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Planning a Successful Group Trip to Iceland – A Comprehensive Guide

Iceland, with its landscapes, volcanoes, glaciers, rich cultural traditions, and thrilling trekking routes offers a destination for group tours. Organizing such a tour can be both exciting and challenging. To ensure a memorable experience for your group it’s essential to consider key factors. This blog post will provide you with all the information on planning an unforgettable group tour to Iceland.

1- Determining the Group Size and Composition

The first step in organizing your adventure is understanding the size and composition of your group. Are you traveling with family members, friends, or colleagues? Assessing the dynamics and preferences of your group will help tailor the trip to accommodate everyone’s needs. It’s important to note that activities involving strenuous trekking routes or unconventional modes of transportation like snow bikes may not be suitable for individuals, children, or those with specific medical conditions. Additionally, larger groups might need to be divided for activities such as boat cruises.

2- Establishing a Budget

While many natural attractions in Iceland are free to visit it’s crucial to consider the country’s cost of living when budgeting for your trip. It’s important to establish a budget to effectively manage your expectations and make informed decisions about accommodation, dining, and activities. When creating your plan, it’s crucial to understand what matters to your group. Are you prioritizing a comfortable hotel for accommodation? Or perhaps exploring the wonders of cuisine through a culinary journey is more appealing. In either case, thorough research ahead of time is key, especially when it comes to finding the rates for accommodation.

3-  Season

Another factor to consider is choosing the season for your trip to Iceland. Timing plays a role for reasons. Firstly, the summer months offer milder weather. Longer daylight hours, make it ideal for exploring locations. As the snow melts away during this season many areas become easily accessible by vehicles and people. On the other hand, winter provides an opportunity to witness the captivating Northern Lights and partake in winter activities such as snowmobiling over glaciers or visiting Game of Thrones scenes, with glaciers fully covered in snow and ice. Additionally, determining the season also impacts cost considerations.

During the summer there is an increase, in tourists visiting Iceland, which greatly affects the prices of accommodation and transportation. If you’re on a budget and prefer a crowded experience it might be a good idea to consider visiting during winter.

4- Plan Your Trip

Iceland offers an abundance of must-see destinations. From the mesmerizing geysers of the Golden Circle to the waterfalls along the South Coast and the vibrant city life in Reykjavik, it’s important to create an itinerary that balances sightseeing, adventure, and relaxation. With places to visit and activities to experience, making choices can be challenging. Our recommendation is to organize your itinerary based on areas. For example, you could focus on exploring the wonders of Iceland like Reykjavik, Þingvellir National Park, or Reynisfjara black sand beach in Vik. This way you can minimize travel time. Maximize your exploration.

Blue Lagoon

5- Choosing Accommodation

Iceland offers a range of accommodation options including luxury hotels, cozy guesthouses, and camping sites. Consider the comfort and preferences of everyone in your group when choosing where to stay. Additionally, it’s important to consider the location of your accommodation in relation, to your planned itinerary.

Booking in advance is always highly recommended, during peak seasons like summer. When choosing accommodation, it’s important to consider the distance between the hotel and the places you want to visit as the experience you wish to provide for your group. If your goal is to establish a connection with the area opting for humble accommodation closer to nature might be a suitable choice.

Double room at Storm Hotel

6- Transportation

When it comes to transportation logistics in Iceland exploring by road is the way. For groups renting a bus can be an option. The drivers are usually. Familiar with the roads, which’s crucial when driving during winter or going off road. If you’re planning a self-drive trip in Iceland, it’s important to consider whether there will be any off-road driving or if its during winter. In cases having a 4X4 vehicle is essential. At Nodical Iceland we provide a road map along, with tips and guidance that can make your journey much smoother.

7- Consider Dietary Preferences:

Additionally, it’s worth considering preferences when visiting Iceland. While Icelandic cuisine is unique and offers experiences it may not cater to all dietary restrictions or preferences.

It’s important to research restaurants and their menus to ensure everyone in your group, including those with dietary needs, can find suitable options. The good news is that many restaurants in Iceland take into consideration restrictions such as vegetarianism, veganism, lactose intolerance, and allergies. They offer dishes that cater to these diets. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants in Iceland where tourists from India, China, or Thailand can enjoy the flavors of their cuisine during their trip.

8- Choose the Right Season

When it comes to the weather in Iceland it can be quite unpredictable. It’s advisable to advise your group members to pack layers of clothing along with attire and sturdy footwear— for a winter trip. Even if the day starts with a good weather it’s always wise to have some layers on hand in case of sudden heavy rain or strong winds. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is also highly recommended to avoid any surprises during activities.

9- Make Safety a Priority

Prioritizing safety is crucial. Before visiting areas like regions with activity or near volcanoes or cliffs make sure your group is familiarized with safety guidelines. Trust us when we say that risking injury or one’s life, for a selfie isn’t worth it.

Consider the fact that there are locations that are quite far from the nearest hospital. In some cases, the most efficient way to reach certain locations quickly would be by helicopter. In these situations, it is crucial to prioritize safety.

10- Show Respect for Local Customs and the Environment

Make sure to educate your group about the importance of respecting Iceland’s environment. Iceland has places that are open for visitors without any supervision, but it is essential to understand that the local people deeply care about their environment. It is important to avoid littering and refrain from walking in areas where you might harm protected life forms like Icelandic moss. Iceland has over 120 protected areas. It is our responsibility to maintain their condition.

Conclusion

Planning a group trip to Iceland requires consideration and preparation. Initially, it may appear overwhelming. The reward will be an experience in one of the world’s most breathtaking destinations. If you prefer not to deal with the hassle of planning or if you are unsure about which places or activities would be suitable, for your group Nordical Iceland can assist you.

We offer made packages tailored for different areas and times of the year or we can create a custom trip specifically designed for your group at absolutely no cost. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us; we would be delighted to help you.

Looking for a relaxing spa holiday but don’t know where to start? Why not take a look at our 12-Day ‘Unwind’ Guided Tour

Best Hot Springs and Pools in Iceland

Iceland is known for its mesmerizing landscapes, glaciers, and ice caves. Little would you expect this small Scandinavian country way up North to have year-round access to outdoor bathing facilities, hot springs, and heated pools!

Well surprisingly enough, swimming in geothermally heated water is a top favorite activity for both locals and tourists alike. You’d be amazed to find out that you can find hot springs in pretty much every corner of the country.

