39+ Reykjavik Excursions Day Tours Away from the City

Are you looking for the best Reykjavik Excursions day tours away from the city? Iceland is known for its rugged landscapes, natural hot springs, and glaciers. A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland, is a charming and vibrant city. It combines modern amenities with traditional Icelandic culture. Visitors can explore the city’s museums and art galleries. They can also take in the views from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja church, or shop for Icelandic souvenirs on the main shopping street, Laugavegur. 

Reykjavik city has many things to explore. Don’t miss;

  • The Hallgrimskirkja: a towering Lutheran church with an observation deck offering views of the city.
  • The Old Harbor: a picturesque area with restaurants, cafes, and shops. The fish soup in Iceland is a must-try, the best one I’ve ever had.
  • The National Museum of Iceland: showcasing the country’s history and culture.
  • The Perlan: an architectural wonder with a revolving restaurant and observation deck offering panoramic views.
  • The Reykjavik Art Museum: displaying contemporary Icelandic art.
  • The Sun Voyager: a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason that represents the ship of dreams.

39+ Reykjavik Excursions Day Tours Away from the City

Reykjavik is also a great base for exploring Iceland’s natural wonders. See Geysir, hot springs, waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, ice caves, and unique beaches. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or nature, Iceland and Reykjavik have something to offer everyone. Here are some common tours to consider. Scroll down to see specific tours.

  • The Golden Circle: a popular tour that takes visitors to see some of Iceland’s most famous natural wonders, such as the Geysir hot spring, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park.
  • The South Shore and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: a tour that takes you along the south coast of Iceland, with stops at the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
  • The Blue Lagoon and Reykjanes Peninsula: a tour that includes a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon spa and a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula, including stops at the Reykjanesviti lighthouse and the Krýsuvík geothermal area.
  • The Vatnajökull Glacier National Park: a tour that takes you to the largest national park in Iceland and offers the opportunity to explore the park’s glaciers, ice caves, and valleys.
  • The Snæfellsnes Peninsula: a tour that takes you to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, known for its beautiful landscapes and the Snæfellsjökull volcano, which is also a popular spot for hiking.
  • Northern Lights Tours: a tour that takes you away from the city lights to chase the aurora borealis, which is a natural phenomenon in Iceland between September and April.
  • Boat Tours: whale watching, puffin watching, northern lights cruise there are many options when it comes to boat tours in Iceland
  • Adventure Tours: These tours are designed for visitors who want to experience Iceland’s rugged wilderness and outdoor activities. Activities like hiking, horseback riding, diving, and ice climbing are common.
  • Multi-Day Tours: If you’re looking to fully experience all that Iceland has to offer, then consider taking a multi-day tour.


The Golden Circle Tours

The Golden Circle is a popular tour in Iceland that takes visitors to see some of the country’s most famous natural wonders. The tour typically includes the following three main stops:

  1. Thingvellir National Park: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the location of the first Icelandic parliament. It is also where the North American and European tectonic plates meet. Visitors can see the rift valley and walk along the tectonic plates.
  2. Geysir Hot Spring: This geothermal area is home to the famous geyser, Strokkur. Which erupts every few minutes and can reach heights of up to 30 meters.
  3. Gullfoss Waterfall: This powerful waterfall is one of the most famous in Iceland and is often called the “Golden Waterfall”. This is due to the way the water catches the sunlight.

Some tour providers may also include additional stops, such as the Kerið Crater Lake, the Faxi waterfall, and the Secret Lagoon in Fludir, which is a natural hot spring. Many tours also include pick up and drop off from Reykjavik.


