8 Bucket List Adventures You Can Do In Iceland!

8 Bucket List Adventures You Can Do In Iceland!

Travel Writer, photographer and Guide!

Did you know that you can do all these bucket list ideas right here in Iceland? It's time for you to book a trip to Iceland!

​So you're looking for your next big adventure... You want to go somewhere different, adventurous and a place where you can experience the thrills of life, right? 

Well look no further, Iceland is the place. In this article, I will talk you through 8 bucket list experiences that you can do in Iceland to make your trip as memorable as possible!

​It is exactly this adventurous nature of Iceland, combined with its uniqueness and originality that made me fall in love with the country.  

A little overview of what's in this article:

  • amazing bucket list things you can do in Iceland
  • Why do it in Iceland? 
  • How you can do it?

8 Bucket list things you can do in iceland

The Skogafoss waterfall in South Shore in May in Iceland

Coming to Iceland in the first place may already be on your bucket list! And so it should be! 
But let's dive deeper into your list and see what experiences you can actually do whilst in Iceland to make your trip as memorable as possible!

​There are obviously thousands of thrilling adventures you can do whilst in Iceland, but we have handpicked 8 bucket list experiences that you can do in Iceland and why Iceland is actually the best place to do them!

#1 - See the northern lights

Iceland August Northern Lights

Seeing the Northern Lights is probably on everyone's bucket list. And coming from someone who has seen them a few times, I can tell you that they are even more magical than what you see in pictures.

Their gentle flow and natural aspect highlight a form of magic that​ will leave you in absolute awe. 

Whether you are a spiritual mind or a person of science, these lights are one of nature's greatest and most amazing gifts that should be witnessed by everyone at least once in their lives!

Why in Iceland?

In case you weren't aware of this, Iceland is actually one of the best places on Earth where you can see the Northern Lights!
Even better, it is one of the easiest places to go to in hopes of seeing them. Its capital, Reykjavik, is often known as the Northern Lights capital of the world!

And for good reason! If you come to Reykjavik in the winter you have good chances of seeing them! 

How can you see them?​

The main things you need to know is that you need to come in the winter time (between September and March) and you need clear dark skies to see them.​

The northern lights are very unpredictable and sometimes require some expert help to find them, however, we have a very helpful guide to seeing the Northern Lights while in Reykjavik which you can check out!

We have a special Northern Lights Tour to make sure you get to see them!

We have handpicked the best Northern lights tour, in which experts will take you to see them and tell you all about them!

#2 - See the midnight sun

​The Midnight Sun is an event that only takes place at the Poles of our planet. The beauty of it isn't just that you have more time to explore and enjoy adventure; the Midnight Sun also emits a beautifully unique light which makes everything look so magical and mystical

As a photographer, the Midnight Sun is my favourite light for taking landscape photography, and an event that I look forward to every year.​

Why see it in Iceland?

You may have heard of Norway being the 'land of the midnight sun', but the Midnight Sun is very present in Iceland too in June and July.
Actually, we believe that the unique landscape and wild nature of Iceland make it even better for witnessing the Midnight Sun, especially if you are in the middle of nowhere! ​

How to see it?​

The Midnight Sun is actually easier to see and find than the Northern Lights.
To see the Midnight Sun you need to come in the Summer between June and July. At that time of year, Iceland gets as many as 21 hours of daylight with very little night time (if any at all).

We recommend being out in nature to witness it ​and they both make a great combination!

#3 - Go on a road trip with friends

A picture of a rental car on an Icelandic road

​Going on a road trip with your friends is one of the best and most fun things you can do. With the right people, the right car, and the right location, you can be sure that you will have the time of your life!
A road trip is all about escaping with your friends for some time, forgetting about the stressful world and just focusing on being yourself, doing amazing things, singing the songs you all love and reminiscing all the memories that you share!

Why do it in Iceland?

​2 years ago, I went on a road trip to Iceland with 3 of my good friends. Needless to say but it was the best trip of my life. We chose Iceland out of all the countries in the world and if I could go back, I would choose Iceland all over again
The sheer beauty of Iceland, its roads and the feeling of freedom that you get once you're out in the wilderness are amazing. We discovered Iceland together as friends and came out of it with a lifetime of memories to cherish

How to do it?​

We have a great guide to doing a road trip around Iceland in 7 days which you should definitely check out if you're interested.

But to sum it up, if you want to do the full tour of Iceland, you need to do it in the Summer with a minimum of 7 to 10 days, a good car and a great soundtrack to go with the Icelandic landscape!

#4 - Swim in a natural hot-spring

There is nothing quite like being in a natural hot spring in the middle of nowhere, with a speechless view to please your eyes. 

The beauty of a hot spring is that it doesn't matter how cold it is outside because you're in a naturally heated spring without having to worry about anything in the world. It relaxation at its finest. 

Why in Iceland?​

Iceland is very well known for its geothermal activity! In fact, if you have a look at the 15 crazy facts about Iceland, you'll learn that ​87% of the nation’s housing is heated using naturally hot water!
Due to this geothermal activity, Iceland actually has loads of hot springs that you can go in! And because Iceland is so wild and beautiful, you can be sure that no matter what hot spring you're in, you'll have an amazing view to go with it!

