Iceland is among the most stunning and safest destinations on the planet, so it’s no surprise that it’s regarded as one of the best destinations to travel to in the world. This country is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with breathtaking scenery, pleasant locals, and endless adventure.
With a population of only 330,000 people, Iceland’s attractive landscape has opened its doors to the entire world, revealing everything that makes the country unique. So, here are the top 10 things that all single women should experience on their next Iceland vacation.
1. Talk to the locals
Being understood by others is more crucial than ever, especially regarding trips for single women. When traveling alone, you may need to ask locals for directions from time to time. Fortunately, most Icelandic people are well-versed in English and are very open and accepting to visiting travelers.
As a solo traveler to Iceland, you’ll have no trouble communicating and asking for assistance. Icelandic people are known to be approachable if you’re in a jam or need advice. So, when traveling, don’t be intimidated to ask a stranger for directions or guidance for the best restaurants or places in town.
You might even make a new friend or two while at it. Just remember to be respectful and understand that not everyone will want to engage in conversation. That being said, the locals are more than willing to help you and show you around if you let them know you’re a solo traveler.
2. Experience the nightlife
Reykjavik is Iceland’s nightlife capital, with local and international clubs, bars, and craft breweries to satisfy all tastes. One of the best aspects of Reykjavik’s nightlife is that each popular spot is concentrated in one area.
The bars and clubs are mainly concentrated on Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavik, which makes the entire experience feel like one big party to which everyone is invited. And, like many Western countries, Iceland has a late-night culture in which many locals don’t go out until shortly after midnight, and also some establishments stay in business as late as 4:30-5:30 am on weekend nights. You’ll find that several places offer free admission before a particular time, usually midnight. Many of the clubs will have a live DJ playing a mix of music to get everyone dancing, and some even offer dance lessons earlier in the night.
So, if you want to experience Reykjavik’s world-famous nightlife scene, be sure to go out and enjoy yourself. Just remember to drink responsibly, and don’t accept drinks from strangers. Also, be aware of your surroundings at all times and try to stay in well-lit and populated areas.
3. Explore Iceland’s ice caves
Iceland’s ice caves are also known as the Crystal Caves because the light shining through the blue ice gives them the appearance of crystals. There are numerous ice caves in Iceland, and their shape and location alter yearly as the glacier continues to advance in the winter and melts in the summer.
In addition, the only time you can visit Iceland’s ice caves is during the winter, from about mid-November to around mid-March. So, if you want to see a glacier cave while in Iceland, you should contact a guide who knows which present glacier caves can be discovered.
And although the caves are only accessible in the winter, the experience is well worth the wait. Walking through an ice cave is like being transported to another world, and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. You’ll be surrounded by walls of ice that are constantly changing colors, and the entire experience is both surreal and breathtaking.
4. Visit Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir Park is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates collide — a true continental confluence. And its pure waters’ astounding clarity, with visibility of up to 260 feet, make diving and snorkeling in the Silfra and Davsgjá fissures one of the park’s main attractions.
Furthermore, the breathtaking green spaces surrounding the plains are ideal for a brisk hike through Iceland’s rugged terrain. With its stunning geological quirks and various outdoor activities, Thingvellir Park is a delightful surprise for nature lovers.
You can also visit Thingvellir in winter and enjoy the snow-covered landscapes. However, be sure to check the weather conditions before you go, as the roads can sometimes be icy and dangerous. And last but not least, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while in Thingvellir Park. You’ll be awestruck by their beauty, and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
5. Experience Icelandic cuisine
The Icelandic dining scene has evolved significantly over the last few decades.
Dill Restaurant received the country’s first Michelin star in 2017, then lost and reclaimed it, and Dill continues to remain Iceland’s only Michelin-starred restaurant in 2021.
Nielsen Restaurant in Egilsstair, outside of Reykjavik, is a great place to visit for its dedication to East Icelandic food producers, showcasing local fish, vegetables, grain, meat, and dairy. Other top picks entail Ox and Sumac and Matur og drykkur in Reykjavik and Moss at the Blue Lagoon.
Some Icelandic dishes are unique, such as hákarl, a fermented shark buried in the ground for months. It’s an acquired taste but worth trying at least once. Another traditional Icelandic dish is skyr, a yogurt-like cheese high in protein and popular with locals and visitors alike. Of course, no trip to Iceland would be complete without trying some of the country’s world-famous seafood. Salmon, cod, and haddock are all popular choices, and you can find them on menus all around the country.
