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Iceland for First-Timers

Adventure Iceland Guide Lola Luna Must do Must see Plan your trip Travel Tips

If you're traveling for the first time to Iceland there are 10 things you should definitely know when planning your trip to Iceland.

 
Lola Luna

Author

Lola Luna 

Ice cave Iceland photo by Collin RexA trip to Iceland seems to be on the bucket list for many people all over the world.

1. Breathe, Relax and Enjoy

Don't try to schedule too much into one day. Driving distances tend to take longer than you think and you want to leave plenty of time to explore and enjoy Iceland's natural beauty.  The best thing to do after an exhausting day is to relax in the geothermal hot natural pools, geothermal spas or local swimming pools that are waiting for you.

Hot Springs in Iceland

Hot Springs in Iceland

 2. Don't count on the weather

People say that all the time about the weather. But you know why? Because it's true! If you wake up to and the sun is shining, you could be walking in snow by noon and fighting off massive rain and wind at dinner time. So, if you're going out for a long walk, you should bring with you some warm clothes that can fight the wind and rain. 

Skógafoss waterfall Photo by Sorasak

Skógafoss waterfall Photo by Sorasak 

3. Get out of Reykjavik and explore the countryside

What really makes Iceland special are what lies outside the city limits. Spend a day or two in Reykjavík but be sure to go explore the countryside and some of Iceland's natural wonders. 

Stakkholtsgja canyon, Iceland Photo by Jonatan Pie

Stakkholtsgja canyon, Iceland Photo by Jonatan Pie

4. Don't be afraid to drive

Icelanders drive on the right and the maps provided by our car rental are very easy to use. Gas is expensive compared to the US and Europe and should definitely be factored in if you are trying to stick to a budget. You can rent a car in Destiny Iceland. We offer work with the best local company of Iceland offering you brand new cars, with all included and best rates guaranteed. 

Driving in Iceland photo by Kalle Kortelainen

Driving in Iceland Photo by Kalle Kortelainen

 5. Go Local

For a true feel of Iceland be sure to stay at one of the many family-run guesthouses and farm stays that dot the countryside. Food is a little on the pricey side but overall of very good quality. We offer you the best and most unique accommodations in Iceland to feel at home and live a unique experiences in your journey, from a secret island where you can eat fresh salmon and enjoy the silence and solitude, to a luxury isolated farm, wooden houses with hot tub, huts in the highlands, a bubble house to see the northern lights or even a lighthouse.  

Visit Iceland Go Local - Traustholtshólmi Yurt

Yurt on a private island in Iceland

Contact us to find peace of mind in a one of a kind secret paradise. Accommodations in three beautiful Mongolian yurts in a private island with local, seasonal and environmentally friendly food including wild salmon in summer and eggs from wild geese in spring. A unique experience in a truly serene environment.

6. Emotional Landscapes

Most of Iceland looks like nowhere else on Earth. You will run out superlatives to describe Iceland's landscape when you return home. You'll want to stop every 5 minutes to take pictures but a lot of what you see just can't be properly captured. Sometimes you just need to look up from the camera and enjoy the view.

https://vimeo.com/190595213

Video: Dreaming of Iceland by Henthorne 

7. Northern Lights

The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland  is from September to mid-April – these are the months where there are full dark nights.

Destiny Iceland Northern Lights in Iceland photo by Jonatan Pie

Northern Lights in Iceland photo by Jonatan Pie 

8. Midnight Sun

Starting in late May and lasting until July, the midnight sun brightens up the night sky in Iceland creating a marvellous night sky painted in sapphire, orange and pink eternal sunsets. During the summertime, you can see the sun go down and then back up again in a matter of minutes. This is truly an Arctic unique experience.

Midnigh sun in Iceland by Destiny Iceland

Midnight sun in Iceland by Destiny Iceland

 

9. Ice Ice Baby

Try to get close to a glacier either on a glacier hike, ice caves or a boat tour of the glacier Lagoon Jokulsalón . We offer plenty of tours in Iceland with local experts and qualified guides that can help you experience the glaciers safely. Never visit an ice cave or ice climbing without an expert guide. 


Destiny Iceland: Ice cave Iceland photo by Collin Rex

Ice cave Iceland photo by Collin Rex 

10. Volcanoes

Iceland, the land of ice and fire, is a true paradise for volcanologists. In few places on earth, geology and human history are so closely connected to volcanism as on Iceland. The island owes its existence to a large volcanic hot spot sitting on a mid-oceanic ridge, a unique setting.

https://vimeo.com/11673745

 Video: Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull (2010) by Sean Stiegemeier

 Iceland has many active and inactive volcanoes, about 130 volcanoes, due to it being situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Basically, the country is in the middle of or on top of two tectonic plates and has 30 active volcanic systems running through the island.

You can see the official Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes here .