How can you do it?​

We have made a great guide about the 10 must visit natural hot springs in Iceland, in this guide you'll be able to find the ones that you want to visit and find out which ones are our favourites!

​At Wake Up Reykjavik, we have also recently added a new tour in which we take you to the Golden Circle with entrance to the Secret Lagoon too! Find out more here!


whalewatching in reykjavik best activities to do 2019

​It is beautiful to see any wild animal in its natural habitat, but seeing whales splurge out of the water really raises the bar in terms of witnessing animals in the wild. 

The sheer size of these water mammals is enough to leave you speechless but when you combine that with the sight of them jumping out of the water and elegantly showing off its travelled flukes, you're sure to fall in love with these creatures instantly.
This should definitely be on your bucket list!

Why in Iceland?​

Iceland and its waters are frequented by 23 different species of whales! 
From killer whales to minke whales, humpback whales and sperm whales, you will be able to witness a beautiful diversity of ocean wildlife like nowhere else on earth!

Iceland is actually the best place in Europe to see Whales!​

How can you see them?

To see some whales you'll need to go on specialised whale watching tours on which you get taken on a boat a little further out at sea to spot the various species. 

There is a higher success rate of seeing them in the Summer from April to October with the peak seasons being in June, July and August.

In fact, if you're in Reykjavik, you can come with us on a whale watching tour like no other!​ Find out more here! We operate all year round!


​Adventure comes in many ways, but what adventure lover hasn't dreamed of one day hiking across a glacier?

To be face to face with endless mountains of ice can truly give some perspective into one's eyes ​as to the power and size of nature. 

Hiking a glacier is truly an adventure to have on your bucket list if you like cold environments!

Why in Iceland?​

A lot of glaciers in the world are situated​ in harsh mountain ranges or areas out of reach such as the Himalayas or Antarctica.

The beauty of Iceland is that it is so easy to get here from anywhere and it is also home to 269 glaciers
In fact, roughly 11% of the land area in Iceland is covered in glaciers, and it is also home to the biggest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajokull!

It's perfect for glacier hiking!​

How can you do it?​

​It is not recommended to go hiking glaciers by yourself unless you are an experienced climber with the proper equipment

Iceland offers a wide variety of glacier hikes and ice climbs for you to do. In fact, here, we have two amazing glacier experiences that you can book ​with us at Wake Up Reykjavik: 

#7 - RIDE A HORSE in the wilderness

​Any Lord of the Rings fan has been dreaming about riding a horse across expressive and unusual landscapes. Immersing yourself in beautiful nature as your creativity takes you to another world... You know what I mean!

Even if you're not looking for a 'fantasy' experience, riding a horse in nature represents the connection that we have to animals as we explore the nature that we all share. A truly majestic ​feeling and one that should be on your bucket list!

Why in Iceland?​

If you didn't know already, Iceland is home to a unique breed of horse!

There is only one breed of horse in Iceland and it is prohibited to bring in any foreign breeds of horses into Iceland!

The pure-bred Icelandic horse has a distinct look and a distinct stride making even more special to ride.​

Combine that with the picturesque landscape of Iceland and you have yourself the best horse riding trip you could ever imagine.

How to do it?​

Unless you have your own horse in Iceland, you will need to organise this through a horse riding tour. There are plenty of tours for all levels and at all price points. 

Here, at Wake Up Reykjavik, we have handpicked the best horse riding tour in Iceland for you to do in which we take you across some breathtaking lava landscapes with mountain views! Go check it out!

#8 - ​Have a dip in the blue lagoon

Blue Lagoon Iceland Hot Spring

Last but not least on this list is the famous Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is probably the most popular place in Iceland and somewhere which most people dream of going to at least once in their lives!

We've all see the beautiful pictures of the blue waters filled with Silica online.

Well, let me tell you now, it is as good as you imagine it.

Although not a natural phenomenon (contrary to popular beliefs), this hot-spring is one of the most relaxing places on earth.

Why in Iceland?

Simple, the Blue Lagoon is in Iceland! 

It's fantastically located in the middle of lava fields but remains easy to access from Reykjavik and Keflavik.

How can you go?

As we mentioned, going there is easy enough as it is situated just off the main road from Reykjavik to Keflavik.

However, note that you have to pre-book your space at the Blue Lagoon. The pre-booking system was put in place in order to control the number of people that can enter at the same time. 

To find out more, you can go to their website here: https://www.bluelagoon.com/


​If some of these experiences are on your bucket list then you need to book your flights to Iceland!

Again, I can't stress enough how amazing Iceland is for thrill-seekers, adventures and lovers of nature. If you are considering some of these tours do get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to help you out!

We also have many more thrilling tours which are bucket list worthy, go check them out!

Let me know which of these is on your bucket list, or alternatively let me know what other experiences you have on your bucket list!


Your travel guide and friend,


Did you know that you can do all these bucket list ideas right here in Iceland? You have been dreaming about doing some of these experiences, so come check them out and learn how you can do them on your next trip to Iceland!


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