Start planning your Iceland adventure vacation
Adventure in Iceland means exploring unique, natural landscapes, scattered with active volcanoes, glacier-cut fjords, and black sand beaches. You might meet Arctic foxes or reindeer in the wild, and you’ll get to see stunning waterfalls and learn about ancient landscapes.
What makes Iceland a great destination for adventure travel?
Iceland has an otherworldly natural landscape perfect for planning an adventure trip. Whether you want a challenging hike, some gentle walks or an insight into the history of this unique nation. With glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, hot springs and waterfalls to explore, and activities like hiking and white-water rafting, Iceland is the ultimate adventure destination.
The best adventure activities in Iceland
The Land of Fire and Ice has active adventures aplenty. Here are some of our favorite things to do for an adventure in Iceland.
Try glacier hiking and ice climbing
Iceland is home to the largest glacier in Europe. Tours to and around Vatnajökull vary in difficulty, from easy hikes to expert climbing expeditions, which will lead you from the lower parts of the glacier to the peak. Other popular glacier hikes in Iceland include the Sólheimajökull, the Svínafellsjökull, and the Jökulsárlón.
Go snorkeling at Silfra
Forget snorkeling in the sea as you know it. In Iceland, the best place to get in the water is in the Silfra crack, located in Thingvellir National Park. The underwater cavern is fascinating, colorful void between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates where you can don a wetsuit and drive in to see the bright green algae and incredibly clear waters.
Get your thrills rafting down the Hvítá River
The Hvítá River is just a short drive away from Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, making it an easy day trip. The river has Class 2 rapids, which means that travelers of all levels can enjoy a trip down the river without any prior experience. Between the dips and drops, take moments to enjoy the surrounding landscape of green hills and rocky shores.
Spot some wildlife on a cliff hike
There are numerous hiking trails in Iceland, from short hiking trips to multi-day excursions. For one of the best wildlife sightings, head to Látrabjarg to admire the native puffins that reside on the cliffs here. You might even spot an Arctic fox. The hike from Bjargtangar to Heiðnakinn, which is the tallest point of the cliff at 1,447-feet, is about four miles.
Discover the inside of Iceland's caves
Iceland has four types of caves for visitors to explore, from those inside glaciers, some created by lava, and a few even man-made. The glacier caves are only accessible to visitors in the winter, but one of the best caves is the 800-year-old lava cave of Vatnshellir.
Tips for planning an adventure trip in Iceland
Adventure travelers should aim to visit Iceland between June and September, as it’s a warmer time for outdoor exploits. The country gets incredible cold and dark during winter time, but some adventures are still possible, such as glacier hiking and coastal walks.