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Day Tours in Iceland

Guided small group day tours & activities in iceland, about one day tours, guided day tours in iceland.

Ready for an adventure? With, you'll get the best possible experience with small group tours and personal service. Our guides go the extra mile to ensure you have a great time, on tours that usually take off from Reykjavik.

Offers and discount Packages

Why choose a day tour.

Day tours are perfect for anyone looking to spend an adventure-packed day in Iceland. It’s a hassle-free choice, as you don’t need to pack a lot or have to think about spending the night away. If you choose the right tour operator, you’ll save time and make the most of your holiday.

Experienced guides know what sights are worth visiting and where to spend the most time. Their thorough knowledge of the area means that you can skip deep research and simply enjoy your time in Iceland.

Day trips offer a wide range of different activities to choose from. Spend your day sightseeing at unique black sand beaches, relax in the Secret Lagoon, or immerse yourself in an adventurous glacier tour. You can even combine a few activities and make the most of your time on one of our combo tours.

Most day tours are available all year round. It gets dark quite early in the cold months, but winter tours often reward travelers with majestic sightings of the   Northern Lights !

Man standing on frozen sea

Best Day Tours in Iceland

Contrary to the common misconception, day trips don’t have to be fast-paced and tiring. It’s up to you if you wish to explore the best sights at the so-called mini-Iceland, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, or prefer to soak in the Blue Lagoon. We offer tours that involve single or multiple activities and cover one, or a number of sights.

One of the most popular destinations for a day trip is the South Coast . Here you’ll visit the Sólheimajökull Glacier, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Reynisdrangar Basalt Sea Stacks, as well as Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls.

The iconic Golden Circle tour will take you to three extraordinary locations. Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area , and Gullfoss Waterfall will not disappoint! This trip invites you to explore the top natural attractions that Iceland is famous for. You’ll witness exceptional geological processes, and the power of water both underneath and above the ground. To make it a complete fire and ice experience, all you’ll need is a visit to a glacier!

The best way to discover the frozen lands of Iceland is on an adventurous glacier snowmobile and ice cave tour from Gullfoss . Visit the second largest ice cap in Iceland, Langjökull Glacier , and even walk inside it! Step into a natural ice cave and see unique colorful layers of ice that formed over many centuries.

If you’re looking for something even bigger, why not try a glacier hike from Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park? Strap on some crampons and visit Vatnajökull, or jump into a super jeep and enjoy the ride around the pristine wilderness of the largest ice cap in Europe.

If you’re still searching for the perfect tour, then combine the best sights of the South Coast with a fun boat ride at the glacier lagoon on your way to Vatnajökull. This day tour from Reykjavik (or Skaftafell, if you prefer) will take you to the colorful village of Vík, the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and the Diamond beach. Get ready to take some amazing pictures!

Kirkjufell Mountain in Snaefellsness

What to Pack for a Day Tour?

Day trips can take from a few hours to a full day, so packing accordingly is very important. You want to bring enough, but not too much as there’s no need to load yourself with unnecessary weight. We’ve added a recommendation list for each tour to make it easier for you. Think about the season, check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

Wherever you go, one thing you’ll definitely need is food! Some tours run through local towns where you can grab a bite at a café or get something from a corner shop. However, some of the trips take you through remote locations, so it’s best to bring a packed lunch (we’ll let you know in advance). A sandwich, a fruit or nuts for snacking are light and don’t take much space. Even with a lunch stop planned, it’s always good to have an extra snack in your bag. If you don’t get hungry, maybe someone next to you will!

Another tip – carry a bottle of water with you. If you’re going on a tour to natural springs, you might even be able to fill up your bottle with natural mineral water! You’re normally not allowed to take anything from nature on any of the tours, so this is a nice exception.

Depending on the season and the tour, plan your outfit in advance. Before the tour, we’ll advise you on what to wear, but it’s up to you to make sure that you’re comfortable. On specific tours, we provide you with gear, such as overalls, balaclavas, goggles, gloves, and helmets. Full lists are available on specific tour pages.

We advise that you think ahead about the type and time of your tour – if you’re going on a hiking tour, comfortable shoes are the top priority. Hats, gloves, and scarfs are your friends during the cold season!

Never underestimate Icelandic weather – it might change in the blink of an eye, so be prepared. However, if you don’t have some of the gear, don’t worry! You can always rent sturdy hiking boots, waterproof jacket, and pants from us.

Still got questions about day tours? Find the answer here!

I am trying to book a tour but my credit card payment fails. What should I do?

The first step is to make sure your credit card provider allows you to make payments in Canadian Dollars (CAD) or American Dollars (USD) if you have selected.

In some cases, your credit card company would need to pre-authorize the transaction for you before you can process the transaction online.

If you are still having problems booking through the website, then please contact our Customer Care Team

How Long Are Day Tours?

Depending on a tour, they can take from 3 up to 16 hours. However, you can combine day tours with other trips and extend your holiday.

What Are the Pickup Locations for the Day Trips?

Most of our tours depart from Reykjavik. However, some of the shorter trips might depart from other locations. Please check specific tours for departure points.

Is Lunch Included in the Price?

We don’t provide lunch on any of our day tours, so we recommend you bring your own lunch, snacks and a bottle of water. You’ll be able to refill the bottle on the trip.

When Are Day Tours Available?

With some exceptions, most of the tours are available all year round. However, on some occasions, itineraries might differ in the winter. The days are shorter in winter, and we want to allow you enough time to enjoy the sights so we might have to skip some activities. Please check the information on specific tour pages.

Do You Offer Tours for Families With Children?

Yes, we do offer great tours for families with younger children. Please check out specific tour pages for minimum age references.

Should I Tip in Iceland?

Tipping is not obligatory, but always appreciated.

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single day tours iceland

Day Tours in Iceland

Guided adventure trips & excursions in iceland.

We have an excellent selection of full or half day tours departing from Reykjavík, and many other locations around the country. These great value day tours and outdoor Iceland activities are designed to discover the best attractions around the country.


We offer tours of varying lengths and difficulty , suitable for different ages. Whatever you have in mind for your time in Iceland, we will have the perfect tour for you. If you have any questions about our activities, please do not hesitate to contact us. Check out our tour selection to see more about duration and pick-up possibilities.

Can’t find what you're looking for? Customize your very own private tour with us to experience Iceland your own way.

We also offer meet-on-location and self-drive tour packages.

Woman standing by waterfall in Iceland


Looking for a stress-free way to explore Iceland's stunning landscapes and cultural treasures? Our day tours are the perfect solution! With efficient itineraries designed to make the most of your limited time, you can choose from a wide variety of excursions, from quick half-day tours to full-day iconic sightseeing and exciting activities like snorkeling or glacier hiking. 

Our knowledgeable guides will enhance your overall experience, providing context, stories, and insider tips.

Departures are available from various towns, including Reykjavik and Akureyri.

Staying in the capital? If you're craving a taste of the extraordinary in a short time, explore our excursions from Reykjavik .

Interested in iconic sights? Take on our classic Golden Circle Tours , featuring mesmerizing landscapes and rich cultural stops.

Craving a mix of experiences? Opt for our versatile Combo Tours , blending different aspects of Iceland's beauty in one seamless journey

Want a more active adventure? Browse our range of popular activities in Iceland , including thrilling glacier hikes, snowmobiling, and more. 

Have a free afternoon? If you're looking for unique experiences as the day unfolds, explore our Afternoon Tours .

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Solo travel in Iceland

Iceland is one of the world’s best solo travel destinations, with high health and safety standards, friendly locals who speak English, unique photo opportunities and plenty of activities to enjoy in nature. Come explore Iceland on your own, with a stress-free trip planned just for you by the local travel experts at Nordic Visitor.

Travel solo, but not alone, on an Iceland tour

Explore Iceland on your own, without feeling alone in the process.

Whether you’re coming to see the northern lights in winter or experience the long daylight of the midnight sun in summer, Nordic Visitor offers holiday packages for all seasons. Our selection includes flexible self-drive journeys, Reykjavik city breaks and guided small group tours.

All our itineraries are designed to be well-structured so you can make the most of your Icelandic adventure and can be tailored to your preferences. Whatever you choose, Nordic Visitor takes care of all the local logistics for you.

As a specialist travel agency founded and based in Iceland, we cater to solo travellers who want an individual, flexible and authentic experience in a stress-free package.

Travel with peace of mind knowing that Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world! Plus, your very own personal travel consultant will arrange all your accommodations, car rentals, and excursions to make your tour unforgettable.

You'll know exactly where you’re going each day and which optional activities you can experience in each area, with your personalised itinerary and travel guide booklet. All our tours also include access to our 24/7 helpline while travelling in Iceland.

Driving on your own? With all self-drive tours, we provide a brochure about driving in Iceland, a road map marked with your route, accommodations and highlights, unlimited in-car Wi-Fi and much more.

If you’re unsure about what you want to do in Iceland or when to come, don’t worry. Our Iceland experts are based in Reykjavík and know the country inside out. They’ll help you see Iceland your way, tailoring your itinerary by adding all the best excursions and experiences to suit you.

For example, you could visit neighbouring Greenland while you’re in Iceland. Nordic Visitor can combine both countries in one tour, with direct flights between Iceland and Greenland included.

Travelling solo in Iceland is easy, with the expert local knowledge of Nordic Visitor. Don't hesitate to contact us through live chat or phone , we are here to help plan your perfect solo holiday to Iceland.


Why book with nordic visitor.

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts
  • 24/7 emergency helpline during tour

Join a group tour

Explore Iceland with like-minded travellers and an experienced local guide on a small group tour.

Natural Wonders of Iceland

The ring road & snæfellsnes.

Level 2 (Classic)

Highlights of the Ring Road

Iceland's wonders in a week.

Level 3 (Express)

Scenic South Iceland

Geysers, volcanoes & glacier lagoon, complete iceland, the ring road & the westfjords.

1166521 ISK

Drive on your own

Enjoy the freedom of a road trip, but with a helping hand. You decide what to see and do, we handle the rest.

Iceland Full Circle Classic

South & west iceland classic, iceland complete classic, south iceland at leisure, travel like a local.

Enjoy a blend of guided activities and independent free time. Check out these trips that have been popular with other solo travellers in Iceland.

Christmas in Iceland

Reykjavik, waterfalls, northern lights, the islands of fire & ice - iceland & greenland, land of the midnight sun - private 4x4 tour, new year’s & northern lights, best of south iceland & new year's eve party, different ways you can experience iceland.

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Iceland below.

Multi-Day Tours

Guided small groups, privately guided, northern lights packages, self-drive winter, best seller, our services.

Whether you choose a guided tour or a self-drive vacation, all customers receive personalised service with a designated travel consultant , tailor-made quality travel documents, and our self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines their route, overnight stays and highlights along the way. Furthermore, Nordic Visitor has long-standing professional relationships with local tour operators , which are carefully selected by our staff and are recognized for consistent, quality service.

Book with confidence

  • Protect your money & plans with our  flexible booking terms    .
  • Get peace of mind with a 24/7 helpline during your stay.
  • Enjoy personal service from Iceland-based travel experts.
  • We’re here for you in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  • 97% of customers say they’d recommend us to friends.
  • As a local agency, we work closely with trusted suppliers.
  • We’re a fully licensed and insured company in Iceland.

What do our customers say?

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.

We had an amazing time

We cannot recommend our tour enough. We had an amazing time and have already told friends and family about it. Iceland is an amazing place and I am sure we will be back and will use Nordic Visitor again!

Experience of a lifetime

I primarily wanted to use Nordic Visitor as a resource for creating our 14-day trip itinerary, to help weed through what seemed to be an endless array of choices, and to help us to get the very most out of our time in Iceland. Yes, we could have pieced it together ourselves but I needed an advocate in Iceland, an advisor, and maybe a resource for us if issues were to arise. That piece of mind was important to my wife and me and I'm glad we chose them to frame our trip. It made it much easier to piece in the parts that were important to us to see and experience. That allowed us to just enjoy the trip and not get bogged down in the details of planning each and every moment.

There are so many things I could say about our experience, an experience of a lifetime and after posting snippets of our trip on social media I have found that several friends of mine want to know how we planned this trip. I told them the same thing I am saying here, save a little money if you want and plan it yourself or trust a reliable source like Nordic Visitor and let them give you the trip framework and essential advice. I would do it the same way if I were doing it over.

Went off without a hitch!

Everything was well-organised and went off without a hitch. The private guide was amazing. He could not have been better. I highly recommend him to anyone considering a private guide as an option. He's extremely knowledgeable about the history of the area. He knew all of the best places to go and was entertaining and delightful as well. Accommodation was all spectacular.

Warm and engaging guide

Great tour. The sights are of course amazing and the tour made the most of our time, weather and our interests/priorities. Driver and guide David managed all of these very well. He was also very knowledgeable and personally warm and engaging. Could not have asked for more.

Perfect for solo traveller

A beautiful itinerary, exceptional guide and perfect weather made this a trip I will never forget. Nordic Visitor made the process easy, and Iceland opened her arms. My 10-day small group tour was perfect for a solo traveller who wanted to see it all. 

Working with Nordic Visitor was wonderful. Our travel consultant, Heddy, was quick to respond when we had a question or concern. She helped us plan a fabulous itinerary. Everything we booked through Nordic Visitor was fantastic. I have already recommended Nordic Visitor to friends, and I will continue to do so.

Trip of a lifetime

Overall this was an amazing experience! A trip of a lifetime that I could never have planned myself. Any questions I had during planning were answered faster than expected and I felt safe and well looked after during the trip. Trip was smooth and hassle free.

5-star experience

Not only did we absolutely love every stop on the Scenic South Iceland tour, but prior to the tour we stayed for 4 days in Reykjavík. I appreciated Nordic Visitor's recommendations for things to do and places to eat there and felt highly supported by Marko, our travel consultant, in every regard to booking our flight and own hotel, day trips I was interested in, and taking public transport around. A definite 5-star experience!

I will certainly travel with Nordic Visitor again!

I cannot thank Nordic Visitor enough for providing me with a wonderful and memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everything was seamless, from the pickup at the airport, to the excellent hotels, delicious food served and our friendly, knowledgeable guide, Jakob. Nothing was too much trouble - we all thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Iceland, and all came away with wonderful memories of many of the amazing sights of such a scenic country. We were even lucky enough to see the northern lights. I will certainly travel with Nordic Visitor again and would recommend them to anyone thinking about visiting the countries where they offer tours. Thank you Nordic Visitor!

Many thanks to Nordic Visitor

Absolutely amazing. No issues whatsoever. We saw it all from North to South and much of in between. From reindeer to whales and more beautiful waterfalls and volcanic bits than you could hope to see in a week. Every hour the scenery seemed to change dramatically. Just a great experience. Many thanks to Nordic Visitor.

Best vacation we have had

Everyone at Nordic Visitor were very responsive to all questions we had during our 30-year anniversary trip to Iceland. We had airline travel issues and the representative adjusted our itinerary so we were able to see the whole island. The accommodation were beautiful and everyone was so friendly. This was the best vacation we have had, we left Iceland relaxed!

An amazing and unique experience

Our tour was great! Went for our honeymoon and it was everything we wanted. First night we got to see the northern lights which were fantastic! Second day, most certainly our longest, visited several sites (Geysire & Þingvellir) and went snowmobiling on a glacier. Such an amazing and unique experience. The walking tour around Reykjavik was surprisingly educational and our guide pointed out things that we ordinarily would have missed. The NYE dinner was delicious and going out to see the firework displays by (what seemed to be like) everyone was something. Practically had to dodge fireworks! Our 4th day was spent at the Blue Lagoon; perfect after a night of partying! Our last day was nice and relaxing, did some final shopping before we headed off to the airport. Hope to go back & visit Iceland again!

Travel Guide

Be prepared for just about anything on your Icelandic adventure.


One of Iceland’s most visited waterfalls, after Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss is situated along the...

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Film buffs will recognise Jökulsárlón from such blockbusters as Tomb Raider, Batman Begins, and...

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is probably Iceland’s most famous attraction and has become considered a...

What to pack

Layers, layers, layers! Come prepared for all type..

Driving in Iceland

Are you prepared for your road trip? Learn the rul..

Climate & weather conditions

How icy is Iceland? You might be surprised

Time & Daylight

When to expect sunrises, sunsets, northern lights ..

Whether you have queries about our tours or want to add activities to existing bookings, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our friendly team for any of your travel questions.

Our Icelandic phone number is +354 578 20 80

How about a live chat with one of our local travel experts?

Blog posts you might like

Best group tours in europe for solo travellers, iceland travel: everything you need to know, northern europe: best places to go in 2024, top 10 experiences to have in iceland.

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The Best Tours & Activities in Iceland

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geysir in winter

Guided Iceland Tours From Reykjavik

Bustling Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is the starting point of our tours. Visiting some of the most amazing places, giving you an eyeful of the surrounding nature, our top of the range Iceland day tours are the perfect mix of excitement and relaxation.

The best day trips from Reykjavik will have you out in the country for a full day, hitting all of the top tourist destinations and allowing you more than enough time to do a little exploring while you learn about Iceland’s proud heritage. Reykjavik is considered by many to be the gateway to Iceland, providing guests with the perfect starting point from which to see the Northern Lights, the scenic trails and the unforgettable cascading waterfalls.

Interested in these tours? Why not take a look at some of the other options that we have available on our website? Choose to participate in exciting lava cave Iceland tours or catch one of our luxurious Reykjavik to Blue Lagoon transfers to and from the lagoon. Browse through our website to make your choice on how to experience Iceland today.

Day tours & activities in Iceland

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Small Group Tours in Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik day tours & tours around iceland, unforgettable reykjavik day tours.

The Reykjavik CatWalk

The Reykjavik CatWalk

Reykjavik Folklore Walking Tour

Reykjavik Folklore Tours


Walk With A Viking Tour in Reykjavik


Christmas Walking Tours in Reykjavik

single day tours iceland

Reykjavik Odyssey: Walk, Talk, and Ride

Reykjavik Food Tour in Action - Skál

Reykjavik Food Lovers Tour

Popular private tours in reykjavik.

Private Bespoke Golden Circle Tour

Private Bespoke Golden Circle Tour


Private Winter Tour of Reykjavik

The Beautiful Kirkjufell Mountain

Private Bespoke Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour

Combo tours in reykjavik.

Northern Lights over the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights Combo Tour

Reykjavik Food Tour And Northern Lights

Reykjavik Food Tour and Northern Lights by boat

Why choose your friend in reykjavik.

All our guides are expert locals who really know the heart of Reykjavik. We’re passionate about the customs, history, and cuisine of Iceland. On our Reykjavik day tours, we love sharing our insider knowledge with our guests. We know how to entertain as well as educate (as our hundreds of 5-star reviews confirm).

Through high-quality in-house training and a gift for weaving exciting stories, our guides really bring the culture of Iceland to life! Come, discover our wide range of Iceland local tours; you’re sure to find something to suit your desires! And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch .

Vacation & Travel Tips for Reykjavik and Iceland

single day tours iceland

The Last Execution in Iceland

single day tours iceland

A Guide to Reykjavik Ports and Shore Excursions

single day tours iceland

Einar is Your Friend in Reykjavik

Iceland local tours with a difference.

Consider us your well-informed friends. We’re here to uncover the best spots across Reykjavik and Iceland. Enjoy our insider knowledge and entertaining tours!

Guide giving a tour with a group of tourists

Great introduction into Icelandic history, folklore, cuisine and today’s culture.

Private Walking Tour Family

Because your visit to Reykjavik should be remembered forever.

All of our guides are expert locals with years of experience guiding in Iceland

All of our guides are expert locals with years of experience guiding in Iceland.

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Small Group Day Tours

Popular day tours in iceland, operated by your day tours.

Your Golden Circle Full Day Tour

Your Golden Circle Full Day Tour

South Coast Small Group Day Tour

South Coast Small Group Day Tour

Snaefellsnes & Kirkjufell Tour

Snaefellsnes & Kirkjufell Tour

Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon Full Day Tour

Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon Full Day Tour

Vestmannaeyjar Island, Volcanoes and Puffins Tour

Vestmannaeyjar Island, Volcanoes and Puffins Tour

Day tours operated by trusted partner.

Golden Circle Afternoon Tour

Golden Circle Afternoon Tour

Kerlingarfjöll Hiking Tour from Reykjavík

Kerlingarfjöll Hiking Tour from Reykjavík

Landmannalaugar Hiking Tour

Landmannalaugar Hiking Tour

What do our awesome customers say about us.

I can’t say enough positive things about this tour and the tour guide. It was my favorite excursion from my entire Iceland trip. The guide…

Our tour guide was Al, he provided us with a very informative and entertaining 8 hour tour of the Golden Circle, we visited the following …

We visited Iceland in February and we were lucky to go on a golden circle tour with day tours. It was well organized, comfortable, and we …

Our fantastic guide Baldvin had many interesting stories and details about Iceland as we drove east to Vik and back. He answered a multitu…

I actually visited back at the end of January 2020 just before the start of the pandemic and with all the drama of Covid, I never actually…


We went on the tour last Friday our driver /guide was fantastic. He was full of information and funny, telling us lovely stories. The whole…

Elizabeth A

We did the South Coast and Golden Circle day tours and they were both great!! Bodi did a great job as a guide and we got so see many diffe…

Great experience! Driver/tour guide was was very knowledgeable and friendly, and we enjoyed the comfortable van (which had WiFi). This is …

single day tours iceland


For thousands of years. Your Day Tours have been operated only by Icelandic natives... So we guarantee that the jokes you'll hear will be only the ones that locals have come up with, the music - the best selection of Icelandic jams and jammies to dance to and the food... Well, when you taste it and it's going to be the best what you taste buds ever touched - you will know that it's local.

single day tours iceland


2017 -2018 -2019, You are thinking what do these three years have in common? Well, we rocked! And we also received the best reviews in Iceland as a travel agency, which at least for us, a family business, is very important.

single day tours iceland

More about Iceland

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall

Geysir Hotsprings

Geysir Hotsprings

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Full Suitcase Travel Blog

13 Absolute Best Iceland Tours & Day Trips (All Seasons)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: September 12, 2023

13 Absolute Best Iceland Tours & Day Trips (All Seasons)

Visiting Iceland soon and planning to take guided tours, but are not sure which Iceland tours are best and worth your time the most? In this article, you’ll find our hand-picked selection of the best tours in Iceland . Whether you are making a short stopover in Reykjavik or are traveling around the whole country, this list should help you plan your trip. Find out!

If you are visiting Iceland for the first time, it might be difficult to decide where to go first. Therefore I made this selection of the very best and most popular day tours in Iceland:  best day trips from Reykjavik, most popular wildlife excursions, and also tours in the North of Iceland… It will give you a good idea of what Iceland’s must-see places are and what to expect. Most of these tours and guided trips are available the whole year round; some – are seasonal.

Good to know: Most tours in this selection can be done as a day trip from Reykjavik, but some tours depart from other locations. In this article, we focus on  the best Iceland tours for all seasons. If you are interested in winter tours ( Northern Lights in Iceland , ice caves, snowmobile tours, etc), check out our guide to the best winter tours and day trips from Reykjavik .

If you rather explore Iceland on a self-drive trip (recommended, definitely in summer), check our Iceland itinerary suggestions .  But even if you are exploring Iceland by car, you may still want to look into booking a whale-watching excursion, visiting the Blue Lagoon , Sky Lagoon , etc.

Most tours I selected here are bookable through GetYourGuide – our #1 choice when it comes to booking guided tours and excursions for our trips. The reason is simple – they have an excellent reputation, great customer service, competitive prices, and FREE 24 hr cancelation.

For each tour, I also give some practical details to help you plan your trip. Find out!

Did you know that… The most popular ‘tour’ booked in Iceland is the airport transfer to the city . With taxis charging ten times the price of the bus, I strongly recommend you book a bus transfer as well. Check here for more information about the best way to get to Reykjavik from Keflavik airport .

Best Tours in Iceland – OVERVIEW

  • Golden Circle
  • Blue Lagoon & other geothermal baths
  • South Coast
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula
  • Whale watching
  • Puffin tours
  • Silfra snorkeling tours
  • Icelandic horse riding
  • Glacier hiking
  • Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Icelandic Highlands (summer only)
  • More great tours and day trips in Iceland: lava caves, snowmobiling, volcano…

TIP: We list the most popular tours in Iceland first, so if you are short on time, start with the top of this list and you’ll be sure to cover all the must-sees.

These are the best Iceland tours:

1. Golden Circle

Golden Circle is the no. 1 must-see place in Iceland. Whether you are visiting for a day or for two weeks, no trip to Iceland would be complete without visiting the Golden Circle.

Golden Circle is an area that comprises three famous landmarks – the Geysir area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park. Due to its proximity to Reykjavik, this is by far the most popular tour in Iceland.

You can visit Golden Circle by car, or you can opt for one of the many available guided tours from Reykjavik. Below are some of the very best options:

  • Golden Circle Full-Day Grand Tour with Kerid Crater from Reykjavik – the most popular Golden Circle tour
  • Full Day Premium Golden Circle Tour by Minibus – best small-group tour
  • Golden Circle Afternoon Tour – see the main highlights in half a day

All seasons Departs from Reykjavik

Iceland trip itinerary suggestions - from one day to two weeks

2. Blue Lagoon and other geothermal baths

The Blue Lagoon is an outdoor geothermal spa close to Reykjavik and Keflavik airport. It is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland and you really have to book tickets in advance . Blue Lagoon is located about 30-40 minutes drive from Reykjavik city center. So unless you have a car it’s best to book a bus transfer from Reykjavik .

TIP: Recently, a new geothermal pool was opened in Iceland, just next to the city. It’s called Sky Lagoon and looks absolutely amazing! You can easily visit from the city by booking this tour which includes bus transfer and entrance tickets . If you have a car, you can also easily drive there and just book the entrance tickets . Check it out – the views are incredible!

There’s also another less touristy (and cheaper) geothermal pool near Reykjavik – Secret Lagoon . Another great option is  Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal baths .

