The Best Outdoor Activities in Iceland

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Explore Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Iceland / Fjaðrárgljúfur

This canyon is one of those places in Iceland that you don't find in any of the brochures, and don't see many photos of, but that's one of the reasons it's all that much more magical when you get the.

639 Saves

Hike to and Swim at Seljavallalaug

Iceland / Seljavallalaug

You will reach the trailhead by turning off of the Ring Road 1 onto road 242. You will see signs marked for Seljavellir.

533 Saves

Hike Iceland's Tallest Waterfall: Glymur

Iceland / Glymur Trailhead

This amazing waterfall empties into a giant, beautiful canyon and with such a short hike, the reward is well worth the time.

527 Saves

Hike to the Falls above Skógafoss

Iceland / Skógafoss, Iceland

You can see Skogafoss from the highway. You will also immediately see the tourist buses and the throngs of people working hard to make the same photo.

478 Saves

Winter Hike to Svartifoss

Iceland / Skaftafell, Iceland

At 20 meters tall, Svartifoss, also known as Black Falls, is one of the most popular waterfalls located in Iceland’s Skaftafell National Park.

428 Saves

Explore Brúarfoss

Iceland / Brúarfoss

Brúarfoss is a small waterfall, especially compared to the many thundering giants cascading off Iceland's cliffs. What this waterfall lacks in size though, it more than makes up for in beauty.

411 Saves

Hike to Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Iceland / Reykjadalur Hot Springs

The trailhead to start your journey to the Reykjadalur hot river is located at the Hot River cafe near the town of Hveragerði.

362 Saves

Explore Jokulsarlon, Iceland

Iceland / Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

From Reykjavik, just head south on Hwy 1 for about 3 hours until you reach Jokulsarlon. It's just off both sides of the road and a bridge drives over it - you wont miss it.

362 Saves

Photograph the Waterfalls of Iceland

Iceland / Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

If you want to see Iceland's most incredible scenery, you have to rent a car and get a map. From Reykjavik, head south on Hwy 1.

359 Saves

Explore Iceland's Black Sands

Iceland / Sólheimasandur Trailhead

Since WWII, four US planes have perished above Iceland's black sands. Here is one of them, sunken into the beach in the middle of nowhere since 1973.

325 Saves

Exploring Seljalandsfoss

Iceland / Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Located just off the Ring Road, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls and it's easy to see why.

311 Saves

Hike through Þingvellir National Park

Iceland / Þingvellir Visitor Center

From the visitor center there are several trails that lead into the countryside.

310 Saves

Photograph the Northern Lights at Grotta Lighthouse

Iceland / Grotta Lighthouse

While I was in Iceland for 10 days, I was blessed enough to see the northern lights every single night. Because of all the opportunities, I was able to learn some lessons about them.

305 Saves

Explore the Jokulsarlan Ice Caves in Iceland

Iceland / Jokulsarlon Ice Caves

There are quite a few companies that offer guided tours of ice caves throughout the country, but Extreme Iceland has the most options, as well as very experienced guides.

300 Saves

Explore DC-3 Airplane Wreckage in Sólheimasandur

Iceland / Sólheimasandur Trailhead

If you've ever felt the urge to go to Iceland and explore one of the planet's most geographically fascinating locations, you've most likely seen photos similar to mine: dilapidated wreckage of an old.

297 Saves

Explore Gullfoss

Iceland / Gullfoss

The infamous Gullfoss Falls are about 45 minutes from Strokkur, and they have a peaceful calm about them.

279 Saves

Watch the Sunrise from Ice Beach

Iceland / Ice Beach

One of the more popular sites in Iceland is the Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon, but an equally amazing site lies right across the highway where icebergs wash ashore after leaving the ice lagoon.

262 Saves

Walk Behind A Hidden Waterfall at Kvernufoss

Iceland / Kvernufoss Parking

Begin by driving to the Skogar Museum, just off the Ring Road (1). You will take the same turn to get here as you would to get to Skogafoss, so it makes sense to plan to see both at the same time.

243 Saves

Þórsmörk's Skógar Hike

Iceland / Fimmvörðuháls Trail

It is said that half of the population of Iceland believes in elves. If you spend time exploring the wilderness of Iceland, you'll begin to understand why.

239 Saves

Explore Viti Crater

Iceland / Viti Trail, Iceland

Viti is a large crater, located near lake Myvatn in Northern Iceland. It is filled with bright blue water that changes into a different shade of blue at every perspective.

235 Saves

Explore Skógafoss in the Winter

Iceland / Skógafoss, Iceland

Throughout all seasons of the year, Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s most visited waterfalls. This waterfall is in the top 5 largest in the country, with a dizzying drop of 60 meters.

230 Saves

Explore Snæfellsjökull National Park

Iceland / Snæfellsjökull National Park

When I planned my road trip through Iceland, I found plenty of information and advice online for the southwestern part of the island, as well as up north in the area around Akureyri and Lake Myvatn, .

