More and more each year, Iceland grows in popularity as a travel destination as countless travellers the world over dream about the stunning natural scenery peppered with waterfalls, lagoons, glaciers and more. If you too have been bit by the Iceland travel bug and are trying to plan the perfect trip to this Nordic nation, then this Iceland travel guide is here to help.
Whether you plan to spend a short layover in Reykjavik en route to Europe or North America or have a week or more to spend exploring this incredible country, planning a trip to Iceland can seem like a daunting process. Where do you go? What do you pack? How much will it cost? These are all questions that potential Iceland visitors will inevitably ask themselves and the goal of this Iceland travel guide is meant to help you plan the best trip possible to this beautiful island nation.
Planning an Iceland Route
One of the most important things that one needs to do before getting into the nitty-gritty details of trip planning (or even before booking your trip!) is to plan out your Iceland itinerary. There are tonnes of options available to you when it comes to travelling in Iceland and though the country may look small and manageable, you will be astounded by just how much there is to see and do in this incredible country.
Whether you are planning a few days in Iceland while basing yourself in Reykjavik or want to drive the entirety of the Ring Road, you still need to make sure you have a day-to-day plan and solid route mapped out in order to ensure that your trip goes by without a snag. If you’re trying to map out your ideal itinerary, then make sure to have a browse through the articles below in order to plan everything!
Places to Visit in Iceland
From the charming streets of Reykjavik to the black sand beaches of Vik, from the epic power of Gulfoss to the incredible Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland is a truly spectacular country with a jaw-dropping surprise around every corner. Known for its dramatic scenery, you need to make sure that you have your camera at the ready because Iceland is undoubtedly going to be one of the most visually stunning places you will ever visit.
If you’re wondering exactly where to go in Iceland and what to do while you’re there, then make sure to have a look at the articles below to begin planning the details of your trip!
Best Time to Visit Iceland
There is no denying that it can get chilly in Iceland, however, the country does experience different seasons and climates, though nothing as dramatic as you may see in other European or Nordic destinations. In fact, due to the Gulf Stream, Iceland doesn’t actually get to be that cold in the winter months (of course, this is all relative), so you may be surprised at the winter temperatures.
The most popular time to visit Iceland, unsurprisingly, is in the summer months, where you will experience beautiful long days (in June, you can expect white nights!) and the warmest temperatures of the year. That is not to say it gets properly warm in Iceland – average summer highs in July and August don’t really exceed 14°C (57°F). This is when you will have to contend with the most crowds, you will not have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights and prices for things like accommodation can be at their peak — and they’re really not cheap to begin with.
Autumn and spring temperatures aren’t all that much cooler than those of the summer and you can expect the highs in the months of March-May and September-November to be between 4-10°C (39-50°F) with many days of rain to be expected, as well. In early spring and late autumn, you can also have the chance at seeing the Northern Lights.
And finally, expect the winter months in Iceland to be the coldest and also the wettest (or snowiest!) months. The days can be incredibly short due to Iceland’s northerly location, however, this does lend to optimal Northern Lights viewing conditions! Expect high temperatures in an Iceland winter to hover around freezing, with the average high in December-February being about 3°C (37°F) and the average low to be about -3°C (27°F).
No matter what time of year you choose to visit Iceland in, you 100% need to make sure that you pack appropriately and you have the adequate gear to withstand the elements in Iceland. Though the temperatures may not seem that low, strong winds and other extreme weather patterns can happen regularly and you need to ensure that you stay warm and safe, no matter the season.
If you’re wondering what kinds of gear to bring to Iceland for any season, then make sure to check out the articles below!
Cost of Travelling Iceland
Iceland has a reputation of being quite a pricey destination to travel to and, in general, the rumours do hold true. However, it doesn’t have to be the absolute most expensive place you ever visit, especially if you are aware of the prices in Iceland and know where it makes sense to cut your costs.
Though things like food and accommodation can be quite expensive in Iceland, the vast majority of its natural attractions (and, really, why else are you visiting Iceland?) are completely free of charge to visit. This means that your day-to-day travelling costs don’t have to be all that high at all!
If you’re wondering what the cost of travelling to Iceland is and what kind of prices to expect when visiting, then make sure to have a look at the article below for a more detailed breakdown!
Read More: How Much Will an Iceland Trip Cost?
Transportation in Iceland
Another thing that many potential travellers to Iceland wonder about when planning their trip is how they plan to get around the country. Depending on your budget and travel style, you do have a few different options ranging from hitchhiking to driving to relying on organised tours and there really is something for everyone in Iceland.
It is worth noting that, if you plan on getting around Iceland using public transport, this isn’t exactly the ideal way to see and travel around the country. The bus network isn’t all that robust and you will end up missing out on a lot of the most incredible places to and stop off at while en route to your destinations.
A far better solution is to rent a car while visiting Iceland. This ensures you have the flexibility in your Iceland itinerary in order to stop whenever and wherever you want without having to be beholden by transit timetables. We recommend booking your car hire through RentalCars.com in order to find a great deal from major rental companies.
We would also suggest considering taking out an excess insurance policy with iCarHireInsurance to make sure that you won’t have to pay a thing should anything happen to your car while on your travels.
You can also get around Iceland via organised tour and, while this can be a good option if you’re pressed for time or don’t drive, it is still preferable to travel independently and with your own vehicle.
If you want to know more about renting a car in Iceland or how to get from the airport to the capital, then make sure to have a look at the articles below.
Accommodation in Iceland
Finally in this Iceland travel guide, we need to talk about accommodation in this beautiful Nordic nation. Depending on your budget and travel style, you are sure to find something for what you’re looking for in Iceland with everything ranging from campsites and hostels to high-end luxury hotels on offer in this country.
If you’re looking to save some money, then make sure you consider camping in Iceland or even renting a campervan to kill two birds with one stone. There are also some great hostels available in Reykjavik and elsewhere which can be a good option for budget travellers, along with budget guesthouses and even private rooms on Airbnb.
If you have more money to contend with, then you will not have any problem finding a cosy hotel to stay in or even some great private cabins or lodges available depending on your wants and needs for accommodation.
And if you want to find out more about accommodation in Iceland and find the perfect place to stay for your travel style and budget, then make sure to have a look at the articles below in order to help make planning your trip a breeze!
Travelling in Iceland is a truly incredible experience that is instantly worth all of the lengthy planning. Hopefully, this Iceland travel guide will help you plan the absolute best trip to this stunning Nordic nation and forge some memories that will last a lifetime.