You can also visit these geothermal baths with a guided tour, usually in combination with the Golden Circle:

  • Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon Small Group Tour
  • Secret Lagoon Early Access & Golden Circle
  • Golden Circle and Fontana Wellness Tour

Blue Lagoon spa - the most popular excursion in Iceland

3. South Coast Tours

Iceland’s South Coast is another highlight that you must see. It is easily doable as a day trip from Reykjavik and is, therefore, a very popular trip. In fact, south coast tours are the most popular tours in Iceland.

You will visit the famous waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach and the nearby Vik village, Sólheimajökull glacier, and more.

Here are the best-rated south coast tours:

  • South of Iceland Full-Day Tour from Reykjavik – the most popular South Coast tour.
  • South Coast Classic: Full-Day Tour from Reykjavik . This popular tour is the best option for families: kids under 12 travel free and 12-15-year-olds pay half the price.
  • Iceland’s South Coast Day Tour by Minibus . This tour is a bit more expensive, but traveling with a small group has many benefits.

All seasons Departs from Reykjavik 

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do on the South Coast of Iceland

Skogafoss waterfall along Iceland's south coast

4. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the adjacent Diamond Beach is my favorite place in Iceland. However, it’s located quite far from Reykjavik. So it requires a full day trip with many hours of driving if you decide to visit it with a day tour.

I wouldn’t advise doing this trip in just one day unless you are really short on time. But if you only have a day to spare and want to see this stunning glacial lagoon, then yes, it is possible to visit Jokulsarlon as a day trip from Reykjavik.

In summer, the days are long and this trip will be very different than in winter, giving you more chances to admire the beautiful South Coast along the way. If you are visiting in winter, consider a 2-day tour instead. That way, you get to see the South Coast and possibly also visit an ice cave.

Despite the long drive, a day trip to Jokulsarlon is one of the most popular tours in Iceland and the customer reviews are great. Below are the best Jokulsarlon tours from Reykjavik:

  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Tour from Reykjavik – the most popular bus tour.
  • South Coast & Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon – small group tour.

Iceland winter wonderland - icebergs on Jokulsarlon beach in winter

5. Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Another long day trip from Reykjavik, a visit to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is an unforgettable experience. If you are looking for the best, must-do tours that you can do in Iceland in any season, this is one of those places that are absolutely worth your time.

Here are the best tours of Snaefellsnes Peninsula from Reykjavik:

  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula Full- Day Tour from Reykjavik – the most popular option.
  • Snaefellsnes Peninsula Premium Small Group Tour – the best small group tour.

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Iceland tours - Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Now that we covered all the must-see places that you really should try to see in Iceland, below are more amazing tours that will make your trip even more special. Take a look!

6. Whale-watching tours

There are several places where you can go whale watching in Iceland. The most popular are Reykjavik and Husavik (North of Iceland), but there are some other great options as well.

Reykjavik whale-watching tours are available the whole year, but please note that the best time to see whales in Iceland is from April through September. The best place to see whales in Iceland is up North, with Husavik often called the whale-watching capital of Iceland.

Here are the best whale-watching tours in Iceland:

  • Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik . There are several options in Reykjavik, but this tour is the most popular and has the best ratings. It’s also one of the most affordable options that I found. This tour runs in all seasons.
  • Traditional Whale Watching Tour from Husavik – the best tour in Husavik. Summer only.
  • Original Big Whale Safari & Puffin Island Tour by RIB speedboat – a good option from Husavik for those who tend to get seasick on a regular boat and want to get closer to the whales.

Mid-March through November Departs from Reykjavik or from Husavik (1h15 drive from Akureyri)

Whale watching tour in Iceland

7. Puffin tours

No summer trip to Iceland would be complete without seeing the puffins. There are some land-based trips, but if you are looking to do tours, the best use of your time is to combine puffin tours with whale watching. Here are the best options:

  • Puffin Watching Boat Tour – the most popular option.
  • Combo: Puffin Cruise & Whale-Watching Tour – they also explicitly look for whales.
  • Small-Group Puffin Watching RIB Cruise – ideal for those who are short on time.

May till Mid August Departs from Reykjavik

  • Húsavík Whale Watching and Puffins
  • Húsavík: Big Whale Safari & Puffin Island Tour by RIB speed boat

April/May till August/October Departs from Husavik  (1h15 driving from Akureyri)

Iceland tours to see puffins

8. Silfra snorkeling tours

Silfra is one of the top diving sites in the world, but even if you don’t dive, you can explore the bright blue and crystal clear waters with incredible visibility of up to 100 meters.

  • Silfra Fissure Snorkeling – the most popular tour that includes pick-up in Reykjavik
  • Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos – the most popular tour that starts in Thingvellir National Park

All seasons Departs from Thingvellir NP or Reykjavik (optional at extra cost).

Best combination tours that include Silfra Snorkelling:

  • Golden Circle & Silfra Snorkeling
  • Reykjavik Combo Snorkel in Silfra Fissure & Lava Caving

Silfra snorkeling tours in Iceland

9. Icelandic horseback riding tours

Icelandic horses are rather small, but it would be a big insult to call them ponies. Riding an Icelandic horse is typically an Icelandic thing to do, especially if you do it in a beautiful location in the lava fields.

Most tours are meant for tourists with little or no experience in horse riding. It’s a family-friendly experience that anyone can join.

  • Icelandic Horse Riding Tour in Lava Fields (3-4 hrs) – the most popular horseback riding tour near Reykjavik. Transfer optional.
  • Red Lava Horseback Riding – includes a pick-up from Reykjavik.

All seasons Departs from Reykjavik or from Hafnarfjordur (20 min drive from Reykjavik)

Horseback riding tour in Iceland

10. Glacier hiking & Ice caves

Glacier hiking is another great year-round excursion that you shouldn’t miss in Iceland.

These are the best glacier hiking tours from Reykjavik:

  • Glacier Hiking & South Coast
  • Glacier Hiking and Ice Climbing Tour
  • Small-Group South Coast Tour & Glacier Hike

These popular glacier hiking tours start directly at the glacier and are therefore a bit cheaper:

  • Sólheimajökull Glacier Guided Hike
  • Skaftafell Glacier Hike

All seasons, unless specified otherwise Departs from Reykjavik, Sólheimajökull Café (25 min drive from Vik ) or Skaftafell NP.

LEARN MORE: Complete guide to glacier hiking in Iceland

In addition to glacier hiking, you can also visit ice caves . While most ice cave tours only run in winter (+- November to March), there is one tour that is also available in summer. Please keep in mind that ice caves are a natural phenomenon and so the conditions change all the time and you never really know in advance what exactly you get to see.

Here are the best ice cave tours in Iceland:

  • Katla Ice Cave – the only natural ice cave that can be visited the whole year round AND you can visit it from Reykjavik as well!
  • Langjökull Glacier Ice Cave Tour – a man-made ice tunnel not far from Reykjavik that you can visit the whole year round.
  • Skaftafell: Ice Cave Tour & Glacier Hike .
  • Vatnajokull Glacier: Ice Caving and Glacier Hiking .

Departs from Skaftafell NP or from Vik, except Langjökull glacier or Katla ice cave which is also possible from Reykjavik.

Glacier hiking guides in Iceland

11. Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss Waterfall

One of the most beautiful and must-see places in the North of Iceland is the area around Lake Myvatn. You can visit it by car, or you can join a guided tour from Akureyri. There are also tours that combine Lake Myvatn with the Dettifoss waterfall.

  • Day Trip to Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss
  • Day Trip to Lake Mývatn And The Nature Baths
  • Myvatn Shore Excursion – perfect for those visiting Akureyri by cruise ship
  • Myvatn Nature Baths

All seasons Departs from Akureyri (North Iceland)

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Myvatn

Lake Myvatn - most popular day tour in Northern Iceland

12. Icelandic Highlands

If you visit Iceland in summer, don’t miss the chance to see the highlands of Iceland! It’s a whole other world and completely different than anything else you’ll see in Iceland. 

You do need a super-jeep to properly explore the highlands, so it’s ideal if you can visit with a guided tour. The most popular trips in the highlands include Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar.

Here are the best Icelandic highlands tours from Reykjavik:

  • Day Trip to Landmannalaugar
  • Thorsmork Volcano Hike Super Jeep & Hiking Tour

Recently, I made a 4-day trip Icelandic highlands trip with a private driver and it’s by far the most special trip EVER.

If you don’t have the time or the budget for a longer trip, check this one-day trip from Reykjavik that covers some of the most amazing places in the highlands: The Secret Circle . It’s organized by the same private guide that I traveled with and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone looking for a very unique tour in Iceland!

Summer only Departs from Reykjavik

Haifoss waterfall in Iceland's highlands

13. Even more amazing day trips and tours in Iceland

There are so many more great tours and day trips that you can do in Iceland. Here are a few of the most popular options:

  • Lava Caving Small Group Tour .
  • Langjokull Glacier & Ice Cave . This is one of the best options if you want to visit a glacier ice cave in any season.
  • Glacier Snowmobiling on Langjokull Glacier . This tour starts at Gullfoss waterfall on the Golden Circle.
  • Golden Circle & Snowmobiling Tour . Similar tour to the above, but it departs from Reykjavik and also includes the Golden Circle.
  • Game of Thrones filming locations tour . P.S. If you are a fan, make sure to also check our selection of the best Game of Thrones tours in other European filming locations.
  • ATV Quad tours .
  • Helicopter tours .

All seasons, unless indicated otherwise Departs from Reykjavik, unless indicated otherwise 

TIP: One of the newest tours in Iceland at the moment is hiking to the eruption site of the Fagradalsfjall or Merdalir volcanos. The eruption at Fagradasfjall started in March 2021 and was going on for several months. A year later, in 2022, the Merdalir volcano erupted just nearby. In 2023, Fagradasfjall woke up again for a few days. Even if these volcanos aren’t active anymore, the lava flows are still very impressive and worth seeing.

You can hike there on your own, or you can go on one of the many tours . They pick you up in Reykjavik and guide you on a hike to the volcano. These recent volcano eruption sites are really worth seeing if visiting Iceland at the moment.

Best things to do in Iceland - Fagradalsfjall volcano

So this is our hand-picked selection of the very best tours in Iceland. There are of course many more options, also tours that combine several places, or multi-day tours… You can find the complete selection of the best tours in Iceland on the GetYourGuide website . It’s our one-stop shop for booking all our tours when we travel.

TIP: If you are looking for something more off the beaten path, a really special place that you can visit in a day, consider the Westman Islands . It can be done as a day trip from Reykjavik, with a tour , or from the South Coast.

READ ALSO: Best Half-Day Tours from Reykjavik

More tips for your trip to Iceland:

  • What to see:   Best Places to See in Iceland & Best Places on the South Coast of Iceland
  • Airport transfers:  How to Get to Reykjavik from Keflavik Airport
  • Budget:  How Expensive is Iceland
  • Accommodation:   Where to Stay in Iceland
  • Winter trip: Tips for Iceland in Winter
  • What to Wear in Iceland in Winter
  •   What to Pack for Iceland in Summer
  • Iceland Itinerary for 1 to 14 Days
  • Iceland Itinerary for 7 Days
  • 4 Days Iceland Itinerary
  • Complete Ring Road Trip

Reykjavik travel guides:

  • Best Things to Do in Reykjavik
  • Reykjavik 1-day Itinerary
  • Is Reykjavik Worth Visiting
  • Perlan, Wonders of Iceland
  • Where to Stay in Reykjavik

For more information and destination guides for Iceland, please check our Iceland travel guide . We’ve been to Iceland multiple times and have lots of articles and practical tips for your trip. Take a look!

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Most popular guided tours, day trips and excursions in Iceland in spring, summer and autumn

Photo credits: personal collection,,, and also

You can also read this article in German : Beste Touren, Ausfüge, und Aktivitäten in Island .

Best guided tours and day trips in Iceland

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Tuesday 13th of August 2019

Hello Jurga, Extremely detailed, well-thought-out and useful information and suggestions!! Thank you so much for your time and effort. We (my wife and I) are trying to piece together the flights and campervan rental to visit this September roughly from the 10th to the 16/17th. Anyway, we are flying out to different locations and I would leave at 09:00h and she at 18:45h from KEF. I was wondering if you knew of any guided day tours leaving from (and returning to) KEF so my wife might make the most of those roughly 7-8 hours she would otherwise be sitting around the airport for. Alternatively we could look at paying a supplement for a second driver and she could drive herself somewhere for the day/lunch... but would rather not have to worry about any troubles with the vehicle or getting lost and missing the flight. A guided tour or bus tour with KEF as the starting/finishing point would be less stress. I'm looking online now but figured asking may be quicker than sifting through all the search results. Again many thanks for your wonderful website!! Saludos from Spain.

Wednesday 14th of August 2019

Hi Brad, there isn't much starting/ending from Keflavik, but here are three options for you:

1. Reykjaness Peninsula stopover tour - this is the only one that I found that starts and ends at Keflavik airport. It starts at 10.30AM if I see well and lasts 6 hours, so it could work. It's also a very nice and less known area that most tourists just start to slowly discover now.

2. You could drop your wife off at the Blue Lagoon (book tickets in advance!). There she can also have lunch, spa treatments, etc. if she wants to, and then take a bus to the airport (also book in advance) later that afternoon.

3. You leave her in Reykjavik where she can spend the day in town and maybe visit Perlan (we really enjoyed it) and then take a bus to Keflavik from BSI terminal (where she could also leave her luggage - there are lockers).

Hope this helps!

Thursday 1st of August 2019

All of your articles have been very helpful in planning my trip, thank you! You recommend the "Get your Guide" agency for several of your tours. Do they typically list available times only one month in advance? On some of the tours there seem to be no options from august through next year. Just trying to make sure I don't miss the boat (literally)!

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

Hi Beth, normally they list tours for the upcoming season (just as the companies that operate those tours), so it's very likely that some tours don't run in winter and are therefore not listed (e.g. whale watching tours in the North of Iceland stop after the summer, etc). What tour and for which travel dates are you looking for?

Diana Greer

Sunday 13th of May 2018

Can you book tours you suggested after you arrive or is it best to book in advance?

Yes, of course you can book them last minute, but depending on the season some tours may get fully booked. If you know already what you want to do and on which day, I'd say book upfront. If for whatever reason you decide you don't want to do a tour, you can normally cancel for free up to 24hrs in advance. Another big advantage of booking in advance online vs e.g. at a hotel is that you can read the customer reviews, compare prices and see what exactly is or isn't included, etc. And not have to waste your time on that while on holiday.

Due to a volcanic eruption in the area, Blue Lagoon is temporarily closed. Read more .




View all day tours from Reykjavik

See & Experience the most famous Icelandic sights!

Tour the Golden Circle in all its glory and see the Strokkur hot spring erupt at the original Geysir. Stand next to Gullfoss waterfall, the roaring queen of Icelandic Waterfalls and walk in the footsteps of the Vikings in Þingvellir National Park.

Explore the South Coast with its endless black beaches, towering volcanoes and rugged glaciers. Walk behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and hike up to the incredible Skógar Waterfall. Strap on crampons and step onto the glacier ice of Sólheimajökull with an expert guide.

Find these and other great tours in our selection of guided day tours from Reykjavík. Selected tours offer seats with a touch screen tablet complete with our unique "In Bus Audio Guide", and a USB charger.

GOLDEN CIRCLE & SKY LAGOON (Admission incl.)

Visit Iceland´s newest geothermal wonder after experiencing the Golden Circle.

ISK 22,490 10,5 Hours


Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of the most amazing natural wonders of Iceland. Experience a day full of glaciers, icebergs and waterfalls at Iceland´s jewel.

ISK 23,990 14 Hours


Enjoy a relaxing visit to the Blue lagoon after seeing some of Iceland’s most famous sights.

ISK 30,490 13 Hours

South Coast, Diamond Beach & Glacier Lagoon

Guided tour of the Icelandic south coast, with stops at Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

ISK 24,580 14 Hours


Visit Iceland´s most popular natural attractions including Geysir Hot Springs, Gullfoss Waterfall, Þingvellir National Park, expertly guided in 10 different languages!

ISK 10,490 7,5 Hours


Experience the wonderful volcanic southern coastline of Iceland with its thundering waterfalls, endless black sand beaches and glacier coated volcanoes, available in 10 different languages!

ISK 13,990 10,5 Hours


Explore the Golden Circle and then drive a snowmobile on the second biggest glacier in Iceland.

ISK 34,990 11,5 Hours


Hike on a rugged glacier and explore the amazing cracks in the ice, visit two stunning and iconic waterfalls as well as Reynisfjara black sand beach.

ISK 24,990 11 Hours


Guided in 10 languages. Search for the rare and elusive northern lights (Aurora Borealis) in the skies around Reykjavík on this all time winter bestseller!

ISK 7,590 3 Hours


Enjoy a relaxing visit to the Blue lagoon and then head out into the night to search for Northern Lights.

ISK 26,990 10 Hours


kr 34,990 11,5 Hours


On this tour you will explore the world famous Golden Circle & get to know the unique Icelandic horse.

kr 23,490 11 Hours


Iceland's most popular natural wonders in one day. Find the dancing northern lights after a joyful Golden Circle tour.

kr 15,490 10,5 Hours


Follow the North Atlantic coastline from Reykjavík into the south coast wonderland and become a Northern Light Hunter.

kr 20,990 13 Hours

Iceland Day Tours: Explore the Wonders of Reykjavik and Beyond

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure in Iceland? Look no further than our selection of Iceland day tours! From the famous Golden Circle to the breathtaking South Coast, we offer a range of guided tours that will take you to the most iconic sights and natural wonders in and around Reykjavik. With our state-of-the-art amenities, including in-bus audio guides and USB chargers, we ensure that your journey is not only informative but also convenient and comfortable.

The Golden Circle: A Journey Through Iceland's Natural Marvels

The Golden Circle is a must-visit destination for every traveler in Iceland. This 300-kilometer route takes you to three incredible attractions: the Geysir geothermal area, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the Þingvellir National Park.

Geysir Geothermal Area: Witness Nature's Fury

At the Geysir geothermal area, you'll have the opportunity to see the Strokkur hot spring in action. This impressive natural wonder erupts every few minutes, shooting boiling water high up into the air. The sight of this powerful display of nature's forces is truly awe-inspiring.

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Roaring Queen of Icelandic Waterfalls

Prepare to be amazed by the sheer power and beauty of the Gullfoss waterfall. As one of Iceland's most iconic landmarks, it cascades down in two stages, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Stand next to the edge of the waterfall and feel the mist on your face as you admire its majestic grandeur.

Þingvellir National Park: Where History and Nature Converge

Step into the footsteps of the Vikings as you explore Þingvellir National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only a place of historical significance but also a natural wonder. Marvel at the dramatic landscapes, walk through the Almannagjá fissure, and learn about the historic events that took place here.

The South Coast: A Scenic Journey of Black Beaches, Volcanoes, and Glaciers

If you're craving for more natural beauty, our South Coast day tours will take you on a breathtaking journey. From black sand beaches to towering volcanoes and rugged glaciers, this region is a paradise for nature lovers.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: Walk Behind the Cascades

Prepare to get up close and personal with nature at the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Unlike many other waterfalls, you can actually walk behind the cascades and experience the thundering water from a unique perspective. Don't forget to bring your raincoat, as you might get wet from the mist!

Skógar Waterfall: A Picture-Perfect Setting

Another majestic waterfall awaits you at Skógar. With its 60-meter drop and stunning surroundings, it's no wonder that this waterfall is a favorite among photographers. Capture the beauty of the cascades and the lush greenery that surrounds it.

Sólheimajökull Glacier: Step onto the Ice

For the ultimate adventure, strap on crampons and join our expert guides as you step onto the glacier ice of Sólheimajökull. Learn about the fascinating formations and features of glaciers while marveling at the icy landscapes. This is an experience like no other.

Discover More with Our Guided Day Tours from Reykjavik

In addition to the Golden Circle and the South Coast, we offer a variety of other guided day tours from Reykjavik that allow you to explore even more of Iceland's wonders. Whether you want to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, visit the stunning Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, or immerse yourself in the mystical world of the Northern Lights, we have the perfect tour for you.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula: A Land of Magic and Mystery

Embark on a journey to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, often referred to as "Iceland in Miniature." This region is known for its diverse landscapes, including dramatic coastlines, lava fields, and the iconic Snæfellsjökull volcano. Explore charming fishing villages, visit the famous Kirkjufell mountain, and feel the magic of this enchanting place.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: A Frozen Wonderland

Witness the stunning beauty of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where icebergs float peacefully in the crystal-clear water. Take a boat tour and get up close to the majestic ice formations or simply sit on the shore and listen to the sounds of cracking ice. This is a truly magical experience that will leave you in awe.

Northern Lights: Chase the Aurora Borealis

If you're lucky enough to visit Iceland during the winter months, don't miss the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Join our expert guides as they take you to the best spots to see this natural phenomenon. Dance with the colorful lights in the sky and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Ultimate Convenience: In-Bus Audio Guides and USB Chargers

To enhance your experience during our day tours, we offer in-bus audio guides and USB chargers. With our touch screen tablets, you can learn about the history, geology, and culture of each destination at your own pace. Stay connected with our USB chargers and never worry about running out of battery on your devices.

Book Your Iceland Day Tour Today

Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the wonders of Iceland with our guided day tours from Reykjavik. Whether you're a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, we have the perfect tour for you. Book your tour today and get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with breathtaking landscapes, fascinating history, and the thrill of discovery. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with us and create memories that will last forever.

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Gray Line Iceland is one of the oldest and most trusted tour companies in Iceland. Our team of experienced, local Tour Experts is passionate about making every moment count.

Airport direct by gray line iceland, lagoon tours, south coast, diamond beach & jökulsárlón tour.

From: € 159

Golden Circle Tour

From: € 72

South Iceland, Waterfalls and Black Sand Beach Tour

From: € 96

Golden Circle & Fontana Geothermal Bath Tour

From: € 103

Golden Circle & Glacier Snowmobile Tour

From: € 241

Golden Circle + Sleipnir Red Monster Glacier Truck Tour

From: € 234

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour

From: € 130

Golden Circle & Sky Lagoon Bathing Experience

From: € 152

South Iceland & Glacier Hike Tour

From: € 158

Experience The Highlands - Sightseeing and Baths

From: € 206

Sky Lagoon Geothermal Spa

Fly over iceland.

From: € 37

Gray Line has been a trusted provider of traveler experiences and excursions in the world’s most sought-after locations since 1910. Gray Line Iceland bus tours from Reykjavik visit the most popular locations in Iceland. Join us and experience the best of Iceland sightseeing! 

Gray Line Iceland bus tours offer a wide selection such as Reykjavik Day Tours, Iceland excursions, Airport Transfers from Keflavík International Airport and , tailor-made private travel arrangements. Additionally we offer private transfers to Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik.

Gray Line Iceland Blog

Here at Gray Line, we love to share our insights on living and traveling in Iceland. On our blog, you can read all about the nature, history and culture of our beautiful country as well as our latest discoveries and useful tips for an excellent holiday in Iceland.

Featured Article

2026 Total Solar Eclipse in Iceland

Mark your calendars for August 12, 2026, when Iceland will become the stage for a breathtaking natural spectacle: the Iceland Eclipse 2026.

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People walking near the crater with rising sea at the geothermal area of Iceland, Namaskaro

Greenland’s the icy one; Iceland’s the green one. But remember this: they don’t call part of it the Golden Circle for nothing.

Calling all nature lovers, adventure seekers and fearless travelers. Iceland may be cold, but that’s the point—you’ll get to see all the glaciers, geysers and geothermal wonders you can handle. Discover a land of natural color: hues of azure at the  Blue Lagoon  and the icy Jokulsarlon, shades of green on the rolling hills framing Skogafoss and the striking black sand beaches that hug the coast. Not to mention the magical aurora borealis  that dance across the sky! From uncovering Viking tales and bathing in steamy springs to cruising past icebergs and exploring quirky farm towns,  Iceland  is island life like no other.

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Learn more about Iceland

Culture and customs.

Similar to many other parts of Europe , Iceland has rules in place to help preserve its culture and geographic isolation is also a factor in developing and preserving the country’s cultural qualities. Independence, self-sufficiency and a strong work ethic – traits that allowed this northern island to flourish in challenging conditions – continue to be highly valued today.

Icelandic culture and customs are full of myths and legends, many with a connection to Christian and pagan values. Folk tales of elves, gnomes, fairies and trolls still circulate, and whether or not the locals continue telling these to unlock the secrets of the past, or simply in jest, they’re definitely worth listening to. But when news outlets report on road plans being changed to avoid disrupting an elfin church, it’s easy to believe that this unusual country and its magical landscapes are a product of what lies ‘hidden’ in its mysterious depths.

Today, Iceland is a highly modern and progressive society. It is consistently rated as having the smallest gender pay gap and strong LGBTQIA+ rights representation in the parliament and media. It’s also one of the greenest countries in the world, with almost all energy coming from renewable resources such as hydropower and geothermal.

Read more about Iceland's History and Folklore

History and government

Pre-modern history.

This island nation was settled by Vikings in the ninth century, with much of the early literature recognizing Norse sailor Ingolfur Arnason as the first settler of Iceland, founding Reykjavik in AD874 along with his wife and brother. Icelanders remain proud to this day of their Viking heritage. The Icelandic language, for example, is so similar to the Old Norse spoken during Viking times that Icelanders can still read and understand the original Icelandic sagas.

A book of settlements titled Landnamabok, compiled in the 12th century, documents the names and other details of nearly 400 original settlers of Iceland who arrived in the ninth and tenth centuries. The document tells of a Norse Viking called Floki who sailed to Iceland for fishing and farming, however, due to his livestock not surviving in the conditions, had to return to his home in Norway. After heading up a mountain and looking over a fjord full of sea ice, he named this land Iceland.

In AD930, an Icelandic General Assembly was established and was deemed a Christian settlement less than a century later. Settlers and slaves brought to Iceland by Scandinavians were of Irish and Norse descent, and although some still debate which communities influenced the identity we now know to be Icelandic, the first distinctive text documenting ‘Icelandic-ness’ is said to be a rule book of sorts – the First Grammatical Treatise.

