How Much Does a Trip to Iceland Cost?

Whatever your budget, making the trip to Iceland is worth doing at least once in your lifetime
Whatever your budget, making the trip to Iceland is worth doing at least once in your lifetime | Robert Lukeman / Unsplash
Gethin Morgan

Content and CRM Executive

Itching to tackle the frozen wilderness of Iceland and making the most of the country’s endless volcanic hot springs? Get real with your planning as we take you through the cost of a trip to the Land of Fire and Ice.

Figuring out what kind of travel budget needed for a vacation in Iceland is no easy task. Unlike many simpler destinations you’ll have to consider booking cost for experiences and activities, as well as sorting overland travel, since you’ll want to see much more than just Reykjavik.

This is all you need to know about the cost of a trip to Iceland.

How much do flights to Iceland cost?

There are multiple factors that could influence the cost of flying to Iceland. There’s the strength of flight connections to your local airport, travel demand and, most notably, peak seasons. Prices are at their most consistently high in the summer months of June, July, and August, while you could also see increases during the festive period, as tourists look to embrace the winter spirit and increase their chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

We always recommend the usual money-saving tricks, like checking multiple flight comparison tools, looking for airline discounts and always planning ahead and booking early. Being flexible with date and time can also save you significant sums of money.

Iceland is one of the cheapest European destinations to reach from the US, partly due its relative proximity in the northern Atlantic. All factors considered, you could be paying anything from $400 to $900. Such fluctuations are a testament to booking during shoulder or off-peak seasons – Iceland is a year-round destination if you’re not too bothered about snow and sunlight!

UK travellers are far closer and will be set back a lot less, but Iceland still isn’t the cheapest European destination for Brits to reach, with flights tending to cost between £100 and £300.

How much does it cost to travel around Iceland?

The tourism boom that hit Iceland’s rugged landscapes in the last decade, coupled with a generally high cost of living, means that you need to set aside a decent budget beyond booking the flights to Reykjavik.

Accommodation is in a similar price bracket to what you’d expect in the UK and US, although leave it to late and expect prices to really rocket – there’s limited options and they can get booked up fast in tourist season.

Penny-pinchers will find their reach a little limited by sticking only to regional public transport, which is why renting cars is so popular here, but that is not cheap at all. You could incur costs of well over $100 a day for renting four wheels.

With high export costs and a limited range of local produce, food in Iceland is also pretty pricey. Expect to spend $30-$40 whenever dining out, although there are also plenty of cheaper take-out options.

The biggest surprise expense people often forget about when planning a trip to Iceland is that almost everything to do here costs money. Beyond Reykjavik there isn’t much gentle city strolling and on-foot discovery. You’ll want to take a trip out to the Golden Circle, you’ll want to go to hot springs and the Blue Lagoon, not to mention the endless supply of adventurous excursions that the island offers.

With all of this in mind, you should set aside somewhere between $150 and $250 per day for a trip to Iceland.

Thoughts of money quickly dissipate when the Northern Lights begin to show off

Why booking a trip to Iceland with Culture Trip is great value for money

Quite simply, unlike many popular travel destinations, Iceland is hard to get around and limited in terms of free activities. This puts tourists in an isolated position that many tacky, tourist trap tour companies are more than willing to exploit. It really pays to have a good guide here, and joining a small-group trip is far superior to large group bus excursions, which are often unreliable and overrated.

Not only is our entire itinerary designed by our Travel Experts to showcase the island’s extraordinary natural beauty and totally unique culture, but our Local Insiders are there to make sure you get a truly authentic Icelandic experience. We’re talking about passionate, knowledgable local guides who have a lifetime of experience and insight and are more than willing to share it, whether that’s secret hiking routes, clothing advice or a sense for when the Northern Lights are coming.

Invariably, booking one complete itinerary is both better value and a lot less stressful than booking individual tours and excursions for each day of your vacation in Iceland. So, let’s take a look at our Culture Trip.

Volcanic Iceland trip

It’s incredible how much adventure we’ve packed into our five-day Volcanic Iceland trip, starting in Reykjavik with a hearty welcome dinner to get the group socialising, and sampling Icelandic delicacies like Arctic char and locally reared beef.

After a tour of the capital we’ll head out to the Borgarfjörður region and the home village of a famous Icelandic saga writer. Here we’ll visit Krauma Natural Geothermal Baths for a soothing soak in baths powered by Europe’s most powerful hot spring.

You’ll get to go on a private tour of the Golden Circle, which includes Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Thingvellir National Park, with a little detour to a geothermal bakery, where you’ll get to sample their uniquely baked rye bread. Then it’s time for a true bucket list moment, as you hop onboard your own snowmobile and zoom across the endless white expanse of a giant glacier.

Gullfoss Waterfall, part of the famous Golden Circle, is one of Iceland’s most spectacular sights

Our final full day takes in the island’s spectacular south coast, where you’ll visit the thundering waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, as well as the iconic black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Then it’s time to get the hiking boots on as we take a three-hour trek across Sólheimajökull’s frozen glacial tongue, capping off our epic journey with a hot drink and a shot of whisky.

Our final morning, before it’s time to fly off, includes a visit to the Blue Lagoon, for a very well-deserved soak in the famous mineral-rich milky waters that first put Iceland on the map.

Prices for our trip to Iceland – boutique accommodation, activities, overland transport, breakfasts and dinners included – start at $2,736, or £2,479. This means that, with flights booked, you can expect a total cost of around $3,000, or £2,500 for UK explorers.

Check out the full itinerary and book your spot today. You can also read a first hand account of our first ever Iceland trip, plus this interview with a customer.

Will you become the latest smiling Culture Tripper to join us in Iceland?

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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