Icelandic Adventures: Exploring the Natural Wonders and Hidden Gems of the Land of Fire and Ice

Iceland has been captivating the hearts of travelers all over the world in recent years, and it's easy to see why. With its awe-inspiring natural landscapes, hospitable locals, and distinct cultural heritage, it's no wonder that Iceland's popularity as a travel destination has skyrocketed.

Icelandic Adventures: Exploring the Natural Wonders and Hidden Gems of the Land of Fire and Ice
Iceland will make you feel like you are a character in Game of Thrones or Lord of The Rings

Iceland has been captivating the hearts of travelers all over the world in recent years, and it's easy to see why. With its awe-inspiring natural landscapes, hospitable locals, and distinct cultural heritage, it's no wonder that Iceland's popularity as a travel destination has skyrocketed. Whether you're an adventure seeker, looking to unwind and rejuvenate, or simply seeking to explore new horizons, Iceland offers something for everyone.

In this post we will embark on a journey to uncover Iceland's top activities, from thrilling excursions to relaxing getaways.

We will cover:

  1. The best budget-friendly places to stay that have garnered high praise from guests.
  2. Luxurious accommodations that will leave you pampered and feeling like royalty.
  3. Insights into daily budgets for the trip to Iceland and how to make the most of your money.
  4. Safety while traveling in Iceland

As with any travel destination, safety is always a top priority. We'll provide some important tips on how to stay safe while exploring Iceland's stunning yet unpredictable natural wonders.

Come along as we explore the enchanting beauty of Iceland and all that it has to offer!

Top 5 Activities to do in Iceland

Visit the Blue Lagoon - This geothermal spa is one of Iceland's most popular attractions. With its crystal-clear blue water, surrounded by black volcanic rock, it's the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Steam rising from the blue lagoon hot spring in Iceland

Visit the Golden Circle: This popular route takes visitors to some of Iceland's most iconic natural landmarks, including the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park.

Explore Reykjavik - Iceland's capital city is full of charm and character. From its colorful buildings to its vibrant nightlife, there's always something to see and do in Reykjavik.

Pretty neighborhood in Reykjavík city in Iceland

See the Northern Lights - One of Iceland's most iconic attractions is the Northern Lights. The best time to see them is from September to April, and the best places to view them are away from the city lights.

Iceland city with northern lights glowing in the sky

Visit a Glacier - Iceland is home to many glaciers, and there are plenty of tours available to explore them. Whether you want to hike on a glacier or take a snowmobile tour, it's an experience you won't forget.

man standing inside massive glacier

Go Whale Watching - Iceland is one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. You can spot many species of whales, including humpback whales, orcas, and minke whales.

Whale breaching as tourist watch from a boat nearby
Our Expert Recommendation: Rent a car and just drive! Do not care where you are going, just spend 2-3 days of your vacation going wherever the road curves, and in Iceland there will be lots of those.
man by a river looking a giant mountains that go strait up and are vertically flat
Breath taking natural wonders

Places To Stay In Iceland

We have included 5 budget and luxury accommodation that come highly recommended for your upcoming vacation in Iceland.

Budget-Friendly Places to Stay While In Iceland

  1. Kex Hostel
bedroom inside hostel

Located in the heart of Reykjavik's vibrant downtown area, Kex Hostel is a stylish and budget-friendly option for travelers looking to experience Iceland's unique culture and nightlife. Housed in a former biscuit factory, the hostel's industrial-chic design and vintage furnishings create a laid-back and bohemian atmosphere that attracts a diverse crowd of travelers from around the world.

Kex Hostel offers a range of accommodation options, including dormitories, private rooms, and apartments, all of which are designed to provide maximum comfort and convenience for guests. The hostel also features a communal kitchen and dining area, perfect for preparing and enjoying meals with fellow travelers.

One of the standout features of Kex Hostel is its on-site bar and restaurant, which serves up delicious and affordable Icelandic cuisine, along with a wide selection of craft beers and cocktails. The bar's cozy and welcoming atmosphere, combined with its live music and events, make it a popular spot for both locals and travelers alike.