20th century and today

After long periods under Norwegian and Danish rule, Iceland was recognized as a sovereign state in 1918. On 17 June 1944, Iceland became an independent republic. It has a multi-party parliamentary system and a written constitution. The parliament is still called Althingi after its medieval General Assembly.

Many of Iceland’s major industries stem from its location and surrounding natural resources. Tourism aside, fishing and seafood products make up much of the country’s exports and employ a majority of the workforce along with agriculture and farming. Recent investment in greenhouses and geothermal energy has seen Iceland become increasingly self-sufficient, growing products that usually do not fare well in icy climates, such as potatoes, tomatoes and potted plants. Other food is imported along with many consumer goods.

Eating and drinking

Flanked by the ocean and inhabited by almost twice the amount of sheep as humans, Iceland understandably boasts a cuisine dominated by seafood and local lamb.

The country’s diet relies on plenty of potatoes and lamb, but seafood trumps all – sourced fresh year-round from the waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic and prepared in a variety of ways. Be sure to try Hardfiskur – a salty fish jerky, best enjoyed buttered.

Sheep and cows are free-range and fed chemical-free diets, making lamb and dairy products exceptionally good here. One of the best ways to enjoy the produce on offer is to warm yourself up from the inside out with a hearty meat soup: a mixture of lamb, root vegetables, herbs, and rice.

Skyr, a popular yogurt that is technically a cheese, is also a must-try in all its variety of flavors. Eat it like the locals do at any time of the day – for breakfast, as a snack, as a dipping sauce, in drink form (called drykkur), or as a dessert topping.

Surprisingly, hot dogs are Iceland’s most iconic fast food. Widely available, a hot dog is probably the cheapest meal you’ll have in Iceland. Order one with all the toppings – sweet mustard, ketchup, raw onions, deep-fried onions, and aioli.

Rye bread (also known as rugbraud) and butter is a common side to most meals in Iceland, but the preferred way of cooking the loaves are quite unique. Traditionally, the bread is buried near a natural hot spring, sprinkled with sugar, and left to gently steam for up to 24 hours. The end result is dense, cake-like bread that has a slightly sweet taste. Enjoy it with a traditional Icelandic soup, smoked lamb, or, of course, fish.

Name a food and chances are Icelanders have tried to add licorice to it. Black licorice is beloved by locals and found in a wide range of desserts and candy bars. During your time here, head to Valdis in Reykjavik to test out a cone filled with salted black licorice ice cream. Even if the weather’s cold, the ice cream joints will be open!

The weird and wacky

Icelanders have a reputation for serving up some of the most unusual food in the world – boiled sheep’s head, fermented shark known as harkarl, ram testicles and smoked puffin to name a few. Although the country’s isolation and harsh winters once meant these foods were eaten out of necessity, today most of these ‘delicacies’ are only prepared to shock tourists. Try if you dare, but we suggest sticking to the common foods that locals eat.

Alcohol can be expensive in Iceland and is best bought at the duty-free shop. Although forms of prohibition existed until 1989, alcohol is now widely available all over the country in state-run liquor stores. If you’re feeling brave, try the local brew, Brennivin – a potent, traditional caraway-flavored schnapps nicknamed ‘black death’.

Read more about what to eat in Iceland

Read more about what to drink in Iceland

Iceland travel highlights

1. explore reykjavik.

Iceland's capital city is totally beguiling, surrounded by volcanic peaks and boasting a vibrant art and nightlife scene. Browse the city’s galleries, explore the colorful street art, dine on fresh lox (traditionally cured salmon),   or cycle to the striking cathedral of Hallgrimskirkja – trying to say that after a tipple or two of Brennivin (Iceland's signature spirit) might be tricky! Get stuck into Icelandic culture on our 6 day Northern Lights Escape .

2. Discover the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is the holy trinity of southern Iceland. This 186-mile (300 km) route is brimming with natural wonders that showcase why so many travelers fall under Iceland's spell. Marvel at the layered cascades of Gullfoss Waterfall, explore the dramatic rift valley in Thingvellir National Park and witness the unpredictable eruptions in Geysir Geothermal Area. Marvel at breathtaking natural landscapes on our 5 day Iceland Express tour.

3. Cruise along Jokulsarlon

It's impossible not to be amazed by the sheer size and beauty of Jokulsarlon, Iceland’s famous glacial lagoon. Enjoy a boat tour along the icy waters where you'll cruise past towering glaciers and witness icebergs of all shapes, sizes and shades of blue drifting into the Atlantic Ocean. Cool down on our 8 day Iceland Discovery tour.

4. Experience life in Akureyri

Soak up the charm of this northern port city – the second-largest city in Iceland. Better described as a big town with lots of character, you'll be won over by its quaint turf homes, rich history and folklore, and the imposing Mount Súlur that looms over the town. Akureyri is also an ideal Northern Lights viewing location between September and April. Explore the streets of Akureyri on our 9 day Premium Iceland tour.

5. Be wowed by Westfjords

Venture off course to the unspoiled, untamed reaches of the Westfjords – without the big crowds. This is a land where mountains meet the sea most dramatically, where waterfalls tumble down into the inky fjords and puffins live along the towering cliffs. If you’re lucky and conditions allow, we might cruise along Látrabjarg (Europe’s largest bird cliff) to see puffins, razorbills, guillemots and more. Adventure through the Westfjords on our 14 day East Greenland and Iceland Northern Lights tour.

6. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon

There's no need to worry about being cold all the time in Iceland when you can slip into the famous Blue Lagoon just out of Reykjavik. Surrounded by black volcanic rock, a soak in the mineral-rich, milk-blue waters of this geothermal spa is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a big day of walking. 

Geography and environment

Iceland possesses some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders and unique landscapes. From active volcanoes to vast ice fields, bubbling hot springs and enormous glaciers, these dramatic contrasts have earned Iceland the nickname of the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’.

Many of these geological features are products of geographical location – on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates intersect and their movements away from each other create volcanic activity. The country is covered by moss-carpeted lava fields, soaring fjords, incredible waterfalls and dramatic geysers, all of which add to Iceland’s otherworldly look.

The country is also the perfect spot to see the Northern Lights. From September to March, you’ll have the best chance to view this spectacular natural light show when the skies are clear and auroral activity is high. But don’t let that stop you from visiting in other seasons – Iceland’s natural wonders are truly year-round attractions.

Top 4 natural phenomena of Iceland

1. Northern Lights

The Northern Hemisphere's Aurora Borealis has captivated and intrigued travelers for years. Any winter tour of Iceland absolutely must include a chance to see the Northern Lights. This natural light display that runs along magnetic fields often brings hypnotic green, yellow and red shades to the night sky in Iceland from September to March. As one of nature's most magnificent triumphs, this is one unforgettable spectacle.

2. Gullfoss

Otherwise known as Golden Falls, this spectacular three-tiered waterfall drops suddenly into a deep cavern. The falls are surrounded by lush, green countryside, and the rainbows created by the mist and spray provide brilliant photo opportunities.

3. Lake Myvatn

This part of northern Iceland was born from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and continues to be shaped by volcanic activity to this day. The combination of strange lava formations, thermal caves and a sprawling lake dotted with craters and rising rocks makes for an eerie yet beautiful landscape.

4. Jokulsarlon

Literally translating to ‘glacial river lagoon’, this monumental glacier lake is the largest in Iceland. Featuring a parade of large and small blue icebergs floating on and under the pure, icy water, this lagoon is so beautiful that it has been used as a backdrop for Hollywood films, a set for reality television shows and in a starring role on a postage stamp!

Iceland is notorious for being an expensive destination. Travelling on a budget here is difficult but can be done. Head to Bonus – Iceland’s discount grocery store – so you can cook rather than eat out for each meal. The duty-free store at Keflavik International Airport is the best place to pick up a bottle of Icelandic alcohol such as Brennivin liquor, Reyka vodka or Viking Gold beer for a fraction of the price you’d find elsewhere. It’s also a good idea to travel as a group, as operators can get better rates than a single traveler at hotels and restaurants, plus they know all the local hotspots.

If you’d like to take home Icelandic local specialties, Reykjavik is the best place to shop. Some of the country’s coolest retailers can be found on Laugavegur, one of the oldest shopping streets. Here you can browse clothing from quirky local designers alongside traditional lambswool sweaters, as well as tourist shops selling plastic Viking hats and puffin magnets. For smaller boutiques selling local art, head to Skolavordustigur.

Festival and events

Despite the long and dark winters, Icelanders are among the happiest people in the world. Why? One reason is that they understand the importance of getting together and having a good time, even if it’s pitch black outside. There are many celebrations to join in on throughout the year, but here are a few to look out for:

Winter Lights Festival

Every year, buildings around Reykjavik light up at night to celebrate both the winter world and the growing light after a long period of darkness. The Winter Lights Festival uses many public buildings, all major museums, and thermal pools to illuminate the city with lighting designs and art installations to thaw people out after a long winter.

This annual mid-winter feast in January or February is one of Iceland’s oldest festivals, dating back to Viking days. Fearless eaters can find restaurants in Reykjavik offering special Thorrablot dinners of boiled sheep’s heads, rotten shark’s meat, and cured ram testicles. If you can, try to snag an invitation to a local’s house, where celebrations tend to be more festive and involve lots of singing, dancing and drinking.

Viking Festival

Modern-day Vikings in traditional garb flock to Hafnarfjorour each June for a festival Leif Erikson would approve of. Swordfights, archery, axe throwing, a traditional market, concerts, and a proper Viking feast are all part of the festivities.

National Day

1944 marks the year that Iceland became a republic after an overwhelming majority of the citizens voted for independence. The deciding referendum took place between May 20 and 23 that year; however, Iceland’s National Day is celebrated on June 17th – the birthday of the man who originally led the movement in the late 19th century, Jon Sigurdsson. There are parades all around the country, usually with brass bands and marching horses. Music, food, fireworks, and street parties – you get it, they’re a patriotic bunch.

Dalvik Fiskidagurinn Mikli (The Great Fish Day)

Each August, the northern fishing village of Dalvik invites you to a free, all-you-can-eat fish and seafood buffet. The event is held for no reason other than to bring people together over a delicious meal. You might come for the free food, but you’ll stay for the company.

Read more about festivals in Iceland

Public holidays that may impact travel include:

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday

Ascension Day

Whit Sunday and Whit Monday

Commerce Day

Please note that the dates of  Iceland's public holidays  may vary.

Further reading

For inspiring stories to prepare you for your Iceland adventure, check out these books:

  • Independent People   – Halldor Laxness
  • Jar City   – Arnaldur Indridason
  • The Little Book of Tourists in Iceland   – Alda Sigmundsdottir
  • Waking Up in Iceland   – Paul Sullivan
  • The Tricking of Freya   – Christina Sunley
  • Viking Age Iceland   – Jesse L Bycock
  • The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman   – Nancy Marie Brown
  • Burial Rites   – Hannah Kent
  • The Book of Settlements: Landnamabok   – Herman Palsson (trans.)

Discover more about visiting Iceland from our travel experts in our Complete Guide to Iceland.

Similar destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from a variety of locations around Iceland. The options below may be of interest:

Tours to Reykjavik 

Northern Lights Tours

Iceland or Greenland

Iceland travel FAQs

Do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

Deciding what you want to see in Iceland will give you a better idea of when is the best time to travel. Wanting to get active around the countryside and see waterfalls and wildlife? The warmer spring and summer months are probably ideal. Prefer to soak in the geothermal lagoons and get a chance to see the Northern Lights? Well, likely the cooler months – with their longer nights – are best for you.

Spring and summer are considered optimal times to visit Iceland if green landscapes and balmy days are your thing. The early spring months bring warmer days, while summer offers long daylight hours with only short nights. In the summer season, July and August are the warmest months and the busiest time for tourists.

In September, tourism tends to slow down as the weather becomes unpredictable and the countryside is usually less accessible. However, there are plenty of attractions for the off-peak traveler, including the beauty of fall colors and, of course, the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

As you might expect, winters in Iceland can be challenging. During late December there are about four-and-a-half hours of daylight and it's often cloudy. In January, there are on average three sunny days in Reykjavík, with temperatures hovering around freezing point, often with chilling winds.

Do I need a visa to travel to Iceland?

Iceland is a member of the Schengen Convention, which means that if you travel to an EU member country or countries, like Iceland, for a total of less than 90 days, a visa is not required. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and other member countries of the EU and Schengen area are included under this arrangement. Other countries do require a visa to visit Iceland, including citizens of South Africa.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your country of origin. Check the Essential Trip Information section of your tour itinerary for more information.

Is tipping customary in Iceland?

Tipping isn't expected in Iceland. Hotels, restaurants and cafes already include a service fee and consumption taxes (VAT) in the bill, so tipping extra isn't necessary. However, feel free to leave a small amount if your experience has been particularly good, especially for assistance provided by drivers, tour leaders or service workers.

What is the internet access like in Iceland?

Travelers will be able to access the internet in cybercafes and at wi-fi hotspots in Iceland's cities and large towns. Rural and remote areas may have less internet access, so be prepared when traveling away from the city.

Most accommodation and eateries in Iceland offer wi-fi access, which is usually free to use with a code. If you wish to stay connected for the majority of your trip, it may be wise to purchase a prepaid SIM card with a data package.

Many Icelandic libraries and tourist information offices have shared computers for public internet access if you are without a device to connect to wi-fi. Sometimes a small fee is charged for this service.

Can I use my cell phone while in Iceland?

Travelers can use their cell phones in Iceland's main cities and towns, though remote and isolated areas may have inferior cell reception.

If you wish to stay connected for the majority of your trip, it may be wise to purchase a prepaid SIM card for the duration of your journey. This will likely be the cheapest way to use your phone in Iceland.

For EU citizens, depending on who you have your phone plan with, you may be able to use your current SIM in Iceland – your service provider will be able to provide more details.

Global roaming can also be activated, but check with your service provider to find out about any fees you may incur, as sometimes this can be expensive.

What are the toilets like in Iceland?

Modern, flushable toilets are the standard in Iceland.

In terms of public toilets, Reykjavik and other major towns and cities have some, but along highways and at many tourist destinations – especially campgrounds and natural attractions – there is a lack of facilities. Expect to pay a small fee when visiting public toilets and, in busy months, expect queues in main tourist areas.

There have been recent occurrences of tourists resorting to other means in remote places and near tourist sites. We recommend being prepared and talking to your group leader if you have any concerns.

Can I drink the water in Iceland?

Tap water is considered safe to drink in Iceland unless marked otherwise. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Iceland?

Credit cards are widely accepted in Iceland and are used frequently by locals to pay for just about anything. Paying with a credit card at shops, guesthouses, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, and on taxi rides shouldn't present a problem. Iceland is almost a cashless society, so cards are the best option; however, a lot of payments will require your four-digit PIN, so be sure to know this before you leave home.

What is ATM access like in Iceland?

ATMs are usually easy to find in Iceland's cities and villages and generally accept most foreign cards.

What is the weather like in Iceland?

Iceland’s temperatures are cool and do vary throughout the year. In winter months, minimum temperatures plummet to below freezing. In Reykjavik, summer temperatures average at around 52°F, while winter maximums are approximately 32°F. Rainfall is quite consistent throughout the year; between 25–50 mm per month, with most days experiencing some rainfall.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland?

Iceland is a very safe country to travel to and is one of the safest countries in the world.

Is Iceland safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

The people of Iceland have an open and accepting attitude to LGBTQIA+ communities, and Iceland is considered one of the world’s most LGBTQIA+ friendly countries. Since 2006, same-sex couples have had equal access to adoption and IVF, and in 2010 the Icelandic Parliament made a unanimous decision to define marriage as between two individuals. As might be expected in a small country, however, the gay scene is quite low-key, even in Reykjavik.

In 2012, more legislation was passed to formalize the name and identity-changing process for the needs of trans and genderqueer individuals. There is still a way to go to achieve full equality, but Iceland is, in many regards, leading the way globally.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel and reading more about the LGBTQIA+ culture in Iceland .

If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.

Is Iceland accessible for travelers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Because of its remote location and size, Iceland can prove difficult when it comes to accessibility for individuals with mobility issues. Some of the main sights, such as the Blue Lagoon, are wheelchair accessible, but many of the natural attractions have unpaved paths and unsteady terrain. Iceland has a dedicated information center,  Thekkingarmidstod Sjalfsbjorg , that provides up-to-date information on accessibility and accessible facilities in Iceland, as well as other related information.

If you do live with a visual, hearing, or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you, and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

What to wear in Iceland

In summer, Iceland experiences cool but mild weather throughout the country, with maximum temperatures averaging around 55°F. It’s still important, however, to pack some warm clothing at this time, as temperatures at night can drop quite dramatically. In winter, some days barely reach over 32°F, so preparing for this is crucial. It can be wet and windy, and roads may be iced over, so thermal gear, a waterproof jacket and pants and sturdy walking boots are all highly recommended.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

How will I be traveling around Iceland?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport – which usually have less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are much more fun.

Depending on what trip you're on in Iceland, you may find yourself traveling by:

All-terrain Unimog

To see all of Iceland, you’ll need some heavy-duty transport. This super-sized van will take you on glacier visits to admire these almighty ice caps up close.

Amphibian boat

Part truck, part boat, all adventure ­– cruise the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in a small group aboard one of these vessels, on land and lake.

What is it like traveling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re about to embark on your first trip, traveling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), traveling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners, Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides people in low-income communities with bicycles to mobilize school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas – giving them access to vital education, healthcare, and income. Donations help provide Buffalo Bicycles – specifically designed to withstand the rugged terrain and harsh environment of rural regions – to those who need them most. Find out more or make a donation

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Fully Guided Tours & Trips in Iceland

  • Iceland Northern Lights Fully Guided
  • Iceland Ring Road Fully Guided

217 Fully Guided tour packages in Iceland with 3,814 reviews

Best of Iceland Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Best of Iceland

The landscape is amazing. I would surely recommend this.

Iceland Discovery Tour

Iceland Discovery

Great journey with fantastic guide and wonderful experienced travelers. Accomodations were adequate and comfortable.

5 Day - Snaefellsnes, South Coast and Northern Lights Tour

  • Northern Lights
  • Christmas & New Year

5 Day - Snaefellsnes, South Coast and Northern Lights

The most effiecient way to know that beutifull country. Hotels of Artic Adventures very neat and confy.

6 Day - Around Iceland Adventure Tour

6 Day - Around Iceland Adventure

The Tour was amazing we had so much fun an visited so many places!! Really a beautiful experience that I absolutly can recommend!

Iceland Express Tour

  • Coach / Bus

Iceland Express

Great value for once in a lifetime of experiences in other worldly environments. You'd pay much more for the same trip.

Premium Iceland Tour

Premium Iceland

Wellness Iceland Tour

  • Health, Spa & Wellness
  • Hiking & Trekking

Wellness Iceland

Great ceo and great trip! Would definitley reccomend!

8 Day Around Iceland Summer Minibus Tour Tour

8 Day Around Iceland Summer Minibus Tour

The hotel stays are great as well as the complimentary breakfast.

10 day Guided tour | Iceland Complete Tour

10 day Guided tour | Iceland Complete

Good Overall Introduction to Iceland

6 Day Around Iceland Summer Minibus Tour Tour

6 Day Around Iceland Summer Minibus Tour

Excellent trip Hendrick was the best guide and all round great bloke very knowledgeable

Natural Wonders of Iceland (Classic, 9 Days) Tour

Natural Wonders of Iceland (Classic, 9 Days)

Very good experiences to learn history, culture, and see people, unique landscape, powerful waterfalls.

Iceland Circle - 8 Days Tour

Iceland Circle - 8 Days

The nature is terrific and the tour we did was great.

7 Day - Iceland Ring Road & Snæfellsnes Peninsula Small-Group Tour Tour

7 Day - Iceland Ring Road & Snæfellsnes Peninsula Small-Group Tour

All the hotels were great and all either had a restaurant or there were restaurants within walking distance.

Iceland Fire and Ice (Summer, 6 Days) Tour

Iceland Fire and Ice (Summer, 6 Days)

fantastic experience. will book another contiki tour in the future.
  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Land of the Northern Lights - 5 days Tour

Land of the Northern Lights - 5 days

The landscape was beautiful. The Secret Lagoon was wonderful.

What people love about Fully Guided Tours in Iceland

I can't say enough good things about our Best of Iceland Tour. Gisli Anton Bjarnason was the best tour guide we've ever experienced! We thoroughly enjoyed our week!
Good Itinerary and great guide. Overall a well organized and run trip. Enjoyed every bit of it.
Overall the guides and drivers were excellent - in their knowledge, driving safety, preparing the group for activities that were next on the list. The only down time during the day was some of the distances between stops. But not an issue as we were well aware of that before hand. A good value for the cost!!

Top operators

G Adventures

"Great attention to detail. Enthusiast tour leader. Loved the adventure!

G Adventures is an expert in:

Arctic Adventures

"Great trip. Lots of fun.

Arctic Adventures is an expert in:

Insight Vacations

"Active and was able to see many sites on the tour. Our guide Lana from insight was amazing.

Insight Vacations is an expert in:

Regions in Iceland

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  • Iceland Westfjords (5)
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Travel Styles

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  • Iceland Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
  • Best 7 Day Iceland Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)
  • Best 10 Day Iceland Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)
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  • Weather in Iceland in 2024/2025

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Learn how to easily plan your dream trip to Iceland with helpful guides and tips!

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Best Iceland Itinerary Ideas From 1 Day To 2 Weeks

July 18, 2021 //  by  Iceland Trippers //   1 Comment

Are you looking for the best Iceland itinerary? This guide has all of the best Iceland itineraries, whether you are staying for just one day or for two weeks.

There is so much to see and do in Iceland from taking a dip in natural hot springs to chasing waterfalls to hiking on a glacier! While a longer trip to Iceland would be ideal, that’s not always possible and a short Iceland itinerary is necessary instead. But regardless of the length of the Iceland itinerary, they are all packed with amazing things to do!

To help you in your Iceland trip planning process, check out our guide on where to stay in Iceland . And if you plan on renting a car, be sure to avoid these seven Iceland car rental mistakes .

Get a FREE printable “Hidden Gems In Iceland” E-book by joining our private  Iceland Facebook Group  and share your photos and ask for tips and tricks.

woman standing near powerful waterfall during sunset Iceland Itinerary

Table of Contents

How Many Days Should You Spend In Iceland?

Iceland is such a beautiful country filled with so much to see and do. While any amount of time in Iceland is good, I recommend spending at least five days. But if you’d truly like to see as much of the country as possible, you’ll need at least ten days to see everything the area has to offer.

person in red raincoat at the bottom of a waterfall Iceland Itinerary

Getting Around During Your Iceland Itinerary

There are a few different ways to get around Iceland, such as a rental car, public bus, or tours. On shorter trips, you can simply use the public bus and tours to see what you would like to see. There are so many amazing Tours In Iceland that you may be interested in!

However, on longer trips that will allow you to explore more off-the-beaten-path parts of Iceland, you should rent a car or campervan.

We love Driving In Iceland and highly recommend it if you are up for exploring!

woman in a field of lavender

How These Iceland Itinerary Suggestions Were Determined

These Iceland itinerary suggestions are exactly would I would suggest to a family member or friend going to Iceland!

As you read on, you may notice that Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, isn’t prominently featured on this list. In my opinion, you go to Iceland for nature and not the city, so you’ll see a lot more nature stops instead.

woman in light blue natural hot spring

1 Day In Iceland Stopover Itinerary

If you only have one day in Iceland (for a stopover, for example), this one-day Iceland itinerary is perfect, because you can still see some of the most exciting things the country has to offer! For a one-day stopover, I highly recommend staying near the airport, as the airport is a 45-minute drive from Reykavik. Then, you can simply take a bus into Reykjavik instead.

If your Iceland itinerary is limited to just a day, you’ll have to decide whether you prefer to focus on nature or explore the city.

Book Here: Bus from Airport to Reykjavik

snow covered city of Reykjavik

1-Day Itinerary Option 1: Focus On Nature

Day 1: Reykjanes Peninsula And The Blue Lagoon

To experience a bit of Iceland’s nature during your one-day itinerary, I recommend exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula. While this does require a car, car rentals in Iceland aren’t too expensive, especially if you are splitting the cost between a large group of people.

At Reykjanes Peninsula, there are a ton of beautiful nature spots to explore. Stop by Reykjanesviti, Iceland’s oldest lighthouse. Then pop over to the stunning cliffs of Valahnukamol just steps away. Don’t forget to visit the bubbling Gunnuhver geothermal area, the natural ocean pool known as Brimketill, and the towering Hafnarberg cliffs.

This peninsula also happens to be on the border between the tectonic plates of Europe and North America. There’s actually a fissure in the earth where these tectonic plates meet, and you can cross a bridge, known as the Bridge between Continents, over it.

Last but certainly not least, the Reykjanes Peninsula is home to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. Take a break from your packed one-day Iceland itinerary and soak up the warmth.

Book Here: Blue Lagoon Entry with Transportation from Reykjavik

man standing in blue lagoon Iceland Itinerary

1 Day Itinerary Option 2: Reykjavik And Blue Lagoon (Without A Car)

Day 1: Reykjavik And The Blue Lagoon

If you feel like you have to visit Reykjavik during your day in Iceland, this Iceland itinerary option is for you!

In the morning, explore the city of Reykjavik. See the Sun Voyager sculpture, shop in downtown, stare in awe at the HARPA Center, explore a few of the city’s many museums, and check out the iconic Hallgrimskirikja Church.

In the afternoon, leave the city and head out into nature. Since you can’t miss the Blue Lagoon, go soak in the warmth of this natural hot spring.

Metal boat-shaped sculpture in Reykjavik

2 Days In Iceland Itinerary

While two days might seem a little short, you can still see so much of the beauty of Iceland in those 48 hours. If you have two days in Iceland, you can still explore the country using public buses and tours. But if you’d like to dive into the nature of Iceland during your two days, consider renting a car.

