While a visit to Reykjavik, one of the cleanest, greenest and safest cities in the world (and the Blue Lagoon, of course) is still a good idea, you’ll be missing out on a lot of wonderful, incredible, hard-to-believe-they-are-real spots outside the “big” city (Reykjavik has 123,246 inhabitants, roughly one third of the population of Iceland).
Granted, the already famous places you see around the internet (thank you Instagram, Pinterest, and the like) are heavily photoshopped. If you don’t know that yet, you’re in for some pretty big disappointment.
(Hello, Kirkjufell! You’re still gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as the photoshopped version. Sorry!)
That being said, there are so many beautiful places in Iceland that do not need the services of Photoshop.
Past Borgarness, towards the western part of Iceland. The road to Snæfellsnes (and the famous Kirkjufell) may be long, but it’s not boring.
The scenery will change from green pastures to volcanic black, to rough red mountains, and to green pastures again.
It’s a rather long (2 hour drive) from Reykjavik to Snæfellsnes. If you’re not looking forward to long hours on the road, you should turn to the other side of Reykjavik for more diverse scenery.
From Reykjavik to Hveragerði. From there, after an easy hike you could enjoy the natural version of the famous Icelandic thermal spas. So, skip the Blue Lagoon and go to the Reykjadalur instead.
Make sure you don’t miss the hot springs at Geyser (and at a smaller scale, a little bit everywhere on the island).
Go see the waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is the most scenic and the one that allows for a walk between the water and the stone wall behind. It’s a pretty cold shower, and a very refreshing experience.
And the black-sand beach at Reynisfjara (voted by the National Geographic as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet).
If you’re not feeling adventurous that day, go for an organized tour.
Iceland is the place where you need to enjoy the journey, and not only the destination. You’ll find yourself admiring breath-taking, out of this world views at every turn of the road.
What to See