Travelling in our travel memories, we are glad to state that Iceland has been so far one of the most exciting places on Earth. However, travelling to Europe’s northernmost country may easily become a challenge and that’s why we are sharing useful tips!
#1 – Rent a car
As we landed in Keflavik International Airport, we immediately realized how a car would be precious. Fortunately, we had rent a car beforehand!
Why should you do the same?
Firstly, if you are staying in Reykjavik, there are amazing places nearby, although several miles away from Iceland capital city, such as Ϸingvellir National Park, the iconic Geysir or Gullfoss waterfall. Are these reasons enough to make you do it? If not, we guarantee there are many more!
Driving in Iceland is worthy for those who love driving scenic roads surrounded by volcanoes or ice, a simple metaphor, yet a perfect description of the reality. The few highways are not busy, so you don’t have to worry about traffic jam. Moreover, as you go further from Reykjavik the odds of finding other vehicles become pretty low.
#2 – Summer or Winter?
This is not a tip. We would call it a decision instead.
There are pros and cons for both seasons. We travelled in June and July, the peak of summer. On the one hand, we were welcomed with sunny days, warmer temperatures than expected and “zero dark hours”. On the other hand, for those who aim to look at the sky and watch the Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis), you must go between October and mid-February.
According to our experience, travelling during summer endless days made us comfortable with schedules since we had 24 sunlight hours a day to explore, visit and discover incredible new spots.
Basically, it depends on what you want to do and see. Anyway, make sure you go!
#3 – What to wear?
Although during our stay – in June/July – we had few rainy hours, in general it does rain in summer as well. Make sure you have a waterproof jacket, in case you don’t want to carry an umbrella throughout your trip.
Temperatures drop below 0ºC both in winter and also in summer. Therefore, gloves and scarfs will certainly become useful as it gets cold.
Do not forget to wear comfortable footwear or hiking shoes since you’ll be usually walking paved surfaces or climbing hills and rugged terrains. In addition, be careful as it may get slippery and dangerous due to rain and irregular grounds.
#4 – Sleeping on budget
Due to Iceland’s high living standards it is one of the most expensive countries to visit. Choosing where to spend your nights in Iceland may become a budget-friendly way of saving money!
Not only in Reykjavik, but in the whole country, hotels are not cheap at all. There are not as many hotels as you might think. Bearing in mind the amount of tourists visiting Iceland nowadays, the hotel offer does not match the rising demand.
Nonetheless, hostels and guesthouses are spread all over the major cities and touristic areas. They won’t cost you as much as hotels and the services provided are likely to meet average hotels. In Iceland (in particular) this is a valid option to travel on budget.
#5 – Eating
Have you just read tip #4? Despite costly restaurants, eating on budget is not hard at all. First of all, if you don’t mind eating precooked food, then supermarkets can be easily found around Reykjavik. However, if you are a foodie and are willing to taste different flavours, pricey restaurants are grateful to be the gateway into Icelandic cuisine – shark, whale or sheep, although nowadays locals do not eat as much as they used to.
Still, you can taste the commonly lauded as “Europe’s best hot dog”. Go to Baejarins Beztu Pylsur and make sure you order a “hot dog with everything on it”. You won’t regret! The best part of it: you will be eating one of the cheapest meals in Iceland!
In a future post we will unveil the major touristic attractions in the Western part of Iceland with a complete itinerary!
Off you go!
For more info about Iceland click here.