A Very Brief Guide to Iceland: 5+ Great Things to Do for an Engineer Tourist

Have you ever considered visiting Iceland? Here are some reasons why you really should.

Iceland is one of the most beautiful and unique places to visit in the world. From natural geothermal springs to great nights out in Reykjavik, there are some things you might want to consider doing while there.

Many who have visited Iceland have absolutely loved it. Some have even decided never to leave.

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Iceland is a truly beautiful place and many find it's their new home away from home. But this can be said for many other places around the world - it really depends on what you like. 

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There are yet others who will tell you not to visit Iceland for various reasons. Chief amongst the reasons is the cost - It is really expensive!

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Other reasons include that it is very windy, cold, tends to be shrouded in complete darkness for months, lacks nice beaches, and many complain about the food.

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So bear that in mind if you are considering a trip there.

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Where in Iceland can you see the Northern Lights?

According to sites like theculturetrip.com, some of the best places to see the Northern lights include: 

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  • Grótta

  • Öskjuhlið

  • Vík

  • Ásbyrgi Canyon

What cities should you visit in Iceland?

Iceland has some lovely cities to visit. These include, but are not limited to: 

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  • Reykjavik (of course)

  • Akureyri

  • Húsavík

  • Vík í Mýrdal

  • Seyðisfjörður

  • Siglufjörður

  • Kópavogur

  • Hafnarfjörður

What are some interesting things to do in Iceland?

Apart from simply driving around and hiking there, there are some things you really must do when in Iceland. According to sites like thecrazytourist.com, these include:

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  • Visit Snæfellsjökull National Park

  • Admire the Dynjandi Waterfall

iceland tour guide iceland
Source: Daxis/Flickr
  • Go hiking at Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

  • Observe the Tectonic Plates

  • Spend time on Rauðasandur Beach

  • Visit Viking World

  • Hike along Asbyrgi Canyon

1. Treat yourself at the Blue Lagoon

Since you are on holiday, you really should relax for an hour or two. That's where the Blue Lagoon is perfect for any visitor to Iceland.

A Very Brief Guide to Iceland: 5+ Great Things to Do for an Engineer Tourist
Source: Ivan Sabljak/Wikipedia

It is a natural geothermal spa and is one of Iceland's most visited and popular tourist spots. The lagoon gets its name from its opaque, milky blue water that is unlike anything else on Earth.

The waters are rich in minerals and thrive with good bacteria leading many to claim bathing in the waters have real healing properties. Of course, we'll let you decide the veracity of these kinds of claims.

Blue Lagoon
Source: Prosthetic Head/Wikimedia Commons

The lagoon is wonderful in and of itself but it also happens to be surrounded with some stunning scenery.

2. Why not consider the Arbaer Open Air Museum

iceland tourist guide arbaer
Source: Graham C99/Flickr

If you are looking for something a little different to the norm in Iceland, you might want to consider visiting the Arbaer Open Air Museum. Located near Reykjavik, the museum consists of around 20 preserved Icelandic houses from its past.

The buildings are very well preserved and have been relocated from various places to form a small artificial town with a square and farm. Visits to the museum will transport you back to a time before industrialization revolutionized the nation. 

But there are also some houses from different periods of Iceland's history such as turf houses and some WW2 huts.

Each building is unique and has its own interesting story to tell. Houses are from people of different occupations and social statuses including a professor's residence and some from 19th-century laborers. 

Tour guides are also garbed in period dress and actually "work" the town tending to animals and go about their daily chores. 

3. Be sure to explore the Lake Myvatn Geothermal Area

If you don't mind traveling a little bit, you can check out the Lake Myvatn Geothermal Area. It is located about an hour's drive east of Akureyri in the North of the island.

The lakes are beautiful and the wildlife there is equally a treat for your eyes. If you like birds, there are dozens of species that flock to the waters in the summer.

This geological and geothermal wonderland is truly awe-inspiring to see. The area is actually a series of lakes that were formed during a catastrophic series of eruptions around 2000 years ago. 

"Within this lava field, hidden in a cave, is the increasingly famous Grjótagjá hot spring. Though it cannot be bathed in due to its ever-changing temperature, it is a must-see for fans of the Game of Thrones series, as it was a shooting location for one of the franchise’s most famous love scenes," according to guidetoiceland.com.

For Geology fans, it is simply spectacular. From lave flow fields called the Black Fortress, to pseudo-craters, the area is truly stunning.

4. Go out in Reykjavik

"When in Rome, do as the Romans," as the famous saying goes. For that reason, you really should spend at least one night out in Reykjavik. 

'Reykjavikians' are renowned for their love of a good time and will certainly enjoy a few "cold ones" with you without too much persuasion. Whether this is because beer was only recently legalized in 1989 or not, is anyone's guess. 

The downtown of the city is packed with bars, coffee houses, restaurants, and other social events. Of course, Iceland is far from cheap but many establishments do offer "Happy Hours" that last for at least some of the night to save you some cash.

The area also has a lot of hotels and guestrooms conveniently nearby with many within walking distance. Pretty handy if you overdo it a bit. 

5. Check out the National Museum of Iceland

Last, but not least, is the National Museum of Iceland. This amazing museum is a treasure trove of artifacts from Iceland's unique and fascinating history.

It contains many Viking relics from Viking ships, weapons, and tools as well as some interesting items from more modern times. The museum has an enormous collection of art and crafts, tools, furniture, religious artifacts and other archaeological remains on permanent display.

All artifacts are organized chronologically making it easy for visitors to take a journey through time. 

Its upper floors are dedicated to the nation's history from the 1600s onwards, which will give tourists an insight into the country's struggle for independence.

Free smartphone audio guides are available in 9 languages and guided tours are available in English on Wednesdays and the weekends. 

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