My Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to Iceland

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Let me guess—you are all set to discover yourself on a solo trip and have picked Iceland as your destination! Well, well, no prizes for guessing that you have hit the jackpot! Iceland is the perfect choice for solo travel. With its glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and breathtaking waterfalls, ‘the Land of Fire and Ice’ will leave no stone unturned to impress you!

Since you are travelling solo, you may keep the planning bit for the eleventh hour! But there is so much to do and so much to see in Iceland that it may leave you slightly overwhelmed if you land up completely unprepared.

In this blog, I will share my two cents on how you can make the most of your solo travel to Iceland!

1. Make adventure a priority

When I go on family trips, adventure mostly takes a backseat. The trip remains restricted to sightseeing. So when I landed in Iceland, I knew I had to make the most of this trip. In fact, you can afford to be adventurous in this wonderland as it has so much to offer you!

Hiking volcanic trails

Yes, you are reading it right—you can hike the beautiful volcanic trails in Iceland. Not only can you hike along the dormant volcanic trails, but you can watch the latest volcanic eruption! Less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, Geldingadalsgos volcanic site saw an eruption in 2021 and has tourists flocking to the spot. 

The other volcanic trails that you can explore are Laugavegur, Þórsmörk, and Fimmvörðuháls. In fact, you can consider a week-long guided volcanic hike tour along with camping if you are serious about hiking!

While it is important to push yourself, do take your fitness level into account while going for these hikes. You would not want to end up sick on a solo trip!   

What about glacier tours?

There are multiple ways how you can experience glaciers in Iceland. One of them is a glacier walk! Inside Skaftafell Nature Reserve, you can go take the Skaftafell Glacier Walk to Vatnajokull, which is Europe’s largest glacier! You can consider guided ice caving adventures too inside the Vatnajokull glacier.

You can also consider going for a walk inside the 800-meter-long tunnel at Iceland’s second-largest glacier Langjökull. This tunnel is man-made, and you can go visit this at any time of the year! Fun fact, this glacier also has a chapel!

Have you thought of a snowmobile excursion? It is equally thrilling, and you can swap a hike with this one if you feel you are not ready for the long walks!

Wait, the list is still on! The other ways that you can experience a glacier are sailing and kayaking (this one is quite intense, yes!)

Some people even consider helicopter tours of glaciers from Reykjavik, but that be difficult on the pocket on a solo trip!

Diving, snorkelling 

If you are up for discovering crystal clear water, narrow underwater passages, nudibranch (beautiful soft-bodied mollusc), and wolf fishes (calm down, they are harmless), go scuba diving in Iceland. 

Some of the diving spots that you can consider are the Silfra fissure located in Thingvellir National Park, Davidsgja ad Nesgja. While the Silva fissure is among the top 10 dive sites in the world, the other two are relatively less known!

Paragliding

The rush of experiencing an adventure like paragliding and enjoying an aerial view of Iceland at the same time—gosh, even reliving it is giving me goosebumps! The most spectacular was witnessing the black sand beach while literally hovering around the town!

You can book yourself a paragliding tour and enjoy the thrill! You can even consider combining it with a whale watching or snorkelling tour.

2. Find relaxing things to do 

Iceland is one of the best destinations to unwind and let your worries washed away! For me, the whole point of a solo trip is to find relaxing things to do. If you are looking out to do the same, this will truly be a dream-come-true trip for you.

Enjoy a spa

Make sure you include thermal spas in your itinerary if you love unwinding by yourself! Be it a mud mask, sauna, or steam bath—Blue Lagoon is the perfect choice for healing your skin and your mind! You can enjoy a drink in this warm, naturally warm pool and feel mesmerised by your surroundings. The Retreat Spa, Grindavik, is another amazing experience while in Iceland. 

I suggest you also take advantage of the free geothermal pools in Iceland and rejuvenate yourself while spending nothing! The benefits of different minerals found in hot water springs are not unknown. So not only can you indulge in wellness therapy but also enjoy the breathtaking views around these natural hot springs!

Explore the city centre on foot    

There is no better joy than exploring the city centre on foot and finding your moment of calm amid the tourist bustle. Reykjavik is home to amazing cafes, bars, restaurants, and boutiques. Since you are on your own, do a bit of cafe hopping, attend some coffee roasting workshops, and splurge on some clothes! 

I also suggest that you book yourself a traditional Icelandic spread buffet! What’s better than a lunch date with yourself?

I am sure you will keep at least one evening free of any plans! Go and enjoy the nightlife this evening as you move from one bar to the next making the most of happy hours!

Drive around and view the Northern Lights

What can be more soothing than driving around Iceland to go hunting for the Northern Lights? Imagine music playing in your car as you drive through the most beautiful and contrasting landscapes for miles! And eventually, you find the right spot where you would camp for the night away from the chaos and see the Northern Lights! 

