Iceland is a country full of natural wonders, exciting activities and incredible sceneries that are waiting for you to explore! This is one of my favorite countries in the entire world and I’m sure you will add it to your bucket list after reading about these one-of-a-kind adventures!
Regardless of how long you are going to stay, there are some things that you absolutely cannot miss in Iceland! I created this list of top 10 best tours in Iceland to help you make sure you won’t miss any important activity or attraction in this amazing country.
This article will help you book fast all the tours you need to take in order to make the best out of your Icelandic adventure.
Here are the best Iceland tours that will leave you speechless and that are worth every penny:
1. Golden Circle Tour
The Golden Circle Tour is the one thing that EVERYONE must DO when they go to Iceland!
And the reason behind this is simple – this tour is simply amazing and will show you some of the best, unmissable spots in this beautiful country!
On the famous Golden Circle Tour you will get to see the famous Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall – the queen of all waterfalls and Thingvellir National Park, where you cannot miss the waterfall and Silfra Fissure – the tectonic plate between America and Europe – scroll down to number 2 for more info.
Depending on how much time you have and your preferences/priorities, there are two different kinds of Golden Circle tours in Iceland: you can take a one-day tour that will show you the most important things or a multi-day tour that usually takes 3 days.
For a one day tour, I recommend this 7-hour tour from Reykjavik or this one that includes Kerid Crater – they’re perfect for people who don’t have much time in the country or they’re only there for a short layover in-between flights – this tour will help you make the best of your time in the country! You can also take this one if you want to visit the Golden Circle Highlights while also enjoying some delicious food at local restaurants or this full-day tour that can include the admission to the Blue Lagoon if you want!
Looking for a private one-day tour instead? This is the one for you!
If you have more days on hand, this three-day tour is the perfect option for winter – it will take you on the Golden Circle highlights, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon (see number 7 below for details), you will see the Northern Lights (more details at number 4 below) and visit the South Coast of Iceland without any stress. Another great option for winter is this 4-day tour!
If you want to do a Golden Circle Tour in the summer, this is a great option. You will get to do whale watching, you will see the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the South Coast, all in 3 days. This private all-year round 3-days tour might also be a great solution – it includes Blue Lagoon, The Golden Circle and the South Coast!
If you are going to Iceland and you only have one day and wish to combine the Golden Circle with some Northern lights watching, this is one of the best Iceland winter tours that you can take!
PLACE: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and more!
SEASON: all year round
DURATION: 8-9 hours or 3-4 days depending on your chosen tour
PRICE: around 6.000 ISK (US$50) for a one-day tour and 86.500 ISK (US$700) for the three-day tour
2. Silfra Fissure Snorkeling
Trust me when I say that this is a unique opportunity that you won’t encounter anywhere else in the world!
Silfra Fissure is a rift created by the two tectonic plates of the North American and Eurasian continents.
You read that right: this activity allows you to snorkel or dive (according to your preference) between two continents!
Silfra fissure is located in Þingvallavatn Lake in Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s filled with some of the clearest waters in the world. Although the water is very cold – about 2°C (or 34°F) year round, it is totally worth doing the Silfra diving in Iceland and I’m sure this will be one of the highlights of your Icelandic trips!
Most of the people compare the feeling of diving there to flying because it feels like you are actually weightless. You also won’t be able to hear a thing because you will be in a dry suit, so it can also count as meditation!
As I mentioned above, there are two kinds of tours available: snorkeling in the Silfra Iceland Fissure (or maybe a snorkeling tour during the Midnight Sun?) or diving there. Another diving option is this night time free dive tour!
This is one of the top 10 diving places in the world, so you can’t miss it!
NOTE: If you want to combine the Golden Circle scenic tour with snorkeling Silfra Fissure, there is this great tour.
NOTE 2: As I said, the water is cold all year round so it’s essential to go there already dressed in some warm clothes that will help you feel comfy – long sleeves, leggings, warm socks (no cotton). The tour team will provide you with the diving equipment and a very good dry suit that will keep you warm during your dive!
IMPORTANT – DIVING: PADI open water certificate (or anything above this) + PADI dry suit certificate are mandatory if you want to dive in the Silfra fissure. You must be at least 18 years old and in a moderate fitness shape, as you will have to carry some heavy equipment to and from the diving spot. If you don’t have any certificate, I suggest taking a Silfra Iceland snorkeling tour instead.
