Iceland Travel Guide
From towering volcanoes and black-sand beaches to 200-foot waterfalls and everything in between, Iceland is an adventure lover’s dream.
Sometimes nature can be a bit of a showoff, and there may not be anywhere on Earth where that’s more apparent than Iceland. The Land of Fire and Ice is chock-full of natural wonders and stark examples of Mother Nature’s self-expression. Experience the raw power of the Atlantic Ocean as its waves crash into the black sand of Reynisfjara Beach. Feel the life affirming sensation of mist on your face as it escapes the roaring cascades of famous waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Gaze with awe at once-in-a-lifetime sights, like the 100-foot eruptions of Strokkur Geyser, the stunning geographical features of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and the breathtaking Northern Lights.
Iceland and excitement go hand in hand, but a full day hiking volcanoes and chasing waterfalls would be enough to wear out even famed Norse explorer Leif Eriksson. Lucky for him (and you), Iceland’s aptitude for adventure is matched by its fascination with relaxation. As the authority on all things ultimate, we’ve deemed Iceland’s geothermal pools the ultimate way to unwind and rejuvenate. Ease your way into the mineral enriched seawater, and let your tired muscles melt into the naturally heated haven that awaits. It’s the best way to end a day, or as Icelanders say: “The raisin at the end of the hot dog.”
It’s been argued that to an extent, once you’ve seen one major city, you’ve seen them all. To whoever said that, Reykjavík would like a word. This city’s resume of unique features is almost as long as the list of published authors who call it home (10% of its populace)! Whether it’s the old public restroom that’s been converted into the Icelandic Museum of Punk, the towering steeple of the Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral, or the Icelandic...ahem...Phallological Museum—Reykjavík is beloved by city slickers and non-metropolitans alike.
Exploring Iceland is mostly just asking yourself, is this real life?
Planet Earth: Iceland
Who knew you could live inside a nature documentary?
Keep your eyes peeled for “sneaker waves” at Reynisfjara Beach
History or folklore?
Locals are so passionate about both, it can be tricky to tell them apart.
Visit the site of the world’s first parliament at Thingvellir National Park
Lights, camera, Iceland
See the spots where some of your favorite films and television shows came to life.
Help defeat the First Order at Starkiller Base AKA Eyjafjallajökull
Flights. Accommodations. Activities. Rockstar Tour Director that can help you pronounce Eyjafjallajökull.
This is group travel with EF Ultimate Break. Expertly crafted itineraries, everything included. We keep your stress levels low and holy-s#!t-that-was-awesome levels high.
Currency: Icelandic króna
Most ‘Grammable: Seljalandsfoss
Epic Spa Day: The Blue Lagoon
Cutest Encounter: Puffins
Drink up: Viking beer
Eat up: Famous Icelandic hot dog
Elves or Trolls?: Yes
What’s that smell?: Sulfur from all the geysers
Phrases to know
Hello: Halló (hah-loh)
Goodbye: Bless (bles)
Thank you: Takk (tahk)
Cheers: Skál (sk-ohl)
Please: Vinsamlegast (vihn-sahm-lay-gast)
I come completely from the mountains: Ég kem alveg af fjöllum (meaning you don’t know what’s going on!)
The raisin at the end of the hot dog: Rúsínan í pylsuendanum (similar to the cherry on top)
Eat like a local
Bonus points if you eat with a local.
Rich and creamy like Greek yogurt but with a milder taste.
6 days. 1 city. Iceland: so hot right now. Travelers are flocking here thanks to its surreal landscapes and eco-friendly attitude. On this trip you’ll explore geysers, discover waterfalls, and learn about the country’s rich Viking history. All with a group of likeminded soon-to-be-BFFs who are just as amazed as you are.
We’re in the know on where to go
Our specialty? Jaw-on-the-floor scenery.
The Golden Circle
Iceland’s most scenic driving route through charming towns and farmland, with stops at iconic attractions like Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gulfoss Falls.
This black-sand beauty is known for its tall, distinctive basalt columns sitting off the shoreline, which, according to legend are actually trolls who were turned to stone.
Famous for its double rainbows that reflect off the falls’ spray in the summertime, and its massive icicles (“troll candles” to the locals) in the wintertime.
This 215-foot cascade has a path that allows visitors to walk behind its powerful flow, a truly unique if not slightly intimidating vantage point—and a prime photo opportunity.
Contributing to Iceland’s nickname “The Land of Fire and Ice,” this 5,466-foot behemoth erupted in 2010. Now dormant, it’s an astounding sight to see.
The Blue Lagoon
The spa day to end all spa days. The lagoon’s geothermal seawater is heated by volcanic earth, providing relaxation and rejuvenation you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
The world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavík, isn’t just your gateway to adventure. This city boasts eclectic restaurants, unique museums and shops, and lively-but-charming nightlife.
- Know what to expect from the weather. Iceland in the summer means comfortably warm temps (it never gets truly hot) and long days to the tune of 20+ hours of sunshine! In the winter, it’s quite the opposite (only 4 hours of sunshine) but presents unique sightseeing opportunities like witnessing the Northern Lights.
- Prepare for the hygiene rules. Hot springs, bathhouses, and lagoons are coveted relaxation places in Iceland. Because so many locals and tourists go in these calming waters, there are attendants there to make sure you shower (in your birthday suit) before heading in. Yes, it may be a little awkward, but, when in Iceland, right?
- Do not litter. The ecosystem in Iceland is incredibly delicate due to thousands of years of isolation. Nothing will make the blood of an Icelander boil more than the sight of somebody littering.
- Don’t worry about exchanging all your money into Icelandic currency. Most shops and restaurants will accept Visa/Mastercard, even in the small villages. Tipping isn’t customary in Iceland. However, if someone wows you with their service, go for it!
- Consider packing street crampons, especially if visiting October-March. No need to buy serious ones meant for glacier hiking—the ones that go around your shoe for extra traction are sufficient.
That means "perfect" in Icelandic. It's how our travelers feel about our Iceland tours.
“From the Blue Lagoon to the Northern Lights to the South Coast, I loved absolutely everything. Our Tour Director was the best, educating us about the history and tales of Iceland. Our days were jam-packed but I never felt rushed.”
—Danielle, EF Ultimate Break traveler
“Reykjavík is such a cool town, but the day tours are really the best part. You’ll see all the wonderful landscapes Iceland has to offer, from roaring waterfalls and geysers to peaceful mountains.”
—Rosemary, EF Ultimate Break traveler
“Our Tour Director was so nice and very patient with us when we tried 15 times to pronounce Icelandic words! Truly breathtaking...we saw at least a dozen rainbows! I made friends and we all now share these special memories together.”
—Carla, EF Ultimate Break traveler
“Recommend if you love great food, great drinks, and amazing sightseeing! Reykjavik has a little bit of everything. Get to know the locals and memories will be created! Hands down the Blue Lagoon alone made the trip worth booking.”
—Patricia-Marie, EF Ultimate Break traveler
These travelers went chasing waterfalls 👇 — will you?
Our kick-a** Tour Directors
We ❤️ them—and you will too.
“I love Iceland because it unites history, culture, science and nature with fantasy and mythology in the most harmonious way. As a Tour Director, I get to share my passion for Iceland with so many lovely people! When I am on tour with EFUB, the excitement from the group makes me feel as though I am seeing Iceland for the first time.”
Still undecided? We’ll help you find the perfect trip.
Our expert Trip Consultants are waiting to hear from you. Seriously. They freakin’ love helping travelers figure out their dream trips.