Best Day Trips from Reykjavik

Best Day Trips from Reykjavik

Travel Writer, photographer and Guide!

Would you like to know what are the best 1-day tours and 1-day trips that you can do from Reykjavik? 

You might be in Reykjavik for just a few days so you will want to make the most of your days whilst you're here right? 

Well, this guide is for you because there are so many things you can do and see in Reykjavik that it may be difficult to make a clear decision about what to see and do in 1 day!

​I will go through 3 great 1 day trips that you can do with Reykjavik, in hopes that it will help you make the most of your stay in Iceland!

Overview of what you'll learn about in this guide!

  • 1 day trip to Snaefellsnes Peninsula!
  • 1 day trip on the Golden Circle route!
  • 1 day trip on the South Coast!
  • Other fun activities you can do if you only have one day in Reykjavik​


​Having lived in Iceland for some time and working every day, I don't have the time for going on very long trips out into the wilderness. Usually,  I can go on little weekend adventures, but mostly I do 1-day trips! But there are 1-day trips that feel like amazing and full-blown adventures!

I found that there is so much that you can do in 1 day whilst in Reykjavik as there are so many beautiful and amazing areas and activities to do which are easily accessible from Reykjavik.

All the activities and trips in this list can be done in 1 day meaning that if you can be sure that you'll be back in time before you leave Reykjavik the next day!

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Top things to do Snaefellsnes

​The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is one of the best 1-day trips from Reykjavik for many reasons. Indeed the sheer beauty of the landscape around the Peninsula, mixed with the diversity of natural wonders truly make this adventure one not to miss if you come to Iceland. 

How long does it take to do a self-drive tour there?

The total Snaefellsnes Peninsula tour from and back to Reykjavik is approximately 450km which means you will need a good 5 and half hours of driving in total. 

When you get to the various spots around the Peninsula you will want to stop, walk around and explore so depending on how long you spend at each spot, the whole trip could easily take up to 10 or 12 hours! ​

This might sound like a lot and maybe a bit too much for one day, ​but it is 100% worth it! The scenery is not repetitive and there are some breathtaking things to see on the way! 

Photography by Guillaume Demerliac

What will you see there? 

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an adventure in of itself because there is so much to see in that part of Iceland! 

I personally think that the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is one of the most amazing parts of Iceland. It is filled with life and dominated by the magnificence of the Icelandic wilderness. 

​These are some of the things you have to check out when you go to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula: 

  • Snaefellsjokull ​Glacier
  • The famous Kirkjufell & its waterfalls
  • Fishing villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar
  • Impressive coastal rock formations & cliffs
  • Golden beach at Djúpalónssandur
  • Amazing landscapes, old farms, wildlife and so much more!

What if you don't have a car? Are there organised tours that go there?

Yes, absolutely!

Again, because of the beauty and the 'must-see' nature of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, we have a fantastic tour that takes you there and makes you see all the beauties of the place without the hassle of having to drive there yourself!

Our tour lasts a total of 10 hours and they is only with small groups.​

So you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride and enjoy the adventure!

So what are you waiting for? Go check out our Snaefellsnes Peninsula tour now!​

The golden Circle 

Golden Circle - Geysir

Geysir - Photography by Guillaume Demerliac

If you are coming to Iceland, chances are that you have already heard about the Golden Circle.

It is arguably the most popular route and tour to do in Iceland for the simple and good reasons that it is very easy to do from Reykjavik and have a great number of things to see, some of which are the most well-known and popular things to see in Iceland!

The Golden circle is much more popular than the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and whilst still witnessing some amazing sights, landscapes and natural geothermal phenomenons, it requires less driving!

How long does it take to do a self-drive tour there?

The Golden Circle is a bit smaller and much closer to Reykjavik than the Snaefellsnes Peninsula meaning that it does not actually take as long to do. The route itself covers about 300km and has a good number of different stops. The total tour will take you between 6 and 8 hours depending on how long you stop at various places. 

Again, this sounds like a lot but considering that there is so much to see and do, you can be sure that the time will fly by and you be craving for more

What will you see on the Golden Circle?

​The Golden Circle is the most popular tour and route in Iceland because it connects some of the most impressive and unique parts of Iceland. 

​It encompasses a great mixture of different things to see such as mouth-watering landscapes, waterfalls, geothermal oddities, and hot springs!

After doing the Golden Circle you will come home feeling like you have seen no-end of amazing things!

The main attractions that you will see are: 

  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Geysir Geothermal area
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Hveragerdi geothermal village
  • Faxi Waterfall 
  • Secret Lagoon 
  • Kerid Volcanic Crater

Gullfoss (Falls)

Did you know that you can go snorkelling in the clearest waters in the world at Thingvellir? Check it out here! 

