Friday, 19 October 2018

Driving in Iceland in Winter

Winter has steadily been growing as a popular season to visit Iceland. Tourists will find lower prices on just about everything. Car rental, accommodation, tours, and anything else you can imagine are up to 50% off. With all of these spectacular travel deals in an expensive country (plus the appearance of the Northern Lights), it's easy to see why the months of November through March could be among the best time of year to visit Iceland. That being said, traveling in Iceland in winter presents its own unique set of challenges (and I don't just mean black ice or snowy roads). The majority of people who come to our fair shores rent a car or an RV and take some sort of road trip around all or part of the Ring Road. Driving in Iceland is different than anywhere else, even places with a colder climate like Canada or other Scandinavian countries. So what should you expect and how should you prepare?

Rearview mirror of Ring Road in Iceland during winter road trip

Driving in Iceland in Winter - There’s a Storm A-Comin' 

Weather warnings are going to be your best friend when traveling in Iceland. It’s a small, stormy island and the winter storms here are no joke. Actually, the storms at any time of year here are no joke. And it’s not just your average run-of-the-mill winter snowstorm I’m talking about (which you shouldn’t be driving in any way). Iceland has also been blessed with hailstorms, sandstorms, and even ash storms. This potpourri of dangerous weather conditions can crop up at any time. Be prepared by heeding the warnings of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. They will keep you up-to-date with storm advisories, weather warnings, and notifications of road closures due to inclement weather.

Weather (and therefore driving conditions) in Iceland can change very quickly. If you’ve decided to drive in a mild storm and see conditions worsening, head back whenever possible. Or better yet, don’t get caught in it all. You’ll be able to see what’s coming based on weather forecasts. Also, listen to the locals! It’s our island and we know it better than you do. When someone tells you not to travel, please take their advice. It’s better to wait a few days while you hang back in the comfort and safety of wherever you choose to stay than to venture out into a dangerous storm that’s brewing. Let the snowplows do their job and then head out on your merry way.

Iceland - Land of Fire, Ice, and Lots of Wind

Would you believe me if I told you that Iceland has experienced winds as strong as a Category 4 hurricane? Because it’s absolutely true. Back in 2015 a weather event classified as a “no travel” storm moved through South Iceland. News reports say that winds reached speeds up to 141 mph (226 km/h).

The aftermath of flipped, frozen and rear-ended vehicles due to the storm and low visibility in and around Vík was devastating. Rescue services had to send for more than 30 people, most of whom were tourists. Whether they were trying to make it back to Reykjavik in time to catch their flight (they missed it) or just thought the storm wouldn’t get that bad, these unfortunate visitors learned the hard way that it’s quite easy to get blown off the road or welded to the highway with ice during bad weather or a severe storm.

Snowy icy road while driving in Iceland in winter

Even if you're not driving in hurricane-strength winds, be very careful. You may not be used to maneuvering a vehicle in high winds. You'll be struggling with the steering wheel and doing your best just to stay on the road when the winds kick up. Check the wind speed forecasts before you set out and carefully watch the electronic boards that show wind speed an temperature. Pull over if things start taking a turn for the worse, windwise or weatherwise. And most importantly, take the weather warnings seriously. They are there to protect you.

Close Your Doors, Please! 

I have another essential tip for you. Don’t ever leave your doors ajar, not even for a moment. A strong, unexpected gust can come up quickly, bend your door backward, and dent it. Or worse, blow it off completely. You’ll be stuck paying for the damage to your car rental for something that could have very easily been avoided. If you have to get out of your car in high winds, do so using both hands.

Where You Can and Can’t Go 

F-Roads are closed in the winter, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. It’s wonderful to view the Northern Lights during the colder months, but if you’re hoping to visit Iceland’s Highlands, unfortunately, that’s not an option. Any and all mountain roads (F-Roads from “fjall” or “mountain” in Icelandic) that lead inland will not be accessible. This is done for safety as everything around you is either melting, freezing, or both. That being said, there is plenty to see and do staying off of Iceland’s F-roads (most of the country’s sights are located close to the Ring Road). As an added bonus, you don’t need to rent a 4x4 vehicle which is mandatory on mountain roads.

