Things to do in
Northeastern Region, Iceland

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Our most recommended things to do in Northeastern Region, Iceland

Húsavík: Whale Watching by Traditional Wooden Sailing Ship

1. Húsavík: Whale Watching by Traditional Wooden Sailing Ship

Do something different on your visit to Iceland and look for wildlife aboard a traditional wooden sailing ship. Discover the magic of the ocean and get back to nature off the north coast of Iceland. Depart from the harbor in Húsavík and spend 3 hours aboard the oak ship looking for whales and other marine life. Experience the traditional coastal culture of Iceland as you get hands-on and help to raise the sails. Assist the skipper as you cruise around the breathtaking bay of Skjálfandi, created over the centuries by glacial activity. Avail of the services of an attentive crew, who will supply you with warm clothing when needed. Sip tasty hot chocolate and cinnamon buns, available free of charge.

From Akureyri Port: Lake Mývatn Shore Excursion

2. From Akureyri Port: Lake Mývatn Shore Excursion

Benefit from pick-up from your cruise ship in Akureyri Port, and then drive to Lake Mývatn and the surrounding wetlands area near Krafla volcano. Stop at Goðafoss waterfall and hear about its important role in the history of Iceland. Continue to the pseudo craters of Skútustaðagígar, formed when hot flowing lava met with ice cold water from the lake. See the lava fields of Dimmuborgir, rich in mythical sagas and stunning to look at for the lava pillars and rock formations.   Discover the thermal waters of an underground river at Grjotagja, where you will stand on the continental rift between Europe and America. End with a look at the boiling mud pools of Hverir and gaze in awe at the steaming fumaroles and sulfur pits. Return to Akureyri Port at least 1 hour before your ship’s departure for the end of the tour services.

Húsavík: Big Whales and Puffin Island Tour

3. Húsavík: Big Whales and Puffin Island Tour

After check-in at the ticket office, be escorted to the dressing room to receive warm water-resistant overalls and life vests. Sit back and peel your eyes across the rocking waves of the Atlantic, looking for any sign of life. Make sure to bring hats and gloves—it's always colder in the bay than in the town. When everybody is ready the guide will show the way to the boat where passengers will find their seats and get informed about safety regulations on board. The first pit-stop is Puffin Island (during puffin season which is from 1st May- 20th August). Circle around the Island, enjoying the view of thousands of sweet-looking puffins during their breeding period. The next destination is whale watching in Skjálfandi Bay, an area renowned for its rich wildlife, Víknafjöll and Kinnarfjöll mountain ranges. There are 20 different species of cetacean in Iceland, the most common being Humpback and Minke whales. There is a chance to spot rarer species like Orcas, Harbour Porpoises, Blue Whales, etc. With a smaller vessel like a RIB, your captain can get much closer to where these animals swim as small boats make less noise, and are less likely to deter whales. After 2 hours of cruising the ocean, begin the return journey back to the harbor. On your way, you will likely pass one of the numerous nesting Puffin colonies that live in the area—just another fantastic reason to come aboard.

From Dalvik: Arctic Whale Watching in Northern Iceland

4. From Dalvik: Arctic Whale Watching in Northern Iceland

Watch whales in the picturesque landscape of Eyjafjordur and experience sea fishing inside the majestic mountains of Tröllaskagi, an area just short of the Arctic Circle known for its fishing industry. Join an enjoyable and exciting adventure at sea and experience the beautiful wildlife and scenery of Dalvík. Explore the waters of Dalvík, where there is an exceptionally good chance to encounter the great humpback whale, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, small harbor porpoises and sometimes even the majestic blue whale, fin whales or killer whales. Get excited about a tour where guests have seen whales or dolphins in 98% of whale watching tours!

Húsavík: Whale Watching on a Carbon Neutral Oak Boat

5. Húsavík: Whale Watching on a Carbon Neutral Oak Boat

The original whale watching tour is now available carbon neutral. The local tour operator has adopted an active environmental policy based on the idea of sustainable development. In 2015, it became the first whale watching company in the world to offer carbon neutral whale watching. In cooperation with some other actors, a unique hybrid propulsion system that allows running the ship on renewable energy instead of fossil fuel has been developed.  Experience the tour on a carbon neutral boat and discover the magnificent nature of Skjálfandi Bay observing whales, dolphins and seabirds in their natural habitat. Enjoy smooth sailing and treat yourself to a cup of hot cocoa and cinnamon buns. Join the tour and enjoy an authentic wildlife adventure with the pioneers of whale watching in Iceland.

