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Thanks to countless blog posts, everyone knows the big attractions to visit in Iceland. But what is there to do AFTER you visit the Golden Circle, Ring Road and the Blue Lagoon? What’s left are hidden gems.
During my two trips to Iceland over the last couple years, I’ve discovered a number of fun, interesting and hidden gems thanks to suggestions from locals.
Here’s a short breakdown of some of the lesser-known places to visit in Iceland.
Location: Fylkisvegur 9, 110 Reykjavík, Iceland
Relaxing in geothermal pools are one of the coolest things you could do in Iceland. It’s a practice that dates back centuries and is still practiced among many Icelanders.
While there are countless geothermal pools across Iceland, few will ever experience anything other than the often-Instagramed Blue Lagoon. I recommend checking out a local geothermal pools , like Arbaejarlaug in Reykjavik. It is one of the many local rec centers (think YMCAs) that have outdoor geothermal pools. They are only frequented by locals, which means you can meet actual Icelanders and not be surrounded by tourists. It’s cheap, authentic and often overlooked by travelers.
Location: Latitude: 63° 55' 59.99" N Longitude: -22° 05' 60.00" W
Situated on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland, Krýsuvík consists of several geothermal fields that feature bubbling mud pots and hot springs. Krýsuvík’s green-, red- and yellow-hued soil make the area look like another planet. Since it is out of the way from most attractions, be sure to check out the one-of-a-kind geothermal field while traveling to or from Keflavik International Airport.
Location: Latitude: 63.8554° N Longitude: 21.3873° W
Visiting Thorlakshofn made me feel as though I was exploring something very few tourist get to see. Located along the southern coast of Iceland in the municipality of Ölfus, Thorlakshofn has incredible natural wonders to explore. It beautiful landscapes with black sand beaches, cliffs, lava formations, caves, geothermal areas and vivid hot springs. Since it is not located near any huge tourist traps, I can almost guarantee you will be the only visitor exploring this charming area.
Hraunfossar and Barnafossar
Location: Latitude: 64.7029° N Longitude: 20.9772° W
Gullfoss and Skogafoss aren’t the only awesome waterfalls in Iceland. There are a number of beautiful waterfalls that few tourists will ever discover. Two of those are Hraunfossar and Barnafossar -- located in Western Iceland. Hraunfossar is pour water directly out of cracks in a lava field, making it appear as water come from nowhere. Barnafossar -- a brief walk away -- is a raging waterfall with incredible rock formations only feet away from you. It’s an easy car ride from Reykjavik when the weather is nice.
Location: Latitude: 63° 26' 33.83" N Longitude: -20° 16' 24.20" W
Landeyjahofn Located on the South Coast, Landeyhofn serves as the port for the Heimaey Island Ferry. But you don’t have to take a ferry to find an incredible area to explore. Park near the launch point and stroll the black sand beaches. While most people will be crowding around Reynisfjara Beach, you’ll have the beautiful Landeyhofn beaches to yourself.
Hey! I'm Christian.