WHY VISIT ICELAND?
Iceland, often nicknamed “The Land of Fire and Ice”, is a nature lover’s paradise with its hot springs, glaciers, lava fields and waterfalls. With a largely unspoilt and surreal landscape, it’s no wonder it has inspired travellers, artists and photographers from around the world. And that could include you too!
If you’re seeking an adventure like no other, Iceland won’t disappoint. With its miles of scenic roadway around the island and endless opportunities for outdoor pursuits, this is a dream destination. Whether you’re a leisure traveller, want family-friendly activities or are searching for thrills, Iceland has it all.
- Explore a range of Iceland vacation packages
- Learn more about this destination with our Iceland Travel Guide
Despite the country’s name, Iceland isn’t as icy as it may sound. Summers are surprisingly mild and green. You can also expect plenty of daylight hours, especially around midsummer thanks to the “midnight sun”.
Whereas during winter, the longer nights create ideal conditions for the northern lights. This natural phenomenon is well worth adding to your bucket list!
Of course, no matter the season, you can always count on the warm hospitality of the Icelanders. They are a people fiercely proud of their well-preserved language and heritage that stretches back over a thousand years ago to the Viking Age.
From the lively Reykjavík capital city to the rural fishing villages, the unique Icelandic culture with its blend of old and new can be experienced at every turn.
See more travel information, such as currency, internet access and more, at our practical information section.
- View summer tours in Iceland
- Or check out winter tours of Iceland for your chance to see the northern lights
HOW TO GET TO ICELAND
The main gateway in Iceland is the Keflavík International Airport (KEF), located about 50 minutes from Reykjavík. Flight times are approximately 3 hours from London and 5 hours from New York. Icelandair operates direct flights from numerous European and North American cities. And you'll find many other international airlines with flights to Iceland.
Find more information, including entry requirements and airport transfers, at our Getting to Iceland section.
GETTING AROUND IN ICELAND
Route 1, or the “Ring Road”, is the main highway that circles Iceland and connects its communities. As there are no trains in Iceland, you can choose to explore the countryside with a self-drive package, by bus as part of a guided group tour or with a private driver-guide.
There are also some domestic flights from the Reykjavík Domestic Airport to many towns around the country, such as Akureyri in the north.
In the capital city, Reykjavík, you can easily do most of your sightseeing by foot. Reykjavík is also the starting point for many exciting day tours to the surrounding countryside, such as bus sightseeing tours, 4x4 jeep safaris, horse riding excursions, whale watching tours, glacier hikes and more.
Note: English is widely spoken in Iceland, so you shouldn't have any problem getting around. See more about the Icelandic language and learn a few useful words for your stay.
- Why not try an active tour around Iceland?
- Or pick your favourite of these classic Iceland holiday packages
WHEN TO VISIT & ICELANDIC WEATHER
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Iceland – it’s just a question of what you’re looking for.
Would you like maximum sunlight for driving and sightseeing? June, July and August are the months when you can expect the longest daylight hours. You’ll also enjoy the mildest weather and best availability of outdoor activities.
In late June you'll experience the peak of the midnight sun phenomenon, in which the sun doesn't fully set below the horizon. Just make sure to bring a sleep mask as it can be hard to fall asleep while it's still bright outside.
Do you like to have more space to yourself? May and September are ideal months if you want to enjoy decent weather but have a quieter time. The temperatures are generally mild – although a bit more unpredictable than in summer – and there is ample daylight hours for sightseeing.
Do you prefer winter scenery and chances for seeing the northern lights? October to April are the best months for Icelandic northern lights tours, when nights are darker and longer.
Alternatively, explore northern lights tours in all Nordic Visitor destinations for a bigger range of options. This also includes Norway and Lapland in Scandinavia.
Of course, the weather is at its coolest in winter, but the snowy and frosty conditions make for fabulous geothermal spa relaxation. For celebrations to remember, look up Christmas packages and New Year’s tours to Iceland.
And, as we say in Iceland, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. Luckily, you'll find a handy packing guide with suggestions by Iceland travel experts in our Iceland Travel Guide.
- Come enjoy the midnight sun with these Iceland itineraries
- Check out northern lights packages in Iceland
TOP THINGS TO SEE IN ICELAND
There are countless magnificent places and sights to see all around Iceland. Here are some of the most popular highlights:
- Reykjavík, the small yet lively capital city
- The Golden Circle route, including the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir hot springs area and Þingvellir National Park
- Eyjafjallajökull volcano and glacier
- The village of Vík and the interesting rock formations of Dyrhólaey
- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Vatnajökull glacier
- Landmannalaugar, a geologically unique area in the highlands
- The lunar landscapes of Lake Mývatn
- Akureyri, “The Capital of North Iceland”
- The Westfjords and the Látrabjarg sea cliffs
- Snæfellsnes peninsula and its majestic Snæfellsjökull glacier
See more Icelandic attractions by region.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND
Iceland offers a wide range of activities, from family-friendly recreation to more adventurous pursuits. Why not try one of these?
