Top 10 Experiences You Can Do in Iceland

  • by Irena
  • Good to Know
  • 21 May 2020

Top 10 Experiences You Can Do in Iceland

Iceland is a stunning country that is bursting at the seams with amazing history, culture and nature. It is built up on the foundation of interesting people with interesting tales to tell and it is filled with amazing experiences that will stay in your memories for the rest of your life.

These experiences are what we want to focus on today and so we happily present our top 10 experiences that you can do in Iceland! This list is offered to you in no particular order and all of these options can be done from Reykjavik:

1. Horseback riding

The Icelandic horse is an animal with a rich history that intertwines deeply with that of the Icelandic people. While these animals may be smaller than your average horse they have specially adapted to life in iceland and are quite friendly. The horses in Iceland have an international reputation for their ability to travel at 5 distinct gaits,  many of them get imported to other countries but due to strict health regulations once a horse has left the country it is unable to return.
There are a number of stables near to Reykjavik that offer scenic rides through the lava fields just outside of the city so you will be able to enjoy these horse rides for yourself

Horseback riding experience on black sand beach from Vik, South Iceland

2. Whale watching

Whales are often referred to as the gentle giants of the sea and many of these aquatic mammals live arounds the coastal waters of Iceland. Primarily departing from Reykjavik’s old harbour, but also sometimes departing from the north of Iceland or from Snæfellsnes, whale watching boats will travel out in an attempt to catch a sight of these creatures in their natural habitat.
The companies are also dedicated to teaching people more about the various sea creatures that you can find in Iceland and preserving the nature so that many future generations will be able to enjoy them as well.

Whale watching experience from Reykjavik Harbor

3. Snowmobiling

Need a little adrenaline to put a jolt in your step? Always wondered what it would be like to be James Bond? Addicted to the feeling of going fast (guilty as charged on this one)? Then Snowmobiling is a “Must do” activity to add to your Iceland Itinerary. Journeying to the top of one of Iceland’s many glaciers you will be able to speed across their icy surface and experience their seemingly alien landscapes in ways that not many people get to experience.

Snowmobiling experience on Langjokull glacier

4. Ice caves

While primarily a winter season activity that has in recent years been able to become a year round one thanks to some man made caves, Ice caving is a really cool way to experience Iceland.
These caves constantly form and reform across the years as the glacial ice that makes them up melts and refreezes again meaning no two trips are likely to be the same. With interiors that resemble something from a Sci-Fi film you will be awestruck as you make your way through these caves.

Explore a crystal blue ice cave on a glacier in South Iceland

5. Glacier hiking

Glacier hiking may sound like an incredibly difficult (and slippery) experience however these trips can actually be very relaxed and serve as a great introduction to the glaciers. With the use of specialty equipment, which your glacier guide will give to you before the hike, such as crampons and and an Ice axe you will be able to walk up the glacier with ease.
Your guide will also take you up a predetermined route that will show you the best sights!

Glacier hiking experience in South Iceland
Go for a glacier hiking experience on a glacier tongue in South Iceland

6. Diving & snorkeling

To the surprise of many, diving & snorkeling are activities that are becoming increasingly popular here in Iceland. While it is true of course that the water in Iceland tends to be either very cold or VERY hot there does exist a location where the potential for underwater adventures is so high that the temperature will be the last thing on your mind. The Silfra fissure is a part of the rift between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates were the cold water is so clear that you can easily get around 70 meters of visibility.
It has to been seen to be believed!

Go for a snorkeling adventure in Silfra Fissure in Thingvellir National Park, Golden Circle, Iceland

7. Highland excursions

Iceland is a country of extreme highs and lows… Mostly because much of the country’s landscape is made up of tall mountains and deep valleys. Right now we are mostly concerned with the highs and in particular the highlands! Iceland’s highlands are filled with stunning landscapes that blaze with colours that seem almost impossible thanks to the unique mineral composition of the rocks.
During the summer there are plenty of hiking tours that travel through these highlands but for those who are not regular hikers you can also experience them via a specially modified vehicle called a superjeep.

Go on a super jeep ride to Iceland’s Highlands

8. Lava caves

Lava caves are defined simply by any cavity that forms out of volcanic rock. Many of them form thanks to variable cooling rates of magma in motion or by old volcanoes erupting and draining their magma reserves. Iceland has miles of lava tunnels and tubes under its surface from the number of eruptions that have occured here over the years and while many of them have yet to be fully explored your guide will be able to take you and show you around in a completely safe spelunking adventure.

See the underground beauty of the Lava Tunnel close to Reykjavik

9. ATV tours

Known to many as quads or quad bikes an ATV is an all terrain vehicle that features large, low pressure tires that allow it to travel over a variety of surfaces with ease. Across the world these ATVs are often used in farming situations but you can also have a great time using them recreationally! With Iceland being a country with many different terrain types, often all located very close by each other, you will have no shortage of places to ride and have fun.

Exciting ATV adventures on black sand beach, South Iceland

10. Exhibitions

Iceland is a country that always has art and culture on the tip of its tongue during national conversation. As descendants of the vikings, who were known to be warrior poets, Iceland and her people have art and culture running through their veins. It comes as no surprise then that there are a multitude of different exhibitions and art installations around the country that you can enjoy while you are here. A particular highlight of this scene is the Perlan museum that recently opened the world’s first indoor glacier experience that people can walk through to learn more about the glaciers!

As you can see there is a lot of things to see and do in Iceland, many experiences that will transform your Iceland holiday into a life times worth of memories.

Check out the recommended experiences and adventures in Iceland below!

Explore the immersive exhibitions in Reykjavik
About the author
In 2010, Irena moved to Iceland, instantly enchanted by its breathtaking beauty. Her deep love for Icelandic culture and the natural surroundings fills her with excitement as she endeavors to convey these wonders to others through her photography and writing.

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