IMPORTANT – SNORKELING: All participants must be at least 12 years old, over 45 kg, at least 150 cm tall and comfortable in the water in order to snorkel in the Silfra fissure.
PLACE: Thingvellir National Park
SEASON: All year round (including the coldest days)
DURATION: around 3 hours in total (30-45 minutes actually in the water)
PRICE: 13.600 ISK (US$110) for snorkeling and 28.500 ISK (US$230) for diving
3. Glacier Hiking
Walking on a glacier has always been your dream? Iceland is one of the best places in the world to make your dream come true!
It’s needless to say that you cannot visit Iceland without seeing at least some of its glaciers, right? Although you can get close to these amazing ice formations by yourself if you decide to go on a road trip around Iceland (here is my article with my recommended itinerary and some advice), you cannot walk or hike there without a guided tour.
Walking on a glacier and hiking the amazing ice will help you connect with nature and understand why Iceland is so special.
Iceland is full of ice and glaciers all around its territory and you can take all kinds of tours, but there are some special places that you will want to hike on, such as Solheimajokull glacier or Falljökull glacier (in Skaftafell National Park).
If you want to do some Sólheimajökull glacier hiking with ice climbing, I suggest this tour. If you would prefer a 3-hour hike in Skaftafell National Park, book this glacier hike in Iceland tour instead. Interested in hiking Vatnajökull instead? No problem – here is an excellent, easy alternative!
If you want a glacier hike tour from Reykjavik with transportation included, here is a very good one.
If you want a private Solheimajokull glacier hike, I can recommend this one.
We really wanted to do the hike in Skaftafell National Park but it was booked for the day so we couldn’t. I have done the hike in New Zealand, on Fox Glacier and it was amazing, so I regret I didn’t do it in Iceland too. Oh, well, I guess it’s just another reason to go back!
Being a memorable and unique adventure, the tickets are selling fast so I suggest you book yours well in advance!
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to bring warm clothes! Even though all the needed hiking equipment will be provided by the tour organizers, you won’t be able to enjoy this activity if you are freezing.
NOTE: If you want to go on a longer 2-day tour and combine glacier hiking with visiting the entire South Coast, you might want to take this tour.
PLACE: some popular glaciers are Solheimajokull, Falljökull
SEASON: all year round
DURATION: 3-5 hours, depending on the tour
PRICE: from 11.000 ISK (US$90), depending on tour
4. Northern Lights Tour
You must witness the Aurora Borealis at least once in your lifetime!
Aurora Borealis (or the Northern Lights) is a rare natural phenomenon that can be explained in fancy words as the result of collisions between charged particles released from the Sun’s atmosphere and gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, near the area of the North Pole. Depending on the type of gas particles coming from the Sun, you can see different light colors such as yellowish-green, pink, purple, red etc.
The reasons why I suggest you take a special Iceland Northern Lights tour and not go by yourself chasing the Northern Lights is because the tour will take you to an established place where you will surely see this natural phenomenon, you won’t have to bother will the entire organization and you will also get some useful information from the organizers.
Trust me, the experience will be simply breath-taking! There is a variety of available tours that you can take:
From Reykjavik: This 3.5-Hour Tour from Reykjavik can be a great idea because you will also get to learn the basics of northern lights photography. If you prefer a boat tour instead, here is a good one. If you feel more adventurous, you can take the Northern Lights Experience by Superjeep! Looking for a private tour? Here is my recommendation, with an expert Aurora guide.
Here is another suggestion if you are short on time – you can combine cave exploring with Nothern Lights watching during this minibus tour with pick-up and drop-off in Reykjavik!
From Akureyri: If you are in the North of Iceland, you can take a Northern Lights tour from Akureyri.
TIP: Make sure to bring warm clothes with you and don’t forget to be patient – you might have to “chase” the lights! Northern Lights tours are dependent on weather so it’s possible for your tour to be canceled – in this case you can get a refund or reschedule for free.