The hostel also offers a range of amenities, including a sauna, a fitness center, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the surrounding city.

Hlemmur Square Hostel -

bedroom inside hostel

Located in the heart of Reykjavik's bustling city center, Hlemmur Square Hostel is a modern and affordable option for travelers seeking a convenient base from which to explore Iceland's vibrant capital city. Housed in a historic building that was once a bus station, the hostel's minimalist and contemporary design creates a sleek and stylish atmosphere that appeals to travelers of all ages and backgrounds.

Hlemmur Square Hostel offers a range of accommodation options, including dormitories, private rooms, and apartments, all of which are designed to provide maximum comfort and convenience for guests. The hostel also features a communal kitchen and dining area, perfect for preparing and enjoying meals with fellow travelers.

One of the standout features of Hlemmur Square Hostel is its on-site restaurant, which serves up delicious and affordable Nordic cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant's cozy and welcoming atmosphere, combined with its creative menu and affordable prices, make it a popular spot for both locals and travelers alike.

The hostel also offers a range of amenities, including a lounge area with a fireplace, a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the surrounding city, and a bar that serves up a wide selection of craft beers and cocktails.

Midgard Base Camp

hot tub on patio of hostel with northern lights over head

Located in the scenic town of Hvolsvöllur, Midgard Base Camp is a unique and eco-friendly accommodation option that offers a range of adventure activities for travelers looking to experience Iceland's rugged beauty. The base camp's design is inspired by traditional Icelandic architecture, with a modern and sustainable twist that creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Midgard Base Camp offers a range of accommodation options, including dormitories, private rooms, and apartments, all of which are designed with sustainability in mind. The base camp's use of natural materials and geothermal heating and cooling systems ensure that guests can enjoy a comfortable and eco-friendly stay.

One of the standout features of Midgard Base Camp is its wide range of adventure activities, including glacier hikes, ice climbing, and volcano tours. The base camp's experienced and knowledgeable guides are passionate about sharing their love for Iceland's natural beauty with guests, and offer a range of excursions that cater to all skill levels and interests.

The base camp also offers a range of amenities, including a communal kitchen and dining area, a sauna, and a hot tub, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring the surrounding countryside.

Skjaldarvik Guest House

Skjaldarvik Guest House bedroom

Located just a short drive from the charming town of Akureyri, Skjaldarvik Guest House offers a tranquil and picturesque retreat for travelers seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The guest house's idyllic location, nestled in the rolling hills and surrounded by stunning mountain views, creates a serene and relaxing atmosphere that is perfect for unwinding and enjoying the beauty of Iceland's countryside.

Skjaldarvik Guest House offers a range of comfortable and cozy accommodation options, including single and double rooms, as well as larger family rooms and apartments. All of the guest rooms are elegantly designed and decorated with a Nordic-inspired aesthetic, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that feels like a home away from home.

One of the standout features of Skjaldarvik Guest House is its on-site restaurant, which serves up delicious and locally-sourced cuisine in a warm and inviting setting. The restaurant's menu features a range of Icelandic specialties, including fresh seafood and lamb dishes, as well as a variety of vegetarian options.

The guest house also offers a range of amenities, including a cozy lounge area with a fireplace, a hot tub, and a sauna, perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating after a day of exploring the surrounding countryside.

Vogafjós Farm Resort

Vogafjós Farm Resort cabins

Nestled in the heart of Iceland's stunning Lake Mývatn region, Vogafjós Farm Resort offers a unique and authentic experience for travelers seeking a taste of Icelandic farm life. The resort's idyllic location, surrounded by lush meadows and tranquil lakes, creates a peaceful and picturesque atmosphere that is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of Iceland's countryside.

Vogafjós Farm Resort offers a range of cozy and comfortable accommodation options, including guest rooms, cottages, and apartments, all of which are elegantly designed and decorated with a rustic and charming aesthetic. The resort's use of natural materials and traditional Icelandic design elements creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that feels like a true home away from home.