Hot springs Iceland

What are hot springs and why are there so many in Iceland

Hot springs are bodies of water that are heated through geothermal energy. They greatly vary in shape and size. Some take the shape of geysers, shooting hundred-degree waters up high into the sky. Others consist of fumaroles or bubbling mud pits. Due to their extremely high temperatures, however, they’re not suitable for bathing purposes.

mud pot Iceland

The ones we’re looking at are hot springs whose waters have been cooled down to a reasonable temperature, usually around 38 degrees, allowing a comfortable bathing experience. These are dotted all around the country and include the geothermally heated pools in Reykjavík, man-made as well as naturally occurring hot springs.

The answer as to why there are so many in Iceland is quite simple. The country is entirely heated by geothermal energy, coming from magma chambers deep within the earth’s core. This energy provides electricity and heating to the whole country as well as protrudes out on the surface through the form of hot springs. Most bathing hot springs are a natural occurrence however, some have been ‘humanly molded, an example of that being the Blue Lagoon.

The benefits of soaking in Hot Springs

Apart from their relaxing and calming effects on the mind and body, bathing in the waters of hot springs certainly has a number of other beneficial properties.

Hot pot Iceland

They do wonders on muscle aches. If you have any type of inflammation in your body, be it a bruise or painful tendon, dipping your toes in the warm waters of hot springs will eventually alleviate your pain. In addition, the calcium found its composition helps to increase your flow of oxygen whilst lowering your blood pressure. Last but not least, the sulfur and sodium combined aid with battling skin imperfections, from blemishes to eczema and all in between.

Code of conduct

Although Icelanders are in general extremely friendly, they take their bathing rituals quite seriously. Before hopping in any hot spring, pool, or Jacuzzi you must shower in your birthday suit, that is shower fully naked. Not a lot of harsh chemicals are used to filter the water out in public places, hence why following this rule is a must. In addition, try to keep your voice down and avoid screaming, splashing, or creating any disturbance. Littering is also a big no. Whatever you bring, you need to take it back with you.

Follow these simple rules and you’re guaranteed to have a blast!

Here’s a list of our top-rated Hot Springs and Pools in Iceland:

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

We cannot make a list of our best hot pools without mentioning the Blue Lagoon. Set in between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon is by the most popular Icelandic attraction, winter and summer alike. Idyllically set in a lava field near Grindavík, this 5-star spa retreat is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring Iceland’s natural wonders. Its geothermal waters come from Svartsengi geothermal power station nearby and are cooled down to the ideal temperature of 37-39 degrees Celsius, allowing for a comfortable and relaxing bathing experience.

Mývatn Nature Baths

Myvatn

Found in the North, just 73km from Akureyri, lies Mývatn Nature Baths. A set of geothermal pools filled with beneficial minerals for the body and soul welcome visitors all year round. The water has an average temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing experience. Guests also have the pleasure of having two steam baths; a youth pool and a hot tub set just a few steps away from the main attraction. During summer, tickets sell out quickly therefore it’s always best to book in advance.

Seljavallalaug

Seljavallaug

One of the oldest man-made pools in the country, Seljavallalaug is a true ancient gem. Set in a remote location on Iceland’s South Coast and encompassed by towering mountainous ranges with a waterfall or two in the distance, this hot spring is a top favorite. After the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, the whole area including the pool was covered in a thick layer of ash, requiring a handful of volunteers to help restore it to its previous state. Its waters are rather murky, with a greenish tint to them, due to the large build-up of algae but this certainly should not put you off! Modest changing rooms are also available right near the pool’s edge.

Lýsuhólslaug

Constructed in 1981, Lýsuhólslaug hot pool and two hot tubs are the perfect spot to spend an hour or so, after exploring the wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Their vividly green colored-water is the result of algae and natural silica mud attached to the walls of the pool and hot tubs. Although the amenities are fully drained and cleaned once every eight days, it’s worth mentioning that these natural types of microorganisms and minerals can only be beneficial to the skin and contain a great number of antioxidants.

Hrunalaug

Hrunalaug

Near the Secret Lagoon, close to Flúðir lies another beautifully set hot spring named Hrunalaug. Its stonewalls and small turf house provide visitors with a chance to soak in the geothermal warmth whilst fully immersing in Iceland’s natural wonders.

Hrunalaug is located on private property, like most of Iceland’s natural attractions, and was once used as a sheep showering facility. Today, the area is solely given to locals and tourists to enjoy.

As the land is private, littering or camping is absolutely forbidden. You should also take the utmost care of the surrounding nature to make sure others can enjoy the experience as much as you!

The Secret Lagoon

Gamla Laugin

The Secret Lagoon, also known as Gamla Laugin, is a true gem when it comes to location and cultural popularity. Found in one of Iceland’s most geothermally active areas, and only a stone throw away from Gullfoss waterfall, this man-made pool is the perfect addition to any Golden Circle road trip. The landscape nearby, which can well be appreciated from the pool itself provides a fairy-tale-like setting with moss-covered lava fields, its own little geyser, and sprouts of steam coming up from below. It’s worth mentioning that due to its popularity, hundreds of guests visit the pool on a daily basis, making it rather crowded during busy periods of the year.

Grettislaug/Jarlslaug 

Jarlslaug

Found in the northwest part of the country, Grettislaug hot pool is definitely a one of its kind. Named after ‘Grettir’ presumed to be the strongest man in the Icelandic Sagas, Grettislaug and its neighboring pool named  Jarlslaug can be found 40 km from the ring road making them the perfect off-the-beaten-path bathing spot. Its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes it possible for you to try and take a dip in its freezing waters and thereafter thoroughly enjoy the warmth of Grettislaug’s geothermal ones.

Sky lagoon

Sky Lagoon Iceland© Sky Lagoon Iceland

Newly opened and a local favorite, the Sky Lagoon can be found only a stone’s throw away from the country’s capital. An infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic ocean merged with the surrounding untouched nature makes it a treat to bathe in winter and summer alike. The spa’s facilities are one of their kind and boast a steam room, sauna, waterfall, and last but not least an outdoor pool bar. Grab a drink and hunt for the northern lights all in the comfort of warm geothermal water.

Reykjadalur

Reyjadalur

Reykjadalur is by far one of Iceland’s most popular natural hot springs. Set just a forty-minute drive away from Reykjavík, it’s the perfect activity for those short on time wanting to experience the warmth of naturally occurring geothermal heat.

