10 Best Iceland Tour Operators 2023 [Unbiased & With Reviews]
10 best iceland tour operators 2023.
Are you planning to visit Iceland, but unsure which tour provider to select? Now, you no longer have to waste time searching the internet and filling out dozens of contact forms. Simply fill out ONE form, we’ll send it off to multiple tour providers and they’ll contact YOU! You’ll be able to compare rates and find the lowest cost tour for the most affordable trip abroad.
Have you wanted to explore the magnificent landscapes in Iceland? Do you want to have a life-changing adventure with a top-rated Iceland tour operator ? Are you wondering how to find affordable and top-notch tours to Iceland?
Iceland is an island of remarkable landscapes where rivers run through the deserts while molten lava casually erupts from ice. The country is known for its contrasting scenes where the natural elements dance between poles during the long winters, and in summer, the sun never sets. Iceland is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise as a country perpetually covered in snow and the most volcanic-active region in the world. Also known as the land of myths and legends, you can find underground caves, glittering glaciers, and scenic national parks full of wild reindeer.
While it may seem like a candid task to find the best tour company to guide you during your trip abroad, finding and selecting the best tour company in Iceland can get very complicated. When you search for prospects, you will find pages upon pages of great possibilities to visit Iceland. All these options will also have different costs, tour packages, and expertise in the Iceland tourism industry. Devoting your time and hard-earned money to an agency without having all the information or doing thorough research can result in you having a disastrous Iceland tour.
TravellersQuest ‘s goal is for you to invest in a company that only gives you a safe, fun, and fulfilling trip abroad. Thankfully, we have a seamless solution to help you achieve your dream tour to Iceland, giving you more than you could have anticipated. Our research team has spent hours analyzing hundreds of best Iceland tour companies by comparing their prices, the quality of their tour packages, and their online reviews. We have therefore put together this great and reliable list of best tour companies in Iceland.
Here is an unbiased list of the Top 10 highly rated and professional tour providers in Iceland.
Table update Oct 13, 2021
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #3 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2020 Reviews: 667 reviews on Trip Advisor
Hidden Iceland is a boutique best Iceland tour company specializing in small group tours and personalized tour services. Established by young professional experts, the company works with passionate and experienced guides who design well-crafted tours that are truly unforgettable. Their philosophy and goal are to be the most trusted and dependable, working to help local communities. Hidden Iceland believes their superior services will your trip into an unforgettable experience no matter what you choose to do in Iceland.
You will have many Iceland vacation tour packages with Hidden Iceland, and they can personalize any tour to fit what you are searching for.
You can join any of the many Iceland Glacier Tours , but the most popular is the South Coast Fire and Ice trip. This tour is action-packed with the best parts of the south coast, including massive glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic black sandy beaches, and the world-famous volcanoes. On the Private Golden Circle Platinum Tour , you will hunt for the northern lights with a perfect combination of relaxation adventures featuring Iceland’s renowned Golden Circle area. The south of Iceland is vibrant and holds all of Iceland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites . In addition, you will discover vast lava fields, visible tectonic shifts, volcanoes, glaciers, archipelagos, and rock formations.
Hidden Iceland delivers the best private tours in Iceland and has earned a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor in 2020. Besides, they have a 5-star rating and are ranked #3 of tours in Reykjavik for offering excellent tour packages. You can read this lovely review left by a former traveler:
“The whole experience was fantastic, but the best part was the glacier hike and hanging out with our superb guide Ingimundur. I highly recommend Hidden Iceland. They were super responsive, and everything was exactly as planned. I wish they could arrange all my travel plans. If you go to Iceland and don’t use Hidden Iceland, you are missing out.” – Rakram: July 2021
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #4 Trip Advisor Reviews: 5,135 reviews on Trip Advisor 99% rated exceptional and professional
CityWalk Reykjavik is a highly rated and best Iceland tour company established in 2014 but swiftly evolved into one of the best Iceland tour companies that host thousands of visitors every month. They specialize in free classic tours and unique guided free walking tours in Reykjavík. The company is renowned and has been featured in international blogs and leading travel social media platforms. Furthermore, CityWalk Reykjavik is highly rated for being cost-effective, professional guides, and quality tour packages in Iceland. Join them for a life-changing vacation abroad!
Your trip to Iceland will only get better with any of the CityWalk Reykjavik’s wonderful tour packages to Iceland for great adventures.
This tour not only sets you up to find the legendary Northern Lights , but it’s also an opportunity to discover the stars and special constellations in the sky with beautiful celestial displays. The Golden Circle Classic is the best-selling tour that will allow you to see the iconic erupting geyser and hot springs, discover the mighty Gullfoss Waterfalls, and learn the ancient history of the Vikings. In the morning, you can join the Iceland Horse Riding Tour on the outskirts of Reykjavik.
CityWalk Reykjavik is ranked number #4 out of 489 tours in Reykjavik for outstanding customer service. They also have over 5,140 positive reviews on Trip Advisor , with almost 100% of clients rating them as professional and exceptional making them one of the best Iceland tour companies. You can see what this past customer said:
“Our guide tour Erik was very knowledgeable and funny! We enjoyed a lot learning about the city and the country and would totally recommend it to anyone.” – Ingrid M: July 2021
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #4 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2015/2019 Reviews: 2,159 reviews on Trip Advisor
Operating out of Reykjavik, Superjeep.is is arguably one of the best tour companies in Iceland, with professional guides and highly rated tour packages. With years of experience in the tourism industry, the company specializes in transport, offering 4by4 Land Rover Defender and Ford Excursion. They deliver the most affordable and safest tailor-made private tours and have been award the certificate of excellence by Trip Advisor for seven years in a row.
No matter which best private tours Iceland options you choose, you can be sure that you will be traveling in style for a dream vacation abroad.
Their Northern Lights Superjeep Tour takes you to experience a unique natural phenomenon in the world. For the best outdoor experience, take the Iceland Private Golden Circle and Langjokull Glacier tour and visit Thingvellir National Park, where the Icelandic parliament was created 1000 years ago. On the South Coast Day Tour , Superjeep.is will take you to see Katla Ice, the Secret Ice Cave, and the blue ice that is over 800 years old.
This Iceland tour has a great reputation for delivering affordable and high-quality packages to the best attractions in the country. Whether you join a group or private tour, their 5-star rating on Trip Advisor will give you the confidence to trust them to deliver a memorable trip. You can read about this best Iceland tour company’s customers on this review:
“We had a brilliant tour yesterday, including driving on a glacier! The outstanding guide and the modified Land Rover Defender were incredible. Highly recommended, but this top of your list when you visit Iceland.” – TheMelds: July 2021
Nordurflug Helicopter Tours
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #6 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2019 Reviews: 1,314 reviews on Trip Advisor
Nordurflug Helicopter Tours is one of the largest helicopter tour companies in Iceland with, a long reputation for excellent customer service and great operational standards. The company offers the largest fleet of helicopters, so they are flexible, and for your complete comfort, all their helicopter seats face forward. They have a team of hardworking pilots who continuously provide exceptional service with care. Besides, Nordurflug Helicopter Tours is one of the best Iceland tour companies, according to Trip Advisor.