The South Shore and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Tours

The South Shore of Iceland is known for its beautiful landscapes and scenic beauty. There are many tour options available for visitors who want to explore this area from Reykjavik. Some of the most popular South Shore tours from Reykjavik include:

  1. Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss: These two waterfalls are some of the most famous on the South Shore, and both offer unique and beautiful views. Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall that you can walk behind. Skógafoss is a powerful waterfall with a large drop.
  2. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon: This is a large glacial lake that is filled with chunks of ice from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lake to get up close to the icebergs.
  3. Reynisfjara black sand beach: This beach is known for its black sand and dramatic coastal views. It’s also a great spot to see the basalt columns and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
  4. Vatnajökull National Park: This is the largest national park in Iceland and home to Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier mass in Europe. Visitors can take a guided hike on the glacier or take a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view of the area.
  5. Dyrhólaey and Vík: Dyrhólaey is a small promontory on the south coast with a lighthouse and a great spot for bird watching. Vík is a small village located on the south coast. It’s also a great spot for viewing the Reynisdrangar sea stacks and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

Most of these tours are full-day tours and are operated by bus or minivan, and include pick up and drop off from Reykjavik.

Blue Lagoon Tours

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in Iceland, known for its milky blue water and mineral-rich mud. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. There are many tour options available for visitors who want to experience the Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon offers 3 main packages:

  • Comfort Blue Lagoon: This is the most basic option and includes admission to the Blue Lagoon and the use of the facilities such as the lagoon, sauna, steam room, and changing rooms. It also includes a silica mud mask, a towel to use, and the first drink of your choice.
  • Premium Blue Lagoon: This option includes everything from the comfort admission. It also includes the use of a robe, two additional masks of your choice, and a glass of sparkling wine if dining at Lava restaurant.
  • Luxury Blue Lagoon: 5 luxurious hours at the Retreat Spa. Enjoy a private changing suite and unlimited access to both the Blue Lagoon and the Retreat Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon Tours are often combined with another visit, for example;

  • Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle: This tour combines a visit to the Blue Lagoon with a visit to the Golden Circle.  The Golden Circle includes a visit to the Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir hot spring, and the Gullfoss waterfall.
  • Blue Lagoon and Reykjanes Peninsula: This tour combines a visit to the Blue Lagoon with a visit to the Reykjanes Peninsula. A tour with stops at the Reykjanesviti lighthouse and the Krýsuvík geothermal area.

It’s important to note that the Blue Lagoon is a very popular destination and you need to book in advance. Keep in mind that the Blue Lagoon is a natural hot spring and the water temperature can be quite hot. Test the water before entering and to be careful not to overheat.


Vatnajökull Glacier National Park Tours

Vatnajökull Glacier National Park is a national park in Iceland that was established in 2008. It covers an area of 14,141 square kilometers. The park is named after Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, which covers around 8% of the country.

The park features a diverse landscape including glaciers, ice caps, volcanic mountains, glacial rivers, and lakes, as well as a variety of plant and animal life. It is also home to some of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, such as the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the Skaftafell nature reserve. The park is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, ice climbing, and skiing.


Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tours

 The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is a peninsula located in the west of Iceland. It is known for its unique and diverse landscape, which includes volcanic mountains, glaciers, beaches, and fjords. The peninsula is also home to the Snæfellsjökull National Park, which features the Snæfellsjökull volcano, the highest peak on the peninsula. The volcano is also the setting for Jules Verne’s classic novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

The peninsula is also famous for its rich birdlife, including Puffins, Gulls, and various species of ducks, and it’s a great spot for birdwatching. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. Visitors can also take boat tours to see the nearby islands and fjords or go snorkeling and diving in the clear waters. The peninsula is also a great place to see the Northern Lights during the winter months.


Reykjavik Excursions Day Tours Northern Lights Tours

Iceland is a great place to see the Northern Lights due to its location near the Arctic Circle and the relatively low levels of light pollution. Northern Lights tours typically take place during the evening hours, when the lights are most visible. Visitors can choose from a variety of tour options including bus tours, boat tours, and even horseback riding tours.

Many tour operators also offer a variety of Northern Lights tour packages, ranging from a simple Northern Lights hunt to a multi-day tour package. The tour guides are knowledgeable and can provide information about the Northern Lights and the best viewing locations.

It’s worth noting that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and their appearance cannot be guaranteed. Tour operators usually provide the chance to re-book the tour if the lights are not visible on the first attempt. Always ask when you book the tour.