PLACE: outside Reykjavik (the locations change every time and you will go to wherever it is most probable to see the lights)
SEASON: the best season is from October until March (the months with full dark nights)
DURATION: 3-4 hours
PRICE: from 4.200 ISK (US$34), depending on the tour
5. Whale Watching Tour
Being one of the most affordable and cheap Iceland tours and popular activities that you can add to your Iceland itinerary, I advise you not to miss the opportunities to spot these gentle giants when there. Iceland is one of the best countries to do this activity and it will let you know more about this country’s history and tradition.
There are many places for whale watching in Iceland, such as in Reykjavik’s harbor, Akureyri, Dalvik etc, but the best one is Husavik. I have been told by locals that your chances of spotting some huge, cute whales will increase if you go there!
TIP: Taking speedboat whale watching tour is the best decision because you’ll have more chances of spotting the whales. Here are my suggested tours:
From Reykjavik: Here is a great option. Also, if you don’t see a whale during this tour, you will get another one for free!
From other places: You can find many other whale watching tours from other spots in Iceland (Grundarfjordur, Olafsvik, Hjalteyri, Holmavik etc.) here.
PLACE: Husavik (the whale watching ‘capital’ of Iceland), Reykjavik, Akureyri, Dalvik etc
SEASON: best time is in summer (June, July, and August)
DURATION: 2-3 hours
PRICE: around 17.768 ISK (US$170) but it depends on your chosen tour
6. Blue Lagoon Tour
Blue Lagoon Spa is another must-see in Iceland and one of its most visited attractions!
After all the walking, hiking, diving and going around, I want to recommend a more relaxing activity that will make you enjoy your time spent in Iceland even more!
The famous Blue Lagoon has thermal water pools placed in a lava field that reach 37-39 Celsius and it offers several spa packages that you can buy if you want to fully relax and enjoy yourself.
If you are already in Reykjavik and you want to spend your day at Blue Lagoon, you can take this Blue Lagoon tour in Iceland (round trip) that will pick you up from your desired hotel in Reykjavik, take you to the Spa and then bring you back to the city.
If you’re short on time and you want to leave directly to the airport after going to the Blue Lagoon, you can tell your driver to drop you off at Keflavik Airport. That would be a perfect ending for your Iceland trip!
NOTE: This round trip transfer does not include the fee for the bathing area. If you know you want to bathe in the milky waters of the Blue Lagoon, you can find out more details in my post here.
TIP: Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit. You can rent a towel for an extra payment, but you can save some money by bringing your own.
PLACE: Blue Lagoon Spa (Grindavik)
SEASON: all year round
DURATION: travel time from Reykjavik -> Blue Lagoon is 45-60 min. You can stay at Blue Lagoon for as long as you want.
PRICE: transport from 6.091 ISK (US$56) per adult / entrance fee for Blue Lagoon starts from 6.900 ISK (US$66)
7. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tour
Honestly, this was one of the highlights of my trip!
Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon actually means ‘glacier lagoon’ and it’s one of the natural wonders of Iceland. It is the biggest (18 km2) and deepest (285 meters) glacier lagoon and lake in the entire country and it would be a real pity if you missed it while there, as well as the entire South Coast of Iceland. The South Coast is an amazing place, full of incredible waterfalls, glaciers, black beaches and more, but if you really only have to choose one spot to visit, I urge you to pick a Jokulsarlon tour, as it is one of the best Iceland day tours available.
I recommend you take at least a 14-hour tour (but ideally 2-3 days) in order to visit the Southern part of Iceland with a knowledgeable guide and a special stop at Jokulsarlon. Here you can find my recommended itinerary for the South of Iceland.
You can get close to the lagoon and take pictures like the above for free, but it definitely would be a miss not to take a boat tour there – you can choose from a 35-minutes one and a one-hour-long one. It will allow you to see the lagoon made out entirely out of glacier ice thousands of years old from the inside. This magical place is really a unique experience worth paying for!
NOTE: If you want to combine the Golden Circle with the South Coast, Northern Lights and Glacier Hiking into a big adventure, I suggest you take this three-day tour (available from November until March).
PLACE: South Coast
SEASON: all year round only for Jokulsarlon or from November until March for the big South Coast tours
DURATION: from 14 hours to 2-3 days
PRICE: around 5.800 ISK (US$47) for the boat trip on Jokulsarlon and from 14.200 ISK (US$115) for a 1-day tour.
