Iceland as a solo female traveler

How To Explore Iceland As A Solo Female Traveler

Exploring Iceland as a solo female traveler can sound overwhelming! There’s the intense weather fluctuations, the rugged climate and the isolation, but don’t let that stop you from booking a trip because Iceland is a very solo female traveler friendly destination. I wanted to see as much of the beautiful nature there as possible but there was the one catch – the transportation. When I’m traveling solo I just can’t drive around all day. I don’t know about you but there’s something about driving that makes me so tired and if I don’t have someone to talk to or play car Karaoke with (for the record, I do a pretty great Beyonce performance) then I would get so tired and bored and probably just fall asleep at the wheel. So when I was planning my trip I had to figure out how to see it all without having to drive all day and I’m happy to say that I found a way – by jumping on a couple of Bustravel Iceland tours.

How to Explore Iceland as a Solo Female Traveler

Exploring Iceland as a solo female traveler doesn't need to be overwhelming or expensive. Find out how to explore the natural sights with this guide.

I went on the Glacier Lagoon tour and Grand Golden Circle tours and in my opinion, the Glacier Lagoon is the must do. It’s a long-ass 14 hour day that allows you to see so many beautiful nature sights. In this tour you can do it all from standing under a roaring waterfall to holding icebergs on a black sand beach and it’s only about $178USD. It’s hard to pick a favorite part of this tour but I think it might’ve been the Glacier Lagoon because it was such a surreal area. As you stand there looking out at the silky water broken by the huge icebergs, with cold air hugging your face and as you are surrounded by the silence of an isolated part of nature, it feels like you’ve been transported into a travel magazine. Like one of those places you know exist somewhere on Earth but would probably never be able to see. I was even lucky enough to see seals frolicking around as well! Watching them swim in the cold water made me feel cold but they swam and played as if on a warm, tropical beach! For those of us who wanted to go, our guide even walked us to a black sand beach with icebergs washed up on it which was another unreal beauty.

The Glacier Lagoon was by far my favorite tour and the one I would recommend the most.

Iceland as a solo female traveler

Iceland as a solo female traveler
Booking.com

The Grand Golden Circle was an 8 hour tour so a little shorter duration but still impressive when it comes to seeing incredible natural sights like huge waterfalls, boiling water shooting out from the ground at Geysir and even a volcanic crater with its own lake – all for about $89USD. But, in hindsight if I was doing the trip over I would do the Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon tour instead. I mean, why not add in a dip in the heated thermal water to your adventures right?

Travel Tip: Bring a waterproof jacket if you want to get close to any of the waterfalls. They’re huge so they have a good amount of spray coming from them!

Iceland as a solo female traveler

Iceland as a solo female traveler

They were fast paced adventures which allow you to maximize your time exploring but on both tours we were given plenty of time at each stop to check out the area and, of course, take pictures before returning to the bus – I had three cameras going at each stop and I had heaps of time to take photos and explore the sights. On each tour the bus was filled with people of different ages and backgrounds. They were tours that everyone could enjoy and I loved that everyone had huge smiles on their faces as we explored and was just as in awe of nature as I was.

For the driving time, I got to sit back and relax in comfort as I looked out the window at the other-worldly type landscapes outside. The bus was really easy to spot in the carpark too with a big Bustravel Iceland sticker on the side so there was no risk of getting into the wrong bus after each adventure and they have wi-fi on board so if you want to upload your pictures as you go then you can which was cool!

Iceland as a solo female traveler

Iceland as a solo female traveler

It’s probably a good time to note that the weather in Iceland is quite unpredictable and mother nature doesn’t muck around out there. If you do choose to drive then just make sure to check the weather conditions before going out each day. We had the weather turn on us during one of the tours and it was intense! When I was walking outside the wind was strong enough to push me off a footpath then it turned into a rain/wind/snow combination. I was so glad with my choice to take the bus tour because the driver was able to navigate it smoothly and drive through the intense wind without even flinching. If I was driving by myself on the other hand, I would’ve certainly been flinching up a storm.

Iceland as a solo female traveler

Iceland as a solo female traveler

The guides on both of the tours I did were awesome and I appreciated having them there so much because as we drove around they shared information about Iceland and life in Iceland that I probably wouldn’t have known had I have driven around by myself. It was all so interesting as well and gave new life to the land we were exploring which was really cool. Instead of just seeing the Icelandic horses in paddocks I learned about their history, the reason that they are the size they are and the strict quarantine and import rules. If I was by myself I would’ve just seen a cute animal, probably just taken 3000 photos of them and that would be it so I really appreciate having the guides there to share interesting information.

Iceland as a solo female traveler

Iceland as a solo female traveler

This was the best way for me as a solo female traveler to see as much of the landscape and nature outside of Reykjavik as possible and I highly recommend it for anyone else planning a trip. On my other days there it was very easy to explore the city sights on foot and I cruised around town by myself to see the sights, museums and of course take a dip in the local pools.

Want to see more? Check out my YouTube video of the highlights here!

Is Iceland on your bucket list? What do you want to see most while you’re there?

For more information:

Visit the Bustravel Iceland website

E-mail: info@bustravel.is

Follow on Instagram

This post was written in partnership with Bustravel Iceland. I never promote something I don’t love – see my disclosure for more information.

