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Trekking vs. Sightseeing in the Icelandic Highlands

Learn about the trekking and sightseeing tours

|July 1, 2022
Gabija is passionate about traveling and writing. In her free time, she likes to read, try out different cuisines, or embark on outdoor adventures.

The Icelandic Highlands is one of the most unique places you can find. Its remote setting allows you to experience nature away from the crowds. Learn about the best sightseeing and trekking tours to the Highlands of Iceland.


Trekking or sightseeing in the Icelandic Highlands? Before we answer this question, first let's define both and the main differences between these different types of travel.

What Is Trekking?

Small Group Trekking in Laugavegur Trail

Trekking tour in Laugavegur, Iceland

Trekking is a more extreme and more challenging form of hiking. It requires a lot more physical ability and endurance, as well as mental strength. Trekking is described as a form of walking long distances though not necessarily on marked trails. If the hike takes from a half-hour to several hours, a trek can take several days or even weeks.

What Is Sightseeing?

Purple Lupines and Skogafoss Waterfall in Background

Skogafoss waterfall during summer, Iceland

Sightseeing is the form of traveling when you visit several tourist attractions in a day. You can go sightseeing in the city or in the natural surroundings. You can also go either by foot or by transportation. Sightseeing is often organized in groups as a guided tour, where you are accompanied by a professional guide and fellow group members. Sightseeing is not usually challenging and people of all ages and abilities can participate.

Which Do You Choose: Trekking and Sightseeing?

Guide and Group During Trekking Tour at Laugavegur

Arctic Adventures guide and the group trekking in Laugavegur, Iceland

You probably noticed that trekking and sightseeing are two very different ways of exploring. Which one to choose is really up to you, but consider your physical and mental preparation for a trekking tour first. Don't forget to check out the guide on how to prepare for hiking and trekking in Iceland first.

Best Trekking Tours in the Icelandic Highlands

3-Day Landmannalaugar Pearl of the Highlands Tour

Guided Trekking Tour at Landmannalaugar Trail in Iceland

Small group trekking in Landmannalaugar mountains, Iceland

This three-day trekking in the Icelandic Highlands tour is the easiest out of all the selection of trekking tours we have. Here you'll spend three days exploring the incredible Landmannalaugar in the Highlands of Iceland, see the colorful mountains, and explore the lava fields.

Landmannalaugar is a famous hiking destination, known for excellent hiking trails. Whether you're an experienced hiker or you're just here for Iceland's natural beauty, you'll be sure to enjoy hiking in this remote and spectacular scenery!

4-Day Laugavegur Trekking Tour with Huts

Man Hiking at Laugavegur Trail in Iceland

Trekking in Laugavegur , Iceland

Laugavegur was named among the "20 Best Hikes in the World" by National Geographic, and during this tour, you'll surely find out why. This four-day trekking tour in Iceland will take you to the Landmannalaugar wonderland and the forests Þórsmörk. Going on an ancient trail, you'll see some of the most legendary places in Iceland, as well as breathtaking scenery of the Icelandic highlands.

6-Day Laugavegur Trekking & Fimmvorduhals with Huts

Campsite near Laugavegur Trail in Iceland

Laugavegur & Fimmvorduhals trekking tour huts, Iceland

This six-day trekking tour will allow you to fully experience the Icelandic highlands. You'll see the best Icelandic nature offers - from glistening glaciers, volcanoes, and lava fields to geothermal hot springs and colorful mountains.

Hiking through the Laugavegur trail is one of the unique experiences you can have in Iceland. Adding the Fimmvörðuháls area to the equation makes it even more special! On this 55-kilometer-long valley between the Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve and Þórsmörk valley, you'll be able to see the site of an infamous 2010 volcanic eruption!

Best Sightseeing Tours in the Icelandic Highlands

3-Day Iceland's Highlands and Volcano Adventure

Aerial View of Icelandic Highlands and Volcanoes

Landscape of Icelandic highlands, Iceland

This three-day tour includes visiting some of the most fascinating places in Iceland. You'll be hiking by the Vestmannaeyjar Islands and Stórhöfði Cape, continuing to Mt. Eldfell Volcano with a view over magnificent Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls.

During this tour, you'll see the Lakagígar craters that were formed during one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in history. Finally, the tour will reach its pinnacle when we'll visit a true gem of the highlands, Landmannalaugar. Here you will an opportunity to explore the Laugahraun lava field, hike up to multi-colored Mt. Brennisteinsalda, and relax in a natural geothermal pool!

4-Day Golden Circle, Jokulsarlon, South Coast, Landmannalaugar Tour

Black Sand Beach and Landmannalaugar Trail

Reynisfjara black sand beach and Landmannalaugar mountains, Iceland

This four-day tour will take you through some of the most popular attractions in Iceland. The tour will begin with Golden Circle, where we'll visit Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, and Geysir. The second day is dedicated to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve with the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall.

We'll see the major highlights of the South Coast on the third day, such as Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and Eldhraun Lava Field. We'll finish the four-day tour with an amazing hike through Landmannalaugar in the middle of the surrealistic Icelandic Highlands.

9-Day Around Iceland, Highlands and Volcano Adventure

Woman with Red Jacket Enjoying Icelandic Landscape

Woman enjoying of the Icelandic landscape

This 9-day tour will let you see all the most beautiful attractions in Iceland during one trip. You'll be able to get close and personal to breathtaking waterfalls, glistening glaciers, gushing geysers, and, most importantly, the pearl of highlands, Landmannalaugar.

By choosing this 9-day tour, you'll be able to explore the Highlands of Iceland for three days. Here you see the colorful Landmananalaugar, explore the lava fields, and dip your toes in the natural geothermal pools. The rest of the time will be dedicated to the most famous attractions along the Ring Road.

Want to see more? Check out these hiking and trekking tours in Iceland!

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