10 freakish yet fun top things to do in Iceland
Traveling to Iceland and need some inspiration? These freakish yet fun top things to do in Iceland will give you ideas that you didn’t even know existed.
Iceland is way up there on a lot of travelers bucket lists, and with more cheap Iceland deals popping up, the number of people visiting this beautiful country has increased dramatically over the years. It is easy to see why tourism in Iceland has increased so much, the volcanic landscape makes it like no other place on earth and there is something to do for every type of visitor.
Check out this list of our top things do in Iceland:
10) Chase the Northern Lights
Let’s begin with the primary reason Iceland has caught the attention of tourists from all over the world, the Northern lights. Scientifically called Aurora Borealis, this natural wonder is a phenomenon caused by the collision between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The result is a bright spectrum of colors visible in the sky, akin to a light show but far more majestic.
To witness this magnificent art of nature in its full glory, head away from the city and light pollution. The elusiveness of the Aurora means that there is no guarantee you will witness the Northern Lights on your night out chasing it, but if you do, pick a good spot, simply gaze in admiration. This is by far one of the top things to do in Iceland.
9) Dive into the Silfra Fissure
Plunge into crystal-clear water while touching two continents (almost) has a nice ring to it. Silfra is considered to be one of the most unique diving sites in the world, where you can witness two ever-widening tectonic plates, the American and the Euro-Asian plate. The water originates from mountain glaciers and is considered to be so pure that you could take a sip if you’re thirsty, and the water is so clear that visibility extends to 100 meters.
Silfra is located in the Thingvellir National Park, considered to be the heart and soul of Iceland due to it being the point where the country’s tribes initially united. Whether you scuba dive deep into the fissure or snorkel around the top, the experience will be blissful and wonderfully unique.
Additionally, the Thingvellir National Park is hike-worthy in itself.
8) The Penis Museum
Now that you have witnessed some of the most majestic spots in the world, how about disrupting your itinerary with a museum dedicated to penises and penile parts? Quirky, weird and unique are words you can use to describe this Icelandic Phallological Museum. The museum has a dedicated treasure trove containing roughly 215 penises belonging to all mammals, from land and sea. The specimens on display belong to whales, seals, a rogue bear and walruses, amongst others. But the icing on the cake – the museum is home to four human penises as well.
7) Let the Huskies Sled you across the Glacier
You might have seen it in movies or come across images of dog sledding, but this fun activity with adorable dogs is a reality in Scandanavia and is considered to be one of the top things to do in Iceland by many visitors. The tour features 6-8 energetic Husky dogs guiding you, and possibly your overjoyed kids, across the gorgeous landscape in a sled steered by a Musher. The activity goes on throughout the year in dry lands or snowy fields (and if the conditions are ideal, maybe even across a glacier).
6) Venture into the natural ice caves
Many visitors say that one of the top things to do in Iceland is to check out ice caves and glaciers. Iceland is home to a vast collection of glaciers, which in turn are brimming with spectacular ice caves. During the summer months, ice caps begin to melt and collectively form glacier rivers. The rivers, in turn, carve out magnificent caves in the glaciers projecting a mystic shade of blue. In order to be accessible by foot, these caves need to be frozen and thus the best time to visit would be between November and March.
Alternatively, one of the more recent additions to Iceland’s tourism industry is the man-made ice tunnel extending 200 metres into the second-largest glacier – Langjökull. Running all year round, this could also be the ideal venue for an offbeat wedding destination .
5) Take a lift down into a Volcano’s Magma Chamber
While thinking of Iceland, the mental images are of the Northern lights and water-based activities. Yet, there is another side to the country – its vast volcanoes. While volcanoes are widespread across the globe, submerging yourself and experiencing the magma chamber from within is a unique experience only possible in the Thrihnukagigur volcano.
The volcano, based in the Blue Mountains Country Park in Bláfjöll, includes a 3km trek from the entrance to the park. Equipped with the necessary safety gear, visitors are hoisted onto a lift which descends 198 metres and lasts six minutes. The magma chamber is enormous in scale, capable of fitting an entire Statue of Liberty. Once the lift docks, visitors have a half hour slot to experience the bizarre formations and smooth walls. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is one of the top things to do in Iceland for any type of visitor.
4) Trek along pristine Glaciers with picturesque backdrops
One of the more unusual top things to do in Iceland is glacier trekking. Glaciers are massive chunks of ice formed over hundreds of years and adventurous can book a tour for a glacier walk along the Svinafellsjokull glacier tongue which is part of Iceland’s largest glacier – Vatnajokull. Expect to see some of the most spectacular views of mountain peaks as you trek through an array of crevasses, ridges and ice sculptures.
3) Experience the Midnight Sun
Iceland is known to have summer days where the sun refuses to set, also known as the midnight sun. Beginning as early as May and lasting till the later days of August, the nights are bright due to the country’s proximity to the Arctic circle. While the Icelandic midnight sun phenomenon might confuse a few and be a disturbance for some, it provides incredible opportunities to explore Iceland’s landscape at night surrounded by serene twilight colors. Activities that should be experienced can range from glacier treks to hiking to the top of the mountain ranges, to playing a round of golf with absolutely gorgeous backdrops.
2) Laze around in the Hot Springs and Geothermal Pools
Iceland is home to a large resource of natural geothermal water. The population of Iceland and tourists have taken a liking to it, especially since it is accessible throughout the year. Whether it is to take a dip in blissful warm water surrounded by beautiful nature during peak winters or to relax the muscles after an adventurous trek, these pools and spas are an essential part of Icelandic life and tourism.
There are innumerable swimming pools and hot springs across the country, existing even in the middle of nowhere. One of the most famous is the Blue Lagoon, where the geothermal water meets black lava rubble, minerals, algae and silica which soothes an exhausted body and is beneficial for the skin. The steamy mist, combined with the earthly feeling and mountains in the backdrop makes this one of the must-visit spots in Iceland.
Fun fact – If you visit a swimming pool, you may be required to bathe naked along with the locals (gender separated) as part of a hygienic routine.
1) Indulge into the local traditions and beliefs
In continuation with local routines, let’s discuss the peculiar/wacky traditions and beliefs that the locals of Iceland hold onto. One such belief that a significant part of the society still believes in is the existence of elves or as they call them, hidden people. There are books, tours and even an Icelandic Elf School dedicated to the history, beliefs and the quest to find these elves.
Also, the origins of the country are linked with the Viking community. Naturally, there is a vast amount of history to be learned and experienced related to this fascinating tribe.
All in all, a trip to Iceland, the land of ice and fire, is a must and will leave you spellbound. For more tips on the top things to do in Iceland, check out…
Free things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland,
An adventure to the South of Iceland,
A day trip to Iceland’s Golden Circle
And everything you need to know about the Blue Lagoon.
Manish is a travel enthusiast who believes that traveling is the best form of meditation in the world. Outside of travel, he heads the content and marketing at Untravel.com
Don't forget to book your cheap accommadation in Iceland.
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