Iceland Hiking & Adventure Tours

Essence of Iceland Trip v2

Explore deep in Iceland's dramatic landscapes on a one of a kind Iceland hiking adventure while staying in incredible accommodations along the way.

Iceland is an explorer's paradise, and joining an all-inclusive Iceland hiking adventure is a sure way to experience its rugged nature for yourself. We've trekked in a fair few places around the globe, and we can say without a doubt that there's nothing quite like the vast wilderness of Iceland. Lose track of time as you ponder the impressive Gullfoss Waterfall, spot wild puffin colonies on the Ingólfshöfði headland, sea kayak on Heinabergsjökull Lagoon and wander endless green hills in the Eastern Fjords. 

EU Iceland waterfalls

View the best of Iceland, mixed to our favorite hidden gems, for an Iceland adventure you won't forget any time soon!

On our Iceland adventures, you will experience the true Iceland, from must-sees like Reykjavík “Smokey Bay”, Þingvellir, Vatnajökull National Parks and Jökulsárlón Lagoon, to lesser-known gems like the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, Eldfell Volcano and the remote Eastern Fjord. You'll hike to spy on wild puffin colonies, soak in hidden hot springs and admire the Öxaràrfoss, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Kvernufoss & Svartifoss Waterfalls from above and below... So, what are you waiting for?

Iceland Trips

Europe

Classic Iceland Adventure

4.45

  • Duration 7 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

As you wind your way through Iceland's Golden Circle and venture further afield to remote glacier lagoons and volcanic landscapes, you'll be left awestruck by the many landscapes you'll explore on our 7-day Essence of Iceland hiking tour.

Trip Start: Reykjavik Trip End: Reykjavik

Europe

Ultimate Iceland Adventure

4.45

  • Duration 11 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 4 
    • Activity Level 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.

    Read more about the Active Range

Roam Iceland's vast landscapes on our 11-day Iceland hiking tour. With Kiwi guides and local experts leading the way, you'll hike to view puffins colonies, sea kayak on a lagoon in Vatnajökull National Park and admire famous waterfalls, before starting a three-day hike through the Eastern Fjords.

Trip Start: Reykjavik Trip End: Reykjavik

What Our Guests About the Trip

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- January 2022

Iceland - Lundi

"Sölvi was a great guide! read more

"Sölvi was a great guide! read less

4 Stars (69 reviews)

Diana, United States

- October 2021

Aug 1 2021 Stelkur with Thora

"Thora is a spectacular human! We were thrilled to learn from her, see her… read more

"Thora is a spectacular human! We were thrilled to learn from her, see her beautiful country thru her eyes and explore together! read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Jennie, United States

- October 2021

Amazing scenery

"The Active Adventures trip to Iceland/Stelkur had amazing scenery and a fantastic extremely knowledgeable and… read more

"The Active Adventures trip to Iceland/Stelkur had amazing scenery and a fantastic extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. The group size of 10 was very good, and we had good comradery and was "cozy" (as well-stated by Hafi, another adventurer). The four-day hut to hut trek was absolutely the highlight, with excellent food by chef guide everything Solvi, gorgeous unique scenery, a few extra adventures, and added interest of sheep gathering. read less

4 Stars (69 reviews)

Shirley, United States

- October 2021

Stelkur with Solvi

"Wow-an amazing experience! Solvi was an excellent host and guide. Always giving us… read more

"Wow-an amazing experience! Solvi was an excellent host and guide. Always giving us native insights about the people and culture added immensely to my appreciation for the journey. The natural beauty of Iceland ranks up at the top of places I've been fortunate to visit including Patagonia (Condor trip), Alaska, Hawaii and more.

One thing that could have been better--it would be nice to have had a better description of the accommodations at the huts and what to expect. For example, I think several of us were a bit surprised to be sharing a single room with all 17 guests and limited showers and restrooms. Also, letting folks know that their full baggage was available each night at the huts was great but not knowing that ahead of time, I thought we'd be lugging more on our backs during the treks through the fjords. No real complaints here!!

