Even if you did not have the opportunity to visit Iceland, you know the country and its beauty from music videos, Hollywood movies and nature documentaries. Its beauty and wild landscape inspired many artists and filmmakers and make me want to visit this country. It is one of the few countries I would like to go back! After 10 days there I had the feeling that I did not see enough and that there is so much more to be explored! I want to share with you some general information about this place to use them while planning your visit here!
Where Iceland is located in the world?
It is an isolated island situated on the northside of Europe. Being an island it does not share any land borders with any country. The island is found on North Atlantic Ocean, more precisely where the island is located is where North Atlantic meets the Arctic Oceans.
The capital of the island is Reykjavik. The town is located in the southwest of Iceland and should be on your to-do list when you visit Iceland.
The name of the place means island in local language.
The native people on the island are called Icelanders and they speak their own language. The density of the population is very low; there are around 350.000 people for a total ground area of about 103.000 km2.
Another important aspect regarding the population is that about two-thirds of the population lives very close to capital Reykjavik. The average density per km2 is 3 people/ km2.
Do you know what makes from this country a unique place on Earth? Well, where it is located in the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates come together. This is mainly the reason why geological activity is so intense on the island.
It is also known as the Land of Ice and Fire.
Visit Iceland and discover its glaciers, volcanoes, black sand beaches, lava fields, hot springs and mountains!
From late autumn to early spring, because of the country location, you have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. This unique and beautiful natural phenomenon is something you should definitely not miss!
The location and its unique phenomenon made from this country a place you should include on your bucket list!
Iceland Itinerary Doing the Ring Road by Car
The Iceland 10 day itinerary includes everything you need for planning your own trip to Iceland from best things to see, how to do it, what to avoid and where to actually sleep, which are the best accommodations in each area.
If you wish to visit the entire island, here is how we explored Iceland in our 10 day round trip: Iceland Itinerary: 10 Days in Iceland doing the Ring Road by Car
How to get to Iceland
Look at Earth Map! Now…do you see a little piece of land right below Greenland? Well… that’s our island! An isolated piece of land in the middle of the ocean pretty close to the North Pole! What an interesting location! After I saw that, my first question was how to get to Iceland.
It is more than obvious that car or train is not an option for getting there. Actually, there are two ways to get there: the first one is by plane and the next one is by ferry. Both ways have their own advantages and disadvantages! It’s up to you which one to choose. In order to help you make a decision, let me present you some pluses and minuses for each of the two choices.
If you are not sure how to get to Iceland by ferry, then you need to know that the ferry could be taken from Denmark.
It is a very nice and picturesque ride from Hirtshals (Denmark) to Seyðisfjörður (Iceland) but it lasts for at least 2 days.
The ride is split in two by a stop to the Faroe Islands.
The trip from Denmark to the Faroe Islands lasts for about 36 hours. After that, there is a stop in the Faroe Islands. This stop might last from a few hours to a few days depends on the season’s schedule!
From the Faroe Islands to this island the ferry ride is about 19 hours. Yes, I know! You are now thinking…”How to get to Iceland? I don’t have much time to spend on the road!” Although it lasts that much, the view from the ferry is just breathtaking! You should consider choosing a trip with the ferry!
In our days when time is everything, most of us choose to go to everywhere by plane. This is actually the most common way known for how to get to Iceland. Being situated between America and Europe, the island is accessible from both continents. There are low cost and line airline companies which fly to Reykjavik. The ticket price is very accessible and it takes you around 3 hours from this unique place to Europe and 5 hours from America to this island.
Maybe at first sight it might look a pretty inaccessible territory but it is not that difficult to reach!
Don’t be worried about how to get to Iceland! The beauty of the island worth each penny and each hour spent on the road!
RENT A CAR IN ICELAND FOR YOUR TRIP
It is a well-known fact that in this country everything is expensive! Food, drinks, fuel, everything is expensive!
We should not talk just about money when we consider renting a car in Iceland. We should see the whole picture and take a decision after we know some facts!
For us, renting a car was the best thing we could do!
Get the best price for your car rental today
There are many reasons why you need to rent a car in Iceland. Driving is more of a necessity than a caprice!
In Iceland, everyone has a car! That is why public transportation options are very limited. Renting a car in Iceland is the best option to visit the whole country.
When you want to rent a car in Iceland asses your needs and options very well first just to be sure you make the best choice.
It is an atypical country and driving around is something unique and completely different than driving in other countries.
THINGS you should know before renting a car in Iceland:
What is the best time of year to go to Iceland?
Iceland is such a beautiful island with so many places to visit! Everywhere you look there is something to see and to visit! Each month of the year has its own spots to visit and things to do, so it is very hard to say what is the best time of year to go to Iceland.
When planning your trip, take into consideration it’s location on map. Because it is located very close to the North Pole, the length of the day vary a lot from summer to winter.