Winter Driving in Iceland - Gravel Roads and Speed Limits 

This goes without saying, but pay attention to the speed limit. And just because a sign says you can go 80 mph (129 kph) doesn’t mean you necessarily should. Iceland has a lot of gravel roads and unpaved roads (including along more remote stretches of the Ring Road). Things can change suddenly, and drivers without experience on these types of roads could run into trouble lose control of their car. Be smart, be safe, and slow down. You also need to keep your headlights on while driving, day or night.

Cars driving with their headlights on during the day during winter in Iceland

Driving in Iceland in Winter 

Winter is one of the best times to visit Iceland for a multitude of reasons. I hope I haven’t scared you too much with all of this talk of crazy snowstorms and gale force winds. Most people who come in the offseason love their time here. At the same time, it’s important to be prepared just in case you do encounter some bad weather or a winter storm. And speaking of storms, be sure to look for a vehicle rental that offers Sand and Ash Protection and Gravel Protection. While many people opt out of insurance on their car rentals, if you are driving in Iceland in winter, this could be a huge mistake. It’s best to protect yourself against unexpected elements with the right types of insurance. If you haven't figured it out by now, Iceland is special.

With all of that in mind, I guess the best advice I can give about winter driving in Iceland is just to listen and use common sense. Listen to the forecast to see if there’s an upcoming storm you should know about. Listen to the locals when they tell you not drive. And listen to yourself if the conditions around you are worsening and the little voice in your head tells you “maybe it’s time to head back”. Have a great time, think about all that money you’re saving by going during the low season, and drive safely.

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Iceland Travel Spotlight: Vík

Many of the images captured of Iceland are of the country’s stunning landscapes. From Kirkjufell mountain in the northwest to Vatnajökull glacier in the southeast, there is no shortage of breathtaking locations on the small Nordic island. And when you see photos of otherworldly black sand beaches, imposing hexagonal basalt columns along the shore, and a remote white church with a red roof among a field of flowers, you're most likely looking at the lovely town of Vík í Mýrdal, more commonly known as Vík, and its environs. The picturesque seafront village lies in the heart of South Iceland and is a frequent stopover for visitors traveling along Iceland’s Ring Road. So what makes this area so unique? What are the things to see and do in Vik?

Black sand beaches and volcanic rock formations at Reynisfjara, Vik, South Iceland

How to Get to Vík

Traveling east from Reykjavik on Route 1, you’ll reach Vík after about 110 miles (180 km). Give yourself time to make the drive as you’ll pass both Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls along the way. You’ll probably want to stop for an hour or so at each one. According to Google Maps, the drive takes around two and a half hours. In winter, allow yourself additional time. A reasonable estimate when driving in Iceland is to add an extra 15 minutes to every hour when traveling in the winter. Once you’ve made your way to Vík, you can either check into your accommodation and relax or begin exploring some of the cool sights in the area. Resting near the foot Katla volcano and the glacier that covers it, Mýrdalsjökull, the geologically diverse zone has been shaped by both glacial and volcanic activity.

Sights in Vík - Reyniskirkja Church 

This is a very typical, Icelandic church. The quintessential architectural layout of the white wooden church and its colorful roof that has been painted red is quite representative of the small churches you will see dotting Iceland’s countryside. Built in 1929, the building overlooks both the town of Vik and the sea below. Be sure to stop by one of Iceland’s cutest churches for some great photo opportunities.

The red and white wooden church in Vik, built in 1929

Sights in Vík - Reynisfjara Beach 

The shores of Reynisfjara, close to Vík, are renowned for their volcanic black sand beaches. The dark pebbles and hexagonal basalt columns here are unlike anything else you have ever seen. Many draw the comparison to Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, but that doesn't quite do it justice. The beach’s black shores are so impressive that they doubled as the setting of Eastwatch By The Sea in Game of Thrones. There are also some pretty spectacular rock formations closeby at Reynisdrangar.

Sights in Vík - Reynisfjall Mountain 

The cliffs of Reynisfjall mountain form the striking backdrop to the natural wonders found at Reynisfjara Beach. You’ll also find colonies of Atlantic puffins here during their breeding season in the summer months. These adorable birds are a symbol of Iceland, so try to catch a glimpse of them when visiting Vík.

