The Ten Most Popular Iceland Attractions

1. Gullfoss Waterfall is the most famous of Iceland's mythic waterfalls and will be the first Icleandic attraction that any native will usher you towards. The falls cascade a 105 feet into a stunning canyon. Mist rises up from the base, and on clear, pleasant days the sun casts beautiful arcs of rainbows across the breadth of the falls.

Reykjavik Iceland City
2. No visit to Iceland is complete without a day in the capital city of Reykjavik, the nation's cultural hub. Here you can spend a day exploring the city's many museums, have dinner at the famous landmark, The Pearl, and spend the evening drinking at one of Reykjavik's stylish bars or dancing at one of its hopping night clubs.

3. Thingvellir National Park, located about 40 minutes west of Reykjavik, is Iceland's oldest national park. It is a protected area of historical significance that has a stunning 52-square mile lake and great hiking trails throughout lava fields.

4. The Great Geysir (from which the word "geyser" originates) is the world's largest geyser and is easily accessible by bus in Reykjavik. The Great Geysir was formed in the 1300s; though now it only erupts on special (engineered) occasions, the nearby Strokkur erupts every 30 minutes for those who wish to snap some photos.

5. The Blue Lagoon, located about 15 minutes from the Keflavík International Airport,is a long-time favorite of visitors to Iceland, especially those who wish to test the notion that bathing in algae, silica and mineral salts is restorative for health. The lagoon is located in the middle of a moss-covered field of lava and draws its seawater from 2,000 meters below the surface. Entire families can bathe together here in the tranquil, peaceful water.

6. Iceland is the most active part of the Aurora Oval in the southern hemisphere, which means that anytime there is a clear sky, Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, can be see lighting the sky with its vibrant and brilliant colors and shapes. Iceland is generally well-placed Northern Lights viewings, but bus tours are also offered for those who wish to "chase" these lights and see them in their varying splendor.

7. In Medieval Europe, Mount Hekla, was considered an entrance to hell and was feared by the locals. But now visitors flock eagerly to this volcanic mountain which stands 4,892 feet high and erupted most recently in February 2000. The volcano towers over the lowlands, and its unusual, flat, ridged peak is often shrouded in a bank of clouds, explaining the volcano's name, "Hekla," or "hooded one."

8. Kverkfjöll Ice Caves, located just north of Vatnajökull, are one of the world's largest and strangest geothermal areas. Here, you can witness a hot river flowing under glacial ice! The hot water evaporates in the enclosed space and leaves beautiful patterns on the cave walls. Visitors can also hike from the glacier to the hot springs located at the nearby Hveradalur.

9. Another area of Iceland in which visitors can witness the startling interplay of hot and cold is the Vatnajokull Glacier, which is known for its volcanic activity. Vatnajokull is Europe's largest glacier and covers about 8% of the country.

10. Another waterfall that had to make this list is Skógafoss on the Skoga River, which is a favorite amongst locals and visitors because of its classic rectangular shape and its immense height of 60 meters. Skógafoss is easy to access and is usually flooded with visitors, who can hike up a path from the base of the falls to reach the very top.

Planning vacation to Iceland? Visit this Iceland travel guide for more information.

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