26 Comments

  • Megan Indoe May 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Wow, Iceland is so beautiful! I didn’t realize those buses were an option, that’s great! I always thought everyone was renting cars/vans over there! We still need to go check out Iceland’s beauty for ourselves one day!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Thanks Megan, I hope you get to visit one day! I always thought people were driving too but I was glad to have the bus tour option!

      Reply
  • Candy May 2, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    O wow! This is such a great option for solo travelers. I love that the bus has wifi, since that really helps to kill the time. And great tip on bringing a waterproof jacket 🙂

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Yes, definitely helps to kill the time so that was a bonus!

      Reply
  • Cori May 3, 2017 at 3:57 am

    This sounds really fun! I did a couple bus tours when I was traveling on my own and too young to rent a car and had really great experiences — I’m still friends with some of the people I met on them.

    I live in a city and don’t have a car, so driving in Iceland was a bit of an adventure for me. I got used to it after the first day, but I think my wife was expecting to die every second of the way. I’m sure she would have much preferred a professional driver!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Aww Cori that’s so awesome that you are still in touch with people you met on the tours. That’s one of the best parts about them! BTW go you for braving the roads – that’s badass!

      Reply
  • Mel Butler May 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I have always found Iceland a fascinating place to visit. I went over 10years ago but there was a tourism set up then and it was hard to get around. I have always wanted to go back and your post and pictures, just want me to pack my bags and go right now. The Glacier Lagoon wow that just looks amazing.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Wow Mel, that’s so cool that you got to see Iceland before the crowds and big changes! I hope you get to go back and see it one day xo

      Reply
  • Vibeke Johannessen May 3, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Iceland must be the safest place for a solo female traveller. Even though I am from Norway and Iceland is pretty close. I haven’t been there yet. I really want to go and explore it both summer and winter. Your photos look amazing. The waterfalls there looks truly breathtaking! Thank you for sharing 😀

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:58 am

      You’re from Norway?! That’s my favorite country! So glad to e-meet you 🙂 I hope you get to visit Iceland one day!

      Reply
  • LaiAriel R. Samangka ( Thelittlelai: Beyond limits) May 3, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    This is so great! I imagine how you look like when you’re trying to do a Beyonce performance when your driving. Anyway, I’m glad that there’s a bus tour services In Iceland that allows you to see and have a perfect panoramic view of Iceland’s nature’s bounty. I’m sure that you really have enjoyed your tour and I guess Iceland is really safe and cool for a female solo traveler. I can’t wait to hear more of your travels. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Haha! Hmm in one word it’s embarrassing! Iceland is definitely a safe and cool place for a solo traveler and I was so glad for the bus tour to be able to see as much as possible.

      Reply
  • Sandy N Vyjay May 4, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Loved reading about the wonderland that is Iceland. I never seem to get enough of this beautiful place. I could almost feel the cold air at the Glacier Lagoon as I read about it. Your lovely pictures and words virtually transported me to this haven of nature.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:56 am

      That’s so sweet, thank you Sandy! I’m happy I got to virtually take you to Iceland!

      Reply
  • Izzy May 4, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Fun!!! Usually most Iceland posts are written from the perspective of couples or people traveling in groups so its nice to read something from a new perspective. We never made it to Glacier Lagoon but I would’ve loved to see it in person! True what they say about those waterproof jackets too, had no idea the waterfalls would be so powerful!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thanks so much Izzy! Oh yeah, they definitely have some power and I got soaked! – but worth it for the photos 😀

      Reply
  • Janna Heimirsson May 5, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Yes, Iceland is a friendly travel destination for a female solo traveler. I had a very beautiful experience in this matter. A few months back, I had visited this country. At that time Discover Iceland helped me a lot. I really enjoyed my trip.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:54 am

      So true Janna, it’s a very solo travel friendly place!

      Reply
  • Rhiannon May 6, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I’ve been seeing so many posts about Iceland, and it’s making me want to visit even more than I already did! The Blue Lagoon has been at the top of my bucket list for years now. Definitely one of those ‘dream come true’ visits when it finally happens!
    Your photos look beautiful, and the Glacier Lagoon bus tour sounds awesome! 😀

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Thank you, I hope you get to visit Rhiannon! It really is an amazing place 🙂

      Reply
  • Lauren May 6, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Did you go to the blue lagoon? The lava facial was divine!

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

      I bet they are amazing! I didn’t go to the Blue Lagoon though – I went to all the local pools instead.

      Reply
  • Ariana del Rio May 6, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for the info. I’m going in Late June. What month did you travel and for how many days? If I stay about a week, I wonder if there is an opportunity to do a tour but stay the night near some of the spots so as to have more time to enjoy than say fit it all into a 14 day. I’ll be traveling there Solo too.

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Hi Ariana, how exciting! I hope you have the best time! I went in April and stayed for 4 days. I am not sure about doing the tour like that but I would email them to see if its possible. Have fun!

      Reply
  • stephanie May 14, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Iceland looks lovely! I have been seen a lot of people going there recently and I have to admit that made Iceland go up my bucketlist LOL 🙂
    x

    Reply
    • Katie Mac May 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks so much Stephanie! I hope you get to see Iceland soon 🙂

      Reply

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