Rough, rugged and extreme, the tremendous power of nature shapes the Icelandic landscape. The country was created by volcanic activity, the numerous glaciers have given it its current shape over millennia – and it is still wild and untamed. It is worth exploring the geology, wildlife or wilderness of the hinterland in more detail.
According to programingplease, Iceland offers unique activities for its visitors. You can walk centuries-old glaciers, snorkel between diverging tectonic plates, hike in ice caves, or learn to cook on a farm. Natural hot springs invite you to relax again and again. Northern lights are among the highlights of almost every vacation in the northern countries of the northern hemisphere.
Thundering waterfalls tumble from the plateau to the lower regions. It’s boiling under Iceland and the volcanoes ensure that hot mud pools can be seen again and again and geysers shoot out of the ground. In contrast, there are the glittering icebergs. In this country, different extremes come together and ensure that Iceland is deeply embedded in your memory.
Best travel time
The best time to travel to Iceland in good weather is summer. This is the high point of the Icelandic travel season, so expect larger crowds. If you visit Iceland in late spring or early autumn, you will encounter fewer tourists. The best time to see the Northern Lights is in late autumn when the nights are clear and dark.
Iceland is known for its numerous spectacular waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes. The best way to see as much as possible is when the days are longer, there are fewer people and the weather does not make the roads impassable. This means that you will work either in the weeks from the end of the high season, the last week of May to mid-June, or anytime in September.
Many people come to Iceland to see the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights). It’s an ideal location as the low population density and long distances between cities make it easy to escape light pollution, even if you are in or near Reykjavik. Light pollution means that cities emit light (e.g. lighting of buildings and streets). In order to see the northern lights, it is important that there is absolute darkness. Therefore, the best time to see the Northern Lights is from late September to late March. Another important factor is the weather – cold, clear nights are best for observing the aurora borealis. Solar flares on the sun or solar wind are also required. When all of these conditions are met, you have the best chance of seeing the colorful dancing lights. Since there is less rainfall in October and November and the nights are dark and cool, these months usually have the best prospects.
Climate in Reykjavik
The maximum temperature in Iceland is 13 ° C in July and August. In January and December the thermometer rises to a maximum of 2 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 12 ° C cold . In the winter months it is around 3 ° C very cold . During the day, the average annual temperature in Iceland is 6.9 ° C.
At night it gets coldest at −3 ° C in January and December. The thermometer rarely falls below 8 ° C in July and August. While the nights in summer are averaging a mild 7 ° C, the thermometer drops to a cold −2 ° C at night between November and March. The temperature averages 1.9 ° C at night all year round.
The water temperature is up to 11 ° C in July and August, in January, February and March the sea has a maximum of 6 ° C. In the summer months from June to September the water is cold with an average of 10 ° C. Between November and March the temperature is a cold 7 ° C. Seen over the year, the sea has an average temperature of 8.1 ° C.
With 21 rainy days, October is the rainiest month of the year. The June and July are with 15 days of rain, the driest months of the year . From June to September Iceland is humid with an average of around 16 rainy days, the winter (November to March) is also humid with 19 rainy days. The average annual rainfall is 17.8 days per month.
The best time to go whale watching in Iceland is from April to October. The main season is in the summer months: June, July and August with tours from Reykjavik, the Vestmannaeyjar Islands on the south coast or Húsavik and Dalvík. But whale watching is also possible in the winter months. In good weather you can watch winter whales at Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. You will be provided with thermal suits and can then comfortably watch orcas as they follow the herrings in the waters of the area.
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland all year round. It is quietest outside of the holiday season, especially in December and January. The busiest time is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and it is much more relaxed from 3 p.m. In autumn, depending on the weather, it can be very cold and uncomfortable, and the hot water only helps to a limited extent. It is most beautiful and pleasant in spring and summer, when the chances of good weather are better than in the rest of the year.
Food and drink
You cannot buy alcohol in supermarkets. The only places you can buy alcohol are at the state outlets called Vínbúðin. There are small Vínbúðin shops in most cities in the country.
The Icelandic currency is called the Icelandic krona, ISK or sometimes (incorrectly) IKR. Despite popular belief, the euro is not an official currency. Once in the country, you will need to use Icelandic kronor in most places.
The preferred payment method is debit or credit card. Almost all people enjoy the advantages of digital payment and hardly ever use any cash, so you can conveniently settle your bill almost anywhere with card payments. The only exception is the city buses where you have to pay the exact amount as they cannot give change.
The easiest way to exchange money at Keflavík Airport or withdraw it from ATMs.