Iceland—a land of stunning vistas and nearly incomprehensible names—is an incredible destination for the intrepid and curious. Tucked away in the northern Atlantic, this small jewel of an island is known for its waterfalls, the northern lights, and bizarrely beautiful scenery. Most people know the Nordic country for its comprehensive welfare system, universal health care, and its high quality of life.

The country ranks ninth on the United Nations’ Human Index Ranking, beating both the United States and Canada.

But what you might not have known is that Iceland is surprisingly accessible to US travelers. A short five-hour flight takes you from New York to Reykjavik—Iceland’s capital. Websites like Kayak boast affordable tickets, and if you’re on a budget, Iceland may be a perfect destination due to its wealth of camping sites and hostels.

But enough with that.

Here are seven absolutely beautiful, must-see places in Iceland that will certainly inspire your wanderlust:

1. Reykjavik

Iceland’s most-populous city and cultural hub is a great place to spend a few days. Aside from its dozens of restaurants and shopping, Reykjavik is a wonderful place for the arts and history. Check out the city’s iconic Lutheran church, the Hallgrímskirkja, a fantastic venue to listen to chamber music.

The National Museum provides a comprehensive view of Icelandic history, and the Harpa, Reykjavik’s concert hall and conference center, is a worthwhile visit just for its distinctive architecture.

2. Seljalandsfoss

Iceland is known for its many waterfalls, and one of its most picturesque is Seljalandsfoss.

Cascading down a height of almost 200 feet (about 60 m), Seljalandsfoss is located in the southern part of the country and is a short distance from Reykjavik. “Foss” is the Icelandic term for waterfall, and if you catch this one at the right time, you may encounter a rainbow glimmering in its mists.

3. Látrabjarg

Aside from its gorgeous views of the northern Atlantic Ocean, Látrabjarg is an amazing place for bird enthusiasts.

These dramatic cliffs rise to heights above 1000 feet and are home to a number of Atlantic sea birds, such as guillemot, northern gannet, and of course, puffins! Millions of these birds roost in Látrabjarg’s crags, and they provide amazing photo opportunities for the adventurous.

4. Þingvellir

Þingvellir (or Thingvellir) is a national park and World Heritage Site about 40 km from Reykjavik.

Part of the Golden Circle, which includes Gullfoss, Silfra, and the Geysir, this awe-inspiring park is home to the junction of two major tectonic plates—the North American and Eurasian. The rift between these two plates, called Silfra, is an excellent (and cold) place for freshwater diving. There are also excellent camping sites in the park.

5. Gullfoss

Another one of Iceland’s iconic waterfalls, Gullfoss (or Golden Waterfall) is part of the Golden Circle in southwestern Iceland.

These 100-foot falls are fed by the Hvítá (White) River and drop in a series of two stages in a canyon with walls towering over 200 feet. These falls are a truly immersive experience as you listen to the roar of many waters crashing and tumbling in this incredible natural formation.

6. Vatnajökull

Did you know that Iceland is home to one of Europe’s largest glaciers?

That’s right, the massive Vatnajökull covers a whopping eight percent of Iceland’s total land surface. A wonderful place for hikers, the glacier also conceals some of the most active volcanoes in the country.

Also, check out these awesome ice caves you can explore in the glacier:

7. Jökulsárlón

Located in Vatnajökull National Park (where the famed Vatnajökull is found), this “glacial lagoon” is sure to inspire with its frigid beauty. Iceland is home to a number of these lagoons that formed after the recession of glaciers from the ocean.

Giant chunks of ice float in the lake’s icy blue waters, and if you’re lucky, you may even see a seal swimming or lounging on an iceberg.

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