The valley is filled with steam and mud pots, allowing visitors to have an authentic and memorable experience. It takes a little less than an hour to hike up to the springs from the car park, and caution must be made when hiking during winter, as the path may be extremely slippery!

Hörgshlíð 

Perhaps a local favorite, Horghlid hot pot is definitely worth a visit, should you find yourself exploring the country’s Westfjords. This man-made 2x6m geothermal pool is beautifully set by the sea, not far from Hörgshlíð farm. Two hot hoses and one cold allow for a constant temperature of just under 40 degrees, ensuring a pleasant bathing experience. There are small changing facilities nearby that visitors are free to use. Although the hot pot itself is free to use, it’s always polite to ask the farm for permission, since it’s on their land.

Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar hot spring

Apart from its exceptional hiking trails and uniquely colored mountains, Landmannalaugar also boasts a much-prized hot spring. Positioned just nearby the camping site and washing facilities, it is nowadays mainly used by hikers in search of some much-needed relaxation after a long day on the trails. The road to get here is quite problematic therefore you can either take a bus or a 4×4 to reach the hot springs. As with most roads of this difficulty, access is only available during summer and even then, the road conditions must be carefully checked.

GeoSea Baths

Geo Sea© GeoSea

Nestled in the North of the country, on top of cliffs overlooking Skjálfandi bay and surrounded by unparalleled beauty lay the GeoSea Sea Baths. These three pools merged together, idyllically blending in with the surrounding nature are the perfect spot to relax after a long day of exploring the country’s northern territories. What’s special about these baths is that, unlike many others, they contain mineral-rich seawater instead of geothermal water. During summer, they are open until midnight whereas come winter, they close at 10 pm. If you are lucky enough, you might even spot the Northern Lights dancing above from the warmth and comfort of the pool.

Djúpavogskörin

The small town of Djúpivogur, quietly sitting on the shores of Berufjörður fjord in the eastern part of the country boasts a beautifully hidden geothermal pool. Although it’s only about 100 meters or less from the main road, or Iceland’s Route 1, the pool can easily be spotted by looking out for a  algae green-colored spring pipe. It’s the ideal spot to catch your breath in between explorations.

Víti by Askja

Viti

Víti (meaning hell in Icelandic) by Askja is a uniquely shaped geothermal crater lake, found in the Icelandic highlands, which are one of the most active volcano regions in the country. Although the most recent eruption at Askja occurred in 1961, the Víti crater was formed earlier, in the late 19th century after a series of volcanic eruptions that, after filling with water, formed a 200-meter deep lake called Öskjavatn. Although the lake mostly has a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees celsius and bathing in its milky blue waters might be rather tempting, it is known that the temperature in some spots could go up to 60 degrees, therefore extreme caution must be taken if you decide to take a swim in Hells waters, quite literally.

Krauma Baths

Krauma© Krauma

A 90-minute drive from Reykjavík takes you to the ever so active geothermal area of Reykholt where Krauma Baths are found. Overlooking Deildartunguhver – Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Krauma features a total of six hot pots whose waters get constantly renewed by Deildatunguhver’s powerful forces. The site also features two steam rooms, a relaxation room, and a restaurant using Iceland’s finest local ingredients.

Laugarvatn Fontana

Laugarvatn Fontana © Laugarvatn Fontana

About an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik takes you to one of the country’s geothermally active regions, with the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa built on top of it. This wellness center provides all the services one could ever imagine. From steams rooms to geothermal pools and all in between, this wonderful hot spring is the perfect spot to relax and blow off some steam, quite literally. Its proximity to the Golden Circle makes it a great addition to any road trip or tour around that region.

Hauganes

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience look no further! The hot pools found in Hauganes are only a shorts drive away from the country’s Northern Capital of Akuyreri. A set of four hot pots and a boat transformed into another hot pot are strategically placed on the town’s black sand beach only a few meters away from the North Atlantic Ocean. If the water’s temperature gets a bit too hot to handle, you can easily make your way to the Ocean’s edge to cool off. Bear in mind that the ocean’s temperature is around seven to ten degrees Celsius during summer, so you might be in for a cold surprise!

Landbrotalaug Hot Pot

Hot pot

Landbrotalaug lies north of Eldborg Crater on the mesmerizing Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Its off-the-beaten-path location makes it the perfect place to soak in geothermal water without having to worry about visitors nearby. Bear in mind that due to its small size, you might have some initial difficulty finding it.

Drangsnes

Dragnes hot pot

The picturesque fishing village of Drangsnes in the Westfjords has by far one of the best hot pots that you could possibly find on the island. Placed just a short distance away from the main road on the shoreline overlooking the mountains, the Drangsnes hot pots come as a fantastic addition to the already mesmerizing natural scenery. All three hot pots are of different temperatures to make sure everyone fully enjoys themselves. There’s also a small changing room just across the road that allows for a more comfortable experience. As the town itself has a population of just over 100, it goes without saying that these hot pots are definitely the hit of the town for locals as well!

Hoffell

Hoffell bats©Andrey Kirnov

Found just 20km away from the southeast town of Höfn, the geothermal hot pools of Hoffell are the perfect place to relax and recharge after a long winter’s day of driving around the area. A total of five tubs deep-set into the ground offer a breath-taking view over the mountains and Hoffellsjökull glacier. A plethora of hiking trails is available nearby, for those wanting to experience the glorious Icelandic wilderness!

Vök Baths

Vok Baths© Vök Baths

Vök Baths can be found idyllically sitting on the banks of Urriðavatn Lake. It’s worth mentioning that it’s the largest geothermal spa in the eastern region of the country boasting multiple pools, a restaurant, tearoom, and a sauna.

Integrated into Iceland’s natural landscape, you can barely distinguish human-built structures from the surrounding untouched nature. Although this area is geothermally heated, the water used at the Spa does not contain any Silfra or Silica unlike the Blue Lagoon for example. Its visitors get to benefit from the healing power of geothermal waters without having to endure that particular and not so appeasing egg smell.

Kvika

Kvika

A dip in Kvika’s geothermal foot pool is definitely guaranteed to leave you relaxed and wanting more. Found on the northern tip of Seljalternes peninsula, near Grotta Lighthouse and a short 5-minute drive from the city center, the size of Kvika is just enough to fit two to three people sitting comfortably on its stone edge. On a clear day, you can enjoy the sights of Esja or even Snaefellsjokull in the distance! A must for those short on time yet who want to experience something unique.

