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Reykjavik is a great place to start if you’re looking for an interesting and diverse trip to Iceland. But don’t stop there – the city makes an excellent base for exploring the rest of this fascinating country.
Iceland has a rich history and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do in Reykjavik. But if you want to add variety to your trip, there are plenty of great day trips.
From beautiful waterfalls and glaciers to volcanic landscapes, it offers diverse experiences. Iceland is a small island country, but pair that with amazing landscapes you’re in store for several great day tours or excursions.
Iceland day trips and road trips are easy, and they’re so good that you’ll want to keep going. They call driving around the island the Golden Circle for a reason! So if you want to add variety to your trip, check out these great options for day trips from Reykjavik.
- Best Day Trips from Reykjavik, Iceland
- 1. Reykjanes Peninsula
- 2. Langjokull Glacier
- 3. Vik
- 4. Thingvellir National Park
- 5. The Blue Lagoon
- 6. Vatnajökull National Park
- 7. Geysir Hot Springs
- 8. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- 9. Skógafoss Waterfall
- 10. Víti Crater
- 11. Hvítárvatn
- 12. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- 13. Þingvellir National Park
- 14. Secret Lagoon
- 15. Mývatn Nature Baths
- 16. Gullfoss Waterfall
- 17. Kirkjufjara Beach
- 18. Myrdalsjokull
- 19. Whale Watching
- 20. Kerid Crater
- 21. Greenland
- 22. The Faroe Islands
- 23. Silfra Fissure Snorkeling
- Where to stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
- Best Day Tours from Reykjavik
- Golden Circle Tour
- Puffin Watching Tour
- Helicopter Tour
- How many days should I spend in Reykjavik?
- Should I stay in Reykjavik and do day trips?
- What are the best day trips from Reykjavik, Iceland?
Best Day Trips from Reykjavik, Iceland
Let’s get into our favorite Reykjavik day trips.
1. Reykjanes Peninsula
Reykjanes Peninsula is an often-forgotten place close to Reykjavik, but it’s definitely worth visiting. It’s a short distance from the airport, and Reykjanes Peninsula offers an excellent half-day journey from Reykjavik. Reykjanes Peninsula’s breathtaking coastline and geothermal features perfectly introduce Iceland.
The Reykjanes area, located northwest of Iceland, is an excellent spot for half-day trips to the north of Reykjavik and provides a genuine Icelandic experience that won’t ever become overbearing.
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2. Langjokull Glacier
Langjokull glacial and ice caves are truly unique experiences and are a great addition to a holiday in Iceland. Langjokull Glacier is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. You can explore Langjokull Glacier on foot or snowmobile and sail through the Hvita Rivers to the cave entrance.
Human hands have crafted the Langjokull Caves, which are beautiful. Langjokull Glacier itself has an entirely natural feel to them. A guide to the complex will give you information about the culture and geographical significance of this natural wonder to the Islanders and the whole world. The Langjokull experience is one that you won’t soon forget!
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Vik is the most southern village in Iceland and a lovely place to visit. This tiny village has only 318 inhabitants but has seen a recent influx of visitors. Vik is located at the base of the Katlis volcano and is under the shadow of the Raldalsjökull Glacier.
The village is home to Vik I Myrdal church, built in 1929. Additionally, Reynisfjara Beach is nearby and offers the classic black sand beach and jagged coastline formations that are iconic of Iceland. Overall, Vik is a beautiful south coast village that is definitely worth a visit.
4. Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is a great place to start your day trips from Reykjavik. The park is home to some of Iceland’s most stunning landscapes and a great place to learn about the country’s history and culture. Thingvellir was designated as a national park in 1930, and since then, it has been a popular destination for locals and tourists.
The park is situated on Thingvallavatn Lake, and its highlights include the Almannagja Gorge, the Silfra Fissure, and the Öxarárfoss Waterfall. Thingvellir is also home to the remains of Iceland’s first parliament, founded in 930 AD.
The Blue Lagoon is another popular destination, and for good reason – it’s relaxing waters and beautiful setting are perfect for a day of relaxation.
The lagoon is located in a lava field, and its warm waters are rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur. Visitors can soak in the lagoon’s waters, relax in one of the many saunas or steam rooms, or enjoy a massage.
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5. The Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon is one of the best day trips you can take from Reykjavik! The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal reservoir that is world-renowned for its beautiful blue and milk blue colors. The colors of the Blue Lagoon vary depending on the sunlight, but they are always absolutely stunning.
