Why Iceland From Above Needs to be on Your Travel List

– By Chris Ayliffe, Traveo

There’s no question about it, Iceland is the ultimate land of adventure. You can explore volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, endless waterfalls and the most unique geothermal areas. However, there are some ways of experiencing these fantastic sites that can take your trip up a notch and make it that extra special.

Taking your Iceland adventure to the skies is one of the most incredible experiences you can have. With trips taking you hovering directly above the colourful quirky streets of Reykjavik, the powerful geothermal areas, some of the most spectacular hidden waterfalls, as well as further afield to land on glaciers and explore the Highlands is truly mind-boggling.

What’s unavoidable is that the quirky and wonderful country of Iceland was meant to be explored in the most epic of ways possible. In this blog, I will explain exactly why you need to book a trip to the skies on your next holiday to Iceland, and why this will make it the most unforgettable trip of a lifetime.

Why Should You Take a Helicopter Tour?

Well, aside from the obvious fact that you can have a holiday feeling like a James Bond villain, for most of us taking a helicopter tour is a once in a lifetime experience. Let me just paint the picture for you really quick.

You meet your helicopter pilot who guides you out onto the airfield and into your seat in the front of a pristine looking chopper. Once his pre-flight safety checks are complete, you’re buckled in with your Bose headset on where you’ll hear the pilot asking if he has clearance to take off. The muffled sounds of the propellers start to grow in volume as your pulse raises in tandem (surely you can’t fly like this?!). Then, you gently take off several hundred feet in the air, with the helicopter tilting slowly forward to zoom across the airstrip and out higher and higher over the colourful city roofs of Reykjavik.

By this point, you’re experiencing a cocktail of excitement, wonder and delight as you zoom off on your helicopter adventure with all the trepidation left behind you.

Not only this, but Norðurflug participated in some of the most incredible films featured in Iceland. These include: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Oblivion, Noah, Flags of our Fathers, Batman Begins, Star Wars, Game of Thrones amongst a plethora of others. So, when it comes to picking the right provider for a helicopter tour, you’re in expert hands.

Simply put, it’s one of the best things to do in Iceland.

Which Helicopter Tour is the Best and Which Should You Take?

An excellent question, but this all depends on what you want to see, how long you want your ride to be and how much time you have. So, with that in mind let me break down the options for you so you can make an informed decision.

Reykjavik Summit

Source: Reykjavik Summit Tour | Helicopter tour in Reykjavik. Traveo Iceland

This is the perfect flight for those of you who either have some extra time on a day in Reykjavik or would like to try a helicopter experience for the first time to see if the shoe fits as it were. The total duration of this trip is around 40-45 minutes and will take you up and out over the Reykjavik rooftops and across the adjacent bay, to land on top of either the beautiful Mount Esja, Stóri Bolli or close to Bláfjöll based on the weather conditions of the day.

Once you’ve landed, your pilot will guide you out of the chopper and show you some of the most surreal views few get to witness unless they’ve been hiking for hours, sweating and aching from the exhaustion. However, you’ll get to take your time gathering some pictures and videos, or simply enjoy the unique silence of the top of the mountain and sip some complementary sparkling wine. Combine this with the long daylight hours of the midnight sun and you’re in for the complete treat.

I personally took this tour a few months ago and the experience was incredible. The pilot was very helpful and informative about the geology and geography of the panoramic views around me, and the chance to look down from the top of a mountain to the beautiful carved city of Reykjavik across the bay with the steaming geothermal vents to the east, is a sight to behold.

Warning – if you’re travelling with couples, watch out for the imminent proposal from the summit of Mount Esja! With an experience this good, it’s pretty hard not to.

Explore a Geothermal Area











Iceland is known as ‘the land of fire and ice’, and it’s for good reason. The name basically comes from the fact that we have an abundance of glaciers (including Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull), and beneath our very feet we walk on top of a tremendously active volcanic island.

You’d think for Icelanders, given the fact that they live on a major faultline (between the North American & Eurasian tectonic plates), and the abundance of active volcanoes dotted around the country, that this would be something to be wary of. However, though Icelanders retain a deep respect for the power of nature around them, it does also make our landscape that extra more interesting.

