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Iceland Cities and Regions

Reykjavik/Southwest Iceland

The world’s northernmost capital city not only boasts more than half the country’s population (roughly 196,000 residents in the Greater Reykjavik Area), but also much of its culture and fashion. This region is home to Keflavik International Airport (KEF), the country’s gateway to America and Europe; the island’s famed Blue Lagoon; and some of Iceland’s most astonishing natural attractions (Þingvellir, Geysir, Gulfoss). See our Reykjavik Travel Guide

West Iceland

Primarily comprising the Snæfellsnes peninsula, the west’s ice caps (written about in Journey to the Center of the Earth) and the abundance of whale activity off the coast are this region’s main draws. It’s also rich in history: Leif Eiriksson – the first European to visit North America – hailed from here.


Rugged beyond compare, this set of jagged fjords in northwest Iceland isn’t the easiest place to navigate (the roads are winding and unpaved), but the coastal area is remarkable for the thousands of puffins that reside here during summer months.

Southeast Iceland

The southern seaboard is awash with flowing waterfalls, craggy lava fields, and colossal glaciers. A drive through the region will provide a glimpse at the country’s diverse landscape, as well as Vatnajökull, Europe’s most massive ice cap and the third largest in the world.

East Iceland

Striking mountains, scattered fjords, and tiny fishing villages define eastern Iceland. Visitors don’t pay much attention to this secluded pocket of the country, as they’re often more eager to head south to Vatnajökull or north to Skaftafell National Park. Ferries from Europe arrive at the eastern port of Seyðisfjordur. Expect to see reindeer roaming free in the country’s largest forest, Hallormsstaður.

North Iceland

The north is possibly the most inaccessible part of the country – there aren’t many freeways that bisect the island; to get there, you must travel all the way around via the Ring Road. Experiencing Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, is a good reason to make the journey. The craters and lava fields of magnificent Lake Myvatn are a haven for a variety of wildlife.

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