3. Acquaint yourself with Iceland’s art & culture   

Museums & libraries are a must

Be it knowing of the seafarers of Iceland or the music scene, do not return to your home country without getting a feel of the Icelandic culture. You can typically spend a day exploring Icelandic literature in Reykjavik City Library. Museums are another great idea to probe the history of a country. In Iceland, the museums are super interesting, with life-size replicas and audio tour guides. 

The National Museum of Iceland, the Saga Museum, the Culture House Reykjavik City Museum, Perlan—Wonders of Iceland, the Elinar Jonnson Museum are just to name a few!  

Are you a fan of churches and architecture? Drop by Dómirkirkja or Reykjavik Cathedral, Landakotskirkja, Fríkirkjan, Hallgrímskirkja, Brautarholtkirkja and take in the breathtaking work of art.    

Eat the traditional volcanic lava bread

What is a better way to know a country than to taste its most traditional and exotic bread? You may have already guessed by now that I am super romantic when it comes to experiencing food in a new land. Volcanic lava bread is made in a process that is handed down from one generation to another!

Baked in the muddy undergrounds, this bread is Iceland’s treasure! Make sure you eat an authentic piece and not pick up one off the shelves in the supermarket! 

Go to a local fair/festival

This may be difficult to locate, but you have a nose for unusual things, you will surely get to know of one. Talk to locals and small bakeries to know on which date a local fair is scheduled to happen! You will get aplenty essence of Iceland’s local culture at this one.

If you love music festivals, you can book a famous one or even better, go to the countryside and experience the local music scene at a festival! 

solo travel iceland

You can go and catch the latest fashion at Reykjavik Fashion Festival. Try to catch the latest designers at the festival and find out about the additions to the fashion map.   

4. Meet locals, do local things, make new friends

Meeting new people is high on the agenda during my solo travel! I love meeting locals and making friends.

Farm stays and bed and breakfasts are absolutely stellar options to stay with Icelandic families and enjoy the local flavour of the country. There are locals who are willing to show you around the main city and countryside.

Guided walk tours are amazing to discover the nook and corners of Iceland. You can team up with other solo travellers during these tours and go grab coffee or drinks with them! In fact, go for a picnic with fellow travellers amid Iceland’s grand spots.      

You can get invited to a local family for a meal and have the time of your life!

If you are willing to negotiate space issues and mingle with other tourists, stay in a hostel! 

One great way of making new friends is to discover the street art and murals in Reykjavik! The murals lend good vibes and colour to the city. As you sit back and witness the murals, you can bond with other tourists and locals in appreciating them! Art and culture are great conversation initiators!  

For me, hitchhiking was a crazy amount of fun in gaining new friends and local insights into this fairyland.

5. Use different modes of transport

Iceland does not have Uber, which is a blessing in disguise for you. This will push you to explore a range of transport services and make the most of your trip. 

The country has a good network of buses which will come in handy if you are on a budget. These operate both within Reykjavik and outside it. 

Safe taxi services are another great option—be it for airport transfers or shuttling from the city centre to the outskirts! Book your cab in advance if you are venturing out to remote areas. 

Tour packages are a great way of getting around the country and take away the headache of you having to plan the travel. You can actually take off your sneakers/boots and enjoy the extra legroom while sightseeing. It also helps you being among people and have shared experiences!

Ferry services and domestic flights are good options, too, if they are within your budget.       

6. Do touristy things

There is no shying away from the fact that we all love doing touristy things from time to time. 

Go see the Dakota plane crash site and lose yourself amid the ruins. You will see the site brimming with tourists.  

The other touristy yet spectacular to do is going to see the Golden Circle route. This includes the UNESCO world heritage site Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir Geyser—a hub of geothermal activity. 

Iceland is blessed with numerous waterfalls—Skofagoss, Gulfoss, Dettifoss, Haifoss, Godafoss, and Seljalandsfoss will blow you over. Reserve a day to go and stand near the waterfalls. Probably it will inspire you to start writing a novel! 

7. The right wardrobe is an absolute essential

If you thought the English weather is unpredictable, wait, you have not met Icelandic weather! The weather changes in a jiffy, and you would not want to be caught unaware without the right clothing. 

Firstly, you should pack depending on which season you are visiting Iceland. But some clothes should be regular items independent of which season you are visiting!   

solo travel iceland

Layered clothing, be it the top or bottom, is essential if you are hiking volcanic trails. A rain jacket for the strong wind currents, a beanie, and a pair of gloves are absolute must-haves for your wardrobe. Throw in a scarf as well. 

Go to second-hand thrift shops if you forget to pack an essential or pick up something from the high street.

What is your solo travel guide to Iceland?

Crafting an ultimate solo travel guide to Iceland may seem impossible! But you will chart out your own way in this land of abundance! 

I always find it best to strike a balance between the touristy and non-touristy things to do. Allow yourself plenty of room to relax, and do not get bogged down by cramming your itinerary with sightseeing!

The ultimate solo travel guide to Iceland is to let your guards down and reconnect with your soul! Happy travelling, ladies! 🙂

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Swagachi

An introverted solo female traveller on an adventure around the world.

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