- Food & Culture
- Try the fresh fish and free-range lamb at the gourmet restaurants in Reykjavík
- Visit some of the many museums, offering everything from Viking history to modern art
- Enjoy the Reykjavík nightlife and music scene
- Take part in one of the many festive annual events around Iceland
- Relaxation & Nature
- Soak in the Blue Lagoon or one of the many other geothermal pools
- Go on a whale-watching tour to see marine life and great scenery
- Ride an Icelandic horse, which has remained purebred since Viking times
- Lace up your boots for a hike through nature, maybe to a waterfall or two
- Look up to the skies to see the northern lights in winter
- Visit cliffs where millions of puffins nest each summer
- Explore the uninhabited highlands on a guided 4x4 super-jeep tour
- Zoom across a glacier on a guided snowmobile excursion
- Experience a world of blue ice with a guided glacier walk
- See the hidden side of Iceland on a guided cave exploration tour
- Snorkel between continents at Silfra in Þingvellir National Park
Nordic Visitor itineraries are designed to be flexible, allowing you to add optional activities and day tours, either at the time of your booking or on location during your stay. Your dedicated travel consultant will be able to advise you about available activities, timings, what's doable in your itinerary, and more.
If you would like to include more activities into your Iceland holiday, we recommend booking a package that includes more time at each overnight location (for example, with two or more nights at the same accommodation). You can also send a us a request to customise a tour for you.
- Explore these top Iceland vacation packages
- Or treat yourself to a luxury tour of Iceland with added benefits and extra comfort
An average stay in Iceland is about 12 days in summer and 5 days in winter. That doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself to these timelines. There is so much you can do in Iceland that you could spend months travelling around and still not cover it all!
The capital city, Reykjavík, is a great starting point for any journey. Or it’s a fun destination on its own for short breaks and stopovers.
To help you make the most of your time in Iceland, see our helpful itinerary suggestions below with themes to match.
From May to September
3–4 days: Stay in Reykjavík. Join some day tours to the south coast or the highlands. A visit to the Blue Lagoon and a Golden Circle tour are also highly recommended. Other popular activities include snowmobiling, horse riding, whale watching and glacier hiking.
City Break / Relaxation & Spa / Luxury
5–7 days: Start in Reykjavík but explore further afield. Visit the south coast and West Iceland, including the scenic Snæfellsnes peninsula. With 7 days, you can do an express self-drive tour around the Ring Road.
Self-drive Tours / Honeymoon / City Break / 4x4 Rental / Relaxation & Spa / Luxury
8–13 days: Start in Reykjavík and travel around the Ring Road. With 10 days or more, you can also include the Snæfellsnes peninsula or, if travelling by 4x4, a visit to the central highlands.
Self-drive Tours / Honeymoon / Family Travel / 4x4 Rentals / Guided Small Groups / Luxury
14–20 days: Start in Reykjavík and then Iceland is your oyster. Add the Westfjords to your Ring Road tour, or enjoy more planned activities along your journey. You can also add a trip to Greenland, with a flight from the Reykjavík Domestic Airport.
Self-drive Tours / Honeymoon / Family Travel / 4x4 Rentals
20 days+: Start in Reykjavík, do the Ring Road journey and include some detours to more remote areas like Borgarfjörður Eystri, the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes peninsula or, if travelling by 4x4, into the highlands.
From October to April
3–4 days: Stay in Reykjavík. Join some day tours to the south coast. A visit to the Blue Lagoon and a Golden Circle tour are also a good idea. Many activities offered in summer are also available in winter and, if conditions are right, we suggest a northern lights excursion.
City Break / Relaxation & Spa / Luxury / Northern lights
5–9 days: Start in Reykjavík then visit the south coast and West Iceland, including the Snæfellsnes peninsula. You could also fly to Akureyri and go on guided tours in the Lake Myvatn or Eyjafjörður areas.
Self Drive Tours / Honeymoon / City Break / Luxury and Lifestyle / Northern lights
10 days+: You could visit the south coast and West Iceland, including the Snæfellsnes peninsula. With at least 10 days, you can drive the Ring Road. For this we strongly recommend a 4x4 rental vehicle.
Self Drive Tours / Honeymoon / City Break / Luxury and Lifestyle / Northern lights
Iceland is already an “off-the-beaten-path” destination in its own right. But if you want an even more memorable and out-of-the-ordinary experience, consider visiting the Westfjords or the central highlands. These are 2 magnificent regions full of outstanding natural highlights.
They are the least-travelled parts of the country, making them ideal if you're a nature lover or active traveller. You can only visit in summer and please be aware that the roads here can be challenging and require experienced drivers.
Need more help with your Iceland itinerary? Get in touch with us to start planning your trip.