Not most of us have the luxury of time to go round the Iceland to capture all that we would love to especially when it comes to hiking through mountains or lava fields.
This guide is for those who still want to cover most of the island and get the most of it without spending much effort. Over the last few years, tourism has been picking up and it will probably be still going up. Waterfalls that you have to drive through patches of greens to reach now have carparks that you need to pay for parking to just to see it.
To see 36 spots in 8 days is very achievable during summer however during winter especially when you probably only have 4 hours of sunlight to drive around it would need more days.
Link to the map can be view here.
(Optional but good to have) If you have a 4X4 for a smoother ride and would be even better that you have a drone to cover some aerial shots.
1 | Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is a historic site and national park in Iceland, east of Reykjavík. It sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures.
Location: 64.25585, -21.13036
2 | Geysir
A favorite stop along the Golden Circle is the highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur which spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.Location: 64.31379, -20.29952
3 | Gullfoss
Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) is part of the Golden Circle tour, located in South Iceland on the Hvítá (White) river which is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. On a sunny day shimmering rainbow can be seen over the falls.
Location: 64.32707, -20.11994
4 | Skálholt Cathedral
One of the most historic places in Iceland. It was an episcopal see, a school, a seat of learning and administration for more than 700 years and a place of pilgrimage in medieval times.
Location: 64.12525, -20.52443
5 | Kerið
The crater Kerið was formed about 6,500 years ago.
Location: 64.04127, -20.88514
Photo by @inviaggiocoltubo
Waterfall along Iceland’s southern coast is fed by melting water from the famed glacier-capped Eyjafjallajokull volcano. It’s the only known waterfall in the world that it is possible to walk behind.
Location: 63.61562, -19.98856
7 | Eyjafjallajökull
This is the volcano that has erupted relatively frequently since the last glacial period, most recently in 2010.
Location: 63.54283, -19.66779
8 | Skógafoss
Photo by @phil_el_guerrero
Skogafoss is unique because the waterfall comes directly from two glaciers, Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull.
Location: 63.53205, -19.51137
9 | Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed (the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank) on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, in the South Coast of Iceland. The remains of the plane are still on the sand very close to the sea. Just one thing you need to note to get to this place you will have to walk 8km.
Location: 63.45909, -19.36471
10 | Reynisdrangar Sea Cliffs
Photo by @jessicaseraphin
They are towering, spiky basalt sea stacks jutting out from the ocean 66 meters (217 ft) into the air.
Location: 63.4143, -19.00441
11 | Skaftafell
Skaftafell is a wilderness area in Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park. Its huge glaciers include Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull.
Location: 64.07041, -16.97517
12 | Fjallsárlón Glacial Lagoon
Fjallsjökull is part of the bigger glacier reaches down to the water of the lake and some ice-bergs are drifting by on its surface. The glacier calving into the lagoon is a part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Location: 64.01432, -16.37258
13 | Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 250 meters deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breiðamerkurjökull is an outlet of the Vatnajökull glacier.
Location: 64.04839, -16.17944
14 | Dettifoss
Photo by @packyourownbags
The greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe, 500 cubic metres of water per second plunges over the edge. Dettifoss is 45 m high and 100m wide.
Location: 65.81514, -16.38563
15 | Krafla
Photo by @amirus89
A caldera of about 10 km in diameter with a 90 km long fissure zone, in the north of Iceland in the Mývatn region.
Location: 65.71713, -16.75438
16 | Krafla Power Plant
The Krafla geothermal power plant is a geothermal power generating facility located in Iceland, close to the Krafla Volcano and the lake Mývatn.
Location: 65.70317, -16.77517
17 | Hverir
Geothermal spot noted for its bubbling pools of mud & steaming fumaroles emitting sulfuric gas.
Location: 65.64091, -16.80931
18 | Goðafoss
Photo by @gin_ds
One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters. In the year 1000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall.
Location: 65.68277, -17.55019
19 | Húsavík Port
Photo by @northsailing
A small coastal town located in the north of Iceland in the Skjalfandi Bay, and commonly referred to as “the Whale Watching Capital of the North” due to the different species of whale that frequently enter the bay.
Location: 66.04568, -17.34608
20 | Akureyrarkirkja
Located in the centre of the city, Akureyri, and towering above the city on a hill, it was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, and completed in 1940.
