Best Day Trips from Reykjavík

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year. While the city is a fantastic place to explore, especially during Christmas and New Year, it is also an ideal base for a huge number of day trips. Whether you’re staying in Reykjavík or want to avoid the burden of repacking for multi-day trips, we’ve got the best day trips from Reykjavík for you to explore the very best of Iceland.

1. Þingvellir (Thingvellir)

Thingvellir National Park, or Þingvellir, is a historic site in Iceland, being the seat of the country’s Parliament from the 10th to the 18th centuries. You can still see the remains of the old stone shelters and the Þingvellir Church on-site. 

If you didn’t know it already, Thingvellir sits in a rift valley between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. A hike through the fault valley allows you to discover the extensive rock formations surrounding it. But, if you’re a fan of water, the Silfra fissure (which the rift is called) is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, particularly in the summer.

Location: 806 Selfoss, Iceland

Distance: 30-minute drive from Reykjavík

Aerial view of the Thingvellir National Park showing the Þingvellir Church and Þingvellir House on the Oxara River.

2. Kerid Crater (Kerið)

The Kerid Crater is a volcanic crater found in South Iceland’s Grimsnes area. The crater is filled with bright blue water and looks truly magical. You can walk around its rim in just 20 minutes, but you’ll want to take your time soaking in the breathtaking scenery. The sparkling blue waters are in vivid contrast with Kerið’s volcanic red soil, making it a short but unforgettable day trip from Reykjavík.

Location: 24R7+GW9, 805 Klausturholar, Iceland

Distance: 1 hour drive from Reykjavík

Bright blue water in the Kerid crater near Reykjavík.

3. Haukadalur

The Haukadalur Valley in Iceland is home to some of the most spectacular geysers in the country. Not only that, Haukdalur’s main geyser, which is called Geysir, gave its name to all other geysers. Geysir sits right next to Strokkur, which is famous for erupting every five minutes. The bubbling mud pools and hot springs dotted throughout this other-worldly landscape give you a true feel of the geothermal power of Iceland.

Location: 806, Iceland

Distance: 1 hour 40 minutes drive from Reykjavík

The Haukadalur Geyser Valley in Iceland.

4. Faxaflói Bay

If you want to spot some wildlife during your excursion from the city, Faxaflói Bay is the place to be. Home to large numbers of whales throughout the year, Faxaflói Bay is one of the most popular locations for whale-watching tours in Iceland. On a good day, you’re likely to spot a handful of Minke and Humpback Whales aboard your afternoon cruise out into the sea. And the ships all depart from Reykjavík so you’ll be setting out on your day trip in no time!

A humpback whale jumping above water on a whale-watching tour in Iceland.

5. The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is arguably the most popular geothermal spa with tourists in Iceland. The mist that envelops the water due to the cold climate is fascinating to behold, and the waterfalls in the region add to the scenic views as well. While the warm waters of the lagoon are mineral-rich, you can also take things up a notch with spa treatments on-site which also utilize these naturally occurring minerals.

Location: 241, Iceland

Distance: 50 mins drive from Reykjavík

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

6.The Golden Circle

There’s a reason why the Golden Circle is one of the most popular day trips from Reykjavík. This sightseeing route covers three of Iceland’s most sought-after attractions, namely; Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir. You could easily cover them in a day, but you’ll want to take your time with the attractions, especially as there are lots of other interesting ones on the route too. 

Gullfoss Waterfall seen on the Golden Circle.

Reykjavík’s location is ideal for day trips to some of the fantastic sights in Iceland. Most of these are about an hour’s drive from the city so you can explore the sights without having to drive for hours. All that’s left for you to do now is book your rental car and start exploring the best of what Iceland has to offer with these incredible day trips.