Iceland is often called the land of fire and ice. This is because of the wide variety of local landscapes, which include ancient volcanoes, rumbling waterfalls, creeping glaciers, and amazing black sand beaches. Here, high mountains, surrounded by hilly valleys stretch towards the clouds, while the sky, burning with magical northern lights, is reflected in the clear water of glacial lakes.
Every year, thousands of tourists want to visit this unique North Atlantic country to see its harsh landscapes, and take photos against the backdrop of breathtaking northern beauty. If you are among them, then don’t miss the following natural sights of Iceland. They are placed outside the trivial tourist routes, and a car is the only way to see them. It’s recommended to use Geysir car rental, where high quality service and a large selection of cars will amaze you.
The Hvita River is famous for its many small waterfalls, two of which are located just a couple of steps from each other, near the town of Borgarfjordur in western Iceland. The most famous of this couple is Hraunfossar.
In turn, this is a series of waterfalls that stretch along the river for 900 meters and make their way through the rocky deposits of ancient lava. Upstream there’s the more powerful Barnafoss, which rushes through the narrow cliffs with a noise, carrying tons of crystal clear water.
Legend says that two boys drowned there after they tried to cross the natural bridge, which is located above the river. Hraunfossar is less powerful than Barnafoss, but much more beautiful. It looks amazing at any time of the year: in autumn, the gold color of the surrounding trees is harmoniously combined with milky blue water, and in spring and summer, the bright green color of the foliage creates a strong contrast with the dark rocks around.
Askja Volcanic Lakes
Askja is a volcanic caldera located in the Dyngjufjöll Mountains in the central part of Iceland. There are two lakes in the calderas: the large Öskjuvatn and the small, geothermal Viti Lake.
The milky blue color of Viti is characteristic of the volcanic waters of Iceland – this color caused by the increased content of silicone in the water. Both lakes are popular tourist destinations, although they are accessible to tourists only about four months a year, from June to October.
In winter, ice and snow make it difficult to drive to Askja, and the road is closed until next summer. The volcano in the town of Askja erupted for the last time in 1961 and, according to seismologists, has recently been in a state close to the active phase. Tourists can visit the legendary Dragon Canyon, as well as the Herdyubreyd and Querkfjödl volcanoes.
After driving about 180 km south of Reykjavik, you will find yourself in a small Icelandic village called Vik. Vik is famous for several unique natural phenomena, including black sandy beaches, the Mirdalsjokull glacier and a series of basalt sea stacks.
Local legend says that they are two trolls who tried to pull a 3-masted ship from the sea to the ground, but were caught by the rays of the sun at dawn and turned into stone.
Surrounded by black sandy beaches and powerful surfs of the North Atlantic seas, Reynisdragnar majestically rises above the waves.
Lava Fields in Landmannalauigara
Located in the mountains of Iceland, this popular tourist area can be found on the edge of a lava field, and is famous for its natural geothermal hot springs and the amazing surrounding landscape. Narrow trails lead tourists through the nearby mountains and volcanic deserts of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve.
The mountains are a collage of a variety of colors that reflect their composition: red tones indicating iron deposits, bright spots of sulfur, and the black-gray color of volcanic lava and ash. The landscape is dotted with milky blue lakes, sharply contrasting with the dark shades of the mountain peaks.
This is perhaps the most colorful mountains of Iceland and, of course, one of the most photographed spots in the country.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Jokulsarlon is a glacial lake in southeastern Iceland, also known as the glacier lagoon. The lake is located on top of the Breiamerkurkjokull glacier, and is home to many blue icebergs, pieces of ice that have broken off from the main glacier and are now slowly melting in the water.
Jokulsarlon is the deepest lake in Iceland and is considered to be one of the country’s natural wonders. In the evenings, the sun is reflected in calm waters, and icebergs are painted in hot shades of sunset.
The lake looks amazing during the Northern Lights, when the colorful sky looks at you from the depths of the water, striking your imagination with its incredible beauty.