Of all the wonderful sights I visited in Iceland, I most enjoyed the ones that weren’t on every guidebook and photo blog I ran into in my research. They were so unexpected and delightful that they mostly made our trip! Here they are…
1. Hoffell Hot Tubs
When staying at our hotel in Hofn on the east coast of Iceland, our host recommend these hot tubs out on a farm, with the most amazing view! I did not take my camera along unfortunately, so look at google for photos and location.
Where to stay: We stayed at Hafnarnes guesthouse in Hofn, which was very comfortable.
2. Fjadragljufur Canyon
While this was mentioned in my Iceland Lonely Planet book, I hadn’t read about it anywhere else. Stopping here is a must if you’re driving between Vik to Hofn. You are standing on top of a canyon looking down at a river flowing below, bright green mossy grass all around you, and you can see all the way to the ocean on one side, and mountains on another…spectacular!
Where to stay: We stayed at Hostel Skogar, around an hour away, next to the incredible waterfall Skogafoss!
3. Diamond Beach
While everyone visits Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon, I hadn’t seen too many tours visiting the diamond beach that is opposite the lagoon. Ice from the lagoon floats into the nearby beach and is stranded on the black sand, looking like diamonds. If you’re lucky, you can even pose with some large ice blocks like we did!
4. Hljodaklettar (Hiking trail at Vesturdalur)
Near the huge waterfall of Dettifos in the northern coast of Iceland, is a moderate hiking trail through some wonderous and other-wordly rock formations. The loop trail is around 3 miles, and takes 1-2 hours, and involves some (brief) rock scrambling. The views are amazing, and the rock formations are interesting. If you’re driving between the waterfall Dettifoss and the Ásbyrgi canyon, do check this trail out.
Where to stay: We stayed at the beautiful Bjarnargerdi guesthouse near Akureyri, which had clean rooms and a hot tub for soaking!
5. Namafjall and Krafla around Lake MyVatn
Lake MyVatn is known for its geothermal activity, and it is most obvious in these two attractions. If you want to get the feeling of being on the moon, head to the Krafla Lava Fields. Surrounded by black ash and steaming vents, you will feel like you’re on a different planet. Head to Namafjall and witness different colored craters, vents, and mud pots. Finally, head to the MyVatn nature baths to soak in the heated pool (similar to the Blue Lagoon but less touristy and crowded).