Despite its deceptively icy name, Iceland is a welcoming land with a little bit of something for everyone. Take a drive along the country's coast and the otherworldly landscapes change in the blink of an eye - one moment you're surrounded by towering waterfalls, the next your feet are sinking into volcanic black sand beaches, and just past that is an icy lagoon filled with icebergs. Iceland offers a rare combination of relaxation, adventures and breathtaking views that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world. Iceland luxury tours feature a number of unique experiences, all easily accessed as day trips from Reykjavik. With its welcoming people, a peaceful culture and some of the finest fresh seafood in the world, there’s never been a better time to book a trip to Iceland than right now.
Enter the Blue Lagoon
On a lava field in Grindavik sits the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most beloved attractions. A geothermal natural spa, the water is warm and inviting year-round, providing deep relaxation for all those who sink in.
Visitors can take advantage of a full suite of spa amenities, including silica mud masks, a man-made waterfall and in-water massages. In addition, there is an exclusive lounge, an in-spa bar and a top-notch food and drink menu containing local delicacies like langoustine soup. And because it’s just a 50-minute drive from the capital, the Blue Lagoon is an easy and soothing stop on most luxury Reykjavik tours.
See the Best Views of Reykjavik
Reykjavik is blessed with an abundance of sightseeing, and the best way to take in those vistas is by visiting the Hallgrimskirkja church tower.
Named after Hallgrimur Petursson, a 17th-century poet and clergyman, it the largest church in country and took over four decades to complete. Construction occurred from 1945 to 1986, and the church underwent a major renovation project in 2008. Standing 244 feet high, Hallgrimskirkja is the sixth-tallest architectural structure in Iceland, and is therefore used as an observation tower.
The panoramic vistas visible from the church tour make it one of the premier stops on luxury Reykjavik tours. From the top, one can see not only the mountains but also the entire city and all of its best sights, such as Lake Tjornin and Harpa, an architecturally daring concert and meeting hall.
Explore the Golden Circle
Exploring the Golden Circle is an opportunity to see some of the most impressive sights that Iceland has to offer, especially for those visitors enamored of nature. The Geysir geothermal area is home to the Strokkur geyser, which shoots a column of water nearly 100 feet into the air a dozen times per hour in a stunning tribute to the awesome power of geology.
From there, head to the most stunning of all Iceland waterfalls, Gullfoss. Formed by the Hvita river, it crashes into a gorge 105 feet deep and 66 feet wide. As one gets closer and closer to Gullfoss, the edge is obscured from view, creating the illusion of a river that simply careens off the very edge of the world itself.
Finish up the Golden Circle tour by seeing Thingvellir National Park, a site of great geographical and cultural import. Lying directly on a rift valley between two major tectonic plates, its unique landscape features the largest natural lake in Iceland, unusual volcanic activity and cracks in the earth so deep that they are characterized as canyons.
Visit Sólheimajökull glacier
Have a flair for adventure? Look no further than Sólheimajökull glacier. Icelandic hiking is a year-round activity, and visitors intrigued by the prospect of getting to experience something unique need look no further. Sólheimajökull is a safe and moderate hike, making it a good choice for family groups or novices, and is surrounded on all sides by majestic geological formations.
Bring a camera along, as there are a number of ice sculptures, ridges and deep cravasses to be wowed by. In addition, guests are treated to information about Iceland glaciers, and how they impact the surrounding environment. An experienced guide is always on hand with any necessary equipment, as well as to train newcomers on how to properly use tools like crampons and ice axes.
Witness the Blafjoll Lava Caves
One of the best features of luxury Iceland tours is that there are so many new experiences available in a convenient area. Accessible just a 25-minute drive from Reykjavik are the Blafjoll cave tours, which are for many visitors their first chance to see a lava tube up close.
Lava tubes are naturally-formed channels created by the flow of molten rock. When a volcano has gone dormant, a long, cave-like conduit is left behind, a witness to millennia of geological activity. In Blafjoll, one can hike along these corridors, taking in the myriad mysteries of the Icelandic underworld. It is a rare opportunity to extremely be close to the inner workings of a volcano.
Head in Search of the Northern Lights
From September to April, Icelanders and visitors alike can witness the Northern Lights, one of the greatest visual spectacles the world has to offer. The lights themselves are the caused by a phenomenon known as auroras, which occur when the magnetosphere comes in contact with solar wind. For viewers on Earth, auroras manifest as a celestial pas de deux, with brilliant colors mingling against the backdrop of the night sky.
As an arctic island with little light pollution, Iceland is one of the very best places for Northern Lights viewing. While auroras are actually active year-round, they are only visible in darkness - as Iceland is bright nearly all the time in the summer, the best time to visit the Northern Lights is during the winter.
Going to see them is but a short drive from Reykjavik - in fact, on some particularly clear nights, they can be seen from the city itself.
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 90 days beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart the country. Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure.
Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport.
Citizens of the US and Canada may enter Iceland for up to 90 days without a visa. Citizens from other countries may require a valid visa. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Iceland for the most up-to-date visa information.
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Medical facilities in Iceland are comparable to North American facilities. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty medical bill. Insurance can be purchased through us.
We always recommend that you see a doctor or health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. They will best determine your vaccination and medication needs based on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and up-to-the-minute requirement changes. For all vaccinations and health requirements, we also recommend that you consult the World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items that are essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Iceland’s climate is influenced by the Gulf Stream, giving it more of a temperate climate. The weather in Iceland can be extremely variable and hard to predict. It is not unusual to be rained on and get sunburnt at the same time. Icelandic winters can be relatively mild for its latitude, with average temperatures ranging from 0 °C to -30 °C depending on which part of the island you’re on. The summer can see temperatures ranging from 10 - 30 °C. From May to the beginning of August, there are nearly 24 hours of sunlight, and the island can also get hit by strong winds and the occasional dust storm in the interior. For up-to-date forecasts, check weather.com.
Electricity in Iceland is provided at 220 volts. Sockets are designed to accept two round prongs (European plugs). Some sockets will take plugs with large prongs only; others will take ones with small prongs. A multi-adaptor with different plug configurations can be very useful. We advise not to bring a hair dryer as it could blow a fuse.
Phone: Roaming charges vary between carriers, but tend to be quite costly. Consult your phone provider prior to departure to discuss overseas rates and international package options. It is also possible to purchase a SIM card locally to avoid international charges when calling numbers within Iceland. (You should check to see that your cell phone is SIM card compatible.)
Internet: Internet cafés and wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels throughout Iceland.
Generally speaking, we advise bringing 4600Kr-9200Kr per day, per person, for spending money. Be sure to bring lots of small bills for porters, wait staff and housekeeping (not obligatory and based on your satisfaction). The krona is the currency of Iceland and comes in coins and notes, with the notes coming in a variety of colors. Coins come in denominations of Kr100, 50, 10, 5, and 1, and notes in denominations of Kr5,000, 2,000, 1,000, and 500.
We recommend that you get local currency from your bank before you leave home or from a bank machine in-country which is much cheaper than an exchange service at the airport or in tourist areas. Your bank card may work, but Visa or MasterCard are more widely accepted.
Language: Icelandic, English is widely understood
Currency: Icelandic króna
Religion: 80% of the country is Lutheran
Time Zone: UTC (Universal Time Coordinated)
Telephone: Country code for calling you from outside Iceland is 354
Calling North America: Dial 001 and your 10 digit number
Emergency numbers in Iceland: Universal emergency number for Iceland is 112