Iceland is beautiful, in fact, one of the most beautiful countries in the world that I have visited. From volcanoes to glaciers to oceans to rolling fields, it’s incredibly amazing. Also, if you’re into outdoorsy activities, Iceland is perfect for you. However, it’s a bit pricey, so expect to spend quite a bit of money.
1) Ice Climbing – legitimately one of the coolest and most rewarding things to do ever. It’s like rock climbing with giant pick axes and clampons. You feel like Spiderman as you climb up that wall.
2) Caving – Iceland is covered in lava fields that have formed these intricate tunnels underground that have become caves. There are plenty of tours that allow you to go spelunking and crawling around tight spaces. Definitely not for those who are claustrophobic!
3) Dog Sledding – You can do this year round, regardless if there is snow on the ground or not. Winter is obviously better to try this out, especially when there are evening dog sledding tours where you can catch the Northern Lights at night. In the summer months, the dogs drag you in mini carts.
4) Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) – Extremely fickle to see and completely dependent on weather. There’s actually a website where you can monitor the likelihood of viewing them on the Icelandic Meteorology Office Site. Give yourself enough time in Iceland to try seeing these multiple nights in case the previous nights are too cloudy. Also, bring a nice DSLR quality camera and tripod, that’s the only way you can capture an amazing photo of them.
5) Blue Lagoon – One of the largest natural hot springs in the world, the Blue Lagoon is incredibly relaxing and fun to be at. It’s opened at night too and includes some waterfalls, hot pockets, and Icelandic mud for a fun face mask. There are more expensive day spa packages, but just hanging out for half a day is a cool and cheap experience.
6) Descent into a Volcano – Really expensive to do, as there is only one dormant volcano that is approved for tourists to descent into. The volcano is called Thrihnukagigur, and there’s only one tour company that charters excursions to the volcano. The tour company is called Inside the Volcano.
7) Gulfoss , Geyser and Golden Circle – A bit touristy, but it’s one of those things that are nice to say “been there, done that”. It’s a giant national park with a waterfall and geyser. There are tons of tour groups that will take you out there in droves, so it’s not hard to find them.
8) Glacier Hiking – this is usually best to be done in the winter, but you can do this in the summer too. Most of the time, the ice climbing and glacier hiking excursions are done together. I did the one at Solheimajokull glacier through Viator.
9) Horse Back Riding – Icelandic horses are a special breed, they are shorter and have longer hair. It’s a great way to go around the countryside and see Iceland in the warmer months. You can also do this in the winter.
10) Driving – Absolutely the best way to see everything in Iceland. Be careful if going in the winter though as some roads close off due to the bad weather and snow can make it very difficult to drive through. However, you can go to the different coasts and go through the mountains and find off the beaten path types of things, such as finding a former US Navy plane crash.