Iceland is a serious outdoor adventure holiday. There are so many exciting and amazing things to do. Iceland’s wild and diverse landscape will be unlike anything you’ve seen before. Below are a list of our must do activities. All these activities are spread out around the country so we recommend you stay at different hotels as you travel around the island. Many of the travel companies can help you plan the trip this way. SuperJeep (www.superjeep.is) provided a fantastic service with great guides and vehicles. They are all locals with a number of years experiences. They know the best places and the best ways to get there. If however you want to stay in the best hotels for the duration of your stay you can be based in Reykjavik and drive to the activities every day (however this is the more tiring option and can include up to 7 hours driving in one day).
The Golden Circle
Probably the most popular trouts route and for good reason. You start at Thingvelir National Park the location where the Icelandic parliament was founded more than 1000 years ago. See where the earth is separating along the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates and where the Vikings stood hundreds of years ago when making national laws.
Second stop will be the Geyser geothermal area (Haukadalur) where you see the largest geyser called Strokkur explode every five minutes.
Third and last stop is the Gullfoss waterfall which is probably the joint most famous tourist attraction in the country (along with the Blue Lagoon). The most famous waterfall in Iceland it is high, wide, and strong!
Silfra – Scuba Dive
Experience a unique dive with unmatched water clarity where you will be swimming between two of the biggest continental plates on the planet (North America and Europe). The crystal clear water has been filtered over decades by Iceland’s volcanic basaltic rock meaning you can have a drink while you’re there, drinking water doesn’t come any purer.
Explore the four main parts of Silfra. You will drive through Big Crack, Silfra’s narrowest crack where you can dive between the continents, put one hand on Europe and one on North America!
As the fissure widens you enter the majestic Silfra Hall and then near the opening to Thingvallavtn you will enter the Silfra Cathedral: if there are divers ahead you will see the ‘chandelier effect’ of their rising bubbles. Your dive finishes in the Silfra Lagoon where visibility seems to be endless.
After the first dive you have to get out and walk 250 metres back to your base, hot chocolate and cookies are served. Then if your heart desires you can repeat the dive. Each dive is 30-40 minutes, max depth 18 metres and dives are taken with a dry suit. In the winter when temperatures drop below 0 Celsius only one dive is allowed for safely reasons.
Vestmannaeyjar – Rib Safari
Visit Vestmannaeyjar, look around the island, take a look at the Eldheimar volcano museum, hop on the high speed rib (boat) to view the numerous islands and visit the lava field from the 1973 eruption.
Recommended restaurant: The Slippurin
Essential Iceland and volcano tour – Helicopter trip
This was our favourite excursion. The extensive tour that features the highlights of Icelandic nature in an unforgettable journey across Thingvellir, Geysir, the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall, geothermal power plants, Mt. Hekla and the rhiolite mountains of Landmannalaugar. You will fly over the geothermal area Hrafntinnusker, volcanic sand beaches, Myrdalsjokull glacier, Thorsmork and Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano. You will even stop on top of a volcano, walk around the crater and take in the spectacular views.
The last part of the tour takes you to the Prihnukagigur volcano which is an old volcano where you take a lift into the magma chamber and see what a volcano looks like from inside (the volcano is no longer active of course).
Glacier Lagoon (and the black sand beach) Jokulsarlon
This stunning glacier rolls into a large glacier lagoon with thousands of ice bergs scattered throughout. Walk around the lagoon to take in the stunning views and then hop on a boat and wiz trough the ice bergs to get to the base of the glacier. Watch huge chunks of ice break away and crash into the water.
Follow the water from the glacier lagoon as it flows into the sea and find yourself on the iconic black sand beaches. Huge crystal clear chunks of ice lay scattered across the beach as the sea water tide crashes in. The jet black volcanic sands and the glacier ice, not something you see everyday.
Borgarfjorour and Glacier Ice Caves
You will see scolding hot springs and the massive Hraunfoss falls, fed from beneath an ancient lava flow pass the glacier and surrounded by clear blue ice!
Then head into the heard of a glacier. Travel up and across the glacier in your 4×4 over the endless white carpet of snow. You pass through the clouds and think you are in another world. Once arrived at the entry point you can walk into the man made ice tunnels that take you into the glacier. With your specialist ice spiked boots you make your way in and take a look at the crystal blue ice.
Blue Lagoon and Reykjanes Peninsula
Probably the most famous of all the activities. The number one picture you will see form Iceland on social media is the Blue Lagoon. This geothermal spa has bright blue water where you can relax and bathe in the warm waters which are rich in minerals such as silica and sulphur. Buy the Luxury ticket as get use of the exclusive lounge and indoor pool (www.bluelagoon.com/blue-lagoon-spa/prices-and-packages/).
The quad bike tour across the Reykjanes Peninsula is well worth doing while you are in the area. The quad bike centre is located in the Grindavik fishing village, lasts 1 hour and goes from the Grandavik village to the Krisuvikurbjarg.