Icelandic Culture
29 March 2022

5 Historic Sites to Visit in Iceland

Include These Pieces of History When Visiting Iceland

The first scribed history of Iceland goes back more than 1,100 years ago. In spite of its lengthy existence, many of the traditions and cultural habits have carried forth to modern day, and some historic sites in Iceland still stand for remembering an earlier time. A mention of Iceland elicits a sense of adventure and wonder about the country so far from much of civilization. When you make plans for your journey through the rugged beauty and historical towns of Iceland, be sure to make a stop at these five special historic sites.

1. Bláa Kirkjan (or the Blue Church)

Churches are some of the most beautiful and visited historic sites to see when visiting Iceland. The country is home to more than 350 churches, many of them centuries old. Though not the originally built church due to being ruined in a fire, the Blue Church is as sturdy in makeup as the Icelandic people. It now stands in East Iceland after being moved approximately 100 years ago from Seyðisfjörður. The rainbow pathway made up of painted rocks reflects the country's friendly and welcoming relationship with the LGBTQ+ community.

2. Keldur Turf House

This authentic house in South Iceland is made of turf, wood, soil, and rocks has stood since the days of the Vikings. Located near the volcano Hekla, volcanic rock was and continues to be used to build the turf houses. Other turf houses are scattered throughout Iceland, but the Keldur Turf House is one of the oldest that is this well-preserved.

3. Grotta Lighthouse

Grotta Lighthouse sits within the nature reserve an hour's walk from the center of town in Reykjavík. Shuttles are also available for those who prefer to relax and look out the window at the countryside. This is one of the most beautiful of the lighthouses still standing in Iceland, though there are others spread along the coastline. It is not the original in Grotta, but it alludes to the sailors of days gone by who depended upon a lighthouse to return home safely.

Húsavík

4. Húsavík

The tiny village of Húsavík was the first settlement in Iceland and is officially the whale watching capital of Iceland. The locals love to share their history with tourists with renditions of Icelandic lore. Stop by the Whale Museum to see real life whale skeletons or the inordinately large number of other museums for such a small, populated town.

5. Árbær Open Air Museum

More than a museum, your visit here will take you back in time. Not only will you feel like you are living in the Iceland of another century, but you can also visit actual historic homes and buildings that have been moved to the museum property for you to tour. Take a ride on a horse drawn wagon through the town square and see how the townsfolk dressed and worked so long ago.

You will never run out of spectacular sites to see when visiting Iceland. Call us at Blue Car Rental for travel tips or questions about your Iceland adventure. We would love to show you our beautiful country.

lighthouse in Iceland