Nordurflug Helicopter Tours provides wonderful opportunities across many locations. You will not miss an Iceland tour package that meets all your interests.
On the company’s most popular Geothermal Tour , you will fly over Hellisheidi Plateau one of the most active volcanic zones that cover lava fields. You will see colorful basalt mountains, hot springs, and the geothermal power plant that supplies renewable energy to Reykjavik. The Fire and Ice Tour Iceland offers an exceptional combination of excursions by first landing on a glacier, then on a volcano. Have you ever wondered how it feels to be near a volcano? The Volcano Eruption Tour is a chance to experience the explosion sites in Geldingadalur.
This best Iceland tour operator has earned a solid 5-star rating with almost 1,400 reviews on Trip Advisor . The company was also awarded the Certificate of Excellence in 2019 and is ranked at #5 of 321 outdoors tours in Reykjavik. You can read about how well they provide their services here:
“ Vulcano tour with my kids! Fantastic company, very nice, best service, nice pilots with knowledge about the surroundings. We didn’t see the vulcano active; they gave us a second chance for a really nice deal!” – Gitta K: July 2021
Your Day Tours
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #2 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2017/18/19 Reviews: 4066 reviews on Trip Advisor 99% rated exceptional and great
Your Day Tours is a multi-award-winning family-owned best Iceland tour company based in Reykjavik. The company specializes in high-end travel tours of Iceland at affordable prices with utmost safety precautions. The expeditions are offered in small groups, with a mission to show you all the hidden gems with the best personal service so that your vacation in Iceland will be as good as possible. Your Day Tours’ guides are mostly family members with years of experience and know the country in and out.
Your Day Tour offers high-quality package tours to Iceland, and they are well suited for any traveler, including families, couples, or individuals.
Experience the South Coast by taking a Glacial Lagoon and Iceland South Coast Day tour to see the spectacular floating icebergs in Jokulsarlon and the Skaftafell National Park. Take a tour to Secret Lagoon to see stunning sceneries that bring out the area’s true beauty on a well-conditioned and comfortable jeep. For an amazing day of everchanging landscapes, join the Thingvellir National Park with a local expert guide to see the Ice Caves, lava falls, and the spectacular Thingvellir National Park.
Your Day Tours is ranked #2 of 321 outdoor activities in Reykjavik and has earned hundreds of glowing and raving Iceland tour reviews on Trip Advisor . They also have earned the Certificate of Excellence three years in a row with a solid 5-star rating because of their top-notch Iceland glacier tours. You can read about a review here:
“Thor was an awesome tour guide. Full of very interesting stories and knowledgeable guy. This trip is worth every penny. My wife and I were pretty lucky with the weather conditions. Elvis K, May 2023
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #11 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2019/2020 Reviews: 369 reviews on Trip Advisor
Moonwalker is a family-owned best Iceland tour company based in Reykjavik. With experienced drivers and rugged vehicles, the company enjoys nothing better than going out and exploring the vast beauty of their rugged cars and experienced drivers. If you are looking for a day tour with tremendous fun and pleasure and good personal service, you are in the right place. Besides, Moonwalker is a multi-award-winning, fully licensed tour operator in Iceland.
Moonwalker has many top-notch package tours to Iceland for you to choose from, for exceptional chances to discover the country.
Porsmork Valley is a heaven for hikers and the best hiking destination in Iceland. On this tour, you will see three glaciers, beautiful volcanic landscapes, and Stakkholtsgja Canyon. During the Ultimate Circle Private Adventure Tour , you will try snowmobiling, ice-caving, off-road cruising, and waterfalls and geysers all in one day. If you are looking for spectacular outdoor escapades, take the Iceland South Coast Private Adventure Tour to see the waterfalls and black sand.
Over the years that Moonwalker has been in business, they have accumulated outstanding feedback from many past clients. On Trip Advisor , the company has been rated with 5-stars out of over 369 reviews and earned the Certificate of Excellence in 2019 and 2020 for best Iceland tour companies. Here is a review from satisfied adventurer:
“Moonwalker is an amazing way to tour Iceland with. Bessi is knowledgeable and practices safety all the time. We have been to Iceland twice and he has been our person to go to. I highly recommend Moonwalker for an unforgettable, fun, private, personalized tour through Iceland.” – Maradelavega: Jun 2021
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #10 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2020 Reviews: 155 reviews on Trip Advisor 98% rated outstanding and great
Adventure Patrol is the best Iceland tour catering luxury and the private travel market. A fully Icelandic-owned and run, the company prides itself on flexibility and reliability. They specialize in organizing personalized Iceland tour packages for families and small groups that can be tailor-made to meet your budget and needs. With their super-jeeps, Adventure Patrol leaves no place inaccessible, and if you are looking for added comfort, they also have luxury vehicles. In addition, the guides are passionate about creating a unique experience with fun and creativity to your satisfaction.
Adventure Patrol has an exciting array of Iceland-guided tour packages from volcanoes, glaciers, and Northern Lights escapades.
The Iceland Grand Adventure is a private tour that allows you to circumnavigate the island and to get to all hidden gems for a minimum of eight days, depending on your preferences. Located in the Southwest region, Reykjanes Peninsula is a geothermal phenomenon, where lighthouses outnumber villages and a hotbed for recreational activities. Golden Circle Adventure is the most popular tour in Iceland, and for a great reason! This excursion combines Iceland’s history with exceptional geology and a breath-taking sight such as the largest natural lake, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, and rivers.
Adventure Patrol has earned its place on this top 10 list of best company tours in Iceland because of its glowing reviews and many satisfied past tourists. With 156 reviews and a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor in 2020, the company is praised for outstanding customer service and professionalism. Here is a review received recently:
“Arnar and the team at Adventure Patrol were phenomenal and brought us on the best trip we’ve ever been on. We were looking for some” off-the-grid” places to enjoy with someone who we could trust and who knows how to have a good time with . Adventure Patrol exceeded all of our expectations and I highly recommend them to anyone coming to Iceland!” – 298jacob: May 2019
Company’s location and type: Reykjavik, Local Tour Operator Awards, Certification: Ranked #8 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2020 Reviews: 144 reviews on Trip Advisor
Reykjavik Erupts is a small family and friends-based company and of our top 10 best Iceland tour companies. Founded by Dofri Hermannsson, a professional tour guide with a deep love for nature and a great flair for storytelling, the company is authentic, friendly, and specialized in showing you Iceland’s magnificent landscape. They specialize in the best day tours in Iceland and customized tours for groups. Besides, all the guides at Reykjavik Erupts have years of experience guiding and living the unique and vibrant volcanic island, Iceland.
If you are looking for the best package tour to Iceland, Reykjavik Erupts provides you with various unique options to enjoy.
