With so many unique and exciting things to do on the island, it’s no surprise that you can find just as many tour operators offering day tours in Iceland. From just an hour or two to full-day Iceland excursions – they’re all just a phone call or click away.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and would like to add a few day tours to your itinerary, the following Iceland day trips come highly recommended:
The Best Day Tours in East Iceland
The following are some of the Iceland one-day tours you can find when visiting the eastern part of the island:
The Vök Geothermal Baths Tour
The Vök Geothermal Baths Tour is one of the Iceland one-day tours that you don’t want to miss. The Baths are not as well known as the Blue Lagoon, so you won’t need to deal with any crowds, and the pools are fairly newly built. Here you can soak in the amazing view of Lake Urridavatn and its surroundings whilst soaking in the warm waters of these geothermal pools.
An interesting fact about these pools is that they are actually built in the shape of the parts of the lake that never froze. For a little extra (premium rates) you’ll also get tasters from the local restaurant and a complimentary drink at the pool bar. Don’t worry, this tour doesn’t mean that you’ll be floating next to a guide. This tour merely ensures that entry and transport are taken care of, and there is no guide “leading the way” at the pools themselves. The tour departs from the town of Egilsstadir.
Tour the Streiti Coast with Super Jeeps
This Streiti Coast Super Jeep Tour is one for those who enjoy getting the blood pumping a bit. And, of course, for those who can appreciate the “road less traveled” because you’ll be doing a lot of it. By riding the Super Jeeps, you will have access to places that the rest of the public will never be able to experience. Since you’ll be with a professional guide, you don’t need to be concerned about your safety or getting lost.
This tour is more than just interesting transport. It also makes a few other stops at local attractions, such as Heydalur Church and Beljandi Waterfall. Just keep in mind that children under 12 are not allowed on this tour and a booking can only be made if you’re 2 or more people.
The Old Farm Hike Tour
The Old Farm Hike Tour is a half-day tour in Iceland and fun for the entire family. But this is no ordinary walk and with each step, it will feel like you’re walking back in time. You’ll get to experience “old-timey” things such as winching yourself across the Jökulsa river in a traditional cableway. Know that the hike’s ultimate goal is to reach the old farm of Kleif.
Here you’ll get to see how locals in the region lived many, many moons ago. The hike itself won’t even feel like a hike, with your guide entertaining you with all sorts of local myths and legends. This tour departs from the town of Egilsstadir.
The Best Day Tours in West Iceland
If you’re ever in the western region, you should consider going on the following day tours:
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour
As you might’ve guessed, exploring an entire peninsula will take some time, so this tour is 11 hours long (although it doesn’t feel like it). Although the tour is family-friendly, babies under 2 years of age are not allowed.
On the Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour, you will traverse incredible surroundings. The area is filled with volcanos, sea cliffs, and sparkling fjords. You will also get treated to some of the local attractions such as Djupalonssandur Beach and Kirkjufell. This tour departs from the capital city of Reykjavík.
A Horseback Riding Tour at Fjeldstedhestar
Did you know that Iceland has its very own breed of horse? Have you ever seen or ridden an authentic Icelandic horse? Well, now’s your chance. With the Horseback Riding Tour at Fjeldstedhestar, you'll get to ride on one of these magnificent creatures. But that's not it! You'll also get to explore the banks of the Hvita River that is fed by Eiriksjökull Glacier.
Fjeldstedhestar’s riding arena is wheelchair-friendly. They are well-prepared to give those with any disabilities or special needs to also get the chance to experience the Icelandic horses. If you need something to keep the kids busy, you can book a spot on one of their 5-day horse riding courses that are held over the summer months. All courses and tours take place and depart from Fjeldstedhestar.
The Golden Circle Tour
This is another one of the Iceland one-day tours that really does take an entire day and still leave you wanting more. On this 8-hour Golden Circle Tour, you’ll be taken all along the popular road trip route with its various activities and attractions. This includes places such as the Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and many more. Although the Golden Circle Tour departs from Reykjavík, you can arrange for pickup at certain bus stops or from your accommodation.
The Best Day Tours in South Iceland
If you’re planning on exploring South Iceland on your trip, you can add the following Iceland excursions to your itinerary:
A Waterfalls & Reynisfjara Tour
A Waterfall & Reynisfjara Tour will take an average of 10 hours and will take you to some amazing spots in South Iceland. Some of them are Reynisdrangar rock formation, Reynisfjara (one of Iceland’s most popular black sand beaches), Skogafoss Waterfall and Eyjafjallajökull Glacier. This tour has pick-up spots from various bus stops, hotels, and guesthouses across South Iceland, so just inquire which is closest to you.
Boat Tour of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
This is one of the Iceland day trips that you simply cannot miss out on! Taking a Boat Tour of Jukulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is absolutely breathtaking. You can choose from two types of boats; the Zodiac or the Amphibian. They both offer pretty much the same, cruising through the waters with seals playing amongst the floating pieces of ice. However, many say that the Zodiac Tour feels a bit more adventurous.
And with the Zodiac (because of its size) you can get so close to the icebergs that you can reach out and touch them (don’t though). Just keep in mind that the Zodiac tours only run from June to September. Both Zodiac and Amphibian tours last between 1-1.5 hours.
Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajökull
The Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajökull takes roughly 3 hours, making it a great half-day tour in Iceland. The tour is only open between September and May each year, and because of safety concerns, is not available to children younger than 10 years.
Although an ice cave may sound daunting, there is no prior experience needed. You don’t need to be exceptionally fit or be a spelunking expert to go on this tour. Your guide will lead you through the cave and teach you all sorts of interesting things. You'll learn a lot about the formation and hidden secrets of ice caves and the greater Vatnajökull National Park. The tour departs from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
The Best Day Tours in North Iceland
The following are some great day tour ideas if you’re planning on visiting the northern regions of the island:
Godafoss Waterfall Tour
The Godafoss Waterfall Tour departs from Akureyri and will last about 2.5 hours. This truly is a magical place! And your guide will not only educate you on waterfalls in Iceland, but will also tell you all the interesting facts (and fiction!) about Godafoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. This tour is not suitable for children under the age of 5, and you’ll need to be a minimum of 2 people to book.
Zip-lining Akureyri Tour
Yes, not all day tours in Iceland are spent gawking at the majestic landscape and natural wonders on the island. This tour gets the adrenaline going whilst giving you an eagle’s eye view of the landscape. On the Zip-lining Tour, an experienced guide will take you through the Glera River Canyon via light hiking and five zip lines. As you might’ve guessed, the tour departs from the city of Akureyri and lasts roughly 1–2 hours. This is definitely one of the Iceland excursions not to miss!
Lake Myvatn Tour
If Lake Myvatn looks familiar to you, it’s because this beautiful landscape has graced our screens in movies and series such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones. But the Lake Myvatn Tour doesn’t just take you to see the lake, it’s 9 hours of a wide variety of highlights.
These include the Skutustadagigar Pseudo Craters, Mt. Namafjall, the Rift between the Eurasian and American Continents, and, of course, the popular Myvatn Nature Baths where you will enjoy a relaxing soak. Exploring this vast area with an experienced guide by your side is an absolute treat, as you learn things you would’ve never been able to figure out by yourself. The tour departs from the city of Akureyri and costs do not include the entrance fee to the Myvatn Nature Baths.
Day Tours in Iceland: Make Your Own
Whilst the above-mentioned private day tours in Iceland are absolutely amazing, most visitors opt to go on just a couple of these as the costs do rack up. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t go on more than just a few day tours in Iceland. Simply DIY your own day tours by renting a campervan in Iceland and go on your own self-drive day trips all across the island.