In case you’re getting ready to journey to Iceland, these Iceland journey suggestions will assist you alongside the way in which. Iceland is likely one of the hottest European destinations, and for a superb purpose. It’s a straightforward connection between Europe and North America, and the panorama is pure and surreal.
Iceland’s panorama may be discovered nowhere else. A mix of hot springs, glaciers, moist deserts, lava fields, and a dizzying quantity of waterfalls makes Iceland an journey vacation spot dream. Regardless of the way you’re planning to journey to Iceland, these Iceland journey suggestions will make your journey higher!
The Finest Iceland Journey Ideas
There’s No “Finest Time” to Go
So, when is the best time to go to Iceland? The brief reply is that it will depend on what you need when journey to Iceland. Are you looking for heat (ish) climate and the midnight solar? Or do brisk winter nights, fewer crowds, and the Northern Lights strike your fancy?
Once I traveled to Iceland in July, I loved partying beneath the midnight solar and mountain climbing in a t-shirt. One other time we visiting in October and the autumn colours have been merely distinctive. To high it off, we noticed the Aurora Borealis for the primary time.
If I have been to select very best instances, it could be June, October, and December. Typically, November and March are the months to keep away from as they’re in between seasons (chilly rain).
Credit score Playing cards Are King
By no means as soon as did we use money in Iceland. Bank cards are accepted all over the place – even in public toilet stalls. After all, it by no means hurts to have some cash on you, however I wouldn’t convert a lot of it to Icelandic Kroner. In case you want suggestions for journey banking, we have a post.
We advise you carry round 5,000 ISK to get out of any unknown conditions. Get your self a bank card with no overseas transaction charges and gives you journey rewards for utilizing it. Here are a few of our favorites.
Drive the Ring Highway
Iceland’s Ring Road, or Route 1, takes you across the complete nation – like a hoop! It’s probably the greatest street journeys you may take on the earth and brings you to a number of the greatest spots in Iceland.
The route took us about 12 days (together with time in Reykjavik), however in case you are brief on time, you are able to do it in 5-7 days. Nevertheless, be ready to spend so much of time within the automobile.
Alongside the route, you discover some superb things to do in Iceland the Mývatn Nature Baths, Skógafoss, and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Drive the Golden Circle
In case you solely have a brief period of time to journey in Iceland however wish to get out of Reykjavik (and it’s best to), take into account renting a automobile to drive the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a 300-kilometer route looping out and in of the capital.
It’s solely a one-day drive or tour out of Rejykavik and can take you to some incredible sights. Together with Þingvellir Nationwide Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir and Strokkur. You may as well loop within the Kerið volcanic crater and the city of Hveragerði, the hot springs capital of Iceland.
Head to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
In case you have additional days in Iceland, certainly one of my high Iceland journey suggestions is to move to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It’s solely a two-hour drive from Reykjavik. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula has been dubbed “Little Iceland” as a result of it shows all kinds of magnificence discovered all through Iceland on a compact peninsula.
Waterfalls, cathedral church buildings, a glacier, and quite a few mountains may be discovered on the peninsula. Aspect be aware: That is additionally the place you may uncover Kirkjufell, the well-known mountain from Recreation of Thrones. It’s formed like an arrowhead. 😉
Contemplate Skipping the Blue Lagoon
Because you’re studying our weblog, I assume you aren’t residing beneath a rock. You’ve in all probability heard of the Blue Lagoon in your Iceland journey analysis in that very same prepare of logic. The well-known geothermal spa performs host to over a million guests a 12 months.
The Blue Lagoon is an Instagram fanatics’ haven, and it needs to be for the excessive price ticket. Nevertheless, do you know the Blue Lagoon isn’t pure? Or that the water is the runoff of Geo-Thermal energy crops? It’s not marketed on their stunning web site, however it’s true.
It appears foolish to go to a synthetic pool (and a hella costly one at that) in Iceland, a rustic plagued by pure geothermal swimming pools. The Blue Lagoon is a vacationer entice at its best, and all locals will inform you that. In case you’re on a finances, take into account going to certainly one of Iceland’s native swimming pools for a swim and a chat with the locals or visiting a pure pool. There are even just a few pure swimming pools round Reykjavik which you can go to.