The Golden Circle Tour is famous, and you can take a stroll at Thingvellir, a distinctive place with phenomenal history and geology and one of the best lava center volcanoes shows in the world. The 7-hours Tour is a great choice if you just have a short day to spend in Iceland. The tour will take you to see the Golden Circle, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal, and Gullfoss Waterfalls. South Coast Volcanoes are the most active. You will drive to Mt. Hengill and discover the world wonder and the newly opened museum.
Out of the 145 reviews that Reykjavik Erupts has received on Trip Advisor , 99% have commented as great or excellent. The Iceland tours review shows that the company is rated #7 of 321 outdoor tours in Reykjavik. See this excellent review left by a past client:
“We spent a magical day with Gylfi, touring the active volcano and the surrounding area. How fortunate we were to see the earth perform in this spectacular fashion. How fortunate we were to have had such an excellent tour guide.” – Dorothy Z: May 2021
TravellersQuest hopes that this top 10 list of the best Iceland tour companies offers you everything you need to make a concise decision for your future tours in the country. If you do choose to travel abroad to Iceland and see the great places as you immerse yourself in adventure and local culture by joining a highly rated Iceland tour, we encourage you to reference this list to assist you in selecting the best tour company.
Once you arrive home from Iceland, we would be delighted to hear back about your ventures abroad. If you have gone on a trip with any of these Iceland companies in the past, send us a message and let us know how it went!
- Arctic Adventures , Trip Advisor – 7,768 Reviews
- The Reykjavik Food Walk , Trip Advisor – 3,093 reviews
- Guide to Iceland , Trip Advisor – 2,439 Reviews
- Season Tours , Trip Advisor – 455 Reviews
- Nordic Visitor Tours , Trip Advisor – 1,041 Reviews
- BR Tours – Private Tours , Trip Advisor – 162 Reviews
- Stefan Tour Guide in Iceland , Trip Advisor – 97 Reviews
- Pink Iceland , Trip Advisor – 496 Reviews
- 2Go Iceland Travel , Trip Advisor – 117 Reviews
- Diving Island , Trip Advisor – 201 Reviews
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The 7 Best Tour Companies in Iceland
Iceland is an utterly unique country, with glaciers varying in color from white to blue to gray, waterfalls the size of skyscrapers plummeting down sheer rock cliffs, and bumpy lava fields covered in moss in every shade of green you can imagine. And you’ll hear fantastical tales from history and folklore from people who still believe that elves might exist.
It’s one of my favorite countries in the world, one I fell in love with the first time I visited. I’ve been back multiple times since then during various seasons.
But Iceland isn’t always easy to get around, especially in the off-season, when many bus routes shut down because of weather.
One of the ways to get around that problem is by joining an organized tour. You’ll get to experience places that can be inaccessible without a four-wheel drive, and you’ll have an expert local guide to help make the most of your visit.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite tour companies in Iceland, from short city walking tours to multiday adventure hikes. While joining a tour isn’t cheap (you’ll definitely pay more than if you were to explore the country independently ), you’ll also be able to enjoy your trip without any of the planning while simultaneously benefitting from having a local guide on hand to deepen your experience in this incredible place.
Here’s my list of the best tour companies in Iceland:
1. CityWalk Reykjavik
A free walking tour is always a great way to introduce yourself to a new city, and the guides from CityWalk can give you a good overview of Reykjavik on this two-hour stroll. They run daily tours at 10:30am and 1:30pm, where they show you not only the city’s main attractions, but teach you about Icelandic history as well as share some lesser known and fun facts about Iceland’s capital.
The Reykjavik walking tours have been running since 2014, and the local guides incorporate an element of humor into their tours to make you laugh while you’re exploring. They’ll show you some more overlooked parts of town and also give you some tips for saving money in this expensive country.
Even though it’s technically a free tour, be sure to tip your guide what you think the tour was worth at the end (that’s how they earn a living).
Intrepid is my favorite multi-day tour company. I’ve been on tours with them a number of times in a number of places and always enjoy myself. They keep their groups small and work with local guides, and they don’t rush you from sight to sight.
Intrepid offers a number of options in Iceland, including the classic Ring Road trip (which Intrepid calls their Iceland Discovery Tour), where you circumnavigate the island and get to visit some of the best-known sights, from the glacier lagoon at Jökulsárlón on the south coast to the volcanic lake at Mývatn in the north. They even offer tours that also include Greenland too.
What’s also great is that they offer four different tiers of tour “styles” so that you can choose the level and price that suits your needs. “Basix” is the cheapest option and includes the most basic level accommodation with not many extra inclusions, while “Premium” tours are the most expensive and luxurious, as you’ll stay in 4-star accommodations and have more activities and meals included. “Original” and “Comfort” tour styles are somewhere in between the two.
Intrepid’s Iceland tours start at $1,600 for their 5-day Iceland Express Tour and go up to $7,100 for the nine-day Premium Iceland Tour.
3. Arctic Adventures
The award-winning Arctic Adventures is one of the biggest tour companies in Iceland, offering a huge range of one-day and multi-day tours. They also offer self-driving tours, where they provide you with a rental car, pre-booked accommodation, a detailed itinerary, and the option to join some guided day tours along the way. It’s a great option if you want to remove some of the stress and hassle of planning your own trip, but prefer to travel independently.
Its one-day tour options include all the main Icelandic sightseeing activities, like ice caves, snorkeling, glacier tours, and the popular Golden Circle route to Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir hot springs, and Gullfoss Waterfall. They have multi-day trips as well, including trekking tours where you’ll hike across Iceland’s stunning scenery accompanied by an experienced adventure guide.
Arctic Adventures’ full-day trips range in price from around $140 to $280. Their multi-day trips start at $432 USD for a two-day adventure, to an eight-day tour of the Ring Road for $2,434 USD.
4. Icelandic Mountains Guides
For 25 years, Icelandic Mountain Guides has focused on true adventure travel for very small groups, offering one-day and multi-day tours as well as courses on wilderness first aid and mountaineering if you’re interested in gaining some technical outdoor skills.
Its multi-day tours include more unique routes, like a five-day backpacking trek from Núpsstaðaskógur to Skaftafell, or a ten-day expedition across the Highlands starting from the northern town of Akureyri. They even offer ski touring packages. Prices for multi-day tours range from $542 USD for a two-day tour on the southern coast to $4,032 USD for a nine-day glacier expedition.
It also runs one-day tours to ice caves and glacier walk experiences, among others, leaving from Reykjavík, along with similar one-day adventures on the Sólheimajökull glacier on the south coast if you’re in the area and can meet them there. Day tour prices range from $77 USD for an all-day guided lava hike to $256 USD for a snowmobiling adventure on the south coast.
Icelandic Mountain Guides has a genuine conservation focus and holds a twice-yearly event where guides spend time planting trees. All of its day tours are carbon neutral, with a mission to make its multi-day tours carbon neutral in the future.