222 Saves

Explore Vestrahorn

Iceland / Stokksnes

Vesturhorn, often called "Batman Mountain," is a beautiful mountain (454 m/1450 ft high) where very steep cliffs meet a flat, black sand beach.

222 Saves

Bathe in Myvatn Nature Baths

Iceland / Lake Myvatn Nature Baths

Myvatn Natural Hot Springs are an alternative hot spring to the well-known Blue Lagoon in Iceland. The $18 student tickets are much more affordable than the prices of $75 for other nature baths.

218 Saves

Photograph Goðafoss

Iceland / Goðafoss

The parking lot for Goðafoss is clearly signed and you'll be able to see the falls from the parking lot.

207 Saves

Backpack the Laugavegur Trail: Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk

Iceland / Landmannalaugar

First things first - catch one of the buses to the trailhead at Landmannalaugar. We chose to leave from a small hostel in Hella and ended up riding for just over two hours to reach our destination.

205 Saves

Explore Strokkur Geyser

Iceland / Strokkur

The Geyser, Strokkur, has a small rest stop built around it and after parking, you will walk about five minutes north of the road.

201 Saves

Photograph the Northern Lights at Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss

Iceland / Kirkjufellsfoss

Kirkjufell is a freestanding symmetric mountain, and is the most photographed mountain in Iceland. It is located in West Iceland on the north coast of Iceland's Snæfellsnes peninsula.

196 Saves

Photograph the Northern Lights at Jökulsárlón

Iceland / Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón is a night photographer's paradise with "fresh" iceberg subjects washed up on the beaches daily, providing unique images every time.

189 Saves

Exploring Skaftafellsjökull

Iceland / Skaftafell, Iceland

The glacier Skaftafellsjökull is an outlet of Vatnajökull, which is the largest continental glacier in Europe.

189 Saves

Hike to the Summit of Valahnúkur

Iceland / Volcano Huts Þórsmörk

The hike starts at the volcano huts in Þórsmörk, you head northeast on the main trail. Signs along the way will lead you all the way to the summit. it is about 1.5 miles one way.

161 Saves

Diving in Silfra

Iceland / Silfra fissure

Silfra is located in Thingvellir National Park, about 45 minutes from Reykjavik. The Silfra fissure is a crack between the North American and Eurasian continental plates.

161 Saves

Explore Arnarstapi

Iceland / Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi is a small village located on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula.

155 Saves

Hike to the South Summit of Mount Akrafjall

Iceland / Akrajfall Trailhead

The roundtrip hike up the south summit takes 2-5 hours. The trail is flat and easy to follow at first, then farther up the mountain you'll encounter a more jagged path with some spongy grass areas.

154 Saves

Photograph Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss

Iceland / Kirkjufellsfoss

Only 2.5 hours from Reykjavík in good weather, Kirkjufell is a popular spot for Iceland photography.

153 Saves

Iceland Surf Expedition

Iceland / Höfn Beach

Iceland is always interesting with the weather fluctuating. Each day can lead you to face a new series of elements.

150 Saves

Explore Háifoss

Iceland / Háifoss

The waterfall Háifoss is situated near the volcano Hekla in the south of Iceland. The river Fossá drops 122m making Háifoss the third highest waterfall on the island.

146 Saves

Hike to Sjónarnípa

Iceland / Skaftafell, Iceland

Skaftafell National Park is a portion of Vatnajökull National Park and easily accessible by car by Route 1 (the Ring Road).

132 Saves

Swim in Iceland's Blue Lagoon

Iceland / Blue Lagoon Parking

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is one of the country's most famous attractions. The pristine blue waters are a result of volcanic activity. The water is naturally heated and soothes the skin.

126 Saves

Hike Fimmvörðuháls Pass

Iceland / Skogafoss

You can start on either side of the pass whether it is Thórsmörk or Skógar, each way is just as visually stunning as the other.

125 Saves

Explore Black Sand Beach

Iceland / Black Sand Beach Parking

Black Sand Beach offers an expansive view of the ocean and nearby cliffs. It gets its name from the small black pebbles that make up whats known as the "black sand" of the beach.

108 Saves

Explore Dynjandi

Iceland / Dynjandi

The most difficult part about this is getting to the falls - the road is closed during the winter (or at least shouldn't be driven on), and is has quite a few potholes on the way.

99 Saves

Explore Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Iceland / Fjallsarlon

From the parking lot follow the well marked path down to the lagoon.

95 Saves

Scramble Kirkjufell Mountain

Iceland / Kirkjufell Mountain

You can park at the Kirkjufellsfoss parking lot and head north across the road. Just a bit northwest there's a farm and some guest houses - head towards that.

