With vast glaciers, glistening fjords, and looming volcanoes all within a few hours’ drive of Reykjavik, exploring Iceland’s otherworldly wilderness couldn’t be easier. Here are our top picks for day tours from Reykjavik.
The Golden Circle — 25 miles (40 km) away
One of the most in-demand tours from Reykjavik is a 186-mile (300-kilometer) loop nicknamed the Golden Circle, a circular route around the dramatic Thingvellir National Park, the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, and the thundering Gullfoss Waterfalls. Covering some of Iceland’s most spectacular scenery, the Golden Circle takes in the famous Geysir geyser, the Kerið volcanic crater, and the Hellisheiðarvirkjun Geothermal Power Plant.
Blue Lagoon — 30 miles (49 km) away
Iceland is famous for its hot springs, and the Blue Lagoon is hands-down the most visited of all the country’s geothermal spas. Combine a soak in the steamy waters with a tour of the surrounding Reykjanes Peninsula (a UNESCO Global Geopark), including the sulfur springs at Seltun, Lake Kleifarvatn, or the Hafnaberg sea cliffs.
Langjökull Ice Cave — 95 miles (153 km) away
Exploring an ice cave is a popular activity for adventurous travelers, and Langjökull is one of Iceland’s most accessible, tunneling beneath the Langjökull glacier. Tours are often combined with a visit to nearby Víðgelmir, the country’s largest lava cave.
Sólheimajökull Glacier — 99 miles (160 km) away
The frozen landscapes of the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue make a dramatic backdrop for a glacier hiking or ice-climbing expedition, with bubbling water cauldrons, natural ice sculptures, sinkholes, and vast ice walls. Full-day tours often take in the highlights of Iceland’s south shore along the way, such as the black-sand beaches of Vik and Reynisfjara, the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, or the Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla volcanoes.
Landmannalaugar — 109 miles (175 km) away
The highlands of southern Iceland offer ample opportunities for hiking, and Landmannalaugar is an ideal destination in this region. Venture off-road on a 4WD tour, then set out on a guided hike to admire the valley’s multicolored rhyolite mountains, azure-blue lakes, and rugged lava fields.
Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon — 230 miles (370 km) away
Hidden away on Iceland’s southeast coast, a visit to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon means a long day trip from Reykjavik—but it’s worth it for the views alone. Make the most of the journey by passing through Skaftafell National Park (part of Vatnajökull National Park) and the volcanic desert of Skeiðarásandur, then walk along the shores of the Jökulsárlón Lagoon.