Skip to content
Iceland Stopover - Where To Go, What To See And How To Get There!

Iceland Stopover – Where To Go, What To See And How To Get There!

In case you didn’t know, some major Icelandic airlines offer a free Iceland stopover between Europe and America of up to 7 days without any additional airfare.

Because Iceland is so conveniently placed between the two continents, it’s a perfect opportunity to stop over for a few days, break up your journey and throw something a transcendental into your travel plan at relatively low cost. But how best to make use of these few days? Let’s cover some of the highlights:

Where in the country is your Iceland stopover?

The major airport in Iceland is in Keflavík, 45 minutes away from Reykjavík, so we’ll assume that’s where you’re arriving. If you’re only staying a short while, you likely won’t be going very far afield, (though for a longer stopover it’s not impossible). Iceland is actually quite big, bigger than Scotland, so to go the whole way around the country we recommend at least a week.

So, assuming you’re staying in the Reykjavík area for a few days, what is there to do? (If you’re not staying in Reykjavík, contact us and we can help you figure out your plan).

Iceland Stopover - Hallgrímskirkja

Reykjavík Sights, Attractions, and Activities

Major Reykjavík sights include Hallgrímskirkja church, the most recognisable Reykjavík landmark, Harpa concert hall, with its beautiful geometrical facade and view of the harbour and mt. Esja, and the Pearl.

You can see these either by walking on your own, on a guided walking tour, bus tour or the hop-on/hop-off bus.

There are incredibly many good museums, including Volcano House and Reykjavík Art museum, the National Museum and the Settlement exhibition, depending on your interests. There is a huge array of cafés and restaurants, great shopping and of course a vibrant nightlife.

For Reykjavík-based activities, we recommend Whale Watching, Horseback riding, and Northern lights. And of course, the Blue Lagoon is a short 45 minutes away.

Where To Go And How To Get There

For all the city’s charm, most people don’t come to Iceland to see Reykjavík. In fact, we encourage you to spend as much time as possible traveling around in the beautiful nature beyond the city, doing exciting things!

In one day, you can travel to the Golden Circle, the South Coast, Reykjanes peninsula, West Iceland and/or the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Iceland Stopover - Golden Circle
Photo via Reykjavik Excursions

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle’s main attractions are the waterfall Gullfoss, Geysir geothermal area, and Þingvellir historic national park. You can see it by bus, jeep or helicopter or you can drive yourself. The Golden Circle tour takes just half a day so you can spend the rest of the day exploring the city or add other activities to your tour.

Activities: You can add snowmobiling on a glacier, bathe in one of two hot springs, river rafting, snorkeling or diving in a tectonic fissure, visit a geothermal greenhouse, or a geothermal power plant to name just a few.

Iceland Stopover - Reynisfjara
Photo via Sterna

The South Coast

The main attractions on the South coast are waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss along with Reynisfjara black-sand beach. The south coast is also where you will find the highland areas Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork – incredible untouched wilderness reserves. (Note that hiking in these areas is only recommended during the summer. In wintertime, stick to vehicles of some sort.)

You can take a bus tour or drive yourself along the coast, but a jeep tour will likely take you toward the highlands, with their beautiful geothermal areas and mountainous landscapes. And of course, you can see the sights by helicopter as well.

Activities include glacier hiking, snowmobiling on a glacier, or bathing in Seljavallalaug hot spring.

Iceland Stopover - Víðgelmir
Photo via The Cave

West Iceland

West Iceland covers the western part of the country from Reykjavík in the south to the West fjords in the North, roughly defined by the fjords Hvalfjörður and Borgarfjörður, and the Snæfellsnes peninsula (more on that below). The main sights of this area include Gerðuberg, Deildartunguhver, Langjökull, and Hraunfossar.

You can go there by jeep, helicopter or self-drive.

Since you’re in Iceland, you can hardly pass up the chance to go Into the glacier – the longest man-made ice tunnel in the world, as well as caving in Víðgelmir, the largest lava cave in Iceland by volume.

Iceland Stopover - Snæfellsnes
Photo via Helo

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Snæfellsnes is an amazing area. There’s nothing like driving around the peninsula with the ocean on one side and magnificent mountains on the other. Major sights include Arnarstapi, Djúpalónssandur beach and of course Snæfellsjökull glacier.

You can take a jeep, bus, helicopter tour or drive there yourself.

Some of the major activities involve lava caving or a boat tour from Stykkishólmur.

If you’re still unsure about what to do on your Iceland stopover, take a look at some of the most popular tours available, or browse through all the tours. If you’re looking for more information, you can LiveChat with the What’s On staff or contact the office via e-mail or telephone (+354 551 3600).

RELATED ARTICLES