An Iceland honeymoon is sure to get you and your partner excited. The Nordic country may not have the beaches of Hawaii or the Bahamas, but it is so much more! Iceland is a land that is just waiting to be uncovered.
Intimate hot springs, beautiful glaciers, majestic wildlife, and striking waterfalls come together in this Scandinavian island. It is sure to dazzle any traveler, especially those looking for romance on their honeymoon.
Expedia.com asked me to share this post with you guys as we both have a love for Iceland! There is no right or wrong time to enjoy your Iceland honeymoon. Summer months yield 24-hours of daylight from the “Midnight Sun,” and long winter months provide a dark sky for the Aurora Borealis.
Either way you look at it, you’re in for a memorable and unique treat in the picturesque country of Iceland. I’ve been to Iceland twice now, once alone and together as a couple with Cameron.
Our latest trip was driving around the incredible ring road to uncover all the nooks and crannies of the country. Here are some of my favorite things to do for a romantic honeymoon in Iceland.
Amazing Iceland Honeymoon Ideas
Enjoy the Black Sand Beaches
Black beaches aren’t something seen every day. However, when touring around Iceland’s Southern Coast, there are a few spots to see the dramatic black sand beaches. Reynisfjara, near Vik, is probably the most well-known black sand beach in Iceland.
That means it is packed with tourists. We went in the offseason, and we’re still amazed at how many people were on the beach. I would recommend visiting the East Fjords if you have the time. We thought the Egilsstaðir region was stunning and yielded far fewer crowds, which is precisely what you want on an Iceland honeymoon.
Check out the Wildlife at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
It’s hard to deny that there are many gems in Iceland, but Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in the country’s southeast has to be one of the most beautiful. We spent 12 days in Iceland, and I think that the Jökulsárlón lagoon was the most spectacular location we saw.
You can get out and enjoy the beauty from the side, or hop on a boat tour to get up close to the glacier. If you are in for an adventure and traveling during the winter, a great thing to do on your Iceland honeymoon would be to go on an ice caving tour in the nearby Vatnajökull glacier. Whatever you do, the lagoon is constantly changing, so no two trips will ever be the same.
I would advise bringing some compact binoculars and a travel camera as there are often seals swimming in the lagoon (we saw five!). Afterward, go across the street to Diamond Beach to hold an Icelandic ice cube!
Tackle the Ice and Climb a Glacier
While you’re at Jökulsárlón, you may as well conquer the biggest glacier in Europe (Vatnajökull glacier) nearby! This challenging experience is one of Iceland’s most memorable.
We suggest any active traveler to strap on some crampons and prepare to climb a massive glacier with mesmerizing views. It’s not the expansive landscape that is will steal your breath away, but when you enter the ice caves within the glacier. What’s better than telling your friends back home you went ice climbing in Iceland?
Have a Date Night in Reykjavik
A honeymoon in Iceland will be expensive. It is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and the high costs are reflected in the food and alcohol. However, when you are in one of the coolest capital cities in the world, I would suggest at least having one or two special nights out in Reykjavik.
There is a thriving bar and restaurant scene that is vibrant on weekends and summer months. The best food we had in Reykjavik was at Matarkjallarinn. It’s a central and upscale restaurant that serves modern Icelandic cuisine. They have live music or a pianist playing every night, and on weekends the cocktail bar here is packed with patrons for a lively atmosphere.
There is almost a bar on every corner of the capital so it won’t be hard to find a good one. Many offer happy hour specials so make sure to do your research and get there a little early for a deal. Keep in mind that the sun never sets during the Icelandic summer so when you walk out of the bar at 2 am you may be just a little bit confused.
Drive Iceland’s Ring Road
This one involves renting a car (or campervan like us!) and is ideal if you have longer than seven days for your Iceland honeymoon. However, it is hands down the best adventure you can have in Iceland and will ensure you get the absolute most out of your trip.
Iceland’s famous ring road connects the whole country in a…well… a ring. The road is one road technically called “Route one” and is approximately 1332 km. Along the route, you’ll find glaciers, a million waterfalls, winding roads, and just a few of the Icelandic horses.
Driving around the ring road with your own car gives you the freedom to stop where and when you want without any time limits. It’s what allowed us to spend hours atSkógafoss, take a detour to the Snaefellsnes peninsula, and camp out under the Northern Lights.
You can either rent a car and stay at hotels, camp in a tent at campsites along the way, or take your house with you in a Happy Camper Van. Either way, the trip is iconic and will give you lots of Iceland honeymoon memories to share. See our full review of Happy Campers here.