The famous volcanic arch at Dyrholaey peninsula in South Iceland

Sights in Vík - Dyrhólaey Peninsula 

West of Vík and Reynisfjara is the Dyrhólaey peninsula. Sights in the area include the Dyrhólaey Lighthouse and the large rock arch jutting off into the shores of the peninsula. Its name actually means “door hole” and boats can sail through the arch in calm seas. You’ll also be able to see puffins at this promontory point during mating season.

Iceland Travel Spotlight: Vík 

Whether visiting Vík on a day trip from Reykjavik or stopping here on a longer itinerary on Iceland’s Ring Road, this small town is sure to be a favorite during your trip to Iceland. Not only does it make a great jumping off point for exploring the surrounding areas, but you’re also close to the hiking trails at Landmannalaugar and the glacier at Vatnajökull National Park. Coming to Vík gives you the chance to get to know small-town Iceland while also providing outdoor adventure opportunities nearby.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Some DIY Game of Thrones Tour Filming Locations

Game of Thrones fans want to know everything about the show, including where it is filmed. More often than not, the answer to this question is: Iceland. In fact, some superfans have even come here searching out Game of Thrones tours for their favorite filming locations. But did you know you can actually do a Game of Thrones tour on your own? All the places seen on the show are accessible to the public. You just need to know where to go. Whether it’s scenes filmed north of the Wall with Wildlings or the Bloody Gate entrance to The Eyrie in eastern Westeros, you’ll find them in Iceland. Here are some of the filming locations for you to do a DIY Game of Thrones filming locations tour. This is for all you thronies who are hoping to spot Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen While visiting Game of Thrones locations in real life.

Game of Thrones fans will recognize Thingvellir as the filming location for the Eyrie and the Bloody Gate

First, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen the right vehicle for your trip. Also, make sure you’ve packed the right items to stay warm on your adventure. Now you’re ready to head off and explore some of the frozen landscapes made so popular by the HBO smash hit. Be forewarned: there are a couple of spoilers ahead if you’re not all caught up on season seven of GOT. Read on at your own peril if you're not up to date!

Kirkjufell - The Mountain Shaped Like an Arrowhead 

At the beginning of season seven, Sandor Clegane (also known as The Hound) peers into a fire. While gazing at the flames, he sees a vision of a “mountain shaped like an arrowhead” and the Army of the Dead marching past. Later in the season, Jon Snow and his band of men encounter Kirkjufell on their search for the Night King. They’re getting close and will soon face a battle of epic proportions. Not only is Kirkjufell unusually shaped, but it also has a beautiful waterfall in front of it. It’s the most photographed mountain in Iceland, and it’s easy to see why when looking at pictures.

Kirkjufell is the mountain shaped like an arrowhead from the Hound's vision in GOT season seven

Thingvellir National Park - Also Known as The Bloody Gate and The Vale of Erryn

Thingvellir National Park has special significance in Iceland due to its important role in the country’s history. It was here that Iceland’s (and the world's) first parliament convened in 930 AD. If you come here on your DIY Game of Thrones tour, you'll no doubt recognize it as the Vale of Arryn, and it's entrance, the Bloody Gate. All visitors to the Eyrie must first pass through this aptly named checkpoint.

And the stronghold of House Arryn isn't the only thing you'll find here. This was the filming location where The Hound roamed the Westerosi countryside with Arya Stark. It's also where he faced off with Brienne of Tarth during their legendary sword battle.

Vik - Eastwatch-by-the-Sea 

This seaside village in Southern Iceland is a must visit, regardless of whether or not you are a Game of Thrones fan. It's home to some pretty cool natural phenomena. Not only will you find volcanic black sand beaches here but also hexagonal basalt columns made from dried lava. You won't find them many places on Earth. The midnight hue of Vik's shores are the perfect setting of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. The Night’s Watch guards this Castle on the easternmost part of the wall. In the thrilling finale of season seven, this is where the Night King destroys the Wall with the breath of his icy dragon Viserion. The Whitewalkers breach the Wall and continue their deadly march into the southern part of Westeros.

