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Best experiences:

Blue Lagoon

Reykjavik, Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior photo of a wooden pathway leading to the steaming lagoon

This world-famous (man-made) outdoor geothermal pool of steaming 39°C healing waters, surrounded by black lava fields, is Iceland’s star attraction.

Adult price: £35

Min age 2

Best for ages 4+

Around Iceland road trip on Route 1

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Giant snowy mountain behind a road on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Circumnavigate Iceland on the spectacular Route 1, which links all of the country’s top bucket list experiences together. See our expert’s 13-day itinerary (some days optional).

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 10 days

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See the Northern Lights in Iceland

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
northern lights appear over Mount Kirkjufell in Iceland.

Iceland is land of striking volcanic topography, creating some of the most spectacular Northern Lights-lit landscapes. See the lights on cruises, glacier hikes, and 4WD tours – or just soaking in the Blue Lagoon.

Best for ages 4+

Duration: -

When: Nov-Feb

Frequency: Selected dates

Caving in lava tunnels

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
View down a long lava tunnel

Venture into these extraordinary tunnel-like caves, formed by cooling underground lava flows, to see dramatic subterranean rock formations. Geothermal Iceland has some of the world’s most accessible to explore.

Adult price: £40

Min age 3

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 2+ hours

Natural spas and hot springs in Iceland

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Natural spas and hot springs in Iceland

The world capital of ‘volcanic tourism’, Iceland offers spa-seekers mineral-rich geothermal pools, sourced from underground geological layers and set amid dramatic volcanic scenery.

Best for ages 8+

Duration: -

Whale-watching in Iceland

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
tourists on the front of a whale watching boat watch a whale on the surface

Once-in-a-lifetime trips to see migrating humpback and minke whales up close, as they pass by on their annual north–south migration. Tours from Husavik, Akureyri and Reykjavik can be arranged.

Adult price: £70

Best for ages 4+

Duration: 3-4 hours

Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
beautiful landscape of the Thingvellir National Park

A wonderous landscape of geological wonders – lakes, lava flows, striking rock formations, and tectonic rifts – only 40km from Reykjavik.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

Tour inside the Thrihnukagigur volcano

Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
tourists standing looking at lava formations inside Thrihnukagigur volcano

A once-in-a-lifetime experience: the chance to travel down inside a dormant volcano, the only place in the world where it’s possible to do so.

Adult price: £260

Min age 8

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 4-5 hours

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
national park welcome sign with glaciers behind

A wild western peninsula offering fabulous hiking, coastal drives, beaches and glacier walks, easily accessible in a day’s drive from Reykjavik.

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

Snowmobiling in Iceland

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Snowmobiling in Iceland

Race across Iceland’s icy wildernesses, surrounded by nothing but mountains and fresh powder, at up to 70 kph. Heart-in-the-mouth thrills for adventure enthusiasts.

Adult price: £60

Min age 6

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 2+ hours

Geysir (& Gulfoss)

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Geysir about to erupt

The world’s most famous water spout, and the geyser that gave all other geysers their name. It’s one of Iceland’s ‘Golden Circle’ sights, including Gullfoss and Thingvellir.

Best for ages 4+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

Hike the Laugavegur Trail

Icelandic Highlands, Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Hike the Laugavegur Trail

Iceland’s most famous trek and one of the world’s great long-distance hikes – a jaw-dropping 4-day, 55km hike across mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 4 days

Frequency: monthly

Ride Icelandic horses

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
two riders on Icelandic horses crosses a snowy beach landscape

Explore Iceland’s spectacular landscapes riding these unique shaggy-coated horses, specially bred here since Viking times.

Adult price: £50

Min age 6

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 1+ hours

Godafoss

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Landscape View Of Godafoss Waterfall Under Clear Blue Sky On Skjalfandafljot River, Northern Region of Iceland

The Waterfall of the Gods marks the spot where Iceland exchanged its pagan past for Christianity. These days, it’s a photographers’ dream come true.

Best for ages 4+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

Iceland’s volcanoes

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Iceland’s volcanoes

Iceland is one of the most volcanically active places on the planet. Volcanic sites can be visited on foot, in a 4×4 or by snowmobile.

Best for ages 13+

Cruise Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Iceland, Jokulsarlon lagoon, Beautiful cold landscape picture of icelandic glacier lagoon bay,

A unique glacial lagoon where you’ll cruise among icebergs and marvel at astonishing icy scenery.

