Exploring Iceland by doing a number of day trips from Reykjavik is a surprisingly easy and convenient way to see this beautiful country.
There are a remarkable number of natural wonders in easy driving distance from both the airport (Keflavík) and the capital city, Reykjavik. From gushing waterfalls to open craters and soothing waters you can even bathe in, Iceland is a destination like no other.
One option for exploration is to hire a car (read my guide on driving in Iceland here) for the ultimate flexibility and freedom. Alternatively join a tour with a local company. Either way, Iceland is a wonderfully straight forward destination to explore!
Must See Natural Wonders near Reykjavik, Iceland
The island nation of Iceland has become the new European place to go. With a flight time of just 3 hours, it’s perfect for long weekend breaks or as a stopover between the UK and the US.
Having recently visited Reykjavik, I was so impressed with how many awesome natural wonders are within 2 hours of Keflavik Airport and the city centre. So I’ve decided to put together a quick guide focusing on day trips from Reykjavik Iceland!
Get Your Guide offers some fantastic tours around beautiful Iceland – I’ve popped a selection below:
- Golden Circle Full Day Tour with Kerid Crater from Reykjavik
- From Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid Crater, and Blue Lagoon
Sandvík is the unique spot where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. There’s a footbridge cross between the two which you can cross. We thought it was pretty cool, as you could stand one side and a friend could stand the other, and you’d both be in different continents.
This is the closest day trip from Reykjavik at just one hour’s drive from the city centre, or just 24 minutes from Keflavík Airport.
This incredible waterfall is totally different to anything I have ever seen before, as you can walk completely behind it. The force of the water at Seljalandsfoss is something to be experienced and although you might get a little wet, a climb behind here offers a completely unique perspective. It is not to be missed and is definitely one of the must see attractions in Iceland.
Skógafoss is another incredible waterfall, mostly due to its sheer force. We got completely soaked trying to approach it.
(Apologies for the pics – it was SO hard to get my phone out as I was getting so soaked!
As we were driving on the main road, we spotted ice in the distance.
We thought it looked like something worth exploring and trying to get closer to. A simple little left turn and a long gravel road led us to its little car park. To our absolute delight, we could follow the trail of a hiking group all the way along the black volcanic rocks to where the ice started.
We had stumbled upon Sólheimajökull Glacier and it was utterly incredible! In order to climb up the ice and fully explore, we would have needed a guide and ice picks, but we were happy enough climbing around on what we could get to. I would say this the Sólheimajökull Glacier is a highly recommended day trip from Reykjavik Iceland.
The Blue Lagoon
Of course I had to include the world famous Blue Lagoon!
The iconic Blue Lagoon has quickly become one of Iceland’s most famous attractions, and for good reason. We opted for the most basic entrance option but you can pay more for more experiences.
I’d check back regularly for prices, as they seem to be increasing all the time.
Oh, and there’s a bar too by the water’s edge so you can enjoy a drink and soak up this experience for longer.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the capital of Reykjavik itself! It’s pretty, calm and friendly. But yes, a little on the expensive side. Icelandic coffee culture is a vibe too!
We only had the opportunity to try two places, the Cafe Babalú and Kaffitár, both in the very centre of town just down from the church. There’s nothing quite like having breakfast while it is still dark outside.
As well as day trips from Reykjavik, the city itself is well worth spending some time in. Although it could hardly be described as a bustling metropolis; it’s very easy to lose a couple of hours wandering the streets and little stores and cafes. In the absence of tall glass skyscrapers, the streets instead are lined with cute colourful wooden buildings, and everything seems to be so small and quaint,
However, the best thing about these day trips from Reykjavik Iceland is that they are all free – with the exception of The Blue Lagoon. You can pay on entry, or visit with one of the organised day trips I mentioned.
Where to stay in Reykjavik
Every year, more and more excellent Reykjavik hotels keep opening up in the city centre and in the surrounding area. Fortunately, they span all kinds of budgets so here are some great options in Reykjavik at both of ends of the spectrum:
Some excellent budget hotels in Reykjavik Iceland:
And some fantastic luxury hotels:
Day Trips from Reykjavik Iceland
Are you planning to go to Iceland soon? I hope this post helps in planning your day trips from Reykjavik, or at least inspires you to visit this incredible country and all its amazing natural wonders! If you’re looking for a longer and more structured itinerary, then Melissa’s 4 day southern Iceland itinerary here might be useful!
If you’ve already visited, let me know in the comments if you have any more top tips or any feedback! I’d love to hear from you 🙂
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Disclaimer: This stay was entirely paid for by myself and there was no involvement from the hotel. This is an independent review.
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