One of the great debates about visiting Iceland is whether to self-drive or take tours and let someone else do the driving. The other big debate is whether to visit Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon. The Lagoon question deserves its own article, but for now, I can help you decide whether you’re better with someone else behind the wheel.
I’ve been to Iceland four times. I’ve driven the entirety of Ring Road myself, and I’ve also taken multi-day tours around the country. It comes down to personal preference, the time of the year you’re visiting Iceland, and your driving skills.
If you’re not comfortable driving in winter conditions, I’d recommend signing up for a multi-day tour and letting someone else take the wheel. If you’re traveling during the summer season when the road conditions are far less intimidating, then I’d encourage you to rent a car and explore Iceland on your own.
When I visited Iceland in February, I based myself out of Reykjavik and took day tours, and loved it. I loved it so much that when I found a cheap flight to Iceland in November, I decided to try a multi-day small group tour, and had a wonderful experience.
Hopefully, this article will squash any multi-day tour doubts you may have. Trust me, I had all of the same hesitations before booking! Oh, and I prefer Sky Lagoon.
What We Cover
- TL;DR – Top 3 Multi-Day Tours In Iceland
- Day Tours From Reykjavik
- Golden Circle Tour
- Katla Volcano Ice Cave Tour
- 2-Day Tours In Iceland
- 2-Day West Tour with Snæfellsnes & Silver Circle
- 2-Day South Coast Tour with Blue Ice Cave
- 3-Day Tours In Iceland
- 3-Day Tour of the Wild Westfjords
- 3-Day South Coast Tour With Ice Cave
- 5-Day Tours In Iceland
- 5-Day West and South Coast Iceland Tour
- 7-Day Tours In Iceland
- 7-Day Complete Iceland Tour
- Things to Know About Multi-Day Tours in Iceland
TL;DR – Top 3 Multi-Day Tours In Iceland
|Length Of Tour
|Price (As Of 12/2023)
|South Coast Tour
|West & South Coast Tour
|Entire Ring Road
Day Tours From Reykjavik
Whether you’re planning to take day tours or plunge headfirst into a multi-day tour, you’ll need to be in Reykjavik to get on the tour bus. While there are a handful of tours that you can join from other towns like Vik or Akureyri, you’d still face the logistical problem of getting to those towns.
Once you land in Keflavik, you can take a bus to Reykjavik which will drop you off near your hotel. Depending on what time you arrive, you may be able to add one of these day tours from Reykjavik on your arrival day.
Don’t get too ambitious, though. If your flight is delayed and you miss your pick-up time, you won’t be able to get a refund.
Golden Circle Tour
Arguably the most popular tour in Iceland, the Golden Circle tour is an easy day tour that will give you an “Iceland in a nutshell” type of experience. The three main stops along the Golden Circle are Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, and the Geysir.
If you want to mix things up, take a longer Golden Circle tour that includes the Kerid Crater and Hvammsvik Hot Spring. Or you could combine the Golden Circle with a snowmobiling experience if you’re feeling adventurous.
The basic tour lasts about six hours and is both educational and scenic. You’ll have plenty of time to explore at each stop, and there are bathrooms and gift shops at each location.
I will say that you don’t have nearly enough time to explore Thingvellir National Park, so may want to come back on your own to fully explore this beautiful spot. And maybe go snorkeling between two continents!
Katla Volcano Ice Cave Tour
Who wouldn’t want to walk on a glacier that’s on top of a volcano? The Kötlujökull glacier is an icefall of Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland’s fourth largest glacier. To get the opportunity to go glacier hiking and explore one of Iceland’s most famous ice caves is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I highly recommend it.
I personally took this tour from Reykjavik in February 2023, and it was incredible. While it is a very long day (10-12 hours), I thought it was well worth it. The tour is offered from Vik, too, which is convenient if you’re staying on the South Coast.
The drive along the South Coast is stunning (sit on the driver’s side for the best views), and along the way, you’ll stop off at Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, two iconic waterfalls. Feel free to check out my video of the Katla Ice Cave tour to get a glimpse of what to expect on this adventure tour.
Since the Katla Ice Cave is completely natural, it changes every year. Your tour may look a bit different!
2-Day Tours In Iceland
Just because you don’t have a lot of time doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it. You can cover a lot of ground with two days in Iceland, and even more when someone else is behind the wheel.
The toughest decision is going to be the direction you want to explore. Both of these two-day tours in Iceland start from Reykjavik and head off in completely different directions, and you can’t go wrong with either.
2-Day West Tour with Snæfellsnes & Silver Circle
This tour tackles the west coast of Iceland including Snæfellsnes Peninsula. After being picked up in Reykjavik, you’ll head north towards Borgarnes before continuing into the Borgarfjodur area.
Here you’ll get to view the unique lava waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafossar plus many other scenic spots. This tour is a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure, and you’ll have the option to head into Iceland’s largest lava cave or hop on a 4WD tour to soak in the relaxing Canyon Baths.
Day two is just as exciting. It’s filled with seal watching, exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and Kirkjufell, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. You’ll spend the night in Borgarnes and pick up and drop off in Reykjavik.
2-Day South Coast Tour with Blue Ice Cave
Day one takes you on the drive along the south coast, stopping off at most of the iconic sights. You’ll get to check out Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss before continuing on down to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara.
Be sure to watch out for sneaker waves and never turn your back to the water. The black sand beach is dangerously beautiful. You’ll spend the night in a countryside hotel past Vik.