Thora joined us as a second guide during the last few days as well and was quite delightful--really enjoyed her view on things as well. read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Mark, United States

- September 2021

Very well arranged - excellent service

"The trip was 6 days longs with many weather-related issues. Solvi our trip guide handled… read more

"The trip was 6 days longs with many weather-related issues. Solvi our trip guide handled it professionally and very expeditiously. There were adequate stops, intense inactivity as described and on time. Will strongly recommend it. read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Sai, United States

- September 2021

Iceland - land or fire and ice

"The Stelkur trip around Iceland gave hearty servings of the history, culture, geology and ethos… read more

"The Stelkur trip around Iceland gave hearty servings of the history, culture, geology and ethos of this remarkable island. Sure, we all knew the island had volcanoes and glaciers, but I for one was not aware of the tremendous impact of glacial flooding on the island and its people. This trip hit so many high points that it was almost dizzying, from puffins and whale spotting to black sand beaches littered with remnants of icebergs, to seemingly countless waterfalls and glacier views, to vigorous and rewarding hikes, superb cooking by our guide, solitude on the hut to hut portions (we saw one other hiker during 4 days), tales of Icelandic heroes, trolls and elves. Our guide, Solvi, was a natural teacher, gifted storyteller and even sang us to sleep one night with an Icelandic lullaby. He surprised us often with little outings or touches that were not listed on the official itinerary and made us feel like we'd been let in on special secrets. We looked for kids rescuing young puffins who had not made it to water, tobogganed down a huge black sand dune, and snatched blueberries from the bushes that lined the trails as we hiked. There was magic in the air on this trip! read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Leslie, United States

- September 2021

Impressive Iceland

"Pictures of Iceland pale in comparison of seeing the real thing. Up close to waterfalls… read more

"Pictures of Iceland pale in comparison of seeing the real thing. Up close to waterfalls and icebergs - and puffins, lots of puffins! read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Annelise, United States

- September 2021

Stunning Iceland!

"Active Adventures small group tour makes it easy to see Iceland and stay active. The… read more

"Active Adventures small group tour makes it easy to see Iceland and stay active. The activity on this trip is "light" on physical demands by our standards. Our fellow travelers were all great--professionals from mid-thirties to seventies. Everyone got along and all but one were active adventure alumni. Our Iceland guide worked hard to give us good information and a fun experience. read less

4 Stars (69 reviews)

Nanette, United States

- September 2021

Iceland was magnificent

"I loved how much of Iceland we were able to see. We lucked out… read more

"I loved how much of Iceland we were able to see. We lucked out with great weather. The hut to hut hiking was amazing and I appreciated all of Solvi's knowledge and many skills. read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Joy, United States

- September 2021

Iceland wonders abound

"This is our 2nd set of adventures with Active Adventures, and we are impressed with… read more

"This is our 2nd set of adventures with Active Adventures, and we are impressed with the operations of this tour company. We will definitely travel with them again.
Iceland is a land apart, being an island, being geothermally active, unusual critters, beautiful glaciers and friendly folks. Pretty fine beer and food too. Our guide, Solvi, was outstanding. His sense of humour, kindness and informational chats were great. Local guides make travel more interesting. And the Icelandic "word of the day" was fun to learn. The hotels were very nice, being centrally located in small towns. We had diverse activities to fill our days, so we all had some interesting challenges. Walking in crampons is a skill for sure! read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Lissa, United States

- September 2021

Beautiful and fascinating

"Our "Stelkur" trip was great, and our guide Sölvi was awesome! He shared so… read more

"Our "Stelkur" trip was great, and our guide Sölvi was awesome! He shared so much information with us as we toured his beautiful country about its geography, history, culture, etc. Hiking through the eastern fiords was amazing - unspoiled beauty and quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed it. read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Adean, United States

- September 2021

Lundi Iceland

"It was a fantastic adventure to explore the beauty of Iceland. Our local Icelandic… read more

"It was a fantastic adventure to explore the beauty of Iceland. Our local Icelandic guide, Sölvi Signhildar-Úlfsson was awesome. His energy, enthusiasm and knowledge made each day very special. read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Diane, United States

- August 2021

Icelandic Sagalicious

"The seven-day Lundi (puffin) trip was a delicious sampling of southern coastal Iceland. Our solo… read more

"The seven-day Lundi (puffin) trip was a delicious sampling of southern coastal Iceland. Our solo guide, Sölvi Signhildar-Úlfsson, masterfully combined many sights and experiences with his own encyclopedic knowledge of geology, geography and history of this island. A trip worth repeating. read less

4 Stars (69 reviews)

Ted, United States

- August 2021

A Good Time Had by All

"Overall, the trip was very enjoyable. The activities were entertaining, informative, well-organized, and nicely… read more

