Iceland

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It makes sense to base yourself in Reykjavik since most of the country’s greatest attractions are located in close proximity. Home to an abundance of natural phenomena – from fiery volcanoes to cooling waterfalls – you’ll see it all by taking a trip around the peripheral Ring Road.

Things to do in Iceland

Golfing

It may seem an odd activity for a country with the word “ice” in its name, but Iceland actually lays claim to a couple notable courses. Grab your clubs and try your swing at the world’s northernmost 18 holes at Akureyri Golf Club overlooking jagged fjords and the glistening ocean.

Akureyri Golf Club, Akureyri Jaðri, 600, 011-354-462-2974, www.golf.is
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors

Ice sports

At any time of year, you can go ice climbing, glacier walking, snowmobiling, and more on the enormous ice cap Vatnajökull. Just be sure and go with a professional: Conditions are dangerous to newcomers who don’t know the area. We recommend booking a tour through Reykjavik Excursions as it has the widest range of offerings.

Reykjavik Excursions, Reykjavik Vatnsmýrarvegi 10, 011-354-562-1011, www.re.is
Tags: family | sports and adventure | things to do | outdoors

Jökulsárgljúfur National Park

Situated in one of the most volcanically active areas of Iceland, this 75-square-mile park includes more than 200 species of plants and a wide range of birds. Its most popular attraction is Niagara-like Dettifoss waterfall, located on the country's second longest river, Jökulsá á Fjöllum, that flows from the Vatnajökull glacier.

, 011-354-465-2359, www.ust.is
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors

Skiing

Just a half-hour drive from Reykjavik, Bláfjöll ski resort has something for everyone: A ski and snowboarding school, cross-country slopes, and illuminated runs for night skiing, as well as a host of après ski restaurants and bars. With an 886-foot vertical drop, the resort is groomed with beginner and intermediate terrain.

Bláfjöll ski resort, 011-354-530-3000, www.skidasvaedi.is
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | sports

The Blue Lagoon

Bathe in the eerie, therapeutic waters of Bláa Lónið (said to help cure conditions like psoriasis), where temperatures are always kept above a pleasant 100 degrees. Create your own free facial by taking advantage of the silica mud pots that line the perimeter of the pool.

25 miles west of Reykjavik, www.bluelagoon.com
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | culture

The Golden Circle

Some of Iceland’s most striking attractions are conveniently located along the same southwestern route (180-miles round trip from Reykjavik): Þingvellir, a postcard-worthy valley surrounded by undulating lava; Gulfoss, an impressive waterfall that rivals Niagara; and Geysir, the country’s first active hot spring. Most buses make stops at each spot. Reykjavik Excursions offers full-day trips.

Reykjavik Excursions, Reykjavik Vatnsmýrarvegi 10, 011-354-562-1011, www.re.is
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | tour

The South Shore

A jaunt down Iceland’s southern coastline will leave you with a true appreciation for the country and a photo album full of memories. Along the Ring Road route – the highway that encircles the entire island – you’ll pass waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss), glaciers (Vatnajökull, Mýrdalsjökull), and black-sand beaches (Vík), not to mention

, www.icelandtouristboard.com
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | road trips

Whale and Puffin Watching

Though you’re almost guaranteed to spot whales any time of year (if you don’t, most companies will give you a free return pass), finding puffins is more of a feat. They’re only out during the breeding season (April to August), when whale-watching boats detour to the islands of Akurey and Lundey in hopes of spotting them. All boats depart from Reykjavik harbor.

Whale Watching Centre, ÆgisgarÞur 7, 011-354-533-2660, www.whalewatching.is
Tags: family | cruise | things to do | outdoors | wildlife

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