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Things to do in Iceland

A land of natural wonders known for its outdoor lifestyle and 4x4 adventures, Iceland offers a wealth of ways to experience the country. Our carefully chosen activities offer a route into the heart of the landscape from snorkeling between tectonic plates and hiking across glaciers to flightseeing over Vatnajökull and tours of the remote interior highlands.

We can help you gain a deeper understanding of life in the country with cooking classes on a local farm and guided tours of Reykjavík’s historic sights, you can retreat to the spa by the Blue Lagoon or spend an evening chasing the northern lights in winter. Whatever you choose, we’ll bring you closer to the real Iceland and its people.

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Audley Travel specialist Carly

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Ideas for experiencing Iceland

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know Iceland, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Lake Mývatn region

    Hike & bath Lake Mývatn

    Lake Mývatn

    Explore the dramatic volcanic landscapes of northern Iceland on this half-day walking tour around Lake Mývatn. Take in underground pools and sweeping views of age-old craters before finishing at the Mývatn Nature Baths for a relaxing soak.

  • Visit the LAVA Centre interactive exhibition , Hvolsvöllur

    Visit the LAVA Centre interactive exhibition

    South Iceland

    Iceland’s unstable landscape is explained in great detail at the LAVA Centre, a contemporary exhibition examining the country’s history of volcanic activity. A visit offers a comprehensive understanding of the Icelandic landscape, making it a good early destination on any trip.

  • Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull

    Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull glacier

    South Coast

    Explore Eyjafjallajökull, one of Iceland’s most renowned glaciers, by snowmobile as part of a small-group tour. From the mountain top, you can enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and coast and a close-up view of the glacier’s structure.

  • Drangey Island

    Drangey Island boat tour

    North Iceland

    Sheer cliffs drop into the sea on tiny Drangey Island, an uninhabited outcrop that’s home to thousands of nesting seabirds. A dramatic ascent by rope and ladder takes you to the summit for panoramic views and a chance to learn about saga-era outlaws.

  • Dettifoss in winter

    Small group tour to Dettifoss Waterfall

    North Iceland

    This half-day, small-group tour takes in three Icelandic waterfalls, including the thundering cascade of Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, and the more peaceful Selfoss waterfall. Along the way, you’ll learn about Iceland’s geology and the myths and traditions surrounding the falls.

  • Northern lights

    Privately guided northern lights tour

    Reykjavík

    Take an evening trip outside Reykjavík with a private guide to observe the northern lights beyond the city glow. Get tips on taking photographs, find out more about how the phenomenon is caused and watch as the night sky is lit up.

  • Icelandic cooking class

    Icelandic cooking class

    Reykjavík

    Enjoy a morning in the company of an Icelandic chef and folklorist, sampling traditional ingredients, hearing about local food culture past and present, and learning to cook a traditional three-course meal, which you can then enjoy with a glass of wine.

  • Landscape near Kirkjubæjarklaustur

    Half day mountain bike and caving tour

    South Iceland

    Explore one of the largest lava fields in the world on a guided 4x4 tour, descend into lava caves and then bike back through verdant, moss-covered lava formations on this four-hour tour that sheds light on one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history.

  • Inside the Volcano

    Inside the Volcano

    Southwest Iceland

    Hike across an otherworldly landscape of lava fields and volcanic craters to the Þríhnúkagígur crater where you can descend by cable car into the heart of a dormant volcano to see the incredible chamber inside and the vibrant deposits on its walls.

  • River rafting in north Iceland

    Family rafting

    North Iceland

    North Iceland’s West Glacial River runs through a steep, stony canyon in the heart of the wilderness and plays host to family-friendly rafting trips with slow-moving water for swimming, rapids for exhilaration and the chance to brew hot chocolate in a natural spring.

  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon tour by Zodiac

    Jökulsárlón zodiac boat tour

    Vatnajökull National Park

    Hop on a boat to weave among the icebergs on the glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón. Examine their ever-changing forms, learn about local geography and get up close to some of the many seals that make the lagoon their home.

  • Stykkishólmur

    Viking sushi boat trip

    Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Explore the minor fjords, sea cliffs, nesting sites and islands of Breiðafjörður, one of Iceland’s most scenic fjords, to see myriad birdlife, take in the impressive views and sample seafood freshly caught and prepared as Viking sushi.

