Volunteer in Iceland

Volunteer in Iceland

Looking for a unique and rewarding way to experience Iceland? Apply to a volunteer program! There are summer and year round opportunities available to internationals perfect if you would like to give back.


Volunteer Programs in Iceland

A Guide to Volunteering in Iceland

Have you ever given consideration to travelling abroad and volunteering overseas? Thousands of people of all ages travel and volunteer around the world every year and you should consider Iceland as your destination.

You can join short and long term programs in places like Reykjavik and more rural locations helping community and conservation initiatives. You'll certainly learn a lot when living abroad and working in Iceland, you will meet new people and really get to understand and see how people live in a new culture. 

Will volunteering in Iceland change your life? Probably not but it will certainly be a new experience unlike anything you have ever done before and allow you to be far more than just a tourist. Some organisations offer free and also paid voluntary placements in Iceland where you will also get meals and accommodation included. Popular places to participate include Reykjavik but there are options throughout the country.


Popular Places to Volunteer in Iceland

  • Akureyri
  • Borgarnes
  • Hafnarfjordur
  • Hella
  • Husavik
  • Hveragerdi
  • Isafjordur
  • Reykjavik
  • Rural Areas
  • Skaftafell


Volunteer in Reykjavik

Most international participants want to volunteer in Reykjavik, which is understandable because this is the most well known location to people living outside of Iceland. But there are also placements throughout the country in the more rural towns and villages. In Reykjavik there are programs where you can help people and charities, you will also get lots of free time to enjoy this fantastic city. If you would like to volunteer in Europe and city life appeals to you then we highly recommend choosing a program in Reykjavik.


Types of Programs Available

  • Community & Educational Programs
  • Charity & Social Work
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Wildlife Protection and Care
  • Farm and Agriculture Work
  • Social projects 
  • Elderly care
  • Healthcare


Community Development Volunteer Programs in Iceland

If you would like to do something rewarding you can apply to volunteer in Iceland and help local community projects. There are also special opportunities throughout the year for people to help a community and art project in Iceland, this is a placement with The Salvation Army and you will help to run the Second-Hand Shop and Shelter. You will also get to help education programs at a school in Brogarnes and also work in a team to arrange shows at the Gallery Tukt during summer. Some elderly care homes recruit volunteers to help look after residents - placements can be challenging but extremely rewarding.


Healthcare Volunteer Programs in Iceland

Volunteers are needed to help as local clinics which help local people, you could be working on awareness projects for example providing information about illnesses or helping people plan a healthier lifestyle. You might also get to volunteer at a local youth center helping youngsters in Iceland stay safe and healthy. You will get to work alongside local staff in the clinics and the tasks will be really diverse, from helping patients face to face, to helping with paperwork and preparing meals and drinks. One of the most rewarding projects available to join in Iceland is to help people with mental or physical disabilities, giving them a chance to enhance and improve their lives. This will be a great learning experience.


Environmental & Conservation Volunteer Projects in Iceland

Most people are drawn to Iceland because of the spectacular nature, well why not be more than just a tourist and apply to help keep Iceland beautiful. When you speak to local Icelandic people you will realise they are very environmentally friendly, and you will feel inspired taking part in these types of projects. A lot of this country is still unspoiled by human activity and local organisations are keen to keep it this way and you can play a small role in helping to preserve Iceland’s natural beauty.

Tasks can include planting trees and vegatation, removing plant species which threaten local habitats, fixing bridges and trails which are sometimes damaged from lava erosion, improving drainage, GPS trail mapping and collecting data. Skaftafell is where a lot of conservation projects are located, this is part of the Vatnajökull National Park in the South of the country. Borgarnes is another town you might be based when helping nature projects, located on the spectacular coast in the West of the country this town has a population of around 2,000 people. In your spare time you might get to visit a recycling center or sustainable geothermal energy power plants which will be a fascinating learning experience.


Summer Work Camps & Festival Volunteering

Summer volunteering opportunities in Iceland are very popular and you will need to apply well in advance to secure a place. These group programs are arranged in advance and you will volunteer with like minded international staff and make a contribution towards the community, youth or environment. Another popular option to volunteer at a festival in Iceland, there are lots of festivals on throughout the year in Iceland including the Saga Festival, the Neistaflug in Neskaupsstaðu and the French days in Fáskrúsfjörður. Duties can involve  helping with the design and construction of festival stages, preparing venues and layouts, installing festival exhibitions, selling tickets, offering general guidance and litter picking.


Wildlife Volunteer Placements in Iceland

Passionate about animals? There are shelters and wildlife projects available to join where you can get hands on helping animals like dogs and cats. Usually no previous experience is needed, and you will not need to be a trained vet to apply. Prepare to be busy feeding, cleaning and walking the animals. There are also dog sledding voluntary placements where you can either take part in trips, or work at a kennel looking after dogs well-being. This is a unique experience!


WWOOF in Iceland

Some farms in Iceland offer people the chance to volunteer and in exchange get free board and meals - this is a very popular way to travel throughout the country and experience a different way of life. Iceland is an up and coming destination to WWOOF and although there aren't that many WWOOF hosts in Iceland compared to other destinations worldwide, mainly due to the size of the country and weather. There are organic farms located throughout the country where you can experience this type of volunteer experience, but remember this is unpaid and can be hard work where you will volunteer 6 days of the week with early starts. 


Application Requirements

There are no specific age restrictions, some people go abroad with a school when they are 16 whilst others take time out later in life during a career break. Anyone can apply and you can also choose a project. 


How to Apply

You can search our featured projects and organisations above. There are free volunteering opportunities whilst others might require you to cover the cost of your food and accommodation. Some organisations offer structured volunteering programs in Iceland which are perfect if you would like a safe experience with other international participants. You will usually need to pay a fee which includes:

  • Extensive pre-departure preparation
  • Meeting and training with other participants
  • Food and accommodation
  • Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Orientation upon arrival
  • Help and support for the duration of your stay
  • Language lessons (optional)
  • Monthly stipend


Iceland Volunteering Reviews

Have you ever volunteered in Iceland? Would you like to share your feedback and testimonials about the experience or recommend a project / organisation? Contact us today.


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