Kerlingarfjöll

Kerlingarfoll hot spring

The geothermal valley of Hveradalir in the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range is by far one of the most scenic places in the entire country. Steaming outlets, bubbling mud pots and hot springs make up this dramatic yet fairy-tale-like landscape. Apart from it being a hikers mecca, with numerous trails of all lengths and difficulties crafted nearby, this region also offers visitors a chance to bathe in pretty much, paradise. Kerlingarfjoll is the perfect natural hot spring to soak and relax after a long day of hiking the mountain ranges nearby. It’s worth mentioning that access to this area can only be gained by driving on Highland F-roads therefore a suitable 4×4 vehicle is a must!

Hot Springs in which you cannot bathe in

Strokkur

Strokkur

The geothermal area in Haukadalur Valley, in the southwest part of the country, is home to the ever so prominent Geysir Hot Spring. It’s worth mentioning that although the term geyser derives from Geysir, it is Geysir’s big brother Strokkur that is nowadays the star of the show. Frequent eruptions occurring every five to ten minutes at Strokkur, throw liters of boiling hot water and steam high into the air, for all spectators to observe from a safe distance. You might be tempted to put a foot or hand out to touch the water but bear in mind that the water in this geothermal area can easily reach a temperature of a hundred or so degrees!

Grjótagjá 

Grotagja hot spring

Found at about an hour and a half drive from Akureyri, is Grotagja hot spring cave. Once a hidden gem, this lesser-known location rose to international stardom after being featured in the Game of Thrones saga. After all, no one can forget the steamy scene between …. The entrance to the cave consists of large boulders that have fallen onto the ground resulting in you having to climb over them. Although the cave itself is relatively small, it can comfortably fit three to four people with others having to wait their turn. Once inside, you can admire the mesmerizing crystal clear blue water of the hot springs below. Due to its unstable nature and sometimes-extreme temperature, it is forbidden to bathe in its waters but nevertheless is still a sight worth to be seen. As the majority of natural attractions, Grjótagjá is set on private land and unfortunately, due to the misconduct of visitors, the cave has been closed. It’s worth mentioning that it can reopen at any time so if you’re in the region, it’s best to ask ahead.

Looking for a relaxing spa holiday but don’t know where to start? Why not take a look at our 12-Day ‘Unwind’ Guided Tour

The Phallological Museum in Reykjavik

Iceland offers surprising and strange places to visit, including quirky museum exhibitions. For example, the so-called Penis Museum, or the Icelandic Phallus Museum, can be discovered in its capital of Reykjavík and enjoys great interest from locals and tourists alike.

Although the Vagina museum was recently opened in London, it is still the only museum in the world, which contains a collection of phallic specimens belonging to different mammal species found under one roof.

What the Phallus Museum offers

Phallus Museum

The museum contains about 300 exhibits on the sexual organs of whales, walruses, dolphins, mice, bears, seals, and other animals. These include fifty-six specimens of seventeen different species of whale, one specimen of the polar bear, thirty-six specimens of seven different species of seal and walrus, and one hundred and fifteen specimens of twenty different species of land mammals. Over 90 species of animals inhabiting Iceland are represented. Penises of humans and mythical creatures complete the collection.

The museum’s history

The owner of the museum is Sigurður Hjartarsson, now an 80-year-old history teacher. As a child, Sigurður was sent on holidays to his local village and given a penis from a bull to use as a whip for the animals. In the 1970s, he became headmaster of a school. Some of the teachers at his school worked at a whale station during the holidays and gradually started bringing him whale penises as gifts to make jokes.

Phallus Museum

He then got the idea to show them to a wider audience, and to expand the collection through exhibits of all kinds of animals that inhabit Iceland. The penis museum was opened in Reykjavik in 1974. When 34 penises were collected in the 1990s, the museum was opened in Reykjavik. It was subsequently moved to the village of Húsavík, known as Europe’s whale-watching capital, but was returned to Reykjavik in 2011. The museum’s curator is Sigurður Hjartarsson’s son, Hjörtur.

Phallus Museum

The largest and most impressive specimen in the museum is of a sperm whale and measures 170 cm – 70 cm in shell size. It is estimated that the entire penis weighed about 400 kg and was 5 m long, with the sperm whale itself weighing about 50 tons. The museum displays art installations and memorabilia in the shape of penises. There are specimens of folklore creatures such as elves and trolls.

The Phallological museum’s specimens

The specimens were collected from slaughterhouses and farms, with farmers sending the specimens themselves. At the museum, they are stored in several ways: in formaldehyde tubes or beakers, dried and hung on the walls, or “dressed” on sticks and canes.

Phallus Museum

The human penis belonged to a 95-year-old Icelandic man. He was famous for being a great womanizer and decided to immortalize his organ by donating it to the museum. In 2011, the donor died and the museum then got its first exhibit of a human penis.

To date, three other would-be donors have expressed a desire to one day be represented at the museum. However, a donation from a gifted New Yorker whose phenomenal 34.3-centimeter sexual appendage /24.1 centimeters when flaccid will be on display at the museum after his death is also currently planned.

The reception of the collection has been surprisingly positive: more than 100 articles showcase it in nearly 30 countries around the world, and the number of visitors is steadily growing – it is claimed that more than 14,000 tourists, mainly from abroad, are attracted by the exhibit annually.

Want to visit Iceland but don’t know where to start? Why not check out our Guided Tours for some inspiration!

Top 10 Things to Do in Reykjavík

Iceland has been a popular holiday destination for some time now. Its breath-taking natural landscapes paired with an infinite amount of activities to do and sights to see make it the go-to spot year in year out. The current Fagradasfjall eruption only adds to its popularity with thousands of tourists flocking the country in hopes to witness the magnetic active volcano with their very own eyes. If you’ve just landed or perhaps have some time to kill, here’s a list of things to do in Reykjavík to get you going.

Climb up Hallgrímskirkja tower

Church Reykjavik - Things to do Reykjavik

By far Reykjavík’s biggest landmark, Hallgrímskirkja church sits right in the middle of the city and can be seen from pretty much any point of the capital. Its iconic façade inspired by the country’s many naturally found volcanic basalt columns paired with a dreamy interior and rich history make it a definite place to visit. The church also offers visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from its 75-meter tower. On a very clear and sunny day, you might even get a chance to spot the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the far distance. It’s the perfect place to people watch, and just to get a hang of the city and its vibe, be it from above. The elevator trip up the tower costs 1.000 ISK but is well worth it!

