Know Before You Go:
Iceland Travel Tips
“But, what’s it really like?” As invigorating, exciting and intoxicating as it is to explore an unknown land, it can be inconvenient and even a little intimidating to go in completely blind. That’s where we come in. In this ongoing series, we pose some essential questions and arm you with the answers of our regional experts to help you get in deep and up close—without frying your cell phone or bringing the wrong currency!
Iceland Travel Tips
First and foremost: I assume it has “ice” in the name for a reason. How cold is it in Iceland? Will it be sunny or dark all day?
Iceland is actually warmer than people think, as it benefits from the Gulf Stream. The best months are mid-June through mid-September, when the weather is not too cool and days are VERY long because of Iceland’s proximity to the Artic circle. In June/July the sun shines for more than 20 hours per day. But the evenings can be cooler, and it might dip to 10C/40F.
How should I dress while on the walks? For the evenings?
Remember this word: layers. We recommend packing to be comfortable walking in all sorts of weather; think long hiking pants that can zip off, long and short sleeve t-shirts, fleece, rain jackets, hats and gloves (you never know if the weather will dip). Gore-Tex hiking gear is a great choice if you plan to get out walking a lot, as are waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support—not walking shoes. (A pair of light sport sandals for river crossings wouldn’t hurt, either!) For the evenings, Iceland is very casual. Reykjavik is the new capital of cool and really quite trendy so you may be inclined to dress up a bit, but not necessarily in a suit and tie.
What’s the currency in Iceland?
The currency unit is the Iceland Krona (ISK). All hotels should be able to change currency for you, but most money exchanges and banks will give you a better rate. Credit cards are widely accepted across Iceland and ATMs are easily found in all major towns and cities.
I can’t say I know much about Icelandic cuisine. How is the food and wine? Will it be the same standard as mainland Europe?
In our experience, one does not come to Iceland for the food. The menu will consist largely of two staples, fish and lamb, with cod, trout and salmon making regular appearances. Iceland has some interesting culinary traditions, but these never form the basis of a meal. Nor is the country known for its wine culture and the wines are primarily imported at extremely high prices. As such, you can expect to drink fairly standard wine (at least by our standards) on the trip.
Iceland with B&R
Your Iceland Walking trip looks like a walker’s dream. How challenging is the trip?
Moderate to challenging due to the nature of the walking environment in Iceland: loose rocks, some steep ascents/descents, and uneven surfaces. We like to think of it as more of a “hiking” trip rather than a walking trip—to get the best of Iceland it is necessary to get to an elevated view point! There will be the occasional river crossing as well, which may get your feet wet. Given the nature of the hikes and walks, van support is scarce once we are on the trails.
Does your trip include the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon?
It doesn’t, no. We do not include the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon on our itinerary as they are very popular tourist sites that can be quite over crowded. Instead, we take you off the beaten path, knowing that trips to the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon are easily organized as day trip excursions before or after your B&R trip. If you would like assistance with planning a day trip to one of these locations before or after your trip please feel free to get in touch with our Travel Services department at 1 866 232 0021 or email them.
Do you pick up at the airport?
We do not provide airport pick up in Iceland, but taxis from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik are easily available and all safe to take. The drive takes about 35 to 40 minutes. There is an ATM in the arrival hall of the airport and most taxis take credit cards as well.
How much time will we spend in the van?
There are many car rides to get to the walks and hikes due to the nature of the countryside, so there will be a fair amount of time spent in the vehicles. On average you can expect to spend about three hours a day in the vehicle.