Iceland is like another plane of existence. A fey realm of otherworldly beauty. Its landscapes somehow manage to be both geographically diverse, yet still instantly recognisable as Iceland. There are shimmering glaciers, black sandy beaches, pristine blue lagoons, volcanic landscapes, rocky caves hidden behind cascading waterfalls and a surprising amount of verdant green natural parks – and that’s just the tip…of the iceberg.
Naturally, this makes the Nordic island the perfect vacation spot to nurture a blossoming queer romance – whether it be on a romantic weekend away, a honeymoon, or even the chosen location for a picture-perfect wedding with the partner of your dreams. Futhermore, Iceland is ranked as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly places in the world – having even had the first openly gay head of state in Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, all the way back in 2009.
Join us and our friends at Pink Iceland as we follow in the footsteps of Vikings into the mystical lands of the north on a quest to find six of the most romantic locations in Iceland. All, of course, enjoyable with or without a significant other.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue lagoon is a great place to start as it is perhaps the most recognisable location in Iceland, due to its stunning geothermal spa with milky-blue mineral rich waters. The surrounding landscapes are somewhat surreal, with black lava fields contrasting with the pool’s vibrant blue surface. Steam rising from the lagoon creates an unearthly atmosphere and exudes calm, despite the crowds. The water is said to have healing properties for both the body and mind, making the pools the perfect place to lie back and let the world’s woes pass you by. Or perhaps take the time to admire some half-naked bodies passing you by – whatever “relaxation” means to you.
The Ice Caves of Langjökull
Iceland is filled with enormous glaciers and frozen ice rivers that extend as far as the eye can see, but Langjökull is arguably the most beautiful. Langjökull, translates as “Long Glacier”. This is apt as it`s the second-largest glacier in Iceland and – when it comes to glaciers – size matters. Located in the central highlands of the country, a labyrinth of ice caves wait to be explored beneath its surface and within these unearthly caves, visitors can witness stunning blue and white ice formations created by the compression of glacial ice – the interplay of light within creating a surreal and hypnotic display. What's more, beyond the caves the surrounding landscape of Langjökull is similarly gorgeous, characterized by pristine snowfields and towering ice-covered peaks.
The Fagradalsfjall Volcano
Iceland earned the moniker ‘the Land of Ice and Fire’ due to the volcanic landscapes scattered around the island, which contrast nicely with the icy plains around them. A controversial choice, the location of a recently erupted volcano might not seem like the most ideal – or safe – place for a romantic visit, nonetheless the rugged and picturesque landscapes surrounding the volcano attracts bold tourists and the site has even been used as a wedding location for those looking for an atypically romantic background during their special day. If you’re lucky, you might even catch lava slowly flowing from the volcano's fissures from a safe distance. Just be sure to time your trip well, or better yet do so as part of an LGBTQ+ guided tour.
The Black Sands of Djúpalónssandur Beach
Djúpalónssandur – good luck pronouncing that one – is a scenic and historically significant black-sand beach located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. The name can be translated to “deep lagoon's sand” with the beach known for its unique black pebble and sand shoreline, typical of volcanic beaches in Iceland. Djúpalónssandur is often a stop on coastal walks or hikes along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where visitors enjoy stunning views out over the Atlantic Ocean as the waves calmly lap against the rocky shoreline. The area has witnessed several shipwrecks, and the remnants of one, the British trawler Epine, can still be seen on the beach – the historical significance of the area only adding to the feel you stand somewhere far removed from time.
Kirkjufell Mountain from Game of Thrones
Kirkjufell is a distinctive mountain often referred to as the “Church Mountain” due to its shape, which resembles a church steeple. Located on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland it stands alone on the coastline, making it a visually striking and easily recognizable mountain. If it looks somehow familiar, that's because it appeared prominently in the fantasy epic Game of Thrones as Arrowhead Mountain beyond The Wall. Kirkjufell is renowned for its photogenic qualities, especially during sunrise and sunset when the light dances around the sky creating a visual delight of contrasts and reflections. Just be sure to put your phone away, enjoy the moment and give your loved one – or yourself – the attention deserved to capitalise on the undeniably romantic scene.
The Dynjandi Waterfall of Westfjords
The Westfjords is a large and relatively remote peninsula located in the northwestern part of Iceland. Far from the prying eyes of tourists, it is characterized by deep fjords, rugged cliffs and a jagged coastline. However, it is Dynjandi Waterfall, situated in the remote Arnarfjörður fjord, which most captures the imagination. The epic spectacle has a total height of approximately 100 meters (328 feet), with the uppermost tier being the widest and most powerful. Dynjandi is in fact a series of waterfalls that cascade down a mountainside, with the sheer force of the water forming mist around the base of the falls. What better place for an instagrammable kiss photo, if you don't mind getting a little wet in the process.
Planning an epic journey out to these beautiful locations couldn’t be easier with the help of Pink Iceland, an LGBTQ+ owned company that are both wedding planners and trip organizers, specializing in crafting authentic queer experiences in Iceland. In 2024 they’re offering a wide range of queer destination weddings and intimate LGBTQ+ tours. Plan your bespoke fairytale wedding within the frosty caves of a glacier or say your vows alongside volcanic landscapes and cascading waterfalls – in Iceland your imagination is the only limit. All of the diverse locations in this article can be visited through a bespoke trip, shaped to your wishes. Let Pink Iceland help you write your own queer Icelandic fairy tale with you center stage as the protagonist.
This article was sponsored by Pink Iceland. All images courtesy of Pink Iceland.