Must-See Places in Iceland for Nature Lovers

Iceland is an ideal destination for nature lovers. Whether you enjoy hiking, horseback riding, wildlife, or relaxing in a pool, there will be something in Iceland suited to you. Beautiful landscapes, unspoiled nature, and an overall lack of crowds, makes Iceland a naturally relaxing place to explore and get in touch with yourself again. From November to March, visitors can enjoy the possibility of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights – as Iceland is one of the world’s most accessible points for this experience. In the summer, the midnight sun creates an absolutely ethereal atmosphere. It is hard to go wrong. This is hardly a definitive list, but here are six must-see places in Iceland for nature lovers of all types.

1. Snæfellsnes peninsula/Mount Kirkjufell

The Snæfellsnes peninsula on the northern coast of Iceland offers everything that is quintessential about Iceland. One of its landmarks includes Mount Kirkjufell, or “church mountain” in Icelandic. Mount Kirkjufell, standing at 463 metres tall, is considered to be one the most majestic mountains in the world.

Mount Kirk

Mount Kirkjufell, located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, is one of the most majestic mountains in the world.

2. Látrabjarg cliffs

The Látrabjarg cliffs are located in the Westfjords of Iceland and mark the western most point in the country. As the largest bird cliff in Europe, it stands at 440 meters long and stretches for 14 kilometres. The Látrabjarg cliffs are home to millions of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, and northern gannets, making this a great place for bird watching.

Puffins in Latrabjarg

The serene Latrabjarg cliffs are home to millions of different birds – including puffins.

3. Seljalandsfoss

You could spend an entire trip to Iceland chasing waterfalls – the country is filled with them. Seljalandsfoss is probably Iceland’s most famous waterfall. What makes this 60 meters tall waterfall unique is that its structure allows you to stand inside of it and take in its beauty from every angle. Seljalandsfoss is located on Iceland’s southern coast, between Selfoss and Skógafoss.

Seljalandsfoss

4. Hveragerði Hot springs

One of the most relaxing activities to try in Iceland are the hot thermal spring baths. The sulphuric mud surrounding the bathing areas is ideal for an on-the-go facial mask to revitalise your skin the natural way. Hveragerði is one of the easiest hot springs to reach from Reykjavik – making it a good option if you are short on time, but want a relaxing Icelandic experience.

The Hveragerði hot springs are the perfect place to relax, enjoy a mud mask, and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

The Hveragerði hot springs are the perfect place to relax, enjoy a mud mask, and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

5. Grjótagjá

Grjótagjá is a small lava cave near Lake Myvatn with a thermal spring inside, making it an exotic spot to enjoy a rejuvenating Icelandic bath and forget about the outside world. While the temperature became far too hot (over 50C!) for bathing in the 1970s due to the eruptions, the temperature today sits at around 43C.

lava cave

Once considered too hot for bathing, these lava caves today are perfect for an exotic and revitalising thermal springs experience.

6. Vítii/Askja 

Askja is a stratovolcano located in northeastern Iceland, near the Lake Myvatn district. Víti is the crater at the base of the volcano that is known for its calm, turquoise water. Although it is only accessible during some parts of the year, it can be an ideal place for hot spring bathing when the time is right. Víti in Icelandic means “hell”, which is probably the opposite of relaxing to most people. In the early 1700s, it was believed that the craters were the gates to the underworld.

Viti means "hell" in Icelandic, but the reality of this place is anything but.

Viti means “hell” in Icelandic, but the reality of this place is anything but.

Iceland offers nature lovers many unique and exotic experiences not found anywhere else in the world. You can test your limits hiking the Icelandic wilderness, rejuvenate in the thermal hot springs, or simply marvel at the natural wonders the country has to offer.

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Anna Guastello
10 Nov 2014

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