What are the best guided tours out of Reykjavik?

We, of course, want you to join us for at least one walking tour of Reykjavik when you visit us. But, we totally understand you want to explore the island as well. What are the best-guided tours out of Reykjavik?

We have put together a list of tours we think are the best. They have in common that they are all small-group tours, which gives them a much more personal feel, which we love!

Northern Lights Hunt – Small Group

Northern Lights over Búðakirkja in Snæfellsnes Peninsula – Photo: Diana Robinson

If you have the chance and are in Iceland during the darker months of the year. We cannot recommend enough going on a Northern Lights Hunt tour. The beauty of the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is hard to describe. We hope you will be able to experience it one day. The personal feel of this small-group tour is the reason why we believe this is one of the best guided tours out of Reykjavik.

Please note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and we cannot guarantee sightings. But if we are unlucky, you have the possibility of going again for free.

This small-group tour begins with driving out to a pre-planned destination based on the Aurora forecast. When we reach the lights, hopefully, it is time to roll out the Icelandic woollen blankets and watch the beautiful lights unfold in the sky.

Pick up for this tour begins at 20:30 and is about 4-hours long. That means you will be back at your hotel around 1 in the morning.

South Coast Sagas

In this 10-hour day tour, we will see some of the South Coasts‘ most beautiful places, such as Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall, Vík í Mýrdal, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Sólheimajökull Glacier.

Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi Waterfalls

Seljalandsfoss waterfall South coast sagas
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

The first two stops of the day are at the famous Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and its neighbour Gljúfrabúi, a waterfall many misses because it is hidden inside a small canyon.

Seljalandsfoss is most famous for the small cave, which makes it possible to walk behind the waterfall. You will get the chance to do that on this tour if conditions allow.

Gljúfrabúi waterfall – Photo: Luís Ascenso, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gljúfrabúa is no less beautiful. Very close to Seljalandsfoss, it is hidden in a small canyon. The name of the waterfall translates to “Canyon dweller”.

Skógafoss

The next stop on this great day-tour is the spectacular Skógafoss Waterfall. With its dramatic 60-meter fall, the waterfall is one of the more famous ones in Iceland. It can be seen in Thor: Dark World and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, for example.

Skógafoss is also the beginning of the hike over Fimmvörðháls, over to Þórsmörk. It is possible to walk up steps next to it and see it from above.

The story goes that the settler Þrasi Þórólfsson hid a treasure chest behind the waterfall. Only the ring handled has been found, which was used on the church at Skógar.

Vík í Mýrdal

Vík í Mýrdal – Photo: Luís Ascenso, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Vík í Mýrdal is the southernmost point of the tour and is the only coastal village to not have a harbour. The small village has only 750 inhabitants and boasts spectacular views of the mountains and out to sea. The black sand beach gives excellent views of the Reynisdrangar Basalt Sea Stacks.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Sólheimajökull Glacier

On our way back to Reykjavik, we have two last stops, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Sólheimajökull Glacier

Reynisfjara Beach

The black sand beach is one of the most famous in Iceland. Apart from its length, the basalt columnar cave and Reynisdrangar Basalt Sea Stacks to the left and Dyrhólaey Peninsula to the right make it one of the most beautiful places in Iceland to visit. National Geographic said it was one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches in 1991. In 2021, it was rated the 6th best beach in the world by Big 7 Travel, on a list of 50 beaches.

We ask you to be mindful of the sneaker waves at the beach; they can be really dangerous.

Sólheimajökull Galcier – Photo: Bill Bishoff

The last stop on this tour is the Sólheimajökull glacier which is a part of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. After looking at the glacier and hopefully even stepping on it, we head back to Reykjavik.

The pick-up for this tour begins at 8:30 and will see you back at your hotel at around 19:00.

Golden Circle Classic Small Group

The Golden Circle is a tour no one should miss when in Iceland. The traditional three stops on this tour are Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall. On this tour, we will additionally stop at Efstidalur dairy farm, Friðheimar tomato greenhouse, Laugavatn Geothermal area and Kerið Crater Lake.

Þingvellir National Park

Þingvellir National Park is a historically and geologically significant site. Both to Iceland and the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the place where the Icelandic Parliament, one of the world’s oldest, was founded in 930 AD. It is one of the few places to see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on land, but all other places are in Iceland.

The Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates are pulling the country apart by about 1″ per year.

Geysir Geothermal Area

Strokkur – Photo: Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.no, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The next stop on this popular day tour is the Geysir Geothermal Area. Named after the now-dormant Geysir, the area is also famous for Strokkur. This geyser erupts every few minutes high up in the air. The English word geyser comes from this area.