Boat Tours

There are many different boat tours available in Iceland. These tours can take visitors on a variety of different excursions, including:

  • Whale watching tours: These tours take visitors out to sea in search of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Visitors may also see seals, seabirds, and other marine life.
  • Glacier tours: These tours take visitors to the edge of glaciers, where they can see the incredible ice formations up close and learn about the history and geology of the glaciers.
  • Puffin watching tours: These tours take visitors to the nearby islands where puffins breed during summer months, visitors can see puffins in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior and ecology.
  • Northern Lights Cruise: Hunt for the beautiful Northern Lights from the water.

These are just a few examples of the types of boat tours available in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Adventure Tours

Adventure tours are designed for visitors who are looking for a more active and adventurous vacation. Some of the most popular adventure activities that are often included in adventure tours in Iceland include:

  • Hiking: Iceland offers many hiking trails that take visitors through beautiful landscapes such as glaciers, waterfalls, and volcanic deserts. Some of the most popular hiking trails include the Laugavegur trail, the Fimmvörðuháls trail, and the Skaftafell nature reserve.
  • Snowmobiling: Visitors can go on snowmobiling excursions on glaciers such as Vatnajökull and Langjökull, where they can experience the thrill of riding on top of the ice and snow.
  • Super Jeep tours: these tours take visitors on a journey through Iceland’s rugged highlands, where they can see volcanic landscapes, hot springs, and geysers that are not accessible by regular vehicles.
  • Ice climbing: Visitors can go ice climbing on glaciers such as Vatnajökull and Skaftafell, where they can learn the basics of ice climbing and climb the frozen walls of the glaciers.
  • Horseback riding: Visitors can go horseback riding through Iceland’s countryside, where they can see the beautiful landscapes and learn about the history and culture of the area.
  • Rock climbing: Visitors can go rock climbing on the volcanic rock formation, and learn the basics of rock climbing with a guide
  • Diving: 

These are just a few examples of the types of adventure activities that are available in Iceland. Adventure tours can range from one-day excursions to multi-day packages


Multi-day Tours in Iceland

There are many multi-day tours available in Iceland that allow visitors to explore the country’s diverse landscape and culture. These tours typically include transportation, accommodation, and activities, and can range from a few days to a week or more. Some of the most popular types of multi-day tours in Iceland include:

  • Circle tours: These tours take visitors on a journey around Iceland. They usually start and end in Reykjavik, and include visits to popular destinations such as the Golden Circle, the South Coast, and the Vatnajökull National Park.
  • Glacier and ice cap tours: These tours take visitors to Iceland’s glaciers and ice caps. Places such as Vatnajökull, Langjökull, and Hofsjökull, where they can hike on the glaciers and learn about the geology and history of the ice caps.
  • Adventure tours: These tours are designed for visitors who want to experience Iceland’s rugged wilderness and outdoor activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, and ice climbing.
  • Cultural tours: These tours take visitors to the historic sites and cultural landmarks of Iceland. You can visit Thingvellir National Park, Akureyri, and other towns and villages.

Most tour operators in Iceland offer a range of multi-day tours. Most can also customize tours to suit the specific interests and needs of their clients. Some tour operators also offer self-drive tours where visitors can rent a car and drive themselves to different locations.

Hope you found this helpful and that you found the Reykjavik Excursions Day Tours that you were looking for.

Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Reykjavik Excursion

Before booking your tour here are some good questions to ask;

  1. What is included in the tour?
  2. How many people will join the tour, what is the maximum group size?
  3. What is the schedule or itinerary for the tour?
  4. Are there any age, fitness or health restrictions?
  5. Is transportation included and if not, what are the options to get to the starting point?
  6. Are there any additional costs or fees?
  7. What is the cancellation and refund policy?
  8. Are meals or refreshment included?
  9. What about a dress code, what should we wear?
  10. Are there any reviews or testimonials available for the tour company?


Reykjavik Excursions Day Tours


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Written by 

Born and raised in Sweden, now living in the US, Veronica has a passion for Scandinavian travel. As a former product design specialist with a Scandinavian tour operator, she has extensive knowledge of tour planning and the Scandinavian countries.

