The Best Day Trips from Reykjavik

The Best Day Trips from Reykjavik

Iceland’s capital, and largest city, Reykjavik is a colorful town with plenty to offer visitors to Iceland.

Many visitor’s come to Iceland for a road trip through the countryside, but Reykjavik is a fun city, and there are many easy day trips to highlight the best of Iceland if you don’t feel like moving every night to a new hotel.

You’ll want to spend a few days exploring Reykjavik, too! Here are some recommendations for day trips from Reykjavik.

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Blue Lagoon

Arguably one of the most popular day trips from Reykjavik is the Blue Lagoon thermal spa. Many Iceland tourists will stop at the Blue Lagoon on the way to or from the International Airport, as it’s very close and shuttle buses make this an easy choice.

Make sure you reserve your admission as early as possible. There are several entrance packages to choose from, starting with basic entry to those that include slippers, towels, robes and even in-pool massages.

There is also a cafe, restaurant, gift shop and hotel at the Blue Lagoon. Look up the prices ahead of time for everything so you don’t have sticker shock upon arrival. The Blue Lagoon is not a budget destination, but it’s worth the splurge!

Day trips to the Blue Lagoon:

Blue Lagoon, Iceland- People bathing in The Blue Lagoon a geothermal bath resort in the south of Iceland a 'must see' by tourists.

Whale Watching

If you are staying only in Reykjavik, you should consider a whale watching cruise during your visit. Many tour operators are waiting to whisk you on a day trip from Reykjavik to see the wildlife of Iceland’s waters.

You might see Minke and humpback whales, as well as dolphins, porpoises and puffins. When choosing your tour, consider your tolerance for seasickness – there are generally two types of whale watching tours to choose from.

Smaller, more intimate boats which also bounce more. Or your second option is the larger ships with more passengers, although these tend to rock less.

Day trips – Whale watching

Whale Watching

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

One of Iceland’s most well-known waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss is about 90 minutes from Reykjavik, making it an excellent day trip destination.

The 65 meter cascade is a popular stop on the Ring Road tour, and is really stunning to photograph. What makes Seljalandsfoss unique from many other Iceland waterfalls is that there is a path that can take you behind the waterfall, as the cliff where the water falls contains a cavern underneath.

Continual mist from the waterfall can make the trail slippery, but the hike provides an amazing viewpoint of this spectacular waterfall.

Day trips to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Tourist standing in front of Seljalandsfoss one of the best known waterfalls in southern Iceland The most famoust Icelandic waterfall beautiful amazing landscape from Iceland


Another 30 km past Seljalandsfoss is Skógafoss, another impressive waterfall of Iceland. The falls drop 60 meters with a width of 25 meters.

While you can’t circle this one from behind like you can at Seljalandsfoss, the angle of this cascade is such that anytime the sun is out, you will most likely see a rainbow in the mist of the falls.

Skógafoss is visible from the road, and the hike leading up to the falls is relatively flat, unless you prefer to climb the staircase and look down upon the falls.

Day trips to Skógafoss

Iceland waterfall travel nature famous tourist destination. Skogafoss waterfall with rainbow and woman under water fall in magical landscape popular Europe attraction.


At 180 kilometers, Vik is reachable on a day trip from Reykjavik, albeit it a long day! Vik is located along the South Coast, and is a popular stop along the Ring Road driving tour of Iceland.

Vik is most famous for black sand beaches, but the small village is worthy of a quick stroll. Picturesque buildings and statues, plus hiking trails to a nearby volcano make Vik a great day trip from Reykjavik.

North of Vik is the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, a 600 square kilometer ice cap. Mýrdalsjökull is popular with adventure tours such as snowmobiling, ice caving and helicopter tours.

Day trips to Vik

Lutheran church in Vik. The picturesque landscapes of forests and mountains. Wild blue lupine blooming in summer. Orange sunset in Iceland.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula

One of the most well-known and scenic areas of Iceland that is reachable from Reykjavik is the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It takes about two hours to reach the peninsula from Reykjavik, but you’ll want a lot of time to explore the scenery.

The peninsula is sometimes called “Iceland in a Nutshell” because it contains a little bit of everything that draws visitors to Iceland in the first place.

There are picturesque fishing villages, ice-capped volcanoes, lava fields, caves, waterfalls, black sand beaches, and geothermal pools.

Day trips to Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Majestic evening with Kirkjufell volcano the coast of Snaefellsnes peninsula. Dramatic and picturesque scene. Location famous place Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, Iceland, Europe. Beauty world.

Langjokull Glacier

Iceland’s second largest ice cap and the closest glacier to Reykjavik. About 100 kilometers from Reykjavik, Langjokull Glacier is only accessible on a tour, so be sure to book this as soon as you’ve mapped out your Iceland itinerary.

Special trucks will drive you on to the glacier for ice climbing, glacier hiking or snowmobiling. You can also explore man-made ice caves at the glacier.

Day trips to Langjokull Glacier

Husafell Iceland Red specialty vehicle for driving on the snow stands on the surface of Langjokull glacier. This is a part of "Into the Glacier" operation.

Golden Circle Tour

While the Ring Road is one of Iceland’s best road trips, but at least a week is recommended to cover the 1300-kilometer trip.

If you want an abbreviated version to be done in a day trip from Reyjkavik, consider the Golden Circle Tour.

The three biggest destinations of the Golden Circle Tour are Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Hot Spring Area.

Golden Circle Day trip tours

Thermal lake Blesi and eruption of Strokkur Geysir Golden circle route in Iceland

Þingvellir National Park

Only 40 kilometers from Reykjavik, Þingvellir National Park is the perfect day trip destination. This rugged volcanic area is the only UNSECO World Heritage Site in Iceland, and one of the most visited sites in Iceland, thanks to the proximity to the capital.

Þingvellir National Park is located in a rift valley, meaning it sits between the two tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia. Tourists flock to Þingvellir for the chance to snorkel or dive between tectonic plates at Silfra.

Game of Thrones fans also visit Þingvellir for the chance to see some familiar scenes from the TV show, which was partially filmed here.

Day trips to Þingvellir National Park

Pingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Tectonic Plates in Iceland.


Iceland’s most famous waterfall is fed by water from Langjokull Glacier just a small distance upstream. The massive falls are stunning to watch, as they descend a staircase creating multiple cascades.

Gullfoss was nearly lost to development of a power plant, but has thankfully been preserved by the government.

Day trips to Gullfoss

Amazing huge beautiful waterfall Gullfoss, famous landmark in Iceland


The Geysir hot spring area has two famous geysers. Geysir and Strokkur. Only Strokkur still erupts every few minutes. Geysir has tourist facilities including a cafe, restrooms and free parking.

Day trips to Strokkur

Famous Strokkur fountain geyser hot blue water eruption with cloud sky and surrounding Icelandic landscape, Iceland

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The Best Day Trips from Reykjavik
The Best Day Trips from Reykjavik

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