Nevertheless, in the event you don’t thoughts the worth and crave the mud masks and out of doors spa in Iceland, it in all probability is correct up your alley, and also you’ll prefer it!
Don’t be Afraid to Get Bare
Talking of swimming pools, you’ll have to bathe earlier than coming into in the event you go to a public pool in Iceland. This can be a non-negotiable side of visiting an Icelandic pool. You need to bathe totally bare in an open bathe.
The Icelandic folks take their hygiene significantly and don’t need anybody’s soiled our bodies infecting their swimming pools. They use minimal water remedy within the pure geothermal water that fills the swimming pools.
I respect realizing that each individual has showered and scrubbed when I’m within the swimming pool earlier than coming into. Showers are separated by intercourse, so everyone seems to be snug. I wouldn’t recommend skipping across the bare or bathe half as it might get you just a few scowls from the locals, or you possibly can even get kicked out!
Rethink Consuming Out
Iceland is likely one of the costliest nations to go to, and these prices will hit your pockets exhausting in the event you exit to eat. Espresso and a bagel in an area cafe will shortly run you $18-$20, and the common meal out at a restaurant will price anyplace from $35-$70. I wouldn’t even take into account ordering a cocktail with that meal both – we’ve paid much less in posh Manhattan bars.
The primary time I visited Iceland, I went out with just a few Icelanders to a Thai restaurant anticipating to get one thing cheap – it was Thai meals. As a substitute, I appeared on the menu, determined towards paying $35 for Pad Thai, and waited whereas the others ate their meals. Then I went to an Icelandic grocery store after for some bread and skyr. True backpacker model!
Discuss to the Locals
We discovered most Icelanders to be pleasant folks, so I encourage you to mingle with them. This may be exhausting as there are solely 350,000 residents and a couple of million vacationers a 12 months. On our current journey there, we discovered extra foreigners than Icelanders, and it turned exhausting to be amongst the locals.
If you wish to combine your self and study extra about Icelandic tradition, head to the native swimming swimming pools and native pubs and journey through the low season when there are fewer vacationers.
Iceland is likely one of the most secure nations on the earth! It was the third nation I traveled to solo and the primary nation I hitchhiked round. The crime price is shockingly low, which makes it a perfect place to journey for solo feminine vacationers.
Nevertheless, don’t assume you’re 100% secure with the low crime charges as a result of Mom Nature is a bitch. Clueless vacationers discover themselves in life-threatening conditions 3-4 instances a day within the excessive season. It’s often of their very own doing. Iceland’s climate is notoriously unpredictable and life-threatening, particularly in case you are touring Iceland within the winter.
At all times use your head when within the wilderness, inform somebody the place you’re going if mountain climbing, and just be sure you have a cell sign to name 112 in you’re in unsafe situations. I recommend testing Safe Travel to remain up to date on climate situations.
If visiting Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach take the waves significantly, as a number of vacationers have drowned after being swept away.
Iceland is a Nice Honeymoon Vacation spot
Many honeymooners will journey to seaside locations just like the Bahamas or Hawaii for his or her explicit journey, however we discovered Iceland to be a wonderful country for a honeymoon.
What sounds higher, absorbing the solar on a seaside whereas consuming a pina colada or absorbing the warmth in a scorching spring after chasing waterfalls in Iceland? Properly, I suppose each sound fairly good.
Common romantic actions embrace horseback driving, chasing the Aurora, and descending right into a volcano. It’s a honeymoon for the energetic couple who hate vacationer traps and sitting nonetheless.
Gasoline is Costly
If you plan to rent a car in Iceland, be aware that fuel is dear. It’s a manageable expense to neglect, so be certain so as to add it to your finances. At over $2/Liter ($8/gallon), I’d recommend planning your entire outings accordingly and don’t waste any gasoline. (You shouldn’t anyway!) We had a camper van for ten days and spent over $500 on gasoline for our ring street journey. YIKES!
Go Cabin Hopping
Iceland has a number of the most charming family-run guesthouses and cottages scattered throughout the nation. In case you are driving around the Ring Road, certainly one of my high Iceland journey suggestions is to scope out a cabin for an evening. In comparison with resorts, they’re a number of the extra reasonably priced lodging choices.