6. Take a dip in geothermal spas and baths
For a long time, Iceland’s high-end bathing market was monopolized by the Blue Lagoon, whose milky blue geothermal seawater in the middle of a lava field remains ideal for jetlag recovery from a long trip.
However, in recent years, more geothermal baths and spas have sprouted up, attracting visitors with their exquisite layout, breathtaking settings, and one-of-a-kind bathing experiences. Mvatn Nature Baths in northern Iceland, for example, overlook Lake Mvatn and the nearby bird-filled wetlands and volcanic landscapes. Laugarvatn Fontana, located on the shores of Lake Laugarvatn, continues to draw natural steam for its steam bath.
You can also find smaller, more private baths, such as the Myvatn Nature Baths, which are perfect for those who want to avoid crowds. And last but not least, don’t forget to check out the Secret Lagoon in Fluðir — it’s one of Iceland’s best-kept secrets.
7. See the Northern Lights
The northern lights are still visible and can be seen briefly in May and August. Although the northern lights can be seen from the capital if they are strong enough, it is best to plan a short trip away from light pollution to maximize your opportunities.
Thingvellir National Park is a popular day trip from Reykjavik, but the majestic Reykjanes peninsula encompassing the country’s capital is also a fantastic spot to witness the northern lights. If you’re staying in Reykjavik, many tours are available that will take you on a quest for clear skies and the northern lights.
And if you’re really hoping to catch a glimpse of these elusive lights, consider staying in an aurora bubble — it’s like sleeping under the stars, but with all the comfort and amenities of a luxury hotel. You’ll be able to fall asleep to the sound of the northern lights dancing overhead and wake up to an incredible light show each morning.
8. Visit the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions for a reason. It is a must-see when traveling to the country. The lagoon is set in a volcanic landscape with sparkling blue water, providing an otherworldly experience. It is a man-made lagoon created in 1976 as part of a geothermal power plant. The water is filled with minerals, such as silica and sulfur, which are said to have healing properties.
Visitors can enjoy the lagoon all year round, but it is especially magical in the winter when the steam from the lagoon rises up and creates a mystical atmosphere. There are many activities to do at the lagoon during your Iceland vacation, such as swimming, relaxing in the sauna, or getting a massage. You can also purchase a day pass, which gives you access to all of the lagoon’s amenities.
And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can opt for the lagoon’s new Retreat Spa, which offers an exclusive, luxury experience complete with a private lagoon, in-water massage, and an infrared sauna. There’s no doubt about it — Iceland is a land of fire and ice, waiting to be explored. From its otherworldly landscapes to its unique culture, there’s something for everyone in this Nordic country.
9. Explore the Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist routes for a reason. It takes you on a journey through some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. You’ll start in the capital, Reykjavik, and then head to Thingvellir National Park, where you can see the tectonic plates that make up Iceland. From there, you’ll continue to the world-famous Geysir hot springs, where you can witness the power of geothermal activity.
And last but not least, you’ll visit the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. This popular route can be done in one day, but we recommend taking your time and spending a few days exploring each destination. That way, you’ll really be able to appreciate all that Iceland has to offer.
So whether you’re looking to marvel at natural wonders, relax in therapeutic hot springs, or get up close and personal with some of Iceland’s most iconic animals, the Golden Circle has something for everyone.
10. Take a dip in the Myvatn Nature Baths
The Myvatn Nature Baths are Iceland’s answer to the Blue Lagoon. They are located in the country’s north, in a stunning volcanic landscape. The baths are filled with water from a nearby geothermal power plant and are said to have healing properties. The Myvatn Nature Baths are a great place to relax and unwind. You can soak in the warm waters, surrounded by stunning scenery.
There are also several different pools to choose from, so you can find one that’s the perfect temperature for you. And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can even dip in the mud pool. The Myvatn Nature Baths are open all year round, but they are especially magical in the winter when the snow-capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop.
So whether you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate or simply want to experience Iceland’s natural beauty, the Myvatn Nature Baths are a must-visit. You’ll get to enjoy the country’s stunning landscapes while soaking in the therapeutic waters.
Final thoughts on your next Iceland vacation
Iceland is considered one of the world’s safest places to visit. So, if you’re planning a trip to Iceland, make your itinerary and pack wisely! Hopefully, the above activities will help you decide what to do on your upcoming Iceland vacation. Just remember to take your time, enjoy the experience, and don’t forget your camera! You’ll want to capture all of the incredible memories you’re sure to make.