"Overall, the trip was very enjoyable. The activities were entertaining, informative, well-organized, and nicely varied. The guides were outstanding - personable, well-informed, very competent, and a pleasure to be with. My only complaint, and it doesn't really rise to the level of a complaint, but for lack of a better term, I'll use "complaint", is the balance of touristic "sight-seeing" and the hiking: I would have preferred fewer sight-seeing stops and more days of hiking.
A couple of additional comments: 1) Although they sounded enticing in the description, the kayaking and the glacier hike felt a little perfunctory; I would have preferred a multi-day kayaking expedition and at least a full day of glacier hiking. 2) I realize that you don't really have any control over this, but I was disappointed that all of the tour members, agreeable and friendly as they were, were from the US; I was hoping to meet more international travelers. All the better that the guides were locals!
I was very pleased with the accommodations - they were all clean, comfortable, and reflective of Iceland. My favorites were the hotel in Gulfoss and the huts on the hiking portion.
With those reservations stated, I shall definitely recommend the Stelkur tour to my active friends.
On the whole, a very enjoyable time. read less

4 Stars (69 reviews)

Peter, United States

- August 2021

Lundi Trip

"I had a wonderful time. I loved our guide - he was very knowledgable, caring,… read more

"I had a wonderful time. I loved our guide - he was very knowledgable, caring, kept track of everyone and communicated well. And the clean tap water! I thought the group also looked out for one another. read less

5 Stars (69 reviews)

Angela, United States

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.

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FAQs About Visiting Iceland

What is the best time of year to travel to Iceland?

Summer is the best time to visit Iceland with the longest daylight hours between June-August and the temperature sits around the low 20'sC. The months between May and September is the best time of year for whale watching and if you're keen to get out hiking, the snow comes as early as September and can linger into May.

What language is mostly spoken in Iceland?

Icelandic is a national language spoken by the vast majority whom live in Iceland. English is spoken in most hotels, airports and tourist areas though not everywhere. Our local guides are all fluent native speakers so if you don't have time to learn a little before arrival you don't have to worry... they will take care of everything.

What month is best to see Northern Lights in Iceland?

The best time to see the aurora borealis in Iceland is between October and March with the best time of day would be the hours around midnight.

How many days do you need in Iceland?

A minimum of 1 week in Iceland is good though roughly 8-12 days is an ideal amount of time to spend in Iceland as it gives you time to explore different regions.

Do I need a visa to visit Iceland?

If you're a citizen of USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand - you will be issued a 90-day tourist visa upon entry into Iceland. Citizens from the UK and other EU countries obviously need not worry about this. If you’re a citizen of another country please check with your nearest embassies about entry requirements. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of your trip.

What about vaccinations in Iceland?

You don't need any vaccinations for Iceland. Easy!

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Active Adventures traveller, It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.

Can you help me find international flights to Iceland?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – [email protected] fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What's included on your Iceland trips?

Accommodation
On your Iceland trip you'll stay in a variety of places depending on the destination and activities. For the most part you'll stay in nice, locally owned, beautiful family run hotels in great locations, with private bathrooms, free wifi, great breakfasts and warm local hospitality. Whilst in more remote areas we use backcountry cabins where they're more rustic with outhouse bathrooms (flush toilets) and gas heating.

Transport
Your transport will be a mixture of private vehicle, bike, kayak and your very own two feet on our trips in Iceland. You'll spend most time hiking, biking or paddling everywhere though! All your transport is included from the start of your trip until at the end, with the exception of airport transfers. The details are all listed in the trip specific itineraries.

Meals
All your meals are included as described in the itinerary except on your free days. We have found that people enjoy checking out what is on offer by themselves sometimes, so you can go and see what's out there! On every other day and especially after any long hikes, we've chosen places to eat that can cater for our hearty appetites, work well with our small groups (they know we are coming) and provide us with an authentic destination specific culinary experience. There are always options for you, so you can either be brave or choose something more familiar. You can be assured that on all our trips we will make sure you are very well fed, and Europe's vast array of cuisine won't disappoint you!

Trip leaders
Our trips are all led by an experienced Trip Leader alongside a local specialist guide. Our Trip Leaders are very proud to work with Active Adventures and often lead our trips for many years, for which we are very lucky and very grateful, as it means we're able to consistently offer a fantastic level of service. They work closely with our local specialist guides to provide you with a seamless, fun, exciting and memorable trip. They will happily share with you as much or as little as you want to know about the history, culture, social aspects and lifestyle of the country you are visiting.

How many people are there on each of your Iceland trips?

We generally take up to 14 people per trip, although this can vary, and all our trips have at least two of our guides to look after you (apart from the occasions we have a small group). We have found that our trips tend to attract a particular kind of person and many people have commented that the social scene was one of the highlights of their trip!

What rooming is provided on your Iceland trips?