Photography by Guillaume Demerliac

What if you don't have a car? Are there organised tours that go there?

Yes of course! 

Here at Wake Up Reykjavik, we are proud to offer the best Golden Circle tour in the whole of Iceland!

We will take you in a small group to go and see all the wonders that we have on the Golden Circle tour! 

The tour itself takes approximately 8 hours from start to finish (with pick-up and drop off from your hotel!).

Our Golden Circle Tour is definitely the one you should check out if you want to do the Golden Circle without your own car! 

Alternatively, we also offer a new Golden Circle tour with exclusive entry to the Secret Lagoon at the end! Go check it out here!  ​Hot Spring & Golden Circle tour

South Coast 1-day trip

If you have one day to spare in Iceland and you don't fancy doing the Golden Circle or the Snaefellsnes Peninsula then fear not because there is another great 1-day trip that you can do! The South Coast!

​If you like waterfall, amazing scenery, cliffs and beaches then this is a route you should really consider doing. It is amongst the most popular routes in Iceland as you can visit some amazing sites on it. 

How long does it take to do the South Coast route?​

The South Coast is obviously quite long in Iceland and you would not be able to go all the way to Hofn and back in 1 day. However, you can quite easily have a fantastic trip on the South Coast by driving from Reykjavik to Vik and back!

The road from Reykjavik to Vik is about 190km so the full trip would involve about 5 hours of driving (380km in total). The route to the south of Iceland is amazing and there are so many fantastic things to see and do on the way that makes it an absolutely fantastic self-drive experience to do with your friends or family (or alone!).

​What will you see on the South Coast? 

​There is nothing quite like driving through Iceland and seeing the countryside and its wilderness

Driving from Reykjavik you will get to see the amazing shift from urban areas to the middle of nowhere and you won't be able to blink your eyes before the landscape changes again!

The south coast is home to some beautiful natural wonders as well as oddities and coastal towns and glaciers

There is even a crashed WW2 plane in the middle of nowhere that you can check out!​

These are the best things you'll see on the South Coast:

  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Svinafellsjökull Icelandic glacier
  • Crashed plane at Solheimasandur
  • The Black Sand Beach
  • Dyrholaey Puffin colonies 
  • Small coastal town of Vík
Best South Coast Iceland tour
Abandonned DC place

Photography by Guillaume Demerliac.

What if you don't have a car? Are there tours that go there?​

If you don't have a car but you quite like the sound of this amazing adventure then fear not because we have handpicked the best South Coast Adventure tour just for you!

On this South Coast Adventure, we will take you along the South/East coastline from Reykjavik to Vík in Mýrdalur.

On the way you will come across some of the all-time most beautiful sights and natural wonders that Iceland has to offer, such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall which you can walk behind, the powerful Skogafoss waterfall, Svinafellsjokull glacier, Reynisfjara or the Black Sand Beach and Dyrholaey cliffs where puffins can often be seen during the summer months (April-September).​

Things to do South Iceland

Other things you can do in 1 day

Here at Wake Up Reykjavik, we are experts at making people have the best time possible in Iceland and if you just have 1 day to spend, then fear not because here is a quick list of some amazing things you can do and see:​

Blue Lagoon!

Have a dip in the world's most famous Hot Spring! You will not regret it, it's amazing!

Horse Riding

Get on the back of purebred Icelandic horse and explore the Icelandic landscapes! You can book a horse riding tour with us now! ​

Whale Watching!

Whale Watching Iceland from Reykjavik

Witness one of the Ocean's most amazing and beautiful creatures with our fantastic Whale watching tour... This is a must-do tour for all of us animal lovers out there!​

ATV Mountain tour!​

​This one is for all of you adrenaline junkies, we have handpicked one of the most thrilling adventures, an ATV mountain experience! Find out more about this tour here!


Hopefully, you now have a better idea about what day trips you can do if you only have one day in Reykjavik!

If you have more time in Reykjavik then it's totally worth it to do all of them and have the experience of a lifetime!

You will get to see waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, wildlife and so much more!

And better yet, if you have at least a week in Iceland, check out our guide to doing a self-drive road trip around Iceland in 7 days, that way you'll be able to do and see everything that Iceland has to offer!​

Let us know if you have had the chance of doing any of these tours and what your favourite places were!


Your Travel guide and friend,


Would you like to know what are the best 1-day tours and 1-day trips that you can do from Reykjavik? You might be in Reykjavik for just a few days so you will want to make the most of your days whilst you’re here right? Well, read this guide for the answers to all of your questions!


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