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Land of the Vikings, craft beers, and jaw-dropping scenery, Iceland has really come to the forefront of the world’s attention in recent years as a hotspot (pun intended) for all things cultural, tartan-patterned and artisan coffee-oriented. With an abundance of stunning views and natural beauty, Iceland caters to all kinds of travelers. With a varied audience in mind, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 100 of the best things to do in Iceland, from scenic walks and nature tours, to the best craft beers and bars to visit, which you can view here. For those of you looking for a few highlights from that list, here are 10 of the coolest things you can do in Iceland!
Do a Brewery Tour
While there are several options to choose from in this area, if you want to experience a craft brewery tour that includes valuable insight into Icelandic history, try the Olgerdin Brewery Tour in Reykjavik! Only 20 minutes from the city center, learn about the unique drinking culture of Iceland, which has stemmed from the prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900s, only lifted in 1989. Sample local beer alternatives that were created in rebellion of this, and gain insights into the local customs.
Ride an Icelandic Horse!
Hop on one of Iceland’s unique native horses and ride through the movie-worthy landscapes the country has to offer! Both Eldhestar and Ishestar operate horse riding tours around some of the most scenic places in the country.
Snorkel Between Tectonic Plates
Silfra is located directly at the rift between the North American and European tectonic plates, and Silfra Snorkelling Tours offer amazing diving and snorkelling experiences for all levels and ages. Just 40 minutes outside of Reykjavik, it’s a great option for a day trip.
Spot Some Puffins
Native to Iceland, the adorable Atlantic Puffin can be spotted easily if your visit falls during Spring or Summer, which is when they return to the coast to form mating colonies. Several spots along the coastlines are good to catch a glimpse of these iconic birds, but Latrabjarg, Hornbjarg, Hornstrandir, Haelavikurbjarg, Breidafjord and Lundey prove the more reliable.
Experience the Midnight Sun
Again a seasonal activity, visitors during Summer will be able to experience many of the exciting attractions Iceland has to offer during a beautiful ‘Midnight Sun’, a phenomenon similar to an extended sunrise or sunset as the waning sun appears to hover low in the sky for a prolonged period of time and never completely set. Horseback riding, hot springs visits and more can be scheduled to take place during this time of year, as well as hiking tours.
Iceland Airwaves began in 1999 in an airplane hangar and has since evolved into one of the country’s most recognized music festivals, annually featuring a vast array of international rock/pop/electro artists. This year’s Iceland Airwaves returns November 7-10, and tickets are on sale now!
Black Sand Beaches
Iceland is home to several black sand beaches, which although cold, can provide some of the most hauntingly beautiful and photogenic scenery. Two popular black sand beaches are Reynisfjara and Reynisdrangar.
Journey to the Center of The Earth
Snaefellsnesjokull is the scenic inspiration behind Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, and fans of the book will relish in visiting the exciting nooks and crannies through which he climbed.
See the Golden Circle
If you only have a short visit and wish to see the best of what Iceland has to offer, then a tour of the Golden Circle could be the perfect choice. Routes and tours vary in length (from afternoon attraction visits to full-on 7-day planned tours) but can be tailored by the many tour operators who offer a variety of options to suit individual groups or solo travelers alike. Another upcoming trend which has gained recent popularity is renting a jeep and doing a self-guided tour of the circle. This usually takes slightly longer, as you would expect, yet allows for a more flexible schedule! You can check out a travel deal available now to see all the Golden Circle has to offer from Icelandair!