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Visit Iceland on your way to Europe – The Icelandair Stopover

I’ve never really written anything about the airlines that fly to Reykjavík because basically they have huge marketing budgets, while I never made a penny of this blog until recently, and I didn’t see the reason to give them any free advertising. Icelanders also, in general, hold a grudge against the airlines because throughout the years there hasn’t been a lot of competition on the airline market here and we often have to pay an arm and a leg (plus a dash of the white of our eyes) to get anywhere. Meanwhile they offer great deals to foreigners coming to Iceland. From a marketing standpoint I see how it benefits the country to offer cheaper flights to Iceland (we want your tourist krónur) but as a disgruntled consumer it doesn’t make much of a difference.

I’ve also landed on the “only” plane in Icelandair’s fleet that doesn’t have an entertainment system just one too many times. I’m actually starting to think this is some sort of conspiracy at this point.

But since I usually have your best interest in mind I’m willing to overlook my flying-machine oligopoly policy this one time because I know it’s going to benefit some of you. If there’s an Icelandair marketing executive reading this you might want to consider giving me an upgrade the next time I fly with you to help me forget my grievances. Just saying.

Introducing the Icelandair Stopover Program

Myvatn Air Iceland (14)

Anyway. If you are in Amercia or Canada and you are planning on going to Europe anytime soon you might want to look into the Icelandair stopover program. I’ve heard from a lot of people this summer that Icelandair offer pretty competitive prices to Europe but they use Iceland as a hub connecting America and Europe. To aid you in spending your hard earned cash in Iceland, and because like those food sampling people in the supermarkets giving away free stuff we know that if you get a taste of Iceland you will have to come back (try to deny it), Icelandair lets you stop over in Iceland on your way to Europe for absolutely 0 krónur for up to 7 nights. Now that’s a bargain if I ever saw one.

Of course you don’t always have time to stop for a long time but there’s plenty you can do in Reykjavík in just one day. Keflavík Airport is small and easy to navigate and it doesn’t take long to get into the city. Of course you’ll leave The States in the evening and arrive in Iceland in the morning for your outbound flight but if you stop over on your way back you can usually take an afternoon flight and then you leave Iceland again in the afternoon the next day. OK, two days is probably better but one day is totally doable.

The Sun Voyager


You could join my tour in the morning (hint hint) and then spend the afternoon visiting museums and hot tubs and eating at one of the many yummy restaurants around town. If you don’t mind flying with a hangover (or still under the influence) you could even plan your trip so you can enjoy the famous Reykjavík nightlife before you will yourself back to the airport to leave the best city ever.

See, no excuses not to visit!

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  1. Am interested in the “free” stopover. Am flying from Toronto to Manchester and wish to have the Iceland stopover. But how do you BOOK it ? Do I book Toronto and Manchester and somehow let them know I wish to stopover for 2 or 3 days ? Or do i book Toronto to Reykjavik and Reykjavik to Manchester in which case not sure how the stopover is “free” ?

  2. Dec 28, 2015 to Jan 4, 2015
    4 tickets from Chicago to Edinburgh Scotland with an Iceland stopover

  3. I am looking at an 18 hour layover in Iceland. I would arrive in the morning. Is the stopover still something I can do? They say there is no added cost to the airfare, but what about hotel and fees for visiting some of the sites? Thank you!

    1. You can see a lot in 18 hours but of course it’s going to cost you – at least accommodation if you need to stay over night and then either a tour or rental car if you want to explore more than just Reykjavík.

  4. I am potentially taking a 24 hour stopover from Paris to Chicago. However the flight arrives at 3:30pm and leaves at 4:45pm the next day. Will this give me enough time to venture out toward the golden circle or will I be restricted to staying in town. Also, how early would you suggest arriving at the airport for the flight. Thanks for any advice!

  5. I already bought my hostel and plane ticket from the USA to Iceland as a stopover and then will head to Norway. Does the stopover include hostel and food for the days I stopover if I did the program? Since I already bought my ticket and hostel, can I get it refunded and do the program instead?

    1. No it does not – it just gives you up to seven days to go and explore if you would like to do that. You would have to discuss it with your airline and hotel about getting it refunded.

  6. hey guys i am travelling with my family from london on nov 16. i have a 18 hour stay in reykjavik i arrive at 11pm and departure 5pm the next day can someone tell what can i do in that time there ?? also can someone guide me on hotels that are not too pricy. This is my first time going to iceland i really have no idea what to expect.

  7. Post comment

    John from LifetimeTrek.com says:

    Iceland is great! Traveling by WOW Air or Iceland Air, you can book a stopover at no extra cost. It’s definitely worth seeing!

  8. I have a short layover of 8 hours 20 minutes, 9 in the morning to some time around 5 p.m. Is it possible to get out of the airport For a tour in that time limit? And what would that cost?

    1. Yes, it would be possible but you wouldn’t get very far. The Reykjanes peninsula, possibly with a stop at the Blue Lagoon if you are into that, would be manageable. The price would depend on how you do it. If you want us to look into it for your you’re welcome to be in touch via e-mail.

  9. I was under the impression there was a stopover program that also includes accommodation in Iceland for up to 7 days. I am getting ready to book my flight but not finding how to do so anywhere but just the option to break up the flights at no extra cost.
    Have you heard of such program? if so, how do I go by booking?

    1. Post comment

      Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      The stopover program just allows you do exactly that – stopover in Iceland. There’s nothing included, you just don’t have to pay anything extra to break up your flights.

  10. When I tried to book at the iceland air with “stop over” option.
    I was not able to find the cheapest fair that was available from “round trip” option.
    Certainly there is a lot less cheapest fare available when stop overs are inserted.
    I also found that stop over cannot be inserted at only outbound or inbound. It has to be added at both out and in bound trips.
    So, indeed it may involve no extra cost, but effectively you will be paying more.

    1. Post comment

      Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      With this like everything else you need to do your research – sometimes things end up like you described, sometimes people get a cheaper option the other way around. It all depends on the circumstances.

  11. Iceland is definitely a must visit place and it’s an interesting place to be in! Interesting to know winters have shorter days and summer have longer ones. This would definitely help out in the planning and timing of trips.