Adult price: £35

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

Dettifoss

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
aerial view of Dettifoss Waterfall in landscape

One of the mightiest of Iceland’s many waterfalls, a maelstrom of sound, foam and spray that’s guaranteed to get your attention.

Best for ages 4+

Diving & snorkelling in the Silfra Rift

Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Underwater view of divers in the clear water between the tetonic plates of the Silfa Rift

Dive or snorkel between two continental plates in this strikingly unique gorge, filled with pure and crystal-clear glacial meltwater.

Adult price: £80

Min age 6

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 4-8 hours

beautiful summer landscape of Lake Myvatn with volcano cone in centre

A strange landscape of smoking volcanoes and lava fields set around a glinting lake.

Best for ages 13+

Perlan Museum

Reykjavik, Iceland

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Bucket List Experience
Two children in a ice cave at the Perlan Museum in Reykjavik

A high-tech museum that recreates Iceland’s geological wonders: volcanoes, ice caves, glaciers, sea cliffs and even the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Adult price: £25

Best for ages 4+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

Hallgrimskirkja

Reykjavik, Iceland

front view of the Hallgrimskirkja

Iceland’s tallest church, built from 1945 to 1986, has become a symbol of Iceland’s identity and a Reykjavik landmark. It’s striking design is inspired by Iceland’s geothermal geology – it’s supposed to resemble basalt lava and trap rocks. It’s also a decent viewpoint. Take an elevator ride to the top for sweeping views over the city.

Best for ages 13+

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Seljalandsfoss

Iceland

Seljalandsfoss

Another impressive 60m-high cascade on the south coast which has one unique reason to visit: it’s one of the only waterfalls in Iceland which you can walk behind. Be prepared to get wet.

Best for ages 4+

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Skogafoss Waterfall

Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall

At 200ft (60m) high, this mighty column of water is one of the most impressive of all Iceland’s waterfalls. Local legend claims that there is treasure hidden behind the falls.

Best for ages 4+

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Elephant Rock

Westman Islands, Iceland

Close up of Elephant rock

With grey basalt rock resembling wrinkled skin and the upper section of a trunk, and an overhang forming the eye, this rock in the Westerman Islands creates the image of an uncannily life-like pachyderm.

Best for ages 4+

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Viking World

Reykjanesbaer, Iceland

Viking World

Iceland is the land of the Vikings, and this museum traces the history of how the island was settled more than a millennia ago. Learn about Viking gods, view Viking artefacts and marvel at the museum’s centrepiece – a replica of a Viking longship, which sailed all the way to New York to mark the year 2000. Open daily.

Adult price: £8

Best for ages 8+

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Reynisfjara Beach

Iceland

Reynisfjara Beach, a black sand beach in southern iceland. view of sea and cliffs

Even the beaches in Iceland are weird. Instead of soft white powder, here you’re more likely to find the beaches made of jet-black sand – a reminder of the volcanic forces that continue to shape the island. Reynisfara is probably the most famous of all, located on the south coast, roughly halfway between Reykjavik and Skaftafell.

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Heimaey Stave Church

Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland

Heimaey Stave Church

This Tolkienesque, timber-framed chapel was given to Iceland by its Norwegian cousins to mark the new millennium – and the 1000-year anniversary of the building of the island’s first church in the year 1000.

Best for ages 13+

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Katla Ice Cave

Vik, Iceland

Natural ice wind window tunnel between valley near glacier in Iceland. Destination landmark of travel in winter season.

Where else in the world but Iceland could you explore an ice cave under an active volcano? That’s exactly what you get at Katla, which burrows deep beneath its namesake volcano.  It’s a famous filming spot, featured in Star Wars: Rogue One and Game of Thrones. 3-hour guided tours depart from the nearby town of Vik.

Adult price: £160

Min age 6

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Asmundarsafn art museum

Reykjavik, Iceland

Exterior of the Asmundarsafn art museum in Reykjavik

An art museum and sculpture collection featuring white Viking figures and curvaceous shapes, housed in the former studio of Icelandic sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson. One of three museums that officially make up the Reykjavik Art Museum. Open daily.

Adult price: £12

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Raufarholshellir Lava Tunnel

Iceland

People visiting the Raufarholshellir lava tube tunnel and caves, one of the longest in Iceland.