Hjalteyri: Whale-Watching Boat Trip

6. Hjalteyri: Whale-Watching Boat Trip

It's not surprising that many northerners believe that Hjalteyri is one of the best-kept secrets of North Iceland. Eyjafjörður is a favorable habitat for marine life, so favorable in fact that whales were spotted on all of these tours in 2016. On this whale-watching tour, you'll graciously glide through the calm seas of Eyjafjörður under the guidance and expertise of a qualified crew. This tour is approximately two-and-a-half hours long. This tour gives you the unique and exceptional opportunity to get in touch with the magnificent wildlife found in the north of Iceland, most notably the majestic whales and seabirds.

Akureyri: Day Trip to Goðafoss, Lake Mývatn & Nature Baths

7. Akureyri: Day Trip to Goðafoss, Lake Mývatn & Nature Baths

Explore the natural beauty of Iceland during a day tour of Goðafoss Waterfall and Lake Mývatn. Visit a local hot spring and bathe in the soothing water of the nature baths. Leave Akureyri and drive along the scenic coast of Eyjafjordur, one of the longest fjords in the country. The first stop will be Goðafoss, a breathtaking 39-foot-tall waterfall, located in the Skjálfandafljót River. Next, head to Lake Mývatn, whose landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms due to a lava eruption 2,300 years ago. Continue on to the cave of Grjótagjá and stop at the hot spring area at Hverarönd in Námaskarð. Take advantage of the opportunity to relax in the steam baths and geothermal water of Mývatn Nature Baths. On the way back to Akureyri, see the unique lava formations of Dimmuborgir and the pseudocraters of Skútustaðagígar. The last stop will be in Eyjafjordur where you will have time to take plenty of photos with the fjord as your backdrop.

From Reykjavík: 4, 5, 6 or 7-Day Small-Group Ring Road Tour

8. From Reykjavík: 4, 5, 6 or 7-Day Small-Group Ring Road Tour

Spend 4, 5, 6 or 7 days on a road trip around the land of Ice and Fire. Explore and see the best attractions of Iceland and experience an adventure without having to worry about getting around. The maximum number of passengers on this tour is 19 which creates a more personal and enjoyable experience. Day 1 – South Coast of Iceland Departing from Reykjavík, see the Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Glubrabui waterfalls and admire the black-sand shores of Reynisfjara Beach. Finish the day at Skaftafell National Park where you can admire panoramic views on a glacier hike. Day 2 – Adventure in the East Start the day in style with a visit to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach. From May throughout October, a boat tour among icebergs is included, while from November to March you can go ice caving. Later, visit Vestrahorn, Studlagil Canyon (April-October), and drive along the dramatic east coast which boasts long, narrow fjords with steep sides and jagged peaks. At the end of the day, you will soak in Vök Geoathermal Floating Pools Day 3 – Lake Mývatn and waterfalls Today, discover the unique natural volcanic environment of Lake Mývatn. Encounter geothermal hot springs, caves with steaming blue waters, imposing rock formations, unique birdlife, and fauna. Explore highlights such as the magnificent Dettifoss (Apr-Oct), which is Europe’s most powerful waterfall and Góðafoss - the waterfall of Gods. Relax at the end of the day with a visit to Mývatn Natural Geothermal Spa and plunge into silky, blue waters rich in skin-healing minerals. Day 4 – Northern Iceland Start your day at Akureyri, the capital of the North. Here you will enjoy the atmosphere of this charming town and take part in whale-watching boat tour. While driving through the North Coast towards Reykjavik you will have a moment to enjoy the Hvítserkur and Kolugjufur Canyon (April-October). Day 5 (optional) – Borgarfjörður and Lava Caving Admire the great Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of almost 300 ft. Afterwards, see the majestic Barnafoss waterfall and Reykholt Historic Site. Later, head inside the biggest lava cave in Iceland, Viðgelmir, before finishing the day at Deildartunguhver, the highest flowing hot spring in Europe. Day 6 (optional) – Snæfellsnes National Park Spend the day exploring Snæfellsnes National Park. This park has often been referred to as "Iceland in miniature", due to its many varieties of geology. Don't miss a visit here if you want to capture the true spirit and beauty of the island. Day 7 (optional) – Golden Circle Finish your time in Iceland with a journey along Iceland's most popular route. Spot Geysers, The Golden Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and Kerið Volcano, all of which are must-sees for visitors. You may also choose to add a visit to the Blue Lagoon to your tour today.