As a result, this tour option is perfect for those of you who have a little extra time and are wanting a little longer helicopter ride to get up close and personal to Iceland’s richly volcanic geothermal side.This trip will take you over one of the most active volcanic regions in Iceland, the Hellisheiði plateau. You’ll fly through lava fields, over basalt mountains and land in regions well away from the crowds that few get to witness, such as the Hengill geothermal area (an old volcano). The flight duration of this tour is around 50-60 minutes and will let you get up close and personal to what makes the ‘fire’ in the name ‘the land of fire and ice’.

Discover Iceland’s Craters from Above

Part of the perks of being a volcanic island is that Iceland also has a huge number of incredible landscapes and craters. For the geological geeks among you, this might be the perfect tour for you. This tour takes to the skies and lasts 65-90 minutes as you witness some further afield splendours of the neighbouring, richly volcanic and often overlooked, Reykjanes peninsula.

The Reykjanes peninsula from above looks very much like another world, with the sheer number of craters, expanses, colourful lakes and endless lava fields. It’s one of the most active volcanic regions in the country, with even a recent inflation of activity beneath Thorbjorn volcano near the Blue Lagoon. I can feel your pulses racing, but fear not, there is no imminent eruption expected and you are in very safe hands with the very best helicopter pilots in Iceland who have experience in all of our country’s wonderfully bizarre and varying conditions.

This tour will take over the stunning Lake Kleifarvatn and Lake Grænavatn, nestled by the surrounding mountains of old lava flows. Then, onto the active and oozing geological colours of the Seltún geothermal area, before heading further south towards the world famous Blue Lagoon. However, no helicopter tour counts without an incredible stop. On this tour, your pilot will land at Eldvörp on the Reykjanes peninsula, which is a 10km long crater row containing such extensive geothermal activity that you will always see the steam rising from the earth beneath you.

This tour is an incredible geological and otherworldly experience, and also gives you the most unique perspective of the powerful volcanic grounds of Iceland’s southernmost peninsula.

Land on a Glacier and a Volcano

Fire and Ice helicopter tour in Iceland

Fire and Ice helicopter tour in Iceland

This tour is the next step up for those willing to spend a little more to get a truly special Icelandic experience. You will literally get to land on top of a glacier and a volcano.Imagine planning a holiday which involves landing a helicopter on these giants of the natural world. This simply doesn’t happen, except in Iceland. This is the perfect tour for those of you keen to spend a little extra to complete one of the most incredible bucket list items few would even know was possible.

As soon as you’ve buckled up and put on your headphones, your pilot will zoom straight out of the city, over the geothermal area and land on Þórisjökull Glacier, just south of Langjökull glacier.On your journey, you’ll fly over Iceland’s tallest waterfall, Glymur, which thunders down 198m into the carved cavern belows. This waterfall is well off the traditional tourist trail, and a treat indeed for travellers taking up this tour.Once you’ve landed, you’ll get your first taste of the views from a summit of a glacier. Take your time to capture some shots of the panoramic mountain peaks and tranquil carved valleys below this creeping titan.  As you slowly head back into the skies, make sure you look down at the various caverns and cracks of this mighty glacier beneath which is constantly on the move.

Next, you’ll fly over the visible divide of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates at Þingvellir National Park as you explore Iceland’s Golden Circle from above. This will also take you over Iceland’s largest natural inland lake, Þingvallavatn, which is regularly known as one of the best places to see the Northern Lights from. Your second stop will take you to the remote geothermal area of Hengill well away from the tourist trails. With easily accessible secluded hot springs and bubbling mud pots, this is a stop you’ll want to keep your camera close for.

The Essential Iceland Helicopter Adventure


Landmannalaugar tour Iceland

Landmannalaugar tour Iceland

Now, this is without a doubt the ultimate helicopter adventure you can possibly have in Iceland. On this 3-4 hour epic adventure, you’ll get to witness volcanoes, glaciers, geothermal areas and the most incredible waterfalls. This tour takes you far and wide from the Reykjavik surroundings and out into the wild rugged terrains of Iceland.

You’ll start by flying over the incredible locations on Iceland’s most popular travellers trail, the Golden Circle. Look down on the open fissures in Þingvellir National Park, the blasts from the towering geysir of Strokkur, and the mighty falls of the thunderous waterfall of Gullfoss. Next, you’ll head straight for the much untouched outback of Iceland’s incredible highlands. You’ll visit the uniquely vibrant and colourful terrains of the spectacular Landmannalaugar, and even thread the needle of the towering glacier of Þórsmörk, to visit the very site of Eyjafjallajökull’s 2010 eruption.

