On the hunt for the most crazy things to do in Iceland? You’re in luck. Here, you’ll find the best places to go in Iceland that don’t look real, non-touristy things to do in Iceland and, lastly, 50 crazy things to do in Iceland with tours you can’t miss.
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Places To Go In Iceland That Don’t Look Real
First, let’s chat about all the places to go in Iceland that don’t look real.
1. Reynisfjara Beach
Reynisfjara Beach, commonly known as Black Sand Beach, is a massive stretch of, you guessed it, black sand beach.
Not only will you have the opportunity to see rare black sand here, though. You’ll also be witness to some of the tallest exposed black volcanic basalt columns in the world — right on the beach.
Seeing these otherworldly skyscraper columns right on the beach is a completely unique experience that you’ll only have in Iclenand.
2. Studlagil Canyon
Another unreal Iceland destination where you can see huge basalt columns is Studlagil Canyon.
Just outside of Egilsstadir, Iceland, there is a short, easy hike that leads to Studlagil.
Here, you’ll find a milky aquamarine glacier river running right through a deep canyon that is lined with massive, majestic basalt columns.
3. Blue Lagoon
Next, although Blue Lagoon is by no means the most non-touristy thing to do in Iceland (we’ll get to those later), it is certainly one of the best places to go in Iceland that doesn’t look real.
If you’re one of the few people who has never heard of Iceland’s famous lagoon, Blue Lagoon is a naturally healing geothermal hot spring that has been transformed into a full-service resort and spa.
Now, what makes Blue Lagoon feel out of this world? Its perfectly milky aquamarine water that gets its unique coloring from the naturally occurring (and healing) minerals in the surrounding earth.
4. Diamond Beach
In addition, as you move along the south side of the country, you’ll be met with numerous crazy things to do in Iceland. For example, you can explore ice caves, walk behind 200-foot waterfalls, ATV on glaciers and more. (You can read more about these crazy Iceland experiences below.)
For now, we can’t list the most unreal places in Iceland without mentioned the South Coast’s Diamond Beach.
Diamond Beach is a black sand beach that’s home to dozens of crystal clear ice chunks that have broken off of Jokulsarlon icebergs. The clear, bluish ice contrasting the black sand creates a diamond-like visual effect, thus the name Diamond Beach.
5. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Likewise, when you visit Diamond Beach, you can’t leave the area without also stopping at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Just down the street from Diamond Beach, you’ll find a parking lot next to a seemingly innocent dirt hill. Park here and venture over the hill. You’ll be met with one of the most jaw-dropping sceneries of your life: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Here, you’ll have the rare chance to see huge glacial icebergs floating across the lagoon, eventually making their way to the neighboring Diamond Beach.
6. Namafjall Geothermal Area (Crazy Things To Do In Iceland)
Next, if you plan to drive the full Ring Road, which I highly recommend (you can find the best Ring Road Iceland itinerary here), you’ll pass through various landscapes — from green mountain ranges to enormous glaciers to black beaches to volcanic desserts.
As you’re passing through the volcanic desserts, you’ll be surrounded my black mountains and volcanic rock for miles. That is, until you come to the otherworldly Namafjall Geothermal Area.
The Namafjall Geothermal Area, as the name suggests, is a geothermal hotspot filled with bright orange mountains, sulfurous steam and bubbling hot springs.
At Namafjall, you truthfully feel like you’re on planet Mars.
7. Moss Fields
However, Namafjall is not the only place in Iceland that feels like another planet. You can also experience this otherworldly sentiment across the legendary Icelandic moss fields.
The moss fields are found throughout the entire country, especially on the southwest coast.
But, as unbelievable as the moss fields are, you cannot walk on them. They are protected grounds, and stepping on the moss can cause irreversible damage to the moss.
Instead, find a designated moss-field pull-off (there are numerous), park, and observe the moss from the designated parking areas and/or trails.
8. Midnight Sun (Crazy Things To Do In Iceland)
Lastly, depending on where you are visiting from (Alaska, Norway, Sweden, etc.), the midnight sun may feel normal and very real. But, for the majority of us, the idea of midnight sunshine seems nearly impossible.
So, if you visit Iceland in the summer time, don’t miss your chance to witness the midnight sun. In the summer, the sun sets for less than one hour before it rises again, which means it never gets dark.
On that note, if you’re visiting Iceland in summer, I highly suggest bringing an eye mask to ensure a good night’s sleep. Most accommodations provide blackout shades, but there is no guarantee. I personally love my affordable silk eye mask from Amazon and bring it on every long-haul trip.
