Inspired by Iceland
25 TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR YOUR FIRST TRIP TO ICELAND
Iceland is a captivating destination for any traveler and with a host of low cost flight options from North America and mainland Europe there has never been a better time to visit the land of ice and fire. Volcanoes, glaciers, the wind and the sea merge to create a landscape that is like nowhere else on Earth. Whether you come for the eternal sun of summer or in search of winter’s Northern Lights nature is sure to put on a show. If you’re looking to plan your visit here are a few tips for your first trip to Iceland.
1.Get out of Reykjavik and explore the countryside. The northernmost capital is both forward-thinking and traditional when it comes to design, music and literature making it a worthy contender for your time however what really makes Iceland special is what lies outside the city limits. Spend a day or two here but be sure to go explore some of Iceland’s natural wonders.
2. Don’t be afraid to drive. Coming from North America it was an easy transition for us as Icelanders drive on the right and the maps provided by our car rental agency were very easy to use.
3. Gas is expensive compared to the US and should definitely be factored in if you are trying to stick to a budget. Our car rental agency also provided us with a discount card.
4.We did not exchange currency for this trip as credit cards are widely accepted. Just make sure you have a chip and PIN card, especially for more remote gas stations.
5. For a true feel of Iceland be sure to stay at at one of the many family run guesthouses and farmstays that dot the countryside.
6.If you’re visiting in the summer be prepared for nearly constant daylight. While it does allow you to pack a lot of sightseeing into a day it can be exhausting if you don’t keep track of time. Most hotels and guesthouses will have light blocking shades but if you plan on camping or are a light sleeper I recommend bringing an eye mask. Also be aware that many restaurants and gas stations close around 9pm.
7.Food is a little on the pricey side but overall of very good quality. In fact I had some amazing grilled lamb skewers served out of a food truck at Vantajokull National Park. Traditional Icelandic fare consists largely of seafood and lamb but you’ll find burgers, pizza, pasta and salads on most menus. Expect to pay about $15 dollars for a decent hamburger or pizza and $25-$30 for an entree. Take advantage of the plentiful breakfast buffets offered at most hotels and guesthouses. We typically ate a large breakfast, a snack in the middle of the day and post-adventure dinner.
8. Meals are typically not included on most economy flights going through Reykjavik and can be pretty expensive when purchased on board. Bring some snacks or buy a sandwich at the airport.