9 Insane Iceland Helicopter Tours You Need To Take

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Are you looking for the perfect Iceland helicopter tours for you? This guide will make sure you choose the tour tailored to your needs. So take a look now!

Iceland is, without a doubt, the most incredible and diverse country I have ever been to when it comes to natural beauty. Wherever you look, whatever the time, you will be blown away. If you were to come to Iceland and drive around in a hire vehicle then you would be able to see glaciers breaking off into the sea, geysers exploding into the sky, the northern lights and jet black beaches spanning for miles. Sounds pretty perfect to me.

But what would you be missing?

A generic view from a helicopter during a Iceland helicopter tours

You’d be missing something like this! And that’s just the start.

The truth is, Iceland can be inhospitable, remote, isolated and reserved. It keeps some of it’s most incredible sights hidden behind impassable rings of fire and rock. Volcanoes, unstable geothermal terrain, the largest glacier in Europe and even a facility where NASA trains its astronauts and designs its equipment for off-world adventures.

So if you are thinking about making your Iceland trip even more memorable and unique then have a read through this list of the very best Iceland helicopter tours and make ‘impassable’ a word for those on the ground.

Our Top Iceland Helicopter Tour

I highly recommend you have a complete look at all of the tours I have recommended on this list. However, My personal favourite has to be the ATV + Summit Landing in Reykjavik. I just love activities that last a little longer so you can make a day of it. I admit that it says 5 hours but I assume a good deal of that is travel, however, for the price and the adventure aspect it is the top of my list.

Budget Iceland Helicopter Tours

We all know that a helicopter tour is going to cost more than simply seeing the sights from the ground. So I have listed the best budget Iceland helicopter tours here for you to maximise the value of your trip. If you are looking for something a lot more exclusive, private and longer then jump straight to my best private Iceland helicopter tours here.


Reykjavik – Mountain Summit Landing

This is the lowest priced Iceland helicopter tour on my entire list. You are picked up from Reykjavik domestic airport and fly straight to the summit of one of the local mountains. The mountain that is chosen is depending on the weather as this will decide whether the helicopter can land or not.

A helicopter on top of a mountain, a picture you can expect if you get a Iceland helicopter tours

The views from the top are simply gorgeous. Especially if you get to see a sunset!

Then you will land on the chosen mountain, soak in the incredible panoramic views outside of Reykjavik city and fly back to the city. This is perfect for anyone who is a first-time flyer as the time in the helicopter is less than others on this list but you also get to see and land on a mountain.

Perfect For

  • Families with young children. The tour is nice and short and the helicopters have seats available for minors. This is the perfect introduction to helicopter tours for children.
  • Budget travellers. Being the lowest priced tour on this list makes this the best Iceland helicopter tour for those with a strict budget.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 40 minutes
  • Pick Up Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: Families, first-time flyers and those on a strict budget.
  • Takes Off From: Reykjavik airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


Akureyri Mountains And Glacier Landing

This is the perfect step up from the mountain summit landing above. The Akureyri mountain and glacier tour is in my top two Iceland helicopter tours available right now! This is because it is incredibly good value and you get to spend over twice the amount of time in the air than the summit landing above.

This helicopter tour takes you through the majestic Glerardalur Mountain ring where you get to witness the Hraundrangar lava peaks. The helicopter then makes a stop on one of the many glaciers that occupy so much of Iceland. The views from a completely untouched and remote glacier will be one of the best views you will ever see.

Akureyri airport is the sight for all north iceland helicopter tours

Akureyri is a long way from Reykjavik but the sights are well worth the journey.

Perfect For

  • If a helicopter tour in Iceland is near the top of your list then the extra money for this tour is well worth it.
  • Anyone who would rather see the mountains and the glaciers rather than the volcanic terrain. You do get to see the lava peaks however this tour is more geared towards the glacier landing and the mountains.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 90 minutes
  • Pick Up Included: Hotel pickup is offered, inquire for more details.
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: Mountain and glacier lovers!
  • Takes Off From: Akureyri airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


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Geothermal Landscapes Tour

This tour is for the exact opposite type of people as above. If you are into snow, mountains and glaciers then this is not the tour for you. If you want to see: geysers, craters, black lava fields and fields that hiss steam into the air, then this is the tour for you.

This is as much adventure as it is a historic and scientific explosion of information. Your extremely knowledgeable pilot will guide you around the best geothermal areas that Iceland has to offer whilst telling you how and why everything is happening.