91 Saves

Climb the Tower at Hallgrimskirkja

Iceland / Hallgrimskirkja

Just a part of something to do while in Reykjavik. There is an epic church that stands out strong against the skyline.  Inside the church there is an impressive organ inside of the church.

89 Saves

Explore Iceland's Diamond Beach

Iceland / Diamond Beach

Begin by heading south on Highway 1 from Höfn towards Jökulsárlón, the drive is around 1 hour.

89 Saves

Explore Gljúfrabúi Waterfall

Iceland / Gljúfrabúi

Starting in the parking area for Seljalandsfoss, follow the path that leads along the ridge line away from the main road. In less than twenty minutes, you'll reach a small marker and picnic area.

88 Saves

Explore the Mossy Lava Fields near Grindavik

Iceland / Mossy Lava Field

If you drive 20 minutes east past the town of Grindavik along road 427 the landscape changes drastically and you'll find yourself in an enormous lava flow covered in vibrant moss.

86 Saves

Great Views On Top of Stóra Dímon

Iceland / Stóra Dímon

Stóra Dímon is a small hill on the southern coast of Iceland, close to the village of Hvolsvöllur.

81 Saves

Visit the Bird Cliffs at Látrabjarg

Iceland / Látrabjarg

Whether or not you choose to take the ferry from Stykk to Flókalundur, or make the entire drive along the south side of the West Fjords, you'll be taking the 612 to Látrabjarg.

77 Saves

Hike to Valagil Waterfall

Iceland / Seljalandsdalur

The trailhead for this hike is 9 km south of the town Súðavík at the inside tip of the fjord Álftafjörður. There‘s a small dirt parking lot off the road just before the small bridge.

73 Saves

Explore Gluggafoss

Iceland / Gluggafoss

Super simple, super easy to get to. Just a cool little waterfall located just off the road.

66 Saves

Hike Mount Drápuhlíðarfjall

Iceland / Mount Drápuhlíðarfjall

You can park your car on the south side of Snæfellsnesvegur (road 51) and basically make a straight shot to the base of the mountain from there.

60 Saves

Photograph Foss á Siðu

Iceland / Foss á Siðu

Foss a Sidu is less famous than many of the waterfalls on the south coast, but its easy access and unique surroundings make it well worth the stop.

60 Saves

Hike Dettifoss and Selfoss

Iceland / Dettifoss

Dettifoss and Selfoss are two waterfalls located closely together, separated only by about one kilometer of easy walking along a cliff top.

60 Saves

Explore Hverir Geothermal Field

Iceland / Hverir

Not far from one the more popular hot springs in North Iceland, the Hverir Geothermal Field is one of the most spectacular (and overlooked) places in all of Iceland.

54 Saves

Hike Mount Esja, Iceland

Iceland / Esjurætur - Hiking Center

Iceland is undoubtedly a land bubbling with adventure, and attracts a growing number of visitors each year seeking to explore its diverse terrain.

51 Saves

Scramble Kristínartindar

Iceland / Skaftafell

Kristínartindar isn't for the feint of heart, and even I almost fall into that category.

51 Saves

Hike Súlur

Iceland / Súlur

The trailhead is located at a parking lot south of Akureyri - mark it on your map and it'll be easy to find.

48 Saves

Photogarph the Iconic Sheep Barn in the Westfjords

Iceland / Sheep Barn

Strangely enough I had seen this little barn in a ton of pictures before going to the Westfjords.

43 Saves

Camp in and Explore Borgarfjörður Eystri

Iceland / Borgarfjörður Campground

Every corner of Iceland will continue to surprise you in the most delightful way. Making the journey to the northeastern coast is no exception.

42 Saves

Hike Hvannárgil and Réttarfell

Iceland / Básar

Starting at the Básar facilities, the loop can be completed clockwise and do Réttarfell to Hvannárgil, or counter-clockwise.

41 Saves

Take a Boat Tour of the Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon

Iceland / Jokulsarlon Lagoon

About a 4 and a half hour drive from Reykjavik, a bridge welcomes you to Jokulsarlon, the ice berg lagoon.

41 Saves

Canyoning at Raufeldsgja

Iceland / Raudeldsgja

Copule clarifications. The first, I say Intermediate and advanced. The reason I say this is because getting into the canyon is pretty simple. Few rock hops and you will be in a little clearing.

38 Saves

Explore Glanni Waterfall

Iceland / Glanni Waterfall Trailhead

Glanni Waterfall is in the western region of Iceland right off the main Ring Road. It's the perfect place to get out and stretch your legs for a quick 15 minutes.

38 Saves

Explore Svinafellsjokull

Iceland / Svinafellsjokul

Look for the point of interest sign to Svinafellsjokull several minutes past the exit for Skaftafell National Park.

38 Saves

Explore Skarðsvík Beach

Iceland / Skarðsvík Beach

From the parking area you are free to roam the area. We started by walking down the stairs from the left of the parking lot.

