Iceland may always be a country with its own reclusive sense of enigma that surrounds it. With varied topographies that can alternate between relaxing country sides and mystical landscapes, Iceland may be on everyone’s bucket list.
While travel to any new destination, can be daunting, this article has got you covered, while answering questions like the best places to visit, must see destinations, weather patterns, and the best time to visit. Together, lets demystify the travel to Iceland and discover what makes Iceland a must travel destination! After reading the below article, if you’re looking to buy a holiday or tour in Iceland, do check out the tour booking platform Bookmundi.
Top 5 Destinations to Visit in Iceland
Have you ever wanted to know what it would feel like to swim in 40 centigrade water the whole year round? If you have, the Blue Lagoon might be the perfect destination with its perfect blue waters set to the picturesque black rock background. This natural contrast makes this a photographer’s dream destination. Also nearby is the Svartsengi power plant, which is responsible for the geothermal activity that lends itself to keeping the water warm and perfect for a dip all year round.
The Westfjords are where it all comes to a head. Literally. You can feel the excitement and tension in the air, as the visitors and tourists disappear, and the pure unadulterated beauty of Iceland rises to a crescendo. The Westfjords may be a place that only 10% of annual visitors see, but count those visitors to be blessed. Rugged mountains with jagged little roads that wind all over the region, interspersed with minuscule fishing villages immersed in the idyllic culture of Iceland is what you can expect here. Wildlife enthusiast may also be able to spot exotic birds and fauna such as the elusive Arctic Fox and other ocean vistas.
It does not get more picturesque than stunning crystalline icebergs drifting through the lurid blue icy waters of the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Most tourists typically spend days here, admiring the statuesque ice glaciers which slowly drift towards the Atlantic Ocean. You may be able to take a short boating trip around the glaciers and get up close and personal with their beauty. While they might give you the impression of timelessness, these glaciers and this lagoon has only been around for the past eighty years, slowly growing and expanding every year.
Skaftafell may be one of Iceland’s most cherished locations. Nested in the Vatnajokull national park, Skaftafell seems to collect the most breathtaking of all glaciers and peaks. Half a million visitors every year come to partake in the beauty of the waterfalls, the birch woods with their enigmatic thrall, and the network of rivers intertwining with each other set against the backdrop of the blue-white ice glaciers of Vatnajokull. Skaftafell may very well be irresistible with its remote hiking trails and picturesque views. While it may seem that crowds flock to Skaftafell particularly in the summer, you can avoid them.
Latrabjarg Bird Cliffs
A stone’s throw away from Bjargtangar lighthouse are the famous bird cliffs of Latrabjarg. These bird cliffs stretch for 12KM along the coast and are home to a number of nesting seabirds in the summer, ranging from a few twitches to magnitudes of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes and even gulls. From the most pedestrian of birds to the exotic, this is a bird watchers paradise. While birds may be the main draw here, on some days when the seas are relatively calm, seals can be seen perched around the lighthouses.
Best Time to Visit
High Season: June-August
Low Season: October- April
Like any other vacation destination, it may be imperative to know when to visit Iceland, lest the bad weather play a spoilsport to our exploratory impulses. It is in general consensus that the best time to visit Iceland may be around the time from June to August. During this time, you can expect pleasant summer temperatures, which make the more popular tourist destinations much more accessible.
Iceland’s low season is during October-April. The icy vistas may be at their peak during this season, which is definitely a plus point for the season. Iceland has some particularly good ski slopes for the ski enthusiasts among us. This season is also a good time to explore some of Iceland’s spelunking caves. Iceland also uses its location to its advantage giving you a good 17-18 hours of daylight each day leaving you all the more time to explore the length and breadth of this mystical enigmatic country.
Tips for Traveling in Iceland
Here are some helpful tips that will definitely help you during your trip!
- Be prepared for drastic weather condition changes. Pack extra warm clothes- they will always come in handy. When visiting waterfalls, carry a change of clothes, or a raincoat.
- Iceland might look like a small country, but the narrow roads will add a lot of extra time to your duration of travel. Account for this extra time while planning your itinerary. Make sure you pack enough snacks, protein bars, and meals when you’re going on these long road trips as well, as it might be difficult for you to find restaurants (you will not find any American fast food places anywhere in Iceland, too).
- Make sure you follow all the road safety tips when you take a road trip in Iceland. Even if you have Google Maps, stop and ask for the right directions whenever you find a tour operator/local person. Google Maps might lead you through roads that are closed, or snowed-in. You can check road closures in Iceland on the road.is website before you go. Moreover, off-roading is not recommended- especially since the weather is so unpredictable. If you are going off-roading in a permissible area, download the 112 Iceland App, for emergencies.
- You can use a credit card in most places in Iceland, so you don’t need to get any money exchanged. Most places in Iceland will ask for the PIN for your card- so find out what your card’s PIN is before you leave.
- If you have bought gifts and souvenirs for more than 6000 ISK, save the receipt, as you can fill a tax form at the airport, and get your VAT back!