Things to do in Iceland are innumerable and filled with a plethora of unusual attractions. When you visit the Land of Fire and Ice, you can expect to see the island’s amazing volcanoes, glaciers, and peaks. The midnight sun or northern lights above add to the enchantment. However, if you want to see more of Iceland’s weirdness, plan some entertaining and unusual cultural trips into your itinerary. Consider odd museums, dark tales, and eccentric artworks.
If you’re seeking odd things to do in Iceland, keep reading. These stops could make your Iceland journey even more colorful and unforgettable.
10 Odd things to do in Iceland
1. Westfjords Sea Monster Museum
Perhaps you’ve heard about the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. But did you know that there are rumors of a big serpent-like creature swimming in the sea off the coast of Iceland? Visit the Sea Monster Museum (Skrmslasetur) in the Westfjords settlement of Bldudalur to learn more. It is properly placed in a renovated fish factory and showcases eyewitness testimonies from generations of local fishermen. Visit the museum’s interactive “monster table” to discover where these monsters can be found. You might think twice before dipping your toes in the sea…
2. Sam Jónsson’s Art Farm, Westfjords
Isn’t it true that it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby? Continue along the Arnarfjörur fjord from Bldudalur until Selárdalur at the peninsula’s very point. Artist Samuel Jónsson spent his retirement years on this quiet property, fostering a lifelong love of art.
Explore his Nave art by walking through the many buildings and sculptures. Samuel’s work has a youthful, almost cartoonish look, despite his lack of professional training. The sculptures were largely made of concrete and sand that he transported himself from the neighboring beach. Truly, this is one of the best things to do in Iceland.
3. The Westfjords Nonsense Museum
The Westfjords region takes its eccentricities seriously, as evidenced by this list. Nowhere is this more clear than at the Nonsense Museum (Dellusafni) in the major town of safjörur. If you’re seeking unusual things to do in Iceland, this is a must! It is, as the name suggests, an eclectic – yet well maintained – collection of things and artifacts.
Come spend some time exploring the collections of salt and pepper shakers, tractors, police headgear from all across the world, and much more. This is perfect for a rainy afternoon and will spark the interest of both youngsters and adults.
4. The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, Westfjords
Nowhere in the Westfjords will captivate you like the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft (“Galdrasning á Ströndum”) in Hólmavk. This museum is dedicated to Iceland’s more horrific tales. You can learn about old Viking rituals, occult practices, superstitions, magic, runic designs, witch hunts, and even necropants (trousers fashioned of a dead person’s flesh) here. The “sorcerer’s hut” is located just up the coast in Bjarnarfjörur. This is another section of the witchcraft museum that is well recognized for its typical turf style. By far, this is one of the most exciting things to do in Iceland.
5. The Eggs of Merry Bay, East Iceland
When you take a Ring Road tour of Iceland, you’ll soon find yourself in the picturesque East fjords. Long fjords, fishing communities, and waterfalls distinguish this region. So, what do have eggs to do with anything? Visit Djpivogur and take a walk along the harbor to see these sculptures. These huge, egg-shaped rocks perched atop concrete supports may appear strange at first glance, but they serve a purpose. Sigurur Gumundsson, a local artist, produced the eggs in 2009 to represent the 34 kinds of birds that nest in this section of Iceland.
6. Petra’s Stone Collection, East Iceland
Stövarfjörur, about an hour north of Merry Bay, is home to Petra’s famed mineral collection (“Steinasafn Petru”). Even if you are not a geologist, you will be captivated by this unique collection. Ljósbjörg Petra Mara Sveinsdóttir (Petra) began collecting rocks as a hobby in the 1940s. By the 1970s, she had acquired such a collection of stones and minerals that she opened her private house to interested visitors. In a nutshell, this location is fantastic!
Unfortunately, Petra died in 2012, but her legacy lives on for all to enjoy.
7. The Christmas Garden in North Iceland
Continue your drive along the Ring Road until you reach North Iceland, which has its own set of peculiar attractions. At the Christmas Garden (Jólagarurinn) in Akureyri, the Christmas Spirit is alive and well. Enjoy a festive atmosphere when visiting the “Capital of the North” at any time of year. You won’t have to wait until the winter months to meet Santa!
8. The Museum of Small Things, North Iceland
This is exactly what you think it is: a bizarre collection of small parts and pieces that you could discover in your desk drawer or tool cabinet at home. At the very least, it is more organized and fascinating here. The displays of the Museum of Small Things (“Smámunusafni”) near Akureyri were all curated by a local carpenter. It includes pens, record needles, clocks, hammers, and other items. A lovely little attraction for any vacation to Iceland. Isn’t it simply one of the most exciting things to do in Iceland?!
9. The Shark Museum, Snæfellsnes peninsula
Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef, and traveler declared Iceland’s fermented shark meat “the single worst, most horrible, most terrible tasting thing” he’d ever tasted. It’s not for everyone, but don’t let that stop you from establishing your own view. Visit the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhöfn on the Snfellsnes peninsula to learn how to make this traditional delicacy. Your guide will explain to you about the Greenland shark and its significance in Icelandic history. You could even try a fresh slice of hákarl.
10. The Ghost Centre, South Iceland
The Ghost Centre (“Draugasetri”) is in the south coast settlement of Stokkseyri. This is an excellent destination to visit if you want to learn about Iceland’s fabled world of elves, trolls, and other supernatural phenomena. It’s not very scary and instead goes into local legends and culture. Ghosts were frequently described in Icelandic sagas dating back to the country’s founding. As you walk around the center, you will be escorted through 24 ghost stories. Walkthrough the ghost-maze for real shivers, where you can hear scary ghost stories and occasionally be terrified witless by a surprise ghoul. Indeed, this is one of the most exciting things to do in Iceland.
Having said that, you may add one or more of these odd attractions to your itinerary for some surprising finds and discoveries in the Land of Fire and Ice. Don’t forget to take your camera and an appetite for fine traveling!