Sightseeing Tours

Sightseeing Tours

Most visitors come to Iceland seeking to connect with the country's spectacular landscapes and untouched nature. Sightseeing tours allow you to do just that, while your knowledgeable guides tell you all there is to know about the natural sites you visit.

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Sightseeing in Iceland

Sightseeing in Iceland offers travellers a unique plateau of geological features, from domineering mountainscapes to carved and crooked coastlines.

Iceland’s formation started about 18 million years ago, as lava rising from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, then cooling on the ocean’s surface. This process continues today. The primordial energy that shaped the land seen today is often exposed at the surface, with geothermal areas and hot springs dotting the country. This intense mixture of the elements has produced many other natural features, including fumaroles, geysers and bubbling mud puddles, providing the unique chance to see, and smell, the earth as it jostles and moves under heat and pressure. Water is a central feature of Iceland’s scenery, having long sculpted the island with huge carving glaciers, heavy rainfall, crashing Atlantic waves and flowing rivers. Waterfalls are prolific, whether they are gentle trickles emerging from lava plateaus or thundering cascades plummeting from the interior highlands; there are simply too many to count, and they make up an integral part of any sightseeing route around the country. Ice dominates much of the landscape, with glaciers covering 11% of the island. Visitors can admire these glaciers from a distance or take the opportunity to see them up close. The spaces these glaciers leave behind create dramatic fjords, now an iconic feature of the Icelandic coastline.

Fantastic rock formations are plentiful and varied. From erupting sea-stacks to basalt columns, there’s no end of wonder to gaze upon. Dramatic lava fields cover much of the surface of this ancient land and are often covered with thick moss.

Travellers to Iceland will always find something new, as the countryside transforms dramatically with each season. Grand waterfalls, accented with rainbows, are a staple sight in the summer but become ice-riddled behemoths in the winter time.

No matter where or when you choose to embark on a sightseeing tour, you’re promised a unique and memorable experience, not to mention countless subjects to feast your camera lens upon.

Frequently asked questions

What are the major attractions on the Golden Circle sightseeing route?

The three major sites visited on the Golden Circle sightseeing tours are Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area. All Golden Circle tours will take you to these three sites, but many will also introduce you to lesser-known attractions.

What are the major attractions on the South Coast?

While on a tour along the South Coast, guests can expect to see the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the black sand beach Reynisfjara, Skaftafell Nature Reserve and the “Crown Jewel of Iceland”: Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. There are, however, two types of South Coast tours; ones that take you all the way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and others that stop at Vik and Reynisfjara black sand beach before heading back to Reykjavik. Please check the individual tour description before booking.

What are the major attractions on the Diamond Circle sightseeing route?

The four major stops on the Diamond Circle sightseeing tours are Húsavik, Ásbyrgi canyon, Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss waterfall, all of which are situated in North Iceland. Diamond Circle sightseeing tours depart from Akureyri. 

How long will guests have at each attraction?

It largely depends on the stop, and how much there is to do and see there. At each attraction, guests can expect to have between 10-60 minutes to take photographs and appreciate the scenery.

Is lunch included?

Unless otherwise specified, lunch is not included on sightseeing tours, though there is a half-hour break in which you can purchase food or eat a packed lunch.

What time of the year do the sightseeing tours operate?

Sightseeing tours operate year-round. Northern lights sightseeing tours can only be undertaken during the winter months and midnight sun sightseeing tours can only be taken during summertime.

Which language will our tour guide speak?

All tour guides speak fluent English. If you wish to partake in a tour with another language, please contact us at info@guidetoiceland.is and we will support you to find a suitable tour.

Will I be able to be picked up and dropped off at my accommodation?

The majority of operators pick up from all major hotels and guesthouses in Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. However, those staying at Airbnb or private accommodation must travel to the tour meeting point themselves. This will either be at a tour operator’s office or a nearby bus stop.

Can I sign up for a sightseeing tour if I am a solo traveller?

Of course! Get in touch at info@guidetoiceland.is and we will fit you onto a tour that suits you.

What type of vehicle will we be using on the tour?

The type of vehicle used depends on the sightseeing tour you choose to partake in. You could be looking at the attractions from a minibus, from a luxury coach or from a 4x4 private jeep.