How to spend a period of 24 hours in North Iceland

How to Spend 24 Hours in North Iceland

Iceland has been known to capture the imagination of many people and yet, nobody can explain why it does so. Maybe it is due to the beautiful landscapes or the fun activities that can be done there or it could be a mixture of both. But whatever the reason may be, every year, more and more people are coming to this northern island just to get away from all the noise and stress of the big city. They just want some peace and quiet during the long weekend that they are having. Iceland is not that far away from. If a person is traveling from the East coast of the USA, they can just ride a five-hour flight and land in Iceland in the same day of departure. It is even shorter from London – a person can reach Iceland within 3 hours of departure. This whole trip has been made easy with the help of Iceland Air. While booking for their flights to Iceland, guest can also make the addition of trips and tours to their flight ticket and pay for a whole package. So, as it can be seen, Iceland is quite an interesting location, especially for the people who want to make a quick weekend getaway.

So, let’s say you have one whole day in your hand and you want to explore Iceland. Well, the first thing that you should do is head up to the northern region of Iceland and spend your day there because the northern region is perhaps the most beautiful and interesting region in Iceland. When you reach Iceland, rent a cottage in the Kjarnaskógur woods in Iceland. This place is simply pleasant to be in. This is actually Iceland’s most traversed forest. Here, there is a 2KM long athletic course, tracks for walking, picnic tables, campsite and a children’s park nearby which the adults can also find to be quite enjoyable. The cottages here are something out of a dream – there is a big porch, soft beds, pure ice water flowing from the taps, spectacular views, barbeques, hot tubs and clean fresh highland air.


After you have rested in to the cottage, head up to the small town of Húsavík which is on the north coast of Iceland. The main source of income for the town is done by tourism and fishing and the town is heaven for nature lovers. Unfortunately, since you are short on time, you can’t actually experience the beauty of the town to the fullest extent. What you can do is head the timber-framed restaurant called Café Skuld and order some delicious fish soup, coffee and muffins. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed by their taste.


Asbyrgi Canyon

Then,the head to the horseshoe shaped depression part of the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park called Ásbyrgi canyon. It is around 3.5KM in length and 1.1KM wide. The steep side of the canyon is formed by 100mts. High cliffs. It is breathtakingly beautiful and tranquil. You can walk through a woodland of willow and birch trees and come across the small lake of Botnstjorn where you will find ducks swimming across.


Dettifoss Waterfall

The final stop of your trip should be the waterfall, located in Vatnajökull National Park called the Dettifoss. It is considered to be one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. An interesting fact about this waterfall is that it was featured in the Hollywood science fiction movie Prometheus, which was released in 2012. It can be seen at the beginning of the movie as the landscape on a primeval Earth-like planet. Here’s the thing – when you reach there, you might feel a bit disappointed as it might be a bit too foggy and you might feel that you may not be able to experience this waterfall in all of its glory. From the place where you start, it is around a five minute walk to the waterfall. If it is foggy when you visit, you will experience that it is quite magical to walk the rocky regions in the fog. It is a whole new experience as you jump from one wet rock to another and you can get to hear the sound of water that is coming down 45mts. from the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. When you stand next to the waterfall, you will actually experience the fact that nature is truly powerful, even if you can’t see the actual waterfall due to the fog.


In the Evening

After all this is done, if you are up for it, then take an evening tour to the northern locales and experience the beauty of the Northern Lights and the northern tour that might accompany it. But, if the weather does not allow you to see the Northern Lights, then, during your return journey back from the Dettifoss waterfall, have an evening tour of the Reykjavik region. Trust me, it is well worth your time and energy. If you are lucky enough, then you might also get to see the Midnight Sun in Iceland during your two-day trip.


After experiencing the true beauty of Iceland, you might feel sad that your weekend and trip has come to an end and you have to return back to the loud and noisy city and your stressful work. You just want to stay back in Iceland and forget all about your responsibilities that you have in your city life. Well, don’t worry about it. Due to Iceland being in close proximity of the US and London, you can always choose to come back to Iceland when you have a long weekend or when you want to take a vacation and if you plan your vacation period to Iceland correctly, then you might be able to enjoy cool and endless summer days and do summertime activities, in the night, in Iceland due to the Midnight Sun that can be seen during the period of May to August. There are a lot more things to do in Iceland, which are exciting and fun in their own unique ways. It does not matter what you choose to do in Iceland. It is a guarantee that you will enjoy, your choice. Iceland is truly a place of beauty and tranquility.