Hengill geothermal tour with Iceland Helicopter Tours

You can get so close to sights and places that few other people will ever see.

You will glide over former volcanic eruptions and see the destruction that they can cause but also fly over some of Iceland’s geothermal power plants. You will learn how this raw, destructive power is used to make Iceland powered using 100% renewable energy.

I don’t want to make you think this is just a history lesson because that would be utterly wrong. Being able to see all of this volcanic and geothermal activity from the air will give you a completely unique perspective on what Earth is capable of.

Perfect For

  • Anyone interested in Iceland’s geothermal landscape and history.
  • I recommend this Iceland helicopter tour for children aged 7-14. I don’t know about other kids but at that age, this would have been number 1 on my list.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 60 minutes
  • Pick Up Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: Geothermal and science lovers!
  • Takes Off From: Reykjavik airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


ATV And Helicopter Adventure Tour

This is a special addition to the list as it has only just become available. It basically combines quad biking with a helicopter flight to the top of a mountain to get some insane panoramic views. Now I have to be honest, this is a very specific type of tour and if you are looking for just the best value Iceland helicopter tours then this is not the one for you. That’s because some of your money is going into the quad biking so obviously less of your money is going towards the helicopter.

However, if you are looking for a proper day out and a real adventure then this literally hits the spot. The other helicopter tours in this list tend to hover around the 1 hour to 2-hour mark (unless you go for a serious private tour). This tour is 5 hours long! Yes, not all of that is in a helicopter but it’s a seriously good way to spend your day.

2 people on top of a mountain during an Iceland helicopter tour

After some serious fun with the ATV’s you get to enjoy a view like this!

Make your helicopter experience even more memorable with some added adventure!

You start by quad-biking through the wilderness up into the mountains. This is where you will jump into your helicopter and fly to the summit. If you are wanting to solely maximise your time in the air then maybe it’s not for you. However, I highly recommend this as a group day out!

Perfect For

  • Small groups and couples. Jade and I absolutely love this sort of wilderness adventure together.
  • Families wanting some seriously cool memories all rolled into one.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 5 hours (Includes 1 hour on ATV’s & travel between activities)
  • Pick Up Included: Yes, from designated spots in Reykjavik. Drop off is NOT included
  • Age Suitable For: Minimum 6 years old.
  • Best For: Small groups, couples and thrill-seeking families.
  • Takes Off From: Reykjavik City

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


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Reykjanes Peninsula And Volcanic Landscapes

The Reyjnaes Peninsula is a similar kind of helicopter tour than the Geothermal Landscapes tour above. Both concentrate primarily on showing you the incredible landscapes formed, and still forming, from Iceland’s volcanic and geothermal environment. This tour is a little more expensive than the geothermal tour above, however it does have some very interesting sights to set it slightly above the cheaper version.

You’ll be able to see some of the most incredible lakes nestled in areas where people simply cannot get to. One example of this is Lake Grænavatn which shines a brilliant emerald green because of it’s mineral and algae deposits

If you want to see some of the most incredible coastlines in Iceland then this is the tour for you

That’s not all of course! You also get to see geothermal hot springs and bubbling mud pits unseen by most on the ground.

What really separates it from the Geothermal Landscapes tour above though is the scenery you can take in from flying up and down the coastline. The black sand beaches and dramatic cliffs are something that you may not see on similar tours.

Perfect For

  • Couples and small families.
  • People with a good interest in the geothermal landscape of Iceland and less about the ice.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 60 – 75 minutes
  • Pick Up Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: Geothermal and coastline lovers.
  • Takes Off From: Reykjavik Airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


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Mid-Range Iceland Helicopter Tours

You’ve had a browse through the best budget helicopter tours in Iceland and now you’re wondering what else is there to offer if you want to spend a little more money. Well if you can answer yes to all of the following then this is the place for you!

  • Are you looking for a once in a lifetime experience and want to maximise your time in the air as much as you can?
  • Do you have a higher budget put aside for one incredible Iceland experience?
  • Do you want to see things that most people will never get to see?

These helicopter tours specialise in taking you to places that the other tours either don’t have the time to go or can’t go.


Fire And Ice

Whilst you were reading the budget helicopter tours above, you may have seen that you had to choose between geothermal volcanic areas and glacial mountains. Well, with the Fire and Ice tour you don’t! Maybe you could’ve guessed it from the name of the tour but I like to be dramatic anyway.

