Iceland is one of the top travel destinations in the world. This island country has gorgeous landscapes, stunning geography, and a thriving local culture. If this magnificent country is on your travel list this year, read on to learn some helpful tips for your first trip to Iceland.
Tips for Your First Trip To Iceland
The Best Season to Go
The best time for your trip to Iceland really depends on what you would like to do during your stay. If you wish to see the phenomenon of the northern lights, the peak viewing season is September through March. The best time for exploring Iceland’s natural wonders and the entire Ring Road experience is from early June through late August.
The weather in Iceland changes according to the seasons. The winter months are temperate with mild air off the Gulf Stream, and the average temperature for the season is 33 °F. The springtime temperatures have a range from 39 to 50 degrees. The daylight hours in the spring are typical to those in America. In the months from September through March, the daily daylight lasts for approximately five hours. At the peak of summer, the sun sets for only three hours. The average summer temperature in Iceland in 65 °F.
Must Visit Places For That First Trip
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and is the most popular tourist destination. There are many things to see and do here including hiking in Úlfarsfell, and boat rides to Viðey Island. You can learn and experience Icelandic culture at Árbær Open Air Museum. Reykjavik has many fabulous dining establishments like Reykjavik Kitchen, plus much more.
Akureyri is a port town located in northern Iceland and is an ideal destination for nature lovers. Due to its location, Akureyri is renowned for its spectacular whale watching during the summer season, and operators like Whale Watching Akureyri offer great excursions. While here, you can explore the walking paths and see the vibrant flora at The Akureyri Botanical Garden.
Húsavík is home to one the major attractions in Iceland. This must-see attraction is a wooden church built in 1904 named Húsavíkurkirkja. Whale watching is another popular pastime here, and tour operators like North Sailing offer trips to see these magnificent creatures.
Things to Do While In Iceland
Iceland is extremely proud of its saga and heritage. History buffs will have plenty of opportunities to discover the history and culture of the Icelandic people at the many museums and historical sites in the country. Places of note include the Akranes Folk Museum, Westfjords Heritage Museum, and Fjorukrain Viking Village, plus many more.
Shoppers will love spending time in Reykjavik, as there are many shopping areas in the city including the shops on the main street of Laugavegur and the Frú Lauga market.
Besides visits to the many natural wonders of Iceland, there are many outdoor activities available here. These include horseback riding, white water rafting, and scuba diving. Hikers will love strolling along the Krafla Firesand exploring the many underground caves and craters.
FYI on Iceland
There are several transportation options for visitors to Iceland. Most travelers arrive at Keflavik Airport. There are many shuttles form the airport to Reykjavik, or you can take the public bus called the Strætó. The island has one main highway, the Ring Road or Route 1. As the name implies, the highway runs completely around the country with several smaller roads branching off. There are also many tour companies here such asIntrepid, Iceland Horizon, and Ride with Locals that offer a wide variety of options.
- Occasionally puffin or whale is offered to tourists for sampling. Ecologists suggest tourists should refuse these samples to help preserve this marine life.
- In Iceland, the ‘no trace rule’ is strongly recommended. Visitors are expected to take all refuse with them and stay on all marked paths at the country’s natural wonders.
- If you spot wild horses in Iceland, do not approach them, or feed them.
- The crime rate is very low in Iceland, the locals are very helpful and friendly, and the country is a great destination for solo travelers.
It’s time to plan that first trip to Iceland today!
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories