Best Experiences in Iceland

Best Experiences in Iceland

Iceland is like a museum of all things otherworldly. Think lunar-like lava fields, explosive geysers and skies that come alive at night with ribbons of dancing lights. This is no ordinary museum though. With the earth beneath Iceland constantly moving and changing, this breath-taking country is entirely interactive, with swimmable glacial fjords, hikable grumbling glaciers and even an ancient magma chamber just waiting to be explored. Iceland boasts a wealth of weird, wild and wonderful attractions, as well as exceptional activities, meaning you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the most epic things to do. To help you decide, here is our list of the best experiences in Iceland… 


  1. Chasing the Northern Lights
  2. A Day Spent Ice Fishing
  3. Conquering a Glacier
  4. Diving the Silfra Fjord
  5. Meeting the Puffins
  6. Discovering Volcanic Wonders


Chasing the Northern Lights

Imagine yourself standing on a snow-covered plain in the middle of Iceland's wilderness, surrounded by towering mountains and a deep-midnight sky. Suddenly, a faint glow appears on the horizon, like a distant flicker of a flame. As the glow grows in intensity, it starts to swirl and dance, painting the sky with vibrant green and pink hues. You're witnessing the Northern Lights, the most mesmerising light show on Earth. There are all kinds of wild and wonderful ways to see Mother Nature’s illuminations during the winter season (September to March). From wallowing in the milky waters at the Blue Lagoon in the south or hopping on the back of a snowmobile and dashing though the icy tundra, to gliding though the wilderness on a dog sled in the island’s north or aback one of Iceland’s stocky-legged ponies, all the while keeping your eyes on the skies. Spotting these unpredictable and elusive lights is a bucket-list topper for most, making it, without a doubt, one of the best experiences in Iceland.


A Day Spent Ice Fishing

Ice fishing in Iceland is a beloved pastime that brings locals and visitors closer to nature and the rhythms of the land. It's a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of Iceland's wintery wilderness. Although that all sounds rather lovely, ice fishing can be a challenging and exhilarating experience. Venture out onto the ice with your expert guide who will check the thickness of the slippery surface, before plunging a drill into the ice to create the perfect fishing hole. Patience and persistence are essential ice-fishing skills, and you may well be rewarded with trout, Arctic char and salmon tugging at the end of your line if you take your time. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a curious beginner, ice fishing is one of the best experiences in Iceland and an adventure that's sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the majesty of nature.

Group hiking on a glacier in Iceland


Conquering a Glacier

The ice crunches beneath your feet as you take your first steps onto the Sólheimajökull glacier. The sound echoes across the frozen landscape, reminding you of the sheer size of the glacier. You look up and see the vast expanse of ice and snow stretching out before you, punctuated by deep crevasses and sparkling blue ice. The ice formations are constantly shifting, and every step feels like a small victory as you conquer the glacier's icy terrain with your expert guide. This isn’t for the faint hearted and clambering up the glacier’s icy sides pushes most people physically, but once at the top, the views out over the black sand beaches and white-tipped ocean below is worth the climb. Although we feel hiking the glacier is one of the best experiences in Iceland, hopping in a rumbling 4x4 and seeing the ice on four wheels is also pretty darn cool.


Diving the Silfra Fjord

Not many people can say they’ve stood between two tectonic plates, let alone snorkelled through the gap. The fissure between the North American and Eurasian plates is continually growing, bit by bit, leaving a rift filled with some of the clearest water in the world – perfect for glacial snorkelling. Don a dry suit and your warmest thermals before plunging into the chilly crystal-clear waters, with visibility so pristine you can see about 300ft in front of you. As you dive deeper into the fissure, you'll see the incredible geological formations that have been created over thousands of years by the powerful forces of nature. Think twisting tunnels, towering walls of rock and eerie blue-green hues that make you feel like you're floating through a different dimension. And with water temperatures hovering around 2°C, you'll feel a rush of adrenaline as you brave the frigid waters while taking on one of the best experiences in Iceland.


Meeting the Puffins

The summer sunshine is beating down on the emerald clifftops of the Westman Islands and you’re keeping your eyes peeled for a flicker of fiery red or jet black. Darting to and fro, out of their burrows, into the sea and back to the cliffs oh so gracefully, the puffins are putting on an aerobatic display like no other. But back on land, puffins are like little clowns of the sea with their comical waddle and rainbow faces. After spending most of the year bobbing around in the ocean’s icy waters, they head back to dry land as the summer months roll in, making for the ultimate opportunity for keen twitchers and nature lovers to spot them. Watching them fly overhead or frolic in the water will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a whimsical children's book.  Sometimes the best experiences in Iceland aren’t adrenaline fuelled or out of this world; just simply sitting and watching these magical little birds fluttering around is enough to top an Icelandic bucket list. 

Puffins on a cliff in Iceland


Discovering Volcanic Wonders

There is no denying that descending into the hollow magma chamber of a dormant volcano is one of the best experiences in Iceland. Scrap that, it’s probably one of the most otherworldly experiences on Earth, so is a must for any aspiring adventurers. Grab a helmet, listen to the safety briefing and clamber over ancient lava fields before hopping in the metal cage that will take you nearly 400ft into the Earth. The walls inside the Thrihnukagigur volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula are painted all kinds of colours, from deep purples and blues to fiery reds and oranges, showcasing the powerful forces and features of nature. As you explore the depths of the volcano, you'll learn about its history, how it was formed, and the role it played in shaping the landscape of Iceland. It’s a chance to step into a world that is usually hidden from view.


Written by Immy Kelly