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Iceland is one of those countries where it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve visited it. Every single time that I land and I walk outside I am blown away by its beauty.
It’s the perfect destination for a seasoned traveler, a first time solo traveler or even a family who is looking for an adventurous road trip! Iceland truly is the country that keeps on giving!
It’s where you can spot 3 waterfalls at the same time when you look out of your car window. Where one minute the sun is shining on your face and 5 minutes later you get pretty much blown away by Icelandic winds.
Iceland is by far my favourite destination ever due to the feeling of freedom that overcomes me every time I am there. And the nature is pretty much out of this world. It makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a different universe where you can see what our planet looked like during its early years.
I truly believe that traveling to Iceland should be on everyone’s bucket list and that driving the ring road is the best way to explore the island!
The best time to travel to Iceland truly depends on what you want to do!
Go from May until half of November if you:
Want to travel the ring road with a camper van. A lot of camp sites and facilities are closed during the Winter.
If you want to have a decent amount of daylight hours with June, July and August being the months with the most amount of daylight hours.
Go from June until August if you:
Want to see the lupine fields.
For a high chance to see puffins.
To go whale watching.
To see the midnight sun.
If you want to explore the Highlands.
Go from December until March if you:
I think it’s safe to say that you should expect the unexpected.
Language – The main language spoken is Icelandic but you’re fine with English in the touristy places.
Currency – The official currency is Icelandic Króna but there’s no need to exchange your money. Many places will accept EUR or USD and you can pay almost everywhere by Credit Card!
Credit Cards & ATM’s – Like I said before you don’t need to carry around a lot of cash with you. Icelanders tend to pay for pretty much everything by debit card or credit card. Just make sure yours has a chip and pin and you’re all set!
Safety – Iceland is one of the safest countries out there and it’s where I did my first solo road trip! It’s completely safe to walk around by yourself and crime levels are very low.
Don’t buy bottled water – Bring a reusable water bottle with you cause you can refill your water at every single waterfall or river.
Get out of Reykjavik – While the city of Reykjavik is a really cool city, this is not the place to stay during your entire trip! Iceland has so much to offer when it comes to nature so make sure to see as much as possible!
Gas is expensive – Gas prices are pretty insane in Iceland, just like they are in other Nordic countries such as Norway. If you’re traveling on a budget make sure to calculate in at least €75 every time you have to refill the gas.
No alcohol – In the supermarkets you pretty much can’t find any decent alcohol except for some very disgusting cider. If you want to bring some beers with you make sure to buy them at the duty free shop inside the airport. In restaurants you can drink alcohol but it will be very expensive as in €10 for 1 Stella Artois.
Weather – Be prepared for all kinds of weather! One moment you’ll be hiking in the sun in your t-shirt and the next moment you’ll be caught in a cold rain storm. It’s not unusual to drive through all 4 seasons in just 1 day.
Hiking shoes – You will definitely need a pair of these. Even that some attractions are located right next to a parking lot you’ll pretty much always have to hike over a rocky terrain. I love my Meindl Mountain Trail Boots for longer hikes and my Danner Mountain Light Boots for daily wear and shorter distances.
Trekking poles – These will especially come in handy cause a lot of the hikes in these guide can be rather strenuous on the joints. I used the Leki Adventure Light trekking poles for all of my hikes in Iceland!
Back Pack – You’ll want to bring a back pack with you to carry your camera, some snacks and your refillable water bottle. I love the Kanken No. 2 back pack from Fjallraven and pretty much take it with me everywhere I go.
Refillable Water Bottle – The water in Iceland is some of the freshet in the entire world so there’s no need at all to buy plastic bottles. Simply find the nearest stream to fill up your bottle and you’re good to go.
Another option is to use a back pack which has a water reservoir built inside of it. For instance this 3L Hydration Bladder is leak proof and can be stored inside a back pack.
Trail Leggings – I love hiking in leggings and have lately been loving the Abisko Trail Tights from Fjallraven.
Fast Drying Shirt – When hiking you tend to sweat, especially when climbing a mountain. One of the best things to wear is a shirt that quickly dries so you don’t get cold high up the mountain.
Insulating Jacket – Depending on the temperature you’ll either want a thicker or lighter jacket. If it’s pretty cold outside I always go for my Fjallraven Vidda Jacket. Otherwise I go for their High Coast Light Jacket which is super light weight.
Woolen cap – The perfect accessory to protect your ears from the cold and to cover your hair after a few days without a shower.
Protein Bars – Make sure you have a couple of these stowed a way in your back pack to boost up your energy level during the hike.
Sunscreen – Make sure to re apply to your face regularly cause pretty much all of the hikes that we did in Iceland were exposed most of the time. I love this one by Neutrogena which feels like a face mist but also provides SPF 50 protection!
Merino Wool Socks – My go to brand has always been Falke and I love how fast they drive after a long day of hiking. Plus since they’re made of merino wool they don’t smell and can be worn for a couple of days.
When it comes to choosing a rental car company things can get a little confusing cause there’s a lot of companies out there ready to rip you off.
Horror Story: In South Africa the rental car company that I booked with actually copied my credit card details and 1 day later my card was blocked. So there I was, in the middle of South Africa and without a credit card. Luckily we would switch to a different company the next day for the further duration of our trip but you really don’t want this to happen on your holiday.
You also don’t want any hidden costs added to your bill.
A good rental car company should include the following in your rental price: unlimited mileage and a fair fuel arrangement, third-party insurance of at least €7.5 million, damage insurance, theft insurance, towing cost if your car breaks down and cancel or change your reservation without any hassle.
For my road trips I always prefer booking with SunnyCars. Here you can already rent a car for as little as €27 per day and every single cost is included upon check out. Oh, and all of the things that I mentioned above that should be included are also included with them!
💡 TIP – Sometimes the local rental company will try to make you pay for additional insurance. This is in no way necessary cause SunnyCars offers you full coverage.
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