5. Iceland Horizon
Iceland Horizon offers a huge variety of single-day tours leaving from Reykjavík, Akureyri, and Lake Mývatn. Tour offerings include everything from the classic Golden Circle route to more adventurous snowmobiling and snowshoeing tours.
They’re a good choice for travelers who want to see the main sights and do fun activities but who don’t have access to their own vehicle. They run their small-group tours (always under 19 people) from a mini-bus (which has Wi-Fi), making it a comfortable way to see the sights without having to bother with renting your own car.
Expect to pay around $140 USD per person for a day trip. They also offer tailor-made tours, where you’ll work together with one of their local guides to create an itinerary just for you (pricing greatly varies based on what you want for your personalized tour).
6. Ride with Locals
Ride with Locals is a motorcycle tour company that takes you to the middle of nowhere on trails you wouldn’t access any other way, meaning you’ll see volcanoes, craters, and mountains that very few visitors to Iceland do, making your Iceland experience particularly unique. Its trips last between three days and a week and generally head inland, rather than hugging the coast like most tours.
The motorcycles are KTM 690R and Husqvarna 701 dual sport bikes, and all guides are really experienced with riding through Iceland’s highlands. Some trips use sleeping bags in mountain huts for accommodations (and include all the meals), while others include hotel stays with breakfast.
Costs range between about $4,000 USD for a three-day trip to $7,400 USD for an advanced seven-day expedition. This includes motorbike hire, fuel, accommodation, and some meals. Tours range in difficulty level (noted on the website), but keep in mind that these are only for experienced motorcyclists.
7. Midgard Adventures
Based in Southern Iceland, Midgard Adventures is a family-owned company that offers all sorts of fun and adventurous tours. Off-roading with jeeps, fat bike tours, hiking, snowmobiling, and glacier walks are all on offer here with tours led by family friends and local guides. They have both single-day tours as well as multi-day tours that stretch from 2-7 days (including seasonally-exclusive tours such as mountain biking the highlands in the summer).
Midgard also has its own hotel in Hvolsöllur that you can base yourself from, complete with restaurant, bar, rooftop hot tub, and a sauna (Hvolsöllur is around 90 minutes southeast of Reykjavik).
Prices start around $265 USD for a day tour. While not cheap, Midgard tours are high-quality and tons of fun. You won’t find the same cookie-cutter experiences here.
BONUS: Get Your Guide
If you can’t find the perfect Iceland tour for your trip above, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find it on GetYourGuide . This tour marketplace allows local tour operators to list their offerings, meaning that there’s a huge variety of tours to choose from here, from food tours in Reykjavik to whale watching tours in Húsavík , to multi-day adventures around the country.
Look for the “GetYourGuide Certified” logo for tours that have been vetted by GetYourGuide themselves, though you can also read reviews from previous tour participants to make sure that you sign up for a quality tour. You can even book admission tickets for attractions (like to the countless hot springs that you’ll undoubtedly be visiting) too.
Known as both the Land of Elves and the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is a destination like no other. There’s a lot packed into this island , and joining a tour is a great way to maximize your time and experience here.
From challenging multi-day hikes through some of the most scenic landscapes you’ll ever see, to gently exploring a glacier lagoon by boat or visiting puffin colonies, to wandering the streets of the quirky capital of Reykjavik , there’s an Icelandic tour company for you!
Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to Iceland!
Want to plan the perfect trip to Iceland? Check out my comprehensive guide to Iceland written for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need. You’ll find suggested itineraries, tips, budgets, ways to save money, on and off the beaten path things to see and do, and my favorite non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, transportation tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.
Book Your Trip to Iceland: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Iceland? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Iceland for even more planning tips!
Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.
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The 18 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
No matter where you go on a tour in Iceland, you're guaranteed to see stunning landscapes and likely some beautiful waterfalls. (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 13,900 Icelandic króna (about $102); kids from 8,500 króna (about $63) 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. Tours take approximately an hour and 15 minutes, including transportation between the check-in point and the dock and at least an hour on the boat. Tickets cost approximately 13,900 króna (about $102) per person ages 15 and older; children ages 6 to 14 can join for 8,500 króna (approximately $63). Riders must be at least 6 years old. 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.
View & Book Tickets: Ice Lagoon Adventure Tours
NiceTravel – Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & Kerid Volcano
Price: Adults from 16,900 króna (about $124); kids from 14,900 króna 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 its 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.
Tours happen daily all year long. Pickup from various locations in Reykjavik happens between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and minibuses return to the city around 8 p.m. Prices start at around 16,900 króna (about $124) for adults and 14,900 króna (about $110) for kids ages 5 to 15, and covers admission to all attractions (but not lunch or bathing suits).
View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide
Reykjavik Sailors – Whale Watching
Price: Adults from 11,990 króna (about $88); 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 starting at 1 p.m. with additional 9 a.m. departures from March through mid-November and 5 p.m. departures from mid-May through September. Tourgoers report spotting ample wildlife, and appreciate that the guides take the time to point out and identify the various sea creatures.
Trips generally last from three to 3.5 hours. Tickets cost approximately 11,990 króna (about $88) for adults and 5,995 króna (about $44) for children 7 to 15. (Kids 6 and younger can tag along for free.) 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.
View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide
Arctic Adventures – Crystal Ice Cave Tour Iceland
Price: Adults from about $188; kids from around $141 Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Take a ride in a rugged vehicle from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to the edge of the massive Vatnajökull glacier and then hike to an ice cave on this small-group excursion. The tour, with up 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.
Trips depart from the lagoon daily from October to mid-April beginning at 9:40 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Tours last two to three hours. Tickets, which cover transportation to and from the cave, as well as use of safety gear, cost approximately $187.65 for adults and $140.74 for youths ages 6 to 15. While the hike to the cave is rated as easy, children younger than 6 are not allowed on this trip. Arctic Adventures conducts a variety of ice cave tours, glacier hikes and more.
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.
Fees start at around 13,990 króna (about $103) for adults, 10,493 króna (about $77) for youth 12 to 15 and 6,995 króna (about $52) for children ages 2 to 11. Transportation from various Reykjavik locations is available for an additional charge. Pickups occur between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and in all the bus trip lasts approximately 10 hours. 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.
View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide
Your Friend in Reykjavik – Walk With a Viking
Price: Adults from $42; kids from $25 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 consistently describe the guides as friendly, educational and enthusiastic.
Groups of up to 12 depart from Ingólfur Square daily at 10 a.m. and 1 and 5 p.m. Prices start at $42 for adults and $25 for children 7 to 15. (There's no charge for children 6 and younger.) Your Friend in Reykjavik also offers private walking tours.
Wake Up Reykjavik – Reykjavik Food Tour
Price: Adults from 15,900 króna (about $118); kids from 9,990 króna (about $77) Duration: 3 hours
Sample an array of Icelandic cuisine on this three-hour 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. Food enthusiasts generally appreciate the accommodating guides' extensive knowledge about both culinary and historical topics.
