Not gonna lie but back in the day when I tried to plan my own Iceland solo travel trip, I got SUPER overwhelmed and kind of had a mild nervous breakdown.
Nothing major since hospitalization was not required (lol).
But between creating a solo Iceland travel itinerary, trying to figure out the best time to visit Iceland, learning how to navigate Iceland on my own, and the insanely high price of some of the best hostels in Iceland (try visiting Iceland in March since it tends to be cheaper), saying that I had a slight freak out is a bit of an understatement. Yeah, I definitely wish I knew what I was doing and exactly how to plan a road trip in a place like Iceland.
That 12-day Iceland road trip wasn’t meant to be. But eventually, I’ll finally get to create my own Iceland travel itinerary and take a solo Iceland road trip of my own. I’ll also do tons of research and know exactly where to see Puffins in Iceland.
But since I still haven’t been to Iceland myself (sigh):
I needed some advice about traveling to Iceland alone. That’s why I asked some of my favorite Iceland solo travel experts to help me create the ultimate Iceland solo travel guide.
Throughout this post on solo traveling Iceland:
You’ll learn how to plan the perfect trip to Iceland, discover some of the best Iceland tours for solo travelers, and even see a list of top Iceland attractions that you absolutely must visit during your Iceland trip.
So without further ado:
Check out this expert guide to solo travel through Iceland and prepare to be astounded by the insane natural beauty of this amazing country.
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1. Gullfoss Waterfall
By: Suzanne Jones of The Travel Bunny
Traveling solo in Iceland is very easy. Just rent a car and drive out into the beautiful Icelandic landscape (this is also one of the many fun things to do in Iceland with kids).
But before you go:
You’ll need GPS and a map since the Icelandic hinterland can be rugged and desolate. Also, always check the weather and to ensure that the route is safe and clear before you set off on your solo Iceland trip.
If driving yourself is a bit too adventurous for you:
You can always join one of the many group tours that depart from Reykjavik; tours like diving at Silfra or even snowmobiling across a glacier.
One of my favorite Iceland solo travel spots is Gullfoss Waterfall which is one of the top Iceland attractions that you’ll see when touring Iceland’s Golden Circle.
Once you arrive at Gullfoss or the golden waterfall:
After just a few minutes walk from the car park, you’ll hear this waterfall thundering into the River Hvita thunders and canyon below. You’ll also see Gulfoss cascading down a two-tiered staircase of hardened magma before it disappears into a vast cloud of spray and mist.
But the best part?
This waterfall can be visited for free since it’s found in a public space that has amenities like clean public toilets and a cafe that sells delicious hot and cold food.
By: Inma Gregorio of A World to Travel
By: Ruth Rleckehoff of Tanama Tales
If you decide to explore the regions surrounding Reykjavik during your solo trip through Iceland:
Then I definitely recommend visiting Kerið, a volcanic crater lake in Grímsnes. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy easy hikes and marvelous views.
For a small fee (about 3 dollars or 2 euros):
You can walk around the crater rim and marvel at the red and grey soil that is peppered with mustard and green grass. Just keep an eye on your footing since some of the surfaces here are quite loose.
You can also descend into the heart of the crater by following a short path that will take you to the water level; a perspective that is completely different from the vantage point that you see in the photo above.
And while there are no on-site amenities:
The crater is quite close to the city of Selfoss, where you can find anything you need, and can easily be added to any Golden Circle itinerary or Southern Iceland road trip.
***See this crater and more during an exciting Golden Circle day tour from Reykjavik.***
By: Michael Rozenblit of The World Was Here First
Many solo travelers visit Iceland to experience the stunning waterfalls and glaciers that are scattered throughout this enchanting island nation.
One of my favorite places to visit in Iceland, which I urge other travelers to explore as well, is Fjaðrárgljúfur. Fjaðrárgljúfur is a massive and spectacular canyon that is approximately one hundred meters deep and two kilometers long.
The river Fjaðrá also flows through the canyon and is believed to be at least nine thousand years old.
Located on the Southern Coast of Iceland:
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is a logical stop if you’re planning to travel east, from Vik, along the Ring Road towards the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Once you see the Fjaðrárgljúfur exit along the Ring Road:
It’s just a short drive up a small gravel road until you reach the car park. From the car park, there are a series of trails that you can follow to reach the canyon.
Along these trails:
You can either walk up to the top of the canyon and get a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding area or walk down to the river and appreciate this fabulous landscape from an entirely different perspective.
Just be forewarned:
The trails here can be quite slippery and windy so it’s imperative that you wear good shoes and a coat suitable for Iceland!
5. Downtown Reykjavik Harborfront
By: Mayuri Kashyap of To Some Place New
Downtown Reykjavik (the perfect addition to any 4 day South Iceland itinerary) is definitely one of the safest places in Europe for solo travel.
But to fully appreciate this fun and vibrant Icelandic city, you should devote at least one day of your 3 day Iceland itinerary to Reykjavik.
