Things to do in North Iceland

Our most recommended things to do in North Iceland

Akureyri: 3-Hour Classic Whale Watching Tour

1. Akureyri: 3-Hour Classic Whale Watching Tour

Experience the majestic beauty of the Eyjafjord's humpback whales and other marine life in their natural habitat on a cruise trip from Akureyri. Listen to your guide's commentary and discover how the warmth of the summer sun brings vibrant life and plenty of food for the larger-than-life mammals.  Benefit from the services of specially-trained whale watching guides who are experts at spotting the animals. Listen as they tell you about the behavior of the whales and answer any questions you may have. Journey aboard the only specially-modified, high-speed whale watching ship in Iceland. Capable of carrying 200 people, it provides spectacular views from its cinema-style viewing platforms. Relax aboard the boat and enjoy the ample indoor and outdoor seating. Purchase drinks and snacks along the way from the onboard bar and cafeteria. Experience a pleasant and comfortable ride, even at speed, and share your adventure live on social media with free Wi-Fi.

Akureyri: 2–Hour Whale Watching Express by RIB Speedboat

2. Akureyri: 2–Hour Whale Watching Express by RIB Speedboat

Enjoy a 2-hour whale and bird watching tour starting from the floating pier in Akureyri. Experience and get close to the incredible humpback whales of the Eyjafjord, starting from the capital of North Iceland, Akureyri. With only 12 passengers on each boat, take part in an adventure of a lifetime on an intimate whale watching tour.   The specially made RIB boats allow you to get closer to the whales and wildlife than any other boat can offer. The RIBs are fast and small boats that will also get you quicker to the whales and cover a bigger area as you search for the wild life. This means a bigger chance of spotting whales, dolphins and bird life with out disturbing them in their natural habitat. If you have a passion for nature and love for adventure, this is the tour for you.

Hjalteyri: Whale-Watching Boat Trip

3. Hjalteyri: Whale-Watching Boat Trip

It's not surprising that many northerners believe that Hjalteyri is one of the best-kept secrets of North Iceland. Eyjafjörður is a favorable habitat for marine life, so favorable in fact that whales were spotted on all of these tours in 2016. On this whale-watching tour, you'll graciously glide through the calm seas of Eyjafjörður under the guidance and expertise of a qualified crew. This tour is approximately two-and-a-half hours long. This tour gives you the unique and exceptional opportunity to get in touch with the magnificent wildlife found in the north of Iceland, most notably the majestic whales and seabirds.

Reykjavik: Tailor-Made 10-Person Exploration Tour

4. Reykjavik: Tailor-Made 10-Person Exploration Tour

Travel the country at your own pace on a 4x4 Super Jeep that is specially built to handle the rough Icelandic terrain on this guided tour from Reykjavik. Tailor the itinerary to your needs and desires and go wherever you want, when you want within a 12-hour period.  Have the option to go snorkeling in the morning, see the glaciers at midday, and reach the Blue Lagoon by the late afternoon. Take the opportunity to explore a lava tube cave, walk behind a waterfall, and see the magnificent Highlands. Be picked by the spacious all-terrain vehicle in the morning and head off to your desired destination. Ride in the Super Jeep to see more sights than you can reach on a standard bus. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a private transportation service.  Get help crafting the perfect itinerary from your guide, or choose to have your guide create a tour the most popular places. Have the option to pick a trip to unique locations that most visitors will never get to see.

Reykjavik: Wild North Exploration by Super Jeep

5. Reykjavik: Wild North Exploration by Super Jeep

You will begin your Icelandic adventure with pickup from your central Reykjavik hotel, from where you will set out along Iceland’s rugged west coast. Marvel at the dramatic scenery as you take the road less traveled, past an endless panorama of jagged mountains, crystalline lakes, and rugged lava fields. Jump out along the way at Bifröst to stretch your legs with a short hike through the twin craters of Grábrók and Grábrókarfell. As you traverse the ancient landscape, you will hear how the craters were formed over 3,400 years ago whilst stopping to take photos looking out along the valley. Back in the Jeep, you will continue to another natural wonder, the 82-foot-deep canyon of Kolugljúfur. After driving along the side of the canyon, you can hop out to admire the views over the river gorge and its pair of waterfalls, as your guide recounts local folk stories about the troll woman "Kola", who once inhabited the canyon. You will then pay a visit to the Borgarvirki Fortress as you approach the wild north coast, taking time to explore the unusual basalt citadel, set within a volcanic plug. Be sure to climb the steps to the cliff top, from where the views span the valleys and lakes below. The next stop is the coastal haven of Vatnsnes, a natural beauty spot with a rocky beach and 49-foot basalt arch of Hvítserkur jutting out of the water. Grab your camera and head down to the beach, where you’ll also find one of Iceland’s largest seal colonies basking on the rocks and splashing around the shore. There’s just time to get a glimpse of local life on the remote peninsula with a stop at the town of Hvammstangi, before setting out on the return journey to Reykajvik. Finally, after an action-packed day, you will arrive back in the city where your tour ends with drop off at your hotel.