Tours start outside Harpa concert hall every day beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets start at around 15,900 króna (about $118) for adults and 9,990 króna (about $77) for children 4 to 12. Wake Up Reykjavik also organizes daytrips to the Golden Circle, the South Coast and more.
Troll Expeditions – Snorkeling in Silfra
Price: From 21,900 króna (about $162) 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, but with the earliest tour at 8 a.m. and the latest at 4 p.m. Prices begin at around 21,900 króna (about $162), which covers the use of all necessary snorkeling equipment as well as underwater photos. Tours last about three hours, including instruction on how to snorkel, with about 50 minutes in the water. Groups are limited to six people and participants must be at least 12 years old and no older than 69. Travelers should note, those who are between the ages of 60 to 69 must have a doctor's note clearing them to participate. Those who can't swim or are pregnant may not take part in the tour. This excursion also has weight restrictions. Troll Expeditions also offers guided glacier hikes, daytrips and multiday excursions around the country to the South Coast, Ring Road and more.
Adventure Vikings – Silfra Drysuit Snorkeling
Price: From 20,900 króna (about $154) to 27,990 króna (about $206) Duration: 2 to 4.5 hours
Iceland straddles the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The tour, located in Silfra, is part of the Thingvellir National Park. Travelers will be allowed to explore the pristine glacial waters between the two plates. Snorkelers rave about the Silfra fissure's beauty and appreciate the adept guides' helpfulness.
The tour lasts up to 4.5 hours depending if round-trip transportation is needed. Fees start at around 20,990 króna (about $154) or 27,990 króna (about $206) if you opt for transportation between your Reykjavik hotel and Thingvellir National Park. 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 with 9 a.m. and noon start times from March through October (and an additional 3 p.m. tour from July through August), and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. start times from November through February. 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.
Reykjavik Excursions – Northern Lights - Small Group Tour
Price: Adults from 11,999 króna (about $90); kids from 6,000 króna (about $45) Duration: 3 hours
The kaleidoscopic colors of the northern lights typically appear above Iceland from late August to April, which is when this small-group bus tour occurs. The Reykjavik Excursions team studies the weather and aurora forecast each night to determine the best viewing locations away from the city lights, meaning buses may not go to the same location each tour. Tourgoers enjoy the informative guides' commentary, as well as the opportunities to observe the aurora borealis.
During the viewing season, trips with up to 25 participants are offered daily starting when it's dark, around 9:30 p.m. Trips usually last three hours. Ticket prices start at around $90 per person ages 16 and older and around $45 for youths ages 6 to 15. Reykjavik Excursions also offers city tours and trips to the Blue Lagoon, among other outings.
ĺshestar – Lava Tour
Price: Adults from 15,900 króna (about $117); kids from 11,925 króna (about $87) Duration: 2 hours
See the green hillsides and lava fields outside Reykjavik on this two-hour small-group horseback riding tour. 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. Prices start at 15,900 króna (around $117) for adults and 11,925 króna (around $87) for children 7 to 15. 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.
View & Book Tickets: Viator
Special Tours – Northern Lights by Boat
Price: Adults from 12,900 króna (about $95); kids from 6,495 króna (about $48) Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Admire the northern lights from the water on this two- to three-hour boat ride. 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.
Cruises are available nightly in the fall and winter. Departure times vary by time of year, but boats typically sail from Reykjavik's Old Harbour at 10 p.m. in September and mid-March to mid-April; they depart at 9 p.m. from October to mid-March. Prices are approximately 12,990 króna (about $95) for adults and 6,495 króna (about $48) for children 7 to 15. Children 6 and younger can ride for free. Prices include the use of overalls to keep riders warm. If you don't see the aurora borealis on your first trip, you can take another one at no charge. Food and drinks are available for purchase on board. The company also offers whale watching excursions, fishing trips and more.
BusTravel Iceland – Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour
Price: Adults from 16,900 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. Ticket prices start at around 16,990 króna (about $125) for adults, 12,743 króna (about $93) for youth ages 12 to 15 and 8,495 króna (about $62) for youngsters 2 to 11; pickup from various Reykjavik locations is available for an additional 1,590 króna (about $12) per person. Tours happen daily starting at 8 and 9 a.m.
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 – approximately 18,900 króna (about $140) for adults and 14,900 króna (about $110) for children 3 to 12 – 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.
View & Book Tickets: Option 1 | Option 2
Iceland Everywhere Tours – Northern Lights Midnight Adventure Tour
Price: From 11,200 króna (around $70) 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 often rave about the colorful lights and appreciate the knowledgeable guides' insights and willingness to take pictures.
These minibus rides happen every night from September to mid-April starting at 9 p.m. and last from three to five hours. Prices start at 11,200 króna (around $70). 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.
View & Book Tickets: Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3
Funky Iceland – The Funky Food & Beer Walk
Price: Adults from 15,000 króna (about $110); 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 craft beers. Foodies tend to relish the savvy guides' insights into Icelandic culture and cuisine.
Tours start outside the Hallgrímskirkja Church at 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and Tuesday. Tickets cost approximately 15,000 króna (about $110) for adults and 7,500 króna (about $55) for children 12 to 15. There's no charge for kids 11 and younger. Groups range in size from two to eight people.
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., noon 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.
View & Book Tickets: CityWalk Reykjavik | Viator
Icelandic Mountain Guides – Blue Ice Experience
Price: Adults from 13,990 króna (about $102); kids from 9,793 króna (about $71) 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 2 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 3:30 p.m. Adult tickets start at 13,990 króna (about $102). Corresponding costs for youngsters 10 to 17 are 9,793 króna (about $71). Children younger than 10 may not join the tour. Prices include the use of ice axes, harnesses and crampons. Icelandic Mountain Guides conducts 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 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland
- 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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Arctic Adventures Reviews
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A Perfect Introduction to Iceland
The 3 day golden circle and south coast tour was fantastic and a great introduction to Iceland. Pickup from bus stop 12 was easy and on time. Our guide, Jói, was fun, helpful and very knowledgeable, providing us with lots of information about the places we visited as well as plenty of ad-hoc details during the journeys. We saw so many beautiful places, everywhere you looked was like a postcard picture! For me the glacier hike, ice cave and glacier lagoon were the highlight. Things I had never seen or done before. The hotel accommodation for the 2 nights was in a beautiful remote location. It was simple but clean, comfortable and warm with everything you needed. The food in the restaurant was lovely (as were the staff) and a great place to relax in the evenings and get to know our fellow travel companions with a drink or two. We were also lucky with the weather on the first night and clear skies meant we were able to see the northern lights from outside our rooms! After 3 days it was sad to part with everyone, but it was a great way to start our holiday and I can highly recommend this trip. I hope to return one day and maybe do the 7 day trip next time!
Date of experience : October 13, 2023
Our 2022 Transparency Report has landed
So grateful to Arctic Adventures for making our journey to Iceland a trip that we’ll never forget. Our guide Soli was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and experienced in delivering an exceptional experience for us on tour. Great value for money and memories that will last a lifetime.