While in downtown Reykjavik:
You can explore the scenic harborfront, see the tallest church in all of Iceland, Hallgrímskirkja, and discover the Harpa concert hall, a stunning, modern architectural landmark in Iceland.
When you’re exhausted from all this sightseeing in Reykjavik:
You can visit one of the area’s many restaurants, which serve a variety of local delicacies like Icelandic lamb soup.
This truly is the perfect place for any solo traveler since this part of the city is safe, clean, and well marked, so you definitely won’t get lost.
***Looking for some fantastic solo dining options in Reykjavik? Then try the vegan restaurant Gló or devour falafel at either Mandi Grill or Habibi Grill. If you like around at some local cafes then visit Bismút Cafe, Reykjavik Roasters, or Stofan Kaffihús for some epic cheesecake. ***
6. The Westfjords
By: Andrew Dobson of Dobbernation Loves
The Westfjords region has been dubbed “the most famous unknown place in Iceland”.
Throw in an award for being a “European Destination of Excellence” and a listing as one of the Top 10 regions in the world to visit in 2011, and you’ll understand why you must visit the Westfjords throughout your solo travels in Iceland.
Although the locals are fiercely friendly:
It’s really the region’s jaw-dropping natural landscapes that appeal to solo travelers the most. These untouched, and almost uninhabited, cliffs and valleys are home to an assortment of wildlife like arctic birds and fox.
The waterfalls here are also spectacularly high, the streams incredibly pure, and the fjords amazingly long and deep. So get off the beaten path, travel to the Westfjords in Iceland, and experience all that mother nature has to offer.
For anyone looking to get up close and personal with the Icelandic Horse:
Be sure to stop by the small town of Þingeyri and visit the local, family-run, Simbahollin Cafe (be sure to order a hot cup of coffee and plate of Belgian waffles), which offers visitors unforgettable horseback riding tours that can be enjoyed with a small group of like-minded solo travelers.
7. Skógafoss Waterfall
By: Macca Sherifi of An Adventurous World
One of my favorite spots in Iceland is the gorgeous, Skógafoss Waterfall in the south. Just a short, two-hour drive from Reykjavik, en route to the black-sand beaches of Vik, Skógafoss Waterfall is just another reason to visit Iceland.
Standing at 62m-high, this waterfall dramatically topples over the nearby rocky cliffs, creating a ferocity of power that you only truly feel when you’re standing at the bottom of this majestic waterfall.
While you’re here:
You can also climb some nearby stairs and either enjoy the views at the top of the waterfall or do some hiking along the many nearby hiking trails.
Skógafoss truly is one of the most beautiful sights in Iceland and is well worth a visit from any Iceland solo traveler.
By: Danni Lawson of Live in 10 Countries
9. Reykjadalur Hot Springs
By: Radka Stankova of Real Camp Life
Imagine yourself in a beautiful valley surrounded by picturesque mountains. You are sitting in a hot spring, drinking a cold beer and watching the milky way or northern lights dancing above your head.
Is this too good to be true?
No! Just head to Reykjadalur hot springs in South Iceland. Just a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik, near the town Hveragerdi, it is one of the most spectacular places I have ever been.
The hike to Reykjadalur Hot Springs is to do without a guide and bathing here is free of charge! From the parking place outside of Hveragerdi, it takes about 45 – 60 min each way.
But if you don’t want to visit alone:
You can join numerous tours going up the valley and enjoy the area’s stunning views from the back of a cute Icelandic horse.
In recent years:
This hot spring has gone from a little-known sheep trail (and a hidden gem of Scandinavia) to a star attraction. So if you want to avoid the crowds and have the hot springs for yourself, then wake up super early (or go later in the day) and start the hike before everyone else (a great alternative to the Blue Lagoon, which can be overrated).
By: Leanne Scott of The Globetrotter Go
My absolute favorite place in Iceland is Kirkjufellsfoss on the Snaefellsfoss peninsula (you can also explore this area on a full-day Snaefellsfoss Peninsula tour from Reykjavik).
I fell in love with this magical place even before I set foot in Iceland since I was entranced by the photos I saw while researching my trip.
By: Becky Angell of Becky the Traveller
12. The Icelandic Phallological Museum
By: Constance Panda of The Adventures of Panda Bear
Hverfjall is definitely of the coolest places in Iceland for solo travelers.
Located in Northern Iceland:
This former, tuff ring volcano, has an interesting, desolate gray landscape that is unique to behold.
With volcanic rocks scattered all across the surrounding trails, a visit here makes you feel as though you actually took a trip to the moon.
And with two short, twenty minute hikes to the top of the crater:
You can easily walk around and enjoy exquisite views from the crater rim, a wide open area that is perfect for solo hikers.
Due to the terrain, the path is quite gravelly and pebbly, making it very easy to slip.
But on the plus side:
It’s a simple hike up and down, so you won;t have to worry about getting lost. Definitely one of the easiest and safest hikes in Iceland.