Location: 65.67987, -18.09076
21 | Skagfirðinga Heritage Museum
Exhibitions are located at the Minjahús (The Heritage House) in Sauðárkrókur and the Glaumbær museum grounds. The Minjahús houses a streetscape exhibition depicting “original” workshops: a carpenter’s, a blacksmith’s and a watchmaker’s.
Location: 65.61064, -19.5041
22 | Blönduóskirkja
Designed by Dr. Maggi Jónsson and consecrated in 1993, as designed to resemble an erupting volcano.
Location: 65.65976, -20.28058
23 | Þingeyraklausturskirkja
The stone church that now stands in Þingeyrar was built by the farmer in Þingeyrar, Ásgeir Einarsson and was finished in the year 1877. It took 20 years to build the church and the stones used for it were brought from a Nesbjörg, a location to the vest of Hóp and had to be dragged with ox sleds on ice in wintertime.
Location: 65.55465, -20.40461
24 | Borgarvirki
Photo by @orilutski
Made out of basalt strata, it has been used as a fortress for centuries. Borgarvirki is a natural phenomenon, altered by humans in earlier centuries.
Location: 65.47481, -20.59739
25 | Hvitserkur
A 15 m high basalt stack along the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula, in northwest Iceland. The rock has two holes at the base, which give it the appearance of a dragon who is drinking.
Location: 65.60631, -20.63523
26 | Illugastadir Seal Watching
Photo by @yulianna_asinovskaya
There’s 2 binoculars in the hut where the seals are, you can use it to view the seals from the window.
Location: 65.61004, -20.88356
27 | Stykkishólmskirkja
A super futuristic church, designed by Jón Haraldsson, has a sweeping bell tower that looks like a whale vertebra. The interior features hundreds of suspended lights and a painting of the Madonna and child floating in the night sky.
Location: 65.07385, -22.7218
28 | Kirkjufellsfoss
Kirkjufellsfoss is located in West Iceland, close to Grundarfjörður Town and Kirkjufell Mountain on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It’s a rather small water fall you could get quite close to.
Location: 64.92615, -23.3114
29 | Skarðsvík Beach
A secluded beach that is very popular amongst Icelanders and on sunny days you can see people sunbathing, swimming in the ocean and jumping off the cliffs.
Location: 64.88144, -23.98641
30 | Djúpalónssandur Beach
It’s filled with black pebbles which is called the Black Lava Pearl Beach on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Remains of a shipwreck are still on the beach.
Location: 64.75228, -23.90051
31 | Malarrif Lighthouse
This unique 24m (~80 ft) tall lighthouse was built in 1917, then rebuilt in 1946. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse consist of lava formations. This is also a good toilet break stop over at the Tourist Information Center.
Location: 64.72824, -23.80286
32 | Londrangar View Point
Uniquely-formed remnants of ancient basalt volcanic dikes sticking out from the sea. Londrangar and the hill Svalthufa are the remains of a crater, which has been eroded to its present form by the sea.
Location: 64.73525, -23.77422
33 | Rauðfeldsgjá Ravine
Photo from Flickr
This mountain fissure hides a secret path to a secluded mossy grotto within the rock itself. You can get into the fist part of the canyon rather easily, for those who wish to go further you may want to bring rubber boots and other waterproof gear! The farther you get into the canyon. you would need to trek through the water to continue.
Location: 64.79824, -23.63771
34 | Ytri Tunga Beach Coast Selir
A farm with a little secret hidden away down by the sea that you can view the seals lying lazily on the rocks just a few metres off the coast.
Location: 64.80274, -23.08031
35 | Hallgrimskirkja
Photo by Archiloverz
Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres high, it is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest structures in Iceland.
Location: 64.14171, -21.92663
36 | Langjökull
Langjökull is the second largest ice cap in Iceland, after Vatnajökull. It is situated in the west of the Icelandic interior or Highlands of Iceland and can be seen clearly from Haukadalur. It also have the first man-made ice cave there where you can go into during summer.
Location: 64.65618, -20.15314
Although the list stops at 37, as you travel along the way on high way one or wander off roads, there are unlisted treasures that you might be able to find along the way.
While traveling to these places, you can pop by any petrol kiosks that sells hotdogs to fill up your tummies while going on your photo hunting journey.
Lastly, Iceland is a place where you would still need winter gear for summer at various locations, so do bring some warm clothes.