Almost all foreigners holidaying in Iceland leave talking about how much there is to do in our tiny island nation, especially within such short drive from the capital city. Although Secret Solstice calls Reykjavík home, we definitely recommend getting out of town to check out some of the local sights, as your trip to Iceland just wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t.
To help you out, we’ve put together a short-list of six sights we think you should experience when you’re here for our 2015 event, all within a mere four hour drive from Reykjavík.
#1. Sólheimasandur U.S. Navy Plane Crash
On the 24th of November 1973, a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 was forced to land on Iceland’s barren southern coast, just west of Vík. Luckily, all the crew survived, however instead of recovering the aircraft, the Americans simply decided to abandon the wreck where it lay. While initially that may have been a bad choice, over 40 years later the well-preserved site is now a major tourist attraction, with most agreeing we’re glad it’s still there. You will need to walk close to an hour (or have a fairly hefty 4WD) in order to access the site, so keep that in mind before you make the two hour drive from Reykjavík for this one.
#2. Blue Lagoon
If you’ve seen any travel guide, web series, or TV show about Icelandic tourism, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ve been introduced to the famous Blue Lagoon. Once nothing more than an area where waste water from the nearby geothermal power plant flowed, the warm silica-rich area has now been transformed into a tourist attraction you just can’t miss when in Iceland. Located in between Reykjavík and Iceland’s international airport in Keflavík, you can book your tour to the Blue Lagoon here via our site.
#3. Secret Lagoon
If swimming with a bunch of other foreigners close to the city isn’t for you, maybe a trek off the beaten path is more up your alley. Around a 90 minute drive from Reykjavík, the Secret Lagoon is a natural geothermal bath north-west of Iceland’s capital city. With constant 38-40ºC water (100-104ºF), this heated oasis is the perfect place to unwind and escape the more tourist-heavy areas of the country, and makes for a perfect Instagram opportunity that’s sure to make your friends jealous.
One of the most popular places in Iceland to hike in summer, as well as a shooting location for many TV series and Hollywood films (including Prometheus, Oblivion, and Game Of Thrones), the almost completely treeless Landmannalaugar is a place like no other on Earth. If you like to record the nature, don’t forget to take a game camera with you. While usually completely covered in snow in winter, summer (during Secret Solstice) is a completely different story. A little over three hours drive from Reykjavík, it makes for a perfect day trip before or after you party at our 2015 festival.
Let’s face it: Iceland is covered in more waterfalls than just about anywhere else on Earth, and you don’t have to drive very far out of Reykjavík to see one. But if you want to experience something truly incredible, head north to Glymur, the second-tallest waterfall in Iceland. At almost 200m high, and with a hike to the top that takes the best part of an hour, you won’t forget a day trip here during your time in our country.
#6. Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant
A mere 30 minute drive from Reykjavík, the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant is a perfect example of humans harnessing nature for energy, while doing as little damage to the environment as possible. Running turbines powered by superheated steam in volcano fissures within our planet, this renewable energy source tapped at Hellisheiði powers all of Reykjavík. Daily tours of the plant happen year-round, or you can sit back and watch from a distance and watch while tons of harmless superheated steam spews into the atmosphere.