Iceland — Things to Do
Tours around the main sights are the easiest way to travel, are very well-organized, and leave from most of the major towns. Visitors in general come to Iceland for its iconic natural beauty and unspoiled grandeur, and the country has an impressive record of conservation and protection of its unique environment. Favorite outdoor activities include horseback riding, snowmobiling, and salmon fishing, as well as skiing outside Akureyri town and in the Troll Peninsula’s mountain ranges.
Reykjavik is the center for trips around Southwestern Iceland to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Thingvellir National Park, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, the Reykjarnes Peninsula, and the spectacular ‘young’ lava fields. Akureyri town in dramatic North Iceland is a popular destination as a hub for trips to the sometimes frozen Gullfoss waterfall, the massive volcanic crater of Viti, and remote Myvatn Lake. If you’re short of time, the Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik takes in the main attractions in the region, including the Blue Lagoon.
Familiarizing yourself with the Icelandic lifestyle by wandering around the charming old quarter in Reykjavik with its small, colorfully-painted wooden homes gives an overview of settlement in the world’s northernmost capital city. Two-thirds of Icelanders live here and it’s the cultural and entertainment hub of the island. Here, you’ll find museums, pretty parks, ancient hewn stone buildings and churches, the Culture House, and the Settlement Exhibition. Viator offers a city sightseeing tour combined with an afternoon at the Blue Lagoon.
Whale watching is a favorite activity with visitors, best done all year round from Reykjavik or in the summer months from Husavik. Isango specializes in boat trips from Reykjavik’s Old Harbor around Faxafloi Bay, a haunt of whales, dolphins, and penguins. From Husavik, North Sailing runs whale watching trips from its base on stunning Eyjafjordour Fjord’s quaint Olafsfjordur village.
The season for salmon fishing here runs from June through mid-October, with around 100 rivers offering the best Atlantic salmon fishing in the world. Each river may be fished for just over three months and, although angling here is expensive, a license, accommodation, and meals are included in the price. Fishpal offers a good choice of packages on a number of rivers.
Icelandic horses are a special breed, fleet of foot and graceful, and give an unforgettable way to travel around the natural wonders of the land. Local Iceland Tours organizes full-day rides from Reykjavik with a tour guide across some of southwestern Iceland’s most spectacular countryside, visiting national monuments and other attractions along the way.
Hiking or walking the young lava fields of the Reykjarnes Peninsula in summer opens up panoramas of volcanoes, craters, lava tubes, and endless geothermic activity. Extreme Iceland’s summer tours take up several days, with participants resting during the short day and walking or hiking at night under the mysterious glow of the midnight sun.
If you’re visiting in winter, a thrilling way to see the snow-covered countryside is by taking a full-day snowmobiling tour covering major attractions such as the Gullfoss waterfalls, the Geysir hot springs, and Thingvellir National Park. Trips across the Icelandic highlands to Langjokull Glacier involve racing over immense snowfields and are offered by Arctic Adventures.
For a unique and memorable Icelandic experience, dog-sledding is as good as it gets. The swish of the runners across the packed snowfields and the sight of these gorgeous Greenland huskies as they pull you along have to be the highlights of any vacation. Iceland Eskimos offers thrilling winter journeys in Southwest Iceland and summer trips on the Langjokull Glacier.
Caving in the underworld dark places created by massive volcanic explosions is another unique Icelandic treat for the adventurous. Lit by your caving light, the pitch black tunnels explode in colors of blue, red, violet, and metallic gleams, matched in beauty by the ice and pumice formations and stalactites. Adventures.is can guide you though this amazing tour.