Off the Beaten Path Tours in Iceland
Iceland is open to fully vaccinated visitors! Travel off the beaten path and you will find that the Land of Fire and Ice is dotted with hidden gems. Your dedicated travel consultant will arrange an unforgettable and hassle-free trip, including accommodation, transport and optional excursions.
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ABOUT YOUR ICELAND HIDDEN GEM TOUR
Benefit from the insider knowledge of a local travel expert on an off-the-beaten-path trip to Iceland. Get ready to soak up Iceland’s extraordinary scenery and explore personally recommended hidden gems. Imagine relaxing in secret hot springs, or driving through remote mountain landscapes.
When you book an off-the-beaten-path Iceland tour, you get
• An authentic travel experience arranged by a trusted agency with local experts
• A dedicated travel consultant who will arrange your tour and answer your questions
• Handpicked accommodation, for a relaxing stay
• A variety of optional exciting excursions for you to choose from
• An online personalised Iceland itinerary and a detailed travel guide
• Access to our 24/7 helpline, so you can reach out to us on your trip
Nordic Visitor has made it easy to plan your trip. Simply follow these steps before travelling to Iceland:
1. Pick your favourite Nordic Visitor tour
2. Confirm your package
3. Check your confirmation email
4. Book your flights
5. Get ready for your trip
Why choose Nordic Visitor
Book With Confidence
Plan your trip risk-free with Nordic Visitor's cancellation insurance. Add it to your booking to enjoy flexible terms and peace of mind. Purchase it with your package or secure it free of charge by booking a tour with 20% deposit or more. Terms & conditions apply.
Travel With Confidence
Your safety, wellbeing and enjoyment is at the heart of everything we do. That's why we’ve committed to the Icelandic Tourist Board’s “Clean & Safe” pledge, which reflects the health measures we are implementing to ensure you Travel With Confidence.
Trusted local travel experts
Based in Iceland, and founded in 2002, Nordic Visitor is perfectly placed to arrange an authentic travel experience for you. Your Iceland-based travel expert has been to the places that you will visit on your tour. Benefit from their local knowledge and insider tips.
You are in good hands
If something unexpected crops up on your trip, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! You can reach us 24/7 and speak to a travel expert who is on hand to help. If needed, we will make new arrangements for you while keeping you safe and informed.
Nordic Visitor is dedicated to the best service quality, and this is reflected year after year when TripAdvisor awards us with their Certificate of Excellence. We also take great pride in our customer feedback: 97% of our travellers say they would recommend us to friends and family.
Customisable tour options
Select from a range of tours designed to take in hidden gems on routes recommended by local experts. If there’s something you’d like to change, our travel consultants will use their insider knowledge to tailor your trip. You can add extra nights or pack in more optional activities.
Full financial protection
With Nordic Visitor, you have peace of mind knowing your holiday arrangements with us are 100% financially protected. Your payments are safeguarded with an insurance protection that guarantees you a refund in the unlikely event of insolvency.
We understand that retreating to a clean, comfortable and friendly place after an adventure-packed day is important. That’s why we have handpicked the best options in the areas that you’ll be staying in, based on quality, location and character. A peaceful night's sleep awaits.
ICELAND TOUR REVIEWS
Iceland is a favourite destination with our travellers. Read these reviews and find out what our valued customers loved about their trip.
Caitlin and SiimUnited States
I cannot say enough good things about our tour with Nordic Visitor! Every interaction, from first contact to the tour... read more
I cannot say enough good things about our tour with Nordic Visitor! Every interaction, from first contact to the tour itself, was a pleasure. Sigfus was wonderful, addressing all our questions and issues in an efficient manner. The tour itself was amazing! We loved the quiet and natural beauty of the West Fjords and we enjoyed the flexibility of the self-drive tour to tailor our activities to suit our interests (and the weather). We would most certainly consider another self-drive tour with Nordic Visitor!
