North Iceland offers a multitude of opportunities for those who want adventurous activities in a true natural paradise. There are untold possibilities for outdoor recreation, so that everyone will find something to enjoy. Golf courses are widespread, and there is a great variety of pretty hiking routes, while fishing, horse riding and boating on the sea, rivers or lakes are also popular choices. Organised excursionsand outdoor activity tours will take one between towns, out to islands and into the highlands, allowing the chance to see the magnificent landscape the North has to offer. Nearly every area has an outdoor swimming pool, and facilities for tourists are top-notch.
Adventure awaits you in the North.
For those who prefer to be pampered, there are several options. Luxury accomodations can be found in most parts of the country as well as world class dining and health spas that will cater to the customer’s every whim. There is also the option of hiring a privite guide and driver.
Seals are incredibly beautiful and entertaining creatures and they are also said to be quite curious. Seal watching is a wonderful activity for the entire family.
The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) and the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) are the only species to pup around Iceland, 4 other visit the island on a regular basis. Those species are harp seal (Phoca groenlandica), bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) og ringed seal (Phoca hispida). Walruses have also been found around Iceland but they are very rare.
The Icelandic Seal Center created and runds the multi-national project The Wild North which aims to research the effects of tourism on wildlife in the North Atlantic region and produce a set of guidelines and advice for both tourism operators, the grneral public and local and national goverenment authorities.
In 2011 a trail code of conduct was created for the watching of seals on the Vtansnes peninsula. The code of conduct can be found by clicking here.
Photographing Iceland is an extremely popular activity. No surprise there as Iceland is a very photogenic country. Special photo tours are available, where participants receive guidance and advice from a professional photographer, who also selects interesting locations for photographing.
It is not surprising that these horses were called man's most necessary servant, considering the total lack of roads in former times. Leading through the untouched, charming nature of North Iceland, riding trails follow the coast, wind into the scenic mountains, or revive the use of age-old trails with varied history.
Experiencing an autumn roundup by the owners of free-ranging horses is no less of an adventure. Sitting on the corral fence and watching the action, you will see excitement, hear singing, and find happiness in every face. Many places in North Iceland have special exhibitions that introduce travellers to the Icelandic horse, and events related to riding and raising horses are always on the increase.
For spelunkers and potholers, Iceland has scores of caves, large and small, deep and shallow, to be explored. Some caves may be explored without a guide and many agencies offer cave exploration tours for others.
Few things are more cozy than relaxing in a hot pool in the middle of nature. Iceland has an abundance of easily accesible natural pools
Many travel agencies specialize in different kinds of jeep exhibitions. A jeep tour on a glacier with breathtaking views is an unforgettable experience.
From whale watching to puffin tours to northern light cruises, coast hugging trips and more, they each provide an enjoyable and memorable experience.
In many parts of the country there are indoor and outdoor parks for the entire family to enjoy.
North Iceland has numerous swimming pools, mostly outdoors. These are nearly always fed with fresh, clear geothermal water, although a few swimming pools are heated in other ways and are usually indoors. While many decades ago Icelandic pools were built in order to teach people to swim, supplemental services have been added with time, including hot tubs, saunas, steam baths, tanning tables, water slides, children's and splash pools, and play equipment.
No better spot is imaginable for re-tanking physically and mentally on a cold autumn or winter day, or after the strain of a hiking or skiing trip, than a swimming pool with its hot tubs and saunas.
Swimming brings health and beauty!
Exhilarating options for the equally adventurous beginner or expert, are the fresh water and sea diving tours available, in North Iceland you can see the world phenomenon Stryta.
During recent years, services for walkers and hikers have increased significantly in North Iceland tourism.
The hallmark of North Iceland for walkers is its wide variety of trails. In the vicinity of Sauðárkrókur, for example, there are easy routes for the whole family, while quite demanding terrain awaits in the next mountain range to the east, such as near Hólar in Hjaltadalur valley and at many places in the Tröllaskagi mountains between Skagafjörður and Eyjafjörður. The peninsula east of Eyjafjörður, as well as many other areas, displays remnants of deserted communities; anyone interested in the Icelandic sagas, on the other hand, might try the Húnavatn counties for tracing the steps of heroes like Grettir.
Many mountainous areas have huts owned by the touring clubs for hiker accommodation, whereas the lowland parts of North Iceland offer an assortment of lodging in both urban and rural areas.
There is no difficulty linking your walk to fishing, a museum, a boat ride, whale watching, observing seals, river rafting, horse riding or whatever else - plenty is happening in North Iceland.
Just put on your hiking boots - here is where you will find adventure!
The rich bird life of the North, distributed over widely varying habitats, displays a diversity seldom surpassed in Iceland. Wetlands are important as a habitat for many Icelandic breeding species, and of the Icelandic wetlands which are famed for rich bird life, several of the most renowned are in North Iceland.