  • Small group ice cave tour

    Small group ice cave tour

    South Iceland

    Sitting below Kötlujökull, the Katla ice cave is 800 years old and sculpted into enthralling contours by dripping glacial water. Explore the cave with a local guide to see its peculiar ice formations and learn about how it was formed.

  • Stórurð, East Iceland

    Full day guided hike to Stórurð

    Eastfjords

    Little-visited yet one of the most impressive day hikes in Iceland, the walk to Stórurð passes though lush valleys and meadows set against a backdrop of jagged peaks to reach a sapphire lake set in a valley littered with giant boulders.

  • Glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull glacier

    Small group glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull glacier

    South Coast

    This three-hour hike takes you up onto Sólheimajökull to learn about its formation and see the dramatic ice sculptures, ridges and crevasses on its surface. En route, you’ll learn about its structure and get sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness.

  • Bjarteyjarsandur Farm cooking class

    Icelandic lamb cooking class

    West Iceland

    Get an insight into local life in rural Iceland with a visit to a traditional sheep farm outside Reykjavík. Here, you’ll meet three generations of the family, tour the farm, learn about life on the land and help prepare roast lamb for lunch.

  • Icelandic horses

    Varmahlíð horse riding

    North Iceland

    Ride out into the Icelandic countryside on a one-hour ride that offers the chance to experience the country’s distinct breed of horses known for their gentle nature, sure-footedness and unusual additional gaits not seen in other breeds.

  • Strokkur geyser, Golden Circle

    Full day privately guided Golden Circle tour

    Golden Circle

    Discover some of Iceland’s most renowned geological sites on a full-day tour of the Golden Circle with a private guide. Take in the continental rift and original parliament site at Þingvellir, the hot-water blowholes at Haukadalur geothermal valley and thundering Gullfoss waterfall.

  • Landmannalaugar

    Private superjeep tour to Landmannalaugar

    South Iceland

    On a private, guided tour of South Iceland you can travel by superjeep, exploring areas regular vehicles can’t. Activities are tailored to your interests, whether you want to hike across lava fields of visit a Viking farm.

  • Geosea geothermal baths

    Geosea geothermal baths

    North Iceland

    Take part in an Icelandic tradition and relax in the Geosea Geothermal Baths just outside Húsavík and enjoy the sleek design, balmy waters and views as far as the Arctic Circle. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some whales.

  • Þórsmörk Nature Reserve

    Full day Þórsmörk private superjeep tour with BBQ lunch

    South Coast

    Formed by thousands of years of volcanic and glacial activity, Þórsmörk is one of Iceland’s most dramatic hiking and off-roading destinations, where braided rivers weave through black sands and rugged peaks and glaciers lord over a sweeping valley.

  • Retreat Spa at the Blue Lagoon

    Retreat Spa at the Blue Lagoon

    Blue Lagoon

    Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has become one of its most popular attractions, but access to its exclusive Retreat Spa ensures a more serene and relaxing experience. With private pools, a series of treatment options and private changing rooms, it offers complete relaxation in memorable surroundings.

  • Snorkel at Silfra in Þingvellir National Park

    Small group snorkel in Þingvellir National Park

    Golden Circle

    Swim through clear blue waters in a glacial lagoon in Þingvellir National Park, the only place in the world where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates. Take a look at the continents from underwater and learn about Iceland’s geological instability.

  • Reykjavík

    Half day private tour of Reykjavík

    Reykjavík

    Explore Reykjavík’s landmark sights with a local guide. Visit the Hallgrímskirkja and Harpa concert hall, hear about elves and peace treaties, or see lava fields and historical houses as you learn about the city’s history, architecture and culture.

  • Hauganes whale watching

    Hauganes whale watching & sea angling

    North Iceland

    One of the world’s premier whale-watching destinations, Hauganes is the jumping-off point for boat trips around Eyjafjörður, where you’re almost guaranteed to spot humpback whales and possibly minke whales, white-beaked and bottlenose dolphins, and harbour porpoises.

  • Puffin

    Small group puffin tour at Ingólfshöfði

    Vatnajökull National Park

    Take a trip to an isolated headland to observe puffins in a remote location overlooking black sands and steely ocean. With sweeping views, a fun tractor ride across sandy marshes, and relatively easy hiking, it’s a worthwhile way to spend a day.