19 Reasons Iceland Needs To Be On Your Bucket List


Bucket List Worthy  

Iceland Travel Guide

There’s definitely no shortage of reasons why Iceland should be on your bucket list. Iceland is home to some of the most active volcanoes and largest glaciers. It’s filled with opportunities for adventure and for relaxation. We’d even bet that the stunning views and unique culture will lead you to book a return trip.

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1. It’s a gold mine for sun lovers AND sun haters

Summer in Iceland can have up to 24 hours of sunlight and winter in Iceland can have only a few hours of sunlight.


2. It’s where elves exist

It’s been said that as much as 80% of the Icelandic population believe in elves. While we’re uncertain of this, there is one thing we’re certain of – Iceland is a magical place.

Icelandic houses

3. The Northern Lights

Iceland is the perfect place to watch the dancing display between October and March. The Ion Hotel has a bar dedicated for watching the Northern Lights.

Northern Lights

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn on Flickr

4. The Northern Lights AND Erupting Volcanoes 

Eyes pop when the Northern Lights and Iceland’s famous volcano Eyjafjallajokull are seen together.


Photo Credit: Adam Rifkin

5. The Golden Circle

The golden circle is a popular tourist route. Stops along the route include Þingvellir national park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the geysers in Haukadalur.

Golden Circle

Photo Credit: Ragnar Th. Sigurdssson

The famous fountain geyser, Strokkur, erupts every four to eight minutes. Strokkur is about 90 minutes from Reykjavik.

Geyser in Iceland

6. Skogafoss

Skogafoss is the country’s most famous waterfall. Rainbows are almost always visible here when it’s sunny. 


7. Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon is the deepest lake at 814 feet deep.


8. Ring Road

Iceland is said to be one of the best countries for a road trip. The most popular route is Ring Road or Route 1. 

Ring Road

It’s not unusual to come across horses roaming freely in the green fields along Ring Road. Unlike other horses, Icelandic horses are resilient to the country’s cold climate.


9. Vatnajokull National Park

The Vatnajokull National Park covers a whopping 13% of Iceland. Filled with rivers, glacial ice, and volcanic and geothermal activity, there are few places in the world that offer the range of natural beauty that Vatnajokull offers.


10. Husavik Whales

Husavik has been recognized as one of the best places to whale watch. The best time to whale watch is between April and September.

Whale Watching in Iceland

 11. Myvatn Nature Baths

Bathers can relax in clouds of steam rising from the Earth’s surface and swim in geothermal pools in Iceland.

Hot Springs in Iceland

12. Thorsmork Mountains

Iceland has been called a natural playground, filled with an endless array of striking views like this one.


13. Diving in Silfra 

Silfra is a crack in between North America and Europe, making it the one place where you can dive between continents.


14. Krafla Lava Fields

Multiple volcanic eruptions have left behind a landscape that seems out of this world.


15. $3 Hot Dogs at Baejarins Beztu Pylsu 

Iceland Hot Dog

16. Local Beer at Saemundur i Sparifotunum 

Iceland Beer

17. Authentic Icelandic Cuisine at 3 Frakkar

3 Frakkar

18. Fresh Fish and Chips at Icelandic Fish and Chips

Icelandic Fish and Chips

19. The Coffee

After all, Iceland is a top five country for coffee consumption. We recommend that you grab a coffee at one of these cafes in Reykjavik:

  • Stofan Cafe
  • C is for Cookie
  • Cafe Haiti
  • Café Paris
  • Kaldi Bar
  • Mokka-Kaffi

So, what are you waiting for?

Travel Tips

  • Tourists in Iceland get the taxes on purchases back at the airport, so save your receipts!

  • You don’t need to carry cash in Iceland. Credit cards are largely accepted, from hot dog stands to taxi drivers.

  • Alcohol can be expensive so it’s best to stop by the duty-free in the airport if you plan on drinking.

  • Tipping is already included in the total bill, but Icelanders typically won’t be insulted if you offer an additional tip.

Getting There

Iceland Air offers many direct flights from various North American and European cities.

Visit Inspired by Iceland for more inspiration and tips.


  • How do Icelanders feel about those who can’t speak Icelandic? Are they willing to work with tourists, or should I learn the language before I go?

  • Mikala, I have been twice now to Iceland and the Icelanders speak better English then North Americans.But it is a great idea to try the language especially please and thank you.

  • totally amazing place. The people are friendly, speak great English, and the scenery is stunning. We were lucky enough to see the Northern lights too. WOW Air is also a fantastic carrier to Iceland.

  • almost everybody under 50 is able to speak English, so no worries about the language.

  • me and my daughter have visited Iceland twice in two years and have gone on lots of excursions with your company.

    the country is so beautiful and plenty to see and do. the people are terrific and the food is great.

    thoroughly recommend it to literally anyone

  • Mikala, Icelandic people are the nicest I have come across during my travels. They speak English and had no problem with speaking it with me when I visited. They are extremely friendly, hind-hearted, and helpful. I’m learning Icelandic now for when I visit again in the near future, out of respect and gratitude.

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