Iceland is a great travel destination for all seasons. However, the difference between traveling during the winter months and summer months are far from the same thing. During the summer months (June to August), a great variety of tours and activities are offered that are not offered during the winter months. Thanks to the extra long daylight hours during the summer months, travelers can enjoy activities late into the night. You can also find most of the animals in Iceland like puffins, sheep, arctic foxes, seals and reindeer roam free in Iceland. During the winter months (September to May) there are fewer types of tours offered and some of the highlands attractions are inaccessible due to the closure of the mountain roads (F-roads). But in return you get lighter traffic on the highway, fewer crowds at popular attractions (which are all mostly open throughout the winter months). The beauty of the autumn colors and the possibility of seeing the northern lights is also a huge plus. They are active from late September until late March.
112 is the official emergency number in Iceland. Roadside assistance is usually available 24/7, but the number depends on your car/van rental.
Numbers from 2021 Date Sunrise Sunset Total hours of sunlight: 1. January 11:19 AM 03:44 PM 4:25 hours 1. February 10:07 AM 05:16 PM 7:09 hours 1. March 08:34 AM 06:46 PM 10:12 hours 1. April 06:45 AM 08:19 PM 13:35 hours 1. May 04:59 AM 09:52 PM 16:53 hours 1. June 03:22 AM 11:30 PM 20:08 hours 1. July 03:06 AM 11:55 PM 20:49 hours 1. August 04:35 AM 10:30 PM 17:55 hours 1. September 06:10 AM 08:42 PM 14:32 hours 1. October 07:37 AM 06:55 PM 11:19 hours 1. November 09:11 AM 05:09 PM 7:58 hours 1. Desember 10:46 AM 03:46 PM 5:00 hours
366,425 people live in Iceland according to numbers from the year 2020.
The currency is ISK or Icelandic Krona.
Iceland has a very low level of crime, especially violent crimes, making it one of the safest countries in the world. In 2021, it was the second safest country in the world after Denmark. Taxes here fund Iceland’s universal healthcare system. The country has no private hospitals and locals can see a general practitioner for only $4, although doctors can also see patients privately which costs about $120-150. Air pollution in Iceland is much lower than the OECD average and nearly all homes have energy from renewable sources. The country ranks at the top for environmental quality, according to the OECD’s Better Life Index. The roads here and the unpredictable weather is one of the most dangerous things in Iceland. The reason for 2nd place was probably the volcanic eruption.
You don’t need to carry cash on you when you are traveling in Iceland, however some people like having some in case of emergencies. Credit/Debit cards are accepted by every company in Iceland. Visa and MasterCard should work the best since all banks in Iceland service them.
No we don’t tip here, but we usually don’t say no or get offended if you want to tip your waiter or tour operator for a good service.
Depends on your budget, which season you choose, your plans, if you are traveling alone or with kids, if you are a photographer or just here to explore and enjoy. You’ll get much less sunlight during the winter months compared to the summer months. During summer with kids < 5 year old you’ll need about 3 weeks. You’re maximally seeing 3-4 locations per day, they won’t let you go further, take it from experienced parents. Photographers need about 2-3 weeks, depending on their workflow. People who are only exploring and enjoying they’ll need about 2 weeks. We recommend adding 3-4 days to the itinerary for the winter season. However, if you want to see every single beautiful place in Iceland we would recommend staying for the whole summer.
Most people find it pretty expensive to travel around in Iceland.
The lamb is officially Iceland’s national dish. But we also have some other traditional foods here in Iceland that include: Fermented shark, skate, salted meat and peas, flatbread, skyr, rye bread from a hot spring, harðfiskur (dried fish) and Icelandic hot-dogs.
Yes, definitely! Many restaurants and pit-stop shops have vegan and vegetarian options.
The weather here in Iceland is very unpredictable. We recommend checking the weather at Vedur.is every day if you are traveling in Iceland. It can change very quickly and if you are traveling in a big vehicle like a jeep, van or an RV we don’t recommend driving in strong winds that are more than 15km/hour (10miles/hour). Many people underestimate the weather here and many vehicles have been turned over to the side because of that.