One of the standout features of Vogafjós Farm Resort is its on-site restaurant, which serves up delicious and locally-sourced cuisine in a cozy and welcoming setting. The restaurant's menu features a range of Icelandic specialties, including fresh fish, lamb, and dairy products, all of which are produced on the farm itself.

The resort also offers a range of activities and experiences that allow guests to get a taste of Icelandic farm life, including cow milking demonstrations, horseback riding, and farm tours. For those looking to relax and unwind, the resort's hot tub and sauna provide the perfect opportunity to soak in the stunning views and rejuvenate after a day of exploring.

Luxury Accommodations To Stay While In Iceland

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

Nestled in the heart of Iceland's otherworldly volcanic landscape, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is a luxurious and serene retreat that offers a unique blend of relaxation and indulgence. With its stunning location on the banks of the famous Blue Lagoon, the hotel provides guests with access to one of Iceland's most iconic natural wonders.

The hotel's design is inspired by Iceland's natural beauty, with sleek and modern furnishings that blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment. The guest rooms are spacious and comfortable, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking views of the lagoon.

One of the standout features of The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is its spa, which is built into a lava cliff and offers a range of indulgent treatments and wellness experiences. The spa's signature treatment, the Blue Lagoon Ritual, uses the hotel's mineral-rich geothermal waters to promote relaxation and rejuvenation.

Guests can also enjoy a range of amenities, including a fitness center, a restaurant that serves up delicious Nordic cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients, and a bar/lounge area with stunning views of the lagoon.

Overall, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is the perfect choice for travelers seeking a luxurious and tranquil escape in the heart of Iceland's breathtaking natural landscapes. Its unique and serene atmosphere, exceptional spa experiences, and prime location make for an unforgettable stay.

Ion Adventure Hotel

Ion Adventure Hotel

The Ion Adventure Hotel is a sleek and stylish hotel located in the heart of Iceland's stunning countryside. With a prime location on the edge of the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, the hotel provides guests with unparalleled access to Iceland's natural wonders.

The hotel's design is inspired by Iceland's unique landscapes, with contemporary furnishings and decor that blend seamlessly with the natural environment. The guest rooms are spacious and comfortable, with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.

One of the standout features of the Ion Adventure Hotel is its on-site restaurant, Silfra. The restaurant serves up delicious Nordic cuisine made with local and seasonal ingredients, and its scenic views of the surrounding lava fields make for a truly unforgettable dining experience.

The hotel also features a range of amenities, including a hot tub, sauna, and a bar/lounge area, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring Iceland's natural wonders. For those looking for adventure, the hotel offers a range of activities, including glacier hiking, snorkeling, and horseback riding.

Overall, the Ion Adventure Hotel is the perfect choice for travelers seeking a luxurious and adventurous escape in the heart of Iceland's stunning natural landscapes. Its breathtaking location, exceptional dining experience, and range of amenities make for an unforgettable stay.

Hotel Rangá

Hotel Rangá

Nestled in the scenic countryside of southern Iceland, Hotel Rangá is a luxurious and enchanting retreat that offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation, and natural beauty.

The hotel's secluded location, right on the banks of the Rangá river, provides guests with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.
The hotel's guest rooms are designed to provide maximum comfort and relaxation, with plush bedding, cozy furnishings, and modern amenities. Each room is also decorated with a unique theme, inspired by the natural beauty of Iceland and its folklore.

One of the standout features of Hotel Rangá is its exceptional dining experience. The hotel's restaurant serves up delicious Icelandic cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients, and its extensive wine list has earned it recognition as one of Iceland's top restaurants.

Guests can also take advantage of the hotel's many amenities, including a hot tub, sauna, and a relaxing lounge area with a fireplace. For those looking to explore the surrounding countryside, the hotel offers a range of activities, including horseback riding, hiking, and Northern Lights tours.