Explore Reykjavík’s Graffiti Scene

It might come as a surprise, but Iceland’s capital hosts some of the best Street Art representations out there. With local and foreign artists joining forces, some of Laugavegur’s side streets come to life with vivid colors and contrasting shapes.

Take a ferry to Viðey Island

Videy island ( things to do in Reykjavik ).

Found only a stone’s throw away from Reykjavík, more precisely a 20-minute boat ride is the island of Viðey. Combining history, art, and culture, this little gem can be explored by foot or bike. Multiple walking paths allow visitors to comfortably roam around Viðey and discover its many faces. You’ll be able to see from up-close Yoko Ono’s famous ‘Peace Tower’ in memory of John Lennon as well as Richard Serra’s Milestone’s art installation. Magnificent views overlooking Reykjavík’s oceanfront can also be observed from the island. During summer, ferries depart daily from Ægisgarður and Skarfabakki harbor, whereas this service is only offered on weekends during wintertime (and departs only from Skarfabakki).

Visit the Penis Museum

The Icelandic Phallological museum - Things to do Reykjavik

© The Phallus Museum

If you should need to choose to visit one museum during your trip to Iceland, the Penis museum is the one! Set in the heart of the city, this museum is undoubtedly one of a kind! With just a little over 300 sexual organs tastefully displayed both from human and animal origin, the penis museum attracts worldwide popularity year in year out. It’s worth mentioning that multiple donors from different parts of the world have expressed their desire to donate their organs when the time comes. A gift shop is also present on its premises, allowing you to take home some unusual, to say the least memories that’ll make you the talk of the town!

Try the famous Bæjarins Beztu hotdogs

Bæjarins Beztu

Ever since opening its doors in 1937, the Bæjarins Beztu hot dog stand has been one of the best go-to spots for a quick yet tasty bite to eat. Once a local favorite, Bæjarins Beztu has quickly become a tourist hotspot as well. You’ll often recognize it by its ridiculously long lines, but pleasure takes patience! You might ask just what exactly makes it so popular? Well, apart from being open during all kinds of crazy Icelandic weather, the hot dog itself is made with a certain twist to it. Instead of pork or beef, it’s made with lamb meat and its ketchup is made from apples instead of glucose. If you made to taste the world’s best hot dog, you can do so by heading to Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík.

Hike up to Perlan

Perlan museum ( Things to do in Reykjavik )

Perlan Museum can be found on top of Öskjuhlíð hill. Originally used as a hot water tank reservoir, it has since 1991 been open to the public. Home to a plethora of exciting exhibitions, a planetarium, a café, and multiple gift shops you can easily spend half a day in this wonderful yet diverse museum. Its rotating glass dome allows visitors to get a panoramic view of the capital, be it from afar. Öskjuhlíð woodland is also a pleasant area with many walking paths that allow you to explore the region in comfort. Here you’ll also find interesting relics from WWII.

Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Cat Café

After roaming the streets of downtown Reykjavík, you’ll quickly discover that cats, quite literally, run the country’s capital. These furry creatures are on every corner you turn, the street you walk on, and they’re simply everywhere. If you’re in need of some downtime to kick back, relax and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate, why not head to Reykjavík’s Cat café ‘Kattakaffihusid’. It’s worth mentioning that all cats that you’ll find over there are for adoption. You might just go in for a drink and end up going out with a furry friend.

Splash in a geothermally heated pool

Kvika foot bath Reykjavik

Swimming plays a large role in the daily life of Icelanders, hence why there are just so many pools dotted all around the country. With so much geothermal energy around, it comes as no surprise that they’re also geothermally heated! One of the best ways to relax after a tiring day exploring the country’s landscapes is to soak in the warm waters of Vesturbæjarlaug. If you’re lucky enough, you might even see Björk over there!

Take a stroll on Laugavegur

By far Iceland’s most famous street, Laugavegur is filled with shops, bars, and restaurants to suit every taste! Explore the lively vibe of this small capital, enjoy a cup of coffee outside whilst you people-watch, or perhaps do some last-minute shopping. Whatever you choose to do, you won’t regret it!

Explore Harpa

Harpa - Things to do Reykjavik

Harpa concert hall is one of these landmarks that just demand your attention. Its exterior is particularly striking as it’s entirely constructed with mirrored glass particles that beautifully reflect the ocean’s waters. Home to the Icelandic Opera and Iceland’s Symphony orchestra, it is a perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Wondering what to explore next? Why not take a look at our many Guided Tours and you might just find the tour for you!

Icelandic Ad Roasts Zuckerberg in Viral Video

Iceland has been no stranger to the global spotlight. Be it from glaciers melting or volcanoes erupting, this Scandinavian country has always made its way to worldwide popularity.  In other cases, the reason for this has been its extraordinary advertising style, which has largely challenged the boundaries of the comfort zone of viewers, listeners, and network users alike.

Once again, it has managed to grab multimedia attention and gain rapid popularity by attracting none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself.

Inspired by Iceland ad

This was done through the spread of an Icelandic marketing masterpiece made by Inspired by Iceland and created as a parody of Facebook’s announcement to rebrand to Meta last week. The ad openly makes fun of the original Meta proposed by Zuckerberg. Unlike its target, however, the Icelandic Tourist Board is not trying to sell an idea of a beautiful but vague future but wants to draw people to the present. By venerating its existent attractions and magnetic landscapes: from glaciers to volcanoes and all in between.

“Today I want to talk about a revolutionary approach on how to connect our world without being super weird. Some said it’s not possible. Some said it’s out of reach. To them we say it’s already here” says Zack Mossbergson who purposefully resembles Mark Zuckerberg in both manner and appearance.

Icelandverse

He utters these words while pointing with his hand to a typical snowy Icelandic landscape. The Icelandic Tourist Board’s promotional clip continues confidently forward with Zuckerberg’s Metaverse parody: “It’s completely immersive. With water that’s wet, and humans to connect to,” Mossbergson says.

Surprisingly enough, Zuckerberg got the memo and even commented under Inspired by Iceland’s original Facebook post. Safe to say he took it nicely!

Mark Zuckerberg
Screenshot: © Inspired By Iceland

Feeling Inspired by ‘Icelandverse’? If so, why not go ahead and book one of our many Guided Tours and get to experience the wonders of this mystical galaxy yourself.