Grjótagjá Cave - The Place Where Jon Snow and Ygritte Became More Than Friends

This small lava cave is close to Lake Mývatn and was popular among Icelanders for many years. Geothermal activity in the area heats the water in the pool and makes it a great temperature for bathing. The temperature isn’t regulated though (it comes from volcanic activity after all), so always use caution and common sense when getting into any of Iceland’s hot pools. Jon Snow and Ygritte found shelter in this small cave and took a dip in the turquoise waters of the grotto during season three of the popular series.

The love cave of Jon Snow and Ygritte in Iceland

Some DIY Game of Thrones Tour Filming Locations 

These are just a few places of interest for Game of Thrones mega-fans. You can do a more comprehensive tour with a licensed operator while traveling. The series has been shooting here since season two and Iceland's inspiring and snowy landscapes will continue to captivate for years to come. All scenes north of the Wall were shot in Iceland, so now that the Whitewalkers are moving south, let's see how producers incorporate Iceland into season eight. We can't wait to see what's in store for the battle of the Seven Kingdoms!

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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Skaftafell and Svartifoss in Vatnajökull National Park

Iceland is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. The sheer number of activities in the Great Outdoors and the natural wonders that the country possesses will blow your mind. It's known as the Land of Fire and Ice and this exciting Nordic island does not disappoint. Two of its most compelling attractions are located in Vatnajökull National Park: the Skaftafell wilderness area (with its massive, hikable glacier) and Svartifoss waterfall, with its black hexagonal basalt columns. Let's find out more about these two top destinations and what makes them so special.

Woman standing at entrance to Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park

Skaftafell - Home to One of Vatnajökull National Park’s Glaciers 

Skaftafell has not always been a part of Vatnajökull National Park. It used to be its own separate entity that was managed and cared for by park authorities. That all changed in 2008 when several Icelandic parks merged into one and came under the umbrella of Vatnajökull. The enlarged national park currently consists of seven distinct zones, including Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. Skaftafell is popular with hikers due to the large number of hiking trails in the area. They can take advantage of the short and easy paths around Svartifoss or challenge themselves to scale the more strenuous Hvannadalshnjúkur, Iceland's highest peak.

Skaftafell is probably most famous for its glacier, which has thrilling outdoor activities such as ice cave walks and glacier hikes available. Wouldn't you just love to tell your friends back home that you hiked on a glacier? Not many people can say that. Your licensed, certified, experienced guide will take you on a trek over the glacier. Depending on the time of year, you can even go underneath and inside to explore the turquoise blue caverns caused by the melting glacier water. Whether you choose to journey through an ice cave, go on a glacier cave exploration, or partake in a glacier hike, just make sure you take advantage of one of these inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Hiking Skaftafell glacier in Vatnajökull National Park is a popular activity in Iceland

Svartifoss Waterfall 

Tucked deep into a valley in the Skaftafell wilderness area of Vatnajökull National Park are Svartifoss falls. The name of this curious and highly unusual waterfall means “black falls” in Icelandic. This due to the dark color of the volcanic basalt columns that rest along the cliff. The peculiar rock formations seem to hang like shadowy stalactites from the top of the cliff face. The dark lava columns are actually more of a brownish black and are unlike anything you will see elsewhere. The powerful waterfall looks like a pipe organ and the rushing sound of water will thrill you as you approach. The special shapes were formed by slowly cooling lava that eventually crystallized.

The falls themselves are by no means one of the steepest drops that you'll see in Iceland. They only measure about 67 feet (20 meters) from the top. The aforementioned basalt columns that surround the water are what really make Svartifoss stand out among Iceland's many natural wonders. The alien-like formations have even inspired Icelandic architects like Guðjón Samúelsson to recreate their uncommon appearance. Their influence can be seen in several of his famous works such as the National Theatre building, the Akureyri church, and the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik.

View of Svartifoss or the black falls in the Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park

How to Arrive at Svartifoss Waterfall

It's quite easy to get to Svartifoss, which, along with its cool appearance, is probably another reason for its popularity. Located extremely close to Iceland's Ring Road in the southern part of the famous National Park, this waterfall is one that you have to stop off at. Traveling northeast toward the small town of Hof, there will be a sign for Skaftafell. Once you reach this area, park your car at the free lot that is part of the visitor's information center. From here follow the well-signed trail that takes you directly to the falls. It's a slightly uphill walk for about 1.3 miles (2 km) which most people can complete in less than an hour.

