Since 2018 we have been frequent travellers. After discovering England, our first foreign trip was to Iceland. Despite the October weather not being too kind to us, we had a wonderful experience and fell in love with the country. We felt that we had to return. Since then it is the only place we visit regularly, several times a year.
With our experience and knowledge of the place, we try to provide useful answers to the questions of newbie travellers planning their first trip to Iceland:
- where to go for the first time,
- what to see,
- how long to stay and when to go,
- what to look out for when organising your trip,
- what preparations are necessary,
- what to take with you,
- is it advisable to organise it yourself or should you use a travel agency?
Iceland is a very safe country, with high quality services, great hospitality and professionalism, so we can organise the tour ourselves. From home, we can book flights, select and book accommodation, car rental, buy entrance tickets, tours such as whale watching, ice cave tours, etc. To organise a tour, you need to have at least an intermediate level of English, which you will need once you are there. Click here for some smart tips for cost-effective organisation.
When should we travel?
Choosing the right time can depend on the size of your budget, the weather, your interests and your destination. Cheaper flights are available before and after the peak summer season. It is not advisable to plan a winter stay for the first time, but rather to choose the safer, more pleasant weather periods, when the days are longer, allowing more time for outdoor activities. If you can afford it, travel in the summer months, from May to August, when the weather is at its most pleasant and the wildlife is most active, making it the best time for birdwatching, for example. If hunting for the aurora borealis is an important goal, the second half of August to early September is an excellent time to observe this wonderful celestial phenomenon, when the weather is still pleasant. Winter comes early, even snowing as early as September, but from mid to late October at the latest, winter weather prevails with lots of precipitation, wind and cold. The last month with winter weather is April, which is very unpredictable and changeable.
Icelandic landscapes in October and December (Vík y Myrdal, Skógafoss waterfall)
In our opinion and experience, a 3-5 day trip with the "must-see" classic attractions, accommodation near the airport, and a rental car may be sufficient for a first visit. For the first time, a visit to the easily accessible south-south-western coast and the "golden circle" is the most obvious, with sightseeing in Reykjavík, supplemented by guided tours, e.g. ice cave, whale watching, wildlife etc.
- Reykjanes volcanic area (details below)