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Iceland Travel Tips: What to Know Before You Go

Christian Papadellis
by Christian Papadellis

November 29, 2021

4 minute read

For thousands of years, the sparsely populated Iceland has stood in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, fascinating the world with its snow-capped peaks and fiery terrain. This impressive natural beauty, coupled with a vibrant cultural scene have made Iceland a favorite destination for travelers—including us— all over the world.

 

So for those of you who are joining us in Iceland, or are thinking about joining us, our tour managers, Luciana and Cinthya, have all the best tips on how to best prepare for your trip. From must-see destinations to packing tips (and pronunciation tips) we’ve got you covered!

 

Packing Up

Now, the first step of any good trip is packing. When filling your suitcase for a land as majestic and wild as Iceland however, sometimes knowing what to bring is a bigger mystery than the Northern Lights themselves. To clear up any mysteries, Tour Manager Luciana—an expert on all things Iceland—has prepared us with a list of must-have essentials.

 

“Since I worked in Iceland, mostly,” she says. “I can certainly say a waterproof phone/camera case is a must, as we bring our guests to the blue lagoon.”

 

Luciana also highly recommends bringing along a reusable water bottle, phone chargers and a power bank (as cold temps drain batteries faster), a universal travel adapter (for plugging in electronics), hand/toe warmers, moisturizer and Chapstick, a packable backpack (a daypack is a great investment), and of course, a mesh laundry bag for dirty clothes.

  

Say What?

Another big part of traveling to Iceland is learning a few words in the native Icelandic language. While you could always get a book or take a course, Tour Manager Cinthya—another Iceland expert—is here to give you a quick crash course! Below are some words that might impress your fellow travelers and win you some points with the locals…

 

Gulfoss- When you travel Iceland’s famous Golden Circle—a 300 kilometer (190 mile) loop overlooking some of the country’s most stunning vistas—it’ll be quite helpful and impressive to say “Gulfoss.” (Pronounced: Goot-fuss)

 

Fagradalsfjall- With a name meaning “beautiful/fair mountain,” this is the name of a Volcano that just erupted this past year in the Reykjavík peninsula—very close to the Blue Lagoon. (Pronounced: Fraga-das-fiat-la)

 

Thingvellir- The site of the oldest parliament in the world and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Thingvellir is now a national park and official World Heritage Site located near the country’s capital, Reykjavík. (Pronounced: Think-vet-lit)

 

Laugavegur- The most popular hiking trail in Iceland! (Pronounced: Looga-vay-gur)

Eyjafjallajokull- A famous volcano that erupted in 2010 and caused enormous disruption in air travel across western and northern Europe for a whole week. (Pronounced: Ay-yah-fiet-la-yo-kut)

 

Wow… say all of those ten times fast!

 

Iceland’s Pièce de Résistance

Last, but not least, your trip to Iceland will be filled with some of the most stunning natural beauty you’ll ever see. Among these beautiful wonders are the ever-elusive Northern Lights.

 

According to National Geographic, the best time to view the Northern Lights in Iceland is on a clear, dark night from the autumnal equinox (September) through early April (Spring Equinox). While the lights can be viewed in summer, the dark skies of the winter season provide the perfect blank canvas for the atmosphere to paint the lights onto. If you’re specifically looking to join us in Iceland to see the Northern Lights, we highly recommend you book our Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights tour!

 

With so many beautiful places and natural phenomenon to see, it’s no wonder Iceland has enticed so many travelers over the years. In fact, for all my fellow Game of Thrones fans, the country’s landscape served as a fitting backdrop for several of the TV series’ most iconic locations including the land North of the Wall and Wilding camp. So, I guess the “land forged of ice and fire” is a fitting moniker for this beautiful country.

 

At any rate, we hope these tips were helpful and most of all, we hope you’ll join us in Iceland very soon!

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