Best Towns in Iceland

Best Towns in Iceland

Typically, adventurers don’t head to Iceland for its towns. Its rumbling volcanoes, thundering, rainbow-tinted waterfalls and ever-so-explosive geysers tend to make up most Icelandic bucket lists. But nestled amid Iceland’s dramatic landscapes of glaciers, fjords, and geysers, lies a nation of charming towns, each like a secret jewel, shining with its own unique personality and allure — and some preposterously pretty views. If you want to mix a little bit of colourful culture in with the wonderful wilderness, then take a look at our list of the best towns in Iceland.



Seyðisfjörður is a picturesque town found on the eastern coast of Iceland, in the remote and rugged region of the Eastfjords. With a population of just over 800 people, Seyðisfjörður boasts a small and intimate community surrounded by breath-taking towering mountains and pristine fjords. The eponymous Seyðisfjörður fjord is one of the town’s biggest draws, but the town is also home to several charming museums and galleries including the Skaftfell Centre for Visual Art and the Nordic House Cultural Centre.

One of the town’s main draws is its road painted in shades of red, green, purple, blue (we could go on), leading to its postcard-perfect aquamarine-coloured church. Although many visitors head to the rainbow road for a selfie, this multi-coloured path stands for love and is a sign of the local resident’s support for the LGBTQ+ community. With its quaint streets, vibrant cultural scene, and effortless natural beauty, Seyðisfjörður is one of the best towns in Iceland and a hidden gem that is well worth a visit for anyone wanting to add a splash of colour to their trip to the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’.



Nestled in the heart of northern Iceland lies Akureyri, a town that whispers tales of natural wonders and cultural richness. With the vertiginous peaks of the surrounding mountains as its backdrop, this picturesque haven by the Eyjafjörður fjord looks as though it’s been torn straight from the pages of a fairytale. Embark on an adventure to the great outdoors, marching up misty mountaintops on foot or skiing down them in your best cold weather gear. Cast a line into the fjord and try your luck at fishing or set sail with a skipper on a traditional boat and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding waters.

But Akureyri is not just a town of natural beauty, it's a hub of cultural activity. With an Aviation Museum and the National Motorcycle Museum of Iceland as well as an art museum that is bursting at the seams with cultural art and works from local up-and-coming artists, Akureyri is no stranger to the arts. As the moon appears and the sky is stained a shade of dusty pink (or not in the summer when the midnight sun makes an appearance), the town transforms into a bustling hub filled with buzzy restaurants, cafes, and bars serving up a feast of flavours. You might even get to try the Icelandic special: fermented shark. Not only is this one of the best towns in Iceland, but it’s also a true undiscovered gem.



Vik is a quaint town tucked into a rocky alcove on the southern coast of Iceland and is a place where the rugged beauty of nature meets the warmth of a small community. With its black sand beaches, towering cliffs and sprawling landscapes, it is hard not to be utterly smitten with this little town. The town is surrounded by the rolling hills of the Myrdalsjokull glacier, making it a unique destination that promises to fill a camera roll and captivate the senses.

Vik’s locals are proud of their town and eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors. You'll find cosy cafes and charming shops, offering everything from traditional Icelandic souvenirs and tasty treats to locally made crafts and Icelandic beer. While Vik has made it onto our list of the best towns in Iceland for its charming residents and traditional red-roofed buildings (including its famed stand-alone ruby red church), it is its black sand beaches that are the town’s true marvel and offer a dramatic contrast to the shimmering blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Hop on a short-legged Icelandic pony and canter along the beach at full speed in an old-school beer tölt or simply wander along the charcoal-tinted sand, taking in the checkerboard basalt cliffs and columns as you go.



There is no doubting why we think Húsavík is one of the best towns in Iceland. Its quaint harbour fringed with traditional rainbow-hued wooden houses, twinkling fishing boats and the odd emerald-coloured church spire makes it a postcard-perfect spot. As you wander the streets of Húsavík, the town's charm and hospitality will envelop you and the locals are hugely proud and eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors.

But what truly sets Húsavík apart is its stunning natural surroundings. With the glistening waters of the Skjálfandi Bay in its foreground and verdant rolling hills in its backdrop, Húsavík is one of the best starting points for an adventure into northern Iceland’s great outdoors. Known aptly as the ‘Whale Watching Capital of Iceland’, it would only be right to go and catch a glimpse of these gentle marine giants. Hop aboard a boat with an expert guide and head out on a whale watching tour where you will experience the thrill of meeting them in their natural habitat. Or venture into the surrounding hills and discover the stunning beauty of the wilderness, with its creaking glaciers, mirror-esque lakes, and delicious remoteness. When you’re back with your feet on solid ground, head to the Husavik Whale Museum to delve into the history and science behind these barnacled mammals.


Written by Immy Kelly