3 Unforgettable UNESCO Iceland sites you need to see

From 2010 to 2015, tourism in Iceland grew 21.6%, making the number of tourists in the country throughout the year more than the number of residents. 

While this is great news for the country’s economy it also threatens the pristine landscape of Iceland that makes it so popular to visitors. 

Luckily, if you are planning a trip to Iceland, the country has taken measures to preserve its land, especially the three UNESCO Iceland sites. 

Read on to discover the untouched beauty of these world wonders. 

glacier lagoon in Iceland

1. Vatnajökull National Park

If you look at an Iceland world map, this glacier park takes up 14% of the land. You can’t miss the stunning blue ice dripping down from the glaciers set upon the 8 subglacial volcanoes. This contrast of hot volcanic mountains combined with frigid glacier ice is what makes this fire-and-ice heritage site so special. 

One of the most popular sites, Jökulsárlón, is a lagoon formed by the melting of one of the outlet glaciers, Breiðafjallajökull. Water set loose from melting glaciers wraps around pieces of icebergs before they drift on the Black Diamond beach for eternal rest. 

You can hire a guide during the winter months to explore the glaciers or rent an RV to discover Iceland in the summer. While the beautiful summers make travel easy, the winter ice is the real spectacle to see. The raging rivers of the warmer months freeze and create whimsical ice caves to check out before they melt. 

2. Surtsey Island

South of the main island, Iceland, several newly formed landmasses were created after the underwater volcanic eruption in 1964. The eruption shot out hot lava for the next 4 years, creating islands untouched by man. That is because the Iceland government has forbidden anyone but scientists to step foot on the new islands. 

Included in a list of Icelandic names to remember, Surtsey Island has become particularly interesting. It has sprouted new life, from plants emerging from the ground to seal and puffins utilizing the beaches and cliffs. 

While you can’t enter the 32 km island, you can view it from a neighboring one or take a boat tour nearby to peak at its glory. Catch a ferry from the Western Islands or climb their active volcano to get an aerial view of Surtsey. 

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland

3. Thingvellir National Park

This is one of the most important Iceland historical and geological sites since you can to see the North-Atlantic Ridge above ground and it is the origin of modern Iceland as a country. 

Iceland was formed by many volcanic eruptions and still sits on an area that has at least 4 eruptions each year. The eruptions ware what save the island from being ripped apart from tectonic shifting. The volcanic activity continuously creates more mass to keep the island from sinking and breaking. 

This spot was also a significant site for democracy. It was the meeting place of the first and longest-running democratic parliament and law house. In 1000 AD, this spot served as the peaceful conversion to Christianity.

Seeing all of Iceland sites

When you visit Iceland these UNESCO Iceland Sites are an essential part of your trip. You can easily fit them into your itinerary with each one taking a day or two to see.Make your trip easier by renting an RV to explore the country in comfort. Book an RV now to have it waiting for you at the airport.