Iceland: Ten Most Beautiful Places

Iceland Ten Beautiful Places. Though it once played second-fiddle to Nordic neighbors Sweden and Norway, Iceland has quietly come into the spotlight to show the world what it’s been missing all these years: expansive underground ice caves, towering volcanoes, thermal baths, and landscapes so convincingly lunar that even astronauts once trained there.

There is no shortage of beautiful vistas in the country, but these are some of the very best.


ireland ten beautiful places
Mount Mælifell

Mount MælifellA volcanic cone comprising ashes and solid lava, Mælifell sits on the edge of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and is covered in grimmia, a moss that changes color depending on the soil’s humidity.


Seljalandsfoss
Seljalandsfoss

Water from the river Seljalandsá cascades into a pool 200 feet below—and yes, it is possible to walk behind the waterfall.


Vatnajökull
Vatnajökull

Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Iceland, which means it comes replete with ice caves primed for exploration.


Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar

High geothermal activity in the area creates some of Iceland’s most colorful landscapes—a veritable kaleidoscope of greens, oranges, reds, blacks, browns, and more.


Víti Lake, Askja
Víti Lake, Askja

Scientists have now confirmed Víti was naturally formed at the bottom of one of Askja’s craters, but its name means “hell,” owing to an earlier-held belief that large craters were the gates to the underworld. It’s not just pretty to look at: Weather permitting, you can even take a swim in the warm, mineral-rich lake.


Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón

Luminous blue icebergs sit in this glacial lake—the deepest in Iceland—and the intrepid can even hop on board a boat to float among them.


Reynisfjara Beach, Vík
Reynisfjara Beach, Vík

Vík is Iceland’s southernmost village, and spectacularly shaped basalt columns on the nearby Reynisfjara shore help make it the most impressive black-sand beach in the country.


Kirkjufell
Kirkjufell

This dazzling “Church Mountain”near the town of Grundarfjörður is Iceland’s most photographed mountain, and for good reason—it’s one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the country.


Westfjords
Westfjords

Only about 14 percent of visitors to Iceland ever get to this large peninsula in the northwestern part of the country, which makes it a fitting destination for those looking to escape the relative hustle and bustle of capital city Reykjavik. Home to some of Iceland’s most dramatic landscapes and diverse wildlife, the Westfjords are more inaccessible than other parts of the country, but are well worth the trip.


Hvítserkur
Hvítserkur

Once a volcanic plug, Hvítserkur today resembles a basalt monster rising 50 feet out of the sea. Low tides make it possible to walk close to the rock for a sunset-worthy snap, and nearby is one of the largest seal colonies in Iceland.


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