Here’s our travel guide with EVERYTHING you need to know about how to Travel Better in Iceland, including how to see the Northern Lights; what to do in Reykjavik; the Icelandic language; driving around; how much everything costs and some of the top things you *must* see and do.
Our Top Things To Do in Iceland and Reykjavik will be up before the end of Jan too 🤗
This is Holiday Extras’ Travel guides and we’re here in Iceland. We’ll be giving you all the essential information you need to Travel Better. We’ll be covering money, language, tips on where to go and even how to see the Northern Lights. But first, here’s a bit about the country itself.
Iceland is between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, about a three hour flight north from London. Iceland is unlike anywhere we’ve been before, its volcanic landscapes and picturesque backdrops create this almost untouched feeling and it’ll make you fall in love with the country.
Most international flights will arrive at Keflavik (KEF) airport, which is 40 minutes outside the capital city of Reykjavik and it’s here, where we’ll start.
Greyline and Flybus run transfer buses 35 minutes after each landing. Both services offer a hotel drop off at selected hotels for an additional fee. they cover most hotels but if you isn’t on there, you can find out which stop is closest and just walk the rest of the way.
An airport taxi will set you back around 12,000 Krona for the 45 minute journey. However, self-drive holidays are really popular here and, if this is ahwt you’re planning, then it makes sense to pick up your hire car at the airport, before you head into Reykjavik.
Reykjavik is the base for most holidays in Iceland. It’s the world’s most northernly capital city and it’s a hub for Icelandic culture. Reykjavik is the embodiment of the Iceland culture of proud self-sufficiency and fierce interest in the arts. There’s no McDonald’s or Starbucks here; instead, its streets are lined with independent coffee shops and boutiques. There’s always something going on and the nightlife is legendary. Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the Reykjavik Grapevine for what’s going on while you’re here.
It’s worth trying to stay in the centre as a room in the middle puts everything within walking distance. AirBnBs and hotels and plentiful but if you’re coming in the summer, book in advance because it can get super busy. If you want to book a tour out of the city, then head to Laugavegur. There are loads of tourist information outlets here that can help you with anything you want to do.
After spending some time in Reykjavik, we recommend jumping in your car and taking a day to explore the Golden Circle. It’s one of Iceland’s most popular tours, taking in the Geyser, Thingvellir National Park and Gulfoss.
If you’re staying a bit longer, then the south coast is a must. Follow the Ring Road all the way to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, stopping off at sites like Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and some of the world’s most beautiful black sand beaches. And of course, don’t forget to stop by the Blue Lagoon on your way back. It’s only 20 minutes outside Keflavik airport and it’s the perfect way to end your Icelandic adventure.
Getting around Iceland on your own is surprisingly straight-forward. The main Ring Road connects all the major towns and if you stick to it, you can’t really go wrong. Now bear in mind that driving here is nothing like driving at home so there are a few things you need to know…
Summer is the time to do a driving holiday, as the roads will be open and the conditions will be good with lots of daylight. The weather in Winter can make driving difficult and once you leave Reykjavik it can get quite dangerous. It’s not recommended unless you really know what you’re doing; getting stuck in a white-out isn’t fun.
If you plan on straying off the Ring Road, then hire a four wheel drive car. the roads can be uneven and pot-holes are common. Do not go on F Roads, as hire cars are not allowed on them. Off-road driving is forbidden as it damages the environment. You’ll get fined around 350,000 Krona if caught.