Iceland Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ by Categories

FAQ - Iceland in General

Most frequent questions and answers

Almost all travelers get to Iceland by flight. Keflavik International Airport is located around 40 minutes drive from Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. 

 

Read these articles for more information:

– How to get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik?

Iceland is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. Read all about the topic here

You do not need much cash when traveling to Iceland. Credit cards are accepted by everyone in Iceland. Visa and MasterCard should be your best bet, since all banks in Iceland service them. 

 

Some people find it more comforting to have a small amount of cash when traveling to Iceland. The Icelandic currency is ISK, or Icelandic Krona. 

Iceland is bigger than most people think, since it is often told to be a small island in the middle of nowhere. The area of Iceland is 40.000 square miles. The Ring Road, the road that goes all around the country, is approximately 830 miles. 

The population of Iceland is around 360,000  people. Most of the people in Iceland live in Reykjavik or the capital region. 

Service fee is usually included in your bill in Iceland so you do not have to tip. The locals usually never tip because it has never been a tradition in Iceland, but many travelers like to do it. 

ISK or Icelandic Króna. 

U.S. citizens can stay in Iceland as tourists for up to 90 days without a visa. For a full list of countries that are exempt from a visa, visit Iceland’s immigration page. Just make sure your passport is valid for six months beyond your travel dates.

It 100% depends on what you are looking for in Iceland. The activities and sightings are completely different in summer and winter. 

We recommend that you read this detailed articles on what season is the best for your trip to Iceland. 

Most travelers spend between 5-10 days in Iceland.

If you are spending fewer days  we recommend that you stay in Reykjavik and go on day trips form there. 

If you are staying for a longer time, we recommend that you go on a trip around the country. You can choose between renting a car and self driving around the country or joining a multi day tour

Icelandic is the language that is spoken in Iceland, but almost everyone in Iceland speaks great English as well. 

You will find all kind of food in Iceland. Iceland, and especially Reykjavik, is known for top quality restaurants. You should be able to find everything in Reykjavik. 

Most restaurants include vegan or vegetarian options as well. 

Most restaurants in Iceland, especially in Reykjavik, include vegan or vegetarian options as well. 

Veganism has grown hugely in the recent years in Iceland. 

You can check out the best vegan restaurants in Reykjavik here. 

No, not at all. The locals usually only eat the “traditional food” of Iceland, once a year. 

It will be harder to find the traditional food than the regular food when in Iceland. 

It depends on when you are visiting. The shortest day in Iceland is on December 21st. On this day the city gets around 4 hours of daylight. After that day, the days start to become longer. 

You can read all about the daylight hours in Iceland in this article. 

We recommend that you book everything for your trip to Iceland as soon as possible. Accommodation, for example, usually books up during the peak season in Iceland. It can be impossible to find hotels on the south coast of Iceland during June / July if you haven’t booked it well in advance. 

The prices of everything usually goes up if you wait to book them, so the earlier the better. 

Yes, you can rent a wifi device or buy an Icelandic Sim card. The Icelandic sim card will give you access to the 4G all over Iceland. You can get both at the duty free in Keflavik Airport. 

Iceland is perfect for solo travelers. Iceland is one of the safest place in the world. 

Read everything on the subject here. 

One word; unpredictable. 

It can be snowing, raining, sunny, and windy on the same day. 

The summer are mild and the winters are cold.

Read this detailed article on the weather in Iceland for more information. 

FAQ - Packing for Iceland

Most frequent questions and answers

Iceland is actually not freezing cold at all times. The climate in Iceland is pretty mild, especially during the summer months. However, the weather in Iceland changes pretty quickly so you need to be ready for everything. The weather can go from sunny to snowy to windy in just a few minutes. 

 

Here are a couple of things that are a must when visiting Iceland. 

– Good hiking boots
– Wind- and waterproof jackets and pants
– Warm hat & gloves
– Warm socks
– Bathing suit & towel

 

We recommend that you check out our packing lists for winter, summer, camping, hiking, camper van trips, kids and more to get a more detailed list on what to pack for your trip to Iceland. 

 

We recommend that you wear hiking shoes at most times when traveling around Iceland. Hiking boots are perfect for any time of year in Iceland. 

 

We do recommend hiking boots instead of snow boots. The snow boots can be heavier than the hiking boots which makes it more difficult to wander around and explore all the beautiful sightings in Iceland. 

 

Hiking boots are also necessary for glacier tours because you will need to fit crampons over your shoes. 

Iceland uses Northern European standards, and Europlug sockets with two round prongs that operates on 230V supply. Your adapter should be type C.

Make sure to check the voltage labels on your appliances to determine whether you’ll need a converter as well. 

 

Note that accommodation in Iceland have hairdryers in the rooms for your use, so you can leave yours at home.

 

If you forget to pack your converter or adapter, they’re available for purchase at Keflavik Airport and most gas stations around the Ring Road.