The Ultimate Guide to Reykjavík’s Museums

Reykjavík offers a plethora of captivating and eccentric museums, most of which can be found in the very heart of the city. Perfect for those wanting to get to know the country’s history or spend an hour or two indoors on a rainy day.

Below you’ll find a compilation of our favorite museums in and around the country’s capital.

The National Museum of Iceland

National Museum

© The National Museum of Iceland

For those wanting to take a glimpse into Iceland’s history and culture, the National Museum of Iceland is the place to go! It offers a thorough breakdown of life in the country throughout the centuries, depicted by a variety of interesting exhibitions and artifacts.

The museum was established in 1863, with Jón Árnason being the first curator of the Icelandic collection. The next curator advocated the formation of an antiquarian collection, and the museum was named the Antiquarian Collection until 1911. The museum’s permanent location was difficult to find: Before settling at its present location, in 1950, it was housed in various attics all around the city center. Today the museum consists of three floors, with a lovely cafe in the basement.

The 1st floor is dedicated to ancient history and artifacts. The 2nd floor is also striking with the much-celebrated permanent exhibit – Valþjófsstaður door being preserved on its grounds.

All in all, one can spend an hour or an entire day discovering the in’s and out’s of Iceland’s vivid history.

The Culture House

The Culture House

© The Culture House

You can also enjoy the Culture House with a ticket from the National Museum of Iceland. Placed in one of the most elegant buildings in Reykjavík, the Culture House hosts a wealth of distinctive events and activities ranging from historical Icelandic manuscripts to current city gatherings.

The beautiful building found at Hverfisgata 15, was initially built to house the National Library. The National Museum and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History were also housed there but are nowadays used as an exhibition space. Since the turn of the century, institutions such as the Árni Magnússon Institution for Icelandic Studies, the National Gallery, and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History have used the house for exhibitions. The building, which has now been labeled a historical building, merged with the National Museum of Iceland in 2013.

Today it is home to the permanent exhibit – ‘Points of View’, offering visitors a chance to go back in time and learn about Iceland’s nature, culture, and history.

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

© Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík’s Maritime Museum, formerly known as Víkin Maritime Museum, tells the story of “How the ocean formed a nation”. Primarily built as a fish freezing plant, the museum is nowadays home to seven exhibits that display Iceland’s maritime history, from the early settlements to the late 20th century.

Presented on its premises are also many evolving methods of catching and working with fish, objects, photographic displays, visual materials, and artifacts including the former Coast Guard vessel Óðinn, acquired by the museum in February 2008. The 900-ton coastguard ship is now secured to the pier next to the museum and can be easily enjoyed from up-close by locals and tourists alike.

Whales of Iceland

Whales of Iceland

© Whales of Iceland

If you are fascinated by whales and dolphins or are just curious to learn about their way of life then the Whales of Iceland museum is just for you!

The museum is set in Grandi, only a short walk away from Reykjavík Old Harbor, from which all of the city’s whale watching tours depart. A large warehouse accommodates the museum in which you’ll find displayed 23 life-size models of whale species found around Iceland’s waters. They amaze the visitor by their variety and magnitude. You’ll also be able to touch or swim with them by using the museum’s virtual reality glasses.

Aurora Reykjavík

Aurora Reykjavik

© Aurora Reykjavík

The information center is filled with historical exhibits and art suitable for all ages. A great place to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis if you happen to visit Iceland during the summer when their activity is low and cannot be seen. Guided tours are also offered for those wanting to go deep into the world of Aurora Borealis.

Tales from Iceland

The famous historical Austurbæjarbíó building is home to a relatively new exhibition – The Tales from Iceland, offering cinematically striking videos on Iceland. The exhibition is innovative and created with fantasy and appreciation of the country’s historical and cultural achievements.

There are a total of 14 screens dispersed on two floors. Visitors can enjoy visual presentations on Iceland’s politics, geology, music, sport whilst sipping on complimentary hot chocolate.

Perlan museum

Perlan

Found at the top of Öskjuhlíð hill, Perlan museum offers its visitors a wealth of displays to choose from. You’ll find information about Iceland’s natural backdrops, from volcanoes to glaciers and all in between. The most visited exhibit is, however, the Wonders of Iceland exhibition. This interactive exhibit gives visitors a chance to walk through a recreated Ice Cave, a replica of the Látrabjarg cliff. To learn about Iceland’s glaciers, to explore the planetarium, and most importantly get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, even if it’s only interactively.

It’s worth mentioning that the museum’s rotating hemispherical roof glass dome is set on six functional water tanks that can be spotted all the way from the city center. Each one of these six tanks can keep up to five million liters of hot water, with a volume of 5000 m3, and provides heating to Reykjavík and beyond!

A quick stop to the cafe located on the top floor of Perlan is strongly recommended as you’ll be able to admire a 360-degree view overlooking Reykjavik and the nearby mountains.

The Saga Museum

The Saga Museum is the place where Icelandic sagas, their stories, and their heroes come to life. The faces and figures of the most popular writers of Icelandic Saga – Snorri Sturlusson, Ingólfur Arnarson, and Leifur Eiríksson to name a few, have been replicated in wax, allowing the museum’s visitors to also get a visual representation of the authors.

17 famous scenes from well-known sagas including Leifur Eiríksson’s famous voyage to Vinland are also depicted. The museum also offers an exciting tally of horror, procreating some well-known ghastly events: The execution of Jón Arason, the burning of the stake of Sister Katrin as well as the legendary bloody battle at Orlygsstaðir. Sagas are a truly unique heritage of the Icelandic nation therefore if you want to learn about Iceland’s culture and history, this is the place to go!

The Settlement Exhibition

The settlement exhibition

© The Settlement Exhibition

Based on the archaeological excavation of the ruins of one of the first houses in Iceland and remnants of many other artifacts, the exhibition will take you back in time and show you a glimpse of the Viking era. By using three-dimensional visual representations visitors can thoroughly learn some enthralling facts about the Vikings, how they lived and expanded their territories. A must-visit museum for those interesting in culture and history!

Reykjavík Art Museum

Reykjavík Art Museum, founded in 1973, is the largest visual art institution in the country. The museum holds the biggest art collection in Iceland and offers a huge program of artistic events, projects, festivals, and all kinds of exciting social get-togethers. The museum spreads around three locations in Reykjavík; Hafnarhús by the Old Harbor, Kjarvalsstaðir by Klambratún, and Ásmundarsafn in Laugardalur.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum

The Icelandic Phallological museum

© The Icelandic Phallological Museum

If you want to see something unique and memorable, then the phallological museum is just for you. Set in the heart of the city, only a few steps away from Hlemmur Square, this oddly satisfying collection of 300 or so sexual organs of both human and animal species might be just the pinnacle of your city explorations! You’ll find on its premises the specimens of seventeen different species of whale, seven different species of seals, twenty different species of land animals, and much more.