Descend into a Volcano on your Iceland Honeymoon!
What’s more romantic than going inside a volcano in Iceland together? Inside Þríhnúkagígur, you will descend 120 meters into a gigantic chamber, only to be overcome by shimmering hues of pink, blues, and oranges.
The colors inside Þríhnúkagígur are sure enough to dazzle any visitor. The dormant volcano is accessible only accessible with a guided tour. This is one of the best and most unique things to do in Iceland.
Practice Your Horse Riding skills
You know how most people take romantic horseback rides on the beach? You should try riding Icelandic horses through the wild countryside. Trust me – it’s the perfect Iceland vacation idea. Icelandic horses are small compared to other horses you may be used to, but they have a very distinctive gait style that makes riding them exceptionally smooth.
The “Tölt” is one of the five gaits of an Icelandic horse and is what makes this breed so different than any other on earth. The Tölt is a natural, fluid gait where at least one foot is always touching the ground. The horses are known for being well-natured and robust horses, not to mention beautiful. How can you not love that hair?
We went on a two-hour horse riding adventure together with Hestasport near Varmahlid. It was an amazing time and a chance to learn about Icelandic horse culture. Our guide was very professional and made us feel natural on a horse we had never been on before. Together with our Icelandic horses, we conquered the Iceland countryside and flowing rivers.
Get Out and Hike
Looking for a quick break from city life while staying in Reykjavik? There is plenty of challenging yet magnificent hikes to stretch your legs. The best part is you don’t have to travel far to get to them!
Esjan, Glymur, Hveragerði, Gjáin, Seljavallalaug are all located within an hour of Reykjavik and are accessible by public transport (and of course two feet). All of these hikes are well worth a day in my opinion; however, the climb up Esjan is a favorite. Once at the top, you are rewarded with a stunning view of Reykjavik.
Of course, if you can get outside the city, the walking and hiking opportunities are endless. We enjoyed hiking around the Husafell region when we stayed in the beautiful Hotel Husafell in Northern Iceland. This is where the fall foliage really comes alive!
Always prepare yourself for a hike and tell someone about your plans. The weather conditions in Iceland can be extreme and unpredictable, and you don’t want to get caught in a bad situation on your Iceland honeymoon.
Cozy Up in a Hot Spring
Iceland may be short of McDonald’s, palm trees, and Starbucks, but it does not fall short in the hot spring category. Hot springs and geysers can be found all over the country, and they are romantic spots to take a warm (or incredibly hot) dip in.
Don’t forget some local beer and a swimsuit for Icelandic pools! Visitors can visit the famous Blue Lagoon, but we don’t always recommend that. The admission prices to get into this artificial lagoon are sky high.
There are plenty of natural hot springs around the country that are free to enjoy and more romantic without all the tourists. There are also geothermal pools in almost every town in Iceland.
The local pools are great for swimming and some hot tubs. The pools are where the locals go to get active and socialize, so you may even get to know a few Icelanders while visiting one! Or check out our post on ten awesome hot springs in Iceland.
Be Awestruck by the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis, are one of the greatest spectacles on earth! In the winter months, from late September to early April, the Northern Lights are visible from all over Iceland.
Just make sure to get out to the countryside and pack a tripod for photographs to capture the most beautiful hues of green, pink, purple, and yellow. Jökulsárlón is a trendy place to come during the winter months and view the spectacle. This is where we spotted the Northern Lights at their best. You can check the Aurora forecast here!
Drive the Golden Circle
For those who don’t have the time to do the whole ring road, I would recommend taking a day for a Golden Circle trip. The Golden Circle is a popular 300-kilometer route to looping around Reykjavik.
The drive only takes a day, and along the route, you can find some of the best of Iceland’s beauty. Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the geysers Geysir and Strokkur are the main hits of the Golden Circle. You can also see the Kerið volcanic crater and the hot river nearby.
Like many things in Iceland, car rentals can be expensive. Gas is over $8 a gallon. However, the most popular form of travel in Iceland is via a tour. The tour will be sure to get you to the best sites on the Golden Circle with none of the stress of driving yourself. Not to mention you won’t miss one of the highlights for lack of knowledge!
Hit the Slopes
In the wintertime, Iceland becomes a ski or snowboarding fanatics playground. Iceland has a few different ski resorts around the country, making Iceland a great skiing destination if you are into winter sports.