Of course there are always some bad eggs in all corners of the world, but Iceland’s crime rate is one of the lowest in the world. The police here in Iceland are one of 19 countries in the world that don’t carry firearms with them at all times.
Route 1 or ‘’The Ring road’’ is a national road in Iceland that runs around the island and connects most of the inhabited parts of the country. The total length of the road is 1,322km (821miles). You can find an online self-drive road guide we have made for the Ring Road HERE.
The Golden Circle is the most popular touring route in Iceland. It’s a 300 km route containing 3 of the biggest attractions of Iceland, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir national park. It’s one of the most popular day-tour routes for tourists. Find more about tours and other attractions of the Golden Circle, HERE.
The Diamond Circle is a 250km touring route in North of Iceland connecting to the Ring Road and The Arctic Circle. Containing one of Europe’s most ‘powerful’’ waterfall and Iceland’s most iconic landscape. In 2020 this route was completely paved after years of road construction. Attractions like Goðafoss (The waterfall of the gods), Lake Mývatn, Húsavík, the whale watching capital of the world and Ásbyrgi are only a few classic locations found on this route. You can read more about all the North Iceland attractions, HERE.
The Westfjords way is a 950km touring route around the dramatic landscape of the Westfjords in Iceland. It is partly gravel but mostly paved. This route is filled with roads and other unique wonders that will make you feel more alive than ever. Small towns and villages along this way will show you how people in rural areas in Iceland have lived for hundreds of years and you’ll get a sense of how living in peace and quiet actually feels like. The Westfjords are filled with Icelandic folklore and there are a lot of museums, and historical sites that you can visit along this route. The Westfjords are filled with wildlife, you are very likely to spot a whale, seal or orcas from the shore and there are also arctic foxes and puffins to be found there. You can read more about all the Westfjords attractions, HERE.
The Arctic Bow is the name of the remarkable 184 km scenic and historic route along Tröllaskagi (Troll Peninsula) on the north coast of Iceland, stretching from Varmahlíð in the west to Akureyri in the east, passing through the recently built 11 km long tunnel between the towns of Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður. Along this route, there’s beautiful nature, excellent accommodation, fresh local food and a variety of activities to enjoy. You can read more about all the North Iceland attractions, HERE.
The Arctic Coast Way is a 900 km touring route along the northern coast. This route was opened in 2019 with over 25 beautiful attractions and was chosen by Lonely Planet as one of Europe’s Top Destinations. Filled with wildlife, you are very likely to spot whales, seals, orcas and puffins (in the summer). You can read more about all the North Iceland attractions, HERE.
Yes, Iceland does experience fairly regular earthquakes because the island is growing everyday.
Iceland’s strongest earthquake is believed to occur in 1784. It took place in the south Iceland seismic zone and is thought to have been a magnitude of 7.1 on the richter scale. The second largest earthquake was detected in 1912, which measured 7.0.
Probably around the beginning of september! The colors of Iceland at that time of year are magnificent.
There are about 130 volcanos, both active and inactive.
Puffins arrive in Iceland around early April and stay until early September.
We have a bunch of mythical creatures in Iceland and a lot of mythology, too many to fit in one Q&A. But we have creatures in Icelandic folklore like Elves (Huldufólk), Trolls, Yule lads, the Land wights of Iceland and Ghosts.
We would recommend booking your tours as soon as possible. They can get fully booked very quickly. Especially in the summer months.
You can in fact cancel at any time, but sadly most tour companies won’t refund you if you cancel less than 24 hours before the start of the tours, unless the tour companies them self cancel because of bad weather, then you’ll be fully refunded. You can see our refund policy HERE which is in line with all of the companies we work with.
