Iceland, the natural gems of the land of fire and ice you must see
Written by Keator Cheng
On 21 May 2024

Iceland, where dramatic landscapes are shaped by a combination of volcanic activity and glacial movement.

This island nation, situated in the North Atlantic, offers a plethora of natural wonders, from geysers and hot springs to glaciers and black sand beaches. Here’s a detailed guide to exploring the mesmerising beauty of Iceland.

The Golden Circle

Thingvellir, photo by Luca Florio on Unsplash

The Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist routes, encompassing three major attractions: Þingvellir National Park.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is not only geologically significant but also historically important. It is the site of Iceland’s first parliament, established in 930AD. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, offering stunning landscapes and clear, fissure-filled waters.

Geysir, Photo by Kristian Ranstrom on Unsplash

Geysir Geothermal Area

Home to the famous Strokkur geyser, which erupts every 5-10 minutes, shooting hot water up to 20m into the air. This area also features numerous other hot springs and bubbling mud pots, showcasing Iceland’s geothermal activity.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Known as the “Golden Falls”, Gullfoss is a two-tiered waterfall that cascades into a rugged canyon. The powerful flow of the Hvítá River creates an awe-inspiring sight especially when viewed from the nearby walking paths.

Reykjavik, photo by Einar H. Reynis on Unsplash

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is a vibrant city known for its colourful buildings, thriving arts scene and rich history. Key attractions include:

Hallgrímskirkja, photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash

This iconic church, with its unique design inspired by basalt columns, offers panoramic views of the city from its tower.

Harpa Concert Hall, photo by Michael Held on Unsplash
Harpa Concert Hall

A modern architectural marvel with a striking glass facade, Harpa hosts concerts, conferences, and cultural events.

The Sun Voyager:

A stainless steel sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason resembling a Viking ship, symbolising hope and freedom.

Reykjavik, photo by Seongyong Im on Unsplash

Reykjavik’s Nightlife

The city is famous for its lively nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues.

The south coast of Iceland

The south coast of Iceland is a region of striking contrasts, featuring dramatic waterfalls, black sand beaches, and glaciers:

Seljalandsfoss, photo by Martin Robles on Unsplash

Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls

Seljalandsfoss allows visitors to walk behind the curtain of water, offering a wonderful perspective. Skógafoss, one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls, is known for its impressive width and powerful flow.

Reynisfjara black sand beach

Famous for its black volcanic sands, basalt columns, and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. The nearby village of Vík is a great base for exploring this area.

Vatnajökull Glacier and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon:

Vatnajökull is Europe’s largest glacier and Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon, is filled with floating icebergs. Boat tours offer close-up views of the icebergs and the resident seals.

Landmannalaugar, photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

The Icelandic Highlands

The Icelandic Highlands are a vast, uninhabited region of rugged terrain, accessible primarily during the summer months:


Known for its colourful rhyolite mountains, hot springs, and extensive hiking trails. The Laugavegur Trail, which runs from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk, is one of Iceland’s most popular multi-day hikes.

Askja Caldera

Lake Víti, photo by Pavol Svantner on Unsplash

A remote volcanic caldera with a stunning crater lake, Víti, known for its geothermal waters.

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