Top Iceland Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Iceland Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

128 Iceland trips. Compare tour itineraries from 28 tour companies. 476 reviews. 4.6/5 avg rating.

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Top Iceland Attractions

  • Diverse Experiences on Iceland Tours  Every moment on an Iceland tour unveils a new adventure for the visitors. From chasing the Northern Lights to soaking in geothermal hot springs, these tours offer a kaleidoscope of landscapes, cultures, and activities, promising an unforgettable Icelandic odyssey.
    • Hiking among incredible natural landscapes and feeling like you're on another planet
    • Enjoying glacier hikes exploring the majestic glaciers of Vatnajökull National Park
    • Observing the incredible Northern Lights over a beautiful snowscape
    • Witnessing the dramatic landscapes of the volcanic Westman Islands
    • Discovering the mystical allure of black sand beaches at Reynisfjara
    • Venturing into the surreal landscapes of the Highlands
    • Relaxing in the Blue Lagoon before or after flights to ease muscle and airport tension
    • Experiencing the thrill of ice cave exploration
    • Encountering puffins and other wildlife on coastal cliffs
    • Marveling at the powerful geysers of the Golden Circle
    • Taking a day to explore downtown Reykjavík, with its many bars, restaurants, and art galleries
    • Visiting filming locations for Game of Thrones
    • Indulging in traditional Icelandic cuisine, including hearty lamb stew and fresh seafood
    • Snorkeling at Þingvellir (pronounced thing-vel-lir) National Park, where you can touch the North American and European continents at the same time
    • Immersing yourself in Icelandic culture at traditional folk museums
    • Traversing lava fields and lava tube caves
    • Standing next to the Gullfoss Waterfall. This unique "staircase" waterfall may get you wet, but it's well worth it!
    • Capture the beauty of Iceland's landscapes and culture through your lens, creating lasting memories of your Icelandic adventure.

Iceland Tours & Travel Guide

Iceland Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Iceland may sound foreboding, but it's one of the world's most fascinating countries. It's a land of volcanoes, hot springs, fjords, and waterfalls just below the Arctic Circle. And it's not as cold as you may think, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. 

An adventure traveler's dream, Iceland is known as the land of Fire and Ice, which sounds fantastical. It's this sense of fantasy that draws so many travelers to Iceland's shores. From storied Viking history to legends of the elves, Iceland is a land of tremendous folklore, interwoven with a stunning natural landscape.

Iceland tours are usually active and outdoors, thanks to the natural landscape of hundreds of volcanoes and waterfalls against dramatic backdrops of ice, snow, glaciers, bright green mountains and cliffs, ravines, and dark rocky shorelines. Your guide will likely focus on nature, wildlife, ecology, and geoscience.

Everyone in Iceland cares deeply about protecting their landscape from human interference. They're a world leader in sustainable energy and harness their natural resources to keep Iceland as pristine as possible.

Though the country is small, it packs a punch—there are so many things to do in Iceland. Around every bend in the road, a new dazzling view and photo op await. You'll want plenty of time to explore the incredible beauty of Iceland.

The Golden Circle: A Classic Way to Tour Iceland

Many Iceland day tours depart from Reykjavík to see the Golden Circle, which can take 3-4 or 6-8 hours, depending on how many stops you make and how long you spend at each stop. 

You may be surprised how long you need to process the majesty of the Gullfoss waterfall. Or you may want longer than a couple of hours to explore the incredible Þingvellir National Park.

A classic Golden Circle tour in Iceland usually hits the "big three" Þingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss, with variations and additions depending on who you travel with. You can join a guided or self-drive tour of Iceland's most frequented vacation destination. If you have only a short time in Iceland, these are the places you'll want to see.

Þingvellir National Park

Þingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, holds immense historical and geological significance in Iceland. It's where the world's oldest parliament, Alþingi, first convened in 930 AD. 