The museum has had, in fact, such great success in recent years that multiple donors worldwide have expressed interest in potentially having their specimens exhibited after their death.

If museums aren’t your cup of tea, why not opt for something more adventurous by booking our Private Fagradalsfall tour!

The Mystical Grafarkirkja

The wooden church of Grafarkirkja is full of mysticism and Icelandic history. Positioned in Höfðaströnd in northern Iceland, it can easily be found off Route 76 about 4 km south of the village of Hofsós.

Grafarkirkja

History of Grafarkirkja

It is the oldest wooden church in the country, with parts of the current church dating back to the 17th century. It is also the oldest Christian church in the country, and one of the few that is abundantly decorated. The earliest record of the church dates back from around 1240 and is found in the Sturlunga Saga, a famous collection of Icelandic sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries. The church is small and brilliantly positioned like a jewel in its surrounding landscape.

Soon after it was built, sometime around 1775, it was desacralized by order of the Danish monarch royal warrant and lost importance, after which it was long used as a storehouse for tools and equipment by local farmers.

In the middle of the 20th century, Þjóðminjasafn Íslands, the country’s National Museum, fully restored the structure to its original form and since 1939 the church has been under its management. It was re-consecrated in 1953, and about 10 years ago it was substantially renovated using timber and turf.

Features of Grafarkirkja

Grafarkirkja was probably built on the remains of an even older church and was the work of a woodcarver whose name is well known – Guðmundur Guðmundsson of Bjarnastaðahlíð, one of Iceland’s most famous woodcarvers in the 17th century. Perhaps the reason his name is still mentioned up until today is the extraordinary church decoration he created, a truly unique carving, particularly impressive on the altarpiece.

Grafarkirkja

The wooden roof profiles of the church itself have beautiful carvings in the Baroque style, which is not very common in Iceland. Some church beams also bear carved elements. The woodcarvings recreate images and silhouettes, compositions and combinations that are unseen elsewhere in Iceland. The altarpiece in the church is a reprint of the old Baroque-style altarpiece from 1680. The central panel depicts the Crucifixion and the Last Supper, while the side panels depict the apostles Andrew and Thomas. At the top of the church is a weathervane with the letters 167_, the latter symbol missing.

Turf houses of Iceland

In ancient times Icelanders lived in houses made of turf, accordingly churches were also built from it. Nowadays, there are only a few such churches left in Iceland. This particular church is the oldest of the 6 remaining churches in Iceland. In fact, it is the only surviving so-called “tile church” in Iceland; they are also called “turf churches”. Made of timber and turf. Other similar churches are Víðimýrarkirkja and Saurbæjarkirkja in northern Iceland and the Hofskirkja church in southeastern Iceland. Some of them have been preserved as historical monuments. A similar style is also present in house construction – for example, in Hof, South-East Iceland, houses are covered with turf, a practice that developed in Northern Europe as early as the Iron Age.

Grafarkirkja

To protect themselves and their livestock from the harsh climate, settlers built shelters using trees as frames and covered the frames with peat. Towards the end of the 18th century, a new style developed in which the edges of the buildings were made of wood, and the walls and roofs were covered with turf. The roof was made of stone slabs and covered with turf. Some of these buildings have survived to the present day, and the Grafarkirkja church is one of them. Although at that time churches with wooden roofs were common for Icelanders, Guðmundsson’s intricate carvings give Grafarkirka a unique and everlasting beauty.

Want to explore the wonders of the North? Why not book a 10-Day Guided Tour and be sure not to miss out!

The Legendary Ölfus Spring

Iceland is covered with geothermal springs sourcing their waters from deep below the earth’s surface. Some of these natural wonders serve as wonderful hotpots where bathers get to enjoy soaking in their heated waters. Others, like the legendary Ölfus Spring, are used to produce bottled water, which is exported worldwide.

Ölfus spring

Ölfus region

Ölfus is an area on the southwest coast of Iceland in Árnessýsla. Many lava formations, wetlands, black sand beaches, cliffs, caves, geothermal areas, and bright hot springs, represent the local landscape.

The larger towns nearby are Hveragerði and Þorlákshöfn, though Hveragerði is a separate municipality and the largest settlement is Þorlákshöfn with about 1,600 inhabitants. There are sensational panoramic views of most of the south coast from these coastal towns, some of which overlook Hekla, Eyjafjallajökull, and the Westman Islands.

Þorlákshöfn is also popular for having the best surfing in Iceland, with black sand beaches ideal for beginners and superb waves at its lighthouse for advanced surfers. In addition, the area is suitable for hunting Northern Lights due to little or no light pollution.

Ölfus

Ölfus spring water

The legendary Ölfus Spring was dug during a powerful volcanic eruption more than 5,000 years ago. Protected by an impenetrable layer of lava, it is constantly replenished by the gradual filtering of precipitation and snowmelt over uninhabited and untouched lava fields.

With over 900,000 cubic meters of water overflowing from Ölfus Spring into the ocean every day, it is one of the largest known natural springs, its capacity is widely recognized as one of the most powerful in the world. In fact, the overflow alone is more than twice the entire amount of bottled water consumed in the world.

The municipality is also famous for being the headquarters of the popular bottled drinking water brand Icelandic Glacial based in Hlidarendi, Ölfus, Iceland. It makes sure to never damage or deplete the spring, which is why Icelandic Glacial extracts less than 0.1 % of the total amount of water that naturally flows to the surface. It is this company that has fought for control of the sole commercial rights to bottle and sell water from the legendary Ölfus spring.

Ölfus

The company is led by a group of private Icelandic investors who have assembled an experienced management team and developed a world-class water bottling plant; it is internationally certified and multi-award-winning under the Icelandic Glacial brand.

Since 2005, the company has exported Icelandic Glacial to consumers around the world, and it has been extremely popular in the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Canada, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, China, and more.

Ölfus bottling plant

The bottling plant itself is also unique, the technology within it meets the idea of a fully sustainable operation that is powered entirely by geothermal and hydroelectric energy. It covers an area of 7 688 square meters and its production is one of the most environmentally friendly and clean in the world.