2 Day Suggestions Without A Car

Day 1: Reykjavik And Blue Lagoon

Day 2: The Golden Circle Or The South Coast

The first day of this two days in Iceland itinerary is identical to the previous one-day Iceland trip itinerary. You’ll explore the city of Reykjavik. See the HARPA Center, Sun Voyager sculpture, and Hallgrimskirikja Church. Shop in downtown and pop into a couple of the city’s many museums.

towering columned church in Reykjavik Iceland Itinerary

Then, when you’ve had your fill of the city, hop on a tour to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon.

The second day takes of this Iceland itinerary takes you farther out of the city. I recommend taking a tour either of the Golden Circle or the South Coast .

Iceland’s Golden Circle is filled with gems. The most popular stop on this drive is Thingvellir National Park, one of the best national parks in Iceland . Filled with snow-covered lava rock and visited by the awe-inspiring Northern Lights, Thingvillir National Park is unlike any other place on earth. Kerid Crater, Langjokull Glacier, Helgufoss Waterfall, and Thurofoss Waterfall are just a few of the other breathtaking spots found throughout the Golden Circle.

red and green crater with blue lake at the bottom

If you’d prefer, you can swap out a tour of the Golden Circle with a tour of the South Coast. Rather than the two waterfalls of the Golden Circle, the South Coast offers two waterfalls of its own: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. As a matter of fact, these two waterfalls are some of the coolest things to see in South Iceland . Combine these waterfalls with a trip to the Sólheimajökull glacier and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

Book Here: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour from Reykjavik

Book Here: South of Iceland Full-Day Tour from Reykjavik

woman in blue skirt behind Seljalandsfoss

2-Day Suggestions With A Car

Day 1: Explore Reykjanes Peninsula

Day 2: The Golden Circle And Blue Lagoon

If you have a car during your two days in Iceland, you have the option of heading a little bit farther out of the city: to the Reykjanes Peninsula. This itinerary is similar to the previous Reykjanes Peninsula: Stop to see the Reykjanesviti lighthouse, the cliffs of Valahnukamol, and the Hafnarberf cliffs.

Then, you can drive for about an hour until you reach the Reykjadalur Hot Springs Thermal River. You’ll have to hike a little less than an hour to reach this natural gem, but it’ll be worth it since it’s one of Iceland’s best hot springs .

Rather than taking a tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle, you can drive it yourself! Like I mentioned before, the Golden Circle has amazing stops, including Thingvillir National Park, Kerid Crater, Langjokull Glacier, Helgufoss Waterfall, and Thurofoss Waterfall.

Then, drive for about an hour until you reach Hrualog Hot Springs. This hot spring is pretty under-the-radar and is visited more by locals than tourists. And because you really can’t get enough of the hot springs in Iceland, the last stop on this Iceland itinerary is the Blue Lagoon!

woman in hot spring in the hills

3 Days In Iceland Itinerary

If you have three days in Iceland, the itineraries below will ensure that your trip is jam-packed with the amazing natural beauty of nature.

3 Day Iceland Itinerary Without A Car

Day 2: The Golden Circle Or Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

Day 3: South Coast

Just like many of the other Iceland itineraries relying on public transportation and tours, you can use your first day in Iceland to explore the city of Reykjavik and then take a tour to the famous Blue Lagoon.

The Golden Circle has made a couple of reappearances already on this list because sites like Thingvillir National Park and Kerid Crater simply can’t be missed.

Thingvillir National Park River

As an alternative, you can take a tour of Snæfellsnes Peninsula instead. This peninsula has so much to do, but it is most famous for the soaring Kirkjufell Mountain and the accompanying Kirkjufellsfoss.

Book Here: Snæfellsnes Day Tour from Reykjavik

Like the Golden Circle, the South Coast has popped up a few times in this Iceland itinerary guide a few times. Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Sólheimajökull glacier, and Reynisfjara black sand beach are all fantastic places to see.

person in red raincoat staring at black sand beach coastline Iceland Itinerary

3 Day Iceland Itinerary With A Car

Day 1: Blue Lagoon And The Golden Circle

Day 2: Hot Springs And Waterfalls

With a car, you have a little more flexibility, so you can visit both the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle during the first day of this Iceland itinerary. End your Golden Circle drive in Selfoss, so you’ll be prepared for the next day’s adventures.

Start the second day of your Iceland adventure with not one, but TWO hot springs. First, hike to Reykjadalur Hot Springs and then go to the under-the-radar Hrualog Hot Springs.

Then, you’ll head to one of the best waterfalls in Iceland : Haifoss Waterfall. You’ll likely have this powerful 400-foot waterfall all to yourself, as it is largely inaccessible unless you have a 4×4. Despite the extra effort it takes to get there, Haifoss Waterfall is definitely worth it.

woman in yellow skirt in front of Haifoss waterfall

In between these beautiful bits of nature, make a stop at Þjóðveldisbærinn Saga-Age Farm for a little bit of history. Once upon a time, Þjóðveldisbærinn Saga-Age Farm was home to the ruins of a Viking settlement. Now you can see these same ruins and a reconstructed farm modeled after those of the time period.

Leave the land of the Vikings and enter a place that looks like it could be home to magical fairies: Gjain. With cascading waterfalls, towering basalt columns, and bright greenery, it’s no wonder why visitors – including the cast of Game of Thrones ­ – rush to this picturesque area.

Finally, head to Hella or the South Coast to rest up before your third and final day.

Of course, I had to add the South Coast to this Iceland itinerary as well. Bottom line: add Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Sólheimajökull glacier to your list of things to see in Iceland. Don’t forget to check out our tips for Solheimajokull Glacier!

couple kissing in front of Skogafoss waterfall

4 Days In Iceland Itinerary

Day 4: Skaftafell National Park And Glacier Lagoons

For the 4 days in Iceland itinerary , I would recommend completing the three days in Iceland itinerary with a car listed above. Then, for day four, head to Skaftafell National Park and two glacier lagoons.

Skaftafell National Park boasts all different types of landscapes – from glaciers to volcanoes to waterfalls – which means that there is so much to do and see. You can hike to the waterfalls and glaciers, spot Icelandic wildlife, and even take an ice cave tour!

waterfall surrounded by basalt columns Iceland Itinerary

Within an hour of Skaftafell National Park, there are two glacier lagoons that are worth a visit: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Both of these lagoons are essentially lakes in the midst of large glaciers and are hidden gems of Iceland.

As you float through the water, huge chunks of glacier ice streaked will volcanic ash will float by. There’s truly nothing else like it. The best way to experience Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon is on a boat tour.

Read Next: The Ultimate 4 Days In Iceland Itinerary (In Detail!)

ducks floating in glacier lagoon with a large glacier in the background

5 Days In Iceland Itinerary

Day 1: Hot Springs And Waterfalls

Day 2: South Coast

Day 3: Skaftafell National Park And Glacier Lagoons

Day 4: Southeast Iceland

Day 5: Blue Lagoon And Reykjavik

During these five days in Iceland , you’ll be able to see some of the best things that Iceland has to offer, including hot springs, black sand beaches, and glaciers.

The same hot springs and waterfalls day from the three-day Iceland itinerary above are back in this five days in Iceland itinerary! Head to the Reykjadalur Hot Springs and Hrualog Hot Springs, learn about the history of the Vikings at Þjóðveldisbærinn Saga-Age Farm, and take in the beauty of the Haifoss Waterfall and the Gjain Valley. Then, spend the night in Hella or on the South Coast.

Read next: Detailed 5 Days In Iceland Itinerary + Hidden Gems!

multi-layered waterfall cascading through greenery Iceland itinerary

And the South Coast is back! Be sure to check out all of the waterfalls, glaciers, and black sand beaches in the area, as listed in the above itineraries.

Skaftafell National Park and the nearby glacier lagoons had to make a reappearance as well. Take your time exploring the various landscapes of Skaftafell National Park before taking a boat tour or two around Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

If you still have time, consider making a stop at Diamond Beach as well. Located literally across the street from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach is one of the best black sand beaches in Iceland . Because it is so close to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, small ice crystals from the glacier actually end up on the beach and make it sparkle as if it’s littered with diamonds.

girl in yellow skirt on black sand beach in front of towering black mountains

On day four of this Iceland itinerary, you’ll explore Southeast Iceland, starting with the awe-inspiring mountain peaks of Stokksnes. Then, head to the Fjadrargljufur Canyon, one of the most beautiful canyons in Iceland , where the bright green moss, deep canyon crevices, and flowing river create a magical landscape.

The last stop of the day is the Mulagljufur Canyon. You’ll have to hike a mile and a half to reach the stunning, under-the-radar canyon, but it’ll be worth it. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by bright greenery and cascading water before reaching the Hangandifoss and Mulafoss Waterfalls.

Then, begin to head back down the South Coast towards Reykjavik.

Despite having a couple of days on Iceland’s South Coast, there may be a few things that you simply didn’t have time for. Day 5 is the perfect time to see those sights!

If you saw everything that you wanted to, head to the famous Blue Lagoon. And if you still have time, consider exploring Reykjavik or the Reykjanes Peninsula.

pristine buildings (including a church) along waterfront

6 Days in Iceland Itinerary

Day 6: Snaefellnes Peninsula Or The Westman Islands

For the six days in Iceland itinerary, I would recommend completing the five days in Iceland itinerary and then heading to Snaefellsnes Peninsula or the Westman Islands .

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula, like much of Iceland, is filled with magnificent landscapes. If there are two things you must see on this peninsula, it is the towering Kirkjufell Mountain and the accompanying Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall.

bright green mountain flanked by waterfall

As an alternative, you can head to the Westman Islands. These islands off the South Coast of Iceland may be the country’s best kept secret. To get to the Westman Islands, you can either take a plane or a ferry, but I highly recommend taking the ferry. Then, once there, there is so much to do! Check out the stark black Heimaey Stave Church, visit Stórhöfði (the southernmost point in Iceland) and look for puffins, or even take a boat tour of the islands!

bright green island from above Iceland Itinerary

7 Days In Iceland Itinerary

Day 1: Golden Circle and Hot Springs

Day 3: Westman Islands

Day 4: Skaftafell and Glacier Lagoons

Day 5: Southeast Iceland

Day 6: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Day 7: Reykjanes Peninsula, Reykjavik, And The Blue Lagoon

Congratulations! You get to spend a full week in Iceland! And this seven days in Iceland itinerary is jam-packed with nature and adventure.

Visit the majestic sights of the Golden Circle, including Thingvillir National Park, Kerid Crater, Langjokull Glacier, Helgufoss Waterfall, and Thurofoss Waterfall. Then, warm up at the Hrunalog and Reykjadalur Hot Springs.

Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Sólheimajökull glacier should all be added to your Iceland South Coast itinerary.

woman in yellow skirt in front of powerful waterfall

Take a ferry or plane to the Westman Islands, where you can visit the Heimaey Stave Church, Stórhöfði, and Eldfell Crater.

Skaftafell National Park, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and Diamond Beach are all breathtaking landscapes. From waterfalls to glaciers to black sand beaches, this area of Iceland is so diverse.

Stare at the towering mountains of Stokksnes, take in the magical landscape of Fjadrargljufur Canyon, and hike to Mulagljufur Canyon before starting to head back in the direction of Reykjavik.

waterfall and river snaking through bright green and black canyon Iceland itinerary

Be sure to see the Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall while visiting the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Day 7 of this Iceland itinerary is a nice buffer day for you to check out anything from the previous days that you simply did not have time for.

As an alternative, if you’re on track, you can hike to the Glymur Waterfall and Canyon. Know that this four-hour hike is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. You’ll need to walk along steep cliffs, climb through caves, and cross rivers. But if you’re an adventurer at heart, it’ll all be worth it to see the 650-foot Glymur Waterfall.

If that seems a bit too adventurous for your taste, you can visit the Reykjanes Peninsula or Reykjavik. At the Reykjanes Peninsula, visit Reykjanesviti, the cliffs of Valahnukamol, the Gunnuhver geothermal area, and the Brimketill ocean pool. In Reykjavik, check out the Sun Voyager sculpture the HARPA Center, the Hallgrimskirikja Church, and a few of the museums.

Finish off your day with a relaxing swim in the Blue Lagoon.

woman crossing bridge at Blue Lagoon

10 Days In Iceland Itinerary – FULL RING ROAD!

Day 1: Hot Springs And Waterfalls

Day 2: Begin To Explore The South Coast

Day 3: Continue To Explore The South Coast

Day 4: Canyons And Skaftafell

Day 6: East Fjords

Day 7: Waterfalls And Whale Watching

Day 8: Northern Iceland

Day 9: Snaefellness Peninsula

Day 10: Reykjavik And The Blue Lagoon

One of the best things to do in Iceland is to explore the entirety of Iceland’s ring road . Because this 828-mile drive is so long and has so much to see, I would not recommend doing the full ring road drive unless you have ten days! While it can be done in a week, it’s just not as enjoyable and you will likely feel as if you’re rushing through everything. In other words, it’s the perfect thing to do for 10 days in Iceland!

The first day of this Ring Road itinerary may look a little familiar. Head to Reykjadalur Hot Springs, Hrualog Hot Springs, Haifoss Waterfall, Þjóðveldisbærinn Saga-Age Farm, and Gjain before spending the night in Hella or on the South Coast.

For day two of this ten-day Iceland itinerary, start exploring the South Coast.  Check out Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

black sand beach with black rock spires jutting up

Your time exploring Iceland’s South Coast isn’t over yet! While you’ve already seen the waterfalls and black sand beaches, there are also glaciers to explore. Visit Sólheimajökull glacier, Langjokull glacier, and Myrsdalsjokull glacier. To take a break from all the glaciers, head to Þakgil, a luscious green canyon in the middle of all of the icy glaciers.

Explore the marvelous Fjadrargljufur Canyon and Mulagljufur Canyon. While Fjadrargljufur Canyon is relatively easy to access, you’ll have to hike a little bit to Mulagljufur Canyon. That said, it’s worth it, because you’ll see the Hangandifoss and Mulafoss Waterfalls.

In addition to the two canyons, the fourth day of this Iceland itinerary also includes a visit to Skaftafell National Park, where you can take a tour of an ice cave, catch glimpses of Icelandic animals, and hike to glaciers and waterfalls.

Southeast Iceland has such a variety of different landscapes. Sail around the Jokulsarlon and Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoons, take in the lofty Stokksnes mountain peaks, and explore the black sand at Diamond Beach.

couple on reflective ground in front of towering mountains at golden hour

Southeast Iceland is also home to one of Iceland’s coolest hidden gems: a Viking village film set. Wander through the little village of grass-thatched roofs protected by a sharp towering mountain.

Then, make your way to the town of Hofn, where you can sit in the lonesome red chair art installation and visit the Hvalnes Lighthouse.

Day six of this Iceland itinerary is filled with scenic drives and waterfalls. You’ll begin by driving along the East Fjords.

As you ride along, keep your eye on the coast. That way, you’ll be able to see amazing rock formations in the ocean, like the one along the Laekjavik Coast. And keep an eye out for the Kirkjubaer Church, one of the prettiest churches in Iceland .

rock formations along black sand beach Iceland Itinerary

As you near the end of the East Fjords, you can hike to the Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. Both require a bit of hike (1.6 miles and 2.7 miles, respectively), but who doesn’t want to see another amazing Icelandic waterfall?

Finish off your day in Seydisfjordur, a town settled in between two towering, snow-capped mountains. While there, you should definitely walk the rainbow street to the adorable blue church. It is truly one of the prettiest towns in Iceland!

woman in yellow skipping down rainbow road to sky blue church Iceland itinerary

Dettifoss is a wide, powerful waterfall located in North Iceland! There are two viewpoints (East and West) where you can take in the power of Dettifoss. I recommend only choosing one, as the two parking lots are an hour apart. (That’s just how large the waterfall is!)

And if you think Dettifoss is impressive, you’ll be even more blown away by Godafoss. Meaning “Waterfall of the Gods,” this semi-circle of cascading water crashes into a calming turquoise pool.

Stop three is the Myvatan Nature Baths. The Myvatan Nature Baths are basically the North’s version of the Blue Lagoon. It’s a great way to warm up after standing in the crisp air for most of the day.

Finally, take a whale watching tour in Husavik. Husavik is by far the best spot to see whales in Iceland. Keep an eye out for their spouts! You can spend the night at one of the many Akureyri Hotels , Iceland’s second-largest city!

whale breaching

By day eight of this Iceland itinerary, you’ll probably be a little bit worn out. You’ve seen waterfalls and glaciers and canyons! Oh my! So day eight gives you a little bit of time to take a breather.

The first stop on the rather relaxing day is Alyderfoss. While Iceland has many waterfalls, Alyderfoss is a special one. Flanked by otherworldly basalt columns, this 65-foot waterfall cascades into a magnificent sky blue pool.

After enjoying Alyderfoss, head to the city of Akureyri. Often dubbed the capital of the North, there is so much to do in Akureyri. Visit the Akureyri Botanical Garden, the Akureyri Aviation Museum, the Akureyrarkirkja church, and the Christmas House.

While visiting the Snaefellness Peninsula, be sure to see the Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall and Kirkjufell Mountain. If you have a bit of extra time, check out the street art in Hellissandur, the nature of Snaefellsjökull National Park, and the golden sand of Skardsvík Beach.

As you round out your trip to Iceland, you’ll head into the city of Reykjavik. Be sure to visit the HARPA Center, Sun Voyager sculpture, and Hallgrimskirikja Church.

Venture out of the city again to relax in the Blue Lagoon, hike Glymur, or explore the Golden Circle.

pathway surrounded by lava rocks covered in snow

2 Weeks In Iceland Itinerary -RING ROAD + Westfjords

Day 4: Westman Islands Overnight

Day 5: Canyons And Skaftafell

Day 6: Southeast Iceland

Day 7: East Fjords

Day 8: Eastern Iceland

Day 9: Waterfalls And Whale Watching

Day 10: Westfjords

Day 11: Westfjords

Day 12: Snaefellsnes Peninsula  

Day 13: Glymur  

Day 14: Reykjavik And The Blue Lagoon

The first three days of this two-week Iceland itinerary are identical to the first three days of the ten-day Iceland itinerary detailed above. As a matter of fact, the entire itinerary is very similar to the ten days in Iceland itinerary. You’ll just have a little more time to enjoy all of the beauty that Iceland has to offer.

Take a ferry to the Westman Islands, where you can gape at the stark black Heimaey Stave Church, visit Stórhöfði and look for puffins, or even take a boat tour of the islands!

couple kissing in front of black church Iceland itinerary

Experience the beauty of the Fjadrargljufur and Mulagljufur Canyons. Then, head to Skaftafell National Park, where you can take a tour of an ice cave, catch glimpses of Icelandic animals, and hike to glaciers and waterfalls.

While in Southeast Iceland on the sixth day of your two weeks in Iceland itinerary, you can visit the Jokulsarlon and Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoons, Stokksnes mountain peaks, Diamond black sand beach, the Viking village film set, and the town of Hofn.

aerial view of viking village film set with gray mountains towering over

Drive along the East Fjords and keep your eye on the coast. Spot black sand beaches, crashing waves, and amazing rock formations, including the one along the Laekjavik Coast. Then, begin the treks to the Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. End your day in Seydisfjordur, where you can walk the rainbow street to the adorable blue church.

Spend your morning continuing to explore the town of Seydisfjordur before heading to the powerful Dettifoss waterfall. Then, head to the Myvatan Nature Baths, the North’s version of the Blue Lagoon.

Start the ninth day with the Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods.” Then, hop on a boat and sail away to spot some whales in Husavik. Finally, head over to the Geosea Spa. You may even be able to see some whales from afar as you warm up in the geothermal sea water-filled baths.

woman in yellow staring at semicircle waterfall

You started your day with a waterfall, so why not end it with one. Head to Alyderfoss before spending the night in Akureyri.

The Westfjords is one of the more remote areas of Iceland. One of the best things to see in the Westfjords is see the Dynjandi waterfall. This wide waterfall cascades down a series of natural obsidian steps, making it unlike any other waterfall in Iceland.

From one form of water to another, head to the Drangsnes Hot Pots. This collection of three natural hot pots is a perfect way to warm up. And finally, if you’re hoping to see the adorable, iconic puffins, head to the Latrabjarg Cliffs.

puffin sitting on edge of cliff Iceland Itinerary

The under-the-radar Westfjords have so much to offer that you can actually spend two days in the area and not run out of things to do. First up on day two: Raudasandur Beach. While Iceland is known for its black sand beaches, Raudasandur Beach is actually a red sand beach!

Then, head into the capital city of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður. Ísafjörður is an adorable coastal town filled with delicious food, educating museums, and entertaining music festivals.

As your two weeks in Iceland begin to wind to a close, visit the Snaefellness Peninsula, which isn’t too far outside of Reykjavik. Check out Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, Kirkjufell Mountain, the street art in Hellissandur, Snaefellsjökull National Park, and Skardsvík Beach.

snow covered mountain and frozen waterfall

The four-hour-long hike to Glymur Waterfall and Canyon can be draining, but it’s worth the effort. Hike along treacherous cliffs, cross wide rivers, and climb through caves to reach the 650-foot Glymur Waterfall.

To wrap up your Iceland itinerary, venture into the city of Reykjavik. Be sure to see the HARPA Center, Sun Voyager sculpture, and Hallgrimskirikja Church.

Then, if you still have some time left, relax in the Blue Lagoon or explore the Golden Circle.

helgufoss waterfall in winter Iceland Itinerary

No matter which Iceland itinerary you choose, you’re sure to get your fill of nature and adventure during your time in Iceland. We’re excited that you’ve decided to visit this beautiful country, regardless of the length of your stay. Please let us know in the comments section if you have any questions or just want to share your own travel stories from your trips to Iceland.  

gullfoss waterfall during iceland in spring

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March 23, 2023 at 8:06 pm

We swill coming to Iceland in June for 10 days. We have rented an Airbnb in Reykjavik for the 10 days but want to rent a van, which we can sleep in, for part of our trip. We just wanted to have a base hence renting the Airbnb for 10 days. Any ideas how we can make this work and what sights we need to not miss. I’m in the planning stages.

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Finding the Universe

Travel tales, photography and a dash of humor


The Best Day Trips from Reykjavik, Iceland

Last updated: May 2, 2024 . Written by Laurence Norah - 20 Comments

With airlines like Icelandair offering the opportunity to stopover in Iceland as part of a trip from the USA to Europe, we think there’s no better time for a short visit to this stunning country.

With that in mind we’ve put together what we think are some of the best day trips from Reykjavik, for visitors who want to just based themselves in Iceland’s capital city and explore from there.

This means you can find the perfect place to stay in the city, not have to re-pack every day, and then explore the highlights of Iceland every day for as long (or as short!) as you are stopping over.

Day Trips from Reykjavik - Diamond Beach Iceland

With the exception of the glacier / ice cave tours, all of the day trips we recommend can be done on your own with a hire car.

If you are looking for a hire car in Iceland, we recommend checking out Northbound here . They focus on Iceland and compare prices across a range of providers. They also give you the option to add on the Iceland specific insurances. Compare prices and book here ..

Of course, the majority of these trips can also be booked via a tour company.

If you decide to use a tour company, we have used and are happy to recommend GetYourGuide , Viator , and Iceland Travel .

We recommend tours from a range of operators in this post that we think are a good fit for each of these Reykjavik day trips. Always remember when comparing tours to check what is and what isn’t included on the tour, so you can understand the value.

For further planning, we’ve also written a number of posts about Iceland , including sharing some of our favourite photography locations in Iceland , our tips for planning a trip to Iceland , and detailed 3 day ,   5 day and  7 day self drive Iceland Itineraries .

If you’re looking for a longer guided trip, see our guide to some of the best multi-day  guided tours of Iceland to give you an idea of what’s available for everything from 2 days two weeks, across a variety of price points.

Finally, as you’re going to be based in Reykjavik don’t forget to spend some time exploring the city itself. There are a number of great museums and other attractions you can see in the city centre.

If you do plan on visiting some of the museums and sights in the city, consider a Reykjavik city card . Available for 1 to 3 days, these city cards offer great value and get you free access to many of the city’s top attractions, as well as free public transport on the city bus services.

Let’s take a look now at our favourite day trips from Reykjavik in Iceland.

Day Trips from Reykjavik

1. snaefellsnes peninsula..

Whilst these aren’t in any particular order, I would definitely put a visit to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula near the top of your Iceland wishlist. Situated about a two hour drive to the north-west of the capital, this is a very achievable destination to visit as a day trip from Reykjavik.

Day Trips from Reykjavik Kirkjufell Iceland

Here you will find the incredible and fantastically photogenic Kirkjufell mountain, which sits as the backdrop to the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. This is a unmissable photographic opportunity in Iceland, and made the top of my list of photography locations in Iceland .

There’s more to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula than Kirkjufell though. Other highlights include the incredible Snæfellsjökull Glacier, which can actually be hiked on in the right conditions. There’s the 19th century wooden Búðir Church. There are the Gerðuberg basalt columns – 14 metre high columns that just jut up out of the landscape.   There’s also the opportunity to spot seals at Ytri-Tunga beach.

Day Trips from Reykjavik - Waterfall Iceland

And there’s lots more – including a landscape that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, more incredible waterfalls, fantastic golden beaches, the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum where you can try fermented shark meat – the list goes on!

You can easily drive here yourself with a hire car and tour around, and there’s certainly enough to do here to allocate two days if you have the time. Otherwise, there are a number of operators operating tours to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula which leaves from Reykjavik.

For example, take a look at this 10 hour tour to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula , this 11 hour tour , and this tour option which includes a home cooked meal .

2. The Golden Circle

One of the most popular day trips from Reykjavik is the Golden Circle trip, which follows a route to the north east of the city and visits three of Iceland’s most popular attractions, Thingvellir, Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysers.

Thingvellir National Park (Icelandic: Þingvellir national park), is a National Park (the first in Iceland in fact) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s interesting for a number of reasons. First, it was the site of Iceland’s first parliament, and meetings were held here as far back ago as 938. There’s a museum you can explore, and a number of sites you can visit on a self-guided walking tour.

