If you are looking for a different kind of experience on your next travel destination, consider Iceland, also known as the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Easily accessible from North America or Europe, its only a few hours flight from either continent. Iceland is a Nordic island in the northern part of the Atlantic. The island contains very drastic and contrasting landscapes, including volcanoes, glaciers, lava fields, and hot springs. The first person to permanently settle in Iceland didn’t take place until 874 AD. Icelandic culture is comprised of mainly Norse and Gaelic history.
Contrary to popular belief, the climate is temperate and remains mild all year round, in part due to the Gulf stream. In the lower areas of the island, like the capital city Reykjavik, it can change from rain to snow quickly and is usually windy in the winter months. The northern part of the island is where you will find more ice and snow since it is closer to the Arctic. Also, keep in mind that during the winter months you will only get about 5 hours of daylight. During the summer months, you will experience almost 24 hours of daylight. When choosing clothes to take, always bring warm and water-resistant clothing. Make sure to bring good, sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots that are also water-resistant. But on the other side, be sure to bring your bathing suit to enjoy the geothermal pools that dot the island. If you choose to visit in winter, be sure to bring thermal clothing as well.
When deciding on things to do and see, one must be sure to check out the northern lights. From September to April, you can witness a natural phenomenon called aurora borealis which is an incredible light show display in the night sky. There are also active volcanoes that you can experience. Due to most of Iceland’s inhabitants living in one area, much of the island in rugged and wild. Iceland is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Another unique and breath-taking tourist attraction here is whale watching. During the summer months, whales come to these waters to feed, making it a perfect destination for whale watching. You can also try your hand at ice climbing. The island offers beautiful and scenic hiking routes as well as caves to explore.
Depending on what you plan to do and see, most tourists agree that visiting Iceland during the springtime is the best time to go. The weather gets mild and the snow starts to melt revealing the lush green landscape underneath. Also, you will get more daylight hours. If your main goal is to experience the northern lights, then you may want to go during the end of the winter. When it comes to saving money on your trip, there are some key factors to consider. Iceland uses the currency krona or (ISK) and it’s a good idea to check the currency rate beforehand to know what your money will be worth there. Try to create a budget for yourself before you arrive. Be sure to include everything needed on your trip.
- Room and board (hotels, hostels, bed, and breakfasts)
- Transportation (buses, car rental Iceland, bike rentals, etc.)
- Meals and dining
- Tours and outdoor activities
- Any extras like snacks, rental gear, sightseeing tours, etc.
Another way to save some money is to travel to Iceland during their offseason. Peak months mean higher price tags on activities and hotel accommodations. Also, you might want to look into lodging possibilities that are off the beaten path. This may help you to save a little more as well.
Visiting Iceland is a unique experience like no other; a magical place filled with rich history, legends, and folklore alike. The people who live here are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Also, while visiting this island, you may just run into a troll or elf as well! Natural beauty and wonder make Iceland a place to see. Whether you come for the geothermal springs, northern lights, or the active volcanoes, Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Visit Iceland and create memories that will stand the test of time.