugar and ends in the area of Thorsmörk close to south coast. You can also take a bath in a natural hot spring very close to the Trekking village of Landmannalaugar. Landmannalaugar is located in the highlands of Iceland. This area can only be reached with a 4x4 rental car. Landmannalauger is one of the highlights in our Self Drive Offroad Tours in Iceland. This area has one of the most beautiful landscapes that Iceland has to offer!
Skógafoss & Seljalandsfoss
Skógafoss means „forest waterfall“. It falls 60 meters deep. On the east side of the waterfall is the trekking path starting point of Laugarvegur. An old saying says that the Viking Þórólfsson once hid a treasure behind the waterfall. Try to see if you can find it!
The waterfall Seljalandsfoss is 66 meters deep. This waterfall is located close to the Eyjafjallajökull, whichlast erupted on the 20th March 2010. You can also go behind the waterfall Seljalandsfoss. Glufrafoss is located just a few minutes away by foot (a visit there is also highly recommended).
Glacier & National park
Snæfellsnes means “Snow mountain peninsula”. The western part of the peninsula is a National Park. Guided tours are offered from the National Park Rangers in Hellnar. In the south of the peninsula you can walk alongside the coastline and through lava fields. In the north of Snæfellsnes you can take a boat trip to the Island Flatey or Visit the fishermen’s village Stykkishólmur. Glaciers, cliffs and beaches will create unforgettable memories. This place is a must see on your roadtrip through Iceland.
Dettifoss means „falling waterfall“. This is the biggest waterfall in the northeast of Iceland. It is one of the waterfalls with the most capacity in Europe (combination of volume and height drop) The height drop is 45 Meters with an average flow of 200 m³/s. This would create an electricity power capacity of 85 MW. The waterfalls Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss are located close to the waterfall Dettifoss.
The landscape of lakes
The lake Mývatn (Mosquito Lake) got its name due to the 40 different kinds of mosquitos which are living here. Each kind of mosquito has its own swarm. The good thing is that only view of them actually bite. The lake is only 2,5 – 6 meters deep and is located 277 m above sea level. A round trip on Lake Myvatn offers a lot to see. You can visit the lava figures of „Dimmuborgir“, the crater „Hverfjall“, the geothermal area „Námaskarð“, the crater lake „Víti“, the crater „Skútustaðir“ or take a bath in the „Mývatn Nature Bath“.
Glacier Lagoon & Film Site
Jökulsárlón means „Glacier River Lagoon“. With its 18 km² this Glacier Lagoon is the most popular one. The Lagoon is recharged with Ice from the Glacier Vatnajökull. Jökulsárlón has been used for various films such as„James Bond – Die on another day”, “Tomb Raider”, “Beowulf”, and “Batman Begins”. A tour on the Glacier Lagoon will create unforgettable memories. This highlight is part of every Self Drive Tour around Iceland.
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