Earlier than our Icelandic horseback driving tour, we stayed in a single charming guesthouse close to Varmahlid referred to as Hestasport Cottages. The place was heat and comfy, with a full kitchen and even a communal scorching spring to get pleasure from within the morning or night.
You’ll find many of those off-the-beaten-path guesthouses on Airbnb. Check out our post on tips for getting the perfect place on Airbnb.
Iceland is a Ski Vacation spot
In case you’re into skiing and snowboarding, Iceland has some enjoyable ski resorts close to Reykjavik, Akureyri, and Husavik. January – April is the excessive season for these winter actions. You may as well go arctic heliskiing within the Skíðadalur Valley for the really adventurous.
The mountains of the North are amazingly beautiful. Sadly, we weren’t there in winter’s coronary heart to take part of their heliskiing.
Deliver an Eye Masks within the Summer season
One in all my high Iceland journey suggestions for the summer time is to carry an eye fixed masks. In case you go to Iceland between April and September, it would mild out if you end up attempting to sleep at 11 p.m. This may have an effect on your sleep cycle, which can already be out of whack due to jet lag. In case your resort or guesthouse doesn’t have black-out curtains, I recommend packing an eye fixed masks in your carry on luggage.
Even when your resort has blackout curtains, I’d nonetheless be certain to carry one simply in case – they’re low-cost and light-weight, so there is no such thing as a purpose to not!
I’d pack no less than the essential winter necessities it doesn’t matter what time you go to Iceland. That may be a hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof sneakers, and a down jacket. Belief me, only one chilly day with excessive wind, and you’ll thank me.
Don’t arrive in Iceland unprepared for chilly climate, as it would price you dearly to interchange your suitcase with winter garments in Iceland (keep in mind how costly fuel is, now take into consideration hand-knit mittens). The locals say there is no such thing as a unhealthy climate in Iceland, simply the incorrect garments, and I couldn’t agree extra!
Additionally, carry a showering go well with and a journey towel for all of the geothermal swimming pools! Right here’s a whole Iceland packing list.
Deliver a Water Bottle
All of the water in Iceland is 100% drinkable. Together with the remainder of Scandinavia, they are saying it’s a number of the cleanest water on the earth, so there is no such thing as a want to purchase any bottled water and put extra plastic into the world.
Get your self a refillable travel water bottle and save your cash and plastic waste.
Choose up your Rental Automobile from the Airport
If you plan to rent a car or campervan to get round, choose it up and drop it off on the airport. It may find yourself saving you a buck. Public transport from the airport is missing, and the Reykjavik Specific, one of many solely buses from the capital to Keflavik airport, is 2400 Icelandic Kroner a method. That’s a $25+ airport switch on a bus! I’d advocate choosing up and dropping off on the airport.
If you wish to hire a camper van like us, Joyful Campers is a wonderful firm to go together with. We had a beautiful expertise with them. You possibly can simply book using this link, however be certain to e book effectively prematurely throughout excessive season as they’re a household run firm and promote their vans out effectively prematurely!
Reykjavik is an Unconventional Capital Metropolis
Regardless that we lived in New York Metropolis, we’re not metropolis folks anymore. We desire to be off mountain climbing, on a seaside or doing absolutely anything else, not in a busy metropolis. Nevertheless, Reykjavik shouldn’t be the same old European metropolis, and we loved spending time within the charming metropolis.
There are not any excessive rises and few enterprise fits, only a laid-back environment surrounded by the ocean and mountains. In case you solely have just a few days in Iceland, you may base your self in Reykjavik and take day journeys out or catch the native bus to locations like Esjan & Glymur.
In my view, Reykjavik deserves no less than in the future of exploration, until you’re there throughout certainly one of its epic festivals – then positively keep longer!
No Waterfall is Created Equal
It’s a well known Iceland fact that the nation has a ton of waterfalls. In case you Google “What number of waterfalls are in Iceland?” The quantity 10,000+ comes up. I don’t assume anybody really is aware of what number of waterfalls are in Iceland.
