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FlyOver Iceland is an unforgettable experience — a way to see Iceland like no other. If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to fly over Icelandic landscapes like a bird, taking in waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanos from above, this is as close as you can possibly get!
And you don’t even need to leave the capital of Iceland.
FlyOver Iceland is a relatively new attraction in Reykjavík, located in the Grandi Harbor District. It’s a ride that dangles you in front of a spherical screen taking you through Iceland’s most memorable landscapes. You soar back and forth with the camera, giving you a sensation of flying. Special effects like mist as you fly by waterfalls makes it an even more immersive experience.
And these aren’t just typical landscapes of Iceland that you see all the time, like Kirkjufell and Skogafoss. These are some of the most stunning and stupefying shots by some of Iceland’s most talented cinematographers, in gorgeous but rarely seen locations, all exclusive to this place.
I’ll be honest — at first I was a bit skeptical. “I’m coming all the way to Iceland to see the amazing scenery, and on my first day you want me to see a movie of the landscapes?”
Ho ho ho. Flyover Iceland is way more than that.
This is how you fall in love with Iceland and get yourself even more excited for your trip.
FlyOver Iceland, A New Iceland Attraction
FlyOver Iceland opened in September 2019 to great fanfare in Reykjavík. Then came the pandemic a few months later, and travel to Iceland was mostly shut down.
During that time, FlyOver Iceland became a popular activity for Icelanders looking to experience their beloved country in a new way. And as tourism returned to Iceland, first a trickle and then a downpour, that local fandom led to great word of mouth.
For that reason, it still feels like a new attraction: an immersive flight ride that people are still just beginning to discover.
Take a look at the trailer here:
If you’ve been to Disney World, FlyOver Iceland is similar to Soarin’ — my favorite ride at EPCOT, where you fly over scenes from around the world, from the Pyramids of Egypt to the Great Wall of China to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The ride setup is identical, down to the bins beneath the seats.
But there are differences. The flying portion of FlyOver Iceland is longer — the ride itself is 8.5 minutes, whereas Soarin’ is just five minutes. The pre-show adds more, adding up to a 35-minute event altogether.
But honestly, I felt like the quality of the filming was far better at FlyOver Iceland. Spectacular scenery, shot by the absolute best in the business.
FlyOver Iceland Experience
The experience begins with two pre-shows. They teach you the roles of nature and time on Iceland.
The first part is when you enter a dark room that turns into an ancient Viking longhouse. By the light of a crackling fire, an Icelandic storyteller regales you with tales of this Nordic land as shadows dance before you.
The second pre-show, Well of Time, is a visual display of light and nature in darkness, finishing in bright red lava explosions. You’ll see why Iceland is called the land of fire and ice.
This part is led by resident troll Sú Vitra, a woman whose character comes from Icelandic folklore. Icelanders love their local legends!
And from there, it’s time to fly.
My friends and I bundled our belongings under our seats and strapped ourselves in, ready to go. The music began and the seats lifted us into the air in front of the 20-meter spherical screen.
We had taken flight!
Imagine swooping in and out through Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, jagged and gray-green, as you clear a waterfall and mist hits your face, as if you were flying past the real waterfall.
Imagine having a bird’s eye view of purple lupine-streaked hills, and the air smells fresh and flowery, exactly how it would would smell if you stuck your nose in the flowers themselves.
Imagine flying over a thin, jagged mountain path, and realizing with horror that three people are actually BIKING on top of that mountain, with only a few inches of ground to spare on each side of them.
Imagine soaring over lagoons while the Northern Lights dance ahead, galloping with a herd of shaggy Icelandic horses, gliding on Arctic winds over a snow-covered mountain, watching a kayaker actually plunge over the edge of a massive waterfall.
And imagine finishing by flying through downtown Reykjavík, fireworks exploding over Hallgrimskirkja, the church at the end of the rainbow street.
The whole experience was absolute magic. As I watched the screen, tears filled my eyes at the beauty of Iceland, the bravery of the adventurers, and the artistry of the team that had put it together. They must be so proud of this.
And what I especially appreciate is that even after several weeks of manically researching Iceland before this trip, I couldn’t pinpoint many of the destinations in the film.
Sometimes it seems like creatives heavily lean on images of Iceland’s most iconic places — think the mountain and waterfall of Kirkjufell, the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara, the glacier lagoon of Jokulsarlón, and any of those under the Northern Lights. Not so much here.
After the ride, you pass a map of Iceland showing the places in the film, and I had never heard of most of them.
Who can ride FlyOver Iceland?
FlyOver Iceland has a height requirement of at least 102 cm (40 inches); beyond that, there are no age requirements. Feel free to bring young children who are tall enough.
There is no weight limit to ride, but know that the seats are similarly sized to airplane seats.
FlyOver Iceland is not appropriate for people with chronic back or neck pain, heart conditions, photosensitive epilepsy or conditions aggravated by visual stimuli.
While the ride’s motion is gentle, with no thrills, industry standards recommend pregnant people avoid motion rides in general, including FlyOver Iceland.