Lake Mývatn Classic Tour from Akureyri

9. Lake Mývatn Classic Tour from Akureyri

The Lake Mývatn area is considered by many to be the most beautiful place in Iceland. Begin your 8-hour tour with a stop at Goðafoss Waterfall, a picturesque and iconic site located on the Skjálfandafljót River. Your next stop in the Lake Mývatn area will be the pseudo-craters of Skútustaðagígar. You’ll also see more of the area’s highlights, including the Hverir mud pools, Grjótagjá rift and the Dimmuborgir lava fields among others. The final stop of the day is at the Mývatn nature baths, where you’ll have the option of relaxing in a natural pool of geothermal water, located in the middle of lava fields and with great area views.

Iceland 6-Day Ring Road Adventure

10. Iceland 6-Day Ring Road Adventure

Day 1: Golden Circle and South Coast The adventure begins with a pickup in Reykjavik then visit the popular Golden Circle attractions of Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss. Experience spouting geysers, historical and geological wonders, and the beautiful golden falls of Gullfoss. Then make your way to the impressive South Coast where you will be greeted by the magnificent waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss before reaching your accommodation for the night. Day 2: Vik, Skaftafell, and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon After breakfast at your hotel, journey further south towards the charming village of Vik. Make a stop at the unique and photogenic black sand beach of Reynisfjara. After visiting Vik, make your way to the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon with its floating icebergs. The nearby Diamond beach is also on today's agenda. See icebergs that have washed ashore glistening like diamonds on the black sand beach, leaving you feeling like you just stepped into a movie scene. Your accommodation for the night will be in the Hofn area, known for delicious lobster. Day 3: East Fjords Today is all about exploring the East Fjords of Iceland. Driving along the coastline is an experience like no other. It is characterized by narrow roads and remote peninsulas. Before reaching Egilsstadir town, where you will be spending the night, visit Djupivogur fishing village. Take a hike to Hengifoss waterfall and stop by the towering Litlanesfoss waterfall. Day 4: Dettifoss, Myvatn, and Akureyri Drive through the wilderness of Modrudalur to make your way to the capital of the North, Akureyri. Today's highlights include a visit to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. Then Lake Myvatn, where you can enjoy a relaxing bath in the hot spring pools of Myvatn Nature Baths. Finally, see the dreamy Godafoss waterfall. Your accommodation for the night will be at a country hotel near Akureyri.  Day 5: Whale Watching, Siglufjordur, and Trollaskagi The day starts with a drive through the charming town of Akureyri towards Dalvik for a whale-watching adventure. Humpback and minke whales are a common sight and sometimes you might even be able to spot a majestic blue whale. After your adventure at sea, try out your sea angling skills then enjoy a team barbeque with your catch of the day. Make your way to your accommodation for the night in the Bifrost area. Drive through the fishing village of Siglufjordur, which is a charming village rich in history, and the Trollaskagi peninsula, with some of the best ocean scenery you will see.  Day 6: Visit the West Iceland region The day begins with a short hike up to Grábrók, a volcano crater. Stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring, the legendary waterfall, Barnafoss, (the Children´s Waterfall), and the Hraunfossar cascade. You'll also visit Reykholt, home to Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic historian, lawyer, politician, poet, and the author of some Icelandic Sagas. On the way back to Reykjavik you'll drive around the scenic fjord, Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord).

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What people are saying about Northeastern Region, Iceland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,494 reviews

My sister and I were very satisfied with the tour. It started a bit slow, but the boat was pleasant (full size wooden boat, not a dingy) about an hour and a half in, they changed direction to find whales other groups had seen. We saw Harbor Whale and a Minke Whale. It was difficult to get pictures because all the 6ft 6 men stood in front...awful We spent an extra hour on the trip because they went out of their way to find a Humpback Whale in the area. Definitely worth it. Overall, I recommend. Just remember, it's not the movies, the whale don't jump out of the water and give you a high five. Have reasonable expectations and you'll enjoy it!

My group has been upgraded to the express whale watching. It was fantastic! We had a nice tour of Akureyri coast, we passed by many different interesting locations as the herring factory. And of course we were so lucky to see 3 whales. It was incredible. We really loved the tour and our guide Anna and the team were amazing. Definitely recommended.

The captain was amazing. He saw an opportunity to take us out further for a rare orca pod sighting and it was well worth it. The guide was communicating with us the whole time and it was fun to listen. I cannot recommend this trip enough.

Unbelievable tour. Saw a humpback whale multiple times. The staff was amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Great natural setting, attentive staff, change/shower facilities v good.