Non Touristy Things To Do In Iceland
In addition to the otherworldly places in Iceland, it’s worth mentioning the non-touristy things to do in Iceland.
1. Vatnajokull National Park
First, I don’t know how I had never heard of Vatnajokull National Park until we were driving through it.
Vatnajokull National Park is home to the biggest glaciers you’ll see in your entire lifetime. These glaciers are the size of the mountains themselves. Impressive is an understatement.
I have dozens of glacier photos on my phone from this drive because every glacier we passed was bigger than the last. How is no one talking about this place?
If you visit Vatnajokull in the winter, I highly recommend taking an ice cave and glacier hiking tour, like this one.
2. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
After reading about Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in the last section, it may come as a surprise that this location is actually non-touristy, but it is.
When we visited Jokulsarlon in July (peak season), the parking lot was practically empty, and there were only a handful of people at the glacier lagoon.
You would think that the lagoon overlooks would be packed with tourists, photographers and hikers, but no. There were so few tourists there that we were able to spread out and have each overlook to ourselves.
3. Namafjall Geothermal Area (Crazy Things To Do In Iceland)
Like Vatnajokull, I was stunned when we unexpectedly came across Namafjall Geothermal Area on our drive through Ring Road, as I had never heard of anyone else talking about this area.
Namafjall is essentially a miniature Yellowstone National Park of Iceland, without the crowds.
Even though there is a touristy parking lot here, the remoteness as well as the widespread-ness of the geothermal area gives off a very non-touristy impression.
4. Moss Fields
Moreover, as previously mentioned, the Icelandic moss fields are protected, which makes them inherently non-touristy.
Although you cannot walk on the moss, you should absolutely pull over into a designated pull-off area to observe and take photos.
5. Lupine Fields (Crazy Things To Do In Iceland)
Similarly, the famous lupine fields of Iceland attract thousands of botanical aficionados every June.
However, the lupine fields are plentiful throughout the country, which means you can pull over on the side of the road whenever you like and have the lupines to yourself.
Finally, let’s get into the 50 crazy things to do in Iceland.
50 Crazy Things To Do In Iceland
- See basalt columns and black sand at Kirkjufara Beach.
- Hike down into Studlagil Canyon.
- Swim in Blue Lagoon geothermal pool.
- See icebergs and black sand at Diamond Beach.
- Watch icebergs float at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
- Kayak through icebergs at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
- Take a zodiac boat through icebergs at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
- Take an amphibian boat through icebergs at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
- See red-orange mountains at Namafjall Geothermal Area.
- Witness massive glaciers in Vatnajokull National Park.
- Hike to the crest of Skogafoss Waterfall.
- Walk behind Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
- Whale watch in Akureyri.
- Trot on lava fields with Icelandic horses.
- Look at the endangered moss fields.
- Stop at Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, a “Game Of Thrones” shooting location.
- Hike or ATV to the DC3 plane wreck at Solheimasandur.
- Experience endless lupine fields in summer.
- Snorkel between tectonic plates at Silfra Fissure.
- Dogsled in Akureyri.
- Tour the inside of a volcano at Thrihnjukagigur Volcano.
- Road trip through the midnight sun.
- Watch the Northern Lights from a glass-top Airbnb.
- Bathe in roadside natural hot springs.
- Go glacier hiking with a tour guide.
- Snowmobile on Langjokull Glacier.
- Ride an ATV on a black sand beach near Dyrholaey.
- Helicopter over a volcanic eruption.
- Walk through a turquoise ice cave.
- Walk through a man-made ice tunnel.
- Drive through rivers in a Super Jeep.
- Take a photo with a beached steel ship in the Westfjords.
- Walk from the Eurasian continent to the North American continent on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
- Hike cliffs at Latrabjarg Cliffs.
- Observe puffins on a puffin cruise.
- Walk a rainbow road in Reykjavik.
- Visit a viking village.
- Bathe in beer at the beer spa.
- Take your shot at ice climbing.
- See a live volcanic eruption if the timing is right.
- Have a beach day all year round at the Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach.
- Camp in Asbyrgi Canyon.
- See rainbow mountains at Landmannalaugar.
- Glamp under the Northern Lights.
- Check out the Sea Monster Museum in the Westfjords.
- Celebrate Christmas in Jolagardurinn (Christmas Garden).
- Try fermented shark, also known as hakarl.
- Eat the “best hot dog in Europe” at Baejarins Beztu.
- Visit otherworldly rock formations at Hvitserkur.
- Search for elves at Alfholl (Elf Hill).
Which of these crazy things to do in Iceland will you brave? Check out my Iceland Ring Road Itinerary here for a complete, done-for-you trip itinerary.
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