ICELAND

HIGHLIGHTS OF ICELAND

 

Iceland was first occupied by Vikings in the 8th century AD and is a country known for its unique geological features- from its volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, fjords to the stunning Northern Lights and Midnight Sun. Iceland also has a rich cultural heritage, and it is said that the first ever parliament in Europe was held in Iceland at the Pingvellir National Park, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its geographical, cultural and historical significance. The Pingvellir site also has the distinction of being one of only two places on earth where two tectonic plates (The Eurasian and North American) meet above the surface of the earth. The two plates are slowly moving apart – Geologist estimate by approximately 2cm per year. Iceland also has several active volcanoes, and an eruption takes place on average every four years!

 

Iceland has an area of 102,775 square kilometers and a population of over 330,000, most of the people live in the capital city of Reykjavik. Iceland has a population density of only three people per square kilometer, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe.

BEST TIME TO VISIT ICELAND

 

Iceland is an extremely frigid country, which limits the tourists season. The entire season last from about June to October, the most popular time to travel to Iceland is in June to August when the weather is at its warmest. If you want to experience 24-hour sunshine, June is the best time to visit. If you want to avoid the crowds, visiting in September to October is also a great time, you can still experience the best sites before the onset of snowfall, and this is the best time to visit if you want to see the Northern Lights.

 

WEATHER

 

The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable and can change very quickly. The main contributor to the changes in weather is the wind. A perfectly sunny summer day can be transformed into a bitterly cold day in minutes by the actions of the howling Icelandic winds. When visiting Iceland, you should always pack some winter garb, even when visiting in the summer.

EXPERIENCES

 

  • Seeing the Northern Lights

  • Visiting the Blue Lagoon

  • Pingvelir National Park and Lake

  • The Gullfoss, Jokulsarlon and Skogafoss Falls

  • Visiting the Sun Voyager

  • Dining at the unique Perlan Restaurant

  • Icelandic Phallological Museum

  • National Museum of Iceland

  • Visiting Reykjavik 871 (10th century Viking building)

  • Visiting a Whale Museum in Husavik

TIPS FOR FAMILIES

If you are traveling with children to Iceland, you should be aware that Iceland does not have many top-quality hotels and restaurants. We recommend visitors prepare to stay in smaller guest houses or hostels. Icelandic vacations are more suited for adventure-loving families.

Also, please be advised that you might be in long commutes due to Iceland’s massive size. We recommend bringing along snacks and entertainment for the kids and to ensure your time is used wisely at rest stops to avoid any discomfort on the journey. Please plan early and budget accordingly since prices for restaurants and hotels in Iceland can get pricey if you book last minute or if you are traveling in peak season.

Basics

 

  • Language – The official language in Iceland is Icelandic

  • Money – The currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona.

  • Tipping – Tipping is not customary in Iceland; however, it is not illegal and can be done if you think excellent service was provided.

  • Visa and passports – A passport is required for United States and EU nationals visiting Iceland. If you’re from one of the Nordic countries, a national ID will suffice.

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