FlyOver Iceland is wheelchair-accessible, and wheelchair users can ride if they can transfer themselves from chair to the ride seat by themselves or with the assistance of a companion. If not, they can watch the movie safely from a stationary position on the platform with one of the FlyOver Iceland flight guides.
Can you do FlyOver Iceland if you have a fear of heights? It depends. I get a bit nervy about heights, but I enjoyed it immensely. I know some people who are so afraid of heights that they won’t even stand near a window in a tall building — it might be a bit much for someone who has a fear like that.
A Note on Motion Sickness
When the ride finished, I felt a little bit nauseated — not about-to-throw-up nauseated, just a little bit off-kilter. I’m a bit prone to motion sickness (I know, it’s ironic for a travel writer), but I asked my fellow riders how they were feeling. Four of the five of us felt slightly nauseated, but nothing too severe. It wore off within a few minutes.
A solution? I highly recommend bringing non-drowsy motion sickness tablets to Iceland. Just pop one before Flyover Iceland and it won’t make you sleepy or make you feel bad.
In fact, I think non-drowsy motion sickness tablets are essential for trips to Iceland. You absolutely need them for whale watching, and they’re helpful when small, curvy roads through rural areas or bouncy super jeep tours through the Highlands.
After the Ride
FlyOver Iceland has a cafe on site — Kaffi Grandi. This is a nice spot to refresh after enjoying the ride. I had a delicious caramel hazelnut latte. They’ve also got booze if you’re up for a drink.
There’s also a gift shop on site, and though I very rarely shop at gift shops, I found a beautiful piece of lava art that was reasonably priced (around $30) and happened to match my teal couch perfectly. Icelandic ceramic artist Egill Kr. Egilsson has several for sale there. (Oh, and my cats LOVE rubbing their faces on it.)
Cost of FlyOver Iceland — Is it Worth It?
The cost of FlyOver Iceland is 4,990 per adult ($38 USD) and 2,445 ISK ($19) for children under 12. There are frequently discount codes available on the FlyOver Iceland website. That’s the best rate you can find.
Is FlyOver Iceland worth it? Absolutely! First off, this immersive flight experience was completely magical, from start to finish. I still feel exhilarated when thinking about it weeks later. It’s one of the most unique adventures in Reykjavík.
Is it worth the price? Honestly, Iceland is a fairly expensive country, and these prices are in line with typical prices for Iceland attractions. While Iceland is expensive, I consider it a high-value expensive destination, not unlike Japan or Antarctica. This is the kind of place worth saving up for a special trip.
I think FlyOver Iceland is most worth it if you do it when the weather is rough. It’s the perfect rainy day activity in Reykjavík.
Grandi Harbor District
After you’ve done Flyover Iceland, spend more time exploring the Grandi Harbor District and its surroundings! This is a cool up-and-coming part of Reykjavík with lots of cool stores, and though this was my third trip to Reykjavík, I had never been before.
Here are a few places worth dropping in:
Grandi Mathöll — This food hall is a nice spot to stop for lunch, with Icelandic and global food stalls. Frystihúsið has Icelandic fish and chips, Fjárhúsið dishes up lamb burgers and lamb soup, Pastagerðin has fresh pasta, Annapurna has the curries you’ve been missing, and I enjoyed the Korean fried cauliflower from Kore.
If it’s a nice day, sit outside with an Icelandic beer and enjoy the view of Reykjavík, mountains looming from behind the city.
Farmers Market — I wanted to buy everything in this design shop! They have clothing, accessories, and homewares created by Icelandic artisans, and it’s all dramatic and stylized. I loved the fish leather purses — such a cool material — but settled for buying a pair of knitted Icelandic socks for my boyfriend.
Bókabúð Forlagsins — A massive bookstore right next door to FlyOver Iceland. The one place I wish I had gone to!
Omnom Chocolate — Perhaps the most famous place in Grandi Harbor! You see Omnom’s delicious chocolate bars all over the city, but here you can sample their decadent ice cream combinations as well.
Reykjavík Maritime Museum — One of the best museums in Reykjavík, this museum features a look inside the history of Iceland and the ocean. From the history of fishing to traditional Icelandic shipbuilding, you can learn a lot about what made Iceland the nation it is today.
Flyover Iceland FAQ
FlyOver Iceland is located in the Grandi Harbor District of Reykjavik, which is a short walk from the city center.
FlyOver Iceland costs 4,990 ISK ($38 USD) for adults and 2,495 ISK ($19) for children under 12, and there are promo codes on the FlyOver Iceland website.
There is a height requirement of at least 102cm (40 inches) to fly. Beyond that, there are no age restrictions.
Yes! FlyOver Canada in Vancouver showcases the Canadian Rockies, FlyOver Las Vegas showcases the real Wild West; FlyOver America shows the best of the US, from the volcanoes of Hawaii to the vast prairies of the Midwest, at the Mall of America in Minnesota.
More on Iceland:
See all Iceland posts here.
Have you been to FlyOver Iceland? What did you think? Share away!