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Iceland Travel Blog

This page gives you basic information to help you plan your trip to Iceland and stories from my Iceland travel blog. If you’d like to go straight to the stories, click on ‘Latest Iceland Posts’ below or scroll all the way to the bottom.

Well, what can I say about Iceland that hasn’t been said a thousand times before?

All the clichéd phrases are true- the country is incredible, otherwordly, and nothing like you’ve seen before (or anything you’ll see after). Iceland is my favorite country in the world and after two trips, I am pretty sure this is one country I will keep trying to visit again and again.

For me, Iceland is not just about its amazing landscapes; one of my closest friends is Icelandic (and happens to own a great tour company by the way) and I feel like there’s a very special kind of energy that emanates from the breathtaking nature in the country. Maybe this all sounds like mumbo-jumbo but believe me, once you have seen it for yourself, you might believe it too.

For the adventurous nature lover, Iceland is chock-full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as hiking on a glacier on the south coast, exploring a lava tube cave, relaxing in geothermal springs (the purest form of bliss), driving through the magnificent Snaefellsnes Peninsula, seeing the Northern Lights, and spending time in Reykjavik, a cool city that is still getting used to all the tourists. Got limited time to travel around Iceland? Here’s a 6-day South Iceland self-drive itinerary to see the highlights.

Want local tips and personalized advice for your trip to Iceland? Connect with Halldór from Go Ask A Local!  He’s an Iceland-based travel agent who specializes in self-drive trips and also offers trip planning consultations on Zoom.

What To Pack

For the outdoors: In Iceland, you will be spending most of your time outdoors, how can you not? You’ll hike on glaciers and watch in fascination as geysers erupt, you’ll find peace in a hot spring and stare at the rainbow that arches over Skogafoss, and you’ll never tire of chasing the Northern Lights even when it feels like your fingers might freeze and fall off.

So good quality clothes fit for activities and adventures, waterproof hiking shoes and camera gear that is fit for cold weather and activities are a must.

If you plan to camp outdoors, then bring camping gear and sleeping bags. Buying it in the country can be insanely expensive.

If you’re visiting in winter, thick warm jackets, beanies, thermals, layers, scarves, gloves, socks etc need to be carried.

Don’t count on ‘getting it there if you need it’ because this stuff is expensive in the country.

Even if you’re visiting in summer, you still need a warm jacket, beanie, scarf, sweater, and good hiking shoes. Iceland summer is not as warm as summer elsewhere.

Other than the obvious things like clothes and shoes for the city (stress on comfort over style), here is a detailed list of things to pack for Iceland. I have mentioned only some of these briefly below.

Must Haves for Iceland

Winter Essentials

For the cities: People are dressed simply but smartly. The locals have an effortlessly chic style of dressing while their outfits always being practical and functional.

Languages Spoken

While Icelandic is the official language, and can sound strangely confusing to non-speakers, tourists have no problems in Iceland. Everyone speaks English and it’s a breeze to communicate everywhere in the country.

Need To Know

The best way to travel across the country is to rent your own vehicle– whether it’s a car or a campervan you decide to get, shop around- there are plenty of options across a range of budgets.

On road trips, allow plenty of time for delays and unexpected stops- you will find spots that are so beautiful that you’ll want to stay longer, take photos etc. To truly enjoy everything Iceland has to offer, do not rush. In Iceland especially, it’s all about the journey.

You can find hot springs along your journey using Hotpot Iceland.

If you’re traveling in Iceland during or around winter and on a tight schedule, be prepared for some disappointment- activities might be canceled and journeys might be delayed due to unfavorable weather. Allow enough extra days to reschedule activities.

Keep track of weather and Northern Lights forecasts on the local website Vedur.is.

Travel Insurance

On your travels in Iceland you will experience countless exciting adventures and you need to ensure that you’re properly insured. Trust me, sound travel insurance saves your ass when you least expect it and can salvage a travel situation gone bad. WorldNomads insurance has been my go-to choice for years and many travel experts agree that it’s one of the best available internationally.

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

Browse Flights to Iceland

Where To Stay in Iceland

I’ve picked out some cool accommodations to stay around the country, very similar to the ones I stayed at. My trip consisted mostly of budget and mid-range accommodations for the most part, but I have included some options under the Luxury category.  

Reykjavik

Budget/ Mid-range

Aurora Guesthouse, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

Gestinn Guesthouse, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

Oddsson Hotel and Hostel, Vesturbaer, Reykjavik, Iceland

KEX Hostel, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland (Excellent social hostel with a bar and also private rooms)

Loft Apartments – Downtown Reykjavik, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

Hlemmur Square, Hlidar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik Treasure B&B, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

Luxury

Hotel Leifur Eiriksson, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik Residence Suites, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

CenterHotel Midgardur, Hlidar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Black Pearl Reykjavik, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, Midborg, Reykjavik, Iceland

South Coast (and some close to the Golden Circle)

Budget/ Mid-range

Frumskogar Guesthouse & Apartments, Hveragerdi, Iceland

Varmi Guesthouse Apartments, Hveragerdi, Iceland

Blaskogar Guesthouse, Hveragerdi, Iceland

Fosstun, Selfoss, Iceland

Guesthouse Garun Skolavellir, Selfoss, Iceland

Selfoss B&B, Selfoss, Iceland

Luxury

Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, Iceland

Grimsborgir Guest House, Ulfljotsvatn, Iceland

Frost and Fire Guest House, Hveragerdi, Iceland

Icestay Cabins, Ulfljotsvatn, Iceland

Fosshotel Hekla, Selfoss, Iceland

Hotel Selfoss, Selfoss, Iceland

Vik

Budget/Mid-range

Guesthouse Galleri Vik, Vik, Iceland

Skammidalur Guesthouse, Vik, Iceland

Luxury

Black Beach Suites, Vik, Iceland

Puffin Hotel, Eskifjordur, Iceland

Dream Guesthouse Vik, Vik, Iceland

East Iceland

Budget/Mid-range

Guesthouse Olga, Egilsstadir, Iceland

Birta Guesthouse Egilsstadir, Egilsstadir, Iceland

Lyngas Guesthouse, Egilsstadir, Iceland

Smarahvammur, Egilsstadir, Iceland

Luxury

Skardas Country Cabins, Egilsstadir, Iceland

Gistihusid – Lake Hotel Egilsstadir, Egilsstadir, Iceland

Akureyri

Budget/Mid-range

Akureyri Backpackers, Akureyri, Iceland

Lava Apartments, Akureyri, Iceland

Akureyri H I Hostel, Akureyri, Iceland

Hafnarstraeti hostel, Akureyri, Iceland

Luxury

Skjaldarvik Guest House, Akureyri, Iceland

Akureyri Central Suite, Akureyri, Iceland

Geldingsa Apartment, Akureyri, Iceland  

Tours in Iceland

Want local tips and personalized advice for your trip to Iceland? Connect with Halldór from Go Ask A Local!  He’s an Iceland-based travel agent who specializes in self-drive trips and also offers trip planning consultations on Zoom.

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