Our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate (two people per room), though for the ‘Stelkur’ trek the mountain cabin’s are located in very remote areas (with amazing scenery) so they don’t have private rooms, electricity or phones however there’s a shared outhouse with hot showers and flushing toilets - and the view from the outhouse is second to none!

What kind of clothing should I be packing?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Do I need hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots for the Stelkur, though trail shoes will be all good for the Lundi trip. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

What is the food like in Iceland?

Icelandic cuisine is famous for their local seafood, specifically their cod as well as lamb, bread and skyr- a soft yogurt-like cheese. The sheer abundance and variety of produce, wine and meats will satisfy any palate.

What if I need a special diet?

We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.

What is the currency in Iceland?

The currency in Iceland it’s the Icleandic Króna kr

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currencies?

Our trips include all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except where indicated on the itinerary). Most people like to bring a little extra to cover a round of drinks at the pub, take home some souvenirs, book a tour and eat out on their free day, and tip our guides if they've had a great time. 

Usually the easiest thing to do is use your credit or debit card to withdraw money directly from your home account, in local currency. There are plenty of ATM's and banks in larger towns in Europe, and ATM's will accept all major credit cards and many debit cards. Cash advances are the most convenient way to get cash.

Is tipping expected in Iceland?

Tipping is not expected in Iceland however you might want to tip a little extra if you feel someone gave really fantastic service, but it's not really necessary. Many of our people also choose to tip their Active Adventures Europe trip leaders and local guides at the end of an awesome trip and US$120 per person per Trip Leader seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too.

What is the time zone in Iceland?

For the majority of the summer season Iceland is on GMT time.

What type of plugs and voltage do you use in Iceland?

Iceland operate on a 220V AC system with Plug Type C which consists of two round parallel pins while the wall plug has two holes where it is connected.

Will I have access to internet/WiFi?

WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having regularly access during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at most of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, sometimes for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive. There is no WiFi on the Multi-day hike and we’re sometimes without reception.

What is the weather like in Iceland?

Iceland enjoys a cool temperate climate thanks to the Gulf Stream, and the weather is known to change quickly and often. No matter when you're visiting you should always have wind and water resistant outerwear, as well as extra thermal layers on hand! Winter in Iceland usually has temperatures hovering around 0°c (32°F), which is really nothing compared to the temperatures in other northern countries, considering it's one of the absolute best places to see the northern lights in the world! Summer is still very cool due to being so close to the Arctic circle. During the warmest months, in July and August, the temperature in Reykjavík sits between 9-14°C (48-57°F) though warm summer days can reach 20–25°C (68–77°F). The days are very long which provides plenty of sunshine - during a time known as the Midnight Sun, when there is virtually no nighttime darkness!

What is there to do in Reykjavík?

Reykjavík (translated to “Smokey Bay”) is the northernmost capital of the world and presents a wealth of sights and activities that appeal to culture, nature and nightlife enthusiasts alike. Hallgrímskirkja church is a must-see, visible from almost every angle of the city and therefore making it very easy to find. At the top of this expressionist building is a viewing platform boasting 360° views over the entire city. You could visit the Harpa Concert and Conference Hall, it is an impressive glass building situated by the old harbour of Reykjavík, you’ll be able to admire it both from the outside and inside and get some great pictures. There are also numerous green areas and parks you can visit in Reykjavík, a popular destination all year round is Grótta, with its iconic lighthouse and views over Faxaflói bay and Reykjavík’s signature mountain Esjan.

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our New Zealand office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of New Zealand business hours), please leave a message so we can pick it up and respond as soon as we can.
Free phone 1 800 661 9073 (USA, Canada & Australia)
Free phone 0808 234 7780 (UK)
Free phone 0800 234 726 (New Zealand)
Worldwide +64 3 450 0414, ext 1
Email: service@activeadventures.com

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Iceland Travel Tips & Blogs

Why Travel With Us

11

Experience adventure the way you want

You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

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Crafting award-winning trips for decades - the Kiwi way

We're proud of our Kiwi roots and you’ll love our professional, warm and relaxed style of hosting. Plus, we’re always here to help with planning, travel, bookings... even hiking boot recommendations!

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Every detail covered, to maximise your time

As soon as your trip starts, we've got everything covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

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Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travellers’

With our small groups of typically no more than 14 (up to 18 max), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like. It’s all about going at your own pace.

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Explore hidden gems through our expert local guides

All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy a special experience, authentic local knowledge and an adventure like no other.

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4.54 out of 5 from 17045 reviews. That’s pretty solid.

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.