Þingvellir National Park Iceland

Thingvellir is also interesting for its tectonic and volcanic activity, and you can clearly see the action of the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates here, which has resulted in huge rifts and cracks in the ground.

You can actually go snorkelling here in stunningly clear waters and see the continental divide from a unique perspective. This is one of the more popular activities in Thingvellir, so definitely worth booking in advance . Don’t worry – a dry suit is provided to keep you warm in the freezing waters!

There’s also a beautiful waterfall in Thingvellir, Öxarárfoss , which is worth the short ten-minute walk to visit.

After Thingvellir, the next stop on the Golden Circle tour is Geysir. This geothermal area is home to geysers, bubbling mud posts and steaming landscapes, and is in fact the home of the original “Geysir”, where the English word for geyser comes from.

Geysir Iceland

Finally, your Golden Circle adventure will take you to Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. With an average of almost 5,000 cubic feet of water tumbling over the two stage falls every second, it’s an incredible sight that you are not likely to forget.

Gullfoss waterfall Iceland

As you can see, there’s good reason that the Golden Circle is a popular day excursion from Reykjavik. Again, you can drive yourself (check hire car prices here), or you can take a Golden Circle day tour. All the Golden Circle tours depart from Reykjavik.

There are a number of variants of this popular tour, including a private Golden Circle tour , a Golden Circle tour that includes Kerid Crater  and a Golden Circle Express tour which is a quicker tour.

If you also want to do the Blue Lagoon, there are a number of tours that include the Blue Lagoon with the Golden Circle, such as this one .

For more on the Golden Circle, see our complete guide to visiting the Golden Circle , which has a map, suggested itinerary, and more.

3. The South Coast

Iceland’s South Coast is home to some of Iceland’s most iconic sights. It’s here you’ll find the sixty metre high waterfall you can walk behind (Seljalandsfoss), the absolutely spectacular Skogafoss waterfall, and the beautiful black sand beaches and basalt columns at Reynisfjara, near the picturesque town of Vik.

Skogafoss Waterfall Iceland

Continuing beyond Vik you’ll find the unusual Svartifoss Waterfall which tumbles over black columnar rock formations, the Svínafellsjökull Glacier that you can get so close as to almost touch, and the otherworldly Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

It is certainly possible to do the majority of the highlights of south Iceland as listed above as a day trip from Reykjavik, just be prepared for a very long day (it’s about five hours driving each way from one end to the other in a car, not counting any stops!). If you are keen on seeing the highlights of the south coast, then we would suggest trying to stretch it over two days if possible.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Of course, there are group day tours that offer the south coast in one day. We have a number of suggestions for you to consider, depending on your stamina and group size preferences.

First, the year round  South Shore adventure tour. This takes around 10 hours, and covers all the highlights all the way out to Vik, including the main waterfalls and the black sand beach.

In the summer, you can do also a 14 hour tour which travels all the way to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and which includes a boat ride on the lagoon itself, something that isn’t possible in winter.

Diamond Beach Iceland

4. The Blue Lagoon

If all of the exploring has taken it out of you (or just sounds like too much work), then a day trip to the Blue Lagoon might be exactly the cure for you.

Situated relatively close to Iceland’s main airport, this is a popular stopping point for visitors who are arriving or departing Iceland, but it also easily accessible from Reykjavik.

The Lagoon is a large complex, with the main draw of course being the huge, geothermally heated outdoor lagoon itself, which is a beautiful blue colour. Here you can relax all your cares away, enjoy a drink at the swim up bars (the smoothies are excellent!), and enjoy smearing mud on your face.

Blue Lagoon

As well as the lagoon itself, there are spa facilities and on-site restaurants, so you could make a day of it, although we think about half a day would probably work for most people, with the average visit lasting a couple of hours.

Pre-booking your visit is required, with various packages available. We’d recommend the Comfort level as this includes a towel and a drink, which is definitely convenient. You can also arrange transport to the Blue Lagoon as part of the ticket booking, or you can drive yourself.

There are also a number of tour companies that offer transport to the Blue Lagoon , although you still need to book tickets to the Lagoon itself, which you can do online here .

Blue lagoon Reykjavik Iceland

If you really want to have a full day, you can combine a Golden Circle tour with a trip to the Secret Lagoon.  This is a less visited spot than the Blue Lagoon, but will let you combine two adventures (the Golden Circle and a thermal bath) in one full day.

Another more recent hot spring option is the Sky Lagoon, which is much closer to the city centre. This offers a lovely hot spring experience on the edge of the ocean. You can book tickets for that here , and entry with transport here .

One last tip if you’re on a tight budget but still want to experience the wonders of the Icelandic thermal waters: why not visit one of the city pools in Reykjavik instead of the Blue Lagoon?

These have the same geothermally heated water as the Blue Lagoon, but are available at a fraction of the price. Plus, if you pick up a Reykjavík City Card while you’re in the city, these can be visited entirely for free!

5. Reykjavik Itself

We think it’s a shame that so many visitors come to Iceland and spend their time exploring Iceland but not really experiencing Reykjavik – a city which has plenty to offer.

We would definitely recommend that you spend at least half a day, if not a full day, seeing some of the many sights that the city has on offer.

Reykjavik Iceland

We would definitely recommend taking in Hallgrimskirkja , Iceland’s tallest church and the beautiful Sun Voyager statue.

Then, depending on your interests, you may also want to visit the National Museum of Iceland , The Settlement Exhibition , The Saga Museum , The Árbaer Open Air Museum , to name but a few of the many worthwhile things to do in Reykjavik. There are also numerous shops, bars and restaurants, plus the city itself is picturesque for wandering in.

6. Game of Thrones locations

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, the chances are that you will have heard of the Game of Thrones TV show . What you might not know is that the fantasy land of Westeros, and in particular the snowy scenes shot “north of The Wall”, are actually filmed for the most part in Iceland.

Svomafellsjokull Glacier

This is excellent news for fans of the show, as it means you can visit many of the key locations from the show as a Reykjavik excursion, including one of the wildling camps and the pass to the Eyrie, both of which were filmed at Thingvellir national park.

For more ideas, see our guide to all the GoT filming locations in Iceland .

7. Into the Glacier

One of our favourite experiences in Iceland was a tour called “Into the Glacier”. This involves driving across Europe’s second highest glacier (Langjokull) on a monster 8 wheeler former NATO missile launch truck, followed by a walk inside the man-made Langjokull ice tunnel.

Into the Glacier Husafell Iceland

Even though the weather wasn’t fantastic when we did this, it was still a lot of fun.

In addition, if you do this as a day trip from Reykjavik, the tour also affords you the opportunity to visit other highlights of this less visited area, including the incredible Hraunfossar waterfalls, amd Europe’s largest hot spring area (Deildartunguhver).

Hraunfossar Waterfall Iceland

Of course, you can also make your own way out here and book the tour with departure from Husafell , should you prefer to travel under your own steam.

It’s worth mentioning that this ice cave is a man made tunnel on the glacier. Whilst this means it can be visited whilst other ice caves cannot, it isn’t quite the same as visiting a natural ice cave. For those, see the entry further on in this guide under ice caves.

8. Northern Lights (autumn to Spring)

If you’re visiting Iceland outside of the summer months, a trip to see the Northern Lights  should definitely be on your list. Ok, so calling this a day trip might be a stretch, as obviously you’re going to want to do this one at night!

Taking a guided tour to see the northern lights is going to give you the best chance to see them, as local guides will have the best idea of the local weather conditions as well as the best spots to see them without light pollution.

Northern Lights viewing is one of the most popular activities in Iceland, and as such there are a wide range of Northern Lights tours departing from Reykjavik, including these on GetYourGuide .

Some we suggest you include in your shortlist are this  small group tour , or this well reviewed and good value coach option .

Obviously, all of these tours are offered subject to the weather, and can be cancelled if conditions are not good. They also usually come with a guarantee that if the tour goes ahead but no northern lights are seen, then you will be issued a free ticket for another attempt. So with that in mind, we highly recommend you book your tour as early in your trip as possible.

If you are planning on trying to see them, we suggest reading through our guide to how to photograph the northern lights , which has tips and ideas for all types of cameras and will ensure you are prepared!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Iceland

9. Landmannalaugar

The day trip from Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar is one of the most popular day trips from Reykjavik, and for good reason. Landmannalaugar is an otherworldly landscape of colourful mountains, smoking hillsides and bubbling mud pots, accessed across vast ash covered plains.

Here, you can see the splendour of the Icelandic Highlands, and take a trek through a truly fantastical landscape. The trek takes around an hour to ninety minutes and does require a bit of a climb through lava fields. It’s also really important to dress appropriately – we visited in June and we got snowed on, with temperatures just above freezing!

So layers and waterproof and windproof clothing is essential. See our guide to what to pack for Iceland for some tips.


Landmannalaugar is also relatively tricky to access, as the roads can be hard to drive, require a four wheel drive vehicle, and, depending on the time of year and weather conditions, a number of river crossings.

So whilst you can do this if you rent a four wheel drive vehicle, generally we’d suggest taking either a tour, or a bus. There are regular buses through the summer months out to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavik, although these take around four hours each way, so do be prepared for a bit of a trek.

Our preferred option would be do the tour as a dedicated day trip. We did it as a super jeep tour, and whilst a super jeep isn’t strictly necessary, it is a lot of fun.

Various operators run super jeep tours to Landmannalaugar, which stop at different attractions, and so the tour you pick should depend on what you want to see. We’d suggest checking out this super jeep tour to Landmannalaugar as a good starting point.

Don’t forget to bring your swimming clothes – there are free hot tubs at Landmannalaugar if you want to soak a bit after the hike.

10. Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)

Þórsmörk, or the Valley of Thor (what a name!), is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Iceland. In fact, you can hike from here all the way to Landmannalaugar on an epic multi-day hike , which is one of the most popular things to do in the area.

But, we’re talking about day trips here, and Thorsmork is very much worth visiting just for a day of hiking. It’s a beautiful green valley found under the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull, with the 14km hike up Fimmvorduhals volcano being a popular option.

Super Jeep

Þórsmörk is one location that you should really consider taking a specific tour to visit. The reason for this is that getting to the Valley of Thor requires some serious river crossings – usually more than 10 – and no hire car in Iceland is ever covered for damage resulting from river crossings.

Alternatively, there are buses that run here, although, as with Landmannalaugar, these do take a while and will eat into your day.

11. Ice Cave Tour

If you are visiting Iceland in winter, one of the most popular things to do is to take a tour of an ice cave. These form inside and underneath glaciers, and the incredible hues of the ice make for a fantastic experience.

Note that this is different to the previously mentioned “into the glacier” tour, as that is a man-made tunnel inside a glacier, whilst these ice tours are of naturally formed ice, which is much clearer.

This is definitely a trip that you need to do as a guided tour. Glaciers are notoriously dangerous places, and you want to be in the hands of an expert when visiting an ice cave to minimise any risks.

There are a number of ice cave tours from Reykjavik such as this one or this one , plus some with departures from other areas that you might find yourself.

For example, there’s this one from Gullfoss to the Langjökull Glacier , this one to the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier from Vik and this one from Skaftafell .

So if you can get yourself to these locations under your own steam, you can save a bit of time and money by booking a tour that leaves from here.

Note, if you aren’t in Iceland in winter, you can get an idea of what an ice cave is like by visiting the Wonders of Iceland attraction at the Perlan in Reykjavik. Here they have a full ice cave recreation display that operates year round, with real ice. It’s very well done (although obviously not the same as the real thing), and is a good alternative.

12. Go Puffin or Whale Watching

Many visitors to Iceland want to see puffins and/or whales, two of the more popular wildlife viewing experience in Iceland.

You might be surprised to learn that you can see both of these on trips that depart from Reykjavik. For example, we took this hour long Puffin trip from Reykjavik and saw numerous puffins, making this an excellent value option for Puffin spotting.

There’s also a longer Whale Watching tour departing from the city centre.

If you are interested in seeing Puffins elsewhere in Iceland, check out our detailed guide to Puffins in Iceland , which has everything you need to know, including the best time of year to come to Iceland for puffin spotting.

Puffin in flight

13. Visit an Active Volcano

Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice, and volcanic eruptions are a regular occurrence. Some of these are very dramatic, such as the one which caused worldwide travel chaos in 2010, whilst others are a bit more visitor friendly.

In 2021, volcanic activity began on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, in the Fagradalsfjall fissure zone, which is found around 25 miles from Reykjavik. In 2022, another volcano in this fissure started erupting, and was given the name Merdalir as this is the name of the valley it is in.

Visiting the sites of these active volcanic eruptions has become a popular activity, although it should be noted that an active volcano site can be a dangerous and unpredictable location.

It’s also a fairly active trip, as you have to do at least a couple of hours of hiking each way on uneven and sometimes steep ground. So you will want to be fully prepared in terms of fitness and also clothing (the weather in Iceland can be fickle at any time of year).

You can take a guided tour to visit the volcano eruption sites like this one , or this one which includes the Blue Lagoon.

And that summarises some of our top suggestions for day trips from Reykjavik! If you’re interested in more day tours from Reykjavik, beyond the list above, then do check out more day tours in Iceland on GetYourGuide , Viator , and Iceland Travel .

Where to Stay in Reykjavik

Since you’re going to be basing yourself in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, you’re going to want somewhere to stay. We’ve stayed at a number of hotels near the city centre which we are happy to recommend, the  Grand Hotel, the  Reyjkavik Natura Icelandair Hotel  and Guesthouse Galtafell .

The latter is the closest to the center and also likely better for those on a tighter budget.


There are however lots more options for accommodation  See more lodging options in Reykjavik on here . We recommend as they have pretty much everything from hostels to hotels to apartments, and they offer very competitive pricing and usually a great cancellation policy.

We also spent a few days at an apartment rental in the city centre which was a good option.

When to Visit Iceland

Iceland is a country that you can visit year round, but there are various considerations to think about when visiting.

If you choose to visit in winter, you need to be aware that there is much less daylight, and wintry weather has the potential to adversely affect your plans, as it can cause road closures. It will also, obviously, be a lot colder in winter, and you’ll need to plan your Iceland packing list accordingly. Some tours are also not offered in winter.

However, winter does bring advantages. It is a much quieter time of year to visit the country, prices are generally lower, and it’s the only time of year for viewing the northern lights. So if a northern lights experience is on your list, you’ll definitely want to visit in winter.

Summer is a much busier time of year to visit, and offers warmer weather, long hours of daylight, and many more tour options. Prices also tend to be higher, and you’ll definitely want to book your tours and accommodation well in advance  (ideally at least three – six months for accommodation, but the further in advance the better) to get something that suits what you want.

Further Reading to Help you Plan your Trip to Iceland

We will continuously be updating our Iceland content in the coming months, so this list will be updated as we go. In the meantime, here are some great resources to get you started with planning your trip to Iceland, however long you are visiting for.

  • First, we’ve written a detailed planning guide for Iceland , which covers everything you need to know for visiting this beautiful country.
  • We’ve also put together a list of some of our favourite photography locations in Iceland from trip to give you some ideas of where to aim to get the best photos – always important!
  • If you have longer and want to explore more, Jess has put together a detailed post outlining a seven day Iceland itinerary to give you some route ideas for an epic adventure. We also have a guide to spending five days in Iceland  and three days in Iceland , as well as a detailed  Iceland ring road road trip itinerary .
  • If you’d prefer to take a multi-day guided group tour, check out our guide to some of the best multi-day  guided tours of Iceland to give you an idea of what’s available for everything from 2 days two weeks, across a variety of price points
  • We have a detailed guide to help you decide what to pack for Iceland in Winter
  • We also have a guide to finding the Iceland plane crash , if you’re interested in this unique photography opportunity.
  • We have a complete guide to visiting the Golden Circle , which has a map, suggested itinerary, and more.
  • If you are interested in seeing Puffins in Iceland, check out our detailed guide to Puffins in Iceland , which has everything you need to know!
  • We have a detailed guide to visiting the Blue Lagoon
  • The weather in Iceland can be fickle – the best website for real-time cloud cover is this one from the Icelandic Met Office .
  • On a budget? Here’s a guide to visiting Iceland on a budget to help you make the most of your trip
  • Whilst Iceland is a safe country to travel in when it comes to things like crime, the country itself is home to extreme conditions and all sorts of seismic activity. So to stay safe as you go, check out the safetravel Iceland page
  • If you’re not sure what camera gear to take with, take a look at both our guide to picking a travel camera , and our personal travel photography gear
  • Finally, if you’re visiting in winter, you’ll want to read through my tips for cold weather photography .

And that finishes up our guide to the best day trips you can take from Reykjavik! We think this includes some of Iceland’s best day trips, and we hope you enjoyed it. Is Iceland on your list? Do you have a favourite day trip from Reykjavik you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Day Trips from Reykjavik - A guide to the best day trips you can take from Reykjavik in Iceland to some of the countries most popular destinations including the Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes peninsula, Northern Lights and Blue Lagoon!

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Louise says

26th January 2022 at 7:55 pm

Hi there, we plan to visit Iceland early March this year, not been before. Once we land on the Friday, we are heading straight for the Golden Circle. Can you advise best route please? And which way to go around the circle? Thanks in advance

Laurence Norah says

28th January 2022 at 5:12 pm

Hi Louise! Sure thing 😀 I cover all that in my detailed guide to the Golden Circle, which you can see here:

Let me know if you still have questions!

Antonio Prikolov says

17th December 2020 at 1:58 pm

You described your trip to Iceland very accurately and I love these places. I remember the first time I got there and this country does not let me go to this day.

18th December 2020 at 12:11 pm

Thanks Antonio!

Rashmi says

4th January 2020 at 11:42 pm

This is so informative. We are planning a 10 nights trip to Iceland in August out of which 5 days I want to stay in Reykjavik as accommodation is free for me there. The remaining 5 days I am torn between doing 2 flying trips to the north and west fjords or just spend 4 days at one location. What would you recommend ?

5th January 2020 at 11:38 am

Both the north of Iceland and the West fjords are beautiful. However, the west fjords is quite unique in Iceland in that it takes a very long time to get anywhere as the roads have to loop around all the inlets. So even what looks like a short distance on the map can take a long time to cover. So I would instead recommend heading up to the north. Four days based somewhere like Lake Myvatn will let you explore a great many sights, so that is probably what I would do.

I hope this helps – let me know if I can be of any more assistance 😀

12th November 2019 at 3:39 am

This is an incredibly helpful blog. We will be on a small ship cruise into the northern arctic in August and have a three day stay in Iceland on the way back. On day one we will unwind at the blue lagoon. On day two we will do the golden circle. Would you recommend on day three the southern coast and an overnight in Vic or the Snaefelnes peninsula Or a different itinerary. Thanks. Steve.

12th November 2019 at 1:21 pm

Thanks very much! So personally I think the south coast would be my preference as the waterfalls along there are beautiful and some of the most well known in Iceland. So that is what I would do 🙂

Have an amazing time and let me know if you have any more questions!

9th April 2019 at 11:21 pm

My trip us next month and I will be doing mostly self driving tours. Did any of these areas where I can go myself absolutely require a 4×4 car? Thank you

10th April 2019 at 2:17 pm

Hey Emily – the only two that you would absolutely need a 4WD for (and even then, I’d probably still take a tour) are the Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork trips. The roads are 4WD only and there are river crossings. Note that no car insurance in Iceland covers river crossings, so we advise doing those two tours on a day trip rather than doing it yourself, as the cost for damaging your rental due to a river crossing is very high.

12th August 2018 at 11:07 am

Hi Laurence and Jessica Norah,

Great blog, one of the most comprehensive I’ve read on Iceland. Myself and my wife are planning a trip (without the kids) in October for 4 days (Fri-Mon). Just wondering if you would recommend anywhere outside of Reykjavik to base ourselves? My thinking was to hire a car, drive out of Reykjavik and make our way back over 3 days but i know the time is short so wanted your opinion. Many thanks Eric

15th August 2018 at 8:42 pm

Hey Eric! Thanks very much 🙂

It does depend on what you want to see of course. With four days, my suggestion would be the Golden Circle and South Coast, and perhaps if you have time the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. So you could do two days in Reykjavik and then two days somewhere like Vik. If you wanted to explore a region like the south coast more thoroughly of course you could do that, and move along slowly. It also depends on your planned transport and how you intend to do the trip, if it’s going to be self-guided with a hire car, or if you are looking more for guided trips, either multi-day or single day. So those decisions will also play a role, as the majority of day trips and group tours depart from Reykjavik.

I hope this helps a bit. If you are planning on heading as far east as the glacier lagoon, we do recommend breaking that journey up into a couple of day at least, just to save on the mammoth drive! We have a lot more Iceland content to help – maybe the five day itinerary would be something you could massage for your purposes?

Have a great trip!

Mom of three says

30th April 2018 at 7:24 pm

Thanks for the quick reply! I’m torn because while the car is more convenient, I’m not sure if we’d use it that much if we are taking guided day tours. The appeal of the guided tours is that way the person driving isn’t missing out on the great scenery. I really appreciate the insight. Right now I think we’re going to go with an Air BnB and a car but I’ve got to decide soon! Have a great trip.

30th April 2018 at 7:29 pm

My pleasure! Depending on where you find the AirBnB, you might find that local buses serve it, then if you wanted a car you could hire it for a part of your time and do both 😀 Whichever you decide, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

Momofthree says

30th April 2018 at 6:46 pm

Is it possible to get around Iceland without a car? I wanted to avoid renting a car and just go on guided day trips but we’re also considering AirBnB because I didn’t realize hotels booked up so early and there’s not a lot of choices even though we’re more than two months out. If we do find a hotel in the city, can we depend on shuttles/buses to get around? Or is having a car, just easier, even with the high cost of gas?

Thanks so much for the blog!

30th April 2018 at 6:52 pm

Hey there! Unfortunately at the busier times of year, especially July / August, Iceland does get quite busy – more people than rooms! For sight-seeing, you can certainly do lots of things on a tour, and it’s definitely easier in many ways, although a car will give you a bit more flexibility – so it’s up to you. If your plan is to base yourself in Reykjavik and you find a place to stay (we know how hard it is!) then you won’t need a car if you just want to do day trips. For longer journeys, you can either do multi-day group trips, or you can look into something like the bus passport, which lets you travel around various parts of the country. You can see those here: and I have a bit more information on them in my Iceland Planning Guide:

Good luck – we’ll be in Iceland for most of June, maybe we’ll run into you 😉 Have a great time!

27th April 2018 at 4:10 pm

Hello, Can we book when we get to Iceland instead of in advance? In case our internet isn’t working is there a phone number we can call to book and pay?

28th April 2018 at 10:58 am

For Iceland Travel, yes, you can book when you arrive and they have a phone number on their website:

Leslie says

20th April 2018 at 12:30 am

This is one of the best travel blogs I have read – and I read a lot of them!!! Very well laid out, with all the right details, descriptions, and pictures. I feel confident planning a trip to Iceland. Thank you so much!

20th April 2018 at 12:55 pm

Thanks very much Leslie – have a wonderful trip to Iceland!

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The Top 10 Best Tours in Iceland: Popular and Unique Excursions

The Top 10 Best Tours in Iceland: Popular and Unique Excursions

Nanna Gunnarsdóttir

Different Types of Tours in Iceland

10. sightseeing on a golden circle tour in iceland, the best golden circle tours in iceland, 9. lake myvatn and north iceland tours, the best north iceland tours, 8. iceland volcano tours and lava cave tours, the best volcano tours in iceland, 7. snorkel between two continents, the best snorkeling tours in silfra, 6. hiking in the icelandic highlands, the best highland tours in iceland, 5. jaw-dropping glacier tours in iceland, the best glacier hiking tours in iceland, 4. sightseeing around the snaefellsnes peninsula, the best snaefellsnes tours in iceland, 3. witness the northern lights in iceland, the best northern lights tours in iceland.

  • 2. Touring Iceland’s South Coast

The Best South Coast Tours in Iceland

1. explore an ice cave, the best ice cave tours in iceland, the best tours in reykjavik, summary of the top 10 best tours in iceland.

Iceland has many unique destinations, such as the Reynisfjara black sand beach

Discover the top 10 best tours in Iceland, covering everything from peaceful nature to thrilling adventures. Learn about the country's most popular attractions and the most amazing tours and excursions to do while visiting the Land of Fire and Ice.

Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes and otherworldly attractions. With so many natural marvels all over the country, it can be difficult to pick and choose locations for your Iceland travel itinerary. This is why going on a tour while in Iceland is so practical!

Planned tours help you see the best of Iceland in a stress-free and convinient way. No matter where your accommodation in Iceland is located, you're sure to find some unforgettable experiences to suit all interests.

Explore  Iceland's largest selection of trips  and enhance your visit it Iceland, or choose from the largest selection of vacation packages in Iceland for easy planning! If you prefer the freedom of driving yourself, you can  rent your own car  and embark on your own  self-drive tour  of Iceland.

Each available tour introduces you to different elements that, together, weave the extraordinary tapestry of Iceland. Read on and plan your travel itinerary with these top 10 best tours in Iceland!

Top Summer Self Drive Tours

10-day self-drive tour of the complete ring road of iceland with top attractions & snaefellsnes, best 1-week summer self-drive tour of the ring road of iceland & golden circle, 7-day self-drive tour of the complete ring road of iceland.

The Blue Lagoon is the most popular location for hot spring tours in Iceland

Photo from  The Golden Circle & the Blue Lagoon Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik

Iceland attracts millions of visitors every year, drawn by images and videos of its majestic landscapes, otherworldly features, and thrilling adventure opportunities. However, upon arrival, many guests are left wondering how to best access the country’s attractions and which tours will allow them to make the most of every minute in the land of fire and ice.

Everyone’s taste is different, so no ‘catch-all’ agenda will fit all tourists’ wants and needs. Many Iceland tours have an age limit, so they may not be suitable for families with young children.

Other tours require a certain degree of mobility and fitness. Some are very relaxing, like the many available  hot spring tours , which may not suit thrill-seekers, while others need some nerve to embark on, ill-fitting for those who simply want to unwind.