For winter tours in Iceland, we recommend wearing a wool base layer, a thick sweater and good hiking pants. Then it depends on the weather if you need a waterproof outdoor jacket or a good parka. Hiking boots with high ankle protection is ideal for the glacier hike and ice cave experience. You will get crampons to put on your boots before you go to the glacier. If you do not have hiking boots, you can often rent them at the time of booking the tour. A hat and gloves are also ideal for the glacier tours.
Some are pretty easy and some are very challenging. We would recommend reading in depth about each glacier tour if you want to participate in any of them and see which one fits your fitness level.
Many tour companies do have an age restriction policy, so I suggest you read well over the information about the tours and then book the one that suits you.
No, there are no weight restrictions. But some companies require you to fit in protective overalls, like on snowmobile tours and the biggest overalls are 5XL.
Definitely not, you should at least be able to walk some distance, but these hikes are everywhere between ,,incredibly easy’’ and ,,very challenging’’ hikes. So don’t worry, you can read beforehand about the various glacier and hiking tours and choose the one you feel most comfortable with. If there are any questions about difficulty, feel free to contact us.
Yes, that’s more than ok, you just need to have a driver’s license to be allowed to drive.
Yes, definitely, there are a handful of tours that go during the summer time out on the glaciers.
You can definitely go snorkeling, but you need to have a license to dive to be able to dive.
Silfrá is by far the most popular snorkeling location.
Around 4 degrees all year round.
Read THIS article if you want to get a check-list on what to bring to Iceland!
We recommend bringing good hiking shoes and comfortable shoes in between hikes.
Yes, bring a universal electric power adapter, because Iceland has different electric ports compared to America and many other places in Europe.
You only need crampons during the winter season. We wouldn’t recommend packing crampons into your baggage. However you don’t need them in for example glacier tours, because the tour companies provide you with a pair of crampons. If you need them and you’re solo traveling here in Iceland there is a store called BONUS that sells crampons very cheap and BONUS is found in Reykjavik, Selfoss, Borgarnes, Akureyri and other places.
No, it’s illegal, there are campsites all over Iceland and very easy to find. You can find the map for all the campsites in Iceland HERE.
There are 7 basic rules of river-crossing in Iceland. 1.Always stop before going in, go out of the car to see how deep the river is. 2.Use a 4×4 vehicle, preferably on tires that are 33’’ or bigger. 3.Watch other cars go first to see how they cross the river and learn from them. 4.Watch how deep their tires go into the river. If they are on similar tires and the river reaches the bumper, do NOT go for it. 5.Don’t go fast, you should be driving around 10-15 km per hour, if you go too fast the water will enter the engine. 6.Don’t go too slow either, if you stop the car in the river, you could sink into the floor of the river and get stuck. 7.Never go river-crossing alone, always have someone with you, in another car. If you are solo-traveling, wait for another car to arrive and then follow him or if you get a chance to talk to them ask them to wait for you to cross.
The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we, unfortunately, cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.
The best months are between mid-September to March.
It has to be dark outside and not cloudy.
There is no simple answer so we made a blog about it. Check it out HERE!
No, but it will definitely increase your chances, since our tours have top quality experts who know where to look for them.
You can see the arctic fox
The Icelandic horse is all over Iceland. You won’t miss it on your travels here.
Húsavík, located in the north is THE best spot to see whales in Iceland and actually one of the best whale watching location in the world! Húsavík is often called “Europe’s whale watching capital”, we reccommend a visit to this cute town if you want to see whales, they also have a great whale museum in the town. Other great places to go whale whatching is near Akureyri and Ísafjörður.
No, there aren’t but you should be aware of the sheeps that roam free in Iceland during the summer times. They can block the roads and cause car accidents if people aren’t careful.
Yes, most definitely.
On the roads inside villages and in Reykjavík city it’s 50km/h unless it says higher or lower. On highways it’s 90km/h.
No, it’s illegal, there are campsites all over Iceland and very easy to find. You can find the map for all the campsites in Iceland HERE.
It’s enough to do it one day in advance. However, there are often available spots the same day. Just check out Parka.is to find your nearest campsite and book a spot.