13 epic Iceland adventure tours from Reykjavik you can’t miss (2023)

Whether you’re traveling around the whole country or making a short stopover in Reykjavik, this handpicked list of the best adventure tours in Iceland will help you plan an amazing trip.

Vik, Iceland

If this is your first trip to Iceland, you must have a million questions.

I sure did.

Like, what are the main highlights? How will I get the most out of my time in Iceland? And what should I pack?

That’s why I made this list of the absolute best Iceland adventure tours from Reykjavik. It should give you an idea of what to expect and how to plan your day trips around this beautiful Nordic country.

While you can see most of these sights all-year round, a few of the Iceland tours are only available in winter. Like the Northern Lights and the ice cave tour.

Ready to dig in?

Let’s go!

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Iceland adventure tours

Book airport transfer to Reykjavik

Before you arrive at Keflavik airport, I recommend pre-booking an airport transfer to Reykjavik.

While a taxi ride costs $120 one way, you’ll only pay $28 for a shuttle bus with regular departures every 30-45 minutes.

Another benefit is that the shared shuttle bus is just as comfy as a taxi, and it will drop you off at your hotel in Reykjavik.

Oh, and it has free WIFI.

Book your seat now – Airport transfer to Reykjavik (⭐ 4.6/5).

🇮🇸 The best adventure tour in Iceland

#1 best Pick
private Northern Lights tours in Iceland - aurora borealis (3)

3-Day Ice Cave, South Coast, Golden Circle and Northern Lights from Reykjavik

See highlights including Thingvellir, Gullfoss, and Jökulsárlón

Includes 2 nights’ accommodation with breakfast

Ideal if you have limited time

Best Iceland adventure tours from Reykjavik

In this post, you’ll find a list of my favorite adventure tours in Iceland. I’ve handpicked these tours based on the best itinerary, length of the trip and group size.

The tours I mention here are bookable through GetYourGuide and Viator, which are the travel companies I use to book guided tours and day trips myself.

They’re my favorite, because they have competitive prices, excellent customer service and free 24-hour cancelation.

1. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon tour

Iceland adventure tours

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 357 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 14 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

Let’s begin with my favorite sight in Iceland: Jokulsarlon.

Imagine 1000-year old icebergs and a black volcanic beach covered in glistening, translucent blocks of ice in different shapes and sizes, just like diamonds.

On this 14-hour tour (⭐ 4.5/5) from Reykjavik, you’ll also visit the black sand beach on the other side of the road. It’s called Diamond Beach because of the glistening icebergs on the black lava sand.

On top of that, you’ll stop by Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Stjornarfoss waterfall and the beautiful black sand beaches in Iceland’s southernmost village Vik.

This was the highlight of my trip to Iceland, and it can be yours too if you’ve never seen an iceberg before.

2. Ice cave tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 52 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

Visiting an ice cave is one of the active adventures you can only do in winter.

On this tour, you’ll venture into a blue ice cave formed by glaciers though centuries – it’s an epic experience. Most of all because it’s so insanely beautiful.

Before you go into the caves and ice tunnels, you’ll be fully equipped with ice caving gear, but you have to wear sturdy waterproof walking shoes to fit the crampons on.

3. South Iceland tour

South Iceland

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 258 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 10 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

The most beautiful place in Iceland is the southern coast.

Its ever-changing and dramatic landscapes include some of the country’s biggest volcanoes, glaciers and most iconic waterfalls. It’s simply out of this world!

On this South Iceland tour, the incredible experiences include walking behind the waterfall at Seljalandsfoss, the impressive Skógafoss waterfall (on the photo above) and the black-sand beaches at Reynisfjara.

4. The Golden Circle (+ Kerid Crater)

Iceland adventure tours

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 618 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 10 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

The Golden Circle Full Day Tour with Secret Lagoon and Kerid Crater is one of the best selling tours – and it includes the up and coming Kerid crater that people absolutely love.

You’ll see the spectacular Geysir area, Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park (the first Viking parliament), which is also where several Game of Thrones and Viking scenes are shot.

With this tour, you get the krónars you pay for this tour additionally back in the bucket loads. You’ll see waterfalls, turqouise geysirs, natural hot springs, a volcano crater and otherworldly landscapes in one day.

5. The Blue Lagoon + The Golden Circle

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 1366 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 11 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

The Blue Lagoon is a must on any Iceland itinerary – or at least it should be. Ideally, you’d spend 3-4 hours at the lagoon, and then you’d have the rest of the day to explore the rest of Iceland.

With this tour, you’ll get a full day tour of sightseeing around the Golden Circle with relaxation at the Blue Lagoon at the end of the day. It’s the perfect combination.

6. The Northern Lights

Iceland adventure tours

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 835 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

The most amazing bucket list activity in Iceland has got to be chasing Northern Lights.

If you visit Iceland in Winter – from September to March – you have a pretty good chance of seeing them. And if you want to maximise your chances, you can join a trip from Reykjavik.

The benefit of joining this tour is that the guides check the weather forecast and through experience and intuition, they decide which route will give you the best chance of spotting the Northern Lights.

Plus, they’ll bring warm blankets and hot chocolate.

