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10 best things to do in Iceland

Want to know where to go in Iceland? And what to do in Iceland when you get there? Well, read on. After you've searched for cheap flights and have booked your hotel, it's time to study this Skyscanner Australia guide to the best things to see and do.

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There’s more to Iceland than ice. Think giant geysers, hot springs, volcanoes, canyons and waterfalls. All with the amazing Northern Lights and the city of Reykjavik thrown in. When’s the best time to visit Iceland? Anytime! Iceland in summer or Iceland in winter … it’s New Zealand on steroids.

1. The Northern Lights in Iceland

Iceland is one of the best places in the world to experience the aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights. Caused by charged particles entering the atmosphere, these fascinating light shows sweep across the evening and night sky in vast sheets and swirls of colour. You’ve got to see it at least once in your life.

Where to go in Iceland to see them? You’ll probably need to leave Reykjavik on a tour to make the most of aurora-seeing. If you plan on travelling around Iceland in winter you have a reasonable chance of seeing this amazing phenomenon.

The Northern Lights, Iceland

2. Hold your breath at Geysir

Here’s a tip when it comes to geysers in Iceland. Don’t throw rocks in them. Apparently this is what happened to the original Geysir, which no longer blows its hole, thanks to too many tourists plugging it up with their well-aimed flings. Today the Geysir Hot Spring Area is a popular spot along the Golden Circle driving route. It erupts 30 metres into the air every few minutes.

Geysir in Iceland

3. Feel the power of Dettifoss

No, it’s Dettifoss, not dental floss. This is one very powerful waterfall, which dumps millions of gallons into a narrow canyon in a thundering roar. It’s 45-metres high and 100 metres wide and the volume of water released over the cliff edge is larger than any other waterfall in Europe. It sends shivers down your spine.

Image credit: Bill Devlin/flickr

4. Be sucked in by giant icebergs

Don’t tell the captain of the Titanic, but icebergs are cool. There are hundreds of them in the Jokulsarlon Lagoon, or glacier lagoon as it’s also known. Come in the evening to see the light reflecting and dancing among these giant floating accompaniments to a cocktail.

Icebergs in Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

5. Take a hot bath at Myvatn

Oh those aching limbs. What a way to get your body back on track by sinking into a really hot, and very large open-air bath. One of the best places to enjoy the warm blue Icelandic waters is in the northern town of Myvatn. Unlike the more famous Blue Lagoon, it is free of crowds and doesn’t cost a packet.

Hot Springs in Myvatn, Iceland

6. Camp near the base of Skogafoss

With so many amazing waterfalls in Iceland it’s hard to pick one out as being better than the rest. Well, here goes – we choose Skogafoss, because you can set up tent at its base and enjoy the thundery pour of water until you fall asleep. It’s what dreams are made of.

7. Walk behind Seljalandsfoss

Don’t just look at a waterfall, that’s so tame. Take a hike and get behind it. Seljalandsfoss might be a mouthful to pronounce but it gives visitors the rare chance of witnessing the sheer behind-the-scenes magnitude and drama of a giant waterfall in action.

Seljalandsfoss, iceland

8. Drive the Golden Circle

Rent a hire car for the day and explore the 300km loop of the Golden Circle. The route takes in several major attractions including the geysers in the Haukadalur geothermal area, the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall, and the deep blue waters of the Kerid Crater Lake. Driving in Iceland is easy in summer, but more challenging in winter, when a four-wheel-drive will come in handy. Check road and weather conditions here.

Good hotels in Reykjavik include the Foss Hotel Reykjavick and the Hilton Reykjavick Nordica.

9. Scuba dive in the icy waters of Iceland

Scuba diving in Iceland? Are you mad? What about the cold? And the icebergs? Don’t be too alarmed. Suit up warmly and take the plunge and head to the Silfra Fissure where you can dive between two continental plates. They say it’s the only place in the world you can do it. The water is incredibly clear, and you might even come across an curious whale.

Scuba diving, whales, Iceland

10. Stay in a converted Icelandic turf house

You can find cheap or good value places to stay in Iceland, despite its reputation as being expensive. Why not try something traditional? Icelandic houses have a roof and walls made of turf to help keep the occupants warm on cold winter nights. Many of them have been turned into guesthouses over the years. They are well-worth seeking out, especially if they allow camp fires to while away the evenings under the Northern Lights.

You can fly to Iceland with airlines like Icelandair, British Airways, easyJet, and WOW. Find all the airlines that offer flights to Reykjavik here.

Icelandic turf house.

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So, grab those thermals and pick up a cheap flight to Iceland. Get around by hire car and stay in some of the best hotels at discount prices.