Updated: May 5
You will find various authentic Iceland excursions all over the island. And depending on your preferences, the season you’re planning your trip in as well as the time you have available, you can look forward to many day tours in Iceland.
If you’re someone who enjoys going on a day tour where you can learn new things from an experienced and knowledgeable guide, stick around. In this article, we’ll be listing some of the best day tours in Iceland.
The Best Day Tours in South Iceland
Discover the best day tours in South Iceland with our guide. From exploring the stunning waterfalls to hiking the glaciers, we've got you covered. And for the ultimate adventure, don't forget to check out the best campervan rental in Iceland.
Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajökull
You’ll need to be at least 10 years old to go on this 3-hour ice cave adventure tour in Vatnajökull, and the tour is only open to the public from September to May each year due to safety concerns (ice cave melts, remember?). The tour is in English, so you don’t need to be worried about a possible language barrier.
You also don’t need to be particularly fit or have a certain amount of experience to take part in this tour. During these 3 hours, you’ll be able to explore the magnificent ice cave in Vatnajokull National Park along with your guide. The tour departs from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Tour of the Waterfalls & Reynisfjara
You will need to set aside 10 hours for this tour of the south Iceland waterfalls and Reynisfjara. On this trip, you’ll be treated to attractions such as Eyjafjallajökull glacier and Skogafoss waterfall. Also, the Reynisdrangar rock formation with its mythical legend as well as Reynisfjara, one of Iceland’s most famous black sand beaches.
The tour bus has designated pick-ups and drop-offs from various hotels, guesthouses and bus stops in south Iceland. Simply reach out to inquire whether you’re close (or even in) one of them.
Skaftafell Glacier Hiking Tour
Who can say that they have hiked across one of the tongues of the biggest glacier in Europe? Well, after this Skaftafell Glacier Hiking Tour, you can. On this tour, you will not only learn about glaciers, but you’ll experience them first-hand. You'll get to see the mighty Vatnajökull, the incredible ice formations, and the astounding crevasses.
Once again, you don’t need any particular hiking (or glacier) experience, and the hike is considered to be fairly easy. The tour is open to the public all year round and will take about 4 hours. Just keep in mind that you need to meet on location and that no children under 8 are allowed on this tour.
Boat Tour of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
A Boat Tour of Jokulasarlon Glacier Lagoon is probably one of the most spectacular Iceland day trips you could possibly have. Some of these boat tours will take you so close to the towering icebergs drifting in the lagoon that you can stretch out a hand and touch them.
You’ll also get close enough to the drifting sheets of ice to see seals play among them. You'll also be close enough to the glacier wall so that you might even see how one of these chunks of ice breaks off into the lagoon.
Not only that, but you have the option of going on a Zodiac boat tour or an Amphibian boat tour. The latter doesn’t go quite as close to the icebergs as the Zodiac, but the Zodiac tours are only open from June till September. The tours last roughly 1-1.5 hrs.
The Best Day Tours in East Iceland
Below you will find some of Iceland’s one-day tours in the eastern parts of the island:
The Old Farm Hike Tour
The Old Farm Hike half-day hiking tour in Iceland is 100% family-friendly. Not only will you be traversing the untamed Highlands, but you’ll be going back in time. You'll be winching yourself across the Jökulsa river in a traditional cable way on-route to the abandoned old farm of Kleif.
Here you can see first-hand how people once lived in the region. Along the way, the guide will treat you to wonderful folk tales and interesting history. The tour departs from Egilsstadir.
The Vök Geothermal Baths Tour
Look out over the Lake Urridavatn landscape whilst floating in the brand-new geothermal Vök pools. During the summer months, you can even take a dip in the Lake too. The baths are beautifully designed in the shape of the parts of the lake that didn’t freeze.
Premium rates also include a drink at the pool bar as well as tasters from the local restaurant. This is not a guided tour, and the tour only serves as an easy way to get to and from the baths. This is an all-day event. The Vök Geothermal Baths Tour departs from Egilsstadir.