The Blue Lagoon currently does not permit other companies to sell ticketing, so there are no planned trips to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik. However, a trip to the Blue Lagoon can be arranged from Iceland on a half-day tour from Reykjavik.
Before you go on the Blue Lagoon tour, book your tickets as soon as possible since there are only a few, and they might be sold out quickly. In Reykjavik, you may take the Blue Lagoon transfer.
6. Vatnajökull National Park
Vatnajökull National Park is a must-see for any nature lover. The park is home to Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, as well as a wide variety of other landscapes, including waterfalls and volcanoes.
Dettifoss Waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the park – its mighty waters and impressive setting are not to be missed.
The best time to visit the park is during the summer when the weather is milder and the days are longer. However, even in winter, the park is a stunning place to explore – just be sure to dress warmly!
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7. Geysir Hot Springs
Geysir Hot Springs is a top destination for travelers looking to add variety to their trip. The springs are home to a number of geothermal features, including the famous geyser that gives the area its name.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is another must-see – its unique location allows you to walk behind the falling water, making for an unforgettable experience.
The Geysir Geothermal Area is also a convenient stopover if you plan on continuing your journey around Iceland – it’s just a few hours’ drive from Reykjavik, making it the perfect place to break up the journey.
So whether you’re looking for an action-packed day of exploring or a relaxing dip in the springs, Geysir Hot Springs is definitely worth a visit.
8. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a hidden gem located on Iceland’s southern coast. The powerful waterfall is fed by the Seljalands River and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Seljalandsfoss is renowned for its beauty and is a must-see for anyone visiting Iceland.
The best way to experience Seljalandsfoss is to walk along the path behind the waterfall. From this vantage point, you can see the Seljalands River as it cascades over the edge of the cliffs. Seljalandsfoss is an amazing place and a perfect example of Iceland’s untouched beauty.
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9. Skógafoss Waterfall
Skógafoss Waterfall is one of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks. The falls are in a beautiful canyon, and the surrounding area is perfect for hiking and exploring. Skógafoss is one of the best places to see the northern lights and an excellent bird-watching spot.
Reykjanes Peninsula is another great option for those looking to escape it all. The peninsula is home to a number of volcanic landscapes, as well as the northern lights. Reykjanes is a great place to go hiking, with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.
10. Víti Crater
If you’re looking for a day trip from Reykjavik that will take you to a place with stunning views, Víti Crater is a great option. This volcanic crater is located in the Krafla area of north Iceland, and it’s well worth the visit.
The hike to the crater is about an hour round trip and is not too difficult. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding lava fields.
If you’re interested in geology, Víti Crater is also a great place to learn about Iceland’s volcanic history. There are informational signs at the trailhead; you can even see some of the lava that formed the crater.
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Hvítárvatn is a beautiful lake on Iceland’s south coast, and it’s one of the best day trips from Reykjavik. The drive to the lake takes about an hour and a half, and it’s a great option if you’re looking to get out of the city and into nature.
Once you arrive at Hvítárvatn, there are plenty of things to do. You can swim in the lake, go hiking or horseback riding in the surrounding area, or even take a boat tour.
If you’re interested in Icelandic history, Hvítárvatn is also the site of a Viking age settlement. You can see the ruins of the settlement and a replica of a Viking longboat.
12. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. The lagoon is home to a number of icebergs, as well as a variety of other glaciers and landscapes.
Hvalfjörður Canyon is another great place to explore. The canyon is home to multiple hiking trails, as well as a number of other outdoor activities.
Iceland should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an amazing destination with it all. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations for good reason – it’s simply breathtaking. The lagoon is home to several icebergs, as well as a variety of other glaciers and landscapes. Join a Jökulsárlón boat tour and see its beauty.
And if you’re looking for even more adventure, Hvalfjörður Canyon is a great place to explore. The canyon is home to a number of hiking trails, as well as a number of other outdoor activities.
13. Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir National Park is a must-see for any history buff. The park is home to the site of Iceland’s first parliament, as well as a number of other historical landmarks. Víti Crater is another popular destination.
The crater is home to a number of volcanic features, as well as a beautiful lake. Þingvellir National Park is also home to a number of hiking trails, making it the perfect place to explore the Icelandic countryside.
