Visit North Iceland, Iceland
Wild and remote, north Iceland rewards those who make it here with little-visited historic towns, large thundering waterfalls and vast swathes of volcanic wasteland watched over by the brooding peaks of volcanoes.
Quirky Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city, is in this region, as well as the heritage town of Siglufjörður, once known as the ‘herring capital of the world’. You can go whale watching in Húsavík, laze in geothermal baths overlooking the ocean, meander between bubbling mud pools or feast on ‘lava bread’ baked in the hot, steamy ground.
Our specialists have explored the main sights and the lesser-known ones, and they’ll carefully plan your visit to north Iceland as an individual, tailor-made trip to match your preferences. They’ll use their first-hand knowledge and experience to guide you on where to go and what to do.
You could hike through black lava fields and to crater summits, birdwatch around otherworldly Lake Mývatn, explore the scenic fjordlands of the Troll Peninsula, photograph Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, or laze in natural baths with views of volcanic fields that offer a more serene environment than the far more commercial Blue Lagoon.
Places to visit in North Iceland
Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting North Iceland, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travellers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.
Suggested itineraries featuring North Iceland
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in North Iceland, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of North Iceland
Places & hotels on the map
Places in and around North Iceland
- Akureyri North Iceland
- Dettifoss North Iceland
- Lake Mývatn North Iceland
- Troll Peninsula North Iceland
- Vatnajökull National Park 98 miles away
- Langjökull 117 miles away
- Eastfjords 132 miles away
- Flatey 133 miles away
- South Iceland 138 miles away
- Golden Circle 139 miles away
- West Iceland 144 miles away
- Snæfellsnes Peninsula 153 miles away
- Jökulsárlón 157 miles away
- Reykjavík 166 miles away
- South Coast 179 miles away
- Blue Lagoon 190 miles away
- Westman Islands 190 miles away
- Southwest Iceland 192 miles away
Photos of North Iceland
Accommodation choices for North Iceland
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit North Iceland. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
A contemporary property in the heart of Akureyri, Hotel Kea offers welcoming rooms, an on-site bistro and bar, and easy access to the north of Iceland’s natural attractions. It’s also near to the cultural building, outdoor public swimming pool, and marina.
Set in a remote valley and surrounded by the mountains of the Troll Peninsula, Deplar Farm offers elegant rooms and a wide range of included activities to fill your days, from hiking to surfing.
With a scenic setting in the heart of Siglufjörður, Sigló Hótel has clean and comfortable rooms with mountain or marina views, several dining options, and helpful staff. It’s also ideally located for visiting North Iceland’s coastline, lava fields, waterfalls, and rock formations.
An ideal base from which to explore Lake Mývatn and the natural wonders of Iceland’s north, Icelandair Hotel Mývatn offers attentive service, quirky rooms, modern cuisine, and interesting art installations for design lovers.
Set in the rolling farmland of northern Iceland, Hestasport Cottages offer a comfortable stopover on a road trip. Each of the seven authentically decorated, self-catering cottages is fully equipped for ease and comfort.
Ideas for experiencing North Iceland
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting North Iceland, and which use the best local guides.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.