Date of experience : October 21, 2023
If zero stars was available!
If zero stars was available!! Absolutely shocking false advertisement. Waste of money. Basically criminal. The advertisements of what to expect are so false. Post customer service is terrible. I even told the tour guide I was unhappy with the tour and what I’d received yet no one cares.
Atrocious company, absolutely abysmal! I would give this company 0 stars if possible!
I would give this company 0 stars if I could! I have lost over £300 as a result of their negligence for which they are refusing to accept responsibility! I live in the U.K. and booked a trip with Arctic Adventures in December 2021. I was not able to select the month and year from the options and hence left the option as December 2022 before stating the correct month and year here in my review. The lateness in providing a review is that I have spent nearly a couple of years trying to get my money back. As stated, if I could have selected 0 stars for Arctic Adventures, I would. They have been beyond atrocious and terrible in their odious and asinine comprehension of the situation and it is only fair that I share my experience here as I have exhausted all remedies to get my money back. I booked a trip for my wife, infant daughter and me to Husafell Glacier. It was booked through Tourdesk acting as the agency for Arctic Adventures the tour operator. By error, I did not book the transport to and from the glacier site. When I realised this, I immediately contacted Arctic Adventures (5 days before the trip) as the booking form said that if there is an urgent request, it would be best to contact the operator directly. Due to abysmal customer service, a lack of proactiveness and utter disregard, I was not able to get the transport arranged with them and missed the trip. I didn’t try to cancel until it was too late (free cancellation upto 24 hours are the terms) as we were so keen to make it due to it being a trip of a lifetime. This began a nightmare as I argued my case which was an exercise in futility. Replies were condescending and they didn’t move. Attempts to go through the European consumer agencies and the Icelandic Tourist Association did not work either. Arctic Adventures is totally callous and arrogant towards tourists and even the authorities are unable to stop them. While they argued that refunds are available only if cancelled upto 24 hours in advance, they totally disregarded the fact that I had been trying to arrange the transport for 5 days before the trip. They admitted their customer service was shoddy and the situation could have been avoided but didn’t take any responsibility by refunding my money. A company to be avoided, I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I did with this unethical money grabbing company. There are other better tour operators in Iceland.
Date of experience : December 21, 2022
Horrible company - do NOT recommend! If zero stars could have be given... My experience with Arctic Adventures can be described very shortly as I do not want to give them any more of my time, but need to warn other costumers: Arctic Adventures is UNRELIABLE. My experience was burdened by disrespect for people and their money, lack of service and extremely bad communication. Dont use your money on this company but support the small and reliable companies instead.
Date of experience : September 22, 2023
We did a three-day tour with Pascal of the golden circle and the south, including Katla ice cave as well as a one da tour called black and blue which included a lava cave and snorkeling in the Silfra. I could not recommend this company and our tour guide pascal enough. Everything was perfect and magical! The views took our breath away!!!!! Exceptional experiences!
Date of experience : July 11, 2023
One day trip to stunning Landmannalaugar
We had a great trip to Landmannalaugar with Arctic Adventures. It was well organized and the guides was super skilled, helpfull and informative. Our guide, Matt, took us on a beautiful hike in the incredibly beautiful surroundings - he seemed to know everything about the area and was also really fun to be around. If you are in Iceland during summertime make sure to experience the highlands! The costumer service of Arctic Adventures was also super helpful to us. We booked through Get Your Guide to begin with and that caused us a lot of trouble. Therefor I can highly recommend you to book directly through Arctic Adventures instead.
Date of experience : July 24, 2023
Unbelievable hike with a fantastic company
We took the 6 day trek on the Laugavegur trail with Arctic Adventures and it was amazing from start to finish. The trail itself was stunning, but was elevated to another level by our guide Hjalti who was so knowledgeable about the area and the history. We all learned so much and had a fantastic time. The meals were delicious (e.g. BBQ salmon, pasta bolognese, lamb soup) and we all ate until we were completely full each day. Everything ran like clockwork and I am already planning my next trip with them to do more trails in East Iceland. If you are considering doing this trip, just book it - you won't regret it!
Date of experience : June 18, 2023
We did the skidoo tour on the…
We did the skidoo tour on the Langjokull with a pick up and drop off in Reykjavik. Brilliantly organised. Well explained. A superb experience. Only comment would be the group goes at one speed (fast) so be prepared for that as it is more about speed than soaking up the experience. The stop at the glacial lake allows you to take it all in. All in all an unforgettable experience.
Date of experience : June 11, 2023
The absolute BEST Icelandic experience
I went on the snorkelling tour and it was absolutely the coolest experience I’ve ever had! We had a lovely driver named Storm who picked us each up from our hotels/hostels to drive us to the National Park. He was very chatty and friendly, had lots of information about Iceland and Reykjavik, and also introduced us to some Icelandic music. The actual snorkeling part was so well organised and the guides were fantastic, my group had Matt looking after us and he was amazing. Absolute highlight is photos being included in the ticket fare. Photos aren’t always important but it really was for this instance. Highly highly highly recommend!
Date of experience : June 22, 2023
shorter than promised and no snorkeling photo's
1) We expected to have a total experience of 3 hours (like the mentions). But in reality is was only 1,5 hour (half the time). 2) as confirmed in the booking we were promised to receive snorkeling photo's, but apparently the camera was not working and we received no snorkeling photo's of us.
Date of experience : August 02, 2023
Not the best day to review
Not the best day to review. The pick up was an hour or more late and it rained all day. Not a problem for snorkeling but made it difficult to get in/out of a dry suit and stay dry. The guides however never lost their patience or sense of humor even when under the time pressure of the next group arriving and made it a great experience.
Date of experience : June 25, 2023
7 days around Iceland
This guided tour around Iceland was very well organised, with a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable guide. The minibus was comfortable with Wifi and the hotels in the evening of good standard. We saw all the major touristic sites, and also some less well known, and it was very interesting to have some extra little anecdotes or facts. I would recommend using Arctic Adventures.
Amazed by Arctic Adventures
I choose Arctic Adventures for the second time because the first was absolutely amazing and I knew that I would go without fail. Anna was our tour guide of the day, and she was absolutely adorable, a lot of chatting, always on point, and she was so prepared and the tour was organised very well. So there’s nothing to improve, they’re just perfect.
Waiting for refunds
Booked several tours in February 2020. Cancelled in April. Still waiting for full refunds. Parent company now says they won't refund until at least April 2021, but I'm guessing they will just extend the date again given low occupancy in their hotels over winter. We shouldn't be forced to give them these long term no interest loans to cover their losses in other areas.