The Glymer waterfall in Iceland. One of the great views you can get on helicopter tours in Iceland

Imagine seeing this by air. A view very few people are ever going to see.

You will fly past Iceland’s highest waterfall on your way into the mountains to land on a pristine remote glacier to get those awesome panoramic views that you know you want. Then you will make your way down to the raw geothermal landscapes that Iceland is famous for, and land where the mud boils from the ground, and steam shoots through the rocks. This area literally does not have a road to it so you’ll be somewhere very few people have ever been.

It’s more money but if you are having difficulty deciding whether you want to see the fire or the ice then this Iceland helicopter tour was literally made for you.

Perfect For

  • Anyone wanting to see both glaciers and geothermal terrain.
  • Anyone wanting more than one stop during their helicopter adventure

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: Up to 140 minutes
  • Pick Up Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: People who want the best of both worlds
  • Takes Off From: Reykjavik Airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


The Highlands Helitour

This is THE Iceland helicopter tour in this list if you want to maximise your time in the air, rather than have multiple stop-offs which reduce your flying time. The highlands helitour does have stop offs however the whole tour is 4 hours long! This means that even with the landings, you’ll be flying for a lot longer than any of the above.

You will get to see canyons, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and geothermal landscapes. You don’t need to have a preference with the highlands helicopter tour as you will get to see everything.

The highlight of the tour has to be stepping out onto the Eyjafjallajokul volcano, the volcano that erupted and shut down massive areas of European airspace in 2010.

A view of the Eyjafjallajokul Glacier that is accessible if you book a helicopter tours in Iceland

Hopefully, the volcano is less active when you’re visiting!

Perfect For

  • Anyone wanting to see everything Iceland has to offer.
  • People wanting to maximise their time in the air rather than the ground.
  • People who want to walk on a famous volcano.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Pick Up Included: Yes
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: People wanting to maximise air time
  • Takes Off From: Reykjavik Airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


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Private Iceland Helicopter Tours

Ok, now we’re in the big time. These tours don’t only have the best itineraries, longest flight times and incredible scenery, but they’re also completely private. Now you may be thinking that this really isn’t worth the significant additional money it costs.

However, if your budget extends to these tours then the benefits can be enormous. For example, some Iceland helicopter tours allow one person to sit in the front of the helicopter to get the most incredible views possible. In any of the tours above, you’ll be limited to the customer who gets there first and is quickest to ask. That customer will then sit there for the duration of the trip. Or, there is a choice of landing spot or flyby and you want a particular place.

It’s a democracy we live in so what if the group chooses a spot where you really don’t fancy? Or when the helicopter does eventually touch down, you have some people who want an extra 10 minutes here and there! These sorts of issues may not concern you, but if a private tour is in your price range then kiss these problems goodbye and enjoy the best possible Iceland helicopter experience available.


Highlights Of The North

Northern Iceland is really not seen by the vast majority of travellers to Iceland, mainly because nearly everyone flies into Reykjavik and enjoys what the south has to offer. However, the untouched incredible beauty of the north is a truly unmissable sight.

You will fly around crystal water, giant waterfalls and vast geothermal landscapes for up to 5 hours. On top of that, you will get a 1.5-hour visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can soak in the warm volcanic water. For more information about the Myvatn Nature Baths then check out their website here.

A small wooden hut in the Myvatn baths in iceland

Taking a dip in the Myvatn Baths may even beat the helicopter tour itself!

You do already have to be in the North for this trip as it flies from Akureyri so bear this in mind when booking this Iceland helicopter tour. However, if you already know that you will be in the North for your trip then this is truly an unmissable adventure.

Perfect For

  • People wanting a private more individual experience.
  • Travellers wanting to experience a hot spring bath during their trip to Iceland.
  • People who are already planning a trip to the north of Iceland.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 6.5 Hours including the time at the baths
  • Pick Up Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: People wanting a private tour and are already planning on visiting the north
  • Takes Off From: Akureyri airport

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


Best Of South Iceland Tour

The exact opposite of the tour above, the best of South Iceland helicopter tour provides the best possible experience for anyone wanting to explore the south coast of Iceland. I have to be honest, this tours itinerary is the best on this entire list.