  • Read our Ultimate Guide to Driving in Iceland

River rafting in Iceland is a popular tour option in summer

Photo from  Brilliant 3-Hour River Rafting Tour of the Hvita River

Iceland is a country of extreme seasonal contrasts, so excursions such as  northern lights tours can only be undertaken by winter travelers, while river rafting tours are exclusively for those visiting in summer.

Which tours you can take will also depend on the parts of the country you plan to visit, whether you’re driving yourself or being driven, either on day tours from Reykjavik or as part of a vacation package or self-drive tour.

Each tour represents a different side of this magnificent country. Most travelers will enjoy them, whether they're looking for relaxation, adventure, or awe-inspiring landscapes. So let’s have a look at the best Iceland tours!

Top Nature Tours in Iceland

Best ice cave tour in vatnajokull glacier starting from jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, inside the volcano thrihnukagigur tour with transfer from reykjavik, small group tour of snaefellsnes national park with transfer from reykjavik.

The Great Geysir is not an active geyser in Iceland, but its next door neighbor Strokkur is.

The Golden Circle is the most popular sightseeing route in Iceland and tops the list of Iceland tours when it comes to popularity for a good reason! This major attraction route is accessible all year round, you can reach it on a half-day trip from Reykjavik, whether by booking a convenient  Golden Circle tour or driving yourself with a rental car, and the sites around it are incredible!

The route starts at the historic  Thingvellir National Park , a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can see the two tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia separating! Afterward, you will visit the beautiful  Gullfoss waterfall, renowned for the rainbows that arc from its spray. Then, you'll see the  Geysir  geothermal area, where you'll witness the geyser Strokkur erupting to great heights every few minutes.

Some Golden Circle tours visit a few other sites in the area, such as the dramatic Kerid crater lake and Fridheimar tomato farm . If you have the time during a self-drive tour, it's also worth spreading your exploration over two or more days by staying in accommodation by the Golden Circle  to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

Gullfoss: Iceland's most famous and visited waterfall, seen on every Golden Circle trip, is pictured here in summer.

The sites located in the Golden Circle host the unbelievable natural beauty for which Iceland is renowned. They also tell fascinating tales of its history and culture. In the early 19th century, there were plans to dam the Hvita river that empties into the Gullfoss waterfall. It was saved due to the tireless efforts of Sigridur Tomasdottir, who campaigned to save the waterfall for 20 years!

Geysir gave its name to all springs spilling hot water around the world. Thingvellir, most impressively, was the original site of the world's longest ongoing parliament, dating back to 930 AD. This is part of why the Golden Circle is a must-visit route when in Iceland!

Thingvellir National Park during autumn in Iceland is a beautiful location and one of the most popular tours in Iceland

Due to its popularity, you can choose from a vast array of Golden Circle tours. Some tours are very affordable and efficient, such as this bus tour with audio guidance in 10 languages . Others are slightly more expensive but much more personal, such as this private tour for up to 7 guests .

One of the best Golden Circle tours you can take is this small-group tour with a visit to an ice cream farm ! Not only will you get to see these beautiful locations, but you'll also be able to enjoy a tasty treat at the Efstidalur farm!

Another great way to expand your trip is by taking this 8-hour Golden Circle tour with the Kerid crater . It adds the volcanic Kerid crater to your list of attractions.

If you're visiting Iceland with a summer cruise ship, you can take this special small group Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik port  or this  afternoon Golden Circle tour so you can see these picturesque destinations at the golden hour.

A visit to Kerid is a great addition to your Golden Circle tour

Photo from  Classic 8 Hour Tour of the Golden Circle & Kerid Crater with Transfer from Reykjavik

Most Golden Circle tours take only half a day. Many operators offer tour packages that combine the sightseeing route with another major attraction. The tours are generally offered year-round.

Enjoying the Golden Circle with a snowmobiling tour is a popular option. For a different experience, you can try a  riding tour on an Icelandic horse or a thrilling snorkeling tour in Silfra , which includes underwater photos! You can also add  lava caving to your Golden Circle adventure to witness Iceland both above and below the earth.

If you'd prefer to relax, you can enjoy a trip to the Blue Lagoon with your Golden Circle tour  or include a  relaxing whale-watching tour from Reykjavik  in your exploration - just take your pick!

Hundreds of tours head out every day, each providing something unique. The options for enjoying the Golden Circle are endless, making it an unmissable destination on this list of top 10 tours.

  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to Iceland's Golden Circle  
  • See also: How to Drive Iceland's Golden Circle: A Complete Guide with Maps

Top Golden Circle Tours

3-day northern lights tour of iceland’s golden circle & south coast with ice caving & glacier hiking, 8-day guided northern lights winter tour of the complete ring road of iceland.

Lake Myvatn is a iconic attraction in North Iceland

Staying far from Reykjavik doesn’t mean you’ll be short of amenities. There are many hotels in North Iceland in the region, and  Akureyri , the largest town outside Reykjavik, is sometimes referred to as "the Capital of the North." It’s a cultural hub and has everything any traveler needs for comfort, including great Akureyri accommodation options.

There are many options for tours in Akureyri , so it’s easy to go on a sightseeing or adventure excursion in this part of Iceland. Alternatively, situated within the beautiful  Eyjafjordur  fjord and is surrounded by tall mountains, one of which, Hlidarfjall, has arguably one of the  best ski slopes in Iceland .

You can reach Akureyri by driving along Route 1 from Reykjavik or by taking a  flight to Akureyri from Reykjavik Domestic Airport .

Top Myvatn Tours

You can unwind in luxury at the Myvatn nature baths in North Iceland

Photo from  Serene Geothermal Bathing at the Myvatn Nature Baths

While there are many incredible natural attractions in North Iceland, the most famous and popular is the lake  Myvatn  area. It's part of the Diamond Circle route, which features some of the region's most beautiful locations, which you can explore while staying at accommodation by lake Myvatn .

When visiting the Myvatn area, you can enjoy spectacular views over the water, unique flora, a wealth of birdlife, dramatic geological formations, surrounding mountains, craters, and lava fields, and abundant geothermal activity. It's truly a marvel of Icelandic nature.

Those traveling to Iceland for relaxation will find the trip well worth it. Basking in the healing geothermal waters of the  Myvatn Nature Baths is among the best things to do when touring Iceland’s northern region, especially to recharge after a day of exploring. It's best to book your admission to the Myvatn Nature Baths ahead of time to ensure availability.

Many scenes in the hit TV series Game of Thrones were filmed in North Iceland. For example, the  Dimmuborgir  lava formations were used as a setting north of the Wall, and the nearby Grjotagja cave was the site for the famous love scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte. Fans of the series will enjoy exploring the region, and you can even go on special Game of Thrones tours to see the show's many filming locations around Iceland.

  • For more:  The Ultimate Guide to Iceland's Diamond Circle
  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to Lake Myvatn

Godafoss waterfall is one of the more beautiful locations along the Icelandic Ring Road

A 20-minute drive from Myvatn, you'll find the barren, seething geothermal area of Namaskard Pass . With sulfur filling the smoky air and no green grass in sight, this destination reveals how diverse North Iceland can be and how the fires burning beneath the earth’s surface have shaped its landscapes.

Between Akureyri and lake Myvatn, you'll find another beautiful attraction, the famous Godafoss  waterfall. It's just by the Ring Road, and aside from being a spectacular natural landmark, it’s very rich in history. In 1000 AD, it was here that Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, a local chieftain and lawspeaker, tossed his idols of the Norse Gods to officially mark the nation's conversion to Christianity.

A bit further east from Godafoss, there are more unforgettable sites that make up the Diamond Circle. Among them is Dettifoss , the most powerful waterfall in Iceland, thundering into the ancient Jokulsargljufur canyon with such force that you need to see it to believe it. Near Dettifoss waterfall, there's the horseshoe-shaped canyon of Asbyrgi , a natural wonder so perfectly formed that early Viking settlers could only attribute its creation to their gods’ interference.

Husavik is the best place to go whale watching in Iceland

For something different when touring Iceland’s northern region, you could head to the town of Husavik , considered the "Whale Watching Capital of Iceland." In summer, this  Husavik whale-watching tour  will introduce you to the beautiful creatures of the deep. You may be able to spot humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins, as well as a wealth of birdlife. That may include puffins in the height of summer!

Top Akureyri Tours

Whale watching tour with transfer from akureyri, lake myvatn sightseeing & hot springs tour from akureyri, northern lights hunt from akureyri.

If you are keen to make the most of your visit to North Iceland, it’s highly recommended to book a Diamond Circle sightseeing tour . The tour will introduce you to all (or, in a few cases, most) of the sites listed above. Like the Golden Circle tours, the Diamond Circle tours have many variations, including different experiences. For example, this stunning 10-hour Diamond Circle tour  will allow you to go sightseeing while traveling in a four-wheel-drive jeep.

While this  10-day summer vacation in Iceland package misses out on some of the locations mentioned, it includes flights to Akureyri from Reykjavik and back. If you want a shorter but still fantastic experience, then this  whale-watching tour from Akureyri  is a good option. It brings you out to the beautiful Eyjafjordur fjord, where you'll spot the gentle giants of the sea. These trips in Iceland make touring the northern region easy!

Top Hotels & Accommodation in Akureyri

The Raufarholshellir lava tunnel is very accessible

Photo from  Classic 1 Hour Lava Tunnel Caving Tour of the Raufarholshellir Lava Tubes

Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice, with the 'fire’ referring to its many volcanoes! While these volcanoes are not in a constant state of eruption, they shape the island with its enormous mountains, lava fields, and countless craters.

No matter where you go, you'll see the effects volcanic activity has had on the country. The last eruption in Iceland was at Sundhnukagigar volcano in 2024 and you can explore the nearby aftermath of the July 2023 eruption at Litli-Hrutur , and  Fagradalsfjall , which erupted in 2021 and 2022. This is possible with  exciting volcano tours !

With volcanos all over Iceland, you can find plenty of locations to visit. From trips to volcanos in the remote highlands or to lava tunnels just by the Ring Road, you're sure to find an experience that suits your interests and travel itinerary!

  • See more:  The Ultimate Guide to Volcanoes in Iceland
  • See also:  Top 7 Volcanic Experiences in Iceland

Thríhnukagígur is a vast and incredible magma chamber in southeast Iceland.

If you want to add a quick volcano experience to your travel itinerary in Iceland, you can enjoy this  easy 1-hour tour of the Raufarholshellir lava tubes , just under an hour's drive from Reykjavik! For a bigger adventure, you can see the craters of one of Iceland's most destructive eruptions, Lakagigar , during this epic 8-hour super jeep tour from Kirkjubaejarklaustur along the South Coast.

There is, however, one volcano tour that deserves to be highlighted on this list as the best option. For an experience that’s not offered anywhere else on Earth, look no further than the Thrihnukagigur Volcano Tour .

On this excursion, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter into the vast magma chamber of a volcano that has been dormant for the past 4000 years, Thrihnukagigur . Usually, once a volcano goes dormant, the magma either cools to solid rock or drains away, causing the peak to collapse. Most volcanoes don’t have such a chamber, making this one of Iceland’s most unique and best excursions.

Inside the Volcano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Iceland

Photo from Inside the Volcano Thrihnukagigur Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik

Once you arrive at the volcano, you'll board an old mining elevator, which will take you into a cave large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty comfortably! The colors created by the minerals found in the lava, such as iron, sulfur, and nickel, are unbelievable. Once the elevator reaches the bottom, you'll have the opportunity to walk around the base, shining your flashlight around the magnificent space around you!

This tour is only available in the summer months, so book well in advance! It's open to anyone over 11 years old and includes a short uphill hike across the rocky ground to reach the elevator. It's truly an other-worldly experience, making it the best volcano tour in Iceland.

  • See also: Volcanic Eruptions in Iceland: A History of Fire

Top Volcano Tours in Iceland

Landmannalaugar super jeep tour with pickup from reykjavik, classic 1 hour lava tunnel caving tour of the raufarholshellir lava tubes.

Silfra fissure in Iceland has up to 100 meters of visibility in its water.

It may come as a surprise that you’d find snorkeling tours available in Iceland. The country may not be an obvious snorkeling and diving destination, mainly where the water is not geothermally heated. However, the spring within the  Silfra fissure in Thingvellir National Park is unbelievably beautiful, and every year thousands of visitors brace themselves for the cold and take the plunge!

Silfra is so stunning that it’s regularly ranked as one of the world’s top snorkeling and diving locations. Its appeal mostly comes down to two reasons. The first is the clarity of the water. The visibility often exceeds 328 feet (100 meters), allowing you to witness incredible shades of blue as you look ahead toward lake Thingvallavatn .

The second is its location. As mentioned, Thingvellir sits between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. An earthquake caused by the plates pulling apart created the ravine, meaning that when you're snorkeling in Silfra, you're literally swimming between continents!

What makes Silfra so clear is that the water comes from the Langjokull  glacier. It travels underground for around 30 miles (48 kilometers) through porous lava rock, which removes all particles within it. It takes years to reach the spring, and it’s clean enough to drink when it emerges.

Snorkelling in Silfra on the Golden Circle is a chilly but thrilling tour.

As you would expect, the water is also icy cold, at an average of 35.6° F (2° C) year-round. However, by wearing dry suits with insulated 'teddy-bear' suits beneath, you won't feel the chill on your body at all. The suits are also very buoyant, so you don't need to work to keep yourself on the surface. Wetsuit gloves and hoods allow the water in, but this water quickly heats up and forms a protective layer due to neoprene’s insulating properties.

Some operators offer tours where you only wear wetsuits. These allow for greater mobility and provide the opportunity to free-dive. However, this option is only recommended for those who are physically very fit and ready to be quite chilly for the 40 or so minutes spent in the water.

Top Snorkeling Tours

Unforgettable drysuit snorkeling in silfra with underwater photos & transfer from reykjavik, snorkeling tour between continents in silfra with free underwater photos & snacks, meet on location 30 minute snorkeling tour in the crystal waters of silfra.

The best way to experience swimming between the continents in Thingvellir National Park is with this snorkeling tour in Silfra with free underwater photos ! This is the best option if you're visiting the area. If you want to do a convinient trip from the capital, you can take this unforgettable drysuit snorkeling tour which has transport from Reykjavik!

People who are scuba certified can take diving tours to explore Silfra. Due to the complications associated with the cold, you'll need to at least be a PADI Open Water Diver (or have equivalent certifications) with a drysuit specialty or have 10 logged drysuit dives in the past 2 years.

If you want this experience, then the best option is this extraordinary 3-hour wetsuit-free dive tour . This is one of the best tour options in Iceland, given its unique nature and the site’s beauty!

  • See also: Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Iceland

Thorsmork is a mesmerising Highland area and one of the most popular tours in Iceland

Photo from  Scenic 5-Day Hiking Tour from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork with Transfer from Reykjavik

Visiting the  Icelandic Highlands is where you can find some of the best hiking tours in Iceland. They include the country's most remote, raw, and dramatic landscapes. There are also many Highland tours available with super jeeps or other forms of transport for those who prefer to explore this isolated region in comfort.

Defined by lava fields, endless plains of black sands, mountains, rivers, volcanoes, glaciers, and a spectrum of different colors, the Highlands area attracts hikers and photographers from all over the world.

They're generally only available in summer, as weather conditions can be far more challenging in the Highlands in winter, and available roads will be closed off. The region is, however, very much worth exploring when possible, as it's where you'll find some of Iceland's most breathtaking natural spectacles.

Landmannalaugar are a popular location in the Highlands

Photo from  Landmannalaugar Super Jeep Tour With Pickup from Reykjavik

The two most popular places to access the Highlands are Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar . The Laugavegur trail connects these areas through the country's interior, is Iceland's best-known multi-day hiking route, and is a fantastic way to explore the region.

This scenic 5-day hiking tour from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork  is a classic way to enjoy the Laugarvegur trail, staying in remote cabins each night and trekking through unbelievable landscapes. This challenging 3-day tour takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime hike along the Laugavegur trail, through lava fields and craters created by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull  in 2010.

You can also opt for an adventurous Thorsmork buggy tour for an unforgettable ride through unique Highland scenery.

Top Hiking & Trekking Tours

Top-rated glacier walk in skaftafell on vatnajökull glacier, 6 hour super jeep glacier hiking & ice caving tour in vatnajokull with transfer from jokulsarlon.

The Highlands are a magical place to explore.

If you're short on time but want to capture the highlights of the Highlands, this Landmannalaugar Super Jeep tour allows you to experience Iceland's most unique landscapes in comfort, including hiking and hot spring bathing. You'll be able to connect with the region's natural beauty, surrounded by rhyolite mountains and steaming geothermal areas.

If you are traveling with children or are not keen to take the Laugavegur trail, you can visit these sites on day tours from Reykjavik. For example, this  Landmannalaugar day tour allows you to reach the geothermal area in a super jeep and includes a dip in the hot springs.

Meanwhile, this scenic 10-hour super jeep tour from Reykjavik will take you to both Thorsmork and the waterfalls in South Iceland, including the majestic Skogafoss  waterfall.

Among the many tours around Iceland available, another option is combining Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar with major attractions such as the Golden Circle and the South Coast. In this case, this 7-day summer self-drive includes an adventure in the highlands  would be a great choice.

Snow covers the mountains in Iceland's Highlands, even during summer.

If you’re traveling in winter, there may still be some options to see Landmannalaugar . Some tour operators have previously launched tours this time of the year, offering plenty of opportunities to see the northern lights.

If you’d like to take such a tour but want your whole trip sorted for you upon arrival, this 10-day northern lights winter trip to the Highlands is a great choice. It offers visits to the South Coast, ice caves, Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon , and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork, and the Laugavegur trail only cover a tiny amount of the Highlands. There are tours around the country that allow you to access other, more remote parts.

If you’re in North Iceland, you can find this super jeep day tour to Askja Caldera . The incredible Askja Caldera  is in a dramatic lava field created by some of the country's most violent eruptions. Here you can swim in the warm waters of the Viti explosion crater, surrounded by some fantastic scenery.

  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to the Highlands of Iceland

Hiking the Laugavegur trail in south Iceland is far from the only way to explore the Highlands.

Alternatively, you could take a 12-hour day tour in the Highlands  along the  Kjolur  road, which brings you to the geothermal baths of Hveravellir  and the dramatic mountains of Kerlingarfjoll .

Hikers seeking adventure in a more remote part of the Highlands can embark on an 11-day self-drive Ring Road trip . This experience includes three days of exploring the Eastfjords, where you'll venture deep into the mountains and canyons north of Vatnajokull glacier. 

Avid photographers seeking to build their portfolios and improve their landscape photography skills could also embark on this once-in-a-lifetime photography adventure over 10 days . This workshop visits many fantastic Highland locations with an award-winning photographer and an experienced guide.

Top Highland Tours

Landmannalaugar super jeep tour with pickup from the south coast or reykjavik, thorsmork valley super jeep & hiking tour.

Glacier hiking is one of the most popular activities in south Iceland.

Photo from  Glacier Hiking Tour in Skaftafell

While the 'fire' in the Land of Ice and Fire represents its volcanoes, the 'ice' speaks of its glaciers, most notably the  Vatnajokull  glacier, the largest one in Europe!

The glaciers of Iceland are magnificent places to visit, with stunning ice formations, incredible surrounding views, and a spectrum of colors. Far from just the gleaming white of snow, you'll find veins of electric blue ice and jet black ash from eruptions in centuries past.

With their slippery surfaces, hidden crevasses, and sharp ridges, it’s dangerous to climb them without proper equipment and training. However, with an experienced guide by your side, taking one of the many glacier hiking and ice-climbing tours in Iceland is a safe and easy trip.

When taking a tour, you'll be provided with ice axes, helmets, crampons, and an experienced, knowledgeable guide, and a glacier hiking tour may be the highlight of your Iceland trip.

Glacier hiking is one of the best things to do in Iceland

Photo from  Fantastic 2.5 Hour Easy Glacier Hike & Sightseeing Discovery Tour on Solheimajokull

The most commonly visited ice cap is Solheimajokull , part of the third-largest glacier in the country, Myrdalsjokull . That’s because it’s easily reached as a day trip from Reykjavik , it’s not too difficult to ascend, and it has magnificent views of the south of the country.

This 2.5-hour easy glacier hike and discovery tour of Solheimajokull is an excellent choice for families since children as young as 10 can participate, and this  Solheimajokull glacier hiking tour guarantees a small group size so you can get the most from your glacier hiking experience.

The second most popular glacier to hike in Iceland is Svinafellsjokull . It’s often misnamed Skaftafellsjokull due to its position in the spectacular Skaftafell Nature Reserve . Tours on its surface are perfect for those traveling to Southeast Iceland, especially if combined with a visit to the  Jokulsarlon  glacier lagoon or the crystal blue ice caves.

Svinafellsjokull is one of Iceland's most popular glaciers and top tours in Iceland

Skaftafell Nature Reserve is one of Iceland’s most beautiful areas. It has rivers, lagoons, forests, and lava fields. The famous Svartifoss  waterfall, surrounded by perfectly formed hexagonal-shaped rock columns, is also located here.

This  top-rated glacier walking tour in Skaftafell can be taken by anyone, including children over the age of 10, allowing the younger ones to get a taste of adventure. It’s also the best choice for those who aren't the most physically fit.

If you want to partake in ice climbing on your glacier hike, scaling up a frozen wall with just your ice ax and crampons, then this 4-hour ice climbing and glacier hiking tour is a perfect choice, although participants must be at least 12 years old.

  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to Glacier Tours in Iceland

Into the Glacier is perfect for families visiting Iceland

Photo from  Exhilarating 10-Hour Into the Glacier Ice Caving Tour in Langjokull from Reykjavik

If you’re traveling with younger children, this Into the Glacier ice-caving tour from Reykjavik  takes you to the human-made ice tunnel carved into the Langjokull glacier. It’s not quite the glacier hiking experience just mentioned, but children as young as 1 year old can participate!

The ice tunnel shows you the world inside the majestic glacier, with long corridors and many rooms, including a chapel. The journey to the tunnel is an adventure in itself as you travel along the beautiful Borgarfjordur fjord, conducted in a massive super jeep.

In the summer months, the truly adventurous can take part in this thrilling glacier hiking tour up the twin-peaked Snaefellsjokull glacier , located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland.

Snaefellsjokull glacier was made famous in Jules Verne’s novel 'A Journey to the Center of the Earth,’ where it was described as having a cave leading to an underground magical world. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an incredible place in its own right and deserves a visit, even if you don’t get to the glacier.

  • See also: Glaciers in Iceland

Top Glacier Tours

2 day ice cave tour with south coast waterfalls & jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula has many incredible features.

The Snaefellsnes peninsula has rightly earned its nickname "Iceland in Miniature." It’s a microcosm of Iceland, with waterfalls, mountains, lava fields, rock formations, jagged coastlines, a wealth of wildlife, and a crowning glacier.

It’s mostly known for the Snaefellsjokull glacier but has appeal beyond glacier hiking. The twin-peaked subglacial volcano has inspired artists for centuries. It’s so stunning that it’s the central feature of Snaefellsjokull National Park ! This is quite something, considering there are only three  national parks in Iceland .

The Snaefellsjokull glacier is visible across the sea from Reykjavik in clear weather. It sits right on the peninsula's tip, creating a beautiful silhouette that beckons thousands of visitors a year. It’s so awe-inspiring that many superstitious people claim it’s a spot of magic and mysticism. It was once prophesied that aliens would land on the Snaefellsjokull on November 5th, 1993!

This rumor spread far and wide, to the extent that thousands gathered around it on the predicted doomsday date, accompanied by television crews from around the world, including CNN. Of course, nothing happened, but one glance at it leaves little wonder why extra-terrestrial beings might choose it as their base on Earth.

There are some beautiful rock formations along the Snaefellsnes peninsula

In addition to the Snaefellsjokull glacier, the sites on this peninsula are numerous, diverse, and so close together that tourists staying in Reykjavik can visit it in one or two days.

On its southern shore, you can see the hexagonal columns lined in near symmetry at Gerduberg , a colony of seals resting off the rocky shoreline at Ytri Tunga beach , the dramatic mountain gorge of Raudfeldsgja , and the windswept, long-abandoned village of Budir .

Right by the national park are two more villages. One of them is Hellnar , which has also largely been abandoned. The other is Arnarstapi , which clung to life through fishing and later tourism and boasts stunning coastal geology. All of these are worth a stop, and it's where you can find some great Snaefellsnes accommodation options!

You can also stay in  accommodation in Stykkisholmur , the largest settlement in the area.  Stykkisholmur  is a charming town known for its traditional fishing culture and folklore. It sits along the northern coast, where you can get magnificent views of the mountainous Westfjords across the sea.

Within the Snaefellsjokull National Park, there are three natural landmarks worth mentioning.  Vatnshellir is a magnificent lava cave that you can visit with this  unforgettable 50-minute cave tour .  Djupalonssandur is a black sand beach with four historic lifting stones that fishermen used in the old times to test their strength and suitability for the sea.

Londrangar is an enormous basalt plug that resembles a fortress and is renowned for its birdlife. The northern shore of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is home to Kirkjufell mountain, the second most famous landmark in the area. Fans of Game of Thrones will remember it as a shooting location in season 7 where it was called Arrow Head mountain.

  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula are among its famous attractions.

This  scenic 12-hour Snaefellsnes day tour from Reykjavik bus tour takes in all the main sights of the peninsula. However, if you'd like a slightly more personalized experience, this  Snaefellsnes minibus tour from Reykjavik has a smaller group size and offers some snacks along the way!

To spend more time at the sites, you could choose to go on this  2-day Snaefellsnes and West Coast excursion . It includes lava caving in Vatnshellir and a dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Krauma Spa !

If you’re on a self-driving tour of Iceland in summer, you could opt for unique experiences, such as whale watching in the Breidafjordur bay or kayaking under mt Kirkjufell .

Another option is taking this  magical 2-hour seafood boat cruise from Stykkisholmur , enjoying freshly caught scallops from a boat while bird-watching and marveling over the islands of Breidafjordur  bay and the Westfjords.