Geologically, it's situated in a rift valley marking the separation of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Visitors marvel at the unique landscape, characterized by rocky cliffs, fissures, and crystal-clear waters like Silfra, where one can snorkel or dive between the continents.

Þingvellir's cultural and geological importance and stunning natural beauty make it a must-visit destination on any Iceland tour.

Geysir Geothermal Area

Geysir Geothermal Area is renowned for its geothermal activity, including the namesake geyser that gave rise to the term worldwide. Although Geysir itself is currently inactive, nearby Strokkur reliably erupts every 5-10 minutes, shooting hot water up to 30 meters into the air. 

Visitors witness these mesmerizing displays while exploring the otherworldly landscape dotted with steaming vents, bubbling mud pots, and colorful mineral deposits. 

The area's geothermal energy also powers the surrounding geothermal plants, contributing to Iceland's sustainable energy initiatives.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss, or the "Golden Falls," is one of Iceland's most iconic and breathtaking natural attractions. Cascading in two tiers, Gullfoss plunges into a narrow canyon, creating a spectacle of raw power and beauty. 

Visitors stand in awe at the edge of the canyon, feeling the mist on their faces as they witness the immense volume of water thundering down into the abyss below. In winter, Gullfoss takes on an even more magical appearance as the surrounding landscape becomes encased in ice and snow, adding to the waterfall's allure and grandeur.

Iceland's Ring Road

While the Golden Circle is a long one-day or comfortable two-day venture along the south coast, the Ring Road is a thorough road adventure around the entire island, about 800 miles.

Some top highlights along the Ring Road include:

Southwest

Discover the enchanting landscapes and natural wonders along Iceland's southwestern coast, where cascading waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, and charming coastal towns await your exploration.

Seljalandsfoss: This waterfall is 200 feet high and viewable from the Ring Road, even though you need to take a small drive off the road to get there. It is notable for the cave directly behind, which allows you to walk 360 degrees around the falling streams of water.

Skógafoss: Another brilliant waterfall, Skogafoss is a beautiful sight, falling 200 feet, surrounded by greenery, and emptying into a small idyllic river.

Vik: It's a lovely small town near one of Iceland's strange yet beautiful black beaches.

North Iceland

Embark on a journey through the untamed beauty of Iceland's northern region, where rugged coastlines, volcanic landscapes, and vibrant cultural heritage create an unforgettable experience for travelers.

Dimmuborgir: The nickname "gateway to Hell" makes sense when you see the haunting rock formations that seem to "grow" out of the dark waters in this area, surrounded by hidden caves.

East Iceland

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty and hidden gems of Iceland's eastern coast, where towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil fjords await discovery.

Höfn: If you happen to be driving the Ring Road between June and July, you have to try to be in Höfn for the lobster festival. Nowhere will you taste fresher, more delicious lobster.

Spotting Wild Reindeers: Eastern Iceland is the only place where wild reindeer are found in Iceland. You'll see them by the hundreds! Though the animals are not indigenous to the country, they look like they belong and have thrived for many years.

Hallormsstadur Forest: One thing you will notice almost immediately in Iceland is the lack of trees. So, exploring a full-fledged forest is unique in Iceland. This is a natural halfway point along the Ring Road, approximately 8 hours from Reykjavík.

Southeast Iceland

Explore the breathtaking landscapes and diverse attractions of Iceland's southeastern region. Glacial lagoons, rugged coastlines, and ancient glaciers offer unparalleled opportunities for adventure and discovery.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur: This tiny town has a fascinating history, and several nearby sights and hikes are easily accessible on foot.

Skaftafell: This waterfall has an otherworldly look as it falls among basalt columns, neatly arranged on either side in a strange but alluring pattern.

Tips For a Trip Along Iceland's Ring Road

Here are a few quick tips that will make your trip safe and fun:

  • Avoid traveling the Ring Road in winter. Ice can be treacherous on the roads, especially if you're unfamiliar with driving on slick, icy roads.