Yes, you should always bring rain gear to Iceland. It will most likely be the peace of clothing that will be most used on your trip. It can start raining any time of the day in Iceland. You do not want to keep on traveling while wearing wet clothes, so we 100% recommend that you bring rain gear on your trip to Iceland. 

 

What you should bring is:

– Hiking pants / Waterproof pants

– Waterproof jacket

 

You do not need an umbrella when traveling in Iceland. The wind will probably break it if the weather is bad. 

You do not need crampons when visiting Iceland, but if you are visiting during the high winter season it is recommended. During that season, from mid October to April, many trails around the most popular tourist attractions become slippery. This happens often around the waterfalls in Iceland. The spray from the waterfalls creates ice on the trails that can be very slippery. This is especially convenient if you want to walk behind a waterfall, like Seljalandsfoss

Crampons are also necessary when walking on glaciers in Iceland, but your glacier guide will always bring crampons for you before the tour. When going on a glacier hike, it is necessary to wear hiking boots so the crampons can fit perfectly over your shoes. 

FAQ - Getting Around Iceland

Most frequent questions and answers

We can highly recommend renting a car here for your trip to Iceland for good rates, great services and well maintained cars.

– Iceland Car Rental

We highly recommend Happy Campers when renting a camper van in Iceland. 

You can use the promo code HAPPYWII10 to get a 10% discount on their camper vans when booking through this link

The simple answer is; No, you do not NEED  a 4WD car when traveling to Iceland. You can drive most routes in Iceland on a regular 2WD car. 

 

However, if you want to travel to the highlands of Iceland or drive on some mountain roads, you will need a 4WD car. Many people also find it more comfortable to drive a 4WD car during the winter time in Iceland because of the uncertain weather conditions. 

Many travelers do not rent a car in Iceland. If that’s your choise, then we recommend that you go on guided tours that include transfer to and from the locations that you want to explore in Iceland. 

 

You can choose between 

– Day Tours

– Multi Day Tours

FAQ - Northern Lights in Iceland

Most frequent questions and answers

The northern lights are visible in Iceland from the beginning of September to mid-April

The best conditions to see the northern lights are:
– From September – mid April
– It’s dark outside.
– No light pollution. 
– Crystal Clear Sky
– The Solar Activity is in full swing. 

 

You can read more about the best conditions to see the northern lights here. 

Yes, if you are lucky and the weather is on your side, you can see the northern lights dance above the streets of Reykjavik. However, since the light pollution is way more in Reykjavik than when you get out of the city, you will see them less clearly. 

If you are staying in Reykjavik and want to see the northern lights, you should check out this guide on how to see the northern lights when in Reykjavik. The guide includes the best locations in Reykjavik to spot the lights. 

It can be tricky to get a photo of the northern lights. It isn’t just one single setting for your camera, but there are some guidelines that you can follow. 

 

– ISO setting between 800 and 3200
– Aperature between f/2.8 and f/5.6 
– Shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds

 

If you would like a more detailed answer on this topic, we have written a whole article on this, called Northern Lights Photography in Iceland. 

By booking a northern lights tour with a northern lights expert. 

 

The northern lights experts will spend each day checking out the weather forecast and the solar activity for the night. They will then take you to the best possible location to view the northern lights. 

 

You can check out the best northern lights tours in Iceland here. 

 

The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.

 

However, we have experienced northern lights experts that will spend all day checking up on the aurora forecast to see where they are most likely to show up and how likely it is that they will show up. 

 

If we don’t think the northern lights are likely to show up, we will cancel the tour and you can get a full refund or reschedule for another evening. 

Most Northern Lights Tours have the policy that if you are unfortunate enough to miss out on the lights on your tour, you can rebook the Northern Lights tour free of charge on another evening of your trip.

 

Because of this, we recommend that you book the northern lights tour early on your trip to Iceland so you will be able to reschedule the tour if you don’t see the northern lights on your first attempt. 

The northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. You can check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 pm the latest. If the tour is cancelled, you will receive an email from us.

 

If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance to see the lights.

No, it’s not necessary but it will increase your chances of getting the best view of the lights. 

 

It can be hard to find where the northern lights are most likely to show up. The northern lights experts that will take you on the tours have years of experience when it comes to this. They will take you to the location where you are most likely to get the best possible view of the northern lights each night. 

When a Northern Lights Tour is cancelled due to weather conditions you have these options:

1. Get a full refund for the tour

2. Reschedule the tour for another day of your trip. 

 

Please email us to info@icelandtravelguide.is with the information on what you would like to do. 

FAQ - Self Driving in Iceland

Most frequent questions and answers

Self driving means that you will rent a car and drive around Iceland on your own. Iceland is considered to be one of the best places in the world for a road trip since you can drive on your own to most of the best locations around they country. 

We can highly recommend renting a car here for your trip to Iceland for good rates, great services and well maintained cars.

– Iceland Car Rental

FAQ - Tours

Most frequent questions and answers

We always recommend that you book your guided tours as soon as possible. Most tours have 24 hour cancellation policy so that you can cancel the tour up to 24 hours before the tour if something comes up.

Here you can find a list of tours that er perfect for stopovers in Iceland. 

Here you can find a list of tours that are perfect for cruise stopovers in Iceland. 

FAQ - Multi Day Tours

Most frequent questions and answers

A multi day tour is a tour that includes guided sightseeing and activities for more than one day. Accommodation is usually included in multi day tours. 

The multi day tours are ideal if you would like to make the most of your time in Iceland.

 

– You do not have to worry about finding accommodation that will fit to your day full of sightseeing and activities. 
– Most multi day tours are operated in small groups with personal guidance. 
– The tours will drive further into the countryside and give you the opportunity to explore locations that you would not be able to do in the day tours from Reykjavik. 

This is actually different between tours. You can find more information about the accommodation of each tour in the description or FAQ of the tour itself. 

 

Most of our multi day tours include a stay in a comfort hotel with private bedroom and private bathroom on this tour.

 

However, we do also have multi day hiking tours that include a stay in mountain huts or campsites. 

This is different between tours. You can find more information about what is included in the tours in the description or FAQ of the tour itself. 

Most of our multi day oturs do not include all meals. 

This is different between tours. You can find more information about what is included in the tours in the description or FAQ of the tour itself. 

Most of our multi day tours include breakfast at the hotel. 

Most of our multi day tours have a single supplement fee. This means that if you are a solo traveler, you will need to pay a little extra fee so that you can be alone in your private room at your hotel. 

Yes, all multi day tours allow luggage, but it is different between tours how much luggage you can bring. Check the description of the tour to see how much you can bring. 

FAQ - Glacier Tours

Most frequent questions and answers

For winter tours in Iceland, wear warm clothing as first layer and waterproof outdoor jacket and pants as a second layer. Hiking boots with high ankle protection is ideal for the glacier hike and ice cave experience. You will get crampons to put on your boots before you go to the glacier. If you do not have hiking boots, you can often rent them at the time of booking the tour. A hat and gloves are also ideal for the glacier tours. 

Yes, you need sturdy hiking boots for glacier tours in Iceland. They have to have hard sole and be tight around the ankle. If you don’t have hiking boots, you can sometimes rent them when booking the tour. 

This answer varies between the tours. You can find everything from very easy glacier hikes to challenging hikes that take many hours. 

Check out the glacier hiking tours and find what will suit you best. 

This is always a personal choice and depends on your physical health at the time of the glacier hike. We have had pregnant women on this glacier hike but not all pregnancies are the same. We recommend that you read the description of the tour to get a good idea and ask your doctor about it. 

FAQ - Snowmobiling

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, you can join most of our snowmobile tours even if you have never driven a snowmobile. Your guide on the tours will provide easy to follow operating instructions.

 

Remember to read the description of the snowmobile tour carefully to make sure that this applies to the tour you are booking. 

Yes, you do need a valid Driving License if you intend to drive. If there are two of you, only one of you needs to bring a Driving License but if you both bring one, each of you can take a turn at driving.

Yes, you can. The plus side to being a cold country is that our glaciers are here all year around and we can go snowmobiling in every season.

Most of our tours do not have a weight restriction but participants need to be able to fit in our winter overalls. The largest size we have is 5XL. Most of the snowmobile tours require average physical condition to be able to complete the tour without any trouble.

FAQ - Snorkeling & Diving

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, you can bring a camera on the tours. Note that it has to be a waterproof camera if you want to have it in the water with you.

Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park is by far the most popular snorkeling location in Iceland. You will be snorkeling between the continents of North – America and Europe. 

No, unfortunately not. Glasses don’t create a seal between your face and the mask. We recommend that you wear contact lenses instead. 

No, you are not able to participate in a snorkeling or diving tour if you are pregnant. 

Yes, you must be able to swim to be able to participate in the snorkeling / diving tour and feel comfortable in the water.

The temperature of the water is around 4°C all year. 

No, you do not need any previous experience to snorkel. 

Sometimes fish venture into Silfra from Þingvallavatn lake, but they will quickly swim back, as they don’t like chilly glacier waters. However, there is plenty of colorful seaweed, including a bright green variety known as “troll hair”, which makes the fissure unlike anything on the surface.

The cave systems in Silfra can be up to 60 m deep. However, your dive in Silfra will be from about 7 to 12 m, and the maximum diving depth that is permitted is 18 m.

FAQ - Accommodation in Iceland

Most frequent questions and answers

As soon as possible. Accommodation can fill up during the peak season in Iceland so it is alwasy recommended that you book it as soon as possible.