Iceland is located between Greenland and Norway, geographically closer to the American continent but historically and culturally linked to Europe. 365,620 inhabitants live in Iceland, on a total area of 102,775 km², a density of only 3 inhabitants per km². The capital, Reykjavik, is home to the majority of the Icelandic population. A major tourist destination for the past few years – Iceland’s tourist numbers have been growing steadily – the country attracted 1.8 million visitors in 2016 and 2.3 million in 2017. It must be said that the country has everything to seduce: Reykjavik’s nightlife, fjords and icebergs, waterfalls, hot springs, whale watching, mosaics of colors making the landscapes so surreal that one would think they were “photoshopped”, an incredibly vast nature where to hike as if alone in the world, the aurora borealis and active volcanoes.
Between all these natural landscapes offering unique panoramas in the world, it seems very difficult to know where to go, what to see and what to do in Iceland! Here is an estimated guide of the most beautiful sites to see when visiting Iceland!
To visit Iceland: Here is our top 12 of the most beautiful sites to see in Iceland!
When one arrives via route 1 from the west, as is often the case, after crossing the immense black expanses of the south coast of the island and starting to catch a glimpse of the impressive glacial tongues, the visual shock is total when contemplating the extraordinary spectacle offered by the Jökulsarlon. Although it seems to have existed since the dawn of time, this proglacial lake south of the Vatnajökull glacier, which forms the largest ice cap in Iceland with an area equivalent to that of Corsica, only appeared in the mid-1930s during a phase of rising temperatures, causing the glacier tongue to recede dramatically and leading to a process of ‘calving’ or iceberg fall.
Blocks of ice up to 30 meters high regularly break away from the Breidamerkurjökull tongue of ice and their multicolored shades range from turquoise to dark blue, yellow from volcanic sulfide, black from the ash of volcanoes, white in various shades… They drift slowly on this lake and end up reaching the sea, running aground on a black sand beach and creating contrasts of staggering beauty. Notice to photography enthusiasts!
Jtravelnow Advice : It is possible to explore the Jökulsarlon by inflatable boat but this attraction is extremely popular with tourists. Another glacial lake less frequented, the Fjallsarlon, is also worth a visit. This lake is only about ten kilometers away from the Jökulsarlon coming from Vik, by briefly leaving the road 1 on a small and slightly bumpy road, but the grandiose spectacle is also there. On the Diamond Beach, you should prefer to visit at low tide because the ice blocks will be even more important.