The next day, you’ll head over to Vatnajokull National Park and watch the icebergs of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon before jumping in a Super Jeep to explore an ice cave. Afterward, you’ll head back to Reykjavik and be dropped off at your desired bus stop.
3-Day Tours In Iceland
If the fast-paced action of a 2-day tour doesn’t sound appealing, you can always slow things down with a 3-day tour. These tours aren’t as rushed, and although they are pretty similar, there are a few extra stops included.
3-Day Tour of the Wild Westfjords
Embark on this three-day guided tour of the Westfjords for a non-stop scenic show. Gawk at the views from Seven Fjord Road, marvel at the magical falls of Dynjandi, stroll down the sandy beaches of Rauðasandur, and so much more. This awesome multi-day tour also includes entry into the Viking Heritage Museum and the Arctic Fox Center.
You’ll stop by charming fishing villages, do a little seal watching, and soak in geothermal pools with dreamy surroundings. If you’re taking the tour in the summer, you’ll also have an opportunity to do a little puffin watching! Those little flying potatoes love the Westfjords, and your guide will keep an eye out for them and make stops at viewing points.
3-Day South Coast Tour With Ice Cave
This three-day tour includes everything from the two-day tour, but you’ll have the luxury of a slower pace. One addition is that you’ll get to check out the Kerid Volcanic Crater along the Golden Circle. This landmark often gets overshadowed when it comes to the Golden Circle, but I can confirm it’s worth your time!
There are also geothermal hot tubs at the hotel for the first night of this tour, so be sure to bring your bathing suit. The second night you’ll be in a remote area, which is great for aurora watching if you’re visiting during the Northern Lights season.
See Related: Visiting Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland
5-Day Tours In Iceland
Five days isn’t enough time to do the entire Ring Road, but you can definitely have some fun in those five days. These two tours are offered from Reykjavik and will take you on a memorable adventure.
5-Day West and South Coast Iceland Tour
If you can’t decide on the west coast or the south coast, then this tour is right up your alley. This epic five-day tour takes a deep dive into both Iceland’s south coast and the west coast. You’ll be able to take your time at many of the destinations, like the Golden Circle and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a perk of the longer tours.
This tour also includes a glacier hike and an ice cave. Like all of the tours, your tour guide will give you all of the necessary safety equipment (crampons, a helmet, and a headlamp) so you can safely traverse this icy landscape.
7-Day Tours In Iceland
To really explore all of Ring Road, you’ll need at least a week. This 7-day tour by Arctic Adventures was the tour I signed up for, and I can’t sing its praises enough. It’s a small group tour; my group was 16 people total, and by the end of the week, we felt like we were all best friends!
7-Day Complete Iceland Tour
I took this tour in 2023. It begins in Reykjavik and then follows the Ring Road counterclockwise. Each day is chock full of sightseeing. The entire road trip was filled with incredible stories and facts from our fearless leader, Cindri, a native Icelander who was truly passionate about sharing his culture with us.
From traversing ice caves in the south to whale watching in the north, we did it all. This tour is also offered as a 6-day tour, which skips the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. If you can, I’d recommend going full-send on the 7-day tour so you can explore Snaefellsnes.
The bus was comfortable, had Wi-Fi and charging ports, and every hotel exceeded expectations. If you’re booking as a couple, you’ll have your own room. Since I’m a single traveler, I did have to pay the dreaded solo traveler tax to ensure a room for myself.
I could talk about this tour for hours, but my editor would probably prefer it if I kept it short and sweet. If you’re thinking about taking a multi-day tour in Iceland, I think this is one of the best multi-day tours.
See Related: Most Beautiful Places in Iceland to Visit
Things to Know About Multi-Day Tours in Iceland
While day tours tend to be in large buses, multi-day tours are in small groups of less than 20 people. This makes it much easier to wrangle everyone in at sightseeing spots and a much more pleasant experience overall.
Every bus has at least one USB charging port by each seat, plus Wi-Fi. There were a few areas where we didn’t have Wi-Fi, but that’s to be expected when you’re in the most remote areas of this beautiful country.
Accommodations are included in the multi-day tours, and breakfast is also included. Lunch and dinner are not included, but your guide will always have a plan for meals.
Sometimes this means stopping off in a small fishing village to eat lunch at a local restaurant in between attractions. Sometimes this means a choice of food trucks at a popular attraction like Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Either way, you will never go hungry.
Most dinner options will be at the hotel/accommodation. Check with the tour operator ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions. Four people on my tour were vegan, and our guide called the hotel every day to ensure the kitchen could accommodate them.
Speaking of stops, you’ll have plenty. I know everyone is always concerned about bathroom breaks, and I’m here to assure you there are plenty of opportunities to use the restroom.
Even on day tours, your guide will tell you when the next bathroom break is and what to expect. Many times, these places are gas stations/convenience stores, so you can grab some snacks, too.
The multi-day tours do have restrictions on luggage, and they vary depending on the length of the tour. Many of the two or three-day tours will only allow a carry-on, while the longer tours allow a checked-size bag with one personal item. The bus has a small trailer on the back, which is where your luggage will go, and you can keep a small backpack under the seat in front of you.
All of the tours in this article are offered year-round, but the itinerary may change depending on the season. Except for the Katla Ice Caves, ice caving is typically only offered in the winter. Glacier hiking is year-round.
Puffin watching is a summer months activity. Northern Lights are only in the winter season. Keep this in mind when you book your multi-day trip.