Date of experience : October 26, 2020
Reply from Arctic Adventures
Dear Greg Dale, Thank you for reaching out to us. We understand your frustration. These unprecedented and trying times have affected every single business and individual in many ways. We want to extend our sincerest apologies. All the refunds are processed already. We kindly ask you to reach out to us at [email protected] if you still have unanswered questions. Thank you so much for your patience. Once again, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused. All the best, Team Arctic Adventures
Worth the 10 hour round trip drive.
Considering the month we were visiting and the nature of a changing climate, we were happy to just be walking on the glacier. This in itself was thrilling and humbling. The opportunity to see and move into actual ice caves and tunnels was incredible and exceeded expectations. Helga was lovely and really patient – we could have spent the whole day wandering around the landscape. Despite other tours, it never felt crowded or rushed. Great communication from the tour operator and the booking was easy to make. The meet point clearly signposted and the parking area easy to find.
Date of experience : April 04, 2023
Arctic Adventures 6 Day Fantastic Experience
Absolutely incredible experience! We just returned from the 6 day, small group, multi day tour which went above and beyond our expectations! The Ring Road itinerary was a perfect mix of all that makes Iceland so special. We are still in awe trying to process all we saw and experienced. Our guide, Andre’, was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable, not only knew the route very well but also the best vantage points for great views and pictures. He was very relaxed and approachable while working to make certain each of us was having a positive experience. As well, he added in extra destinations throughout which were a bit off the beaten path and simply phenomenal! We had opportunities to be together as a group and ample opportunities to split off to do to own thing which was nice. The accommodations were as described in beautiful locations and again, Andre’, made certain our needs were being met and that we were all comfortable. Every detail of our trip from pick-up to drop-off went off without any issues. I highly recommend Arctic Adventures and will definitely use them in the future. Our experience was simply over the top!
Date of experience : August 06, 2023
This was a great walk on the classic trail
This was a great walk on the classic trail with great variety of landscape and terrain: mountains, glacial and river plains, flowery woods and snow fields. Weather to match: sun, wind, snow and rain but always impressive and beautiful. Excellent guide, Arnithor looked after us well and gave us the flexibility to walk as we preferred. The huts were warm and well appointed: nightly visits to the facilities in another hut meant a chance to see 24 hour daylight! After the main trail, some excellent walking up to the heights and down to the river again. An excellent tour. One item worth bringing in addition to those recommended are binoculars.
Date of experience : July 03, 2022
Dear Chris, Thanks a lot for taking the time to leave us this wonderful review. We are delighted to hear the tour went smoothly for you. A special thank you for all of the amazing compliments to our guide. Arnithor will be absolutely delighted to read this! It means the world to us that you have chosen to book an experience with our team. We are looking forward to seeing you again on one of our tours sometime in the near future! Warm wishes from Iceland.
Myself and 2 friends booked the Glacial Wonders trip which was 4 hrs long. Our guide Wojciech was absolutely brilliant, he guided the trek at a perfect pace and ensured everyone was safe and looked after well. The trip itself was beautiful, the initial walk to the glacier was scenic and once we got onto the glacier it was even more beautiful. It's the perfect trek for a taster and also if you're tight on time.
Date of experience : June 16, 2022
Dear Sonia, Thanks a lot for taking the time to leave us this wonderful review. We are delighted to hear the tour went smoothly for you. A special thank you for all of the amazing compliments to our guide. Wojciech will be absolutely delighted to read this! It means the world to us that you have chosen to book an experience with our team. We are looking forward to seeing you again on one of our tours sometime in the near future! Warm wishes from Iceland.
We were just in Iceland for 7 days and did a tour through Arctic Adventures everyday. This company does an amazing job from start to finish. We loved every day of our trip and because of Arctic Adventures it was easy for us to get in everything we wanted to see. Every guide was great to work with and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend you use them for all of your tours and bookings for Iceland!
Date of experience : May 01, 2023
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Scenic Iceland & the Northern Lights (Classic)
Northern Lights Escape
Iceland tour & trip reviews, editor’s take, what to look for in iceland travel reviews.
Most trip reviews tend to focus on some or all of these 5 key areas, not all of which may be relevant to you: the tour guide, travel company, service level, country or countries traveled in, and the trip itinerary. Remember, just because you see a 1 star review doesn’t necessarily mean that person disliked the country.
Reviews for tours in Iceland are mainly positive, in the 4 and 5 star range.
Iceland has grown rapidly in popularity, so the crowds are almost unavoidable unless you travel in the middle of shoulder season. Traveling with a guide is one of the best ways to help the crowds feel less intense.
Your Iceland tour guide may not be a local every time, but positive reviews almost always comment on the their guide’s expert knowledge and ability to expand on the unique landscapes and natural phenomena in Iceland.
Safety is another primary concern when traveling in Iceland, as this is a very popular destination for adventure travel. In particular you will probably have 1 or 2 quite long drives and depending on the time of year the roads could be wet or icy.
Another important thing to bear in mind is that Iceland is very expensive . Be sure to go prepared for this, as not all meals or activities may be included in your tour price.
The service level on your Iceland tour will depend on the tour theme, but most Iceland tours have an active focus. Accommodations are mainly value or premium, comfortable and clean, yet relatively basic amenities.
Some negative Iceland tour reviews comment on the sights that weren’t included on the itinerary. Due to Iceland’s popularity, some travelers may have been under the impression that all the major sites on listicles and from inspiring photographs would be included on the tour.
While it’s true that a number of Iceland’s main attractions can be seen on a short trip, some other are much farther away from the main tourist track. So depending on your tours duration, be sure to look closely at the itinerary to make sure everything you want to see is included.
If you want a professional take on traveling in Iceland, see the Travelstride Iceland Guide »
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Scenic Iceland and the Northern Lights November 2023
- Activities 5.0
- Lodging 5.0
- Transportation 5.0
Tour Scenic Iceland & the Northern Lights (Classic)
- Activities 4.0
- Lodging 4.0
- Transportation 4.0
Scenic Iceland and the Northern Lights October 2023
Responsive and helpful october 2023.
Tour ACIS Company reviews
Pick another tour company october 2023.
- Activities 3.0
- Lodging 1.0
- Transportation 2.0
Tour Northern Lights Quest of Iceland
Japan global conference september 2023, our group leader has been so helpful… september 2023.
$175 to "reactivate my account", terrible customer support September 2023
- Activities 1.0
- Transportation 1.0
It took several tries to get my problem… September 2023
- Activities 2.0
- Lodging 2.0
Everything is always well done and… September 2023
Great support from start to finish August 2023
I love acis august 2023, can't imagine traveling with anyone else august 2023, culinary tour of japan august 2023, the hotels are very nice and the… august 2023.
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I've booked through an agent in the past - Arctic Experience - who've arranged a tour and car hire .
One day, we had a puncture and half the day was wasted waiting for someone to arrive with tools to change the tyre.
Although the rest of the week was great, we were unhappy that the hire company hadn't put tools in the car , and mentioned this in our feedback to our agent. We received a full refund for the weeks car hire . As the agent sent hundreds of people to Iceland each year they had some clout.
