Since for majority (if not all) of tourists Reykjavik is their entry point on vacations to Iceland, this capital city is normally their first sightseeing destination in the country.
Reykjavík is north most capital city in the world. During the summer there are about 22 hours of sunlight and during winter - darkness and blizzards. It also used to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but the 2008 recession and falling Icelandic currency have made it cheaper (or less expensive, since a lot of goods are imported).
For tourists the city offers cosy cafés, world-class restaurants, fine museums and galleries or state-of-the-art geothermal pools as well as stylish clubs and bars.
The Golden Circle in southern Iceland is a 300km (186 miles) tourist route that starts in Reykjavik and goes into the central part of the island and then comes back to the capital city. If you are on your first vacations to Iceland, your sightseeing must definitely include exploring the Golden Circle. Several interesting sites on the route include:
Gullfoss - Iceland's most famous waterfall, which tumbles
tumbles 35m (100) ft into a steep-sided, narrow canyon, creating spectacular wall of spray and rainbows on sunny days;
Geysir and Strokkur geysers located in Haukadalur Valley;
Thingvellir National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the old Icelandic parliament - longest running parliament in the world - and a place where the North-American and European continental shelf plates are separating;
Keriđ (Kerid) volcano crater; or
Hveragerđi greenhouse village.
Blue Lagoon, located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, approximately 40 km (25 miles) from Reykjavík, is one of the country's top tourist attractions. It's a huge geothermal pool with a distinctive milky - blue, mineral-rich, naturally heated seawater running off from the nearby geothermal plant. The surrounding landscape of lava fields and clouds of steam add to the unique experience of bathing in the pool.
Whale watching and Husavik
There is also a lot to see and do for marine live enthusiasts on vacations to Iceland.
The country is known for great whale watching opportunities with tours offered in ports around the coastline. The species that can be spotted here include: cetaceans, minke, blue, sei, fin, humpback and sperm whales.
Husavik, called Iceland’s whale-watching capital, is picturesque harbor townon the northern coast of Iceland and a popular tourist destination. Besides businesses offering the whale-watching tours, Husavik has some interesting sightseeing opportunities, is home to a Whale Museum and the one-of-a-kind Phallological Museum that displays hundreds of penises and penile parts belonging to every land and sea mammal that can be found in Iceland.
Lake Myvatn (Lake Midge)
Located in north-east part of Iceland, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations. If your Iceland vacation plans allow for a trip outside south-west region, Lake Myvatn is without a doubt a place worth exploring. Surrounded by wetlands, the lake is famous for the stunning landscapes with amazing geological formations, lava fields, lava pillars, craters and pseudocraters, fumeroles, bubbling mud flats. The lake area is also known for many breeding duck species and abundance of other birds.
Jokulsarlon is a glacial lagoon, located in southern Iceland. It is several kilometers wide and offers spectacular, surreal views with icebergs floating through the lagoon and towards the sea.