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Stopover in Iceland

What To Do in Iceland If You Have Only a Few Hours or Days to Spend in Iceland

Breathtaking nature, exciting adventures, rich culture and a charming Nordic atmosphere await you in Iceland. Halfway between North America and Europe, the location is ideal for a quick visit. Iceland is the perfect place to stopover for a mini vacation. Let us help you make the most of it!

Posted by: Viktória Komjáti


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Stopover or Layover in Iceland

A stopover doesn't have to mean spending hours hanging out in dull airport lounges. Layovers in Iceland are becoming a popular addition to many European-bound trips these days. Many airline companies - from Icelandair to Wow Air and Air Canada - offer stopovers in Iceland for little or no additional airfare.

With its wide range of attractions, Iceland is certainly worth including in your transatlantic journey. Here you'll find breathtaking nature, exciting adventures, rich culture and a charming Nordic atmosphere. Halfway between North America and Europe, the location is ideal for a quick visit. Iceland is the perfect place to stopover for a mini vacation. Let us help you make the most of it!

It is possible to explore Iceland's most thrilling attractions in only a day or two

It is possible to explore Iceland's most thrilling attractions in only a day or two

Few-Hours Stopover in Iceland

If you have only a few hours to spend in Iceland, don’t just wait at the airport. The famous Blue Lagoon ranked one of the 25 wonders of the world by National Geographic, is just a 20-minute drive from the airport.

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal lake and a world-class spa. Thanks to the location and to its remarkable, milky-blue color, this geothermal pool is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Iceland. Take a pampering bath and experience the magical health benefits of Blue Lagoon minerals and silica.

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon

Admire the surreal landscape that surrounds the lagoon from all directions. Sometimes the Northern Lights may even make an appearance and dance over the skies in wintertime. Can you imagine this experience? This place is sure to enchant you, no matter which season you choose for your visit.

If you prefer visiting the capital, you can spend your time with discovering the city. With only 123,000 people living in Reykjavík, it is one of the smallest capitals in the world. Join a city tour and visit the many must-see places, letting the unmatched Nordic charm envelop you!  

Reykjavík city center and the Hallgrímskirjka church

Reykjavík city center and the Hallgrímskirjka church

If you like adventures, you can join a whale watching or horseback riding tour, or get on an ATV/Quad adventure sightseeing tour over Reykjavík with stunning views. You will find multiple options of all these.

One-Day Stopover in Iceland

If you decide to stay in Iceland for a whole day, go explore the country's magnificent nature and unique landscapes! Fortunately, some of the most popular tourist attractions are very close to the capital.

The famous Golden Circle route features inspiring locations with abundant history and unique geological wonders.

The Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO heritage site. Here you can walk between the continents. Namely, the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates meet and move apart here.

Furthermore, this place is Iceland’s most significant historic site. The country’s first parliament was founded here over 1000 years ago and was the first democratic national parliament in the world.

The next stop on the Golden Circle Route is a fierce geothermal field with an active geyser. Strokkur erupts every 5 to 8 minutes.  It is the most energetic spouting hot spring in Iceland. The eruptions sometimes reach a height of 40 meters, yet the geyser generally blows up to 10 or 20 meters.

Strokkur geyser erupting

Strokkur geyser erupting

The third stop would be the powerful Gullfoss Waterfall.  It carries enormous quantities of water that cascades down two huge steps (11 and 22 meters), descending into a deep gorge.

In summertime, it is possible to walk up close to it, where you can feel the spray of the glacial water on your face. On sunny days, a rainbow is very likely to show up over the waterfall.

 Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall

Finally, you can visit a natural geothermal lake, the charming Secret Lagoon. It is a natural hot spring pool with about 38°–40° Celsius warm water. Here you can soak and relax surrounded by geothermal streams, bubbling hot pots and tiny geysers. In wintertime, you’ll have a pretty good chance of seeing the northern lights show in the skies! A perfect way of closing the tour of a lifetime.

The Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon

The Golden Circle is the perfect day tour from Reykjavik, and it is a must-visit when you go to Iceland!

Two-Days Stopover in Iceland

If you have two days to spend in Iceland, travel the Golden Circle route on one of those days. For the other day, we strongly recommend visiting Iceland’s south coast. Along with the Golden Circle, it is the most visited and probably the most beautiful place in the country! Moreover, this area is among the most beautiful European destinations for sure.

The Golden Circle route and the south coast can’t fit in one day but you can easily visit both sites if you have two days. Along the southern coastline, you will see two tremendous waterfalls, some of Iceland’s most famous glaciers, impressive mountains, plenty of active volcanoes and dramatic black beaches.

The first stop on this tour is the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which cascades from ancient sea cliffs, dropping over 60 meters (197 feet). The water flow has its origin at the infamous volcano glacier, Eyjafjallajökull. But the main reason for Seljalandsfoss being the most beloved waterfall is the fact that you can walk behind the fall!

The beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall in south Iceland

The beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall in south Iceland

You will also see the notorious Eyjafjallajökull. A massive 100 km2 icecap covers the top of the furious volcano. It erupted most recently in the spring of 2010, forcing  800 local people to leave their homes. The eruption took six days and caused a huge air traffic disruption across northwest Europe.

Iceland’s second most famous waterfall, the incredibly photogenic Skógafoss is located about 30 kilometers from Seljalandsfoss. It is also 60 m tall (197 ft) but much wider, 25 m wide (80 ft). Skógafoss is a very powerful waterfall. Due to the amount of spray it produces, single and even double rainbows are often seen on sunny days.

Skógafoss waterfall

Skógafoss waterfall

On this tour, you’ll also get to see the famous Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. This amazing volcanic beach has basalt columns, towering cliffs, dramatic sea stacks and a huge cave. The place is, indeed, entirely unique and breathtaking!

Reynisfjara black sand beach

Reynisfjara black sand beach

Some of the most characteristic phenomena in Iceland are the sparkling blue glaciers. Thanks to their fortunate location, some of the outlet glaciers are very easy to access. On this tour, you get geared up with crampons you will walk up to the surface of a glacier, accompanied by a professional glacier guide. These might be the most exciting moments of your Iceland adventure!

Hiking on a glacier in south Iceland

Hiking on a glacier in south Iceland

Three-Days Stopover in Iceland

If you have a whopping three days in Iceland, you are lucky. You will have enough time to see the most thrilling natural phenomenon in Iceland.

Besides traveling around the Golden Circle and the south coast, you can go further to east.  You will arrive at the Vatnajökull National Park where Europe's largest ice cap dominates the landscape. After driving by plenty of stunning glacier tongues, you will reach the marvelous Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon.

Blue ice bergs floating on the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Blue ice bergs floating on the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

It is a stunning and dreamy glacier lake where huge ice chunks break off from the glacier into a lagoon. Then they float through it towards the open ocean. This thrilling environment is constantly changing and never looks the same.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon has been the filming location of many Hollywood movies. Among the more famous ones are Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and the James Bond film: Die Another Day.

Plenty of seals live in the lagoon

Plenty of seals live in the lagoon

One kilometer from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon lies the Diamond Beach. This is the place where chunks of the centuries-old glacial ice get washed up on the seashore. Broken into a million pieces, they resemble a multitude of sparkling diamonds. This magical place is surely something to remember for a lifetime!

Stopover in Iceland