My point is, few people have experience of more than one car hire company or tour company, so the advice you are looking for may not be readily available. So sometimes it pays to use the experience of a good agent. By the way, we couldn;t get flights or hotels or car for less than we paid the agent.
As I said at the start, there may be some bad companies, but I don't see how they would survive for long.
The problem with tours is that they can't always be flexible enough to go off the beaten path. You may want to hire a car (or 4x4) for some trips or go on a super- jeep trip onto a glacier (which you can't really do by yourself, and are unlikely to be able to do it many other places in the world).
The simplest thing is to ask your hotel which tour company they would recommend, or ask them what the difference is between, say, Magnus' and Olaf's tours. The hotel may be getting commission, but the last thing they want is to recommend a poor outfit. In fact most hotels will do all the booking for you.
Also, many of the bigger outfits may sub-contract to the smaller guide companies when they are busy. So in reality I would be surprised if there were more than 10 main operators who can deliver a variety of tours.
By the way, when are you going? July and August may be busy, but you should n't have a problem finding a tour outside of then.
July or August is when we are planning to go - have no flexibility with kids in school. That's why I want to do the planning now, so we have something nailed down even if it is crowded. Thanks for your input!
Explore does great tours, small groups. Look at their website:
specialises in small tours, taylor made for your needs, look at their website as well.
There are none,
There are whale-watching cruises which last about half a day, but not everyone is used to cruising in the middle of the North Atlantic.
There are ferries which may partially satisfy your desire for sea cruising, and it is an interesting way to get about (eg from Snaefelsness peninsula to the western fiords, or to the Westmann Islands)
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Iceland Hotels and Places to Stay
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Perfect introduction to iceland.
Overall I had a spectacular time on this trip. The scenery was unbelievable and the group was great. I was a bit underwhelmed by our guide - while he was super nice ...
AVOID AVOID AVOID. Go with G-Adventures
They don't care about your comfort, safety or time. For that reason alone, avoid this company!
There's a lot both good and bad I can say about this trip. But the number one reason I will never travel with Intrepid again is their complete lack of caring for the...
Excellent tour guide. Good group of people
Excellent tour guide. Good group of people on the tour. Well organised. I ca...
Harpa was a great guide. Everything went
Harpa was a great guide. Everything went super smoothly, and the trip was fantastic.
Lived up to my expectations
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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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Iceland at a glance
Reykjavik (population approximately 123,000)
(GMT) Monrovia, Reykjavik
Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
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.
History and government
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.
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.
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 and all major museums and thermal pools to illuminate the city with lighting designs and art installations as a way to get people thawed 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 head, 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.
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.
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 – held for no reason other than to get 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
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.)
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 are able to use their cell phones in Iceland's main cities and towns, though remote and isolated areas may have inferior cell reception. Click here to read more about using your phone.
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 cell 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 when traveling through Iceland; however, be sure to check with your service provider to find out about any fees you may incur when using this option, 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.
What will it cost for a…?
Iceland's unit of currency is the krona. Here's what you can expect to pay for a:
- Hotdog = ISK 400-600
- Glass of beer = ISK 1,100-1,500
- Simple lunch at a cafe = ISK 2,100-3.700
- Dinner in a restaurant = ISK 2.600-4.200
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 public holidays are celebrated in Iceland?
- 1 Jan: New Year's Day
- Mar/Apr: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday*
- 1 May: Labur Day
- May/Jun: Ascension Day*
- May/Jun: Whit Sunday and Whit Monday*
- 17 Jun: National Day
- First Monday in August Commerce Day*
- 24 Dec: Christmas Eve
- 25 Dec: Christmas Day
- 26 Dec: Boxing Day
- 31 Dec: New Year's Eve
*Please note, Iceland public holidays may vary.
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 ( 11°C ), while winter maximums are approximately 32°F ( 0°C ). Rainfall is quite consistent throughout the year; between 1"-2" inches (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+ travelers?
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 travelers 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 ( 13°C ). 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 ( 0°C ), 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?
Go to: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Go to: https://travel.gc.ca/
From the UK?
Go to: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
From New Zealand?
Go to: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
From the US?
Go to: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html
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:
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.
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. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects.
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.
Welcome to Iceland
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Explore an Ice Cave
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Amazing 5-Day Northern Lights Winter Vacation Package in Iceland with Ice Caving & the Blue Lagoon
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, breathtaking 6-day northern lights hunting package of iceland with ice caving, top tours in iceland.
Discover all the best tours and tickets in Iceland
Best Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajokull Glacier Starting from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
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Iceland self drive tours & road trips.
A self-drive tour throughout Iceland is the ultimate road trip. Travel off the beaten path, stop for photo breaks whenever you want and craft the perfect itinerary tailored to you. Whether you hire a car, a campervan or a motorcycle, these 18 tours are guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable experience.
18 Self drive tours in Iceland with 28 positive reviews
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Tour Operator Arctic Adventures Buys Kerið Crater
- Erik Pomrenke
- October 16, 2023
- Nature , Travel , x News
Arctic Adventures has acquired all shares of Kerfélagið, the main asset of which is Kerið in Grímsnes, a popular tourist destination in South Iceland. Viðskiptablaðið reports.
The tour operator bought the shares from Óskar Magnússon, Ásgeir Kristinsson, Sigurður Gísli Pálmason, and Jón Pálmason, who held a quarter stake in the company.
A natural gem
In a statement to the press, Óskar Magnússon, chairperson of Kerfélagið, stated that “everything has its time.” The company has owned Kerið for 23 years, he stated, but it is clear that the next phase of development in the area is approaching.
Óskar continued: “We consider this an opportune time to pass the torch so that new owners can build according to their vision. Arctic Adventures is a reliable and thriving company that will undoubtedly continue to enhance Kerið. At this juncture, we, as shareholders, have decided to establish a dedicated fund to support sustainable environmental protection in the spirit that has proven successful in the development of Kerið. We have had a unique collaboration with the farmers and other neighbours in the area. It is our firm belief and experience that this type of operation is best served with strong local involvement, as we have been fortunate to enjoy.”
In their announcement, Arctic Adventures stated that their policy is to offer sustainable and eco-friendly travel services. Among other destinations managed by the company are the Raufarhólshellir caves on the Reykjanes peninsula and “Into the Glacier,” a tunnel and popular tour destination in Langjökull glacier.
Ásgeir Baldur, CEO of Arctic Adventures, stated: “Kerið is one of the most remarkable natural gems in the country. We believe there are good opportunities for further development in the area, as well as ongoing nature conservation efforts. Kerið is on a popular route and accessible for longer or shorter sightseeing trips. We are pleased to have secured these acquisitions and are planning developments. Arctic Adventures is committed to environmental protection, and our relationship with nature is of utmost importance to us.”
Many of Iceland’s most popular tourist sites are located on privately owned land, though Icelandic law ensures that the public can access these areas. Other notable tourist destinations on privately owned land include Geysir, Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, and Reynisfjara beach.
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