Iceland is famous because of the impressive and historic buildings. The natural monuments of Iceland are worth visiting. The landscapes and natural wonders make this country amazing and beautiful. However, there are some constructions that are worth a visit because of its importance in the country’s history. Here we will mention some of those historical monuments in Iceland and explain a bit of their past and present with natural beauty:
List of Monuments in Iceland
1. Arnarholl Statue
The statue is celebrated and recognized as an Ingólfur Arnarson. He is the one who is widely considered the founder of Iceland. If you visit this statue you will learn about the history of Amarson during a free walking tour of Reykjavik. According to the Icelandic Book of Settlement, Ingólfur Arnarson threw his high seat pillars from his ship into the sea when deciding on where to settle with his family. Ingólfur and his men located the pillars and established the farmstead Reykjavík four years later. Arnarhóll translates to Arnar’s Hill or Eagle’s Hill. From its location, there are great views of the old town and the HARPA.
Situated on the eastern end of Reykjavík’s Old Harbour, Arnarholl is a hill. It comes in a district in the capital’s downtown area. On the top of a hill, the statue is located and Ingolfur Arnarson looks from Arnarholl Hill. According to popular opinion, around 870 he was the first settler in Iceland. It is one one of the ancient monuments in Iceland. The statue shows Ingolfur standing by the mast of his ship, holding a shield and a spear, looking protectively over the city.
Address: Arnarholl, Reykjavik 116 Iceland
2. Solfarid Sculpture
Reykjavik is a colorful and quirky city with unbelievable street art and charming architecture. The city center is relatively small but packed with amazing restaurants, shops and galleries. Strolling around the city you will stumble upon many sculptures and art pieces but only very few get as much attention as Solfarid or the Sun Voyager.
The dazzling steel formation of this famous monument in Iceland is located right at the brim of Saebraut, in the middle of the waterfront pathway loved by locals. The sculpture resembles a Viking long-ship and it is a common way to describe it. However, the Icelandic Sculptor who designed it, Jon Gunnar Arnason, had a very different idea in mind. The sun voyager was meant to represent a boat of one’s dreams. Something that Jon Gunnar saw as an ode to the sun.
It should within itself hold the promise of undiscovered territory and a beautiful dream of hope, progress and freedom. Sun Voyager was one of Jon Gunnar’s last pieces as he sadly passed away from leukemia a year before the sculpture was placed in its current location. Some have even said that he thought of the ship as a vessel transporting a soul from this world to the next.
Address: Saebraut, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland.
3. Hallgrímskirkja Church
Hallgrimskirkja is the landmark symbol of Reykjavik. All around it is curated iron houses painted in all the colors of the rainbow with the occasional wooden home sticking out in between. It is one of the best monuments in Iceland. The view from Hallgrimskirkja tower offers a splendid opportunity to see all the colored houses and the views of the harbor and Esja beyond. And of course, it’s an absolutely can’t-miss photo opportunity. The church was designed by Gudjon Samuelsson, one of Iceland’s most famous and beloved architects. His inspiration is said to have come from Svartifoss waterfall, yet another landmark worth checking out. The basalt rocks framing the waterfall are the rising pillars on each side of the church tower.
Address: Hallgrímstorg 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland.
Hvitserkur or the Dinosaur Rock in the North is another awe-inspiring sight. Its location, incredible form, and stature is something you can’t help but admire. It is located in the North West, not far from the village of Hvammstangi or Blonduos. The drive there is an additional 40 minutes but well worth it. Away from the typical tourist route. To many Icelanders, this old monument in Iceland is pure magic. Not only because of its fairy tale-like form but also because of its link to local folklore. Some say that Hvitserkur is actually a petrified troll and once this very troll is said to have lived in Strandir, east off Hvitserkur.
A few fjords away was a church called Akureyrarkirkja. Henceforth, would loud noises from its church bells often be heard around the region. In short, this would send the troll into a craze. He set off to rip them down but took too long and turned to stone midway. Seals swim around in the lagoon and the Arctic Tern is the dominant bird in the area. Jokulsarlon is a lively place despite being surrounded by ancient ice. When you sit at its bay and watch the icebergs slowly float around you recharge somehow.
Address: Vatnsnesvegur, Iceland.
5. Lake Myvatn
To visit Lake Myvatn and its surrounding attractions is truly a surreal experience. Myvatn is simply a geological wonderland sculpted by thousands of years worth of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other natural phenomenons. It is one of the largest lakes in Iceland and the nesting ground to many bird species. This lake is not just a lake but a beautiful monument in Iceland for tourists and locals as well. Some have even gone as far as to say that no other place on earth is home to as many different species of duck.