Afterwards, you’ll head straight past some of Iceland’s most breathtaking, and much overlooked, waterfalls in between the mountain crevices around you before gliding over the famous black sand beaches of Iceland. This is the perfect trip for those who have at least half a day spare and are willing to spend extra to visit some of the most inaccessible and frankly, most breathtaking views of Iceland. With a combination of famous trails, hidden waterfalls and the secluded highlands, there really is nothing like it.

Waterfall Háifoss – Highland – Iceland


No matter which option you choose, I can guarantee you from experience that you’re in for ticking off a bucket list item few have even heard of. It’s the icing on top of the cake of your holiday with the most epic and surreal views. What’s more, you’ll also get to zoom, glide and explore some of the most beautiful spots of Iceland. Whether you’re daring yourself to try riding in a helicopter tour for the first time or pushing the limits to explore volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, the highlands of Iceland and more, there is an option that’s just right for you.

If a helicopter tour wasn’t on your plan when deciding to visit Iceland, it should be now!


10 years from Eyjafjallajökull Eruption


















Time flies! Today ten years have passed since the 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.  These volcanic events caused air traffic to close down across Western and Northern Europe from 15th to 20th of April 2010, creating the highest level of air travel disruption since the Second World War! We remember it like it happened yesterday.

Eyjafjallajökull, the name that made worldwide news and was every newscasters nightmare to pronounce, is a beautiful glacier volcano on the South Coast of Iceland.  This active volcano, covered with a beautiful ice cap, has erupted relatively frequently since the last ice age. Most of the time followed by eruptions by its large neighbour Katla Volcano. Katla Volcano is one of the biggest and most active volcano in Iceland. It erupted last in 2011 a small eruption but the last violent eruption was 102 years ago, in 1918. This volcano is long overdue and scientists have Katla Volcano on their radar for when it erupts next.

Eyjafjallajökull  is a stratovolcano, which means it is made up of many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and volcanic ash. These volcanoes are characterized by their periodic and explosive eruptions.

The name Eyjafjallajökull is made up of two parts: the first part, Eyjafjöll, is the name given to the southern side of the volcanic mountain mass, which forms the foot of the volcano together with the small mountains. The name is made up of the words eyja meaning „island“ and fjöll meaning „mountains“ so the literal meaning is „the mountains of the island“. The second part, which the name is made up of is jökull means glacier. Therefore, the altogether meaning is “glacier of the islands mountain“.

The eruption in 2010 lasted almost one month.During this time, Norðurflug has implemented 10 trips a day with two helicopters. The departure took place from Hotel Ranga, which is located between Reykjavík and the volcano, approximately 95 km away from the city center.

Eyjafjallajökull is one of the highlights of many of our tours and we can say that the eruption in 2010  truly put Iceland on the map and have attracted many travelers to Iceland since.

Discover Eyjafjallajökull by helicopter on the Volcanoes and Glaciers tour, the Essential Iceland tour and the Glacier Lagoon Expedition.

Fun facts:

# What does the name mean? Direct translation of the name Eyjafjallajökull: „Island Mountain Glacier“. As simple as that!

#How is it pronounced? Check it out: [ˈɛɪjaˌfjatl̥aˌjœːkʏtl]   

#The Icelandic Volcano Tongue Twister, check it out here

#When the eruption started on the Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail it formed two new volcanic craters which were named Magmi and Móði.

TWO NEW TOURS- check it out


We at Norðurflug Helicopter Tours just launched TWO NEW TOURS to our selection!

Hunting Film Locations  and Witches and Elves Country  are featuring some new places to sink in the vast landscape that Iceland has to offer and we want our passengers to have a chance to experience Iceland exactly as they desire.

Therefore, we are so proud of our various selection of tours for our customers and so stay tuned for two new blogs, one for each tour to tell you all about it!


Þorrinn, pronounced „Thorrinn“ in English, means Frost or Winter.

It is the forth winter month (begins on the first Friday after January 19th) in the old Icelandic calendar that was developed in the 10th century.