One of the longest lava tunnels in Iceland – 1360m long, 30m wide and up to 10m high. The ‘Standard’ lava tunnel tour (1 hour) visits the most accessible section of the cave, while the longer ‘Adventure’ tour (3-4 hours) ventures into the deeper sections.

Adult price: £45

Best for ages 6+

Frequency: monthly

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Specialty of iceland called hakarl fermented shark in open warehouse

A traditional Viking food festival, celebrated all over the country, serving up unique Icelandic dishes such as sheep’s head, rotten shark, whale blubber and seal flipper.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 4 weeks

When: Mid-Jan to mid-Feb

Frequency: annually

National Museum of Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

exterior of the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik

A dynamic National Museum focusing on the island’s turbulent and colourful past but also examining life in modern-day Iceland. There are treasures dating back to the Vikings and Saga Age, alongside modern displays on fashion and photography. Suðurgata, 101

Adult price: £15

Best for ages 13+

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Kjarvalsstadir art museum

Reykjavik, Iceland

Exterior of the Kjarvalsstadir Art Museum in Reykjavik

An art museum showcasing modern paintings and sculptures by well-known Icelandic artists, notably Johannes Kjarval, housed in a striking Nordic Modernist building. One of three museums that officially make up the Reykjavik Art Museum. Open daily.

Adult price: £12

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Settlement Centre

Borgarnes, Iceland

view of the buildings of the Settlement Centre, with scenic mountains and sea behind

The quiet west coast town of Bogarnes is home to the Settlement Centre, an interesting museum that tells the story of how settlers came to Iceland from Scandinavia during the 9th century. A second exhibition brings one of the most famous sagas, Egils Saga, to life. Open daily.

Adult price: £15

Best for ages 8+

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Herring Museum

Siglufjorour, Iceland

The Herring Era Museum exterior, a bright red house

Fishing is a central part of Icelandic identity, and this surprisingly fascinating museum recreates the golden age of Iceland’s fishing industry, with renovated warehouses, historic fishing boats and traditional ‘salting’ shows, accompanied by accordions and dancing.

Adult price: £18

Best for ages 8+

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1238

Sauoarkrokur, Iceland

1238

A museum with a difference: the chance to experience a key moment in Icelandic history, the battle of Orlygsstaoir in 1238, using VR headsets to really bring the experience to life.

Adult price: £22

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Secret Lagoon

Fluoir, Iceland

Secret lagoon hot spring, public outdoor warming swimming pool, landmark of small city of Fludir, Iceland

Despite the name, this landmark geothermal bathing pool is far from a well-kept secret: in fact, it’s said to be the oldest hotpot in Iceland, and it’s very popular as it’s easily reached from Reykjavik, and makes an ideal stop for visitors tracing the Golden Circle.

Adult price: £18

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

Iceland

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

This notorious volcano brought Iceland’s air traffic to an abrupt halt when it blew its top in 2010, sending huge age clouds up into the atmosphere. The volcano is concealed beneath a huge ice cap that’s clearly visible as you drive along the south coast towards Skaftafell. If you want to get closer, you’ll need to arrange a guided snowmobile tour.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 1 night

Frequency: monthly

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Langoustines in Hofn

Hofn, Iceland

Langoustines in Hofn

Hofn is a salty fishing town on the southeast coast, but amongst Icelanders it’s famous for one thing: its seafood, especially its langoustines. These tasty crustaceans can be tasted at several restaurants around town – you’ll never taste them sweeter or fresher. Time to get cracking…

Best for ages 13+

Duration: -

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Glaumbaer

Skagafjordur, Iceland

Glaumbaer

This folk museum is one of the few places in Iceland where you can view traditional turf houses, which were still in use into the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The grass roofs and turf walls acted as insulation, and made a convenient construction method in a place where timber was pretty much non-existent. There’s also a cute little cafe where staff wear traditional Icelandic dress.

Adult price: £10

Min age 8

Best for ages 8+

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Vatnshellir Lava Tunnel

Snaefellsjokull National Park, Iceland

Vatnshellir Lava Tunnel

Way out on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a spiral staircase leads down into this deep lava tube – estimated to be one of Iceland’s oldest (circa 8,000 years). With a guide, it’s possible to walk around 200m into the cave: wear good shoes as the base of the cave is unstable underfoot. Tours last 45 minutes.

Adult price: £35

Min age 5

Best for ages 5+

Duration: 45 minutes

Frequency: monthly

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