We love snowboarding, but we weren’t there at the right time of year. For those that visit January through April, check out ski resorts near Reykjavik, Akureyri, and Husavik. Or for the truly adventurous, you can check out helicopter skiing in Northern Iceland.
There are waterfalls all over Iceland. I can’t give you an exact number as many glaciers will melt and form small waterfalls that feed the rivers. That being said, we can direct you to a few of the more notable ones:
- Goðafoss: Waterfall of the gods in the Northeast
- Háifoss: A bit off the beaten track, but one of the highest in Iceland
- Morsárfoss: Highest waterfall in Iceland
- Dettifoss: The most powerful waterfall in Europe
- Gullfoss: Along the Golden Circle and one of the most popular falls to visit
- Seljalandsfoss: You can stand behind this waterfall
- Skógafoss: Unique waterfall that comes directly from two glaciers
Search for Puffins
Iceland is one of the best places in the world to spot puffins. If you love birds, this has to be at the top of your Iceland honeymoon “must-dos” list. There are plenty of places around the country to see puffins.
Most notably in Vestmannaeyjar, Látrabjarg, Vigur Island, Papey. If you have a car, you can get to these places yourself, or you can hop on a tour and sail just outside of the capital to see them in Akurey, Engey, or Lundey. Seeing the puffins is only possible in the summer due to their migration patterns.
Hop on a Snowmobile
To ride on one on top of a glacier in Iceland would complete an adventurous honeymoon. Snowmobile tours are top-rated in Iceland and make a great way to get out of the car and get even more up close to the incredible glaciers.
Plan Your Romantic Honeymoon in Iceland
Book a camper!
A campervan is the best way to get around Iceland on a budget. While a camper is slightly more expensive than a car, you can sleep and cook in it! You don’t have to search for hotels or deal with costly restaurants in Iceland. Plus, you sleep in nature and still use a heater if you wish! If you want to travel with a Happy Campers van as we did (and you should. They are the BEST!), make sure to read our full review. You can easily book using this link, but make sure to book well in advance during high season.
Things to do in Iceland
There are literally so many things to do in Iceland I could write a book about it. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of time so I’m showing you the ultimate Iceland bucket list here. Some things that are a must do are go to an Iceland swimming pool, soak in a natural hot spring, stand under a waterfall, and see the Northern Lights.
Photography Gear for Iceland
A high-quality camera is an important packing item for Iceland if you want some great shots while on your vacation. We travel with our and 200mm telephoto lens. Drones have sort of taken Iceland by storm, and can capture fantastic footage as well. We had our DJI Mavic in Iceland, but make sure to use your drone responsibly as many locals are getting increasingly annoyed at the sight of them.
Whatever you do, do not forget a [tripod for Iceland – especially if you plan on photographing the Northern Lights. You’ll need one for the long exposures.
Is Iceland Expensive?
Iceland is mega expensive. One of the most expensive countries in the entire world actually. Make sure that you plan accordingly and in line with your budget. It’s certainly possible to do Iceland on a budget of less than $100 if you are camping, cooking all your own basic meals, and traveling by public transport or score a good deal on a rental. The good news is that nature is free, and you’ll be able to see Iceland’s beauty without paying for it. So yes – it’s completely doable to have an affordable Iceland vacation.
If you plan on drinking be sure to pick up duty free alcohol before you leave the airport. A pint of beer can easily run you $15-$20!
Helpful Iceland Travel Tips
- Icelanders speak Icelandic, but every single person I came across spoke English well.
- The local currency is the Icelandic króna (ISK). ATM’s are found throughout the country
- Save money in Iceland by eating in and cooking for yourself. Check out our Iceland grocery store guide for all the tips!
- Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world; however, it’s always important to use common sense when walking alone at night.
- Tipping is not customary in Iceland.
- Iceland has strong internet infrastructure and you should be able to easily stay connected.
What to Pack for Your Iceland Honeymoon
Wondering what to wear while on your honeymoon in Iceland? The country’s weather is pretty notorious so it’s only natural that the question of what to pack for Iceland comes up a lot. Given Iceland’s popularity, we get the question of what to pack for Iceland a lot these days. It’s only natural that once you book your ticket and make travel plans you spend your time wondering what to throw in your luggage.
Shop For Travel Insurance
We don’t travel without travel insurance, and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country, and it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo offers excellent short and long-term travel insurance policies.
I ALWAYS have a down jacket when traveling in the winter, fall, or even spring. They aren’t just good for hikes, but doing anything outside.
Remember that Iceland uses the Europlug. Make sure you find a good adapter to keep you charged like the one I have. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land.