Streiti Coast Tour via Super Jeeps
The Streiti Coast Tour via Super Jeeps is for the more adventurous among us and those who like to take the road less traveled – literally. The super jeeps give you access to parts along the Streiti Coast that other visitors can only dream of. This tour is with an experienced guide, so you can rest assured that you won’t get lost.
Get ready to explore the magnificent landscape with these 4-wheel beasts. You’ll also visit incredible sights such as Beljandi Waterfall and Heydalur Church. Just please note that this tour is not suitable for those under 12 years of age and a minimum booking of 2 people is required.
The Best Day Tours in North Iceland
The following are some of the private day tours in the northern parts of Iceland that come highly recommended:
Lake Myvatn Tour
The Lake Myvatn area is such a beautiful location that it has been featured in movies and series such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones. The Lake Myvatn Tour is a proper day excursion lasting an average of 9 hours and includes a wide variety of highlights.
These include places such as Mt. Namafjall, the Skutustadagigar Pseudo Craters, the Rift between the Eurasian and American Continents, and the Myvatn Nature Baths. Just remember that the tour does not include the entry fee to the baths. In our opinion, there is no better way to explore such an incredible place than being guided by an expert. The tour departs from Akureyri.
Godafoss Waterfall Tour
Learn everything there is to know about one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. The Godafoss Waterfall Tour is roughly 2.5 hrs long and delves into the history, the legend, and the geological facts around this magical place. The tour departs from Akureyri with a minimum of 2 people required to make a booking. Please just keep in mind that this tour is not suitable for children under the age of 5.
Zip-lining Akureyri Tour
Not all-day tours in Iceland are to see and experience the natural wonders on the island. There are plenty of other exciting activities around to immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape. One of these activities is zip-lining in Akureyri.
An experienced guide will lead you through the Glera river canyon via some light hiking and five zip lines. The entire tour will take between 1–2 hours, depending on the number of people in your party. Gliding over the rushing river and between the steep cliffs is truly a once-in-a-lifetime Iceland experience.
The Best Day Tours in West Iceland
If you’re looking for some day tours in West Iceland, these are a few you can consider:
The Golden Circle Tour
On an 8-hour Golden Circle Tour, you get to experience all the incredible sights and attractions. All of them along one of the most popular road trip routes on the island; the Golden Circle. You will first-hand get to see all the places that are on the covers of postcards and tourist brochures of Iceland.
Things such as Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Thingvellir National Park. The tour departs from Reykjavík, but there is a pick-up option available from your hotel or certain bus stops.
Tour of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
As you can imagine, you’ll need to put an entire day aside for a Tour of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula (the tour lasts about 11 hours). During this tour, you will cross the dramatic landscape that consists of sea cliffs, sparkling fjords, and volcanic peaks.
You will also see some of the pride and joys of the peninsula, such as Kirkjufell and Djupalonssandur Beach. The tour departs from Reykjavík and is suitable for everyone except babies under 2 years of age.
Horse Riding Tour at Fjeldstedhestar
A Horse Riding Tour at Fjedstedhestar will let you ride on the back of an authentic Icelandic horse. During the tour, you’ll get to explore the banks of the Hvita River, which has waters running all the way from Eiriksjökull Glacier.
The riding arena is also wheelchair-friendly and allows for an easy riding experience for those with disabilities. So, do inquire if you have someone with special needs in your party. During the summer months, Fjedstedhestar offers 5-day horse riding courses for children and teenagers. If that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to give them a call. All tours and courses are conducted at and from Fjedstedhestar.
Day Tours in Iceland: All Sorts from Anywhere
As you can see, there are plenty of day tours to be found, no matter where you find yourself on the island. Vacationing with these guided day tours with a local expert that can teach you all about the region. Still, a holiday completely consisting of jumping from one tour to the next will be exhausting. And not only that, probably the most expensive holiday you’ve ever been on, too.
Alternatively, you can rent a campervan in Reykjavík. Dare to tackle many of these day tours yourself, either as stops on a proper road trip exploring the island or as self-drive day tours.