Mývatn lake and the nearby Laxá river are home to more duck species than any other place in the world, while examples of other wetlands include Svarfaðardalur and the islets at the mouth of Eyjafjarðará. Some well-known bird cliffs are located in the North, such as at Grímsey, Rauðinúpur and Langanes, besides the islands of Lundey in Skjálfandi and Mánáreyjar just eastwards, with their large puffin colonies. Skoruvíkurbjarg is one of the best places in Iceland to see Guillemots at nesting site and the best place to see the Northern Gannet. The cliffs at Langanes hosts hundreds of thousands of the auks and guillemots of Iceland, including the uncommon Brunnich’s Guillemot.
The seaward end of the peninsula off which these islands lie, Tjörnes, has abundant puffins at points where it is easy to approach and observe them.
For those interested in flying or observing scenery from above or a bit of both, aerial sightseeing tours by plane or helicopter are awe inspiring experiences. For those whom are in to skiing there are world famous Heli skiing areas in North Iceland.
For family travelers, mini-zoos or petting zoos are a enjoyable options. Another option is a vist to an open farm where visitors are allowed to watch the farm animals and pet them and assist in the feeding them. These visits are very popular with the youngest generation.
Many agencies offer snowmobile-, snowcat- or ATV tours. They are suitable for anyone looking for a little excitement and adventure while on vacation.
Great fun for people of all ages, sea angling trips are available in most parts of the country.
North Iceland is the number one destination for Icelander's winter activity's. In North Iceland are six ski resorts. In the north is the best ski resort in Iceland and that is Hlíðarfjall. If you like action heli skiing in Tröllaskagi could be something for you. In winter there are multiple attractions in the North, you can go on a whale watching trip from Akureyri, Dalvík and Húsavík, northern light trips are just around the corner and the culture blossom's during the winter with live theater and music. You should not miss the Yule Lads, they live in Dimmuborgir and tease people that come around. In December you can expect a white christmas in North Iceland and from October to April the North is truly a winter wonderland.
It´s unlikely that anyone will ever forget the first time they tried ice climbing. Agencies in many parts of the country offer ice climbing tours.
Iceland is the perfect arena for all sorts of team building. The possibilities are almost endless.
From February to the end of April is the time for ice fishing. The most common catch is trout. There are occassional ice fishing competitions held in different parts of the country.
Cycling is an inexpensive, exhilarating and earth friendly way to tour and enjoy the country. Short and long term bicycle rentals as well as guided biclycle tours are available.
Kayaking is an exhilarating experiance and many agencies throughout the country offer kayak tours on lakes, ponds and the ocean.
Ski Iceland is easy. In North Iceland there are seven well-equipped and flood-lit ski resorts open from November to May, offering ski rental and ski schools for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or an extreme skier you got the right place. We also have excellent facilities for cross-country skiing, sport tours and extreme sport experiences.
Watching whales has become one of the most common activities among foreign visitors to North Iceland. In fact, Húsavík and Eyjafjörður were among the first places in the country as a whole that offered whale-watching excursions.
The number of species, along with favourable weather and sea conditions, make North Iceland one of the best Icelandic areas for spotting whales. Skjálfandi and Eyjafjörður are sheltered bays, perfect for a boat ride on a summer's day, surrounded by birds and beautiful scenery. The experience becomes complete by seeing dolphins and minke, humpback or even blue whales play beside one of the particularly appealing oakwood boats used exclusively in North Iceland.
Watching a whale off North Iceland will fascinate anyone.
During the summer months you can play golf all night long in the midnight sun. On average there are only 30km between the 14 different golf courses in the North.
All these different golf courses are built in to a nature of their own with stunning secnery and breathtaking light during the summer. Peace, quiet and unique nature will give you a Golfing experience you´ll never forget. If you want a real challenge you participate in the Arctic Open Tournament at Jadar Golf Club in Akureyri, the most Northerly 18 holes Golf course in the world. The Arctic Open takes place during the bright Midsummer Nights!
Icelandhas an abundance og lakes and rivers teeming with salmon and trout and attract many anglers. The opportunities for participating are limitless.
Anyone seeking excitement will find river rafting down Jökulsá Vestari or Jökulsá Austari ideal. Trips on these two adventurous glacial rivers are extremely popular, since the streams run through unique, spectacular canyons which draw ever more people to try this experience.
While floating down these rivers, you will see plenty of impressive scenery and noteworthy locations. Why not try out river rafting for yourself, where the conditions are the best in Iceland? The excitement and the pretty nature of Skagafjörður are a wonderful mixture! Experienced Icelandic and foreign guides accompany the rafts, ensuring complete safety.
You are not likely to forget your moments on the billowing waves of any of these glacial rivers.
A healthy and economical way of working out, for many people running is an essential part of a good day. Running in a diverse and beautiful landscapes as in Iceland, makes it even better.
Iceland has many options for the hunter. Game most commonly hunted are deer, certain types of ducks and geese as well as seabirds. The hunting takes place in mountain pastures, private lands, the beaches and the sea.
Some people have always dreamed of trying out a motorcycle. For others biking is a lifestyle. For those who prefer biking to walking or riding in cars, motorcycle tours are a fine alternative.