Surrounded by frosty waters and insulated from the rapid transformations seen in other countries, visitors to Iceland will find a landscape unlike any they’ve ever witnessed.
And the time to visit is now. Iceland is heating up as a tourist hotspot and you’ll want to claim your passport stamp to this destination before you’re the only one left who hasn’t!
Here are insider tips for an epic vacation to the tiny island of big adventure.
Claim Your Spot Early
If you’ve traveled to a few countries, you’ve undoubtedly come to realize that booking activities in advance isn’t always necessary. In fact, many seasoned travelers keep flexible itineraries so they can seize unexpected opportunities without the pressure of pre-booked excursions.
Not to mention, local tour companies often offer tours at a fraction of the price of larger, national companies.
Iceland is a place where I would make an exception and book unmissable activities in advance.
Millions of visitors flock to experience the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, so secure those activities before traveling.
Insider Tip: The Blue Lagoon is near the Keflavík International Airport and you can save on transportation costs by visiting the lagoon right after arrival or right before departure.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, and the most popular destination is a 45-minute ride from Keflavik International Airport. Forget about hailing a taxi. Instead, take the public bus to the Reykjavik bus terminal. It’s convenient and inexpensive.
Once at the bus terminal, explore the numerous intra- and inter-city stops made by the public bus.
You can also put your sneakers to use and explore Reykjavik by foot. Walking allows you to check out places that would zoom by if you were in a taxi or on the bus. Stop at your leisure and find hidden gems along your path.
Many of the extraordinary places in this country are secluded and will require you to book a rental car.
Alternatively, you can make things easier and book a tour. The experienced drivers know how to navigate Iceland’s roads and you can better spend your time meeting new people and sharing stories.
The Blue Lagoon is spectacular. This wonder of the world, known for its blue, geothermal pools, is one of the few places on Earth where you can bathe in waterfalls while the snow falls around you. Go during sunrise or sunset for an ethereal experience.
Insider Tip: Make a reservation shortly after booking your flight to Iceland. If the Blue Lagoon has no openings during your travel dates, check the online calendar frequently to take advantage of any cancellations.
The Northern Lights, a flashy dance of colors across the night sky, is best viewed from remote areas of the country.
To capture the best photos, many travelers rely on expensive and bulky camera equipment. Luckly, iPhone holders don’t have to spend their vacay money on fancy camera parts. The Northern Lights Photo Taker is a useful app for taking perfectly, shareable pictures of the Northern Lights.
The Golden Circle is a multi-day tour that introduces the best of Iceland’s landscapes and treasures to visitors.
A road trip dotted with national parks, waterfalls, volcanoes, and geysers, this adventurous journey is a must-do for anyone wanting to experience why Iceland is among the world’s most popular travel destinations. Local tour companies can help you create an itinerary of day trips from Reykjavik. A countless number of exciting excursions are only a short drive away!
For the days spent exploring Reykjavik, you’ll find no shortage of activities, including a food scene that is interesting and exciting.
If you aren’t afraid to walk on the wild side, you’ll have an opportunity to sample regional delicacies such as fermented shark, whale, and puffin. Iceland meat soup is hugely popular and satisfying after coming in from the cold. While hot dogs are no big deal in most places, Iceland’s version is rumored to be among the best in the world.
Insider Tip: Download Reykjavik Appy Hour. This app puts fun, happy hour locations at your fingertips. Find a new favorite bar and befriend a few locals. Icelanders will have even more secrets for getting the best out of your vacation.
Don’t Forget These Items
Pack layers. You’ll likely spend lots of time outside experiencing temperature changes as the day progresses. Layers make it easy to adjust as needed to stay comfortable.
Pack a thermos or two to keep drinks warm. These convenient containers save you the hassle and cost of multiple trips to the coffee shop. In fact, if you invest in a quality thermos, your warming elixir will stay heated all day.
Pack a healthy sense of adventure. Iceland is a country of natural marvels and deep contrasts. It’s unlike any place on Earth and its seclusion has kept it preserved and pure for your enjoyment. This country will reignite your wonder for the world and the spaces we share.
Travel passionately and share your experience with others.