Iceland is the perfect choice this summer!
It probably comes as no surprise that Iceland boasts some of the most untouched and wild landscapes in Europe. In fact, Iceland is so much more than the Blue Lagoon and awesome seafood restaurants. Admitted, it's also those things, but there are plenty (and we mean plenty!) of other good reasons to choose Iceland as your summer holiday destination. Traveling post COVID19 is new to all of us, but it's probably safe to say, that Iceland will experience a drop in tourists this summer compared to recent years. This gives us a unique opportunity to enjoy the perks of Iceland in less busy surroundings. Below we'll give you a few tips on how you get the most out of your trip.
Discovering the untouched Iceland
Despite ranking 17th amongst the European countries in size, there's only around 340,000 inhabitants in Iceland. That means thousands of square kilometers filled with raw, rugged and beautiful nature, just waiting for you to explore. There's of course plenty of ways to do that, and we'll uncover some of those in this blog post.
Please note: If you arrive in Iceland before July 1st, you'll get a free COVID19 test upon arrival. If you arrive later in the summer, you'll either have to pay around 115USD for a test or choose to stay quarantined in Iceland for 2 weeks. Read all about traveling to Iceland here.
1. Enjoy the freedom of traveling in a camper or with a tent
Rent a camper or a car and embark on a cool journey through raw, yet beautiful landscapes. Your camper, your pace.
Although it's possible to free camp a few places in Iceland, the rule of thumb is that you either camp in a designated camp site (which you'll find hundreds of across the country) or ask for permission from a land owner. But let's be real. With an average of around 2 million tourists each year in Iceland, it's not very likely that the local land owners can bother having you staying in their farmlands. So staying at camp sites is our recommended option.
If you rent a campervan and plan on staying more than 10 nights (up to a maximum of 28 nights) there's a cool campingpass you can purchase in advance. It allows you to stay in 38 different camp sites in Iceland, and once you purchased the campingpass you just choose where to stay for the night, given it's not fully booked, of course. Simple as that.
The budget solution
If a camper exceeds your budget, you can also choose to rent a car and bring a tent with you. Camp sites are all over the country, and despite the price varies a bit from location to location, the average price for camping in a tent is around 15USD per night which is cheaper, and not to forget more accessible, than hotels or bed and breakfast options once you're leaving Reykjavik and heading out into the wild.
If you choose to go camping in Iceland, we can recommend to go for an adventure through the stunning Snæfellsjökull area. It's not that far from Reykjavik and can be done in couple of days or 3.
2. Squeeze in some active day tours
Iceland is full of adventure, and if you're in for some thrill, we've got you covered. If you stay in Reykjavik, you can join likeminded travelers in small groups and opt in for some awesome day tours that will allow you to explore some of the most breathtaking sights in Iceland.
1. Caving and snorkeling - price from EUR175
This 9 hour day tour let's you explore an awesome lava tube cave, either Leiðarendi Cave or Gjábakkahellir depending on when you're going. Both are typical lava tubes, and you'll get some great insights to how this magnificent country has been formed by Mother Earth.
After a lunch break it's time to discover life under water. You'll drive to Þingvellir National Park where Silfra Fissure is found. Put on your drysuit and get ready to enjoy life in what is known as one of the best freshwater snorkeling places in the world. You can already now start to get excited about the chance to explore the infamous fissure between 2 continental plates and the more than 100 meters of visibility under water!
2. Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon - Price from EUR87
This day tour combines the legendary Golden Circle including the Gulfoss waterfall and the Great Geysir with a visit to Thingvellir National Park and dip into the Secret Lagoon in Fludir.
First stop on the Golden Circle is the iconic and powerful Gulfoss Waterfall with a height of 32 meters. Next up is Strokkur, where you'll both find the famous hot springs that sends hot water up in the air every 10 minutes as well as the Great Geysir.
Continue to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO Heritage site and a true natural beauty. End your trip with a dip in the Secret Lagoon, Gamla Laugin, in the small village Fludir.
3. The Gulfoss Canyon Rafting - Price from EUR126
This day tour is truly an adventure for the adrenaline seeker. You will be rafting along the White River and it's a nice opportunity to explore Iceland's nature in a different way. On this rafting trip you will encounter incomparable contrasts, sometimes cruising through very serene sections surrounded by unbelievably beautiful and peaceful scenery.
End your rafting adventure with the included admission to the hot sauna by the finish line. It doesn't get better than this!
4. Glacier hike, volcanos and waterfalls - from EUR112
Head to the south coast of Iceland and get ready to explore black sand beaches, volcanos and beautiful waterfalls. First stop is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can actually stay behind the wall of water getting first hand impression of the power it holds. Next up is the glacier hike, and if you have never set foot on a glacier, this is going to be a cool first time experience. From ice to sand, it's time to stroll along the Reynisfjara black sand beach. This day tour ends with at stop at the majestic Skogafoss waterfall, famous for it's thundering water falling from a 60 meter's height.
3. Explore the hidden gems of Iceland
Sure, we've all heard about the Blue Lagoon. But have you ever heard about Fridheimar? Or what about the secret lagoon, Gamla Laugin?
Iceland is full of small hidden gems, and if you want to get the most authentic experiences, these are the once you should check out.
Fridheimar - It's Kardashians approved!
The Tomato farm, Fridheimar, is a unique small oasis full of greenhouses specialized in growing tomatoes. Not only does it look great, it also tastes great. You can try for yourself in the restaurant that serves an excellent tomato soup with fresh-baked bread as well as plenty of other tomato-inspired dishes and drinks. And just a small a fun fact: The Kardashians (as well as Kanye West) paid this place a visit, and they saw, they ate and they approved! Any other quality stamp needed?
Gamla Laugin - The Secret Lagoon
You'll find Gamla Laugin in the small village of Fludir, which is located in the Golden Circle Area. It's less touristed than Blue Lagoon, obviously, but the scenery here is absolutely amazing. Nestled in between several geothermical spots and a small geysir that erupts every 5 minutes, this place is magical!
Vatnajökull National Park
This widespread national park, which also happens to be an UNESCO heritage site is a great choice if you're into exploring uninhabited highlands, stunning nature and a broad variety of hiking trails that comes with different levels of difficulty. The national park is Iceland's biggest, and you can easily spend several days here.
Hot springs of Westfjords
In the northwestern Iceland you'll find the Westfjords. It's not the most accessible part of the country, admitted, but nevertheless well worth a visit. Besides consisting of beautiful landscapes, the Westfjords also offers several hot springs, that you can enjoy completely free of charge. What's not to like? And if you happen to be keen on some beach time, Rauðisandur is a huge sand beach that almost looks like it belongs to Australia and not Iceland. Bonus: If you decide to go here, you'll most likely get the beach pretty much to yourself!
The northern region of Iceland
Don't let the fact that most tourists in Iceland rarely visit this region scare you off. The northern part of Iceland has some incredible spots to visit. Mývatn Nature Baths is one of these. Here you can enjoy the geothermal area that surrounds the beautiful lake. If you visit the north you should check out the small village, Siglufjörður, located by the ocean surrounded by big ice covered mountains. The buzzword for this town is tranquility.
A third option in the north is to visit the village Hofsós, where you can enjoy the afternoon in the infinity pool overlooking the fjord.
So, where to go?
Throughout this blog post a lot of names has been dropped, we agree. It's simply because we get über excited about all the cool places you can visit in Iceland. Check out the below map to visualize where you can find the different spots.
Ready to go?
If you were not already convinced that Iceland should be you summer holiday destination this year, you probably are now!
Let us help you plan your adventure. Click below, and we'll get in touch asap!
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