Even if you don’t have time to spend an overnight in Reykjavik, you can arrange flights to arrive in Reykjavik early morning then depart for your final destination late evening, giving you a full 12 hours to explore the small city. Two years ago, I did just this. Admittedly, I was a little bleary eyed after the overnight flight from Seattle, but the crisp and bracing ocean air perked me up sufficiently for a day of wandering. And it was far better than hanging around Duty Free in Keflavik Airport.
The best way to make use of a short window of time like this is to arrange for one of our local guides to meet you at the airport. Car rental is very expensive in Iceland, so hiring a guide with their own car to show you around just makes sense. With a car, you can enjoy Iceland’s most famous natural sights in the Golden Circle: Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Parliament Plains (Þingvellir).
Alternatively, you can spend the day enjoy the refreshing historic city of Reykjavik, with its colourful houses and hilly streets, Scandinavian cultural offerings, splendid ocean vistas, and lively harbour.
And of course, what weary airline passenger wouldn’t want to cap off a day of exploring with a soak in the warm mineral waters of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon?
If you’ve given yourself more than a day in Iceland, your options are wide open: ride Icelandic ponies along the South shore, kayak in Stokkseyri, and gaze at the fabled Northern Lights while sipping from a thermos of hot chocolate. Or consider heading North to Dalvik, where our local guides can take you on a spring ski adventure from the peaks of the mountains in Iceland’s Troll Peninsula right down to the Arctic Ocean. With stable snowpack lasting until June, you’ll be skiing under the Midnight Sun.
So next time you’re booking your trip to Europe, think about adding on a day (or week!) to explore Iceland’s unique natural beauty. You won’t regret it!