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