Otherworldly: Immerse yourself in Iceland’s breathtaking landscape

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Photo by Rachel Shulman

Over the last few years, Iceland has become a destination hotspot both in summer and winter. Just a 3 hour flight from NYC, this entirely different world is remarkably easy to get to.  Whether you want to see the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights, there are spots you cannot miss and places you can swap in or out depending on the season. All the pictures you recognize (waterfalls, glaciers and more) are on the South Coast of Iceland and should be the center of your Iceland trip. You can find a detailed 6 Day Iceland Itinerary here to start booking your trip!


Waterfalls (and a lot of them)

There are hundreds of waterfalls in Iceland’s South Coast, each with a special feature that makes them unique. I recommend seeing them all!

1 South Coast Waterfalls

South Coast Waterfalls

This may be one of the most unique waterfalls I have ever seen.

2 Seljalandsfoss waterfall


Here you are able to walk behind the falls, aka find the coolest views (and pictures) ever.

These beauties are worth checking out too:

  • Gljufrabui: A secret waterfall in between cliffs
  • Skogafoss: Able to walk to the top and often see rainbows
  • Bruarfoss: Turquoise blue, hidden in the middle of the woods that you need to trek to
  • Gulfoss: The biggest and most famous waterfall in Iceland


Glacier hiking can be done in winter or summer! Hiking glaciers were my favorite activity in Iceland.

3 Skaftafell National Park

Skaftafell National Park

Interesting hike learning about the glaciers and their decline due to global warming, but not as interesting as other glaciers. 

4 Hiking Solheimajokull Glacier

Solheimajokull Glacier

An amazing glacier with stunning views and totally different than the hike at Skaftafell. You get to drink the glacier water, climb in between glacier holes and more.

5 Rachel on a Snowmobile in Iceland


Beyonce did this tour, so you know it’s great. Take the glacier snowmobiling tour that leaves from Gulfoss Waterfall.

6 Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

One of the prettiest places I have ever been to. Definitely, need to take a boat ride through the icebergs. This shouldn’t be missed! It is the farthest point from Reykjavik on the South Coast. Unfortunately, it is closed in the coldest winter months.


7 Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

What you see in everyone’s Iceland’s photos. Might be a tourist trap but its beauty and serenity will let you forget that. The Blue Lagoon is the closest attraction to the main airport of Iceland so there is no excuse for not going.

8 Black sand beach
Photo by Rachel Shulman

Black Sand Beach

The black sand beach has amazing rock formations. Also, where else are you stepping onto a black sand beach?

9 Strokkur Geyser

Strokkur Geyser

One of the biggest and most impressive geysers in the world.

10 Reykjavik


Reykjavik is the biggest city in Iceland and is a must-visit since you fly in and out of it, but you only need a day here! Make sure to see the impressive church and the views from the top.

11 Northern Lights in Iceland

Northern Lights/Midnight Sun

A must see. The Northern Lights is the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life to date.


Crunched for time? Take these locations out of your itinerary to make the most out of your itinerary and hit the hot spots above!

  • Dyrhoaley: Views over the Black Sand Beach
  • Solheimasandur Plane Wreck: A trek from your car as it is in the middle of a beach, far from the road.
  • Kerid Crater: A really cool crater to look at but it’s really only a 5 minute stop!
  • Thingvellir National Park: While it’s one of the most popular places to visit when touring Iceland, there is not much to see. UNLESS you go in the summer, then you can scuba dive in between the two tectonic plates (aka in between two continents: North America and Europe) and that is supposed to be awesome!
  • Helicopter Tour: If you are on a budget, you can skip this one, but I loved my helicopter tour to see a different terrain and untouched views of Iceland!

You can read more about where to stay in each town, how to get around the South Coast of Iceland and how to photograph the Northern Lights/Midnight Sun in my full 6 Day Iceland Itinerary.

Rachel Shulman is a seasoned travel blogger specializing in planning in-depth guides for destinations around the world. She has lived in 4 major cities in her 27 years of life (New York, New Orleans, Prague and Tel Aviv) and has traveled to 30+ countries with no intention of stopping soon. She owns From East To West, a travel blog outlining her travels and writing detailed, efficient guides and itineraries for cities and countries as well as reviewing locations, accommodations, restaurants and tips and tricks for traveling.