In winter the days are very short with cold temperature (it is cold but not like you are at the North Pole), being the perfect opportunity to spot the northern lights.
There are many answers to the question of what is the best time of year to go to Iceland. The most appropriate answer is “depends on what you are interested in”. Depending on the season when you go, there are different things which you can experience.
Do you want to visit the country and travel along the Ring Road Iceland? Do you like long days with spring temperatures? The longest day have around 21 hours of sun and the average temperatures for period June- August are 7-12 degrees. So, if you are interested in these, summer would be the answer to the question what is the best time of year to go to Iceland. It is peak season! There will be tourists everywhere and the prices are higher than usual! Everybody wants to take advantage of longer days and beautiful weather so you will pay more!
Unfortunately, if you go in summer you miss the opportunity to watch the Puffins.
They are so cute! You definitely should see them! Travel to Iceland in spring and you will meet these little creatures! On top of that, in spring prices are lower than in summer and there are not that many tourists! The nature wakes up after a long and cold winter, so everything is green and lush!
When is the best time to see northern lights in Iceland ?
Best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland is during autumn and early winter. Oh, of course! You want to see the northern lights, don’t you?
What is the best time of year to go to Iceland to see the northern lights? Winter is the answer! But in winter, the days are very short and it is cold. In other words, there are not many things to do in winter in Iceland.
I think that the best time to experience the Iceland northern light is from September to November because you will experience friendlier weather conditions, higher temperatures and fewer clouds than in December and January, and definitely higher solar activity so consider booking your accommodation from time to get the best price for the best locations.
There is always a compromise solution! You might be lucky enough to see the northern lights and also to travel along the Ring Road if you visit Iceland in mid-spring or mid-autumn. Another plus for this period are the accommodation prices which are lower and also the number of tourists is lower.
If you ask me when is the best time of year to go to Iceland to see the northern lights I would tell you that the beginning of March or the beginning of October would be the ideal time. You have pretty high chances to see the northern lights and also to go to Ring Road Iceland!
We wrote some more detailed articles on this subject here: Best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland , should you wish to read more about it.
When you hear about Iceland you thing about ice, snow and cold temperatures. But actually weather is not that bad as you imagine. It has a much milder climate than its name suggested. This is mainly due to the Gulf Stream which brings hotter weather from the Caribbean. The current flows along the west and south of Iceland.
Before you visit Iceland you should know about the weather. When we speak about the Iceland weather we should also talk about its location on Earth. The place where Iceland is located where two tectonic plates meet and are one of the hottest points on Earth. There are a lot of geysers, volcanoes and thermal springs which somehow contribute to the mild climate of the country.
Iceland weather is indeed capricious! There is also a local joke about the weather which says that if you don’t like the weather you just have to wait for 5 minutes and for sure it will change! From our own experience, we can say that is true. We had summer, spring and winter in just one day! It was very bizarre!
The temperature might vary a lot from one day to another in the same region. For example, Iceland weather in summer, in the Reykjavik area, the temperature might go down to 7 degrees in one day and the following day it might go up to 25 degrees. This is why you should always have a jacket with you.
There are also important temperature differences from one region of the country to another depends on where are you: on a valley or upon a volcano.
My advice when visit Iceland is to look constantly on Iceland weather if you are on a tour in that country. Sudden changes in weather can occur every moment! Be prepared to change your plan according to the weather!
Each season has its own particularities and its beauty! Iceland is full of surprises! Take advantage of each moment when you are there and don’t worry about the Iceland weather! In a minute it will change and the sun will appear in the sky!
Is it safe to travel in Iceland?
What do you mean by is it safe to travel to Iceland? When you ask this question are you thinking about weather conditions or about dangers from the streets? If you are thinking to both aspects you can find the answers below!
Iceland is one of the safest countries from Earth! You should not be worried about crimes or anything related when visit Iceland! This country has one of the lowest crime rates in the world! Actually, it is pretty easy to understand as the population of Iceland is very few! You hardly had the opportunity to meet a human, why should you do something bad to him?!
If I am thinking well, in my opinion, the chance to be hurt by natural phenomenon then by other human are greater in Iceland!
Another big plus for Iceland is related to medical care, which is excellent! You should not worry about this thing when in Iceland! From my point of view, the only problem might be related to where you are located; if you are somewhere in the mountains, in an isolated place it might be difficult for rescuers to reach you. But except for that, everybody says that the quality of medical services is OK.
When we visit Iceland, I felt very safe while I was there! It is important to mention that we had travel insurance during our entire trip, especially since the medical services in Iceland are not cheap at all.
It is indeed a wild country with places untamed by humans but this does not mean that it is not safe!
If I had the opportunity I would go back to Iceland tomorrow because of its wild beauty and its safety feeling that it left me!