Reykjavik Blue Lagoon (35 min outside the town).
Gullfoss, Geysir and Þingvellir are unique sites commonly referred to as the Golden Circle. These sites make up Iceland’s major tourist destinations, offering visitors the opportunity to see a wild, roaring waterfall, spouting hot springs and the country’s most important historical area in one condensed, doable-in-a-day tour Geysir: largest hot springs.
Is great for its surreal other-planet landscape; on clear days, the active volcano Hekla is a sublime sight; and there are interesting Viking ruins in the scenic Þjórsárdalur valley.
Skaftafell National Park
Europe’s’s largest national park encompasses a breath taking collection of peaks and glaciers. It’s the country’s favourite wilderness: 160, 000 visitors per year come to marvel at thundering waterfalls, twisted birch woods, the tangled web of rivers threading across the sandar, and brilliant blue-white Vatnajökull with its lurching tongues of ice.
Fjallabak Nature Reserve
The Fjallabak Route (F208) is a spectacular alternative to the coast road between Hella and Kirkjubæjarklaustur. It passes through the scenic nature reserve to Landmannalaugar, an area of rainbow-coloured rhyolite peaks, rambling lava flows, blue lakes and hot springs which can hold you captive for days.
Much of the route is along (and in!) rivers and therefore unsuitable for 2WD vehicles.
The star attractions around Landmannalaugar are:
– Laugahraun, a convoluted lava field
– The soothing hot springs 200m west of the Landmannalaugar hut
– Multicoloured vents at Brennisteinsalda
– The incredible red craterlake Ljótipollur; and the blue lake Frostastaðavatn, just over the rhyolite ridge north of Landmannalaugar.
– Bláhnúkur, immediately south of Laugahraun, offers a scree scramble and fine views from the 943m peak.