To say that Iceland is an absolute delight of a nation to visit would be an understatement. The country is a land of great, remarkable beauty, with a diverse range of magnificent landscapes on offer. The volcanic landscape, gushing geysers, bubbling hot springs, and towering cliff faces and ravines are all breathtaking to see, and the vast diversity of natural treasures will never cease to astonish any fortunate visitor to this awe-inspiring and historic island.
If you have the luxury of time on your hands, traveling around the nation on the Ring Road, which surrounds the country, is the best way to see all it has to offer. For those with less time on their hands, taking to the road and following the Golden Circle is a fantastic choice. This magnificent route will take you through several of Iceland’s most famous attractions.
The Blue Lagoon is also a must-see, in addition to Iceland’s breathtaking national parks and other protected areas that dot the landscape of the island. Given the abundance of things to see and do in Iceland, here is a list of some of the most stunning national parks and nature reserves in the country.
Snaefellsjokull National Park
Located in the western part of the nation, this ancient stratovolcano offers visitors a spellbinding experience. Its enormous variety of unique and unusual geological characteristics makes it a delight to explore. The Snaefellsjokull glacier reaches all the way to the ocean before cutting away into the seas below, and its brilliant whiteness contrasts nicely with the rest of the terrain in the vicinity. Snaefellsjokull glacier is the largest glacier in Iceland.
All of the natural wonders in this remote corner of the earth are breathtaking to see, with tourists especially drawn to the rough, rocky sea cliffs, bizarre geological formations, and cascading waterfalls. With volcanic craters and underground caverns also on the itinerary, you’ll have your work cut out for you if you want to see all of the breathtaking and memorable sights that Snaefellsjokull has to offer.
Fjallabak Nature Reserve
Exploring the highlands of Iceland is a beautiful experience, since you are alone in the woods and surrounded by nothing but nature. The natural marvels of the nation burst out from every scene, and there is no better place to immerse yourself in this diverse environment than in Fjallabak Nature Reserve.
Awe-inspiring views await you around every corner as you walk down the roads of the reserve. As each fresh and amazing scene unfolds in front of you, you will find yourself continually astounded.
Nature enthusiasts will like this nature reserve, whether it is because of the hot springs of Landmannalaugur or because of the beautiful mountains that dominate the horizon. With the addition of lakes, rivers, and lava fields, Iceland offers an almost limitless number of attractions to get lost in, with the volcanic Torfajokull being one of the most spectacular sights to view.
Vatnajokull National Park
The glacier that bears the park’s name is the focal point of Vatnajokull National Park, which is a natural wonder of the world. The southern portion of Iceland is a snowy, ice-filled kingdom that is breathtaking in all its brilliant, white beauty, and tourists will be stunned by the spectacular panorama that unfolds in front of their own eyes.
Naturalists will find utopia in Iceland, which has stunning snow-capped mountains, enormous glaciers, cold caverns, and the awe-inspiring Jokulsarlon: a lagoon full with icebergs.
Views of the surrounding landscape are simply breathtaking, and the Svartifoss and Dettifoss waterfalls, which are both very breathtaking to see, are a genuine feast for the eyes. The vistas on offer vary from volcanic craters and glaciers to steep sea cliffs and untamed tundra, among other features.
Heidmork Nature Reserve
Heidmork Nature Reserve, located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, is a popular destination for those wishing to get away from the city. Because of its close proximity to the capital, it is a popular destination for individuals looking to get away from the city.
Along with the pathways that wind their way through the reserve’s woods, lakes, and lava formations, the most distinguishing feature of Heidmork is the ‘Red Hills,’ which stand out against the surrounding landscape.
In contrast to the rest of Iceland’s beauty, which is often comprised of lush, green landscapes and barren volcanic terrain, these hills are red in hue and seem to be something one could encounter on the surface of Mars.
Walking over the rocky red landscape is a unique experience in this beautiful area, and their distinctive look is a delight to discover.
