The Country’s Regions on an Iceland Map
When most travelers start planning their trip, they might not know about all of the things there are to see and do here. They may have heard about glacier hikes or trekking on volcanoes, but aren’t exactly sure where to find the highlights and best things to do. We’ve broken it down for you into the regions of Iceland so you can see exactly where everything is. Here’s a map of Iceland along with where the main attractions are located.
Regions of Iceland
Our beautiful volcanic and glacier-filled island in the North Atlantic is divided into four main regions. They are South Iceland, East Iceland, North Iceland, and West Iceland. While a large percentage of our country’s attractions are concentrated along the South Coast, there’s something worthwhile in every corner of the island. Consider this your guide to Iceland and it's treasures.
South Iceland is the most visited region in Iceland. Driving along the Ring Road from Reykjavik to Jökulsárlón and back is a popular journey taken by tourists. Along this route, you’ve got seemingly endless stops and outdoor activities. Here’s a full list of attractions along Iceland’s South Coast.
- Reykjavik - The country’s capital city.
- The Blue Lagoon - Large geothermal spa.
- Reykjadalur hot spring thermal river - Bathe in Iceland’s hot river.
The Golden Circle Route
- Thingvellir National Park - Home to Iceland’s and the world's first parliament.
- The Silfra Fissure - See where the earth is splitting in two or go scuba diving between tectonic plates.
- Strokkur and Geysir geysers in Haukadalur geothermal valley.
- Gullfoss waterfall - Iceland's golden waterfall.
While Thingvellir, the Haukadalur geysers and Gullfoss are the three main stops on the Golden Circle route, there are almost a dozen other places to take detours to, including:
- Langjokull glacier - Go snowmobiling on a glacier.
- Fontana Geothermal Baths.
- Kerið Crater - Extinct volcanic crater.
- Sólheimar Ecovillage.
Beyond the Golden Circle
- Skógafoss waterfall - You can hike to the top for magnificent views.
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall - Considered Iceland’s most beautiful waterfall.
- The Sólheimasandur plane wreck site.
- Vik and Reynisfjara black sand beaches and basalt columns.
- Lanmannalaugar and the Laugavegur trail - Perfect for hikers.
- Icelandic Highlands - Wild backcountry that opens in the summer and is accessible only with a 4x4 vehicle.
- Vatnajökull National Park - Europe’s largest national park.
- Vatnajökull Glacier - Iceland’s largest glacier.
- Hike the glacier, trek ice caves, explore glacier caves.
- Skaftafell Glacier - Perfect for a glacier hike.
- Svartifoss waterfall - Iceland’s black waterfall with black basalt columns.
- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon - An iceberg-filled lake.
- Diamond Beach - Chunks of ice scattered across the beach. Some are as large as SUVs.
East Iceland is known mostly for the cute little seaside towns that dot its shores and the East Fjords. Spend time exploring this area and as a stopover on the way to North Iceland.
North Iceland is another jewel waiting to be discovered. I wish more people made their way to this part of the country and spent more time here. In my opinion, it’s just as cool as the South and has just as many fascinating things to see and do. This is a full list of North Iceland’s highlights. Most of them are part of the Diamond Circle Route.
Full List of Diamond Circle Attractions
- Húsavik - The whale-watching capital of Iceland.
- ísbyrgi Canyon - Horseshoe-shaped canyon.
- Vesturdalur Valley - Bizarre basalt rock formations.
- Dettifoss waterfall - Europe’s most powerful waterfall
- Krafla volcanic fields - Area once decimated by lava flows.
- Hverir geothermal area - Colorful, bubbling mud and hissing fumaroles.
- Lake Mývatn - Turquoise, volcanic lake
- Jarðböðin Nature Baths - A less crowded alternative to the Blue Lagoon.
- Dimmuborgir lava field - Haunting rock formations.
- Goðafoss waterfall - A major part of Iceland’s history.
- Hverfjall volcanic crater - Black, circular 1km crater.
- Grjótagjá cave - Thermal waters and Game of Thrones filming location.
Non-Diamond Circle Attractions in North Iceland
- Akureyri - Iceland’s capital of the North.
- Dalvik - Come here and Akureyri for skiing and snowboarding.
- Hosós thermal pool - Infinity pool with a view of the fjords.
Last but certainly not least is Iceland’s West Coast. Not only is it home to the country’s Westfjords, but there’s also the Snaefellsnes peninsula
. Snaefellsnes is a beautiful territory that makes for an excellent day trip from Reykjavik. There’s so much to see that you could actually spend two days exploring everything in the area.
Iceland’s Westfjords and West Coast
- Látrabjarg cliffs - Bird cliffs for puffin watching.
- Rauðasandur - Pink sand beach in Iceland.
- Eldborg Crater - Volcanic crater that you can walk up to the edge.
- Landbrotalaug - The “secret” hot pot that only fits 2-3 people.
- Gerðuberg basalt column cliffs - Visible from the road.
- Budir Black Church - Typical Icelandic architecture with interesting colors.
- Rauðfeldsgjá - Ravine with a hidden waterfall.
- Djúpalónssandur - Black pebble beach.
- Stykkishólmur - A Quaint village and a good stop off point.
- Vatnshellir - An 8,000-year-old lava tube.
- Snæfellsjökull National Park - Home to the glacier.
- Snæfellsjökull glacier - Setting for Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.
- Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall - One of the most photographed spots in Iceland.
The Country’s Regions on an Iceland Map
I hope this guide to the regions of Iceland has been helpful. You’ll find something beautiful waiting for you around every corner, with plenty of surprises. When you explore Iceland, you’ll no doubt have many magical experiences during your trip of a lifetime. There are plenty of things besides the ones listed here, so rent a car in Iceland
and hit the road! Let us know your favorite things to see and do and which ones you would add to our Iceland map and list of attractions.