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40 Unforgettable Experiences to Have in Iceland

Iceland's dazzling glacial landscapes, thermal pools and ominous volcanoes are endlessly captivating, making it the ideal terrain for adventurous travelers to explore. Don't want to miss anything? Put your guidebook to one side and instead print out this list of 40 unforgettable experiences to have in Iceland.
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Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Iceland.

Iceland's dazzling glacial landscapes, thermal pools and ominous volcanoes are endlessly captivating, making it the ideal terrain for adventurous travelers to explore. Don't want to miss anything? Put your guidebook to one side and instead print out this list of 40 unforgettable experiences to have in Iceland.

1. Hire a car and drive the famous Golden Circle route.

2. Learn to tölt on a native Icelandic horse.

3. Tuck into a hearty bowl of Lobster soup, an Icelandic specialty.

5. View the dazzling Northern Lights, one of the world's most impressive natural phenomena.

6. Take a thrilling snowmobile ride across Iceland's snow-blanketed plains.

7. Visit the picturesque town of Seyðisfjörður in Iceland's little-visited East Fjords.

8. Tour the real life Seven Kingdoms on a Game of Thrones tour of Iceland.

9. Join locals in Reykjavik for the weekend pub crawl known as rúntur.

10. Visit as many of Iceland's waterfalls as possible -- Skógafoss, Gullfoss, Svartifoss and Seljalandsfoss all make easy side trips from Reykjavik.


Take a dip in Iceland's Blue Lagoon.

11. Ask the locals to tell you about Iceland's unique myths and legends -- fascinating tales full of elves, trolls and fairies.

12. Take a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon thermal pool.

13. Hike the 55-kilometer-long Laugavegur trail, Iceland's most popular hiking trail, which runs between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk.

14. Try to master a few words of the notoriously tongue-twisting Icelandic language.

15. Venture into the wilderness of northern Iceland on a tour of the Diamond Circle.

16. Explore the scenic Snaefellsnes Peninsula and learn why it's nicknamed "Iceland in miniature."

17. Celebrate Beer Day in Reykjavik, held annually on March 1st.

18. Experience the strange phenomenon of the midnight sun in June and July.

19. Visit the famous Akureyri Botanical Garden, open only during the summer months.


Take a ride on a native Icelandic horse.

21. Admire the capital's glittering illuminations during the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival.

23. Stroll along the unusual black sand beaches of Vik.

24. Try one of Iceland's legendary hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu in Reykjavik.

25. Try your hand at glacier hiking or ice climbing.

27. Try not to get embarrassed when you visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

28. Buy yourself a classic Icelandic Lopapeysa sweater as a souvenir.

29. Join the countrywide celebrations for the Icelandic National Day on June 17th.

30. Get drunk on potatoes -- popular Icelandic liquor brennivín is made from fermented potato mash and caraway.


Explore Iceland's remote West Fjords.

31. Explore the jaw-droppingly beautiful West Fjords.

32. Take a whale watching cruise from Reykjavik or Akureyri.

33. Camp out in the wilderness in Landmannalauger.

34. Visit the landmark Geysir geyser, the world's most famous and the one after which all others are named.

35. Dare to taste some of Iceland's most challenging foods, like hákarl (cured shark), hrútspungur (ram's testicles) or svið (boiled sheep's head).

36. Climb the tower of Reykjavik's iconic Hallgrímskirkja church for a bird's-eye view of the capital.

37. Take a hike through the glacial valley of Þórsmörk.

38. Cruise to the remote Grimsey Island in North Iceland, famous for its huge population of sea birds and puffins.

39. Go snorkeling in the Silfra fissure in the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park.

- Contributed by Zoe Smith