Tired of wondering what to do in Iceland? How about what not to do in Iceland? Well we have you covered!
After driving over 2,400 miles around Iceland’s Ring Road, we saw a ton of what the country has to offer, both good and bad. If (more like when) we decide to do this again, there are definitely a few places we would skip. So whether you’re gearing up for your first trip around Iceland, or looking for a way to see the most with the shortest amount of time, you’ve come to the right place!
Here’s our list of things we wouldn’t go out of our way to see again:
#1) Drive through Northeastern Iceland
If you plan on driving the Ring Road counterclockwise (like most people do) there’s really not much to see between Höfn on Iceland’s southeast coast and Akureyri, Iceland’s “capital of the north”. The coast is always pretty, but as soon as you start driving inland, there’s nothing to see and no towns for miles. So if you do go, because it was a cool experience either way, make sure to fill up on gas beforehand and pray for no car problems!
#2) Visit the Arctic Henge
Per #1 on our list, the Arctic Henge is one of the attractions that drove us to northern Iceland in the first place (and it’s WAY north). Located just 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Henge is in Raufarhöfn, the northernmost city in the entire country. Not only is the attraction not yet completed, but when it is, it will become a main attraction for Paganism in the world, which isn’t exactly something we’re into so…
#3) The DC-3 Plane Crash at Sólheimasandur Beach
In 1973 a US Navy DC-3 airplane was forced to crash land on this black sand beach in southern Iceland. In order to hide technology, both wings and the tail have long since been removed. Not only is the plane crash difficult to find, but it also includes a two-mile walk each way. You can’t see the plane from where you need to park your car, only short yellow sticks every hundred yards guide you as you walk into complete nothingness. Lots of pictures online show the wreckage at sunset, desolate, capturing the imagination of the viewer. However when we went, in early May, there were lots of people there and no opportunity to get that “perfect shot” with no one in the frame. It was cool to be able to walk inside and on top of the plane, but there are sharp metal pieces and wires jutting out in every direction and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets injured! (Definitely would not recommend for children). We suggest skipping this location all together and spending more time at a different spot!
#4) Eat at The Viking Café (Höfn)
Though not too far out of our way, the Viking Café (known for their famous waffles) was overpriced… and didn’t have any waffles! You had to pay to park and pay extra if you wanted to walk down by the beach. Although the landscape was picturesque as the mountains rose steeply from the ocean, it’s something we will pass on the next time around.
#5) Hike up to see Hengifoss and Litlanefoss
In Icelandic, “foss” means waterfall. So whenever you pass a road sign with the word foss on it, it should almost always guarantee a stop! The last on our list is located in northeastern Iceland (Do you see a trend here?) Litlanefoss, like many waterfalls in Iceland, are framed by basalt columns from hardened magma. However, the path that walks uphill (very uphill) to Hengifoss passes right by Litlanefoss— but you can’t see it. Only part of the waterfall is visible unless you (and we don’t suggest that you do) walk up the other side of the waterfall where there’s no path.
Well, there you have it. Five things we wouldn’t do again, but definitely didn’t regret doing the first time around, in Iceland.
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