Iceland is a country of ever changing weather, creating some of the most dramatic scenes you will ever witness. It is a country whose love of the supernatural, especially elves, trolls and hidden beings, is incredibly intriguing if not a little odd. Iceland is the land of Water. Their water is so clean that you can drink it right out of the rivers. Glacier melt occurs constantly and water is forever flowing from its mountains. It is a country whose variations of green and yellow flora stand out against its dramatic stormy skies. Iceland is country that mystifies and entices and it should be one everyone’s bucket list. This Iceland travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Iceland Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Icelandic power voltage is 220 V 50 Hz; Power sockets F
- The local currency is the Icelandic Króna (ISK) and is around 133 ISK to 1 USD
- When flying into Iceland, you will arrive at Keflavik International Aiport, around 45 minutes from the city of Reykjavik. The cheapest way to get to Reykjavik is by bus: flybus that is.
- The legal drinking age is 20. Most alcohol is sold in state-controlled stores called Vinbuð, with limited opening hours. Alcohol can be expensive, so save some cash by stocking up at the duty free store at Keflavik airport.
- Value added tax (VAT) is charged on purchases, such as meals at restaurants, shopping expenses and hotel accommodations. If you are resident of a non-European Union country, you can get a refund of this tax in certain participating shops. For more info on VAT refunds, click here.
Top Packing Tips for Iceland Travel
Iceland lies just below the Arctic Circle, yet thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, extreme seasonal temperature variations are rare: winters are usually mild while summers are cool. Nevertheless, Iceland is also known for its volatile climate with frequent and abrupt weather shifts, such as overcast skies, rain, strong winds and fog. Don’t be surprised if you experience 4 different seasonal climates in just one day!
- Laundry detergent / soap – there are no self serve laundromats in Iceland, only dry cleaning. The easiest option (especially for socks and undies) is to wash them in the sink/bathtub when needed.
- Layers – The general rule of thumb is to pack at least four layers: a base layer, long sleeve shirts, a fleece (mid-layer) and a top layer such as a windbreaker (waterproof!). Base layers should be make of wool or synthetic fabrics – these fabrics offer superior moisture-wicking and temperature control protection than cotton. And don’t forget your head, fingers and toes!
- Insect Repellent – Along with natural beauty and warm weather, spring and early summer in the interior or the Mývatn area are known for their pesky little insects. Travellers are advised to bring a mosquito net, insect spray or a mosquito headnet.
- Hiking Boots – pack a good pair of boots with good grip that are waterproof and insulated for spring/winter travel.
- Swimsuit – you can’t visit Iceland without taking a dip in one of their many thermal pools or warm springs.
- Sleeping Mask The midnight sun (as early as May and as late as August) can make sleeping difficult.
- Binoculars – great to have if you plan on going on cruises, and/or hiking, boating or nature tours.
Check out our Packing List for more ideas on what to bring with you.
Top Things to do in Iceland
- Explore the 5 Natural Wonders oF Reykjavik – embark on a boat tour to whale watch, explore the city’s geothermal wonders, catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights or go scuba diving in or near Iceland’s capital!
- Take a ride on an Icelandic Horse – Not only is the Icelandic Horse the prettiest horse in the world, they are also the only horse that can tölt.
- Visit the Raging Upper Waters of Gulfoss – Iceland has a lot of waterfalls, and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall is it’s answer to Niagara, Victoria or Iguazu Falls.
- Explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – located in South East Iceland, this lagoon is filled with icebergs on volcanic sand.
- See Black Beaches, Waterfalls and Trolls in Vik – in the southernmost town of Iceland, travellers can visit the Trolls of Vik and one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls: Skógafoss
A Bit About Iceland
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