The exact origin of the name Þorri is unclear, however it has long been identified with Thor (Þór) the God of Thunder in the Norse mythology.

Þorrablót (Thorrablot) is an Icelandic midwinter festival celebrated every year during the month of Þorri (Thorri). The calendar is not in official use any more but still today some Icelandic holidays and annual feasts are calculated from it and now the month Þorri started on the 24th of January 2020 and then Icelanders sit down during the month of Þorri and eat Þorramatur (food of Thorri).

Norðurflug Helicopter Tours 14 years old!





 Til hamingju með afmælið

Norðurflug Helicopter Tours hits puberty this year, as we turn 14 years old today on February 3rd.

We are so proud of all these years, providing our customers with high quality service to truly witness Iceland‘s natural beauty. Our years of experience and affection for our craft, shows in our long reputation of exceptional customer service and high operational standards.

We are the oldest & largest helicopter service in Iceland and rated as one of Trip Advisor‘s top activities in Iceland and our success can all be explained with one simple formula… We simply love what we do!  

We can‘t wait to meet all our wonderful customers in 2020 and for years to come!


Xínnián Kuáilé – Happy New Chinese Year

Saturday, the 25th of January 2020, marks the first day of the Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year as it‘s also celebrated in South Korea, North Korea and Vietnam.

Most people in the mainland of China call it Spring Festival, technically a 15 day holiday that marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and celebrate new beginnings and fresh starts by praying to gods for a good planting and harvest season. They say it‘s the biggest firework show in the world set up on Chinese New Year‘s Eve and firecrackers are set off at midnight as in the myth about Nian the firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. Then firecrackers and fireworks sound throughout the night and firecrackers used again to welcome the new year and good luck the morning after.

However the most important part of the Chinese New Year is the tradition for the whole family to celebrate together and so it causes the largest human migration in the world as people travel back to their home village for the New Year‘s Eve dinner.

We think warm thoughts to our Chinese friends in these sad times regarding the Wuhan virus, and we wish you Happy New Year dear friends!

What to do in Iceland

If you’ve just started planning your trip to Iceland you might wonder what to do in Iceland?  Even Icelanders use lists like these for reference because there is just simply so much to choose from!.

What to do?

Everybody loves lists. They sum up a bunch of stuff you need (or don´t need) to know so you can quickly scroll through before continuing on to the next Buzzfeed post on the Kardashians… or that’s what I do at least. But sometimes you can find some really useful ones. Lists of practical things that someone else has already taken the time to investigate for you.

Iceland is a very seasonal destination but it is actually great in all seasons.

100 Best things to do!

So! Here is a list for ya: 100 BEST THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND The list includes snorkeling, going to the Westfjords, visit the museum of witchcraft in Hólmavík and, surprise surprise, a helicopter tour!

Picture by Kirill Sulyga


Iceland, a tiny, football nation

Iceland is a small nation and our hearts beat for football.

What it’s like to be a football player in Iceland

As a football player in Iceland, you get used to playing football in all kinds of weather. Every footballer here has experienced a practice where the wind is so heavy that the goals won’t stay put, or the weather is so freezing that it literally hurts every time you hit the ball. It’s for sure a bit crazy to play football on this tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic but it doesn’t matter, people love the sport and today it is the most popular sport in Iceland.

Indoor vrs Outdoor football fields

Since we can experience some crazy weather here we have the football season in the summer; the only time of the year when the grass is green enough and the fields good enough to be called football fields. Although some of the big towns have built indoor football fields for the teams to practice on over the winter time, still today most of the teams practice outside in all kinds of weather and that’s where you can really see the viking spirit!

Picture from the BBC

Iceland’s success in international competitions

Over the past few years both our women’s and men’s teams have grown a lot. It is remarkable for a nation with 350.000 inhabitants to have a women’s national football team that qualified for the Euros three times in a row, 2009. 2013 and 2017, making it to the Quarter Finals in 2013. And a men’s national football team that qualified for the Euros in 2016, advancing to the Quarter Finals as well, and are now going to the World Cup in 2018!

The World Cup of 2018

On June 16th, in just twelve short days, Iceland’s first game in the World Cup against Argentina will take place in Moscow. I can tell you for sure that the Icelandic nation has long saved the date. So buckle up and get ready for the World Cup in Russia this summer!


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