AmyUnited Arab Emirates
This was the first time I've booked a trip like this- with reliance on an agent to handle the booking- and it was a... read more
Certificate of Excellence
YOUR OFF-THE-BEATEN-TRACK ICELAND HIGHLIGHTS
Make lifelong memories when you step off the beaten path and discover a different side to Iceland. Lace up your walking shoes, grab your camera, and while exploring Iceland’s hidden gems, you could…
- Marvel at the 100-metre (328-foot) cascade of Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords
- Stroll along the coastal cliff paths of Látrabjarg, the westernmost point in Europe, looking for puffins
- Go on a guided excursion into the sparkling ice caves of Langjökull glacier near Húsafell village
- Chase the northern lights on a super jeep tour of Þórsmörk valley, named after Þór (Thor), the Norse god of thunder
- Visit the town of Ísafjörður and see Iceland’s oldest homes, dating from the 18th century
- Drive the Kjölur route, known as the “Valley of Thieves", to reach the hot springs of Hveravellir
- Try horse riding in Skagafjörður valley, an area known as the “Mecca of Icelandic Horsemanship”
- Explore Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, one of Iceland’s largest river gorges, in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park
- Journey to the Landmannalaugar region to see colourful volcanic mountains and relax in secluded hot springs
ADVICE ABOUT VISITING ICELAND
Get ready for your trip to Iceland. Travel off the beaten path with confidence after reading these helpful travel guides.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
ICELAND’S HIDDEN GEMS
Want to know the specifics about how to travel off the beaten path in Iceland? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for tips and advice on taking the road less travelled and discovering a hidden side to Iceland. If you still have questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Of course, there are some stunning hidden gems to uncover in Iceland! Venture even 30 minutes off the Ring Road around the island and you’ll find lesser-visited spots. Some of the most beautiful off-the-beaten-path places to visit in Iceland are the Westfjords, the highlands, and the national parks of the north.
Most visitors to Iceland spend time exploring Reykjavík, visiting the Blue Lagoon, and road tripping around the Golden Circle route. While this southwest corner of Iceland is well worth visiting, there is even more beauty waiting for you further afield.
Going off the beaten track in search of a hidden side to Iceland often means being ready to embrace off-road terrain. So don a sturdy pair of walking shoes and start exploring.
Don’t worry if this sounds too adventurous, because there are also easily accessible secret waterfalls and beaches close to the road. You’ll also find cultural gems tucked away in Iceland’s towns and villages.
Check out the attractions in these off-the-beaten-path regions:
- Explore the remote Westfjords region, complete with arty villages and breathtaking fjords.
- Turn off the Ring Road into the highlands, the country’s vast volcanic interior.
- Take a ferry to the Westman Islands, known as the “Pompeii of the North”, off the coast of South Iceland.
- Visit Hengifoss, the third highest waterfall in Iceland, and the quaint fishing villages of East Iceland.
- Make the most of wildlife-watching opportunities in North Iceland, like whale watching in Húsavík.
Hike in the extensive Snæfellsjökull National Park on West Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula.
There are many offbeat attractions in Iceland for you to explore during your trip. Here are some highlights to add to your itinerary:
- • Christmas Garden - Celebrate Christmas year round in North Iceland at the Christmas Garden (Jólagarðurinn). Shop for souvenirs and experience local festive traditions.
- • The Eggs of Merry Bay - While exploring the east coast, stop in the town of Djúpivogur to admire this sculptural display. 34 giant eggs line the coast, each designed to represent the egg of a local bird species.
• Nonsense Museum - The Westfjords are known for their vibrant art scene and quirky museums. The Nonsense Museum is just one of the many odd museums here. Inside you’ll find curated collections of things like teaspoons and novelty salt and pepper shakers.
Then, of course, exploring Icelandic scenery will reward you with unusual natural sights. Think strolling along black sand beaches and gazing out over glacier lagoons. Marvel at ice caves, glaciers, volcanoes and lava fields. Iceland’s extraordinary landscapes will leave you in awe.
The capital of Iceland is renowned as the smallest capital city in Europe, but that’s not to say there isn’t lots to see and do here.
