5 Hidden Gems In Iceland You Won't Want To Miss

(Credit: Geoffrey Lucas on Unsplash) Photo by Geoffrey Lucas on Unsplash
February 6
1:38 PM 2023

Iceland is known for its incredible natural beauty, but there are many hidden gems tucked away that are sure to take your breath away. From the rolling hills of the Golden Circle to the majestic glaciers of the Eastfjords, Iceland is full of amazing sights and experiences that can easily be overlooked. In this blog post, you will go on a journey to discover five of the most spectacular hidden gems in Iceland that you won't want to miss.

1) Reykjavik

As the capital and largest city in Iceland, Reykjavik is the obvious starting point for any traveller looking to explore the country. This vibrant city is home to colourful houses, lush parks, incredible restaurants, and a thriving nightlife, which is why road trips are so popular around here. Visitors can experience the captivating city by checking out its landmarks such as Hallgrimskirkja, an iconic Lutheran church whose tower can be seen from many points in the city. The Harpa Concert Hall is a gorgeous building that offers year-round entertainment, from symphonies to art galleries to festivals. Reykjavik also has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars, pubs, and nightclubs offering entertainment well into the night. The city also boasts incredible shopping, from small boutiques to designer stores, making it the perfect destination for shoppers. 

2) Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park is one of the most unique and remarkable places to visit in Iceland. Located in southwestern Iceland, this incredible national park is home to many natural wonders, including the impressive Þingvallavatn Lake. It is also the site of the first parliament of Iceland, which was founded in 930 AD. The landscape at Thingvellir National Park is a fascinating combination of glaciers and the famous "Blue Blob", lava fields, and rivers that cut through the rugged terrain. This beautiful natural setting is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering plenty of hiking trails, as well as opportunities for swimming, fishing, and camping. There are also several fascinating geological features here, such as the Gullfoss Falls, the Námaskarð pass, and the Silfra Fissure. One of the main attractions of Thingvellir National Park is its rich cultural and historical significance. The Alþingi (Parliament) meetings were held here until 1798 and the ruins of this ancient parliamentary site can still be seen today. In addition to this, there are also many other historical sites to explore throughout the park. 

3) Vatnajökull National Park

Situated in the southern region of Iceland, Vatnajökull National Park is one of the most spectacular parks in the country. It covers an area of 12,000 km2 and is home to many glaciers, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and mountains. The largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, is located in the park. It is an impressive sight, with several ice caps that reach heights of up to 3,400 metres above sea level. Visitors can explore the many breathtaking ice formations that have been formed over thousands of years. The Skaftafell Nature Reserve is part of the national park and offers some of the best hiking trails in the area. From easy hikes to challenging treks, there are plenty of trails for all levels of hikers. Along the way, visitors can take in the beautiful scenery of waterfalls, valleys, and glacier-capped mountains.

4) Geysir

Located in the south of Iceland, Geysir is one of the most iconic attractions in the country. Geysir is home to a geothermal area that includes hot springs, mudpots, and several active geysers. The most famous of these geysers is Strokkur, which spouts water up to 30 metres into the air every few minutes. While you can't swim in the geothermal pools at Geysir, they are a sight to behold. The area around the geysers is also incredibly photogenic, making it the perfect spot for a photo op. Additionally, if you time it right, you can catch a rainbow over the spouting geyser for an extra special shot. Geysir is an absolute must-see if you're travelling to Iceland.

5) Hvítárvatn

Hvítárvatn, also known as the White River, is one of Iceland's hidden gems. Located in the Icelandic Highlands, Hvítárvatn is a glacial lake which spans over 8 km in length. It is also considered to be the deepest lake in Iceland and at its deepest point, it has a depth of around 94 metres. The lake has a distinct milky colour due to the high amount of glacier flour that flows into it from its tributaries, and the surrounding landscape is stunning with its views of rolling hills, volcanoes, glaciers, and rivers. The area also offers some great hiking trails, giving visitors the chance to explore the beauty of this untouched corner of Iceland. Hvítárvatn is also home to some unique wildlife, including Arctic char and brown trout which can be found in abundance in the lake. Birdwatchers may be lucky enough to spot the rare Black-throated Diver, a species of waterfowl which is often found swimming and diving in the lake.

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