12 Aug Tips to travel to Iceland (and lose fear)
I know vertigo you feel when you are planning a trip to Iceland for the first time. Iceland is a small country, but full of peculiarities. In fact, the more you learn about the country, the more doubts arise. For this reason, it is essential that someone who knows the country in depth give you advice on travel to Iceland. The first time I visited Iceland, I spent months literally preparing for the trip. Thanks to the following trips and the network of local people I have met, I can assure you that I know Iceland better than my own city. In case you don’t know, at Cómete el Mundo we have a passion for Iceland.
In this article, I want to give you a series of tips for traveling to Iceland that will help you prepare for your trip. I will explain my experience in the form of recommendations so that you can organize your trip without uncertainty or fear. You will see that, with these tips, I will be guiding you to prepare for a trip to Iceland from start to finish.
What Is The Best Time To Travel To Iceland?
The first thing you will have to decide is when you want to travel to Iceland. I always say that the best time to travel to Iceland depends on what you are looking for. I have traveled to Iceland in summer and I have also traveled to Iceland in winter. And you find two completely different countries. I encourage you to read the articles I have written about both periods.
The climate is more benevolent in summer since the temperatures are always positive and it does not snow. If you travel at this time you will find a green country, with many routes for trekking and the Highlands accessible. But since there are practically no hours of darkness, you won’t be able to see the Northern Lights.
Winter is a perfect trip to visit the ice caves and see the Northern Lights. You will be able to see the tourist sites around Ring Road (main road), but you will be limited in trekking. It will be essential to wear technical clothing for days with temperatures below zero.
And the first and autumn are good seasons to try to see the northern lights and enjoy Iceland alone. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about when to travel to Iceland. You will always have to adapt your trip to the season.
Design Your Route Realistically
The next decision you will have to make is how many days you will travel. How many days do I advise you to travel to Iceland? A minimum of 7 days and no maximum limit. You could spend two months in Iceland without getting bored!
Every week I receive an email from someone who wants to go to Iceland and tells me that “he wants to see everything ”. In the article I have about what to see in Iceland, you will see that I recommend more than 50 different places. And in the personalized travel advice that I do about Iceland, I advise many more, but always thinking about the tastes of each person.
In Iceland, there are hundreds of waterfalls, volcanoes, cliffs… Be realistic about the days you have to decide what you will visit. When preparing your route, I advise you to take my articles as a reference:
- Tour of Iceland in 7 day
- Iceland itinerary in 10 days
- What to see in Iceland in 14 days
Decide If You Will Rent A 4×4 Or A Normal Car
If you’ve decided you want to sleep in traditional accommodation, you’ll need advice on car hire in Iceland. The most common question is whether it is better to rent a normal car or a 4×4. Normal cars are cheaper than SUVs, so my recommendation is that you only rent a 4×4 when necessary. By the way, we always rent cars in Iceland here.
And when will you need a 4×4? Between the months of November and April. In those months, snowfall is the order of the day. There are those who will tell you that the 4×4 is never necessary if you are only going to travel the Ring Road. No lo creo. In winter, I have driven on the frozen Ring Road and the 4×4 traction has saved me from a few scares. It’s true that snowplows come by, but they only clean a few times a day, so you might find them snowy.
For the rest of the year, the 4×4 will only be useful if you want to make a trip that goes through an F-road. 95% of the trips to Iceland can be done without going through an F-road. To go to the Highlands which are on F roads, my advice is to hire an excursion like this one from Landmannalaugarorthis one from the Askja volcano. Even if you have a 4×4, the road is difficult and you have to cross rivers, so it is better to leave it in the hands of a professional.
Beware Of Commissions For Currency Exchange
The currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). In Iceland, you can pay for everything by card without taking out cash. But be aware! Because the banks in Spain are going to charge you commissions for paying in crowns. For example, the commissions of Caixa and the BBVA are around 3%. For this reason, we have the Vivid card that is free, without maintenance, and allows you to pay without commissions anywhere in the world. In this article, I explain in detail how the Vivid card works. If you don’t have it.
Tips To Lose Fear Of The Weather
I know that the word “ Iceland ” commands respect. At first, we all thought it was going to be like going to Antarctica. Y no. It is not like this. The first piece of advice I give you is not to get overwhelmed by the weather in Iceland. Personally, I’ve been colder in New York than not in Iceland.
The Icelanders say a phrase that I love: “ The problem is not the weather, the problem is that you are not dressed well ”. And I would add: “ The problem is not the temperatures, the problem is the wind”.
No matter what time of year you go, wear technical mountain clothing. You can not miss the first layer of thermal clothing. And the outer layer must be waterproof and windproof. One of the tips for traveling to Iceland that I always give is that you can leave your umbrella and jeans at home. They are useless in Iceland!
Health Requirements To Travel To Iceland
Currently, to travel to Iceland you do not need any health document. Border restrictions have been lifted since March 2022.
As the regulations can change every month, I recommend that you consult the official website of COVID in Iceland where you will always find the most up-to-date information.
It goes without saying that Iceland is a country that has been a role model in terms of managing the pandemic. And that social distance is guaranteed with so much nature. I hope the borders stay open and I don’t have to give advice for traveling to Iceland with a pandemic again.
You may like to read SAFETY WHEN TRAVELING ON THE ROAD