Skaftafell and Svartifoss in Vatnajökull National Park

One of the best times to visit Svartifoss is probably in the summer. Warmer temperatures mean that not only are all of the roads open but melting glacier water will ensure strong water flows. Exploring the glaciers of Skaftafell is more of a winter activity. Iceland is great at any time of year, so whenever you come, be sure to stop by these two very special places.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Self-Drive Tour of Snaefellsnes Peninsula

The Snaefellsnes peninsula is conveniently located only a couple hours' drive from Reykjavik. This makes it the perfect distance for a day trip from Iceland’s capital. This landmass is particularly diverse. It’s often referred to as “Iceland in miniature” or “Iceland in a nutshell” due to the high concentration of some of the country’s best and most iconic attractions packed into one area. You’ll find Snaefellsjökull glacier, the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, the Eldborg crater, the Gerðuberg cliffs with their steep walls made out of basalt columns, the Vatnshellir lava caves, and much more. You could hire a tour from a local operator, but isn’t renting a car or campervan and making your way according to your schedule and desired itinerary much more fun? Let’s make our way around the Snaefellsnes peninsula with a self-drive tour.

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss on self-drive tour of Snaefellsnes peninsula

How to Arrive at the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Head north out of Reykjavik on Route 1 (the Ring Road). After passing through the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel (you’ll need to pay around 1,000 ISK or $8.50). Continue onward to the small town of Borgarnes. From here you’ll turn onto Route 54 and head west for about 32 km (20 miles) towards Snorrastaðir farm. This is the beginning of your self-drive tour of Snaefellsnes. The area is known for its powerful magnetic energy (it's rumored to be one of the world's seven energy centers or chakras). Snaefellsnes peninsula and Snaefellsjökull glacier in the zone's national park were also the setting for a part of Jules Verne's science fiction masterpiece Journey to the Center of the Earth. Rumor has it that aliens gather in the corner of the globe.

Eldborg Volcanic Crater 

This perfectly-shaped, circular volcanic crater towers above the surrounding lava fields and you’ll need to walk for about 30 minutes to get there and reach the top. Peer into the crater and enjoy the breathtaking views around you. Eldborg means City of Fire but luckily for us, there hasn’t been any activity in the last 5,000 or 6,000 years.

How to Arrive: Park your car at Snorrastaðir farm and walk to the Eldborg crater from there.

The Eldborg crater is a must-see on your Snaefellsnes peninsula self-drive tour

Gerðuberg Basalt Column Cliffs

Iceland is a volcanic island, which means that when all of that lava cools, we’re left with the dark, magnesium-rich volcanic rock known as basalt. Gerðuberg is famous for its steep cliffs walls made entirely out of basalt columns. The horizontal structures can be seen from the road, so hop out and have a walk around.

How to Arrive: The cliffs at Gerðuberg are just up the road from the Eldborg crater if you keep following Route 54.

Vatnshellir Lava Cave 

In addition to glacier hikes, exploring a lava cave is one of the more incredible activities you can experience in Iceland. You’ll be bathed in complete darkness and silence once you’ve reached the depths of the 8,000 year-old lava tube. The lava that was molten and later dried produced some pretty spectacular lava rock formations and unusual displays of color. Be sure to book a tour (it’s required to enter) and perhaps you’ll feel like you are taking your own Journey to the Center of the Earth.

How to Arrive: After you pass Lýsuhólslaug you will turn right onto Route 574. This road takes you close to Rauðfeldargjá (the Red-Fur Canyon - be sure to check out the story) and the fishing village of Arnarstapi. About 10 minutes after Arnarstapi you’ll see the cave on the right.

Entrance to the Vatnshellir Lava Cave

Djúpalónssandur Beach

While southern Iceland and the town of Vik are known for their black sand beaches, this special place ups the ante. Instead of dark sand, the shores here are covered by tiny, black volcanic pebbles. Their rounded shape is due to sea erosion and they are known as the Pearls of Djúpalón. The waves here are quite strong, so be careful not to get too close to the water.

How to Arrive: Continue on Route 574 for about five minutes and you will see the turn for Djúpalónssandur on your left. It’s another five minutes to arrive and luckily, the road is paved.

Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall 

Kirkjufell mountain has gained fame as being the most photographed mountain in Iceland. This is pretty easy to understand, with its unique shape and the beautiful Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall flowing in the foreground. Game of Thrones fans will also recognize this as the “mountain shaped like an arrowhead” from the Hound’s vision in season seven. You can hike to the top of the mountain but we only recommend this for more seasoned hikers.

How to Arrive: After leaving Djúpalónssandur, Route 574 will turn back into Route 54. Go northeast and after about 20 minutes you’ll be close to the glorious Kirkjufell.

The Village of Stykkishólmur 

While the Snaefellsnes peninsula is filled with many cute villages worthy of stopping at, Stykkishólmur is definitely one of the most charming. The small town's wooden houses date back many years and are painted a wide variety of colors. The timeless feel is perhaps why Ben Stiller chose it as one of the filming locations for his whimsical movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The town also boasts a regional folk museum, known as the Norwegian House. Come to learn how Icelanders lived throughout the ages.

Lastly, be sure to visit the harbor. Hiking to the to top of Súgandisey hill affords lovely views and Breiðafjörður Bay. There are cruises around the bay and its islands and you can cap off your night with freshly caught, local seafood. Narfeyrarstofa restaurant has a particularly nice array of Icelandic dishes.

How to Arrive: After you’ve left Kirkjufell on Road 54, go left on Route 58 (you’ll see the sign). Drive for another 30-40 minutes to reach Stykkishólmur.

Self-Drive Tour of Snaefellsnes Peninsula 

While driving the Snaefellsnes peninsula makes for the perfect day trip from Reykjavik, it can easily take up to twelve hours if you make your way around the whole peninsula while stopping at all of the points of interest and some quaint fishing villages in the area. If you have the time and inclination, or simply don’t want to try to fit everything into one day, why not book accommodation in the area and take two days to explore? You control your schedule and are in charge of your self-drive itinerary. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable journey in “mini Iceland”.

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Camper Rental in Iceland - Motorhome, caravan, campervan Rental Iceland

If you’re planning to tour Iceland by car, then Icelandic camper van rentals provide the cheapest and best way to explore the vast island. It is increasingly popular to travel trough the Icelandic nature in the comfort of a camper van or a luxurious caravan. It gives tourists the opportunity to experience Iceland freely without involving too much planning.

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland
Even though Iceland has a small population, the island itself is three times bigger than Scotland. Motorhome travel in Iceland is the ideal way to get around, because along the way there are so many well hidden natural gems that just demand a stop off.

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

Here you can find the youngest and the oldest camper rentals in Iceland and campers of all sizes and prices. Whether you need a ordinary family camper, caravan or a RV you can find it on this page. Below you'll find a list of the top camper rentals in Iceland.

May 7th to 14th (7 days) - Prices with GPS, CDW Insurance, unlimited km & pick up / drop off

Option A - New Campers:

Camper Renault Kangoo (2 persons)           701 EUR / 875 USD
Camper Renault Trafic (4 persons)              1.330 EUR / 1.660 USD

Camper Toyota Hilux (2 persons)               1.834 EUR / 2.519 USD
Camper Motorhome (3-4 persons)              2.343 EUR / 3.218 USD

Camper Nissan Diesel   (2 persons)               881 EUR / 1.075 USD
Camper Renault Trafic  (4 persons                1.468 EUR / 1.825 USD

Camper 2 DIESEL  (2 persons)                    715 EUR / 892 USD
Camper 4 DIESEL (4 persons)                     1.360 EUR / 1.696 USD

Camper VW Caddy (2 persons)                   725 EUR / 901 USD
Camper Renault Trafic (4-5 persons)           1.380 EUR / 1.720 USD

Camper 2 DIESEL  (2 persons)                    815 EUR / 992 USD
Camper 4 DIESEL (4 persons)                     1.510 EUR / 1.826 USD

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

Option B - Old camper vans:

Camper NV200 Diesel (2 persons)                  989 EUR / 1.108 USD
Camper Trafic High Roof (4 persons)             1.330 EUR / 1.491 USD

Camper VW Caddy (2 persons)                   1.040 EUR / 1.297 USD
Camper Renault Trafic (4-5 persons)           1.442 EUR / 1.798 USD

