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The Nordic Explorer

The Nordic Explorer

My Iceland Bucket List 2.0

These are my notes for my next trip to Iceland – my Iceland bucket list 2.0. As already stated I plan on going back and driving around the country instead of taking bus tours. This list is my collection of sights that I’m sorry I missed on my first trip, places I’ve seen or heard about since my first trip or general stuff that’s been recommended to me.

Sorry if this post seems a bit messy, but it’s my personal notes and the lists is a constant work in progress. And please post a comment if you have any recommendations for me! Thanks!

I’m really grateful that I’ve already been to Iceland once. The country is indescribably beautiful and if it’s not already on your bucket list then hurry up and write it down right at the top! Basically I can recommend everything I experienced on my first trip, so check out that itinerary and go ahead and add some of the sights from this list as well.

Also, check out my post with learnings from my first trip to Iceland. There’s a thing or two there that I wish I would have known before my first trip.

Svartifoss. Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash

Waterfalls

I absolutely love waterfalls, so of course my Iceland bucket list 2.0 is full of them! There are no waterfalls in Denmark and I think that’s why I find them so fascinating. I feel the same way about palm trees every time I’m off to a tropical destination.

Here’s my (insanely long) list of waterfalls on my Iceland bucket list 2.0 so far:

Goðafoss

Gullfoss: The name means Golden Waterfall and it’s Iceland’s most popular one – apparently because it is located on the Golden Circle tour, so it’s very well-visited by tourists.

Svartifoss: I’ve seen so many beautiful shots of this one, so I absolutely must experience it for myself. It’s the one that’s surrounded by dark columns of rock formation.

Dettifoss: Dettifoss is Europe’s most powerfull waterfall in terms of water volume!

Haífoss: This waterfall has a drop of 122 metres and is the 4th tallest waterfall in Iceland. It’s a 2 hours drive from Reykjavik and you need a 4×4 vehicle to get there safely.

Hengifoss: Iceland’s 3rd highest waterfall (128 metres). It’s one drop surrounded by black lava cliffs with horizontal red clay stripes. Sounds very characteristic and worth a trip!

Öxarárfoss

Aldeyjarfoss

Kvernufoss: Located close by the very famous Skógafoss, which I saw on my first trip to Iceland. You can walk behind it (just like you can with Seljalandsfoss, which I also saw on my first trip to Iceland).

Glymur: The 2nd highest waterfall in Iceland. The drop is almost 200 metres.

Ófærufoss

Dynjandi: A very unique beauty that can be found up west in the country (4-5 hour drive from Reykjavik).

Gljúfrabúi: This one is hidden inside a cave so you have to climb your way in to it. Sounds really cool!

Gjulfrafoss

For more information about Icelandic waterfalls check out Guide to Iceland.

Towns

Akureyri: Up north

Seyðisfjörður: A town in the Eastern region of Iceland. I’ve sen so many pictures of its colorful street leading to the town church.

Geysers

I really regret not seeing a geyser on my first trip to Iceland, but I couldn’t make it since I was only tehre for 4 days. Next time it’ll be one of the first things I do!

The Great Geysir

Strokkur

Both are located in Haukadalur Valley.

Find more information about geysers on Bookmundi’s website

Museums

The Settlement Exhibition: It’s in Reykjavik and will tell you all there is to know about the vikings. I’ve had the exhibition recommended by local guide.

The Lava Center: Located in Hvolsvöllur and is all about volcanos.

The National Museum: Located in Reykjavik and apparently this exhibition is award winning- this one was also recommended to me by a local guide.

For my first trip I had these planned, but couldn’t make it:

Whales of Iceland: In Reykjavik and is a museum near the harbour all about whales.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum: Also located in Reykjavik and, yep, it’s a museum dedicated to displaying penises of all sorts of species.

Lagoons and thermal pools

On my first trip to Iceland I visited The Blue Lagoon and I had a great time. Next time I’ll go with a more local and/or natural experience. If you’re having doubt about whether you should visit The Blue Lagoon check out my post with 7 myths about the lagoon.

Mývatn Nature Baths: A spa with similar water to The Blue Lagoon, but far less popular.

Seljavallalaug: A geothermal pool in nature surroundings.

Krossneslaug:  Also a geothermal pool. This one is located by the sea and the view is supposed to be spectacular.

Reykjadalur: The name means “Steam Valley” and it’s a thermal river that runs down a valley.

Laugardalslaug Thermal Pools: A stadium in Reykjavik – rumored to be big and very popular.

Vesturbæjarlaug Thermal Pools: Also in Reykjavik, but smaller and more cosy.

Nauthólsvík Beach and Thermal Pool: Also located in Reykjavik. This one is a beach and not “just” a swimmingpool.

For more information on hot springs and geothermal pools check out Guide to Iceland.  

Other sights and experiences

Snorkling in Silfra Fissure

Icelandic horse riding

Whale watching: Húsavík is apparently the best place for this. I’ve seen orcas in Vancouver, but whale watching in Iceland is supposed to be the ultimate whale watching experience.

Ice cave tour

Jökúsárlon and Diamond Beach: The glaciers here are supposed to be amazing. I regret not going to Jökúsárlon for my first trip, so Iøm definitely going there next time!

Dyrhólaey: Pretty famous rock arch. I’ve been in the area, but didn’t get a good look at it, so I’m hoping that I’ll pass it on my second trip, then I’ll take a closer look.

Hvítserkur: Another famous rock formation on the coast line. This one’s placed in the Western region on the country.

Búðakirkja: I actually passed this one as well when I was on a Snaefellness peninsula tour, but we didn’t really come close to it. If I come back to this region I’ll take a better look at it.

Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck:  This sight is close to Reynisfjara (Black Sand Beach) where I’ve been on a tour, but the plane wreck wasn’t on the tur agenda. Also, I think it will be better to see it in the off-season.

Fjaðrárgljúfur: A canyon that’s supposed to be spectacular.

Fjaðrárgljúfur. Photo by Geoffrey Lucas on Unsplash

Food, beverages and restaurants

Dill: A gourmet restaurant located in Reykjavik. I skipped this one on my first trip to save some on my budget.

Friðheimar Greenhouse: I saw this one on Instagram. It’s a place outside Reykjavik that apparently serves the best tomato soup.

Grandi Mathöll: Located in Reykjavik on the harbour. I spotted it on Instagram. Their tacos look really delicious.

Happy hour at Loft Hostel: A hostel in downtown Reykjavik where happy hour between 4-7pm every day is recommended. Apparently they also have a loft deck and a library.

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Pin it! Photo by Jonathan Gallegos on Unsplash

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