Breidafjordur Nature Reserve
Breidafjordur Nature Reserve, which is situated in the west of Iceland, is a pleasant area to explore, and the picturesque landscapes on offer provide for some breathtaking vistas.
The mountains and volcanoes that make up the reserve provide a dramatic background to the beautiful fjords and sea cliffs that dot this section of the coast.
Thus, the trails and walkways that wind their way down the beach are a delight to explore, and out in the woods, you’ll experience an unrivaled feeling of liberty and independence. The vast fjord that bears the reserve’s name dominates the landscape, and more than 3000 tiny islands and islets dot the water’s surface, providing little smudges of green among the sea’s blue.
There is a vast assortment of wildlife and flora to be found in this area, and a large variety of bird species make this coastal region their home as well. Small farms and towns may be found in the region, which has been continuously inhabited since people first arrived in Iceland thousands of years ago, and which demonstrate a traditional way of life that extends back centuries.
Those interested in history will especially enjoy visiting Flatey Island, which brilliantly displays the tenacity of the Icelanders who have managed to survive on this lonely island for so long. This ecosystem is beautiful to explore since it is both pristine and untamed, while yet being controlled and cared for.
Hvalnes Nature Reserve
It seems to be a wonderful natural reserve, with the characteristic crags and peaks of the mountains rising above the clear, reflected waters of the ocean below and the stunning black beaches that border the coasts. It is precisely these contrasts that make Hvalnes Nature Reserve such an excellent location for photography.
As you walk through the trails and walks of the park, you will be able to take in a variety of breathtaking vistas and perspectives. The wide-open length of black pebble beach gives way to imposing-looking mountains that dominate the scene as the beach comes to a close. Seabirds flit about freely in the wind, dipping and plunging into the frigid waves, all in the middle of the untamed desolation.
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, located on Iceland’s northernmost peninsula, is a sight to see. It is breathtakingly gorgeous.
Beautiful fjords divide the coastline into two distinct sections, and maybe the most beautiful sight is the carpet-like green grasses that sweep straight up to the cliff face, where they then so breathtakingly plummet down into the abyss under the surface. Nowhere is this more evident than at Hornbjarg, and hikers who are visiting the reserve just must stop here to take in the breathtaking vistas and panoramas that are available.
Hornstrandir’s magnificent remoteness, mixed with the harsh circumstances that make it difficult to earn a livelihood here, has resulted in an ecosystem that is immaculate and undisturbed – just waiting to be discovered.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations, with a plethora of geological marvels as well as the place where the country’s first parliament was created in the 10th century. Thingvellir is located at the meeting point of two tectonic plates, which explains the unusual and unique characteristics that you will notice as you travel along its roads and trails. Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Almannagja Gorge is especially beautiful to explore, and the spectacular waterfall of Oxarafoss at the end of the gorge makes this a section of the park that should not be overlooked. The environment is dotted with lava fields and steep ravines, as well as snowcapped mountains and dazzling lakes that dot the area.
It is important to note that this is the first point on the Golden Circle and should not be skipped. In addition to being a wonderful place for trekking, the national park features two scuba diving locations that may tempt tough, cold-resistant divers into the fascinating aquatic world under the surface.
Vatnsfjordur Nature Reserve
The wild and fantastic nature that can be seen in this barren and lonely area that has been ravaged by glaciers from long ago makes this barren and desolate landscape all the more stunning. Many lakes and streams cut through the reserve, which derives its name from one of the spectacular fjords that define this area of the coastline’s northernmost region.
Abandoned farms dot the landscape, and sheep ranching is still practiced on the reserve’s green fields, which are plentiful in this part of the world. These lush enclaves sometimes provide a view of the rocky cliffs that flank the stunning fjords.
Mountain ranges and glaciers may also be found within the boundaries of the reserve. With its diverse landscapes, the Vatnsfjordur Nature Reserve is a breathtaking destination to explore in all seasons.