Travel Update


2016 01 nordurland dettifoss lilja 4

7 Incredible Things to Experience in Iceland in 2016

By: Catharine
Last Updated: 21/03/2024

Stick a fork in January. It's done! But 2016 is just getting started and is shaping up to be a phenomenal year. Why not make one more resolution to have these 7 incredible experiences in Iceland before the year is through? 

Venture inside a glacier!

It's one thing to venture on top of a glacier -- always under the supervision of an expert mountain guide, of course -- but did you ever think it would be possible to go INSIDE a glacier? Some intrepid Icelanders have burrowed an 800 meter long tunnel into Iceland's Langjökull glacier for glacier enthusiasts to experience the icy giant from the inside.

Iceland Into the Glacier
The man-made tunnel into Langjökull glacier is fascinating to experience.

Once inside, you'll learn all about Langjökull -- Iceland's second largest glacier -- and see evidence in the ice of past volcanic eruptions and the growth of the glacier over time. Plus you'll get to tell all your friends and family back home that you went INTO a glacier! It doesn't get cooler than that!

Go Into the Glacier with Nordic Visitor's South & West Iceland Classic package!

Explore the rugged Westfjords

While there is a seemingly endless list of things to see and do along Iceland's famed Ring Road, which circles the country, so few travellers get to experience the magic and seclusion of the rugged Westfjords. This large peninsula jutting out from the island's North-West corner, the region is off the beaten path but so full of natural beauty and wondrous attractions that it's just a matter of time before it attracts the crowds.

Iceland Westfjords
The Westfjords are an incredible part of the country, with stunning scenery in every direction. Pictured are Súðavík (top), Látrabjarg (bottom left) and Dynjandi (bottom right).

From the ghost ship of Patreksfjörður, to the charming and artsy "capital of the Westfjords," Ísafjörður and the quaintly simple fishing village Drangnes and everything in between, exploring the Westfjords will find you truly alone and immersed in pristine nature. The Westfjords are also home to the gorgeous Dynjandi waterfall, a stunning cascade that measures 60 meters wide at its base after its made its way down an undulating mountainside.

Iceland Westfjords
Patreksfjörður is another stunning area in the Westfjords, with sweeping beaches, towering mountains and a legendary ghost ship.

Go off the beaten path on a Hidden Gems of Iceland tour.

Venture into Iceland's uninhabited highlands

While the Westfjords are sparsely inhabited, Iceland's untamed highland region is entirely uninhabited. The country's centre is inaccessible for much of the year and, when it is "open for business" travelling there requires the power of a 4x4 vehicle and an experienced driver to handle the harsh terrain and odd river crossing.

Iceland Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar is one of the most popular areas in the highlands, a mecca for hikers and anybody who appreciates otherworldly landscapes.

But the extra effort required to venture into the highlands is more than worth it once you're face to face with the wide open spaces and stunning scenery in every which direction. Travel between two imposing glaciers to bathe in the natural hot springs at Hveravellir, go off the beaten path to marvel at the painting-like rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar and witness the power of nature at the massive caldera of Askja and neighbouring Víti, or "hell."

Tick the highlands off your bucket list with an Iceland Full Circle at Leisure!

Get Pampered at the Blue Lagoon

Taking a relaxing dip in the Blue Lagoon has become a 'must' for any visitor to Iceland, and with the pool's convenient location between Reykjavík and the Keflavík International Airport, it's an easy activity to undertake. But to really get the most out of a visit to the Blue Lagoon you've got to experience an in-water massage.

Iceland Blue Lagoon
You'll feel all your stresses melt away during a soak in the Blue Lagoon.

Your stress will melt away into the warm milky waters of the lagoon as you lay suspended on a floating mat while a masseuse kneads your muscles into submission. Bookend your massage with time luxuriating in the lagoon or lounging in a plush robe in the Blue Lagoon's exclusive lounge and you'll really know what heaven on earth feels like.

Let yourself be pampered on an Iceland Full Circle Classic tour.

Take a breather on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Iceland is a land of plenty, in that there is plenty of space to breathe and feel blissfully alone in nature. One of the best places in the country to experience this sensation is the glorious Snæfellsnes peninsula. In this geologically young part of the country -- it's half the age of the mainland or the Westfjords just across Brieðarfjörður Bay -- you can spend hours searching for familiar shapes in expanses of craggy lava fields, go underground to explore a lava tube, and stare admiringly at Snæfellsjökull glacier, the crown jewel of the Snæfellsjökull National Park and rumoured center of extraterrestrial activity.

Iceland Snæfellsnes
The Snæfellsnes peninsula is a dreamland for lovers of picturesque coasts, geological formations and wide open spaces. Pictured are Arnarstapi (left), Búðir (top right) and Hellnar (bottom right).

The old fishing village Hellnar is an ideal spot to sit cliff-side and just breathe as you watch the waves roll in and out and spout through the tunnels they've channeled through the rocky seaside over centuries. Add in a bowl of hot soup and a hot chocolate from the hidden sea-side cafe and we guarantee you'll never want to leave.

Iceland Snæfellsjökull
The crown jewel of Snæfellsnes National Park, Snæfellsjökull glacier is a magical sight to see.

Experience a different pace of life with the Snæfellsnes Peninsula & The Arctic North package.

Share a kiss on the banks of Dettifoss

Is there any better place to share a kiss with your sweetheart (and snap a selfie while you're at it) than on the banks of Europe's most powerful waterfall? At 44 metres high and 100 metres across, a mind-blowing 200 cubic metres of water cascade into Dettifoss’ gorge every second. It's a powerful experience to visit the falls and gape at the sheer power of nature as you listen to the waterfall's mighty growl.

Iceland Dettifoss
Europe's most powerful waterfall is a powerful site to behold. Why not experience it with someone you love.

Nordic Visitor's Romance Around Iceland package will have your heart skipping a beat.

Make lasting family memories in Reykjavík

Iceland isn't only for lovers. It's an incredibly family-friendly country, particularly its cosy and colourful capital, Reykjavík. Using the city as a comfortable home-base, your family can explore the city's many museums, parks and galleries; take to the sea to spot mighty whales and laugh at clumsy puffins; and venture farther afield to visit the waterfalls and geysers that make up the famed Golden Circle route of natural attractions.

Iceland Reykjavík
Iceland's cosy and quirky capital is an ideal place to take a family holiday. From the colourful rooftop view from Hallgrímskirkja to exploring the old harbour and central pond and beyond, the city and surrounding area will provide fun for every member of the family.

All-year-round, Reykjavík and its surrounding area is an ideal spot to bring the entire family and make memories to last a lifetime.

A South & West Iceland Classic package will be fun for everyone!

Which of these experiences will you be ticking off your to-do list in 2016?

Maybe you can cover more than one... book any of the travel packages we've linked to before February 11 and save 10% off the package price! And they're not the only ones. Check out our Special Offers page for all the Iceland travel packages discounted through February 11 2016.


Post by: Catharine

Catharine Fulton is a journalist and travel writer. Though born and raised in Canada, she found herself stuck in the Nordic region since moving to Finland in 2007 to pursue her MA and then migrating to Reykjavík, Iceland in 2009, where she lives with her Icelandic husband and tries (albeit unsuccessfully) to master the Icelandic language.

More posts by Catharine

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.