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Best Things to Do in North Iceland – Unexplored Gems

By Subramanya - July 8, 2020

Iceland is a country full of otherwordly landscapes, dramatic beaches, mystic wonders and also surreal waterfalls. There are generally two most popular itineraries to explore Iceland. One, the famous ring road itinerary that is suitable for travellers planning for 10-13 night long vacation. The other itinerary being a short 6-7 night itinerary that covers south Iceland. Even the first ring road itinerary majorly covers South Iceland. In this article, we explore North Iceland, the less explored region of the country. Read on find the best places and best things to do in North Iceland.

Many places in North Iceland is still a mystery and hasn’t come to light yet. One major reason being accessibility and South Iceland itself has a lot of things to explore. But as South Iceland is becoming popular among tourists, Locals and People who like offbeats have started carving their own paths to explore these hidden gems in North Iceland.

Also Read: Best Things to do in South Iceland – A Dream Destination

Best Things to Do in North Iceland

  • Lake Mývatn
  • Mývatn Nature Bath
  • Jökulsárgljúfur
  • Godafoss
  • Húsavík
  • Askja Area

1.Lake Mývatn

One of the largest lakes in North Iceland and is in the active volcano region. As many as nine volcanic eruptions took place during the period from 1975-1984. The lake is 6.5 Kilometers long and 4.5 Kilometers wide and quite shallow as well. Swimming is strictly prohibited as the temperature of the water doesn’t suit human skins. Lake surrounds with picturesque landscapes and geothermal formations. The lake is best visited during summers as it one of the coldest regions of the country during winters. Summers are bright and colourful, the lake has rich birdlife as well as wildlife.

Lake Mývatn
Credits: Google Images

There are three camping sites available close to the lake and a couple of hotels as well. There are a handful of places available to visit that are just a short drive away. Lake Myvatn tops the list of best things to North Iceland as it offers a different experience compared to rest of Iceland.

2.Mývatn Nature Bath

It is a naturally warm pool and stream bath similarly to ones in Rotorua of New Zealand. It is also referred to as “Blue lagoons of North” owing to its turquoise blue waters. The water is mineral-rich and has healing properties. Since the water is packed with minerals, you won’t be able to see through it. The waters are quite shallow and the surface is uniform too, so you don’t have about any steep depressions. you can carry your beverages to pool and enjoy the surrounding sceneries as you relax and rejuvenate in streaming waters. Mývatn Nature Bath is underrated and one of the best things do in North Iceland.

Mývatn Nature Bath
Credits: Google Images
  • Price: Varies as per the season.
  • Adults: 4500 ISK during winter, 5000 ISK during summers
  • Children ( age category – 13 -15): 1800ISK in winters, 2200 ISK during Summer

Also Read: There is nothing like Iceland in December

3.Jökulsárgljúfur

Jökulsárgljúfur is an impressive glacial canyon in Northeastern Iceland. The canyon is a result of Jökulsá á Fjöllum hewing away the basalts in its surroundings. George is sublime and lofty with a depth of 120 meters, 500 meters wide and 25 Kilometer long.

Jökulsárgljúfur
Credits: Google Images

Canyon hosts a series of waterfalls namely Selfoss, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss and Réttarfoss. Detifoss is the most visited and powerful waterfalls among them.

4. Goðafoss

Goðafoss or Godafoss is a perennial waterfall and one of the best things to do in North Iceland. The 30 meters wide and 12 meters deep waterfall is a striking highlight of North Iceland and has fascinating folklore as well. There are three viewpoints giving a different perspective of falls from each viewpoint.

Goðafoss
Credits: Google Images

One interesting tale that is of significant importance is chieftain Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði tossing the idols of the Old Norse Gods into the water stream to symbolise conversion of state into Christianity.

The northern town of Akureyri is an ideal place to stay if you are planning to explore the waterfalls and the surrounding sights.

Also Read: Amazing Waterfalls in Iceland – Land of Ice and Fire

5.Húsavík

Husavik is a fishing town on the shores of Skjálfandi bay. The town is charming and a good way to explore is through walk as you will get the feel of the town. People mainly come here for whale watching excursions, hence tourists consider this as whale watching capital of Iceland. The happening place of the town is the Harbour area. You can park your vehicle here and explore the surrounding churches and sights.

Húsavík: Whale watching Town
Credits: Google Images

There are a couple of vantage points across the town to witness the calm sea and snow-clad looming peaks at a distance. Husavik Church is just a couple of minutes walk from the harbour and one of the significant landmarks in the town. In addition, there are a couple of whale museums showcasing the bones and fins of deceased whales to educate the tourist.

Best way to visit the town is to do a day trip from Lake Mývatn or Akureyri. Whale watching in Husavik is one of the best things to do in North Iceland.

Also Read: The 10 best walking tours in Iceland

6.Askja Area

One of those places in Iceland where you can just pause and admire the surreal beauty in nature for hours. It is a volcanic site formed due to collapsing of the surface after the eruption. you can find the area in the northern region of Vatnajökull National Park. Askja has three geothermal lakes Askja Lake, Öskjuvatn Lake, and Viti Volcano Lake.

Askja: Vatnajökull National Park
Credits: Google Images

Öskjuvatn Lake is the deepest lake of all three lakes, in fact, it is the deepest lake in the entire nation. whilst it is strictly prohibited to bathe in Öskjuvatn Lake, you are allowed to bathe in Viti lake. However, it might 45 minutes to hike to the top of Viti lake. If the conditions are perfect, you can enjoy the pool with your loved ones all by yourself as Askja is unfamiliar and won’t be crowded. A trip is Askja should definitely be part of your North Iceland itinerary as it is one the best things to do in North Iceland.

The above list is a vetted list of best things to do in North Iceland. There are numerous other hidden gems in North Iceland that unfamiliar among tourists. In a nutshell, if you like exploring the unexplored regions, North Iceland should be your holy grail. If you find the above article helpful, visit Pickyourtrail to build your own customised Iceland tour Package, you can also reach out to us on WhatsApp.