Female Travel to Iceland: Your Complete Guide

Woman standing in front of a frozen lake in Iceland

Iceland is one of the coolest places you’ll ever visit. The Land of Fire and Ice has a fascinating culture, and is well-known for its breathtaking natural wonders. Imagine untouched wilderness, active volcanoes and immense glaciers, plus countless waterfalls and hot springs.

When it comes to female travel, Iceland is your ideal destination. This is thanks to its safety, gender equality, and opportunities for adventure. It’s home to welcoming locals, with its capital city of Reykjavík ranked one of the safest cities in the world.

Whether you want to visit Iceland as a solo female traveler or with a group of your favorite girlfriends, Iceland is a fabulous destination for women. Keep scrolling to discover why Iceland should be at the top of your bucket list.

Why is Iceland perfect for female travelers?

Not only is Iceland jam-packed with extraordinary things for you to see and do. It’s also a place where, as a woman, you can travel with peace of mind. These are the top reasons why Iceland is the perfect place for female visitors.

An Icelandic woman leaning out of a car window

1. Gender equality

You’ll find that being a female traveler in Iceland is quite a different experience compared to when you’re in other countries. There are many places where women don't have the same rights and aren't treated with as much respect. 

Iceland ranks highly for gender equality. For example, Iceland has actually been at the top of the World Economic Forum’s Gender Pay Gap index for more than a decade. It’s the only country in the world that has closed over 90% of the gender pay gap.

The Equality Act

That’s just the start of the story though. As a female citizen in Iceland, you’d expect to be treated fairly and to have your rights protected due to the Equality Act.

Within this law are 13 specific areas to help the country reach gender equality. This includes making sure that everyone has the right to balance work and family life, teaching equal rights in schools, and working against gender-based harassment.

If you’re visiting Iceland as a woman, you might be interested to know about the nation’s feminist laws. Like the fact that companies must have boards made up of 40% women. And that there’s even a Ministry of Gender Equality to keep women’s rights protected in Iceland.

2. Safety

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to choosing where you should travel, especially as a woman, is safety. You may feel like you need to take extra precautions to stay safe, whether alone or with a group. 

Iceland is one of the safest countries you can visit. It has ranked first consecutively on the Global Peace Index and has one of the world's lowest crime rates. To put it in perspective, most police officers don't carry guns, and there is no army.

Scams are a rare thing, and it’s also a huge plus that most Icelanders speak English. If you need help with something, don’t hesitate to ask the locals.

Of course, it’s not possible for any country to be 100% safe. You should always take care of yourself and your travel companions, wherever you are in the world.

Rainbow street of Skolavordustigur in Reykjavik

Icelandic nature 

Respecting the natural environment is very important when you’re in Iceland. This is a land of volcanoes and glaciers, after all. And it’s not unusual for there to be extreme weather like storms, especially in winter.

That’s why you should always follow the advice of local authorities and take extra care when you’re out in nature. You can stay up to date with Icelandic travel information and advice on the Safe Travel website.

  • Top tip: During your trip with Iceland Tours, you’ll have our support 24/7. If you urgently need us, you can reach our local travel specialists via our helpline.

Iceland solo female travel

Traveling solo, particularly among women, has become more popular and respected recently. 

A solo trip is something everyone should experience at least once. It helps you build confidence and connect with people from different walks of life. Traveling alone also allows you to see and do all the things you want to, without needing to compromise!

As Iceland is one of the best destinations on the planet for safety and women’s rights, it’s brilliant for female solo travel. This, together with the epic landscapes and welcoming locals, means that you’ll have an unforgettable experience exploring Iceland on your own.

A woman with her eyes closed relaxing in water with snowy hills in background

3. Culture

Icelandic culture is a fascinating blend of ancient Viking heritage and modern Nordic influences. Here you’ll meet friendly locals who are known for their hospitality, warmth, and welcoming nature.

One of the most interesting things about the culture is the language. Icelandic is closely related to Old Norse, which was spoken by the Vikings. 

But don’t worry, you won’t need to speak Icelandic to communicate with the locals. English is widely spoken in Iceland, as it’s taught in schools from an early age. It always helps to learn a few Icelandic words though to earn brownie points!


There are so many ways you can delve into Iceland’s culture. A good place to start is by exploring its towns and cities, including the capital, Reykjavík.

Head to Downtown Reykjavík to find tons of restaurants, art galleries, museums and theaters, including the famous Harpa Concert Hall. Make the most of the city’s vibrant nightlife by enjoying evenings out in the many bars and clubs.

Or you could come for exciting events like Reykjavík Culture Night in August, or the Iceland Airwaves music festival in November. You and your girlfriends can watch live music from both local and global artists in this month-long extravaganza.

People walking toward Hallgrimskirkja church

4. Adventures

With so much to see and do, Iceland is a must-visit destination for adventure seekers. Here you can explore the great outdoors, take a dip in a hot spring, and hunt for the Northern Lights. And that’s just for starters. 

The population of Iceland is around 380,000, which is pretty small for the size of the country. And about a third of people live in the capital. 

This means there are wild and untouched landscapes all over the island. So it’s perfect for escaping into nature with your best girlfriends. 

