Airplane Tours

Best Airplane Tours in Iceland

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Flying with Airplane Tours in Iceland

Airplane tours in Iceland offer a unique way to explore the country's diverse landscapes from the sky. Passengers board small, specially equipped airplanes, and experienced pilots guide them on remarkable aerial journeys over Iceland's most iconic sights.

These tours provide a bird's-eye view of Iceland's diverse natural wonders, including glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geothermal areas, and the rugged coastline.

You can gaze upon Europe's largest ice cap, the Vatnajokull glacier, on this one-hour airplane tour over Vatnajokull National Park from Skaftafell. Alternatively, this Icelandic Highlands airplane tour brings you above the famous Landmannalaugar area.

Other popular destinations for airplane tours in Iceland include Reykjavik, Lake Myvatn, North Iceland, and the Golden Circle. These locations provide different views depending on your preferences.

One of the highlights of airplane tours in Iceland is the opportunity to view active volcanoes and the aftermath of recent eruptions. You can witness the raw power of nature as you soar above volcanic craters, lava fields, and steaming vents. For example, when the Fagradalsfjall volcano underwent successive eruptions, airplane and helicopter tours were in demand.

While airplane tours offer spectacular views, they are relatively comfortable and accessible experiences, suitable for many travelers of all ages. They typically operate year-round, and passengers can choose from various tour durations to suit their preferences and schedules.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best airplane tour in Iceland?

Iceland offers a variety of spectacular aerial tours, each with its unique highlights. The highest-rated airplane tour in Iceland is this ice cave tour of Vatnajokull with flights from Reykjavik. Over 15 tour participants rated it 4.8 out of 5.

Although ice caving is the tour's focus, the return flights will give you an excellent view of the diverse landscapes dotting Reykjavik to Hofn on the South Coast.

Are airplane tours in Iceland worth it?

Yes, airplane tours in Iceland are often considered well worth it by many travelers. The experience of flying over Iceland's diverse terrain is truly memorable and allows you to appreciate the country's beauty in a way that's impossible from the ground.

What are the benefits of sightseeing from an airplane in Iceland?

Much of Iceland’s landscape is hard to access, such as the glaciers and the Highlands. You get a much better sense of the landscape from the air and are one of the lucky few partaking in a sightseeing tour rarely undertaken by visitors. For instance, many tourists chose plane and helicopter tours departing from Reykjavik to view the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption.

Should I go sightseeing in Iceland in an airplane or in a helicopter?

More people can fit in a small airplane than in a helicopter, and airplane tours in Iceland are therefore more reasonably priced than helicopter tours. However, airplanes need a landing strip to take off and land, whereas helicopters can land anywhere and take off instantly, giving helicopter tours more freedom to explore. Helicopters can also hover over attractions whereas airplanes need to fly circles over them, meaning some photographers may prefer the experience helicopter tours in Iceland provide. However, plane tours in Iceland can be a great alternative to helicopter tours for those wanting a unique sightseeing experience for a good price.

How long do airplane tours in Iceland typically last?

The duration of airplane tours can vary, with options ranging from short 20-minute flights and average one-hour flights to longer excursions lasting a few hours. Tour operators offer various tour lengths to accommodate different preferences.

Are airplane tours narrated and will there be a guide on board?

Yes, airplane tours are often narrated by experienced pilots or tour guides who provide commentary and interesting facts about the sights you see during the flight.

Are airplane tours safe in Iceland?

Airplane tours in Iceland are generally safe when conducted by reputable tour operators with experienced pilots. Safety is a top priority, and the aircraft are well-maintained to ensure passenger safety.

Where are the main airports in Iceland?

The international airport in Iceland is in Keflavik, but many domestic airports and small airstrips are found all around the country. The main domestic airports are Reykjavik airport, where many plane tours in Iceland depart from, as well as Akureyri airport, Isafjordur airport and Egilsstadir airport.

Are domestic flights available all year round in Iceland?

Yes they are. All flights are connected through Reykjavik, and Egilsstadir, Akureyri, and Isafjordur have daily flights throughout the year. In the case of a weather cancellation, you will be rescheduled on the next available flight.

How long is the flight between Reykjavik and Akureyri?

Flying between Reykjavik to Akureyri takes approximately 45 minutes. If you are planning a trip to Akureyri, you may find our guide to Akureyri helpful.

What are the pros and cons of flying within Iceland?

You can significantly shorten the time between destinations by flying within Iceland. Flying between Reykjavik and Akureyri, for example, only takes 45 minutes but driving takes up to six hours with stops. Domestic flights in Iceland can also be an excellent way to reach more remote parts of the country when roads are closed or otherwise not ideal for travel. You also get to see the magnificent landscapes from an aerial view.

Can I be picked up from my Reykjavik hotel for a sightseeing airplane tour?

Domestic airlines do not offer pick-up services, but some sightseeing tours do. For example, this personalized 1.5-hour plane tour with sightseeing around Reykjavik begins with a hotel pick-up. The best way to get to the airport is to take a taxi if you are taking a domestic flight.

Do sightseeing plane tours leave from Keflavik International Airport (KEF)?

No, plane tours departing from Reykjavik will leave from Reykjavik Domestic Airport—not the international airport in Keflavik. Make sure not to mistake the two, or you'll almost certainly miss your flight.

Where is Reykjavik Domestic Airport?

Reykjavik Domestic Airport (RVK, and sometimes BIRK) is located by the city center. From downtown, it’s about a 30-40 minute walk, or a 5-minute taxi ride, to check-in. The address is Thorragata 10, 101 Reykjavik.

How long in advance do I need to check in for a domestic flight in Iceland?

You need to be at the airport no later than 45 minutes before your flight departs. If you are flying internationally from Reykjavik Domestic Airport (to Greenland, the Faroe Islands or Ireland) then be at the airport no later than 90 minutes before your flight. You should be at Keflavik International Airport two hours before your departure.

What types of aircraft are used for aerial tours in Iceland?

Aircraft used for airplane tours in Iceland can vary, but they are typically small and well-suited for sightseeing. These may include propeller planes or small helicopters, Cessna, flying buggies, and single-engined utility aircraft, depending on the operator and tour type.

Are airplane tours in Iceland suitable for individuals with motion sickness?

While motion sickness is generally less common on airplanes than other modes of transportation, it can still affect some individuals. If you are prone to motion sickness, consider taking motion sickness tablet or medication before the tour and sitting near the aircraft's wings, which tend to be the most stable area.

Are airplane tours affected by weather conditions in Iceland?

Yes, weather conditions can impact airplane tours. Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, and tours may be subject to delays or cancellations due to adverse conditions. Tour operators prioritize safety and may offer alternative dates or refunds in such cases.