Nordic Visitor's Iceland travel experts are based in Reykjavík and have plenty of top recommendations, such as:
- • Seeking out the hidden “hot pot” on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula near Grótta Lighthouse. Sunset is one of the best times to visit, but if you go during the day, bring your binoculars for bird watching in the nature reserve.
- • Timing your Iceland visit to match up with a festival in Reykjavík. Choose from the many music and arts festivals, like the Secret Solstice (held in June) or the Reykjavík International Film Festival (taking place in September or October).
- • Visiting the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Park to soak up the gardens’ peaceful atmosphere and see 26 of Jónsson’s bronze sculptures. Einar is one of Iceland’s top artists.
- • Shopping like a local at the flea market, Kolaportið, in the old harbour area. Visit at the weekend to browse stalls where you can sample Icelandic sweet treats and try on woollen jumpers.
• Laughing and enjoying a drink or two at the Secret Cellar, Iceland’s first comedy club, with shows in English.
Find out the top 15 things to do in Reykjavík in this blog.
If you know where to look, you’ll soon find that there are hot springs and geothermal pools dotted all over Iceland. Although most get much less publicity than the famous Blue Lagoon, and have fewer facilities, there are many more secluded pools for you to visit.
Learn where to find Iceland’s best hot springs and geothermal pools in this helpful article, broken down by region.
Although visiting the Westfjords requires some effort, the extra travel time is definitely worth it! You will be rewarded with views of high flat-topped mountains, seemingly endless fjords and towering sea cliffs.
Peppered throughout the remote landscapes of the Westfjords are settlements like Ísafjörður, the region’s capital. Here you’ll find a flourishing art scene and plenty of history, including Iceland’s oldest homes, dating from the mid-1700s.
The region is also home to some of the country’s quirkiest museums: the Nonsense Museum, the Sea Monster Museum and the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery.
From the Westfjords you can travel even further off the beaten track by taking a ferry to the Western Islands for a day trip.
At just 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) in length, Flatey is the largest of the islands. It’s also a car-free wildlife sanctuary. If you’re an art lover don’t miss the frescoed ceiling of Flatey’s church, painted by contemporary artist Baltasar.
Read more about what to do in the Westfjords in this curated list.
If you’re someone who delights in finding lesser-visited spots and seeing the forces of nature in action, then a trip to the highlands is a must.
Located in the heart of Iceland, this is one of the country’s most sparsely populated regions. Here colourful volcanic mountains, milky blue lakes and remote hot springs await you.
It is worth noting that the routes into the highlands are unpaved roads or tracks, noted on maps as F-roads. These are closed in winter due to the harsh weather conditions, so make sure to visit in summer to avoid disappointment.
If you’re thinking about taking a road trip, you’ll need to be comfortable driving on uneven roads and crossing rivers in a 4x4 vehicle to travel here. But if driving a super jeep on rough terrain isn’t for you, don’t worry! Instead have a local expert take you on a private or multi-day tour.
Check out these attractions and best places to visit in the highlands.
Just like elsewhere in Iceland, the country's north has hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Some of the best lesser-visited places in North Iceland are:
- • Skagafjörður - Known for its abundance of Icelandic horses, this remote district stretches north from the Hofsjökull glacier to the rugged coastline. On a visit here, you can learn about Grettir’s Saga, the legend behind “Grettir’s Pool”, or check out the folk museum at Glaumbær.
- • Tröllaskagi peninsula - Tröllaskagi, which translates as the “Peninsula of the Trolls”, is home to beautiful wide fjords and jagged peaks. Head to the genealogical museum in the village of Hofsós if you are hoping to trace family ties to Iceland’s emigrants.
- • Hveravellir - This region gets its name, meaning “Hot Spring Plains”, from the high number of geothermal pools found here. You can explore this otherworldly landscape on boardwalks that wind their way through the fumaroles and bright blue pools.