8. Natural Ice Cave Tour
The crystal blue ice cave is so incredible that people come from all over the world to see it!
We talked a lot about Iceland glaciers and how amazing they are, but did you know there are also beautiful blue ice caves that you can enter? This is an amazing experience and there are some stunning photo opportunities that you cannot miss!
Just imagine yourself standing into an ancient glacier, surrounded by infinite blue shades – an image you won’t forget very soon, I assure you!
There are, of course, different ice caves around the country and different tour options for each of them. Some popular ice caves include Langjökull (there’s a man-made ice cave there but also a natural one), but the real ice cave paradise is Skaftafell without any doubt.
If you want to not only visit the beautiful Langjökull ice cave I recommend this tour from Reykjavik but if you also want to enjoy a snowmobile trip, then I suggest this Crystal Cave Iceland tour from Reykjavik.
If, on the other hand, you want to immerse yourself in a full day of ice caves visiting and even hiking in Skaftafell, then thisIce Cave Iceland9-hour tour might be the perfect choice for you. It departs from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and it’s definitely worth trying for an unforgettable experience.
If you are in Reykjavik and looking for things to do there regardless of month/season, I suggest visiting the Perlan Museum and its first man-made cave and Ice Cave Exhibition. The admission fee is included in the tour price.
TIP: As always, don’t forget to bring warm clothes with you!
PLACE: Vatnajökull, Langjökull, Falljökull, Skaftafell (depending on your chosen tour)
SEASON: only in winter (November-March)
DURATION: 4-9 hours depending on your tour
PRICE: starting from 27.200 ISK (US$220)
9. Landmannalaugar – The Pearl of the Highlands
Landmannalaugar is a stunning geothermal area full of natural hot springs and colorful mountains. Some people call it a ‘Paradise on Earth’ because it offers a complete experience – you can bathe in the hot springs but also hike on its mountains with unforgettable views and landscapes!
Landmannalaugar is also the starting point for Laugavegur trekking trail – one of the best hiking trips you can take and one the greatest Iceland adventure tours! This means that you can extend your trip to Landmannalaugar into a multi-day adventure in order to see all the amazing landscapes (such as active volcanoes) it has to offer!
As usual, there are multiple options for this tour as well. You can book a fast 4-hour tour there from Reykjavik with hiking and hot spring bathing. If you’re in for a total experience, I suggest you book this 11-16-hour day trip to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavik or Hella and enjoy the rhyolite mountains and geothermal waters.
Or maybe you want to combine Landmannalaugar with Hekla Volcano with a Super Jeep tour? Another option would be to take a combined tour that will take you to Landmannalaugar, you will bathe in a natural hot spring, visit Hjalparfoss waterfall and more!
There is also the possibility to take a private day tour here.
Now, if you want to stay for longer and make the best out of the beautiful highlands, I suggest you do the Laugavegur Trek I told you about earlier. This tour means 4 days and 56 kilometers full of walking, hiking and resting in heated huts! Now this will be an unforgettable experience!
TIP: As it involves quite a lot of hiking, this tour would be great for active people with at least a moderate fitness level. Don’t forget to bring a windbreaker if you want to do this – and, of course, a swimming suit for the natural hot springs!
PLACE: South Coast
SEASON: usually June – September but you should check for each tour
DURATION: from 4 hours to several days, depending on your chosen tour
PRICE: starting from 13.200 ISK (US$107)
10. Helicopter Tour
Now, if you want to take your adventure to a whole new level, you can take one of the greatest Iceland luxury tours and fly over the country’s mesmerizing landscapes with a helicopter!
Just think of all the amazing bird-eye pictures you are going to take!
How does flying over volcano craters sound to you?
If you are in, you can choose from two different helicopter tours in Iceland. I suggest the incredible Geothermal Tour – it will take you on a 1-hour long adventure where you will be able to see geothermal springs, colorful mountain ranges, power plants, lava fields and more! I’m sure you won’t forget this volcano tour in Iceland very soon!
If you want to fly with the helicopter only over Reykjavik, I suggest you book the Reykjavik Panoramic flight instead – you will get to see all the landmarks and some spectacular views of the capital from above!
Another unique option would be to take a helicopter tour inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano! On your way there you will see lava landscapes and then you will actually stand inside the volcano!