You will get 3 stops on an epic 7-hour helicopter tour visiting the very best places in the whole of the south region of Iceland. These include the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon where the glacier is literally breaking into the sea, Fjallabak nature reserve which literally translates as ‘behind the mountains’ where very few people get to visit and Eyjafjallajökull glacial volcano which is the very place that erupted and grounded so much of Europe in 2010.

Rolling hills that can be seen if you book a helicopter tours in iceland

The views of the Fjallabak Reserve are some of the most spectacular in all of Iceland

Not only this but you will fly by lava fields, volcanoes, mountains, glaciers and lakes that decorate some of the most beautiful places that Iceland has to offer.

I believe that this is the best tour of my entire list for what it offers.

Perfect For

  • People who don’t want to compromise on their experience
  • Travellers who in particular want to experience the south of Iceland

Pro Tips

This tour company cannot guarantee this tour as being private. This is because throughout the year the aircraft they have available changes and they may not be able to use the smaller aircraft if the weather is bad. I strongly advise emailing in advance to find out if you can make it private.

Also, this tour does not operate during December and January.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 7 Hours including the time at the baths
  • Pick Up Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Best For: Groups of 3 who want the most comprehensive Iceland helicopter tour available
  • Takes Off From: Nordurflug´s helicopter base – Reykjavik

Click here for more information and prices of this tour


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Where To Fly From

This is a big deal when you are planning your Iceland helicopter tour. Where are you going to be? What else are you planning whilst you are in Iceland? Do you want to go out of your way to get the best possible experience or would you rather not spend additional time getting to a faraway airport?

In this list of best Iceland helicopter tours, there are 2 airports to choose from:

  • Reykjavik Domestic Airport
  • Akureyri Airport

The obvious difference being that Akureyri Airport is in the very north of Iceland and Reykjavik Airport is in the south. Do not make the mistake of booking a helicopter tour without checking which airport it is. It may sound like I am stating the obvious but there is a difference of 432km between the two airports so it would be frustrating to get it wrong.

If you are planning to go up north then Akureyri airport has some good options for helicopter tours, however, if you will be staying in the south then I recommend choosing a Reykjavik flight.

The Weather

I have read too many negative reviews on tour sites to not bring this up. Every single one of these tours is weather permitting. If it is dangerous to fly then your flight will be cancelled or re-scheduled. If you accept your cancellation then you will be given a 100% refund in all cases in this list.

Sometimes you may experience delays to your trip as they wait for a weather system to clear. They would rather wait a small amount of time and get you in the air than cancel altogether. Therefore, I highly recommend not having paid plans immediately after your tour experience, for example, another tour or booked activity.

Weight Limits

Many of the tours listed above, and I believe even the ones that do not specifically say, have a policy with anyone over 120kg. If you are over this weight bracket then you will have to purchase another half seat in order to participate in the tour. This is due to the weight balance in the aircraft and not due to the size of the customer. Please do not take this personally and it is entirely a safety measure put in place by the tour operators.

Insurance

So, you may not know but your travel insurance probably does not cover injury and expenses if you are involved in a helicopter accident. You have to make sure that when you buy a travel insurance policy that being a passenger in a small or light aircraft is covered in the activities of your policy.

I understand that it is an unhappy subject but please do make sure you do this as if something did happen, you don’t want to be uninsured making things so much worse.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Will It Cost For A Helicopter Tour In Iceland?

The prices vary from around $280 for a short mountain summit, all the way to $3000+ for a 7 hour, multi landing private adventure.

How Long Are Iceland Helicopter Tours?

They range from a minimum of 1 hour, all the way to 7 hours.

What Will I See On An Iceland Helicopter Tour?

Depending on the tour you may see, volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, coastline, lava fields, geysers, mountains, lakes and geothermal fields.

How Many People Are On Iceland Helicopter Tours?

The different tours vary with the amount of money you are willing to spend. However, this ranges from 3 – 12.

Do You Land or Stay In The Air On An Iceland Helicopter Tour?

The majority of the helicopter tours in Iceland will have at least one stop off. However, there are plenty that only stay in the air.

Should I Get A Helicopter Tour Or A Plane Tour In Iceland?

I recommend a helicopter tour in Iceland because the views you can get are much more significant. A helicopter can get lower, slower and the viewing ports and angles are usually bigger. A plane is a good option if you are on a strict budget as they tend to be cheaper than their helicopter counterparts.

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Iceland helicopter tours picture of a helicopter flying over geothermal land

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