Gullfoss Waterfall

The third stop is at the fabulous Gullfoss Waterfall, a two-tiered waterfall that cascades into a 64m deep canyon. You can walk right up to the waterfall in the summer or watch from the viewing deck above. The walkway to the waterfall is closed in the winter months.

The Icelandic Government had plans to harness the power of this beautiful waterfall decades ago. A woman called Sigríður Tómasdóttir fought diligently against the plans, and she, for example, threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if the plans went ahead. She was one of the first conservationists in Iceland. There are signs by the waterfall’s viewing deck which tell the story of this important person in Iceland’s history.

Efstidalur Dairy Farm, Laugarvatn Geothermal Area and Friðheimar Tomato Farm

On our way from Gullfoss Waterfall, we stop at Efstidalur Dairy farm for homemade ice cream and visit the cows that give the milk for it. Next, we will visit Laugarvatn Geothermal Area and see how people cook bread by burying it in the hot ground. We will go to Friðheimar Tomato Farm for lunch, where you can get one of the world’s best tomato soups (lunch is not included in the tour price).

Kerið Crate Lake

The last stop of the day is at Kerið Crate Lake. The crater is situated in Grímsnes in south Iceland. It was formed when the land moved over a localised hotspot. Like other volcanic rocks in the area, the caldera is distinctly red. The colour is due to the high iron content and what you see is rust.

Magical Snæfellsnes Tour – Lunch Included

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the most spectacular places in Iceland, if only for the fact you will find most of Iceland’s specialities there. Waterfalls, glaciers, hot springs, lava fields, white and black sandy beaches, mountains, rocky beaches, bird cliffs, etc.

On this tour we will stop at Ytri-Tunga Farm, Búðarkirkja Church, Arnarstapi, Djúpalónssandur Beach, Mountain Kirkjufell and Bersekjahraun Lava Field.

Ytri-Tunga and the seals

Seals at Ytri-Tunga – Photo: pjt56, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The first stop on this fun tour is at Ytri-Tunga farm. Close to the farm is a beautiful beach home to large seal colonies. From the parking lot is a short walk to the beach, which your guide will lead you. The area gives excellent photo opportunities.

Búðakirkja Church

Before visiting Búðakirkja Church, we visit one of our favourite farms, where we will get a delicious home-cooked meal.

After lunch, we head out further west and stop at the beautiful black church Búðakirkja. The church was built in the middle of the 19th century and sits in the Búðahraun lava field. The lava field is known for its diverse vegetation, and about 130 plants grow there. A large portion of the lava field was protected in 1977, but many rare plants grow there.

Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi – Photo: Chmee2/Valtameri, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The beautiful and old village of Arnarstapi (Eagle Cape) sits next to a natural bridge, like Búðir. The town sits by a natural harbour, an important hub during the Danish trade monopoly in the 17th and 18th centuries.

On the other side of the small cape, the surf breaks on the rock, but sea birds have also made it their home. The famous Gatklettur can be seen as well as beautiful basalt columns.

Gatklettur – Photo: Chmee2/Valtameri, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Djúpalónssandur

The next stop on this fun day tour is Djúpalónssandur beach. This sandy beach was once the home to over sixty fishing boats and one of the most prolific fishing villages in Iceland but is today uninhabited. On the beach, you will find four lifting stones which measure fishermen’s strength. They are Fullsterkur (full strength) weighing 154 kg, hálfsterkur (half strength) at 100 kilograms, hálfdrættingur (weakling) at 54kg and amlóði (useless) at 23kg.

They were used as a qualifier for men to work on fishing boats. You must be able to lift at least the weakling stone to be allegeable.

You will also find the remains of a shipwreck on the beach. The Grimsby fishing trawler Epine (GY7) wrecked there on March 13, 1948.

Mountain Kirkjufell

This is probably the most famous mountain in Iceland, in part thanks to Game of Thrones, where it was used as a filming location in seasons 6 and 7. It is also just a very picturesque mountain.

Despite having a somewhat typical volcanic form, the mountain is not a volcano. It is a former nunatak, a mountain that protruded from the glaciers surrounding it during the Ice Age. At 463m tall it is possible to hike to the top, however, it is not for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights.

Berserkjahraun Lava Field

 The Berserkjahraun Lava field is the last stop of the day. The lava field came from craters north of Kerlingaskarð (Old Woman’s Pass) about 4000 years ago and is a rough basaltic ʻaʻā lava. The extremely thick lava is stunning, and the guide will show you a hidden waterfall.

Berserkjahraun – Photo: Peter Gorman

After this stop, we head back to Reykjavik. Pick up for this tour begins at 8:30 in the morning. The tour is estimated to be about 11 hours, so you will be back at the hotel at about 19:30.

Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon

You see the beautiful Golden Circle on this fun tour with the added bonus of bathing in the natural geothermal pool Secret Lagoon. This tour combines the best of Iceland and is in our opinion one of the best guided tours out of Reykjavik.

