HOW TO PLAN AN ICELAND ADVENTURE
If your heart is filled with wanderlust, Iceland is undoubtedly on your travel bucket list.
This destination is filled with lush hills, waterfalls, the Northern lights, hot springs, and so many other incredible sights waiting for you.
Wondering how to plan an Iceland adventure?
I’ve got everything you need to know and more.
Here’s your quick guide.
Let’s get started.
Planning Your Iceland Camping Trip
Camping is the best and cheapest way to see Iceland.
You’ll see so much more if you camp around this country than if you choose to stay in a hotel.
Thinking about how to plan an Iceland adventure?
The best way to plan your camping trip is to start along the Ring Road.
The Ring Road is a national road that connects most of the inhabited parts of the country.
You’ll want to plan your itineraries based on the number of days you have available.
Here are some sample itineraries:
As you plan, here are some other things you may want to know…
- Iceland is expensive. A lot of travelers get sticker shock when they get to Iceland. They don’t realize how expensive everything is. Especially when it’s cold, you’ll want to be able to grab a beer or hot chocolate without worrying about how much it’s costing you. Don’t do Iceland on a budget if you can help it. Make this a vacation you save up for.
- Don’t hesitate to visit in the off-season. June through August is Iceland’s busy season. So, if you’re wondering how to build an Iceland adventure, one of the best ways to do it is by visiting in the off-season. This will give you the flexibility to enjoy the beautiful scenery without fighting the crowds.
- Rent a car. Renting a car in Iceland is the best way to get around. You’ll see a lot and have freedom. Often, 4WD is the way to go; you’ll likely encounter gravel roads.
- Book accommodations in advance. Booking in advance is always wise regardless of what time of year you visit Iceland. However, if you visit during high season, then you’ll need to book far in advance for rental cars, camping equipment, and any accommodation you need.
Where Do I Pick Up My Camping Gear in Iceland?
Alright, so you’ve committed to camping in Iceland, but even if you’re a camping expert in your own country, it’s not always easy to get started somewhere foreign.
Where do you even getting camping gear in Iceland?
I recommend Iceland Camping Equipment Rental.
It’s a company created by a French couple who fell in love with Iceland and decided to create a business, so they never had to leave their favorite vacation spot.
They have used all of the camping supplies you’re about to rent on their many trips to Iceland.
Since they’ve been on the other side of the counter many times, they’ve got the customer service process down.
They’ve also made the rental process easy.
Not to mention they offer high-quality gear at affordable prices, and they keep environmental sustainability in mind.
Can you beat that?
Visit here to learn more about Iceland Camping Equipment Rental.
What If I Plan to Visit Iceland in the Winter?
You may be wary of visiting Iceland in the wintertime.
After all, the country is called Iceland.
It’s pretty much guaranteed to be cold!
However, there are more than a few amazing winter experiences to be had!
I’ll list out a few, but you can absolutely find more through just a little bit of research.
My biggest advice?
Make sure you purchase and pack the right type of attire.
If you skimp out on your coat, underlayers, and boots, then it’s not going to be a fun time for anyone involved!
Without further ado, here’s how to plan an Iceland adventure in the wintertime.
See the Northern lights
Ah, the Northern lights!
No matter how experienced you are in travel, the Northern lights are something you want to see.
Northern lights season lasts from October to February in Iceland, and while you don’t need a guide to see them, it will certainly enhance your viewing experience.
Go to Jokulsarlon & Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach at Jokulsarlon Glacier is a black sand beach that you must see if visiting Iceland in the winter.
You can either book a tour, or you can drive to the glacier lagoon with a rental car, so it really just depends how you plan your Iceland adventure.
Discover the ice caves
Visiting an ice cave is like walking inside a glacier.
Like the glacier hikes below, you’ll want to make sure you hire an experienced guide to take you on this winter adventure.
It’s a truly mesmerizing Iceland experience, and one you won’t want to miss!
Do a glacier hike
How many times in your life will you be able to do a glacier hike?
Glacier hiking is an incredibly unique way to see the natural scenery that Iceland has to offer.
Just make sure you get a guide before you go.
While it’s not necessarily a difficult activity, you do need the right gear and a guide who is familiar with the icy area.
Bathe in the geothermal pools
Bathing in Iceland’s geothermal pools is one of the most fun winter activities you can do in Iceland.
These pools remain warm despite Iceland’s winter weather.
The Blue Lagoon is obviously one of the most famous and popular options, but Iceland has a variety of other natural geothermal pools all over the country.
Take a look at your itinerary and driving route and see what other geothermal pools you may be able to use.
What to Expect From the Locals
Of course, no matter the specifics, if you’re planning an Iceland trip, you’re going to interact with the locals from time to time.
It’s always helpful to understand what you may encounter, so that you’re ready for and familiar with any norms or customs that may not be familiar to you ahead of time.
You should know that in general, Icelanders are curious, friendly, helpful, polite and always ready to help you out if you have a question.
They appreciate tourism and the boost it provides to their economy.
Therefore, you shouldn’t assume that you’re going to run into unfriendly people, but instead you can proceed with confidence if you want to say something friendly to someone.
Also, if you’re not already like this, then part of planning a trip to Iceland should involve getting ready to act in an extremely environmentally conscientious way.
Specifically, that means that if you’re going camping and hiking to your site, pick up any trash that you see, as that’s what locals will do and what they will expect.
Obviously do not litter under any circumstances, and avoid buying plastic bottled water if at all possible.
Iceland has a very beautiful but also fragile ecosystem, and Icelanders do whatever they can to make sure that they’re protecting it on an individual as well as a collective basis.
If you’re going to be looking to strike up a conversation with an Icelander, the first thing you should know – and be rest assured about – is that there’s a high likelihood that the person you’re going to talk to speaks not only English, but fluent English.
It’s taught to all students in Iceland as a second language, so once again, you can feel confident in that regard as you’re planning an Iceland trip.
If you’re looking for something to talk about, it’s honestly true that the people there enjoy talking about the weather.
That’s because for centuries, Icelanders have dealt with weather patterns that are among the most unpredictable in the world.
It’s not uncommon to experience warmth, cold, rain and even hail in the same day, so you’re most likely going to be interested in what the weather has to offer as well.
Finally, if you’re going to be spending some time in the city and away from your camping tent and you want to experience the nightlife of a place like Reykjavik, be prepared to stay up very late if you’re not used to that already.
Planning an Iceland trip, if it involves any time in the city, means that if you want to actually meet locals, you’ll need to do so well after midnight in many cases.
Generally, locals will eat a late dinner, have a little party at someone’s house and then head out to nightclubs and the like after midnight.
If you need to, take a nap earlier in the day so you can stay up with them and enjoy all that the Icelandic people and its culture have to offer.
There you have it!
How to plan an Iceland adventure and make the most of your time there.
Do you have any additional tips on how to plan an Iceland adventure? If you do, comment below!
You can also check out our blog for the trip over there, Travel Tips for Long Flights: How to Survive.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed, or simply do not have the time to plan your trip to Iceland, why not let us help you? We will create the perfect bespoke itinerary just for you!