Akureyri: Siglufjörður Four Tunnel Private Day Tour

6. Akureyri: Siglufjörður Four Tunnel Private Day Tour

This tour takes us through breathtaking landscapes and beautiful scenery. To arrive in Siglufjörður, we will have to pass through 3 tunnels, but our tour will take us a bit further and through the 4th tunnel to an enjoyable viewing point. We will be making short stops in the Village of Hjalteyri, a unique town from the herring era. As well as having a look at Hauganes and Árskógssandur. We'll pass through Dalvík and Ólafsfjörður, two nice fishing towns. There will be time to explore Siglufjörður and the Herring Era Musem (subject to them being open).

Iceland: Lake Myvatn and Godafoss Tour by Bus

7. Iceland: Lake Myvatn and Godafoss Tour by Bus

Gaze at the wonderful Eyjafjordur fjord as you drive to the rushing waters of the Godafoss Waterfall. See the bubbling mud pools of Hverir. Be amazed by natural steam vents at Námaskarð. Gaze at the lava pillars in Dimmuborgir. Visit the geothermal pools at Myvatn. Start your tour with a pickup at your hotel, airport, or port. Hop on board the bus and drive along Eyjafjordur, one of the longest fjords in Iceland. Take in the stunning display of mountains along the way. See the Godafoss Waterfall, which is 39 ft (12 meters) high and 98 ft (30 meters) wide. Arrive at Lake Myvatn, formed 2300 years ago by a basalt lava eruption. Visit the Skútustaðagígar, a pseudocrater area formed by lava flowing over wetland. Continue to Hverir Mud Pools, a geothermal spot famous for bubbling pools of mud. Take in the scenery at Námaskarð and Hverarönd, known for natural steam vents. Go to Grjótagjá Cave, a bathing cave with hot springs. Follow your guide to Mount Námafjall, a spectacular volcanic mountain. Discover the formations of lava pillars, known as the Dark Castles at Dimmuborgir Lava fields. Keep going to reach the geothermal pools at Myvatn Nature Baths, overlooking a beautiful blue lagoon. Bathe in the pools if you like, or eat in the restaurant. Witness filming locations for Game of Thrones, at Höfði, and Star Wars. End your tour and be dropped off in Akureyri or Lake Myvatn. Discover the magical wonderland of Lake Myvatn and Godafoss Waterfall with an experienced local tour guide. We set off from Akureryi with a stunning drive along Eyjafjord to Godafoss waterfall and then onto the famous Lake Myvatn. The tour stops at all the top attractions of Lake Myvatn and the Myvatn Nature Baths.

Varmahlíð: East Glacial River Whitewater Rafting

8. Varmahlíð: East Glacial River Whitewater Rafting

Get your thirst for adventure quenched in Iceland on a whitewater rafting tour in The East Glacial River Gorge. Embark on an action-packed and exciting rafting tour filled with deep canyon scenery and heart-pumping whitewater. Take a day and meeting your guide a remote single-day rafting trip. Take on the whitewater adventure and go on an unforgettable journey into the untamed beauty of Iceland's river wilderness. Get your adrenaline fix, that's strong enough to satisfy the most powerful cravings. Don't worry about your experience level, discover for yourself why the East Glacial River has become an Icelandic signature for whitewater rafting. Feel at east with experienced professionals, so you don't have to be.

Akureyri: Hraundrangi Peak 10-Hour Private Climb

9. Akureyri: Hraundrangi Peak 10-Hour Private Climb

Have a chance to climb one of Iceland's most spectacular mountains with a Hraundadrangi Peak climbing experience. Climb up a lava column rising 1075m meters above the sea using climbing gear. Take a few hours to approach the base of the climb before attempting the 80-meter ascent to the peak. Use crampons and an ice axe in the winter. Enjoy time to relax, take in the views, and snap some amazing photos along the way. Rappel back down from the peak and hike to the car at the end.

Other Sightseeing Options in North Iceland

Want to discover all there is to do in North Iceland? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about North Iceland

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 596 reviews

Das Boot war etwa 14m lang, also doch kleiner als erwartet und auch die Anzahl der anderen Touristen hielt sich in Grenzen. Es war ziemlich kalt als wir Mitte September gefahren sind, aber ws gab Overalls und heiße Schokolade + Tee und Kaffee zum aufwärmen! Wir haben 3 verschiedene Buckelwale gesehen. Die Tour war super! Der Anbieter Elding whale Watching ist ein Familienbetrieb und Naturschutz ist wichtig. Die Wale werden nicht verfolgt und dadurch unter Stress gesetzt. Trotzdem kamen wir sehr nah an sie. Die Tour ist zu empfehlen!

It was a great overall experience . Very personable, funny, beautiful and educated ( marine biologist ) guide Gemma and fantastic, competent boat captain ( hunk from Germany ) . Highly recommended activity if you are visiting the area and interested in whale watching . The speed boat ride was awesome .

Fantastic experience! Several whales are allowed to see up close. Good guide who gave a lot of info, both guide and captain have a very good eye in spotting the whales. The suits are certainly warm enough, you will get gloves and glasses. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

The trip was great, although in hindsight we have reservations. There was a whale that was circled by 3 boats, whether that is environmentally conscious and likes the whale we now dare to doubt. But the boat, the crew and the guide are waiting great.

It was really great to watch the whales. I recommend