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14. Secret Lagoon
Secret Lagoon is a natural geothermal pool located south coast of Iceland, about a 1.5-hour drive from Reykjavik. Secret Lagoon is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland, and its warm waters and scenic surroundings make it a popular tourist destination.
A nearby geothermal power plant feeds Secret Lagoon; its water temperature is comfortable at 28-30 degrees Celsius. The lagoon includes a changing room, showers, and a small cafe.
Visitors can also purchase souvenirs at the Secret Lagoon shop. The lagoon is open all year round, and tickets can be purchased online or at the lagoon itself.
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15. Mývatn Nature Baths
Mývatn Nature Baths is a great place to relax and rejuvenate. The baths are located in a beautiful setting, and the waters are said to have healing properties. Reykjavík Excursions is a great option for those looking to get the most out of their trip. The company offers a variety of day trips, as well as other activities and tours.
Mývatn Nature Baths is one of the most popular day trips offered by Reykjavík Excursions. The baths are in a picturesque setting, and the water is said to have healing properties. Relaxing in the Mývatn Nature Baths is an experience you won’t soon forget.
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16. Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss Waterfall is one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls, and it’s no wonder it’s been a popular tourist destination for years. Located in Hvtá Canyon, Gullfoss Waterfall is a two-tiered waterfall with a stunning view of the surrounding gorge.
Despite its popularity, Gullfoss Waterfall is no longer one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. However, it remains a popular spot for young photographers, as there are no obstructions to block the stunning views.
During bouts of heavy rain, a rainbow often appears over Gullfoss, adding to the already dramatic landscapes. If you’re looking for a truly magical experience, Gullfoss is definitely worth a visit.
17. Kirkjufjara Beach
Kirkjufjara Beach is an undiscovered gem that sits west of Reynisfjara Beach. On the Kirkjufjara Beaches, there will be an opportunity to see the Dyhólaey Arch and Reynisdrangar stack.
The raw coastline has to be respected to preserve the natural beauty and to keep you safe. Avoid Kirkjufjare Beach at high tides and follow local coastal regulations.
Kirkjufjara Beach is the place to visit for an overnight stay in Iceland. It’s a great place to see some of Iceland’s natural wonders up close. So don’t miss out on this hidden gem!
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Myrdalsjokull is a glacier in the south of Iceland and is the country’s fourth-largest. Travelers often overlook it, but it is an unusual treasure. Myrdalsjokull has accessible trails with minimal experience required, making it a great place for hikers of all levels.
You can also take a Myrdalsjokull snowmobile adventure here. Many reputable companies provide guided hiking tours at Myrdalsjokulla so travelers can easily explore the glacier. Myrdalsjokull is an impressive sight and provides hikers with unique and memorable experiences.
19. Whale Watching
Whale watching in Iceland is an incredibly popular tour and excursion. This majestic experience is well worth it, despite having to wake up early to make the full-day excursion work.
When it comes to seeing whales in Iceland, the best time is April through September, when whale populations are at their peak.
However, whale sightings are possible throughout the year, so most whale-watching tours operate all year round. There are a number of different companies that offer whale-watching tours, so travelers can easily find one to suit their needs.
Nevertheless, if you visit the capital city of Iceland during the warm season, you must definitely consider whale watching. Iceland is the perfect place to see these gentle giants.
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20. Kerid Crater
Kerid Crater is a famous Icelandic picture postcard landmark, often considered a highlight of Golden Circle travels. Kerid Crater is an enormous volcanic crater in Grimsnes, south Iceland. From season to season, the vegetation surrounding the crater shifts from vibrant colors of red and pink into dense green swaths.
It also appears that water changes colors according to seasons and sunlight and often freezes. Kerid Crater is worth visiting in Iceland because it is a remarkable natural wonder that visitors can explore. It is among the destinations to see on a trip from Reykjavik tour.
The crater is large enough to walk around, and there are trails that lead up to the rim for views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can also descend into the crater for an up-close look at the unique rock formations. Kerid Crater is a must-see for anyone traveling to Iceland.
Yes, I said it. Greenland is a day trip from Reykjavik. You’ll need to take a plane, but Iceland makes for one of the best access points to Greenland, well, Greenland itself.
You can fly from Iceland’s capital city to Greenland’s capital city, Nuuk, in just under 3 hours. Once there, you can explore the world’s second-largest ice cap, visit Inuit villages, or go dog sledding. Just make sure you bring a heavy-duty jacket and be prepared for any weather.
