Many of you may have noticed that Icelandic flights such as WOW Air or Icelandair travelling from the US or Canada to Europe or the other way, are offering amazing deals on flights.
The flights come at a better deal than most airlines especially with a stopover in Keflavik Airport, Iceland, but there are also initiative programs in place that allow you to “stop and stay” in Iceland for no added cost.
One such initiative is the Icelandair stopover initiative which is incentivised to encourage visitors to stop and stay in Iceland for a few days. In fact, up to 7 days. Free stopover… who wouldn’t take up on the chance to explore Reykjavik and Iceland over a few days?
Seeing as this option has become more and more popular for travellers, we were obliged to offer you some fun ideas of what you can do over your stopover.
Things to bear in mind
- Good timely planning is absolutely essential when booking travel and tours within Iceland and allowing for travel time to and from the airport.
- Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik or vice versa, takes about 50 minutes.
- Also, you need to arrive at the airport at least 2 to 2.5 hours before your scheduled flight.
- Give everything a little bit more time during winter due to the weather
- Give a little bit more time at the airport during the summer due to the number of visitors
What to do during your stopover in Iceland by number of hours required on each idea and tour
Up to 4 hour stopover
For a very short stopover, your best options is to make your way to Keflavík town also known as Reykjanesbær. It’s close to the airport.
You can visit the Icelandic Museum of Rock ’n’ Roll which is located at the Hljómahöll concert and conference hall. Artists work and some memorabilia including the following artists’ Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Mugison, Sigur Rós, Hjaltalín and others. There’s a nice shop selling all kinds of merchandise too.
Alternatively, you can also visit the Viking World which hosts 5 different exhibitions. The main attraction here being the most amazing viking ship known as the Icelander, the Vikings of North Atlantic produced in part by the Smithsonian Institute, Settlement of Iceland, Fate of the Gods (Norse mythology and myths) and Iceland Saga Trails.
Up to 10 hour stopover
For a longer, day stopover, head over to Reykjavik and engage in some activities there.
You can visit the Nordic House, a cultural place that’s well established and showcases literary events, concerts and exhibitions all year round. Heartwarming food is also served on the premises. There’s also an amazing library and literary archive to browse.
If fine art takes your fancy, wander down to the Gallerí List. Gallerí List is the oldest fine art gallery in Iceland showcasing a huge collection of fine art created by acclaimed Icelandic artists. The art ranges from all types of media, sculptures to ceramics, watercolour to oil paintings, and drawings. Every piece is unique and original and some are available to purchase.
Or perhaps, you’d like to learn more about the Northern Lights, its beauty and facts. Visit the Aurora Reykjavik, Northern Lights Centre. The whole family will be enthralled by what’s on offer here – Education about the Northern Lights, legends and stories from around the world, interactive display shows including and introduction to Northern Light photography.
Why not mix and match with a stop at one of our favourite food and coffee places? Try Kaffi Vinyl – Super fantastic food including vegetarian/vegan food and the most amazing coffee by expert baristas. Why vinyl? You’ve got tunes mixed by a Dj while you chill. Our Rating: 4.9 out of 5.
48 hour stopover in Iceland
Combine a few options from above including an adventure you have always wanted to go on! Bear in mind that some are all year round and some are winter activities.
Dive down into the near crystal clear waters of Silfra fissure and watch one of nature’s wonders unfold right before your eyes on this day trip to Thingvellir National Park.
Total Duration: About 5 hours to and from Reykjavik.
Included: Pick up & drop off from Reykjavik, all snorkelling gear including fins, masks and snorkels plus more
Northern Lights Hunt
An unforgettable experience, witnessing the Aurora Borealis is an intense visual and surprisingly physical experience. The thrill of the chase and its culmination in the appearance of the lights sets a scene never easily forgotten.
Total Duration: About 4 hours to and from Reykjavik (Only in Winter)
Included: Pick up & drop off from Reykjavik • Tour by expert certified guide • Go where coaches can’t go • Entrance to Aurora Reykjavik, Northern Lights Centre.
Offroad Buggy Tour
Take to the rough terrain and open tracks around Esja mountain for a thrill on wheels you won’t forget in a hurry. The buggy trip takes you out to enjoy the mountainous roads and tracks around Esja mountain, a mere 20 minute drive from Reykjavík.
Total Duration: About 3 hours to and from Reykjavik
Included: Shared buggy (or solo), • Certified tour guide • Esja mountain • all safety gear
Fat biking on a a lunar landscape
Fun doesn’t begin to describe this extraordinary adventure that almost replicates the most surreal lunar landscape. A fat bike ride that will last approximately 3 to 4 hours and meander through blackened snow and sand fields and craggy volcanic rocks. The trails in this area are some of the best and different to the trails in other parts of Iceland.
Total Duration: About 5-6 hours to and from Reykjavik.
Included: Pick up & drop off from Reykjavik • Certified mountain biking guide • Carbon Salsa Beargrease fat bike • Helmet
3 days to 7 days stopover in Iceland
We would say “Iceland is your oyster”. You could fit in some pretty exciting longer adventures together with some of the ideas provided so far.
Glacier hiking and Beginner Ice Climbing
This tour takes you to the very edges of Iceland. The Sólheimajökull glacier is an exciting feature of Iceland’s rugged terrain and offers opportunities for adrenaline fuelled exploration. Have fun and learn about glaciers from your experienced glacier guides as you traverse the ridges and crevasses of this icy landscape. In addition, you will have a hand at ice climbing using the specialised gear provided and the guidance of your tour guide.
Total Duration: About 10 hours to and from Reykjavik
Included: Certified professional guide • Glacier hiking • Ice climbing • Safety equipment & gear • Glacier ice crampons • Skógafoss waterfall
Silfra Snorkelling & Lava Caving
For those seeking more than just the thrills of one adventure in a day, the Silfra Snorkeling & Lava Caving will satisfy your urge. This excellent day trip takes place in the UNESCO ranked Thingvellir National Park. One half of the tour takes you below ground to explore the lava caves lying beneath the surface of this historic place. Part two of the day, exchange your safety helmet and head torch for a dry suit and snorkelling gear as you head into the crystal clear waters of the Silfra fissure. No other place in the world offers you the chance to dive between two tectonic plates.
Total Duration: About 8 hours to and from Reykjavik
Included: Pick up & drop off from Reykjavik • Certified PADI & caving guide • All safety gear and equipment • Hot chocolate and cookies to warm you up!
Golden Circle & Glacier Snowmobiling
One of the most popular tours with us due to the number of experiences you can enjoy all in one day, the Golden Circle and Glacier Snowmobile adventure comes highly recommended. The tour encompasses all the natural phenomena which make Iceland a popular adventure destination including the hot spring fields, Gulfoss waterfall, UNESCO heritage site and not forgetting, a glacier snowmobile ride on Iceland’s second largest glacier.
Total Duration: About 10 hours to and from Reykjavik
Included: Pick up & drop off from Reykjavik • Off the beaten track in a 4×4 • Thingvellir national park (UNESCO) • Gullfoss waterfall • Langjökull glacier • Snowmobiling ride
The list goes on and options are plenty. You can check out more by clicking right here. However, the recommended adventures above will help you explore a lot and satisfy your thirst for adventure and fun.
If you want to experience the stunning beauty of Iceland from above then check out these aerial tours which truly give you an unbiased view of what Iceland and its geology is about. Also, if you’re a little short on time, these aerial tours are your ticket to seeing so much!
View Helicopter Tour
Well, enjoy your stopover and if you have any questions at all, send us a message.
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