1. Bathe in Beauty at Seljavallalaug Geothermal Pool
If you’re searching for a unique swimming experience a bit off the beaten track, and bored showering in the bathtub, then this is the geothermal pool for you! Nestled in a narrow valley, this picturesque man-made pool is fed by local hot springs and is one of Iceland’s oldest swimming pools. Once used for Icelanders to learn how to swim, this hidden gem is now a reward for any lucky traveller who manages to find it.
Entry is free, but requires approximately 10 minutes of nature walking (which can include crossing a small river and navigating slippery terrain), so dress sensibly. Also, cool mountain streams run alongside the pool, so live like a Scandi and alternate between dipping into hot and cold water (if you dare!).
2. Experience a High Pressure Shower at Skogafoss
Skogafoss – literally meaning ‘forest waterfall’, definitely makes up in waterfall what it lacks in forest. At 25m wide and with a 60m drop, this is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls and is a standout attraction along the South Coast. Due the large amount of spray it emits, it is common to see either a single or a double rainbow on a sunny day, making it a photographer’s dream. Flat terrain ensures easy access to the base of the waterfall, which means you can walk pretty much straight from your car and into the most powerful shower of your life.
Viking legend has it that an early settler in the area hid treasure in a cave behind the waterfall, so use the rainbows to guide you. For an extra thrill, climb the stairs by the side of Skogafoss for an epic view from the top.
3. Joyride an Iceberg at Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón, another literal Icelandic landmark meaning ‘glacial river lagoon’, is exactly what is says on the tin. This breathtaking lake is the result of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier receding away from the Atlantic Ocean and is continuously increasing in size. A mix of fresh and saltwater, the strikingly coloured water is full of floating icebergs which spill over onto a black sand beach. It’s a bit of a drive away from Reykjavik, but well worth it!
Don’t actually try and joyride the icebergs. You’ll upset the locals and probably freeze to death. For a closer view of the icebergs, there are plenty of tour experiences available to book. Many famous film sequences have also been filmed here, including Die Another Day. Watch the film and run around doing your favourite 007 impressions, you’re friends will be sure to love you for it.
4. Peek at Puffins on Black Sand Beach, Vik
A must-do on any trip to Iceland, the town of Vik on the south coast is home to many noteworthy attractions including puffins, black sand beaches, towering rock formations and (literally) killer waves. Spend the day spotting puffins on the cliffs, climb the natural basalt columns on the beach, gaze out longingly at the rock formations out to sea and marvel at the volcanic black sands.
Stay out of the water! As tempting as it is to throw yourself into the water as a dramatic gesture of your love of Iceland, it is actually really dangerous. With no land mass between the beach and Antarctica, these hardcore Atlantic waves have been known to harm and even kill tourists, so stay safe and stand well back.
5. Snorkel between Europe and America
It’s not often when on holiday you can touch two continents at the same time, but if you pay a visit to Silfra fissure, that is exactly what waits for you! Located in Þingvellir National Park (40 minutes drive from Reykjavik), regular snorkelling and dive tours are on offer to experience the crystal clear waters between the two tectonic plates up close. Now that’s not something you can do every day!
The famous Golden Circle is also located within Þingvellir, so while there, why not look at some of Iceland’s other major attractions, like Gullfoss or the Geysir. And don’t forget to pack your underwater camera and be sure its from a top manufacturer! Bright green ‘troll hair’ seaweed and algae in the fissure provide a neon colourscape not normally seen in Icelandic nature, providing some unique holiday snaps.
Now that we have you excited with a taste of natural Icelandic delights, the time to plan your stay and book your Secret Solstice tickets is now!
Icelanders – tickets are available from tix.is
Oversea travellers – tickets are available from eventbrite.com