  • You will find a few food choices along the road. Plan ahead and buy a lot of substantial non-perishable snacks ahead of time.

  • Because Iceland is so tiny, you may be tempted to complete this trip in 24 hours, but you shouldn't. The minimum recommended is one week. The views that appear around every single bend in the road will make you want to stop constantly and whip out your camera.

Caving in Iceland

Overshadowed perhaps by the two opposing pillars of Iceland's attractions (volcanoes and waterfalls, Fire and Ice), Iceland has a whole other world to explore underground. This is a seasonal activity, so for safety reasons, check and ensure the cave you want to explore is open to tour.

Gjábakkahellir Cave

Near Þingvellir National Park, this cave formed after an eruption 9000 years ago brings surrealism to a whole new level. It is a unique lava tube cave in that it's open on two ends, and you can walk through completely.

Leiðarendi Cave 

Enter a world of lava and icicles in this unique lava tube cave. Narrow and dark in some parts, Leiðarendi is not for the faint of heart. This tour will involve some crawling through tight spaces and a lot of crouching, so make sure your back is ok, and you're open to getting down and dirty.

Þríhnúkagígur Volcano 

A dormant volcano that erupted 4000 years ago is one of the few places in the world where you can enter a magma chamber. Forty minutes outside Reykjavík, Þrihnukagigur volcano is accessed by an hour hike to get to the mouth. It's the perfect day excursion from Reykjavík.

The Most Relaxing Places and Activities in Iceland

Escape into tranquility amidst Iceland's serene landscapes and rejuvenating activities. Indulge in the country's most relaxing experiences, from soaking in natural hot springs to strolling along peaceful beaches and exploring secluded spots of natural beauty.

Blue Lagoon: Surrender to bliss as you soak in the milky-blue waters of Iceland's iconic geothermal pool, surrounded by volcanic landscapes and rejuvenating silica mud masks.

Secret Lagoon: Discover a hidden oasis of calm in the Golden Circle region, where a natural hot spring invites you to unwind in soothing warmth beneath the open sky.

Seljavallalaug: Immerse yourself in relaxation at one of Iceland's oldest swimming pools, nestled amidst scenic mountains and accessible via a short hike through stunning landscapes.

Laugarvatn Fontana: Experience the soothing power of Iceland's geothermal energy at this lakeside spa, where steam rooms, hot pools, and traditional Icelandic saunas await.

Reynisfjara Beach: Take a stroll along the black sands of Reynisfjara Beach, admiring the towering basalt columns and crashing waves for a tranquil seaside escape.

Hveragerði Hot Springs: Wander through lush greenery to discover natural hot springs in the charming town of Hveragerði, offering a secluded and serene bathing experience.

Arnarstapi: Find peace and serenity amidst the rugged coastal beauty of Arnarstapi, where towering cliffs, arches, and rock formations create a picturesque backdrop for quiet contemplation.

Hallgrímskirkja Church: Ascend to the top of Reykjavík's iconic church for panoramic views of the cityscape and surrounding mountains, providing a peaceful retreat from the bustle below.

Unwind, rejuvenate, and immerse yourself in Iceland's tranquil havens, where relaxation is an art form and serenity knows no bounds.

Best Spots to See Northern Lights in Iceland

Embark on an enchanting journey under the dancing hues of the Northern Lights in Iceland. From remote wilderness to accessible viewpoints, discover the best spots across the island to witness this mesmerizing celestial spectacle.

Thingvellir National Park: Venture into the heart of Iceland's natural wonders, where the dark skies of Thingvellir offer optimal conditions for Northern Lights viewing amidst stunning landscapes.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: Marvel at the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis dancing above the icy waters of Jökulsárlón, providing a magical backdrop to the glittering icebergs.

Kirkjufell Mountain: Capture the iconic silhouette of Kirkjufell Mountain under the luminous glow of the Northern Lights, creating a breathtaking scene straight from a fairy tale.

