48 hours in North Iceland - Top 6 tours and activities
North Iceland offers experiences like no other. With its breathtaking landscapes, historic towns, and a range of activities, it's the perfect location for an adventure. Whether you're looking to see the Whales of Eyjafjörður fjord, relax in a geothermal bath, or explore the eerie beauty of the Lake Mývatn area, North Iceland has something for everyone.
For those wanting to make the most out of their 48 hours in North Iceland, this article outlines the best ways to get to the North and the top tours and activities you won't want to miss!
Getting to North Iceland
Assuming you're coming from Reykjavik, you have several options to get to North Iceland - a domestic flight, a private car, or a local bus.
The fastest way to get to North Iceland is by air travel. There are several direct flights per day from Reykjavik Airport to Akureyri, the largest town in North Iceland. There are also direct flights from Reykjavík Akureyri to Húsavík, the Whale Watching Capital of Iceland. From Akureyri and Húsavík, you can easily access the rest of North Iceland by car or bus.
If you're traveling by car, the Ring Road around Iceland is the best way to get to North Iceland. The Ring Road is a well-maintained, scenic route that circumnavigates the country. It's also the only road that goes directly from Reykjavík to Akureyri. The drive takes about 4.5 hours and is relatively straightforward.
Another option is traveling by local bus. Buses depart from Reykjavik every day and travel to various destinations in North Iceland. It takes a bit longer and prices for buses vary, but generally, they're more economical than flying or driving.
Whichever way you choose to travel, North Iceland is a great place to explore and offers many incredible sites and attractions. Once you're in North Iceland, plenty of things keep you busy!
When you travel to North Iceland, one of the first things you'll notice is the breathtaking scenery. The mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls are truly a sight to behold. But don't just take our word for it – make sure to spend some time outdoors appreciating nature for yourself! There are plenty of ways to do this, whether you're hiking, biking, or simply taking a leisurely stroll. And if you really want to get up close and personal with Mother Nature, book a tour that takes you behind the scenes of some of North Iceland's most popular natural attractions.
Lake Mývatn Classic
The Lake Mývatn area is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and has been one of Iceland’s most popular tourist spots for years. An incomparable journey filled with different terrains and wildlife awaits, starting with the pseudo-craters of Skútustaðagígar which offer a magnificent view of the area. Over the course of the day you will visit several local nature attractions including Hverir Mud Pools, Mt. Námafjall, Dimmuborgir Lava Fields and Grjótagjá cave where you can witness the separation between the Eurasian & American Continents. The tour culminates with a visit to Mývatn Nature Baths placed amid lava fields; an ideal place to take a relaxing soak in the geothermal bath. Book this tour!
The Diamond Circle
Take an unforgettable trip around the Diamond Circle of North Iceland accompanied by an experienced local tour guide in a small group. In this tour you visit some of the region's most iconic sights including Godadoss waterfall, known as the 'Waterfall of the Gods', Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall and Selfoss in Vatnajokull National Park. You also check out Jokulsargljufur Canyon, Hljodaklettar Echo Cliffs and Asbyrgi Canyon before finally heading towards Tjornes Peninsula Cliffs where you can spot Puffins nesting during summer time and Husavik town, where you have the opportunity to indulge in a relaxing soak at GeoSea Geothermal Sea Bath. Book this tour!
Wildlife and Icelandic animals
In North Iceland, you can experience wildlife in its natural habitat. In the North you'll find various types of whales and there are also many different bird species that can be seen in North Iceland, making it a great place for birdwatching.
Whales and Puffins
A Whale Watching tour is a great option when you're in North Iceland. This wildlife adventure introduces you to the wonder of whales while giving you an up-close view of thousands of puffins! On board a traditional Icelandic oak boat, you'll sail around Puffin Island and watch these birds nesting, flying, and diving in their natural habitat. This tour departs from Húsavík, the Whale Watching capital of Iceland.Book this tour!
Varmahlíð is a small town in North Iceland, which you pass through when driving from Reykjavík to Akureyri. The town is surrounded by Icelandic farms and farm animals as well as natural beauty. A great way to get to know some Icelandic animals by joining a horseback riding tour. Book this tour!
The towns in the North are home to a number of museums and galleries, as well as a live music and theatre scene. The multiple small towns along the Eyjafjörður coastline have a great culture you can experience and immerse yourself in when travelling in the area.
Arctic Coastline and Culture
On this tour, you travel from Akureyri along the Troll Peninsula coastline up to the small town of Siglufjörður. You'll discover real fishing villages and soak in the unique charm of this region. The first stop is Hjalteyri, renowned for its herring industry, where you'll hear some of the stories that the locals share. Next, you'll discover Dalvik, a major fishing port where you can take beautiful photographs. Driving through the mountains, we arrive at Olafsfjordur with its beautiful black sand beach. Then move on to Siglufjordur - an area made famous by the TV series 'Trapped'. Last but not least is Kaldi Microbrewery; join a tour around this brewery and taste their special beers. Book this tour!
1238 Battle of IcelandThis activity is located in Sauðárkrókur, a town located in Skagarfjörður fjord in the Northwest. The Battle of Iceland exhibition offers a unique, interactive experience beyond the standard museum, accessible to people of all ages. Combining virtual reality and modern art, visitors can explore and take part in the historic Sturlung Era (1220 - 1262): the most violent period in Iceland's history. This Saga is brought to life with state-of-the-art technology, allowing guests to witness the civil war which marked an end to Iceland's independence. Book this tour!