We will stop at Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Friðheimar Tomato Farm, where we can get lunch (please note it is not included in the price of the tour). After lunch, we head to Flúðir, where The Secret Lagoon is situated.

Relaxing at the Secret Lagoon

One of many natural geothermal pools in Iceland, The Secret Lagoon is unique due to its size. Locally called Gamla Laugin (The Old Pool), this man-made pool was made in 1891 and is the oldest pool in Iceland. It is fed by water from a nearby natural hot spring, and the temperature is maintained at around 100°F (40°c). Despite being called a swimming pool, it is more like a giant hot tub.

The pool was recently renovated to accommodate more people.

Pick up for this tour begins at 8:30 in the morning. The tour is about 9 hours and will see you back at your hotel around 18:00

Taste of Nature in West Iceland

West Iceland is famous for its beautiful landscape, waterfalls, hot springs, and lava fields. It is also one of the best farming areas in Iceland. We head out to this lush part of the island on this tour for sightseeing and food tasting. This is one of the best guided tours out of Reykjavik.

The lunch stop on the Taste of Nature in West Iceland Tour is at a farm close to Deildartunguhver hot spring. We will meet the farmers, hear their stories and taste their local produce where old traditions meet modern innovation.

Deildartunguhver

The tour may vary from one day to the other, and so does the food, so we cannot give you an exact itinerary of what we will have on this tour. Among the food you may find is Icelandic lamb, goat and cow cheese, traditional skyr, vegetables and strawberries grown in geothermally heated greenhouses.

Please note that meat and dairy have been an essential part of the Icelandic diet, so these food types are prominent in the food offered. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance, and we’ll try to fulfil your wishes.

The pick-up for this tour is at bus stop no. 8, by Hallgrímskirkja church. Please be there no later than 8:50 in the morning. The tour is about 9-10 hours long, so you should be back in Reykjavik at around 18:00 or 19:00

How is Icelandic Skyr Made?

This tour sees us driving to West Iceland towards Erpsstaðir Creamery, where we will meet one of the few producers of traditional Icelandic skyr.

The creamery is a family-run dairy farm where honesty and transparency are the foundations of production. The milking cows live in the best possible conditions. Under the same roof, the farmers produce their products, intending to open up new dimensions in the experience of dairy products at the same time as they honour old traditions.

The Erpsstaðir’s dairy cows – Photo: Erpsstaðir

At the farm, we will learn how the skyr is produced, taste it, and the by-products on the farm. After a delicious lunch at the farm, we will go on an easy hike up Grábrók, an old crater that gives excellent countryside views.

Pick-up for this tour is at bus stop no. 8 by Hallgrímskirkja church. Please be there no later than 8:50 in the morning. The tour is about 7-8 hours long, so you should be back in Reykjavik at about 16:00 or 17:00.

Dip and Dine West Iceland

For those who would like to both eat and go to the spa on the same tour, this is for them. In West Iceland, you will find Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in Europe. It has been utilised for heating in Borgarnes and Akranes for a few decades. It was recently decided to open up a spa close to the hot spring and use more water. The flow rate is very high for a hot spring, or 180 litres/second. On this tour, we will visit a horse farm, taste rye bread baked in the ground, soak in the refreshing waters of Krauma Spa and have dinner at the Krauma Restaurant, which uses local ingredients.

Sturlureykir

Sturlureykir horse farm is the first stop of the day. The farm has its own private hot spring, which the owners use to heat up their farm and give a unique fuel-conserving way of cooking. We will get to try some rye bread cooked by burying it in a container in the hot ground. We will also meet the friendly Icelandic horses (not a pony!) at the farm.

Photo: Sturlureykir

Krauma Spa and Restaurant

Next, it’s time to go to Krauma Spa. It has six baths, five warm and one cold. There are no extra chemicals used to keep the pools clean as the water flow is constant. There are also two steam baths and a relaxation room. Of course, the geothermal water from Deildartunguhver is much too hot, so it is mixed with ice-cold meltwater from the neighbouring Ok, the smallest glacier in Iceland.

We’ll get a delightful meal made from fresh local farm-produced ingredients at the restaurant before heading back to Reykjavik.

The pick-up spot for this tour is at the pick-up/drop-off spot on the right-hand side of Hallgrímskirkja church. You will find a blue poll with a pink sign marked #8. Please, be there no later than 8:50 for the tour.

Private Bespoke Driving Day tour

Maybe you want to control the itinerary, decide on how long to stop at each location, or simply exactly where to go for the day.

Then we suggest a private bespoke tour with an expert local driver-guide, so you don’t have to think about anything except enjoying the beautiful landscape and the stories and information from your guide

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