9 Amazing Views of Iceland

Tuesday, 30th May 2017

Alex Minnis

iceland south east jokulsarlon view from shore early spring rth

So much more than simply the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is a deservedly popular holiday destination. Its incredible landscapes and natural wonders lure visitors to return time and time again – head-spinning waterfalls, snow-capped volcanoes, dreamy fjords and iceberg-studded lagoons. We’ve collated 9 of our favourite images to showcase some of the country’s astounding beauty…

1. Jokulsarlon, Southeast Iceland

Jokulsarlon is Iceland’s most famous glacier. Calved from a sweeping glacier tongue, hundreds of blue and shimmering white icebergs drift serenely towards the Atlantic Ocean in this magical place. Crystal-like bergs glitter on the adjacent black sand beach providing a roadside wonder that does not disappoint. Located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway between the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Höfn, it is a popular stop for those travelling along the South Coast or around the Ring Road of the country.

Our recommended itinerary: National Parks & Natural Wonders

Read our guide: How to tour Iceland’s glaciers

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2. Lake Myvatn, North Iceland

Unlike anything you’ve seen before, the Lake Myvatn area isn’t a place of trees and glaciers. It’s one of Iceland’s foremost areas of natural beauty, offering remnants geothermal activity and volcanic eruption, that make up the ‘heat’ element that is so important in the land of ice and fire!

Pseudocraters, lava pillars, bubbling mud pools, steam vents and vast craters provide the geological wonders, while Barrow’s goldeneye and harlequin ducks take centre stage amongst the wildfowl for which the area is famed.

Part of the Diamon Circle, Lake Myvatn  is surrounded by other amazing sites; the town of Husavik, the canyon of Asbyrgi, and Dettifoss waterfall.

Our recommended itinerary: Northern Highlights

iceland west fjords puffins ba

3. Puffins in the West Fjords

Nothing stirs the senses more than a sea cliff crammed with thousands of nesting guillemots and kittiwakes, with puffins adding to the avian hullabaloo with their airborne sorties from clifftop nesting burrows. The Westfjords offer some of the best bird watching sites there are. The unique Látrabjarg cliff is one of the best places in Iceland to photograph puffins.

One of Europes biggest bird cliffs, a home to birds in unfathomable numbers. This westernmost point of Iceland is really a line of several cliffs, 14 kilometres long and up to 441 m high. And it’s as steep as it gets, dizzyingly so. Safe from foxes, the birds are fearless, and provide stunning photographic opportunities from close range. The puffins are particularly tame and are the ones frequenting the grassy, higher part of the cliffs.

Our recommended itinerary: The Road Less Travelled

Read more: Did you know this about puffins?

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4. Borgarfjordur Eystri, East Fjords

Known to the locals as Bakkagerfi, the charming drive to Borgarfjordur Eystri is one to enjoy at a timely pace. Known of its great natural beauty, the area has become a true hiker’s paradise with numerous hiking trails. Some of the most famous hiking trails are Viknasklodir, Vikur and Lodmundarfjordur. You can enjoy the magnificent Dyrfjoll (Door Mountain) and Alfaborg, “The Elves’ Castle”, where the queen of Icelandic elves allegedly resides.

Our recommended itinerary: Around Iceland

Read more: Our top things to do in East Iceland

iceland south west thorsmork drone gt
South West Thorsmork

5. Thorsmork, Southwest Iceland

Named after the Norse God, Thor: God of Thunder, Thorsmork is a spectacular mountain ridge, located between the two glaciers: Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull. A nature reserve in the southern Icelandic highlands, Thorsmork is one of the country’s most popular hiking destinations and a favourite location for photographers and nature lovers alike.

The contrasting vistas of lush oases and roaring glacier rivers cutting through black desert expanses not only make the area unique in Iceland but to the entire world. Parts of the valley are rich with moss, fern, and birchwood, while jagged mountain ridges and ice-capped peaks crown the horizon. Explore by 4WD in the summer months, but when winter falls – book a thrilling Superjeep exploration through the snow.

Our recommended itinerary: Summer Nights at Ranga

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6. The Highlands, Central Iceland

The Highlands of Iceland are an uninhabited land where hot springs bubble through sulphur crusted vents and icecaps crouch on the horizon, ghostly grey and austere. Pimpled with volcanoes and scratched by rivers seething with glacial meltwater, it’s a dusty, bone-shaking, grit-between-your-teeth kind of place. The Icelandic Highlands cover the majority of the country and are home to many natural attractions. Away from crowds, it’s the perfect place to find serenity and peace – you simply have to go!

Our recommended itinerary: Highlands & Lowlands

Read More: Our must have experiences in Iceland

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7. Turf Church in a Lava Field, Southeast Iceland

Did you know, with around 32 volcanic systems, 11% of Iceland is covered by lava fields, much clad in moss? This traditional 18th-Century turf church in Hof, Southeast Iceland, was created as protection from the elements and remains one of the last standing in the country today. It is truly a sight to behold, having survived 130 years of unpredictable weather! Turf houses because a new style of archictechture near the 18th century in Iceland, and it’s incredibly rare for this type of structure to last so long.

Our recommended itinerary: Essential Iceland

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8. Dyrholaey Peninsula, South Coast of Iceland

A former island, Dyrholaey is a small peninsula close to the village of Vik on Iceland’s southernmost coastline. It is a 120-metre promenade offering staggering views of the south coast, as well as its historic lighthouse and abundance of bird life. It is a popular stop of sightseers travelling along the Ring Road, with many driving to the top of the peninsula, before heading down to explore the black-sand beaches that surround.

Our recommended itinerary: Golden Circle Self Drive

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9. Northern lights, throughout Iceland

As the evenings begin to draw closer in September, so the aurora season begins continuing throughout the winter months into late April. Autumn and spring are ideal times to combine leisurely exploring by day with the prospect of seeing this magical light show at night. For the best chance of spotting the aurora, head away from all light pollution staying in countryside locations.

Our recommended itinerary: Aurora Nights

Read more: Ways to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

Feeling Inspired?

Our unrivalled selection of Iceland self-drive holidays takes you to the most beautiful spots in the country.

For help in planning your ideal Iceland itinerary, send us an enquiry or speak to one of our Iceland Travel Specialists on 01737 214 250 who can tailor make your trip to suit your budget, timescale and interests.

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