Driving through all the beautiful places in Iceland, the land of Fire and Ice, is a powerful journey.
As you admire its landscapes your mind and soul experience incredible connected moments such as:
- when you feel the powerful activity under your feet.
- when you almost travel to planet Mars.
- when you half expect a dinosaur to show up.
These places to visit in Iceland listed below are not as famous as other natural wonders around the world, but their raw nature and intensity do make you feel a higher connection with Mother Earth.
10 Places to visit in Iceland
1. Haukadalalur, South West Iceland
Part of the Golden Circle in South West Iceland, the geothermal area is quite an attraction. It is home of the famous Geysir but you need to be lucky to see it erupt.
However the little brother Strokkur is very active.
Its powerful jet of water happens every few minutes, so you have plenty of time to really experience this wonder: the bubble growing and growing followed by the column of water which reaches 15 to 20 meters high, sometimes to 40 meters.
Haukadalalur is a thrilling place to visit in Iceland.
2. Jokulsarlon Beach, South Coast Iceland
One of the most touristic spots on the south coast of Iceland is the beautiful lagoon of Jokulsarlon where the glacier releases huge icebergs. However most visitors do not cross the road to the black sand beach and miss one of the country’s highlights and best places to visit in Iceland.
The icebergs actually float through a channel into the sea and are pushed back towards the beach by the tide. You can approach these giant blocks of ice and touch them.
Some are white, others black and a few are blue, but all look stunning against the waves and the black sand. Truly a privilege to see this work of nature. Check out this ultimate full day tour highlighting the dramatic landscapes of the south of Iceland.
3. Hverir, North Iceland
Iceland has many geothermal areas but my favorite is Hverir in North Iceland.
You can feel the Earth boiling just under the crust with the powerful gas released from the fumaroles and the mud pools. All this activity is intensified by the bare surrounding landscape and the ground colors and the red of Namafjall, the hill behind. Don’t miss this place on your Iceland road trip.
Get your tour tickets to the mud pools here!
If you like geothermal wonders, you may love checking out Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA.
4. Sigoldugljufur, Central Highlands
Hidden in the Central Highlands, the canyon of Sigoldugljufur is one of the lesser known places to visit in Iceland. We ended up there by accident and it was one of those moments where you feel you have reached paradise: nothing around, just you and nature.
As the others kept photographing, I sat there in silence enjoying every curve of the canyon and every small ‘tear’ waterfall. Mother Nature is an artist!
5. Hverfjall, North Iceland
I had seen small volcanic craters before Hverfjall in North Iceland, but its size and bare landscape makes it one of a kind and a unique Iceland destination.
As I walked the 1km long rim of the 140 meter deep volcano, my mind started traveling back in time 2,800 years ago and imagining the power of the eruption. I felt privileged to see the evidence of such an intense event.
6. Blue Lagoon
I must admit, contrary to most visitors of Iceland, I am not a big fan of the Blue Lagoon. And by that I mean the spa and the huge flow of tourists. I guess it is one of one of the top attractions in Iceland!
The lagoon itself is man-made but the fascinating part is that the geothermal seawater comes from 2,000 meters beneath the surface.
It has traveled through porous lava, reaches us at 50°C and ends up at 38°C in the lagoon. Can you imagine it coming from so deep under us?
7. Leihrnjukur, North Iceland
Imagine walking in a field of fuming lava. Crazy? Well, not that much.
You can actually do it in North Iceland on a walking track around Leirhnjukur which is still steaming 30 years after the last volcanic event. Of course you have to stay on the path if you do not want your shoes’ soles to melt. But what an adventurerous place to visit in Iceland! It’s similar to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.
8. Pseudo-craters, Lake Myvatn
I know the title says you can connect with Mother Earth, but now it is time to connect with Father Mars. Let me explain.
The pseudo-craters of Lake Myvatn are the result of a rare phenomenon (almost entirely found in Iceland) where water is trapped under lava. But scientists believe the same is happening on planet Mars!
An off the beaten track waterfall, Aldeyjarfoss offers the evidence of both volcanic activity and erosion by the glacial river: the land of fire and ice.
This place in Iceland is where you go to appreciate how the powerful flow of water created a passage allowing us to see various shapes of basalt columns from the successive volcanic events.
10. Dimmuborgir, North Iceland
And finally, if you want to sing the jingle ‘Denver, the last dinosaur’ and feel like one could appear any time, I recommend visiting Dimmuborgir in North Iceland.
Most lava fields are spread but low. This unique one has huge lava formations surrounding you that make you feel like you have traveled in time.
For more ideas about things to do on that road trip, planning information, beautiful photos, and practical maps to help you plan your travels, check out ZigZag On Earth’s eBook:
- The Road trip guide to Iceland
- The road trip guide to the Iceland Ring Road
- The road trip guide to Iceland in the winter
More Iceland Tips:
- 7 tips for planning an Iceland road trip
- 11 tips for visiting Iceland with kids
- 5 places to visit in Iceland off the beaten path
Plan Your Trip to Iceland
We’ve been traveling 20 years and have come to rely on a few trusted websites that save us money and time when booking accommodation, flights, and car rental.
Below are our preferred partners. If you book through these links, we do receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps us continue to provide inspiring and helpful travel content for free on this site.
- Booking.com has over 1,100 properties in Iceland including hotels, apartments and hostels. You get free cancelation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.
- Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).
- Scott’s Cheap Flights just may have the discounted Iceland flight you’re searching for.
- RentalCars.com is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.
What places in Iceland would you love to visit? Or where have you felt the most connected to earth during your own travels? Share in the comments below.