Iceland’s diminutive capital city holds a third of the country’s entire population, with roughly 130,000 people. As such, there is a good deal of empty wilderness beyond the suburbs of Reykjavik. The country has some of the world’s most unique geological forms and processes, while top shows like Game of Thrones have been drawn to the glaciers and snowy mountains. While much of this makes the interior of Iceland sound inhospitable and inaccessible, a great way to unlock the region is on a guided tour.
Many people first head to Reykjavik on a trip to Iceland. As such it is the best base from which tour operators run their trips around the country. A whole host of tours and excursions are available, ranging from a few days along the popular south coast to more than a week exploring the entire island. Here are some of the best tours and excursions from Reykjavik.
From: €485/per person
Focussing primarily on the geothermal landmarks that are so iconic of Iceland, this tour of the northern part of the country takes in the volcanic craters at Grabrok, Dimmuborgir and Vit, as well as the Namaskard geothermal fields. You can then soak in naturally heated pools at Myvatn. Other highlights of this three-day tour include a visit to a microbrewery located in Dalvik fishing village, as well as encountering another side of nature on a whale watching trip, to look for humpback and minke whales, along with porpoises and dolphins.
From €399/ per person
Heading in the opposite direction is a shorter, yet no less diverse in experience, tour of the southern part of the island. The exploration of different, yet equally awe-inspiring, natural wonders dominate the itinerary, such as the huge waterfalls coming down from the tops of volcanoes, like Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The tour also visits a black sand beach and a glacier lagoon, where icebergs break free from a glacier and into the sea. In the right season there is a chance to also explore the blue ice caves that form during the winter months.
From €1,906/ per person
If the two tours above sound intriguing but not quite immersive enough, then the Best of Iceland Tour might be a good alternative. The six-night, seven-day trip takes in the whole island, visiting the country’s highlights like Myvatn Lake, the lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and the fishing village of Hofn, known as the lobster capital of Iceland. This tour also includes the impressive Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, to see the ice caves and ice calving, both delicate and marvellous natural features that are not guaranteed to be around forever.
From €1,571/ per person
Cramming in an extra day, this tour follows some of the well-trodden routes, like the Golden Circle, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park, as well as less well-trodden reaches like the Hengifoss waterfall, which is reached after a three-hour hike. Other highlights include visits to the Geysir Hot Springs, whale watching around Dalvik, and Grabrok volcano’s crater. Accommodation is provided for the seven-night duration of the tour, although most meals are not. The tour group’s size is capped at 18 people.
From €1,035/ per person
Five days still allows you to experience a broad range of unique experiences, the likes of which you are unlikely to find all in the same accessible area anywhere else in the world without a lot more time spent travelling. Such examples include volcanic and glacial landscapes, waterfalls and geothermal marvels, geysers, lava fields, ice caves and, in the midst of them all, small villages where shepherds and fisher folk work the land as their ancestors have done for centuries before them. Above all of that, you may get the chance to see the Northern Lights in all their glory.