Top Snaefellsnes Tours

Excellent 2 day west coast tour of snaefellsnes peninsula with lava caving in vidgelmir.

The Northern Lights are perhaps the most popular Icelandic attraction in winter.

If you’re traveling to Iceland between September and April, it’s likely that seeing the northern lights is high on your plan. There are only a handful of countries on the globe where you can reliably witness this phenomenon. As such, aurora hunting is an integral part of Iceland’s tourism industry in the winter.

Seeing the aurora borealis is high on many people's bucket lists for somewhat obvious reasons. Watching the rays of vivid color descend from a night sky lit only by a canopy of stars and swirl and dance as if conducted by an ethereal force is a mesmerizing and awe-inspiring experience.

Those lucky enough to witness the northern lights are left with little wonder why ancient societies thought they were messages from their gods and ancestors.

Northern lights tours in Iceland are an essential part of many travelers’ bucket lists in Iceland. But it’s worth remembering that they’re only accessible to winter travelers. Even though the aurora borealis occurs year-round, you need as little light pollution as possible to see them.

  • For more:  Northern Lights in Iceland - When & Where To See the Aurora
  • See also: The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland

Top Winter Self Drive Tours

Best 7-day northern lights self drive tour through south iceland to jokulsarlon ice cave, 8-day northern lights winter self-drive tour of west and south iceland with ice caving, amazing 6-day northern lights winter self-drive tour on iceland's south coast with ice caving.

Northern Lights over Vestrahorn in east Iceland.

You don't need to take a guided excursion to see the lights. If you have a rental car , you can drive out of urban areas and search for it yourself. If you don't have a car, you can head to the darkest parts of towns and cities and hope for the best.

The advantage of going on an official tour is that you’re accompanied by an expert in finding, photographing, and explaining the auroras. These specialists can take you on one of the best guided tours of Iceland as they know all the best viewing points and have access to tools to find places with the least cloud cover.

The most common and affordable northern lights tour is a bus excursion , which will take you into the nature around Reykjavik for your aurora hunt. You can also take this  minibus northern lights tour for a more personal experience, and you'll get to enjoy a nice hot chocolate to keep you warm as you search for elusive auroras.

You could even hunt for the lights in a super jeep to access more remote areas. This northern lights super jeep tour from Reykjavik , for example, is conducted with a professional photographer aboard who will help you get stunning images of the auroras.

Another popular but more unique choice is a 2-hour northern lights boat cruise from Reykjavik . You’ll head out into the waters surrounding the capital and search for this phenomenon from the deck of a ship. If you're staying in northern Iceland, you could take a northern lights bus tour from Akureyri  or combine the aurora experience with a whale-watching tour for an unforgettable evening.

  • See also: Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Reykjavik
  • For more:  How to Photograph the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights can be seen on a range of tours from around the country.

Northern lights tours will not head out if the aurora forecast is weak or there’s too much cloud cover. Even if you do set out, this natural occurrence can be fickle, and they may not show. In either case, most operators will allow you to try to see the lights again for free another night.

A great way to maximize your chances of catching the auroras, however, is to book a self-drive tour or guided package that is tailored to searching for them.

This  7-day northern lights winter self-drive tour  of Iceland will provide you with countless opportunities to hunt for the northern lights. A  7-day winter vacation package is a great alternative if you would rather not drive yourself. Both also include another spectacular winter experience, a trip into an ice cave!

The longer you spend in Iceland, the greater your chances of seeing the northern lights. This  14-day northern lights package tour of the Ring Road takes you around the entire country, includes an ice cave tour, and gives you many opportunities to catch the auroras in various locations. If you take the tour between November and March, it will also include an ice cave trip.

  • See also: FAQ About the Northern Lights in Iceland

Top Northern Lights Tours & Holidays

2. touring iceland’s south coast.

Seljalandsfoss is one of the more beautiful waterfalls in Iceland

This region has beautiful waterfalls, a spectacular coastline, glacier-capped volcanoes, stretches of black sands, geological marvels, and islands adding to its beauty. It culminates in the Southeast with the magnificent Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Traveling from Reykjavik, you’ll initially pass through some lovely countryside and geothermal areas before reaching the shoreline. In clear weather, you may be able to see the volcanic archipelago of the  Westman Islands jutting out to sea on your right. You can also have glimpses of the glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull to your left before reaching the first destinations.

You’ll then spot the unmissable Seljalandsfoss , a 197-foot tall waterfall (60-meter) that descends in a narrow cascade before a gaping cavern. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is unique due to the path that goes right behind it. In summer, this allows you to see the waterfall and South Coast from a mesmerizing perspective.

A short walk from Seljalandsfoss waterfall, you’ll find the Gljufrabui waterfall. It’s a gem that many visitors miss out on, as it’s hidden in a mountainside cleft.

Dyrholaey offers stunning views of the black sand beaches of South Iceland

The next major stop is at Dyrholaey , a magnificent rock arch that curves out into the ocean, large enough for ships (and small planes, as a few brave pilots have proven) to travel through. If you're traveling to Iceland between May and September, look out for puffins, which nest among the rocks in the thousands and have little fear of people.

The coastal geology becomes no less spectacular at the nearby Reynisfjara Beach . It’s renowned for its black sand, powerful waves, and sea stacks towering offshore, known as Reynisdrangar . Icelandic folklore says these basalt pillars are frozen trolls caught in sunlight as they attempted to drag a ship to shore.

  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to the South Coast in Iceland

Top South Coast Tours

The village of  Vik sits just inland from Reynisfjara and is often the final stop on day tours of Iceland’s South Coast. However, those that continue on pass through more diverse scenery of lava fields, estuaries, and black sand deserts before reaching Vatnajokull. At this point, the landscapes to your left will turn into dramatic mountains, dozens of glacier tongues, and countless waterfalls.

Finally, you’ll reach what is referred to as 'the Crown Jewel of Iceland's Nature,' the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Here you’ll find an enormous lake filled with towering icebergs groaning, rotating, and splitting apart as they make their slow journey from a glacier tongue to the ocean.

You can spend hours at the shores of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, marveling over the views here, made all the more delightful by the many resident seals. When these icebergs finally reach the ocean, they wash up on a beautiful stretch of black sand coastline called Diamond Beach .

The Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is beautiful in both summer and winter.

As noted, most South Coast day tours will take you to Vik and back, allowing plenty of time at the great sites en route. There are a wide variety of South Coast tours to choose from, so you're sure to find one suited to your interests.

It's possible to reach Jokulsarlon in a day, such as with this excursion , although you’ll have less time at the other attractions.

If you're visiting Iceland in summer, this  2-day tour of the South Coast with glacier hiking and the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon offers the best of both worlds as you have more time. For winter visits, you don't have to miss out as this 2-day South Coast tour brings you to the same locations and includes a visit to the beautiful ice caves of the Vatnajokull glacier!

If you want to expand your winter trip, this  3-day Golden Circle and South Coast tour is a great option. It also includes the Golden Circle and a trip to the ice caves, and as it's in winter, you'll be able to see the northern lights!

Kayaking on Jokulsarlon will bring you close to the icebergs

Photo from  Kayaking in Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

If you’re spending some time around the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in summer, there are some great options to explore it more personally.

The most affordable option is to book a tour on an amphibious boat that will take you right amongst the icebergs. For an extra small cost, you could instead look at this 1-hour zodiac boat tour of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon . For an even more unique experience, you may want to try  kayaking in the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon right beside the icebergs!

All three excursions will not just get you closer to the ice but allow you to see the lagoon's seals up close.

  • See also: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon | Iceland's Crown Jewel

Top Jokulsarlon Tours

Ice caves are some of the most stunning locations in Iceland

Photo from  Best Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajokull Glacier Starting from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

When thinking about the top Iceland tours, exploring the crystal blue ice caves under the Vatnajokull glacier has to take the top spot. They’re only accessible between mid-October (sometimes early November) and March. But their uniqueness, beauty, and ever-increasing popularity make it simply unfitting for them to be placed any lower than in first place!

Technically called glacier caves (as ice cave is the definition of any cave with permanent ice), they can only be found in a few places worldwide. It’s even harder to find any as accessible as the ones at the Vatnajokull glacier. Each ice cave in Iceland is different in size, shape, and formation. However, they all share the same vivid electric blue colors with gleaming white.

What makes them even more impressive in Iceland is their location. Iceland's southeast region offers two other top attractions - the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. This means that, in a single day, you can enjoy three incredible and vastly different experiences you'll never forget. However, unlike Jokulsarlon and Skaftafell, you can only experience the ice caves on a guided tour.

  • See also: The Ultimate Guide to Ice Caves in Iceland

Top Ice Cave Tours

Inside an ice cave in south-east Iceland, on a tour only accessible in summer.

If you’re eager to see a crystal blue ice cave, it’s important to book early. They’re only open for a few months of the year and are on many people's bucket lists. Available spots can be hard to come by if you try to make a last-minute reservation.

The  best ice cave tour in Vatnajokull Glacier  is perfect if you're on an Iceland road trip. You’ll meet your guide at the parking lot of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and be whisked to the site. You’ll have plenty of time to plumb the depths of this phenomenon and take some incredible photographs.

Several winter self-drive tours are tailored to ice cave exploration while incorporating other sites and adventures. This 3-day northern lights self-drive tour , for example, is perfect if you want to maximize a shorter holiday. Meanwhile, if you're seeking the winter adventure of a lifetime, this  two-week self-drive tour of the complete Ring Road and the Snaefellsnes peninsula  is an experience that you will never forget.

Self-drive tours are excellent for taking away the stress of organizing your vacation since your accommodation, tours, and vehicle will be booked before your arrival.

Please note that you must rent a four-wheel drive and be confident in icy, dark conditions if you drive yourself in winter. The temperature rarely rises above freezing in December and January, and the country only gets around 4 hours of daylight.

  • See also: The Complete Guide to Travel Packages in Iceland

Katla ice cave is a great option along South Iceland

Photo from  The Katla Ice Cave Tour

If you're not driving yourself, the ice caves are still easily accessible. This 3-day northern lights South Coast tour includes glacier hiking and a Golden Circle trip. Like the self-drives, there are also plenty of winter vacation packages tailored to the ice caves, including this  15-day Ring Road trip around the whole country.

Although the crystal blue ice caves are only open from November to March, there are other ice caves you can visit at different times of the year. These won’t have the same blue color but they are still spectacular.

The ice caves within the Myrdalsjokull glacier are open year-round, and you can visit with this Katla ice cave tour . They’re defined by their veins of black ash within the white snow from the eruptions of the mighty Katla  volcano.

You can  take a Katla ice caving tour from Vik  or enjoy it as part of this  2-day South Coast ice cave tour from Reykjavik .

Reykjavik is best explored with a walking tour

Photo from  Reykjavik Food Walk Tour

If you're visiting Iceland and are planning to stay within Reykjavik, you don't have to miss out on fun experiences. There are plenty of fun tours available in the capital which are sure to provide a great experience.

If you don't have a rental car in Reykjavik , you can still experience the countryside with guided  day trips from the city. Many of the tour types featured on this list also offer pick-up from Reykjavik!

For the best tour experience within city limits, you should try a Reykjavik walking tour . You'll get to explore the city while learning about its history and culture, making your experience much more enjoyable! One of the best tours available is this magical 1.5-hour folklore walking tour , where you'll get to hear tales of trolls, elves, and the famous hidden people or "huldufólk."

You can also try a food and drink tour , where you can get to know Icelandic food culture . This  Reykjavik food walk tour is the best option for this, as you'll get to know traditional and modern cuisine while exploring the city. Alternatively, if you want a fun start to your night before getting to know the city's famous nightlife , you can take this guided 2.5-hour Reykjavik beer and schnapps walking tour !

Top Culture Tours

5-day iceland blue lagoon & northern lights city break from keflavik international airport, 3-day reykjavik city break with optional activities starting from keflavik airport, 6-day reykjavik city break with optional activities starting at keflavik airport.

The Top 10 Best Tours in Iceland: Popular and Unique Excursions

Photo from  Sky Lagoon Full Access Ticket

For those in search of relaxation, you can enjoy a visit to the Sky Lagoon . It's located in the town of Kopavogur , just a 15-minute drive from the city center, and is accessible by public bus. You can also  visit the Sky Lagoon with a transfer  if you prefer. This luxurious geothermal lagoon features a beautiful infinity edge pool, and you can try out their special seven-step spa ritual to complete the visit.

It's quickly becoming a favorite among visitors in Iceland, so make sure to book your Sky Lagoon access ticket in advance. You can also get this more affordable Pure Lite admission ticket if you prefer to skip the spa ritual.

Alternatively, you can take a Blue Lagoon tour from Reykjavik. The famous geothermal spa is just a 50-minute drive from the city, and you can book a shuttle bus transfer from Reykjavik for optimal convenience. Remember to book your Blue Lagoon admission well ahead of time, as it's one of the most popular locations in Iceland!

  • See also:  Iceland's Blue Lagoon: The Ultimate Travel Guide
  • For more:  Blue Lagoon vs. Sky Lagoon: Which One Should You Visit?

Top Hot Spring Tours in Iceland

4-day reykjavik city break with optional activities from keflavik international airport.

Whether you're visiting Iceland in summer or winter, you're sure to have some amazing experiences during your travels. As a country with so much to offer, taking a tour will enhance your vacation and bring you to some stunning sights. Make your trip unforgettable, and book some of the best tours available in Iceland!

We hope you found some travel inspiration from our guide to the top 10 best tours of Iceland. It was designed to ensure your trip is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We'd love to hear and respond to any questions or comments you may have in the section below.

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The 17 best iceland tours: northern lights, waterfalls & more.

Enjoy glacier hikes, whale watching cruises and the northern lights on these Iceland tours.

The Best Iceland Tours

Aerial drone view of Seljalandsfoss waterfall at sunset, Iceland

Getty Images

With terrain shaped by volcanic eruptions and shifting tectonic plates and the surrounding waters filled with glaciers, icebergs and whales, Iceland is like no other place on Earth. It's also an ideal spot to observe a seasonal phenomenon above the Earth: the northern lights  (or aurora borealis).

The following Iceland tours, determined by U.S. News to be the best available thanks to expert input and traveler sentiment, provide ideal ways of experiencing all that this extraordinary place has to offer. All of these excursions are conducted by knowledgeable guides eager to share their insights into their country's special features.

Ice Lagoon Adventure Tours – Zodiac Boat Tour

Price: Adults from 14,900 Icelandic króna (about $108); kids from 8,900 króna (about $65) Duration: 75 minutes

Explore the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon – part of Vatnajökull National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Europe's largest glacier – aboard an inflatable rigid boat on this expedition. In addition to icebergs and the glacial wall, you might also spot wildlife like seals and various bird species. Tourgoers consistently describe the guides as passionate and knowledgeable, and say photo opportunities abound. Trips are available from May through October several times a day, with departures in both the morning and the afternoon. The park containing the lagoon sits in the southeast part of the country, about 236 miles from Reykjavik . Ice Lagoon Adventure Tours also runs private excursions.

Check prices & availability on:

NiceTravel – Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & Kerid Volcano

Price: Adults from $218; kids from $123 Duration: 11 hours

Visit the Golden Circle's top sights, including Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss, plus a volcanic crater and a pristine lagoon on this daylong journey. The park is of both geological and historical significance as it straddles a fault line between two tectonic plates and was the site of a Viking parliament that ruled for hundreds of years starting in A.D. 930. Other highlights include Geysir, a hot spring that shoots plumes of vapor into the air; Gullfoss (aka the Golden Waterfall) over which water cascades down more than 100 feet into a narrow canyon; Kerid, a colorful red-earth volcanic crater; and a two-hour stop at the heated waters of the popular Blue Lagoon. Tour-takers invariably find the scenery spectacular and the guides friendly and informative, though a few found the bus to be too small for the number of people on the tour. Tours happen daily all year long. Pickup from various locations in Reykjavik occurs between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and minibuses return to the city around 8 p.m.

Reykjavik Sailors – Whale Watching

Price: Adults from 11,990 króna (about $87); kids from 5,995 króna (about $44) Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours

While April to October is considered peak season for whale watching off Iceland's coast, humpback, minke and orca whales, as well as porpoises and dolphins, inhabit the waters all year. Reykjavik Sailors, located on Reykjavik's Old Harbour, offers whale watching boat trips throughout the year. Tourgoers report spotting ample wildlife, and appreciate the knowledgeable, friendly guides.

Transportation from area hotels is available for an additional fee. Snacks and beverages are available aboard the boat, which features outdoor viewing platforms as well as heated indoor space. Reykjavik Sailors also operates tours of the northern lights, among other options.

Arctic Adventures – Crystal Ice Cave Tour Iceland

Price: Adults from about $161; kids from around $137 Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Take a ride in an off-roading vehicle from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to the edge of the massive Vatnajökull glacier and then hike to a natural ice cave on this small-group excursion. The tour, which is limited to 14 travelers, also allows you to witness the result of calving – the process of icebergs breaking off of glaciers. Tourgoers frequently praise the capable and personable guides. Many reviewers called this the highlight of their trip to Iceland.

Trips depart from the lagoon daily from October to mid-April beginning at 9:20 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. While the hike to the cave is rated as easy, children younger than 6 are not allowed on this trip. All of the necessary safety equipment is included in the cost of the tour. Arctic Adventures conducts a variety of ice cave tours, glacier hikes and more.

The Best Iceland Tours

BusTravel Iceland – South Coast Waterfalls, Glacier & Black Sand Beach Tour

Price: Adults from 13,990 króna (about $103); kids from 6,995 króna (about $52) Duration: 10 hours

This daylong outing affords opportunities to explore the glaciers, volcanos and other distinctive features of Iceland's southern coast . Highlights include Skógafoss, a nearly 200-foot waterfall beside the Eyjafjallajökull volcano; the slightly taller Seljalandsfoss waterfall; Reynisfjara, a beach on the north Atlantic Ocean with black volcanic sand and basalt columns; a stop for lunch in the fishing village of Vik; and Sólheimajökull glacier. Tour-takers consistently call the scenery extraordinary and the guides informative, though they do warn that it is a long day.

Transportation from various Reykjavik locations is available for an additional charge. Pickups occur between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Prices do not cover any food and drink in Vik. Note: Reaching the glacier involves walking on uneven ground. BusTravel Iceland also leads tours exploring the Golden Circle, the northern lights and more.

Your Friend in Reykjavik – Walk With a Viking

Price: Adults from $45; kids from $29 Duration: 2 hours

See the sights of Reykjavik on this two-hour walking tour of the city's center. Highlights include Harpa (an incredible performance venue), Hallgrímskirkja church, the Parliament building and Reykjavik harbor, as well as the first Viking house. Tour-takers find this stroll to be a great way to get to know the city and recommend taking the tour on one of your first days in Iceland. Reviewers consistently describe the guides as great storytellers and eager to answer any questions.

Groups of up to 12 depart from Ingólfur Square daily at 10 a.m. and 1 and 5 p.m. Your Friend in Reykjavik offers a variety of tours, including food tours, cooking classes, adventure tours and more.

Troll Expeditions – Snorkeling in Silfra

Price: From 19,900 króna (about $145) Duration: 3 hours

Snorkel between tectonic plates in the only place where that's possible during this adventure. Located in Thingvellir National Park about a 30-mile drive northeast of Reykjavik, Silfra fissure lies in the space where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates have slowly moved apart. Its water, from the melted ice of the Langjökull glacier, is exceptionally clean, boasting visibility of about 330 feet. Snorkelers laud the attentive, professional guides as well as the one-of-a-kind experience.

Snorkeling trips are available year-round at least twice a day; start times vary depending on the season. Groups are limited to six people. There are age, weight and health restrictions for this tour; check with the company before you book to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements. Troll Expeditions also offers guided glacier hikes, day trips and multiday excursions around the country to the South Coast, Ring Road and more.

Wake Up Reykjavik – Reykjavik Food Tour

Price: Adults from 16,900 króna (about $123); kids from 9,900 króna (about $72) Duration: 3 hours

Sample an array of Icelandic cuisine on this walking tour of downtown Reykjavik. Try eight traditional dishes, including fish and grass-fed lamb, as well as ice cream and street food. (Vegetarians and those with allergies or other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated.) Between stops, you'll stroll past notable sites, such as the Parliament building and city hall. Travelers praise the pace of the tour and the dishes featured. Reviewers also applauded guides for their humor and the depth of their knowledge about Iceland's history and culture.

Tours start outside Harpa concert hall every day beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wake Up Reykjavik also organizes day trips to the Golden Circle, the South Coast and more.

Adventure Vikings – Silfra Drysuit Snorkeling

Price: From 18,990 króna (about $138) Duration: 2 to 4.5 hours

Explore the pristine glacial waters between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates on this snorkeling tour in Silfra, one of the world's top dive sites. Part of Thingvellir National Park, Silfra fissure is the result of the two tectonic plates separating at a rate of about 2 centimeters per year. The fissure is filled with water from Langjökull glacier that's been filtered through lava fields, making it incredibly pure. Snorkelers rave about the Silfra fissure's beauty and praise the guides for their attention to safety.

The tour lasts up to 4.5 hours depending if round-trip transportation from Reykjavik is needed. Prices include use of snorkeling equipment. You can rent a wearable GoPro camera for an additional 6,900 króna (around $51). Tours are available year-round. Snorkelers must be at least 12 years old; groups have no more than six people per guide. Participants preferring to don a less restrictive (but also less warm) wetsuit instead of a dry suit have that option. There are height and weight requirements for this tour. Adventure Vikings also leads surfing and stand-up paddleboarding tours, among other outings.

The Best Iceland Tours

Special Tours – Northern Lights by Boat

Price: Adults from 12,990 króna (about $95); kids from 6,495 króna (about $48) Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Enjoy the unique opportunity to observe the northern lights from the ocean on this two- to three-hour boat ride. You'll depart from Old Harbour in Reykjavik and be in the perfect viewing location away from the city lights after about a 20-minute cruise. Along the way, guides regale passengers with stories, myths and scientific facts about the aurora borealis. Travelers praise the amazing views as well as the humorous, helpful guides. Others appreciated the company's backup plan: If the conditions aren't favorable for viewing the lights from the water, you can hunt for the lights by bus, or choose one of the company's other tours (such as a daytime whale watching excursion) at no charge.

Cruises are available nightly in the fall and winter. Departure times vary by time of year, but boats typically sail at 10 p.m. in September and mid-March to mid-April; they depart at 9 p.m. from October to mid-March. Food and drinks are available for purchase on board. The company also offers whale watching excursions, fishing trips and more.

ĺshestar – Lava Tour

Price: Adults from 15,900 króna (about $117); kids from 11,925 króna (about $87) Duration: 2 hours

Admire the green hillsides and lava fields just outside Reykjavik on this two-hour small-group horseback riding tour. The stables are located about 10 miles south of the city center; round-trip transportation is available if you don't have your own car. Travelers frequently describe riding an Icelandic horse as a fantastic experience, and they generally appreciate the professionalism of the staff who lead the outing.

Rides depart every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost includes the use of helmets and boots, as well as post-ride coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Round-trip transportation from Reykjavik is available for an additional fee and starts an hour before the tour. Groups are limited to 20 participants; all must be at least 7 years old and weigh less than 240 pounds. No prior horseback riding experience is necessary. Longer, multiday trail rides, as well as private tours are also available.

BusTravel Iceland – Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour

Price: Adults from 16,990 króna (about $125); kids from 8,495 króna (about $62) Duration: 11 hours

In addition to its tours of the southern coast, BusTravel Iceland offers a daylong tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, an area northwest of Reykjavik that boasts black sand beaches, lava fields, beautiful waterfalls , rock formations and more. Highlights include Berserkjahraun lava fields, which date back to a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago; the 1,520-foot Kirkjufell (aka Church Mountain); the nearby Kirkjufellsfoss waterfalls; Snaefellsjökull National Park and the cliffs of Arnarstapi harbor, once a bustling fishing area. Travelers typically enjoy both the dramatic landscapes and the guides' commentary.

Tours last approximately 11 hours. Pickup from various Reykjavik locations is available for an additional fee. Tours are available daily starting at 8 and 9 a.m.

CityWalk Reykjavik – Free Walking Tour Reykjavik

Price: Free Duration: 2 hours

Stroll among the main attractions of downtown Reykjavik , including the statue of Jón Sigurðsson and the Harpa concert hall, on this approximately two-hour, 1.3-mile tour. Guides will regale you with stories concerning Icelandic history, as well as lore involving elves, Vikings and more, which tour-takers deem highly entertaining.

Walks start at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. every day at the Austurvöllur (the city's main square) and conclude at city hall. Bookings open up about five days in advance. While there's no fee for this tour, guides do appreciate tips. There are no age or group-size limits. CityWalk Reykjavik does offer a slightly longer, small-group tour for a fee.

Check availability on:

The Best Iceland Tours

GeoIceland – Premium Golden Circle Tour

Price: Adults from 18,900 króna (about $140); kids from 14,900 króna (about $110) Duration: 9 hours

Visit the rift between two tectonic plates, the powerful waterfall and the geothermal area comprising Iceland's famed Golden Circle and more on this daylong tour. In addition to the high cliffs of the rift valley in Thingvellir National Park, the often rainbow-adorned Gullfoss waterfall and the hot spring Geysir, this tour stops at the Kerid volcanic crater, as well as a tomato farm. Tour-takers frequently cite both the stunning scenery and the friendly, amusing guides as highlights of this journey.

Buses depart from the Aurora Reykjavik museum daily at 9 a.m. and return approximately nine hours later. Prices include admission to all attractions, but exclude lunch at the tomato farm's restaurant. GeoIceland also runs tours that depart from other cities in Iceland, including Akureyri and the Lake Mývatn area.

Iceland Everywhere Tours – Northern Lights Midnight Adventure Tour

Price: From 15,800 króna (around $115) Duration: 3 to 5 hours

Spend the night searching for the northern lights on this seasonal outing. During the trip, guides not only provide information about the aurora borealis, local history and Icelandic culture, but also assist participants with finding the right setting on their cameras or smartphones to capture the best images. Free professional photographs are also available if you'd prefer to simply admire the sky. Reviewers rave about the colorful lights and appreciate the small size of the group. Several travelers also called out the insightful guides as a highlight.