Easy access

Another bonus? Iceland is convenient to get to from both North America and mainland Europe. There are loads of direct flights, taking as little as 2.5 hours from Glasgow, and 5.5 hours from New York. So your adventure is within easy reach!

Woman climbing a glacier in Iceland

Things to do in Iceland

While the Land of Fire and Ice may be small, the experiences you can enjoy are out-of-this-world and basically limitless. 

It can be overwhelming trying to decide what’s worth exploring when you're planning a trip to Iceland. So here are some of the best things to see and do around the island to add to your wish list.

1. Explore with day tours

Choose from tons of day trips and tours in Iceland. It's genuinely heaven on Earth if you’re a nature enthusiast. 

You can go snowmobiling on frozen glaciers, whale watching, walking through lava tunnels, and so much more.

2. Chase the Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis are mystical lights dancing across the sky in green, red and purple. Winter, October to March, is the best time to spot the Northern Lights.

If you go outside Reykjavík, you’ll escape the light pollution from the city. Being in darkness gives you the best chance of witnessing the Northern Lights. 

A woman watching the Northern Lights on the edge of a lake

3. Drive the Golden Circle

Renting a car in Iceland is straightforward, so grab the girls and hit the road. The incredible sights along the Golden Circle route are Gullfoss Falls, Geysir geothermal area, Kerid Crater and Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park.

What’s special about Þingvellir is that it has enormous geothermal and historical significance. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national park is home to the Silfra Fissure, where you can dive between the 2 tectonic plates of America and Europe. 

4. Explore black sand beaches

Iceland’s beaches are not your usual bucket-and-spade spots. Instead you’ll see black sands, giant rock formations, and basalt cliffs here. They really are striking to look at.

The southern village of Vík is where you’ll find Reynisfjara black sand beach, one of the top sites in Iceland. Other cool spots include Fellsfjara (‘Diamond Beach’) and Djupalonssandur.

A woman with a beanie standing in front of a waterfall in Iceland

6. Discover waterfalls

Iceland is renowned for its impressive waterfalls. There are thousands of them, but they’re actually impossible to count!

Here are 5 of the best waterfalls in Iceland:

  • Gullfoss
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Skógafoss
  • Dettifoss
  • Svartifoss

7. Soak in the Blue Lagoon

Hot springs are one of Iceland's magical treasures. The rich water supply is among the most valuable resources in the entire country, and there’s endless geothermal energy that naturally heats it up. So you won’t need to look far to find a warm pool, lagoon or ‘hot pot’.

The most well-known geothermal spa in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon. Here you’ll enjoy a relaxing experience, soaking in warm hot springs with natural clay exfoliators while overlooking a rocky, black lava landscape.

You couldn’t wish for much better pampering on your girls trip! 

Woman relaxing in the Blue Lagoon

What to pack for your Iceland trip

The weather in Iceland is changeable year-round. This means that no matter when you’re traveling, it’s best to be prepared for all kinds of conditions. 

To make the most of your time here, we highly recommend packing items such as:

  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Warm, insulated jacket
  • Cozy gloves, scarf, and wooly hat
  • Walking boots with a grippy sole
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Moisturizer and lip balm

And of course, you’ll want to make sure you can capture those special moments on your Icelandic adventure. So be sure to bring your camera in a waterproof bag – and don’t forget the spare battery packs and charging cable. 

You could also pack a tripod for those group shots, and to capture the precious moment you spot the Northern Lights.

Female travel with Iceland Tours

It's hard to find a more adventurous and exciting destination than Iceland. Whether you’re traveling solo as a female or with a group of friends, rest assured, visiting Iceland as a woman is so worth it.

If you’re inspired to grab your best girlfriends or take yourself off to Iceland on a solo female trip, we can help. All you need is a 5% deposit to secure your booking. Check out girls trips to Iceland and solo tour packages to start planning.

You could rent a car and go off on a self-drive tour of Iceland. Or stick to Reykjavík on a multi-day tour and enjoy day trips, coming back to the same hotel in the capital each evening.

But if you want to explore with a guide by your side the whole time, choose from private and group vacation packages.

Our local travel specialists will take care of your tour itinerary, including accommodation, transport in Iceland, and any activities. Plus you can personalize your trip to make sure you have the getaway of your dreams.

ITo Author Bio Emma G Transparent BG.png

About the author

Born in Sweden, raised in the UK, Emma’s love for travel started at a young age. After completing a degree in Modern Languages, she decided to make travel her day job as well as her personal passion. Now, Emma loves nothing better than writing about Iceland and the Nordic countries, and is always on the lookout for hidden gems to explore.

View more posts by Emma

Related articles

Read more from our Fire and Ice blog.
A woman watching the Northern Lights on the edge of a lake

Why Iceland is Amazing for Solo Travel

How to travel independently, but not alone, around the Land of Fire and Ice.

Read article
A woman holding a camera standing on a cliff with a sunset in the background

Is Iceland Safe to Visit?

This is one of the safest countries in the world, but why?

Read article
Akureyrarkirkja (the Akureyri church) in the evening

Best Towns & Cities in Iceland to Visit

Go on a urban escapade filled with cultural experiences.

Read article