Everywhere you can find volcanic craters and multicolored bubbling sulfuric hot springs. They together create a scene straight out of the movies in which Hollywood producers have started to take notice. The streams from the hot springs were used in the hit TV show, Game of Thrones, during which Sam is struggling to get through the foggy storm but in reality, it’s just the steam from the springs.
Address: Mývatn, Iceland.
6. Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park needs no introduction. This UNESCO Heritage site and most famous monument in Iceland is one of three stops forming the Golden Circle. Therefore being one of the most visited places in Iceland. It is not just a place of groundbreaking history – pun intended – as a place where the ground literally breaks or put precisely, where the North American and the Eurasian continental plates meet and drift apart. This you can see with your eyes and the most adventurous can even snorkel or dive in between the plates.
Even though Thingvellir is largely recognized today for its immense beauty and geological wonders. The Vikings would gather there to host Althingi, Iceland’s parliament. The parliament was founded in the year 930 making it one of the oldest parliaments in the world. You can just picture the scene when you visit. The leading Viking standing tall on Logberg rock and reciting all the rules for the crowd.
Address: Thingvellir, 801 Selfoss, Iceland.
Read About: Iceland Facts and Information
Geysir is the first thing about Iceland you can read about in old travel books. The spouting hot spring that could reach the tallest skyscrapers sparked a story that traveled far. It later became the namesake to all the other geysers in the world and still, today holds the title. It is considered in one of the popular natural monuments in Iceland. Sadly it hasn’t erupted for some time. Nonetheless, you are in for quite a show, should you visit. Geysir’s baby brother Strokkur now holds the fort, shooting hot water into the sky every 4-10 minutes. Unlike his big brother, Strokkur is very timely and predictable. Together with Thingvellir and Gullfoss the trio makes up the Golden Circle. Undoubtedly the most popular monument in Iceland.
Address: Hafnartún, Selfoss, Iceland.
Gullfoss or the Golden falls is a marvelous two-story water cascade in South Iceland. It is the third attraction of the Golden Circle and to many photographers’ the highlight. Gullfoss’ water comes from a nearby glacier, Langjokull which is the second-largest glacier in Iceland. As well as feeding Gullfoss, Langjokull glacier is also the source of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The waterfall now has three different viewing points which allow you to take in the glory. We recommend visiting all of these natural monuments in Iceland but know that the viewpoint closest to the falls will have you leaving damp.
Address: Gullfoss Falls, Iceland.
Read More: What to do in Iceland
9. The Blue Lagoon
The first thing most people hear about Iceland is the Blue Lagoon. Perhaps not surprisingly given its incredible unique locator, colors and medically proven healing powers. It is located smack in the middle of the Reykjanes Peninsula. In between the Keflavik airport and Reykjavik making it the ideal stop to make to or from the airport. If you are looking for a beautiful natural monument in Iceland, how can you miss this extraordinary place?
Today the Blue Lagoon is a world-class spa with a built-in bar, even out lava flooring, a steam cave, a sauna, massage area in the water and the list just goes on.
You now have options to stay at two different hotels and bathe in the geothermal waterfalls throughout the day. Additionally, have amazing restaurants, both Lava and Moss and the menus are packed with delicious Icelandic cuisine with a modern twist. There is no shortage of things to do at the Blue Lagoon. In conclusion, this is the perfect place to recharge or get that jet-lag out of your system.
Address: Nordurljos Vegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
10. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Diamond Beach
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon deserves a league on its own. This glistening utopia is located on the southeastern coast of Iceland. Only about six hours drive from Reykjavik. The surrounding area is dominated by the great Vatnajokull Glacier which is Europe’s largest glacier. In fact, Vatnajokull’s outlet glacier Breidamerkujokull feeds the lagoon.
The name, Jokulsarlon, would roughly translate to glacial-river-lagoon which sums it up quite well. Actually, the lagoon is the deepest found in Iceland carved out by the river and its feeding glacier. The multi-colored icebergs break of Breidamerkurjokull, to drop into the lagoon only to keep floating around until they reach the black beach below. Once they have made it to the beach the icebergs are much smaller. This famous natural monument in Iceland is the place where most spent their last moments before being united with the Atlantic ocean.
This black sand beach where they melt away is therefore often called the Diamond Beach. The icebergs in Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon can be in many different colors. Which usually has to do with the amount of oxygen inside each block. In the summertime, visitors can join boat tours to get closer to the icebergs. An experience many say they will never forget.
Addrese: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Diamond Beach, Iceland.
So far we have discussed the best monuments in Iceland, which contains the proper information regarding all the most visited monuments in Iceland. I hope you might have loved reading this article and if you love to know more about Iceland then kindly head to our other articles as well which will help you to get knowledge about.