Overall, Hotel Rangá is the perfect choice for travelers seeking a luxurious and peaceful retreat in the heart of Iceland's stunning natural landscapes. Its unique and charming atmosphere, exceptional dining experience, and attentive staff make for an unforgettable stay.

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

The Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre is a stylish and contemporary hotel located in the heart of Reykjavik, Iceland's vibrant capital city. The hotel offers a prime location for exploring all that Reykjavik has to offer, including its bustling streets, charming cafes, and cultural landmarks.

The Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre features sleek and modern design throughout its guest rooms and common areas, creating a sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere. The hotel's rooms are thoughtfully designed with comfort and convenience in mind, featuring plush bedding, high-end amenities, and stunning views of the city.

Guests can enjoy a range of on-site amenities, including a fitness center, a cozy lounge area, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city. The hotel's restaurant, Geiri Smart, offers a menu of delicious Icelandic cuisine made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

For those looking to explore Reykjavik's many attractions, the hotel is just a short walk from the city's main shopping district, as well as cultural landmarks such as the Harpa Concert Hall and the Hallgrímskirkja church.

Overall, the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre offers a luxurious and convenient base for exploring Iceland's vibrant capital city. Its contemporary design, high-end amenities, and prime location make it a top choice for discerning travelers.

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a stunning hotel located in the south-eastern part of Iceland, just a short distance from the country's famous Glacier Lagoon. The hotel boasts a prime location with incredible views of the surrounding natural landscapes, including the nearby Vatnajökull glacier.

The hotel's modern and stylish design is perfectly in tune with its surroundings, creating a seamless blend of contemporary and natural elements. Guests can choose from a range of room types, from standard doubles to deluxe suites, all offering exceptional comfort and amenities.

One of the standout features of Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is its restaurant, which serves up delicious Icelandic cuisine made with local ingredients. The hotel also features a bar and lounge area, perfect for relaxing with a drink and taking in the breathtaking views.

For those looking to explore the nearby attractions, the hotel is ideally located for visits to the Glacier Lagoon, the Skaftafell National Park, and the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Additionally, the hotel offers a range of activities, including glacier hiking, ice caving, and Northern Lights tours.

Overall, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a top choice for travelers looking for a luxurious and comfortable base from which to explore Iceland's natural wonders. Its stunning location, excellent amenities, and attentive staff make for an unforgettable stay.

Daily Budget Needed For Iceland

The daily budget needed for an Iceland vacation will vary depending on your travel style, accommodation choices, and activities planned. However, as a rough estimate, you can expect to spend around $150-200 per day per person for a mid-range budget, including accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.

If you're on a tighter budget, you can reduce your expenses by staying in hostels or guesthouses, cooking your own meals, and taking advantage of free activities such as hiking and visiting natural attractions. You can also consider traveling during the shoulder season (April-May, September-October) when prices are generally lower than in the high season (June-August).

On the other hand, if you're looking for a more luxurious experience, you can expect to spend around $500-800 per day per person for high-end accommodations, fine dining, and exclusive activities such as private tours or helicopter rides.

It's important to note that prices in Iceland can be higher than in other European countries, due to its remote location and high cost of living. However, with some planning and budgeting, it's still possible to enjoy all that Iceland has to offer without breaking the bank.

Safety In Iceland

Iceland is generally a safe country for travelers, with a low crime rate and a high standard of living. However, there are still some safety considerations to keep in mind when visiting Iceland.

One of the main safety concerns in Iceland is the weather. Iceland's weather can be unpredictable and harsh, especially during the winter months. It's important to check the weather forecast and road conditions before heading out, as snowstorms and icy roads can make driving hazardous. It's also recommended to dress in layers and carry warm clothing, even during the summer months, as temperatures can drop suddenly.

Another safety concern in Iceland is the natural environment. Iceland's landscapes are stunning but can also be dangerous, especially for those who are not familiar with the terrain. It's important to stay on marked trails when hiking, as well as to respect any warning signs or barriers. Swimming in natural hot springs or near waterfalls can also be hazardous, as the water can be very hot or the currents strong.

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