Landmannalaugar: Journey into Iceland's remote Highlands to witness the Aurora illuminate the rugged terrain of Landmannalaugar, surrounded by colorful mountains and bubbling hot springs.

Reynisfjara Beach: Experience the awe-inspiring sight of the Northern Lights dancing above the black sands of Reynisfjara Beach, framed by dramatic basalt columns and crashing waves.

Vik: Head to the charming village of Vik to witness the Northern Lights shimmering over the quaint coastal landscapes, offering a picturesque setting for celestial photography.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula: Explore the mystical landscapes of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, where dark skies and minimal light pollution provide ideal conditions for Northern Lights sightings.

Myvatn: Discover the otherworldly beauty of Myvatn's volcanic landscapes, where steaming geothermal vents and tranquil lakes set the stage for an unforgettable Northern Lights display.

Prepare to be enchanted by the celestial ballet of the Northern Lights in Iceland. Each location offers a unique vantage point to witness nature's most dazzling light show.

Food in Iceland

Iceland may not spring to mind as a food-centric destination, but increased tourism has led to a bit of a food renaissance in the country. Here are a few Icelanders' favorite foods. 

Fish: It should come as no surprise that Iceland is all about the fish! The Atlantic waters are chock full of salmon, cod, herring, monkfish, lobster, and more. And yes, you can eat puffins and whales quite quickly in Iceland.

Iceland is a hidden destination for truly fresh fish. Unlike other places like Alaska, where the prime catch of the day is exported to grocery stores around the country, most of Iceland's catch stays local. Be sure to try fish soup when you see it on the menu.

Lamb: After fish, lamb dishes are so popular that you could almost mistake it for New Zealand! This is also the unique ingredient in the special Icelandic hot dogs you'll hear about from locals.

Most Icelanders will refer you to Baejarins Beztu Pylsur for hot dogs, where such celebrities as Bill Clinton sampled this delight. 

Skyr: It's a local favorite. It's yogurt-like in taste and consistency, but it's actually a soft type of cheese. It's used in several ways, from sweet to savory, and even as a drink. Skyr is a popular, everyday food for Icelanders.

Local Produce: You will notice the lack of internationally recognized brands in Iceland, particularly for sodas and snack foods. Locally sourced everything is the norm here. From produce, including fruits, vegetables, and meats, to grain products, most meals you'll enjoy in Iceland will be made from local ingredients. Be sure to sample the locally-made breads!

Drinkable Tap Water: If you try to buy bottled water in Iceland, you will be maligned because the tap water is some of the freshest around. For an eco-conscious nation, buying plastic when it's unnecessary will be looked down upon.

Local beers and vodkas are a staple in Iceland if you'd like to drink. Be warned that the alcohol prices in Iceland are very, very high. Food prices are also high, but you should eat out at least once or twice.

Photography Tours in Iceland

Iceland is endlessly photographable. If photography is one of your main interests, several tours to Iceland focus specifically on photography, where you can learn tips and get the most spectacular shots.

While Iceland's many varied and dramatic landscapes are one of the best parts about raising your camera, there is so much wildlife here! Arctic foxes, reindeer, whales, and, of course, the famous wild Icelandic horses all add to the magic of this place. Bring an extra SD card on the Iceland tour!

While seeking the perfect shot, be careful where you step and stand. Iceland's natural attractions are sometimes not well marked, and tourists have been known to get hurt when they do not use common sense about the elements and mother nature. 

Be wary of cliff sides, icy conditions, wind, and waves.

Photography enthusiasts should refer to our Iceland Photography Tours page for more details on what to pack. You'll want to bring a tripod and waterproof casing for your camera - especially if you're getting up close and personal with one of Iceland's many waterfalls!

What to Pack for Iceland

Bring sturdy, broken-in hiking boots and pack many, many layers. The weather can change dramatically during one day, and Iceland can be oddly temperate on some winter days or oddly cold on some summer days. 

