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It’s no surprise Iceland has risen to the top of many travel bucket lists. The vast Icelandic landscape is unparalleled the world over, with cascading waterfalls, craters, azure-blue geothermal springs, glaciers and erupting geysers.
And let’s not forget the endless midnight sun during summer months, the panoramic Northern Lights and that parts of Game of Thrones was filmed there.
We dish the best tour companies and guided itineraries in Iceland so you can get bragging rights on your Arctic adventure.
Live with no regrets and take in all the highlights of Iceland. Contiki’s trips are fun, adventurous and social. These trips are designed specifically for 18-to-35-year olds, so young people can travel in the company of folks their own age.
From summer jaunts to Northern Lights journeys, family-friendly explorations and camping trips, Intrepid has something for everybody seeking to make Iceland their next destination.
Make your trip intimate and unique with small-adventure travel experts. G Adventures’ tours range from classic sightseeing adventures to active hiking and marine-based explorations.
Choose from 30+ tours throughout the island nation, ranging from short two-day trips to long, immersive eight-day journeys around the island.
Travel to Iceland and beyond with Gate 1 Travel’s extensive list of relatively budget-friendly overnight tours — its six-day Essential Iceland tour starts at about $217 per day and includes accommodation, breakfast, an expert tour guide and transportation.
When choosing tour companies from this list, we looked at the range of overnight Iceland tours available from each provider, weighing value against price point and factoring in first-person reviews from past travelers. We also looked at each company’s reputation for providing authentic cultural experiences, paired with the knowledge of expert guides. Finally, we considered the quality of itineraries offered, choosing companies with well-paced daily schedules that maximize bang for your buck.
The Golden Circle is Iceland’s most iconic tourist route. It starts in the capital city of Reykjavik, on the island’s west coast, and navigates its way through Thingvellir National Park and its submerged rifts and lake walks, Geysir Hot Spring Area and the Gullfoss waterfall.
The full experience can be completed within a day. But if you’re traveling during winter, it’s best to start at dawn as daylight hours are limited.
Suitable for all ages and for anyone on a tight schedule, this tour captures the Golden Circle, the city of Reykjavik and Northern Lights without missing a beat.
If you’re truly aiming to cover all Iceland has to offer, you need to travel the road that rings around the island. Complete Iceland tours often start in Reykjavik and stop by the Golden Circle, Vik and Holn in the south and Lake Myvatn and Akureyri in the north.
With just the right mix of independence and tour leadership, you’ll be in awe by the glacier in the heart of the Iceland as you circle around it gazing upon lava formations, fjords, waterfalls and hot springs. Numerous optional tours are available to enhance your trip.
The length of your stay will depend most on what you wish to see and what time of year you’re visiting.
Seeking to capture the Northern Lights in all their glory? While you can see them minutes from Reykjavik, you’ll want to give yourself at least three days in case of poor weather or visibility.
Want to see the Golden Circle? This can be covered in a day. Time your trip right and you can also tack on the Blue Lagoon hot springs — located right near the country’s main airport — before you fly off.
If you’re hoping to see the east and north of the island, we’d recommend giving yourself at least nine days. Or more if you want to try glacier hiking, fishing and more.
During summer, the midnight sun ensures you can stay out longer and do more each day. During winter, while chances are higher you’ll spot the Northern Lights, daylight hours are reduced to between four and five hours. Short day trips are highly recommended, as roads can be slippery during this season, which may increase the length of your overall tour.
This table is a general guide of what you can see with a tour over a select number of days, based our own personal experience as well as tours mentioned in this guide.
|Number of days||Reykjavik||Golden Circle||Blue Lagoon||Northern Lights||South Coast (Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss waterfalls)||Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon||North Coast (Akureyri, Myvartn)||Borgarfjörður|
Booking a tour through Iceland will help ensure you don’t miss a single thrill that the land of fire and ice has to offer. After pinpointing your travel plans, discover how to save money and earn points with a credit card along the way.
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