Iceland’s Most Enchanting Natural Wonders

Around every corner, there seems to be another spectacular surprise that awaits in Iceland, from thundering waterfalls and geysers to towering volcanic mountains and velvety black sands with rock formations thrashed by azure waves just offshore.

Despite the name, this bucket-list destination is anything but a frozen land, with even winter temperatures not dipping much below freezing. Of course, there is a best time to visit Iceland for certain experiences like the northern lights, requiring the longer nights between September and April.

But these especially enchanting natural wonders can be marveled at in any season.


Many have been drawn to this northern nation because of its waterfalls, with 10,000 of them here, over 200 of which are named. If chasing them is on your priority list, the south coast is one of the best places to visit in Iceland in the summer. This area is home to some of the most famous, like Skogafoss which plunges nearly 200 feet into the Skoga River below. If you’re here from late May through early September, there’s a good chance that you’ll see rainbows form in the mist, a photographer’s dream on a sunny day.

Seljalandsfoss is another one of Iceland’s most photographed falls. Here you can even walk around the pool below, going behind the cascades for a unique perspective. Just a few of the other notable falls in this region include Gljufura, Systrafoss, and Svartifoss, famous for the basalt columns that frame it.

Geothermal Features

While fascinating volcanic landscapes can be marveled at throughout the country, the hot magma that began flowing after a 2021 volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula has inspired many to hike to the site and witness Mother Nature’s incredible spectacle, as Smithsonian Magazine reports.

Another one of the top 5 best places to visit in Iceland to marvel at its famous geothermal features is Lake Myvatn. You might think you’ve stepped onto a different planet, with everything from bubbling mud pools, steam vents and desolate craters to a lava cave with a hot spring in its depths. The Geysir Hot Spring Area along the popular Golden Circle provides another option, with mud pots, small hot springs, and geysers like Strokkur which bursts 100 feet into the air about every 10 minutes.

Iceland’s New Volcano Erupts


Many black sand beaches have risen from the ashes of volcanic eruptions, scattered along the southern and western coasts, each with their own unique striking beauty while shrouded in mysterious Icelandic folklore tales. The most famous of all is Reynisfjara near the small fishing village of Vik in the south, often named among the world’s most stunning non-tropical beaches with the Trolls of Vik rock formations rising out of the sea. Legend says that the unique formation of pillars formed when trolls attempted to drag their ships ashore.


There are 269 named glaciers here, but the largest of them all by far is Vatnajokull, an area of nearly 3,000 square miles. Looking at a map of Iceland, you’ll get an idea of just how vast it is, with the ice cap covering about eight percent of the country. It’s possible to hike to the glacier with tours available that include crampons so that you can walk across the ice.

One of the best places to visit in Iceland in winter is Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a lake filled with meltwater from an outlet glacier that’s a tongue of Vatnajokull. Icebergs break from the glacier, some of which can tower several stories high. They float into the lagoon with seals often enjoying a ride. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the colorful aurora dancing above.


Iceland’s interior is home to soaring mountains, more easily accessible in the summer when they’re lush and green, dotted with colorful wildflowers. Climbing to their peaks brings panoramic views of everything from jagged, mossy ridges to glistening glaciers, volcanic plains, and even the Atlantic. If you’re up for an extreme challenge, you can embark on the crown jewel of treks by ascending Hvannadalshnukur, the country’s highest peak at nearly 7,000 feet, located on Vatnajokull Glacier.

Green Icelandic Mountains

This is just a taste of what Iceland has to offer so before you leave for your trip, be sure to pack extra memory cards. With so many impressive sights, you’ll be snapping a lot. This is one country that definitely lives up to the hype when it comes to incredible natural wonders.