34 Saves

Scramble Geitafellstindur and Photograph Hoffellsjökull

Iceland / Hoffellsjökull

The trailhead can begin at the parking lot at the end of the Hoffellsjökull lake where there are information boards.

33 Saves

Hike up Vindbelgjarfjall

Iceland / Vindbelgjarfjall

Vindbelgjarfjall is a 529-meter mountain located in Lake Mývatn area, North Iceland, whose formation dates back to the Ice Age.

31 Saves

Photograph Þjóðvegur's Waterfall

Iceland / Nameless Waterfall

The waterfall backdrops a soccer field and school that sit just below.  It's just down the road from Seljalandsfoss and is definitely worth adding to your Ring Road agenda.

31 Saves

Visit Kerið Crater Lake

Iceland / Kerið

Kerið Crater is located in southern Iceland, along the popular golden circle. It is about 15km north of Selfoss, off of highway 35.

24 Saves

Hike to Helluvatn Lake

Iceland / Helluvatn Trailhead

The trailhead begins from the campsite next to Hotel Flokalundur, towards the back where the small wooden ladder assists you over the fence.

21 Saves

Hike the Tvísöngur Loop

Iceland / Seyðisfjörður

Park at the gravel lot across from the Brimberg Fish Factory (the parking lot is marked with a sign for Tvísöngur).

16 Saves

Photograph Gardur Lighthouse, Iceland

Iceland / Gardur Lighthouse

If you are like most travelers to Iceland, your time is spent around the ring road and Reykjavik.

15 Saves

Hike to Djúpalónssandur and Dritvík

Iceland / Dritvík Trailhead

From the parking lot, take the trail to the left of the bathrooms.  This trail will wind down past a unique rock feature with a hole in it and ends at the black sand beach.

14 Saves

Hike to Hengifoss

Iceland / Hengifoss

From Egilsstaðir, take the Ring Road (Highway 1) towards Fellabær.  Turn left onto Road 931 directly after the bridge crossing of Lake Lagarfljot.

12 Saves

Explore Grábrók Volcano

Iceland / Grábrók

From the parking area just off the Ring Road (Highway 1) near the town of Bifröst, the trail starts to the left.

12 Saves

Explore Hvalnes Nature Reserve

Iceland / Hvalnes Nature Reserve

Look for a point of interest sign for Hvalnes and pull off the road into the dirt parking lot.

11 Saves

Hike Hverfjall and Dimmuborgir

Iceland / Hverfjall Trailhead

Mt. Hverfjall (Hverfell) is an old tephra crater that is estimated to be 2500 years old. The crater is about 1 km in diameter and 400 feet deep.

11 Saves

Visit the Puffins of Hafnarholmi

Iceland / Hafnarholmi

Located in the remote northeast corner of Iceland, the newly built harbor of Hafnarholmi lies just a few miles north of Borgarfjodur Eystri (aka Bakkagerdi).

11 Saves

Explore Saxhóll Crater

Iceland / Saxholl Crater

Just off of Road 574 in Snæfellsjökull National Park, Saxhóll Crater is a short leg-stretcher.

9 Saves

Hike to Leirhnjúkur

Iceland / Leirhnjúkur

The trailhead for this hike is located near Lake Mývatn .  Take Road 863 towards Krafla power plant.

9 Saves

Hike around Höfði

Iceland / Höfði

Lake Mývatn translates to "Midge Lake" and if you visit here in the summer there will be swarms and swarms of midges. You might want to wear something to cover your face.

8 Saves

Photograph the Malarrif Lighthouse in Snæfellsjökull National Park

Iceland / Malarrif Lighthouse

From the visitor's center parking lot, take the path towards the lighthouse.  This unique 24m (~80 ft) tall lighthouse was built in 1917, then rebuilt in 1946.

7 Saves

Visit the Stykkishólmur Lighthouse

Iceland / Stykkishólmur

From the parking area which is adjacent to where the Ferry Baldur loading area is, walk up the hill and shortly after you'll see the brightly-colored lighthouse.

7 Saves

Backpack the Laugavegur Trail: Þórsmörk to Skógar

Iceland / Þórsmörk, Iceland

If you are on your way to Iceland to trek the incredible Laugavegur trail, and you've read about the first part of the trek in this article, then don't miss out on the last 15 miles you should be add.

7 Saves

Trail Run in Kjarnaskógur

Iceland / Kjarnaskógur Parking

Kjarnaskógur is the local forest and recreation area in Akureyri and is located just South of the Airport. Great for running, hiking, mountain biking and x-country skiing when there is snow.

5 Saves

Hike Stuðlagil Canyon

Iceland / Studlgil canyon

The round trip is approximately 8km, and one might need to forge one's own path, but the hike there is definitely worthwhile.

3 Saves