Golden Circle, Secret Lagoon & Bubble

About the tour

Heading off from Reykjavik, this once in a lifetime tour starts with all the iconic sights of the famous Golden Circle. You will travel in a luxury jeep (6 people max) to the gorgeous Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and home to the first parliament, mid-Atlantic crest and Silfra fissure. The name Thingvellir means “Parliament Fields” in Icelandic. The general assembly, the Althing, was established here in 930 AD making it one of the oldest parliaments in the world. Thingvellir is also known for its geology and has been a protected area since 1928. You can walk the paths along and between the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates, exploring nature and take in the beautiful views. Don’t miss Thingvallavatn, Iceland’s largest natural lake.

Next up we drive to the famous Geysir hot springs area. It is located in the geothermal active valley of Haukadalur. Today the most active Geysir is Strokkur, an energetic spouting hot spring which erupts every 6 to 9 minutes. The white column of boiling water forms a beautiful half bubble before spraying up super-heated steaming water.

It can reach a height of 15-30m (60-90 feet). Strokkur (the churn) was formed in an earthquake in 1789. Excuse the smell, it’s the natural boiling sulfur!

Onto the powerful Gullfoss waterfall, this is one of the most popular sights in Iceland. It runs down the river Hvítá in a curved, three-stepped staircase form. It’s a very powerful experience to walk close to the waterfall on the west side as an average of 140 cubic meters of water falls per second (80 in winter).

The falls send moisture up into the air so be prepared to get a little wet. We recommend wearing waterproof clothing here.

From here the tour will stop at a local restaurant where everyone can enjoy dinner before a nice soak in the Secret Lagoon.

Once at the Secret Lagoon (ticket included with tour) you will have ample time to enjoy this unique natural hot spring, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland (made in 1891). The water holds at 38-40 Celsius (100-104 Fahrenheit) all year around. Swim and float around, try to find the hottest part of the lagoon! You can also take a short walk around the lagoon to see the beautiful landscape, original changing hut, the natural geysirs heating the lagoon and the nearby greenhouse.

When you are done relaxing, you will be taken to the Bubble Hotel where you will spend the night in your own clear bubble (2 adults per bubble), surrounded by Icelandic nature, tucked away in a small woodland. Listen to the birds chirp and enjoy the long summer light or stargaze in winter. Lie back and keep an eye out for the magical Northern Lights dancing above your head.

The next morning we will make one stop at a restaurant for you to purchase breakfast on the way back to Reykjavik.

Northern Lights Iceland is not liable for any loss, damage, accidents, injuries or sickness during it’s tours. This also applies for any changes in tour schedule due to weather, strikes, or any uncontrolled outside force. Northern Lights Iceland reserves the right to cancel, alter or postpone any tour for any reason. Please see our full terms for more details.


The most common questions for this tour.

Pickup and drop off occurs within Reykjavik only. Please contact us with any questions about your hotel/guesthouse location and if it is included within our pickup/drop off area.

This is an overnight tour. Pickup in Reykjavik at 12:00 – 12:30 on day one and drop off in Reykjavik the next morning between 11:00 -11:30.

Time spent at each stop along the Golden Circle will be dependent on guests wishes and the driver’s recommendations. Weather and daylight hours may also affect time spent at each site.

Please bring with you a bathing suit and towel for the Secret Lagoon (you can rent a towel from the lagoon for 500 ISK).

Warm layered clothing for the day tour and preferably a waterproof outer layer. We advice you wear good walking shoes or hiking boots, sneakers/trainers.

Remember your overnight clothes.

Optional: snacks, food, and/or beverages.

There is now a solo-traveler booking fee built in to the calendar.  This is required for all guests booking as 1 person.

Please contact us directly for guidance.

No food is included with this tour.

There is one stop in the evening for you to purchase dinner and a stop the next morning for you to purchase breakfast. You may choose to bring your own food/snacks and beverages, and store them in the self-service kitchen at the Bubble Hotel.

There is a cafe located at both stops on the Golden Circle, and snacks / beverages can be purchased at the Secret Lagoon.

Yes, it is advised you bring your camera to take photos of the beautiful Icelandic nature and the sites we stop at. If you are lucky you may even be able to capture the Northern Lights from your bubble (winter only).

There is no guarantee you will see the Northern Lights. They are highly unpredictable and affected greatly by the weather, cloud coverage and light activity.

Please also know that the Northern Lights season runs from mid-September to mid-April. The sky must be dark to be in with a chance.

Here in Iceland, daylight hours are extremely long in summer with some days of no darkness at all. The wonderful news about staying at the bubbles in summer: more daylight for adventures!

In addition to longer daylight, there is also higher natural activity like birds, and more light means better photographs. If you are a bird enthusiast you will love our summertime in the bubble.

Book Now!

We have a minimum number of 4 adults for the tour to go. You can book below for 2 adults but if the minimum number of 4 will not be reached one week before departure date, we will cancel the tour and refund the money 100% back to your credit card.
There is now a solo-traveler booking fee built in to the calendar. This is required for all guests booking as 1 person.


Our private tours are organised around your wants and needs. Please see Private Tours for more information.