Planning tours across beautiful attractions of Iceland has become challenging due to the rising number of options. Fortunately, the country offers twelve exquisite tours, especially for travelers planning to pack their bags during the pandemic. Thus, they ensure a joyful and adventurous time while maintaining the precautions.
12. Whale Watching
One of the most cost-effective tours in Iceland is whale watching. You can spend hours watching these beautiful water creatures swim and jump around the sea just a short distance from land. You can go whale watching from Reykjavik, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Westfjords or North Iceland. The experience is merely unforgettable, especially for whale lovers. The tours usually have no age limit and doesn’t require managing your fitness level. Also, it usually takes three hours to cover. However, tourists that take an RHIB boat can cover it in merely 1.5 hours.
While whale tours happen throughout the year at the Reykjavík’s harbor, there are seasonal tours in north and west Iceland. Some of the tours are available during the summer while others are only available during the winter. The types of whales found in Iceland include minke, humpback, orca, white-beaked dolphins, pilot, harbor porpoises, and beaked.
White-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, and minkes are mostly found at Faxaflói Bay. It is the most common spot for ending whale tours.
Whale Watching Tours in Iceland
One of the most renowned activities in Iceland is snowmobiling. These happen at the glaciers of the country. Tourists do this using a snowmobile. The vehicle allows people to glide across glaciers and even explore the snow-covered volcanoes. The duration of snowmobiling tours is entirely dependent on your package. You can often find snowmobiling tours as complimentary with sightseeing, glacier walking, hiking, ice cave visitations, etc.
Before going on a snowmobile tour, you should gear up with overalls, gloves, glasses, helmets, and overshoes. Some of the best places in Iceland for such tours include places like Vatnajökull glacier, Langjökull glacier, Myrdalsjokull volcano, Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Akureyri, and Tröllaskagi. The snowmobiling tours come with specific rules and regulations. For example, pregnant women in their second trimester would require a doctor’s permit. It is also unavailable for children below eight years of age. It doesn’t require prior experience, but a driver’s license is mandatory along with the chosen vehicle.
Snowmobile Tours in Iceland
10. Horse Riding
The horse riding tradition began in Iceland in the mid-9th century. Presently, there are five gaits of horses in the country. The Tolt is famous for its smooth riding experience, and the Skeið can deliver a speed exceeding 49 km/hr. Iceland currently has horses in 40 colors and 100 patterns. Also, some of the horses change colors and patterns. For example, the litföróttur is an Icelandic horse renowned for switching colors.
The best time for horse riding tours in Iceland is between April and September. The spring-summer season opens new routes for you—the perfect month for a horse riding expedition in June. The world-famous midnight sun happens between the 16th and 29th of this month. It is referred to as midnight sun because sunsets happen after twelve during these dates. In addition, you can also find many great horse riding tours all year. You can even undergo the northern light experience during September to April.
Some of the best sites for horse riding tours include Reykjavik, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Golden Circle, the Central Highlands, Landmannalaugar, Skagafjörður, Eyjafjörður, Black Sand Beach, and the South Coast. Tourists should wear comfortable pants, insulated jackets, warm layers, closed shoes, helmets, and other essential accessories.
Horse Riding Tours in Iceland
9. Sightseeing Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Snæfellsnes is renowned for volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, lava fields, rivers, mountains, valleys, beaches, bird sighting, natural reserves, lakes, and rock formations. At times, the Snæfellsnes becomes visible from Reykjavík. The south side of the peninsula is known for the Eldborg crater and Gerðuberg basalt cliffs. The latter has more than a hundred geometric precision-based basalt columns. After that, you would become close to the animal lover hotspot, the Ytri-Tunga beach.
The beach is home to many seals visible throughout the year. You would next proceed towards the Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge and the Búðir village. Across the national park, you would also see two more villages – Hellnar and Arnarstapi. Hellnar is mostly abandoned, but Arnarstapi is renowned for fishing and coastal geology. Inside the park, you would also see Vatnshellir lava cave, Djúpalónssandur sand beach, and Lóndrangar basalt plug, i.e., renowned for birdlife.
The Snæfellsnes tour would also include Kirkjufell and Stykkishólmur. You can take a bus or minibus tour to explore the peninsula in one or two day excursions. Activities like kayaking and whale watching are also available under Mt. Kirkjufell. Optionally, a tour from Stykkisholmur can unravel boating, birdwatching, and a ferry that will take you over to the Westfjords and Breiðafjörður Bay islands.