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22. The Faroe Islands
Another great option for a day trip from Reykjavik is the Faroe Islands. You can take a short, 2-hour flight from Iceland’s capital to the largest of the 18 Danish-owned islands, Streymoy.
Once you’re there, you can go hiking through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, enjoy fresh seafood, and even go on a whale-watching tour. Just be sure to pack your raincoat, as it’s pretty rainy all year round.
23. Silfra Fissure Snorkeling
Silfra is one of the world’s most unusual places to go snorkeling, and it’s only accessible to Icelanders. Silfra is a lava fissure between the American and European continents, near Thingvellir Lake, about an hour from Reykjavik. The water in Silfra is some of the clearest in the world, and the visibility is incredible – up to 100 meters!
Silfra is also incredibly unique because you can actually touch both continental plates while snorkeling. This makes Silfra an ideal two-day trip from Reykjavik to explore Iceland. Many different Silfra tours are available, but one of the most popular is a pick-up tour from Reykjavik.
These tours run throughout the year and last approximately five hours. There are many more snorkel tours at Silfra – see the complete list here. So what are you waiting for? Book your Silfra tour today.
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Where to stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is a beautiful city with a lot to offer tourists. If you’re planning a trip, you must find somewhere to stay while visiting Reykjavik. There are a few different options, depending on your budget and needs.
For those on a tight budget, multiple hostels in the city center offer affordable accommodations. Bus Hostel is a crowd favorite, with accommodation as low as $30 a night during off-peak season.
For those traveling with family or friends, there are also several apartments available for rent. Check out this conveniently located gem within easy reach of public transport and the best restaurants in town! No matter what your budget or preferences are, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to stay in Reykjavik.
Best Day Tours from Reykjavik
Reykjavik is an excellent base for exploring Iceland, but if you’re looking to see something different, there are plenty of day tours to choose from, so you don’t have to do your self-guided tour.
If you like history and want a private tour of a day trip conducted by a tour company, you’re in good hands. There’s plenty to choose from, including bus tours, helicopter tours, and so much more.
Golden Circle Tour
Golden Circle tours are one of the most popular tourist activities in Reykjavik. They offer a chance to see some of Iceland’s most famous landmarks, including Thingvellir National Park, the geothermal park at Haukadalur, and Gullfoss Waterfall.
There are several tour companies that offer a Golden Circle tour, and they can either be half-day or full-day trips. Full-day tours typically include multiple additional stops, but half-day tours only focus on the three main sites. Golden Circle tours are a great way to see Iceland’s best.
Puffin Watching Tour
Puffin watching tours in Iceland are a great way to see these adorable little birds up close and in their natural habitat. Puffin-watching tours typically last just a few hours, making them a great option for travelers on a budget or with limited time.
Most puffin-watching tours leave Reykjavik, although a few options depart from other nearby towns and cities. Puffin watching tours typically include a short boat ride to the puffin nesting area, followed by some time to watch the puffins up close. Many tours also offer the opportunity to see other wildlife, such as whales, dolphins, and seals.
Taking a helicopter tour in Iceland is truly a fantastic experience. You can easily have a short helicopter visit to Reykjavik, which may help you plan the best way to spend your time in Iceland. In Reykjavik, the helicopter flight takes 40-75 minutes, and the initial time is generally flexible, making this a fantastic short trip.
There are various options for helicopter tours of Reykjavik, so be sure to research before you book. But overall, taking a helicopter tour in Iceland is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Regardless of your preferences, a day trip from Reykjavik can be expected to be perfect for you. So don’t wait – start planning your trip today. And who knows – you may fall in love with this beautiful country.
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How many days should I spend in Reykjavik?
You could easily spend a week in Reykjavik and not get bored. There are plenty of museums, restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you busy. If you want to add variety to your trip, though, there are plenty of day trips.
Should I stay in Reykjavik and do day trips?
It’s feasible to stay in Reykjavik for 5-6 days, and each day, you do a day trip for excursions to one of the many waterfalls or glaciers. This is best done during the summer since sunlight is ideal for sightseeing.
What are the best day trips from Reykjavik, Iceland?
Many great day trips are from Reykjavik, Iceland, including Thingvellir National Park, Vatnajökull National Park, and the famous Blue Lagoon.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.