Bring a lightweight waterproof jacket if you plan to hike around Iceland's many waterfalls.

Most vacation packages to Iceland spend much time outdoors, among other elements. For Iceland travel, you'll want to pack things you don't care about getting dirty and sweaty that hold up well in wind, water, mud, and rain.

Visiting Iceland in Summer

Iceland in Summer is very popular, but that can be the downside, too. Summer is a popular travel time for tourists, and Iceland's increasing popularity means the crowds will be heavy. It doesn't get hot; average highs hover around 65 degrees F.

Summer in Iceland experiences 24-hour sunlight around the time of the Summer Solstice. This natural event draws visitors from all over the world for festivals celebrating the longest day of the year.

In Iceland, the most popular way to celebrate Summer Solstice is with the "Secret Solstice" festival, which lasts three days and is full of music, food, drinks, and fun.

Visiting Iceland in Winter

While some attractions will be off-limits due to harsh weather conditions (snow, ice on the road, wind), winter is the only time you can see the famous Northern Lights in Iceland. It's best to join a guided tour since your guide will know the best viewing areas and have extended forecast information.

In winter, Iceland experiences very dark days and sometimes only 3 to 4 hours of sunlight, ideal for viewing the Northern Lights. 

Another unique experience that should be on your winter Iceland tour is caving. Check out the Ice Caves, which entrances visitors with bright blue frozen formations. Snow and ice photographers take note! This one's for you. 

Transportation in Iceland

While Iceland is a traditionally "adventurous" destination geared toward active tourists seeking thrills such as glacier walking, polar plunging, extreme waterfall hikes, and walking over lava fields near active volcanoes, that doesn't mean you can't find more comfortable ways to travel through this incredible country.

Older travelers or those simply more interested in a slower, less adrenaline-pushing kind of trip can still find Iceland travel packages with plenty to see and do that don't involve traveling in a 4x4 over rough terrain.

This is not to say that all of Iceland's attractions are troublesome to get to. In response to increased tourism, Iceland has made many updates to its roads, especially in areas of high concentration, such as the Golden Circle. 

So, you will undoubtedly encounter a smooth ride to see Iceland's significant sites. However, if you want to go farther afield, see the Northern Lights, or experience the Ring Road, some portions of this journey might need to be better maintained.

The best tip would be to travel to Iceland with a guided tour company that offers tours for senior travelers. On a tour with companies such as Road Scholar or ElderTreks, these things will be taken into consideration, and every effort will be made to minimize discomfort as you explore Iceland.

Iceland Reviews & Ratings

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Ankur

Mar 2024

Written on

Our trip to Iceland was absolutely stunning and Charlie the Traveler curated an amazing and adventurous trip for us that kept in mind all of the attractions that were on our list and many other gems this beautiful country has to offer.

Our trip to Iceland was absolutely stunning and Charlie the Traveler curated an amazing and adventurous trip for us that kept in mind all of the attractions that wer...

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Laurie Nelson

Feb 2023

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My husband and I had an excellent trip to Iceland this January.

My husband and I had an excellent trip to Iceland this January. Our hotels, itineraries, and travel were all taken care of, which made our vacation so much more enjo...

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Barbara H.

Feb 2023

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The trip to Iceland through CharlieTheTraveler was filled with activities.

The trip to Iceland through CharlieTheTraveler was filled with activities. I enjoyed every second of this trip. The company made every part of the trip painless and ...

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Linda Keira

Feb 2023

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This trip to Iceland perfectly captured all the natural wonders of the country.

This trip to Iceland perfectly captured all the natural wonders of the country. I am so glad I went with CharlieTheTraveler, as they were organized and planned a var...

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Francine R.

Feb 2023

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Booking a tour with CharlieTheTraveler was very easy.

Booking a tour with CharlieTheTraveler was very easy. My trip to Iceland went off without any issues and that’s all to the company’s organization. The tour guide the...

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