PLACE: Seltún geothermal area or Reykjavik
SEASON: All year round
DURATION: 60-75 minutes, depending on the tour
PRICE: from 33.400 ISK (US$270) for the Reykjavik tour or from 52.000 ISK (US$420) for the geothermal tour
These tours did not fit in my TOP 10, but I simply could not omit them because they are also pretty awesome and you should consider taking some of them if you have a chance!
A horseback riding tour can be done pretty much anywhere in Iceland, regardless if you’re staying for 1 day or 10. Why am I insisting on doing the horseback riding in Iceland?
The Icelandic horse is a special breed developed in Iceland that you won’t find anywhere else in the world!
They are something in between a pony and a horse, and you can see in the picture below that they are VERY cute!
As I said, you can do this activity almost anywhere in Iceland, from Reykjavik to Akureyri, Hella or Sellfoss.
Ring Road – all country tour
If you want to circle the entire Iceland and make sure you do all the most popular activities possible in this country, then the Ring Road is a must for you! You will get the full package – nature, adventure, history, sightseeing and culture!
The Ring Road is one of the best Iceland bus tours and will take you on an unforgettable adventure where you will see geysers, waterfalls, volcanoes, wildlife, beaches, glaciers and more.
I recommend this 10-day Ring Road tour because all accommodations, transportation and activities will be planned by the organizers for you and you won’t have to worry about a thing in the world! Among others, you will get to see the Blue Lagoon, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, black sand beaches, impressive Dettifoss waterfall and basically all the best things that Iceland has to offer to its tourists. There’s also the possibility of taking a shorter tour, such as this 7 day guided Ring Road tour. Taking one of these Iceland guided tours will help you have a stress-free vacation.
Just join the adventure and have fun!
A trip to Greenland from Iceland
If you want to extend your arctic adventure further away, you can take a day-trip from Iceland to Greenland.
To get to Kulusuk, Greenland, it will only take you a two-hour flight from Reykjavik after which you will find yourself on an amazing land full of icebergs! If you want to have a real dose of history of culture, Kulusuk is the perfect place for this – the small village in Greenland only has 250 local residents that rely on fishing and hunting for surviving.
You will get to spend 4 hours in this amazing village and find out more about their life, culture and landscape – an adventure you won’t forget! You will admire the numerous icebergs, see some traditional dances by Kulusuk people and take unique photos. Find out all the details and book your tour here.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous or you just want to get to some off-road attractions without renting the 4×4 car, then an ATV tour is the right choice for you! This half-day tour from Reykjavik can be the perfect dose of adventure for you and will help you enjoy the Icelandic landscape in a special way. If you want more, you can also take the South Iceland ATV Adventure!
Reykjavik city tour
Even though the entire country is unique and amazing, let’s not forget about Reykjavik, too! If want to end your vacation in this city or if you only have a short layover in the country, you might want to visit this gorgeous capital with some Reykjavik tours!
I recommend the Hop-on Hop-off Tour if you want to make sure you find out about all the highlights of Reykjavik thanks to the multi-language audio guide. Of course, you can hop off the bus whenever you want and visit a certain attraction, as your ticket is available for 24 hours.
If you would prefer a guided walking tour full of mythology and entertaining stories with trolls, ghosts, elves and more, then this Icelandic Mythology and Monster Walk can be the perfect idea.
And if you want to see the wonders of Iceland directly in Reykjavik, on the highest hill of the city, the Perlan – Wonders of Iceland Tour will guide you through the first man-made cave in the world and a multimedia exhibition about Iceland’s glaciers. Plus, you will get to see a panoramic view of Reykjavik on the 360° Observation Deck!
As I said in the beginning, Iceland is a unique country that has activities and attractions for every taste. You will find countless fun things to do there, but this is a list of my top 10 tours that you should not miss.
This list of recommended tours will help you get tickets for everything that you will want to see during your Iceland vacation – such as the Northern Lights, glaciers, waterfalls, ice caves and even helicopter tours.
UPDATE: I have also created a great article that will help you book all the hotels in 10 minutes – it is sorted by price and location and hand picked by me with fabulous reviews! Click here to see it!
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comments down below, I love hearing from my readers!
Which ones would you do?
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