Water for Icelandic Glacial comes directly from an underground spring into the bottling facility, which maintains a positive air pressure to prevent outside air from entering. Fully automated and mechanized, the facility can produce up to 30,000 bottles per hour.

Nearby attractions: Reykjanes Peninsula

Olfus region

This area, found in the southwest of Iceland is dotted with geothermal activity, lava fields as far as your eyes can see, and volcanoes. This region is located on top of the mid-Atlantic rift, where the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates drift apart, creating unparallel earthly tension and thereafter explaining the high presence of volcanic and geothermal activity.

Volcano

Geldingardalur valley, set on the Reykjanes Peninsula, is home to Fagradalsfjall volcano which, after a 6000-year dormant period, erupted in late March 2021. Although the active eruption has now ceased, a hike to the craters and newly formed lava field is one of the best and most exciting activities you can do on the Peninsula!

Apart from this, the Peninsula offers you a chance to explore Krýsuvík and Seltún geothermal areas where mud pots, steaming hot springs, and volcanic fumaroles cover the landscape.

Gunnuhver hot spring, the largest mud pot in Iceland is also nearby and worth seeing for yourself! The area is so mystical and otherwordly that, it looks more like mars than planet earth!

cliffs Reykjavik Peninsula

Explore the southernmost tip of Reykjanes Peninsula – Reykjanestá and admire the stunning cliffs and oceans views. This area is also a perfect spot for birdwatching as the largest sea stack is home to a large colony of kittiwakes.

No day of exploring is truly complete without dipping your toes in the warm geothermal waters of the Blue lagoon found only a stone’s throw away from these natural attractions!

blue lagoon iceland

Ölfus is an area on the southwest coast of Iceland. Many lava formations, black sand beaches, cliffs, and geothermal hot springs make up the landscape. The legendary Ölfus Spring was formed during a powerful volcanic eruption more than 5,000 years ago and is considered to be the world’s most powerful natural spring.

Want to discover the wonders of the South Coast? Why not join our 5-Day Iceland Guided Tour!

The Secret Kvernufoss Waterfall

The southern part of Iceland is irresistibly appealing with its hidden and unexpected natural gems. Kvernufoss waterfall is one of these wonderful representatives. It is positioned in a southerly direction from the capital close to the famous Skógafoss waterfall. Once you have visited Skógafoss waterfall, don’t miss the parking lot about 2 km away to be able to enjoy the beautiful smaller but equally impressive Kvernufoss waterfall.  

Kvernufoss

 How to find Kvernufoss waterfall 

You’ll find the waterfall after about a 2-hour drive from Reykjavík southwards on the Ring Road. Follow the signs for Skógasafn Museum, behind which you’ll start your quick journey towards the waterfall – the trail is a few hundred meters behind the museum in a north-westerly direction, located on private property. It is possible to climb all the way up to the waterfall, should you desire to do so.  The path will lead you all the way through the magnificent Kvernugil gorge and along the very pleasant Kverna or Kvernuhólsá river. Most of this trip is easy, although caution is required in a few places as you climb the rocks as you might slip.  

Kvernufoss waterfall

What to expect? 

 With its 30m high water cascade, it impresses especially for its exceptional location: half-visible secretly tucked away in a gorge, but still relatively easily found even though it often remains hidden to the curious tourist eye. Kvernufoss waterfall itself can be easily missed if you do not stand directly on the river and look right into the gorge. However, if you are watchful, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view. In summer it is possible to walk behind the falls and from there not only the view but also the sense of the scale of the natural element, are exceptional; it is there that you get a unique perspective of its power. The picture is also impressive in winter, but the conditions can be harsher – ice wind, and many icicles that can fall on you from above. 

Besides its secretive location, Kvernufoss waterfall is starting to establish itself as a gratifying and preferred place to visit for locals and tourists alike. But what makes it a must-visit is the opportunity of enjoying the waterfall and the views it offers from a different perspective, by walking behind it.  

Fancy exploring Iceland’s mesmerizing South-Coast? Why not book a 5-Day Iceland Guided Tour and be sure not to miss out!

The Stunning Lóndrangar Cliffs

Lóndrangar consists of two steep and inward-looking basalt rock formations in Western Iceland, positioned on the coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, which are one of the many geological wonders of the region.

Lóndrangar

They are the remains of a volcanic crater, created long ago as a result of violent volcanic activity, and were carved out of the softer surrounding rocks by erosion. Dramatic activity has gone into their formation, but they are now one of the most tranquil and peaceful places to visit in Europe and bear the romantic name of ‘the rock castle’.

One of the formations rising like a pillar above the cliffs is 75 meters high, the other is 61 meters. A man named Ásgrímur Bergþórsson first climbed the higher rock formation in 1735.

How best to see cliffs

It is easiest to stop at the side of the road where there is a car park and an observation platform above the cliffs. However, to see them up close, it is better to travel to the houses in Malarif, where there is a well-marked footpath leading you along the beach to Lóndrangar. The hike is relatively easy and accessible for all. But caution is required if walking on the rocky beach, especially near the waves, as they are powerful and can easily sweep away incautious visitors.

Lóndrangar

Legends and inhabitants of Lóndrangar

The “rock castle” itself is not uninhabited – it is believed to shelter elves and other mythological creatures, which is why the local farmers never used the fields around the basalt cliffs for farming or gathering hay. Nearby, at Þúfubjarg, another rock on the Snæfellsness peninsula, the poet Kolbeinn Jöklaskáld is said to have met the devil and made a deal with him. Back in time, fishermen inhabited the bay, as the ruins of their simple cliff houses still testify, and also by foxes, which years ago settled at the foot of the cliffs. The rocks of Lóndrangar also harbor many sea birds, including the famous owl, fulmar, common barbet, and kit fowl. The barn owl nests on the hills in the higher cliffs and the eagle made a nest in the higher cliff a few years ago.

Lóndrangar sea birds

How to get to Lóndrangar

Lóndrangar can be reached in about 2 hours and 30 minutes (192 km) from the capital Reykjavík via the Ring Road. The road passes through the Hvalfjörður tunnel and continues along Route 1 to the town of Borgarnes. In Borgarnes, take road No 54 to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It takes about 1 hour to turn left towards Arnarstapi and from there it takes about 10 minutes to reach Lóndrangar.

If you want to experience the wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, why not book our 12-Day Iceland Guided Tour!

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