These minibus rides happen every night from September to mid-April starting at 9 p.m. and last from three to five hours. Transportation from area hotels is available. There is a maximum of 15 participants per each tour. Iceland Everywhere Tours also offers guided excursions to the South Coast and the Golden Circle.

Funky Iceland – The Funky Food & Beer Walk

Price: Adults from 18,000 króna (about $131); kids from 7,500 króna (about $55) Duration: 3 hours

Enjoy a culinary adventure on this three-hour walking tour of Reykjavik. The tour has five food stops featuring nine traditional Icelandic dishes, such as lamb stew, dried fish and fermented shark, as well as five locally crafted beers. Foodies tend to relish the savvy guides' insights into Icelandic culture and cuisine. Tours start outside the Hallgrímskirkja Church at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Groups range in size from two to eight people.

Icelandic Mountain Guides – Blue Ice Experience

Price: Adults from 18,999 króna (about $138); kids from 13,299 króna (about $97) Duration: 3.5 hours

Hike among the ice formations, crevasses and frozen ridges of the enormous Vatnajökull glacier on this small-group expedition. Outings of up to 15 people commence at the welcome center at Skaftafell (about 200 miles southeast of Reykjavik) and last about 3.5 hours, including up to 1.5 to two hours on the ice. Past participants consistently describe the scenery as stunning and the guides as professional and informative.

Tours are available multiple times a day, beginning at 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Children younger than 10 may not join the tour. Prices include the use of ice axes, harnesses and crampons. Icelandic Mountain Guides operates a variety of glacier walks, snowmobile tours and guided hikes.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Hotels in Reykjavik
  • The Northern Lights in Iceland: How to See Them
  • The Best Northern Lights Alaska Cruises for 2024 & Beyond
  • The Best Places to Visit in Europe
  • The Best International Travel Insurance

Tags: Iceland , Tours , Travel , Vacations

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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Perfect 2 Days in Reykjavik: The Ultimate Itinerary for a Short Stay in Iceland’s Capital

A re you planning an Iceland family vacation? This guide will focus on Reykjavik and share our 2 days in Reykjavik Iceland itinerary to help you plan your time in Iceland’s capital.

I honestly never thought we would visit Iceland as a family. It never even occurred to me to consider it but that is exactly what we did for our summer trip in 2023.

We had a 2-day layover in Iceland and decided to spend it touring Reykjavik. There are so many cool things to see in Iceland, I’ll share add-ons later in this article, but I want to focus on how to make the most of 48 hours in Reykjavik.

Overview of Two Days in Reykjavik

Day 1: arrival in iceland.

  • Depart on a red-eye flight from Toronto, Canada. I do not recommend a red eye, which I go more into below in my detailed itinerary, but if you are flying from the East Coast the flight is only around 5 hours. You will arrive in the morning in Iceland and most likely be exhausted.
  • Travel from airport to Reykjavik, Iceland. Check-in to hotel.
  • Brunch at The Laundromat Cafe, explore the sites around our hotel until we could get in our apartment.
  • Dinner at the famous Icelandic Hot Dog stand.

Day 2: Full Day in Reykjavik

  • Puffin Boat Tour
  • Walked along Rainbow Road
  • Whale Museum
  • Perlan Museum
  • Explored the City

Day 3: Early Departure Flight to London

  • We include this as part of our layover so we only stayed 2 nights in the city. It was enough to see Reykjavik and we had a great time. If you would like to see more of Iceland you may want to add more nights to your vacation.

Read on for all the details on how we planned our visit to Iceland with the kids, where we stayed, where we ate and what we did during our family vacation in Iceland.

Preparing for Your Trip to Reykjavik

Iceland became part of our 12 Day Europe Itinerary because during my flight research I found IcelandAir had the best prices for our trip, from the East Coast.

We flew out of Toronto, Canada and had the option to include a 1 to 7 night layover into the trip. This did not change the price of our flight that continued on to London.

I knew we had to include a family vacation to Iceland in our itinerary and we decided on 2 nights to focus on Reykjavik and experience Iceland.

How long is the flight to Iceland from the US?

This was one of the things that really surprised me during our trip.

The flight to Iceland from NY is around 4.5-5 hours . There is also a 4-5 hour time difference depending on if you visit during daylight saving time.

I booked a redeye flight because I expected it to be longer. Needless to say we didn’t sleep more than 20 minutes during the flight and arrived in Iceland early morning.

How do you get around in Iceland?

The main airport is Keflavik and there are two popular ways to get around Iceland. Visitors either rent a car and drive or make reservations with bus tours.

We made a bus reservation with Flybus Iceland for transportation to and from Reykjavik.

Large buses are not allowed within the city. Guests traveling from the airport to Reykjavik take a bus to the bus station and then transfer to a smaller bus to get to the city center.

Family Trip to Iceland Cost

Iceland is not a very budget friendly place to visit. As a family of five we knew we would spend more than usual on things like food and accommodations.

Below is the breakdown of cost of Iceland family vacation, not including our flight cost.

  • Transportation Costs: $200.00 (this was the Flybus transportation to/from airport to Reykjavik)
  • Accommodation Cost: $838.00 (2 nights at Hotel Odinsve Apartments )
  • Food Cost: $338.00
  • Attraction Cost: $400.00

Where to Stay in Reykjavik Iceland

We stayed at the Hotel Odinsve apartments . These were great for a family of five because they have separate bedroom areas as well as kitchen and living room area.

The location was perfect for walking around and exploring Reykjavík. We were within walking distance of everything in the city.

The great thing about having an apartment is we could stop at the local grocery store to pick up drinks and snacks. This saved us a bit of money and was really convenient. Read our full review: Great Family Hotel Reykjavik Iceland with Kids

Do they speak English in Iceland?

Yes they do speak English in Iceland. The native language is Icelandic but everyone we interacted with spoke English.

I am sure there are areas in Iceland where there may be limited English speaking but within the area of Reykjavik we didn’t encounter much language barriers.

Do they use US dollars in Iceland?

In Iceland they use the Icelandic Krona. When we arrived at the airport we used the ATM to have some cash on us but most of the time we used our credit card.

We didn’t have any issues using the credit card at all locations but make sure you check with your credit card for foreign transaction fees.

What is Weather Like in Iceland?

The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. Expect cold temperatures in the winter and milder temperatures in the summer months.

We visited Iceland in June and the weather ranged from 40s (F) to 60s (F). Be prepared for any weather when you visit Iceland.

I suggest wearing layers for June-August and pack hats, gloves, and cold weather items for the other months. It is better to be overprepared than under prepared because purchasing extra items can be expensive.

2 Days in Iceland Itinerary

For our 2 days in Iceland itinerary we had to decide what we wanted to see on our family trip to Iceland, and what we didn’t have time to fit in.

There are so many beautiful nature things to see in Iceland but we decided to focus our time on Reykjavik.

We didn’t visit any hot springs or the Blue Lagoon but if we had more time I would have included it.

There was enough things to see and do in Reykjavik, that we focused on exploring the town and allow ourselves to not feel rushed during our visit.

We had time to walk around and had so much fun exploring the capital city. Don’t worry if you don’t have a car. Walking was a great way to see a lot!

At the end of this post I share more of the best places to visit in Iceland if you have a longer time to visit.

Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik

We made the under 3 hour drive from our home in Rochester, NY to Toronto for our nonstop flight to Reykjavik. As I mentioned earlier I thought the flight would be long and a redeye would allow us to sleep.

I was wrong! With the 4 hour time change and a 4.5 hour flight we arrived in Reykjavik at 8:30am. Most east coast major airlines will offer nonstop flights to Iceland.

Once we arrived we gathered our luggage, used the airport ATM to take a bit of money out, and headed out of the airport to catch the bus.

We booked Flybus because it was the most affordable option for our family of five and it had flexible timing. This meant we could board any bus available upon arrival.

We took the bus to the bus station and then had to transfer to a smaller bus that would drop us off at a bus stop.

Reykjavik does not have much car traffic and most bus stops will be located within a short walking distance to your hotel. If you are not renting a car, Flybus is the best way to get from the airport to the city.

Our bus stop was at Hallgrimskirkja which is the famous church in the city. From there we walked the short 10 minute walk to Hotel Odinsve to check-in.

I knew we wouldn’t be able to get in our room yet so we stored our luggage at the hotel and went to our first stop: breakfast at The Laundromat Cafe .

The breakfast was exactly what we needed to recharge a bit before we started exploring. There was also coffee involved to get me moving!

I need to take a minute to mention ordering coffee. Most places had drip coffee if you specified that is what you wanted, otherwise you may get something different than a traditional American cup of coffee.

You do not see people walking around with travel coffee cups like you do in the United States. I am a big coffee lover and was thankful that I could find something comparable to home to start our day.

After brunch we decided to walk around with no real destination. We were using it to get a feel for the area and made our way to Harpa Concert Hall.

Harpa is home to the Iceland Orchestra and offers other art and music events. From the outside it is visually stunning. On sunny days the sun reflects off the mirrored building and water making it a beautiful sight.

On our visit it was mostly gray but we did go inside to check it out and warm up. The building was really pretty and worth checking out.

At this point we realized we were underprepared for the weather. I had been watching the weather but didn’t realize it would be so damp and chilly at the end of June.

Thankfully we all brought winter hats but we did not bring gloves or jackets. We layered our sweatshirts and stopped indoors to warm up as we explored.

We packed light because we were continuing on to London and Paris where the weather would be warmer.

It is not the most fashionable but it worked for what we needed to do. If you are visiting I would at least pack gloves and hat for walking around and lots of layers.

After Harpa we made our way to Rainbow Road and visited some of the shops. We didn’t purchase anything other than an ornament because it was pricey. It was fun to browse though.

Then we went into Hallgrimskirkja, which is the big church in the city center. You can purchase tickets to go to the top and see the view but it is free to enter the ground level.

Hallgrimskirkja is the largest church in Iceland and has become a symbol for the country due to the unique architecture.

After exploring we headed back to the lobby of the hotel to wait for our room. We were staying at the Hotel Odinsve Apartments. The check-in is located at the Hotel Odinsve but the apartments are located through the city.

Our apartment was across the street from the hotel but we found another one on Rainbow Road. They are all laid out basically the same.

The apartments were great because they fit the whole family. They had a kitchen, dining and living room area as well as two bedrooms.

Each bedroom had 2 twin beds and the living room had a sleeper sofa. All the beds were very comfortable and we would highly recommend staying here. Read our review of the hotel: Great Family Hotel Reykjavik Iceland with Kids

After we got settled in our hotel we were trying to not fall asleep after the long day of travel and make it to dinner. We rested for a short bit and then headed out to do some shopping and get dinner.

We walked to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur which is the famous hot dog stand in Iceland.

Iceland is known for Icelandic hot dogs so we knew we had to try them. They were okay and not something we loved.

I suggest trying them for yourself to see what you think. Definitely order them with the crunchy onions!

After dinner we made the short walk back to our hotel room. It had been a long day and we were all exhausted.

We had a full day planned for tomorrow and wanted to get a good nights sleep.

One thing to consider purchasing before you arrive in Iceland is a sleep mask . In the summer months you will see the midnight sun because of the very short nighttime hours. This can make sleeping difficult.

It was very odd and I didn’t think it would bother me, but even with only 2 nights in Iceland we noticed that lack of darkness at night. A sleep mask makes it a little easier to sleep.

Day 2: Puffin Tour and Perlan Museum

For our 2nd day in Iceland, our only full day, we had so many things planned! It was an ambitious itinerary but we were ready to see everything we could in our short visit.

We started with grabbing breakfast at Braud & Co . These were some of the most delicious breakfast pasties we had during our entire trip! Totally worth including in your trip.

I also got a hot cup of coffee for our walk to the harbor. This kept my hands warm for the short walk.

Then we made our way to the harbor for our Puffin Express tour. As we walked we took some photos on Rainbow Road.

Puffin Express Tour with Special Tours

When planning this family trip to Iceland I knew we wanted to see the Puffins but I was worried we wouldn’t have time.

Whale Watching is also a popular activity in Iceland that wouldn’t make it on our itinerary.

As I researched ways to experience these activities within the city of Reykjavik I found Special Tours. Special Tours offers all different excursion throughout the year.

We partnered with them for their Puffin Express Tour and the Whales of Iceland museum. Both were an excellent addition to our trip.

The Puffin Express Tour is a one hour boat ride to a small island where you can see the Puffins. It takes 15 minutes to get to the island, 30 minutes where you float around, and 15 minutes back.

Again we were not prepared for the weather but thankfully guests can ride in an enclosed sitting area where snacks and drinks are available as you make your way to the island.

Once we arrived we made our way up to watch the Puffins. Binoculars are provided by Special Tours to get a better look at the Puffins.

Something I learned on the tour-Puffins are small! They are much smaller than I expected and having the binoculars really helped. If you want to get close up pictures be sure to bring a camera capable of zooming in.

At this point 2 out of 5 of us were starting to feel the movement of the boat. It was choppy being out at sea and I am very sensitive to motion sickness with boats.

The staff was wonderful in making sure we felt comfortable and gave us tips to not get sick.

Thankfully we didn’t and once our feet were back on land we were good. The short boat ride makes this great for people prone to seasickness.

After the Puffin Express we walked about 15 minutes to the Whales of Iceland Museum. This is the largest whale museum in Europe.

It does not take very long to tour, maybe about an hour. If you want to do the audio tour and kids scavenger hunt it may take a bit longer. We took our time and enjoyed the peacefulness of it all.

As you walk through there are whale sounds and I found the entire place, although small, to be a nice area to explore.

For lunch we made our way back into the city center and ate at 101 Reykjavik Street Food . I got the chicken soup and it was perfect after a chillier morning out on the boat.

Everyone in the family liked their meal and it was a good choice for lunch.

After lunch we stopped for a bit at our hotel room. We decided to make the walk to Perlan. Perlan is an Iceland museum but it is not in the city center.

It is located about 2 miles away. We didn’t want to add the cost of transportation to our trip and the weather was fine so we walked it.

There is public transportation available for a fee but walking was actually okay. All of the roads had sidewalks and the path to Perlan was a public trail. It took us about 30 minutes to walk.

The trail is uphill so keep in mind if you have a stroller or mobility issues.

Perlan is a perfect place because kids of all ages can enjoy it.

There are a few travel destinations within Iceland that are not suited for all ages but a visit to Perlan can allow young children to experience some of the great things about Iceland without leavening Reykjavik.

Our favorite exhibit was the ice cave. This is included in admission. Guests can walk through a carved out ice cave.

We were not prepared for how cold this was, notice a theme of not being dressed for the weather in Iceland!

It was so much fun we barely noticed the cold and we spent around 15 minutes walking though the ice cave.

It is supposed to mimic a glacier and it does a good job of making guests feel like they are exploring a real glacier.

After the ice cave we went to the top floor to view the panoramic views of the city. There is also a ice cream shop if you are looking for a snack.

After Perlan we went to dinner at Reykyjavik Chips . This simple chicken nugget and fry place was one of our favorites. We shared a couple orders and got to try multiple dipping sauces.

This was a great place to eat with kids in Reykjavik.

After dinner we headed to dessert. We were not really hungry but there was one more place we wanted to visit during our trip to Iceland.

Voffluvagninn waffle cart is located outside the Hallgrimskirkja church. It is easy to find because you can easily find the church from basically anywhere in the city.

We ordered three waffles desserts to take back to our room for an evening snack. It was so good!

After dessert we started to pack up for our very early flight to London. Our pick up time at the church was 4:00am. It was very easy to check-out early in the morning and walk to the church, that is one perk of it never getting dark!

Additional Attractions to Add-On to Itinerary

Due to our short visit we didn’t have time to include other Iceland destinations into our itinerary. If you do here are a few suggestions:

Drive Ring Road

If you have a rental car you may want to drive around Ring Road. Ring Road takes about a week in the summer months to drive and longer in the winter months.

There are many natural wonders from waterfalls, geothermal waters, and lava fields. The natural beauty on a golden circle tour is another thing you may want to see if you have more time.

You may also want to include these popular destinations: Gullfoss Waterfal, Gluggafoss Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, and Skogafoss.

One of the best ways to see this is with a tour guide but if that is not your thing you can do a self-guided tour as well. Check out this blog article for more information on what to see and do on Ring Road.

Geothermal Pools, Beaches, and Tours

We would have also liked to visit one of the geothermal pools like Blue Lagoon or Secret Lagoon but it just didn’t work out with our time. Another great place to visit is the black sand beaches and Thingvellir National Park .

If you like adventures you may want to do one of the guided tours like Horseback riding in Iceland or a Lava Tunnel Tour .

Another museum in Iceland that may not be for everyone but is worth mentioning is the Icelandic Phallological Museum . We didn’t visit but the teens did find it funny to find it and take a picture in front of it!

Final Thoughts on Visiting Reykjavik Iceland

One of the misconceptions I had about visiting Iceland is that it is too far and we wouldn’t have enough time to enjoy it.

It was actually very easy to travel to Iceland. Of course we didn’t see and do everything but the things we did see and do in Iceland were incredible.

We made amazing family memories and it was a bucket list trip! Experiencing another culture and getting a taste of the best things to do in Iceland was a family trip we will never forget.

Read Next: Family Trip to London | 3 Night London Itinerary

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Thank you for reading my post! This post may contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you. Although we try to provide the most up-to-date prices, we do not guarantee prices listed on our site. At times we are compensated or hosted by destination and brands. All opinions are honest and my own. If you would like to learn about how I work with affiliate partners you can read more here .

The post Perfect 2 Days in Reykjavik: The Ultimate Itinerary for a Short Stay in Iceland’s Capital appeared first on Five for the Road .

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This is the best time to visit Iceland

The best time to visit iceland depends on what you want to do and where you want to explore.

The Goðafoss waterfall in Iceland's Diamond Circle.

Iceland is one of the most fascinating countries in the world: an oversized island of fire and ice between North America and mainland Europe in the North Atlantic. While this island is somewhat larger than Ireland, Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, which means Iceland abounds in open spaces and natural wonders . And with Reykjavík as its cultural center, Iceland touts additional great lures, from a thriving art and music scene to intriguing cuisine and colorful architecture.

What happens in a year in Iceland?

When is the busy season, when is the best time to visit iceland well, what are you hoping to do here.

  • Don’t have much time? Try a stopover

One of the country’s greatest features has to do with its positioning. Being so far north, Iceland is treated to wildly long days right around the summer solstice. The weather tends to be cool and wet, but it’s compensated for by the hyper-extended days. During June, the sun there tends to set around 23:00 (or 11 p.m.) and come up around 4:00 (or 4 a.m.). It’s prime time to cross things off your Nordic bucket list, like driving around the whole country via the gorgeous Ring Road or trekking up north to dip in the restorative waters of Mývatn . But when is the best time to visit Iceland? Keep reading and we’ll give you a guide.

Iceland has many merits, regardless of when you’re visiting. Winter is something else up here, as the sun generally barely comes up in time for lunch, and sunset follows a few short hours later. However, winter can be a good time to go to Iceland since Icelanders have creative ways of dealing with the long winter darkness, like stringing colorful lights throughout the city.

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Though snow usually falls this time of year, it’s surprisingly light for a country this close to the Arctic Circle, thanks to the warming effect of the North Atlantic Current . And, if you’re lucky, you may even sneak a peek at the Northern Lights. If nothing else, you can cozy up in a great bar or cafe or take in a show at the remarkable Harpa .

Spring tends to be pretty blustery and cool, and many of the more remote seasonal roads reopen as the snow recedes. You’ll enjoy less-expensive travel rates, but the weather can be more tumultuous. The fall doesn’t last long in Iceland, and the dark days return rather quickly, but there are some intriguing draws, such as late-season salmon fishing. Also, there are some great gatherings, namely Iceland Airwaves , an eclectic music festival that takes place every November in various locations throughout Reykjavík.

Summer is certainly the busiest tourist stretch for Iceland, but it might be worthwhile if you enjoy traveling to a lively destination with bustling cities and a wide array of open activities. In contrast, things tend to open later (if at all) and close earlier during the colder off-season. In the swinging (relative) heat of summer, there’s generally more energy in the air in Reykjavík, and the city especially comes to life.

Visiting Iceland is no longer a secret since many major U.S. cities now offer direct flights. With that said, it remains a fairly affordable European destination, even during the summer high season . If you insist on traveling during the warmer months, we suggest booking on the early side, given the heightened interest.

Again, if you want warmer weather, more hiking and outdoor exploring opportunities, longer days, and livelier city nights, then late spring and early summer are the best times for you to visit Iceland. You’ll see other tourists, sure, but with the extended days, vast open country, and Reykjavik’s many accessible shops, museums, restaurants, and more, you might feel like you can have your Icelandic hot dog and eat it, too. May, June, and July generally produce the longest days, warmest weather, and best opportunities to explore area attractions like geysers, national parks , waterfalls, and puffin-filled cliff sides.

But if you prefer fewer crowds, more opportunities to experience Iceland’s iconic Northern Lights , trips to explore the island’s incredible ice caves , and excursions to spot orcas swimming in the open sea, then the winter season is probably the best time to visit Iceland for you. More specifically, February and March are usually the best months for whale watching, the vernal equinox makes for a particularly spectacular Northern Lights “show”, and November and January tend to be the quietest and least crowded months on the island.

Fortunately for all of us, Iceland offers a treasure trove of unique experiences year-round. But now that you have a better sense of the best time to visit Iceland for specific experiences and happenings, you now have a better idea of when’s the perfect time to plan your ideal Icelandic getaway.

Don’t have much time? Try a stopover

So you’ve put Iceland on your travel list, but you have your heart set on a trip to somewhere like London , and you don’t think you can fit Iceland into your travel plans? We’ve got good news: There’s a way that you can do both.

It’s called a stopover, and it’s a way you can add a couple of days in Iceland on your way to or from Europe without paying extra airfare. The way it works is if you book a round-trip flight between the U.S. and Europe on Icelandair, Iceland’s largest airline, you can add a stopover of up to seven days on either leg of the trip (stopovers aren’t available with one-way tickets) for no additional airfare. This way, you get to both an Icelandic adventure and continue to have one in Europe. It’s the best of both worlds.

But one word of warning: Once you stopover in Iceland, you might not want to get back on the plane to finish your trip.

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Mark Stock

Do you want to escape to paradise without a passport? When it comes to beach vacations, the United States boasts an array of stunning islands that rival any international tropical destination. Whether you are looking for soft sands, crystal-clear waters, or vibrant marine and wildlife, these islands offer it all and more. Let’s dive into the top seven U.S. islands that promise sun-soaked adventures and ultimate relaxation.  1. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Situated about 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket, Massachusetts, is the embodiment of New England charm. This cozy beach town features cobblestone streets, historic cottages, and a laid-back coastal vibe. Additionally, Nantucket features some of the most pristine beaches on the East Coast, such as Madaket Beach and Ladies Beach. When you’re not lounging on the beach, you can stroll through the quaint town center, lined with boutiques, galleries, and restaurants featuring seafood delicacies such as the world-famous lobster roll. Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in activities like biking along the island’s scenic trails or embarking on a whale-watching excursion. 2. Maui, Hawaii

Yosemite National Park Rakshith Hatwar via Unsplash

With its mix of spring and summer, June is an ideal time to get away. There’s a lingering freshness in the air, but there’s also a sweet warmth inching in. It’s a time to be outside, experience nature, and take in new places. Not only that, but since peak crowds haven’t arrived, you could score a deal on airfare and lodging.

Italy, with its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and world-famous cuisine, has long been a favorite destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. Amidst its picturesque scenery lie some of Europe’s most captivating natural wonders– the Italian lakes. Whether you are relaxing by the water or embarking on a scenic hike, the lakes in Italy provide a gorgeous backdrop. These are just a few beautiful Italian lakes to add to your bucket list. 1. Lake Garda

Location: Northern Italy Where to stay: Popular towns to stay in include Sirmione, Bardolino, and Malcesine. How to get there: Lake Garda is easily accessible by both car and public transportation. Major airports such as Verona Villafranca Airport and Milan Bergamo Airport are within driving distance, and train services connect nearby cities like Verona and Brescia to the lake’s shores.

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  • Flight Deals

This Low-cost Airline Has Flights to Europe Starting at $99 — but You’ll Have to Book Soon

Play Airlines has discounted flights to Iceland, Amsterdam, London, Paris, and more until May 27.

single day tours iceland

Courtesy of PLAY Airlines

Low-cost Icelandic airline Play is celebrating the Memorial Day holiday with a flash sale that has one-way flights to Europe starting at just $99.

The sale, which must be booked by midnight ET on May 27, is valid on travel from August through December, Play shared with Travel + Leisure . The flash sale is available for travel to some of Europe’s most popular destinations from Iceland and Amsterdam to Paris and beyond.

“Summer is finally here and Play challenges travelers to get ahead on their shoulder season trips to take advantage of low prices and a calmer time of the year to visit top tourist destinations,” Einar Örn Ólafsson, Play’s CEO, told T+L. “Getaways during the fall and winter are a perfect time to unwind after a hectic summer, and Play wants to make these trips more affordable with this Memorial Day Discount to kick off summer and travel planning.”

Travelers can save big with $99 one-way flights to Iceland, or pay just $129 for one-way flights to Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, London, and Paris, according to the airline. 

The sale flights are available from any of Play’s gateway airports in the United States: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), New York Stewart International Airport (SWF), or Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Exact travel dates and blackout dates vary by destination. Flights to Iceland, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, and Paris, for example, are valid on Mondays from Aug. 19 to Nov. 25 and from Dec. 2 to Dec. 16. Travelers must book a roundtrip flight to take advantage of the sale.

Play, which first started operating flights in Europe in 2021 before finally launching its first flight from the U.S. , operates a "hub-and-spoke model" in which all flights connect through Reykjavik before heading on to other destinations across Europe. The airline flies to more than two dozen European cities .

Play is a low-cost carrier and charges per flight leg for everything from checked bags to food and drinks.

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