7. Whale watching

Iceland adventure tours - Whale watching

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 1417 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

One of the most popular Iceland adventure tours is a whale-watching cruise.

With an expert guide, you’ll spot whales, dolphins, and seabirds in their natural habitat. It’s an extraordinary adventure where you’ll also learn about these remarkable creatures.

With a 95% success rate in summer and 80% in winter, sightings are highly likely!

8. Icelandic Horseback Riding Tour

Iceland adventure tours - Icelandic Horseback Riding

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 642 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

Riding an Icelandic horse is a classic experience in Iceland!

On this tour from Reykjavik, saddle up on an Icelandic horse and take in the raw beauty of lava fields, mountains, and lakes.

These gentle Icelandic horses, brought by the Vikings, are perfect for riders of all levels. Your instructor will ensure you have a ride that matches your comfort.

And when you’re done? Warm up with a nice hot drink.

9. Puffin Express Cruise

Iceland adventure tours - Puffin

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 410 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

May to August is the best time to see those cute puffins in Iceland. On this 1-hour day trip, you’ll head to Akurey Island, where you can see puffins up close in their natural setting.

Your local guide will share fun and insightful facts about puffins and their habits.

Plus, you’ll get binoculars to get an even better view of the seabirds.

10. Snowmobile Adventure

Iceland adventure tours - Snowmobile

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 52 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

Another epic adventure travel tour in Iceland is a snowmobile ride across Langjökull Glacier – one of Iceland’s massive glaciers.

On this tour, you’ll start in Reykjavik, see stunning landscapes, then hit the glacier. Ideal for those who’ve already done the Golden Circle or want something different.

The highlight of snowmobile tours is that it also includes an ice cave tour, which is a major experience!

You can bring your family (suitable for kids 6 and up).

11. Volcano Hike

Iceland adventure tours - Volcano Hike

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 34 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8.5 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

The Reykjanes Peninsula, just outside Reykjavik has over 130 dormant and active volcanoes.

This guided hike takes you across its unique lava fields and right between two shifting tectonic plates.

Want to see the raw power of lava sprouting through the crater? You’ll get to do that on this tour in the land of fire! It’s the perfect Iceland adventure trip.

12. Lava Tunnel Caving

Iceland adventure tours - Lava Tunnel Caving

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 27 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6-7 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

On this highly rated tour, you’ll experience two great adventures!

You’ll start by exploring the Leidarendi Cave, a fascinating lava tube, before snorkeling in the Silfra fissure at Thingvellir National Park, where two tectonic plates meet.

After your underwater adventure, your guide will share some hot chocolate and give you underwater photos to remember the day.

They’ll pick you up from Reykjavik or the airport.

13. Snorkeling Between Continents in Silfra

Iceland adventure tours - Snorkeling Silfra

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 2347 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours | 🇮🇸 BOOK NOW

This tour takes you snorkeling in Thingvellir National Park’s Silfra Fissure, situated between the North American and European tectonic plates.

You’ll see unique marine life and vivid blue waters. All snorkeling gear and a thermal dry suit are provided.

As a bonus, your guide will capture the experience with GoPro photos, so you’ll have a memory from your journey between the continents.

What to pack for your Iceland adventure tour

Like we say in the North: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

So when exploring the outdoors in Iceland, you obviously have to be prepared for any kind of weather.

Here’s the most essential items on my packing list for Iceland:

Waterproof and windproof jacket
If you’re going to Iceland in the winter, it’s worth investing in a reliable waterproof jacket. I’ve had my white snow jacket for almost 10 years, and it’s still just as great. An insulated parka would also do the trick. It just has to be waterproof – not water repellant.

Sturdy waterproof boots
I brought my trusty Salomon hiking boots, which have served me well on hikes in Peru, Slovakia and the Swiss Alps. What I like the most about them is that they’re waterproof and sturdy, which comes in handy when you’re walking on glaciers, icebergs or lava beaches. You know, just another day in Iceland.

Ski Pants
Iceland is cold and windy, so you’ll need to pack a pair of ski pants. Not only will they keep you warm, they’re also convenient if you need to sit on the ground (for that perfect photo) or walk close to a waterfall (like Skogafoss).

A warm hat
While the most practical choice would be a balaclava, they’re not really the sexiest, are they? I wore my pom pom hat, which I also use during winter in Denmark. It protected my ears and head, which is all I can ask from a hat. Just make sure it sits fairly tight, so it doesn’t blow off in the wind.

A scarf
And it should be warm and snug around your neck, so go for a wollen scarf.

Waterproof Gloves
Yes, even the gloves need to be waterproof. Otherwise, your hands will be soaked the minute you touch something covered in snow or ice. Make sure to buy a pair of waterproof gloves with touch screen so you can use your iPhone.

Fleece-Lined Leggings
Lastly, you’ll need a pair of warm leggings to keep warm with maximum movability. I recommend this pair for women. They’re insulating and affordable.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Miriam,
    I am Abrar from India ,iv been following your blogs about Switzerland and other places like Iceland ,it’s like you take care of our entire planning .
    It’s due to your blogs ,that has made me feel interested to travel as I have so much information thanks to your blogs as it’s very informative and helpful .
    Keep up the excellent work and I always refer your blogs to my friends that want to travel .

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