The picturesque landscape offers many relaxing and exhilarating experiences such as touring the fjords, hiking, relaxing in a hot spring or waiting for the midnight sun.
If all this has made you positively green with envy, and you’re ready to pack your bags and book a flight to Iceland, we’ve prepared some of the best things to do during your stay.
1. Blue Lagoon Spa, Grindavik
Prices from £40 - £153
Between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik lies a superb black lava geothermal spa. It is dedicated to restoring your energy and promoting wellness of the body, using the forces of nature. Well, that, and a nearby Svartsengi power plant, which filters in a combination of fresh and seawater mixed with green algae and mineral salts.
The 38-degree milky blue waters are known for clearing up skin conditions such as psoriasis and many have claimed that their skin feels smooth and nourished after the first visit.
There are various packages available.
The cheapest will simply get you entrance to the Blue Lagoon and a silica mud mask, whereas more expensive packages can get you into an exclusive lounge, dinner reservations at an onsite restaurant and a spa products package.
2. Snorkelling, Þingvellir (Thingvellir)
Source: Wiki Commons
Prices from £100
Swim through these idyllic waters and touch the North American and Eurasian continental plates at the same time. Silfra is known as the crack between the two, which are very steadily moving 2 cm apart every year.
It is one of the top diving sites in the world favoured for its insurmountable clarity when snorkelling.
The water alternates between 2 and 4 degrees year round. The nearby Langjökull glacier filters the water using underground lava, making the water so clear, you can see up to 100 meters in front of you.
There are various tours available which allow you to snorkel or dive throughout the Silfra sites. If you'd rather not go in the freezing water, a walking option is also available.
3. Ski doo, Langjökull or Vatnajökull Glacier
Prices from £140
Take a snowmobile and glide across the largest European glaciers that rise up to 1250 km above sea level.
Meet the specialist team at base camp or at Gullfoss where they will drive you into the mountains.
Spend an hour driving through uninterrupted terrain, then trawl through wondrous ice caves as you learn about glacier tunnels and then head back to camp over two hours later.
These tours are available all year round.
Suprisingly, even in the summer. Although, it’s best to still wrap up warm and wear waterproof clothing and shoes.
4. Dog Sledging, Skalafell
Source: Wiki Commons
Prices from £89
Dog sledging is a great alternative to snowmobiles, and perfect for dog lovers.
From January to mid-May you can enjoy snow sledging (or sledding). Then from August to December, you can take part in dry-land sledging in Holmasel.
A passionate musher will guide your dog team through mountains and lakes and tell you about each of their personalities.
While you’re waiting for your session to start, you can play with the puppies at base camp and halfway through the tour your guide will allow you to stop, take pictures and give the dogs well deserved belly rubs.
Transfers are available from Reykjavik or you can rent a car to meet the team at the starting point. In winter due to harsher conditions, they recommend you take a 4x4 whilst travelling in Iceland.
5. Eat at the Fish Company in Reykjavik.
If you’re following this list you’re going to need to make a pit stop to cool down (or warm up). What better place to do so than the luxurious Fish Company restaurant.
The menus allow you to sample Icelandic delicacies and favourites such as the glazed lamb shoulder and pan fried lamb sirloin (£32).
Set menus are also available such as Around Iceland (£52) and Around the World (£60), which incorporates traditional and international tastes.
You can even tuck in to Italian, Egyptian and Icelandic desserts. Prepare your taste buds to experience a world of flavours in beautifully atmospheric surroundings.
Feeling hungry yet? They have a menu available in English.
6. Tandem Paragliding, Vik
Source: Wiki Commons
Prices from £194
Witness the beauty of Icelandic landscapes from up high in an introductory paragliding flight. As a passenger in “the purest form of flying known to man”, you take the front seat in a thrilling once in a lifetime experience.
You can borrow the company’s GoPro Hero on a stick for selfies and videos. Or if the weather doesn’t permit it, the instructors will take you on a sailplane flight as you glide across the skies over mountains and volcanic craters.
7. Helicopter Ride, Various Locations
Prices from £94
A spectacular personalised helicopter ride provides an alternative flying experience.
Fly between the gushing volcano fields at Bárðarbunga volcano. In 2014, lava broke through the surface giving the name to the Holuhraun eruption, which has been going ever since!
Pricier packages offer more stunning locations including Mývatn, Vatnajökull and Grimsey Island.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, other helicopter ride companies offer to land on mountain summits close to Reykjavik such as Mt. Esja.
The best people for this experience are Extreme Iceland and Viator. For this, prices start from £181.
If you want to venture out of the bustling capital, flying from the northern city of Akureyri delivers a great experience.
8. Hiking, Skaftafell Ice Caves
Prices from £111
Next up is Skaftafell Ice Caves. Located east of Reykjavik, these caves are predominantly safer in the winter when the ice is frozen solid. So, if you’re in great shape and looking for something a little more adventurous, this is for you.
Best of all, many of these caves are formed in different locations each year due to the impact of glacial rivers and how the water freezes.
So no trip will be the same!
You’ll take a hike with a professional tour guide, so hiking equipment is essential. You’ll experience fantastic photographic opportunities, learn about the history and formations of some of the oldest ice caves in the Vatnajökull glacier and leave with unforgettable memories.
9. Icelandic Horse Park Fakasel
Prices from £117
Did you know that whilst Icelandic horses look small and cute, Icelanders don’t like calling them ponies?
This interesting fact and many more will be revealed when you watch a show, or ride Icelandic horses along a 25km beach route from the Icelandic Horse Park Fakasel.
You’ll be able to stop at small villages, trot (or tölt) through meadows and learn about the significance of this amazing breed of horse throughout Icelandic history.
You’ll ride in small groups and be paired with a horse that suits you! At the end of the trip you’ll be fed homemade soup and bread back at base.
Many trails are dusty and you will get dirty, so it is best to wear overalls or clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
Iceland offers an abundance of activities that will provide a lifetime of memories. However, be cautious of weather conditions. Particularly in winter, Icelandic weather can be unpredictable and extremely windy.
In most cases, the companies running these activities will notify you beforehand if they are unable to follow through with your booking, in which case they will reschedule for another date, offer an alternative method of experience or offer a full refund.
If you like to have the planning done for you, or want to cover more ground in a short space of time, we have outlined some specialised tours below.
Golden Circle Route - Private tours from £123
Visit Thingvellir National Park and drive along the lake where you can walk along the fissure that connects the North American and Eurasian plates.
Drive and stop off at Haukadalur valley where the famous Strokkur geyser erupts every 10 minutes, and marvel at the 11 and 22 metre Gullfoss waterfall.
South Coast Volcano Tour – Prices from £776
Marvel at stunning waterfalls and the beauty of mother nature such as Urriðafoss (trout waterfall), Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall and the black beaches at Reynisfjara.
If you want to go it alone, you can hire a car, grab a map and drive the Golden circle route to discover your own Icelandic treasures. You may even see the Aurora Borealis along the way - the possibilities are endless.