- • Borgarvirki - Don’t miss a visit to the natural fortress at Borgarvirki, on Vatnsnes Peninsula, for amazing views with a sprinkle of folklore and Viking history. Formed of vertical basalt columns, this impressive geological feature overlooks the surrounding landscape. People have been using the fortress as a defensive structure for hundreds of years, but its exact history isn’t known.
You can reach Iceland’s far north by car as part of a complete road trip around the island. Alternatively, fly from Reykjavík to Akureyri Airport (45 minutes).
Find out more about things to see and do in North Iceland in this guide.
You can travel off the beaten path in Iceland on your own or with a guide.
One of the best ways to discover Iceland’s hidden gems is to go on a self-drive tour. This is ideal if you prefer to travel solo, or with your loved ones.
On a self-drive tour, you can set your own pace, and stop wherever you like along the way. Don’t worry, you won’t feel like you’re on your own, with recommendations from your travel consultant and 24/7 support, should you need it.
Or you could opt for a multi-day tour package. You’ll have free time to spend as you wish, and other days where you’ll benefit from the knowledge of a guide on your chosen day trips.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to have the full attention of a guide throughout your trip, then a private tour is the right choice for you. They’ll take you to hidden gem spots in Iceland and will have plenty of local lore to share with you.
Once you’ve picked your package, you can select the arrival date that suits you from a calendar displaying tour availability. Bear in mind that certain itineraries can only be booked in summer or winter, depending on the featured destinations and experiences.
For example, our self-drive tours that go to hidden gem spots are only available in the summer season, which is from May to September. In some cases, these packages may only be available in the peak summer season – June to August – depending on the driving route.
This is because driving is too difficult in off-the-beaten-path locations during the winter season. It’s not possible to drive in the highlands at this time of year as the mountain roads are closed. Plus, there are some activities in these places that are more suited to the summer months.
On the other hand, our hidden gem northern lights packages are suitable only for the winter months. This is when the skies are at their darkest, giving you the best chance of seeing the aurora borealis. For these multi-day tours, you’d be driven by a local guide who knows the roads well.
Not sure which arrival date to choose? Speak to your travel consultant and they will advise on the best start date based on your interests and availability.
Absolutely, our self-drive, private and multi-day tours in Iceland are easily tailored to suit your needs. Extend your trip by adding extra nights along the way. For example, you may like to spend more time in Reykjavík so you can visit the sights before heading off the beaten track.
Customise your itinerary by choosing from a variety of excursions. You can try activities like horse riding, kayaking and snowmobiling.
Get in touch with us to ask about customising a tour.
We advise checking what flights are available before booking your tour with us. However, please wait until your tour details are confirmed before booking your flights, as there are limited accommodation and excursion spaces.
Once you have all of your tour tickets and your itinerary is finalised, you can book your flights.
If you book your trip online, you will typically hear from your consultant no more than 2 working days after receiving your payment confirmation email.
Waiting to speak to your travel consultant will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your arrival and departure arrangements.
From season to season, and day to day, Iceland’s weather is famously changeable. So it’s best to be prepared for a little of everything!
The basics include sun protection and waterproof clothing. In summer, you’ll need light layering options for the milder weather. In winter, don't skimp on warm layers and woollens because temperatures can drop below freezing.
Swimwear and sandals are also recommended if you plan to visit a hot spring. However, these can also be rented at the more popular geothermal pools.
Here is a basic all-season packing list for your trip to Iceland:
- Waterproof and windproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Fleece or wool layers
- Insulated jacket
- Gloves (a light and heavier pair)
- Scarf or neck warmer
- Warm hat (beanie)
- Quick-drying travel towel (for bathing at remote hot springs)
- Thermal underwear
- Warm socks
- Reusable water bottle
- Plug adapters (Europlug Type C and F)
You’ll find tips, and additional seasonal packing advice, in this helpful Iceland packing guide.
Our Icelandic travel consultants are on hand to answer any questions you might have. Whether you are ready to begin planning your trip or you’d like personal recommendations on where to go, get in touch.
Our main phone number is
+354 578 20 80
How about a live chat with one of our local travel experts