When you land at Keflavik Airport, your first port of call is most likely to be Reykjavik.
You may well know that this area is well placed for a trip to the Blue Lagoon. At certain times of year, the Northern Lights are visible and attract thousands of visitors each year. There are many more attractions to enjoy, so car rental really is essential for a self-drive tour here.
Things to See in and Around Reykjavik
Firstly, spend a day in the city itself. There are numerous Scandinavian style bars and restaurants, and whilst a meal out is not cheap; the quality of food is very high. Buildings such as City Hall, Parliament House, and Hallgrímskirkja are unusual but stunning.
Arrange a whale watching tour. During the summer, you can also visit Puffin Island to see many of these beautiful birds. Wander along the Old Harbour and view the marvellous Harpa Concert Hall. Stop off, enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by.
Perlan is another must see with a fabulous restaurant and gorgeous surroundings. It is actually a water storage facility; nonetheless, a visit will not be easily forgotten due to the city wide views at the top.
The Imagine Peace Tower is located on Viðey Island. It is a beacon of light, the idea of which came from Yoko Ono. It is in fact a wishing well with the words ‘Imagine peace’ written on it in 24 languages. It is there to commemorate the life of John Lennon and to advocate world peace. It is lit between 9th October and 8th December, the days of his birth and death.
Blue Lagoon is located between the airport and Reykjavik. Its volcanic looking landscape is rather attractive, and the geothermal pool, although heated from the nearby power station is still something you must visit. There are plenty of natural geothermal pools in Reykjavik which you can hop in too!
Krýsuvík is only a short distance from Blue Lagoon. It is easily reached and perfect for further exploration. Grab your walking boots and amble along the boardwalk. Marvel at the array of bubbling springs and volcanic openings. Find the various crater lakes situated here too.
Top Attractions in Iceland
Embark on a self-drive version of one of the most popular tours in Iceland, the Golden Circle. Visit the stunning waterfall named Gullfoss, gaze in awe at the spouting Great Geysir. Finish your day by exploring Thingvellir National Park. Hike around the wondrous landscape or you could even dive into Silfra Lake.
Travel to Thorsmork, a beautiful mountain range encompassed by glaciers. There are plentiful hiking opportunities here. The Eyjafjallajökull glacier is nearby and was the site of a volcanic eruption in 2010.
Iceland is famous for its volcanos. The south is host to many such as Mount Hekla and Mount Katla which is beneath the Mýrdalsjökull Icecap. Whilst you may not be able to get too close, you can marvel at these breathtaking natural sights. Travel a little further and you will find the black beaches at Vík too.
Landmannalaugar is close to Mount Hekla and is a wondrous sight. Soak up the views of the multi-coloured mountains and vast lava fields. Grab your hiking boots and spend some time exploring this area.
Journey to Skaftafell National Park to view more stunning panoramas. Find a glacier lagoon or, if you are lucky, a blue ice cave. There are numerous trails to enjoy so make the most of your trip here.
Last, but by no means least, try to view the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. Generally late September to late March roughly between 9pm and 3am are the best times to try and see this phenomenon. Although not guaranteed, try to find somewhere with little or no light pollution, but remember to wrap up warm!