9 thoughts on “39+ Reykjavik Excursions Day Tours Away from the City

  1. I arrived in Iceland more than a month ago, together with a dozen of colleagues to work in a healthcare facility. We haven’t had time to explore the place because we first had to undergo orientation and training. But we have already started looking for the best places to explore and Reykjavik is the first one that came to mind because we have heard a lot of nice things about this city.

    Reading about all the amazing things and activities Reykjavik has to offer convinced me all the more that this is the best place to start our adventure. ☺ We love nature and its wonderful sceneries so I am sure that we will have a great time at the South Shore and Blue Lagoons, the Golden Circle, Northern Lights, and the Vatnajökull Glacier National Park

    A few things I would like to clarify … approximately how much should each of us prepare to make sure we can explore these beautiful places and would 3-5 days be enough to experience the best of Reykjavik?

    1. Hi Alice,
      Glad you are getting the opportunity to enjoy Reykjavik and Iceland. Where are you and your team located?
      I would say 3 days in Reykjavik city itself is plenty of time. There are so much to see around there though. I would definitely take one full day to do the Golden Circle tour, and one full day to do a tour of the south shore area. It really comes down to how much time you have to explore, and where you are located. I’m sure you can see some amazing places right where you are at. I would also base the tours on your interests. Are you looking for adventure, natural beauty, northern lights? Or maybe all of the above 🙂 Please share some more info and I will be happy to point you in the right direction.

  2. Iceland is awesome for vacation. no matter who you go with on this tour. you will have fun. Iceland is filled with natural wonders. I went on this tour with my family and even though they hate cold weather the cold did not bother them at all. in fact they loved everything.

  3. Now that my wife and I are both retired, we have been planning some travel.  Until I read this article, we have been thinking about touring France and Spain.  However, this comprehensive article has touched our sense of loving to be outdoors and see the wonders of nature.  I had no idea of the extent of things to see and do in Iceland.  The prices that you have listed are certainly reasonable.  Your list of questions to ask is useful for an excursion.  Thanks for this information.

  4. Iceland is a country of natural wonders, and Reykjavik city offers a perfect blend of modern amenities with traditional Icelandic culture. The article provides an excellent guide for tourists looking to explore Iceland’s rugged landscapes, glaciers, natural hot springs, and unique beaches. It also provides a comprehensive list of popular day tours, including the Golden Circle, South Shore, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes Peninsula, Vatnajökull Glacier National Park, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Northern Lights, and Adventure tours.

    The Golden Circle tour, in particular, is a must-see tour for anyone visiting Iceland. Visitors can explore Thingvellir National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of the first Icelandic parliament. The Geysir Hot Spring is another popular stop on the Golden Circle tour, home to the famous geyser, Strokkur, which erupts every few minutes and can reach heights of up to 30 meters. Gullfoss Waterfall is a powerful waterfall and is often called the “Golden Waterfall” due to the way the water catches the sunlight.

    The article also highlights the must-visit places in Reykjavik, including the Hallgrimskirkja, the Old Harbor, the National Museum of Iceland, the Perlan, the Reykjavik Art Museum, and the Sun Voyager. Overall, the article is a helpful guide for tourists planning their trip to Iceland, and it provides useful information on the various day tours, including pick-up and drop-off from Reykjavik.

  5. I just told my husband we need to go to Iceland. The waterfalls on the South Shore look absolutely amazing; however a Northern Lights Tour has been something I have wanted to do for quite a while. Iceland is absolutely stunning, and it would be great to get away and enjoy it’s beauty. I guess it’s time to save up for a vacation to Iceland!

    1. Hi Kelly, thank you for stopping by. Iceland is truly beautiful and absolutely worth a visit. Seeing the Northern lights is an amazing experience, Iceland is a great place to do so. The south coast of Iceland with breathtaking waterfalls is something you don’t want to miss. Let me know if you need any help planing that Iceland vacation.

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