The nation is plagued by waterfalls. They’re all spectacular. Nevertheless, some notable waterfalls make for a picture-perfect postcard alternative. Listed here are just a few of our favorites.
- Goðafoss: Waterfall of the gods within the Northeast
- Háifoss: A bit off the overwhelmed monitor, however one of many highest in Iceland
- Morsárfoss is: Highest waterfall in Iceland
- Dettifoss: Essentially the most highly effective waterfall in Europe
- Gullfoss: Alongside the Golden Circle and probably the most well-known falls to go to
- Seljalandsfoss: You possibly can stand behind this waterfall
- Skógafoss: A novel waterfall that comes straight from two glaciers
Plan For Iceland Journey
E-book a Camper!
A campervan is the best way to get around Iceland on a finances. Whereas a camper is barely dearer than a automobile, you may sleep and prepare dinner in it! Which means you don’t should seek for any resorts or cope with pricey eating places in Iceland.
Plus you get to sleep in nature each night time and nonetheless use a heater if you want! If you wish to journey with a Happy Campers van as we did (and it’s best to they’re the BEST!), be certain to read our full review. You possibly can simply book using this link, however be certain to e book effectively prematurely throughout excessive season.
E-book a Tour
Typically it’s good to not should do all of the journey planning and let another person do it.
When is the Finest Time to Go to Iceland?
In my view, the most effective instances to go to Iceland are June, July, September, October, and December – however it all will depend on what you need! June-August is excessive season, however it is usually summer time in Iceland and when you will discover essentially the most nice temperatures. It’s additionally when you’ll expertise essentially the most quantity of daylight and get essentially the most out your of your journey. December is nice as a result of it’s winter, you stand a powerful probability of seeing the Northern Lights, it’s off-season, and the temperatures haven’t gone to finish freezing but.
Nevertheless, my private favourite time to journey to Iceland is through the fall months. It’s throughout September and October, when the leaves change vibrant colours across the nation. Temperatures are nonetheless gentle, and tourism is slowing down. You can see the full month by month breakdown for Iceland travel here.
Issues to do in Iceland
There are such a lot of issues to do in Iceland that I may write a e book about it. Sadly, I don’t have that point, so I’m displaying you the final word Iceland bucket checklist right here. Some issues which might be a must-do are going to an Iceland swimming pool, soaking in a pure scorching spring, standing beneath a waterfall, and seeing the Northern Lights.
Pictures Gear for Iceland
A high-quality camera is a vital packing merchandise for Iceland in order for you some nice photographs whereas in your trip. We journey with our Fujifilm Digital camera and 200mm telephoto lens. Drones have form of taken Iceland by storm and might seize incredible footage as effectively. We had our DJI Mavic in Iceland, however be certain to make use of your drone responsibly as many locals are getting aggravated on the sight of them.
No matter you do, don’t forget a tripod for Iceland – particularly in the event you plan on photographing the Northern Lights as you’ll want one for the lengthy exposures.
Is Iceland Journey Costly?
Touring Iceland is fairly costly. One of the costly nations in the complete world really. Just be sure you plan accordingly and according to your finances. It’s definitely potential to do Iceland on a finances of lower than $100 in case you are tenting, cooking all your personal primary meals, and touring by public transport or rating a superb deal on a rental. The excellent news is that nature is free, and also you’ll be capable to see Iceland’s magnificence with out paying for it. So sure – it’s utterly doable to have an reasonably priced Iceland trip.
In case you plan on consuming make sure you choose up obligation free alcohol earlier than you allow the airport. A pint of beer can simply run you $15-$20!
Extra Useful Iceland Journey Ideas
- Icelanders converse Icelandic, however each single individual I got here throughout spoke English.
- The native forex is the Icelandic króna (ISK). ATMs are discovered all through the nation.
- Have I discussed Iceland is dear? Get monetary savings by consuming in and cooking for your self. Try our Iceland grocery store guide for all the ideas!
- Iceland is likely one of the most secure nations on the earth; nonetheless, it’s all the time vital to make use of widespread sense when strolling alone at night time.
- Tipping shouldn’t be customary in Iceland.
- Iceland has a powerful web infrastructure, and it’s best to be capable to keep related simply.