Camper Renault Kangoo (2 persons)            701 EUR / 875 USD
Camper Renault Trafic (4 persons)               1.330 EUR / 1.660 USD

Camper VW Transporter (2 persons)              1.150 EUR / 1.434 USD
Camper VW Transporter (4 persons)              1.720 EUR / 2.145 USD

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

Why choose a camper van in Iceland:
  1. It's really cheap. Why spend your money on a expensive hotel and a car when you can use a Camper van or a Motorhome for both?
  2. The weather in Iceland is as predictable as roulette table and therefore you will want to be mobile and ready to move at any given time. We don't recommend you to have to pack your tent in the rain, and then sit wet in your car for the rest of your day.
  3. In Iceland there is a law that allows you park your motor home or camper van anywhere for one night. It´s called the law of survival and it also allows you to eat whatever you can put in your mouth (do not forget). You always need permission of the land owner (in most cases the next farmer). The best thing to avoid the problem is to use campsites.
  4. In a camper van you can go anywhere and do anything you want to do.
  5. There are 3 persons per square kilometer in Iceland. This allows you to basically disappear into the nature in a motor-home, caravan or camper van. 
  6. In Iceland you won't need to reserve a spot at a camp site . You need simply to show up and enjoy it. Camp sites are very modern and have good facilities.
  7. All of Iceland's ring road (road no.1) is asphalt which allows you to drive safely around Iceland in any type of camper van. 
  8. In a camper van in Iceland you won't need to plan your trip. You just follow the good weather and enjoy where it takes you. 
  9. In Iceland there are hardly any trees. Therefore you always have an amazing 360° view from a camper at all times. 
  10. With a Camper van you have a kitchen wher-ever you go. This will save you lot´s of cash. Fast food in Iceland is expensive. 
Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland


Driving Conditions in Iceland are in many ways unusual and often quite unlike what foreign drivers are accustomed to. It is therefore very important to find out how to drive in this country. We know that the landscapes are beautiful, which naturally draws the driver’s attention away from the road. But in order to reach your destination safely, you must keep your full attention on driving.

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-The speed limit in populated areas is usually 50 km/hr.
-The speed limit is often 60 km/hr on thruways, but in residential areas it is usually only 30 km/hr.
-The main rule in rural areas is that gravel roads have a speed limit of 80 km/hr, and paved roads 90 km/hr.
-Signs indicate if other speed limits apply.

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

Camper rentals in Iceland are a popular choice for travelers looking for the "road trip" experience in Iceland. Renting a camper in Iceland is a great option in Iceland because the country offers unique sites to see in all of its forur corners. 

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

112 Iceland App

The 112 Iceland app can be used for two things, both for added safety on your Iceland trip.

First of all you can call for help by pressing the red Emergency button. Your location will be sent by text message to the 112 response center. Remember that even though your phone shows no signal there is a possibilite that you can send text message.

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

The green Check In button is for you to leave your location with us so if something happens we have more information to work with. Only the 5 last locations are stored and we recommend you use this – don’t worry – you are not disturbing anyone – except for our big computer who wants to be disturbed.

Here you can download the app for Android phones, Windows phones and iPhone.

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

Camper Iceland - Camper Rental Iceland

We recommend you read:

Peter, Iceland24

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Fall Means the Return of Iceland's Northern Lights

Iceland is famous for many things. Mammoth glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and otherworldly landscapes to name a few. But perhaps its most famous natural attraction is the spectacle of the Northern Lights. Iceland’s Aurora Borealis begins making its first appearances in the fall. After the phenomenon’s brief hiatus from early spring through the summer months, it returns in full force during September and October. Iceland in the fall is great for many reasons, and the Northern Lights are one of them. So what causes the Aurora Borealis? Where can you best see the Northern Lights in Iceland? And should you take a tour? These are all very important questions. Let's delve into the topic and see if we can't find some answers.

Iceland's mysterious Northern Lights in the fall

What Causes the Aurora Borealis?

First, let's get into an easy explanation of exactly what the Northern Lights are and what causes them. It's time to don your science cap for a quick minute in order to understand what causes this entrancing display. In a nutshell, when the sun has a solar flare (or a similar discharge of energy), it emits charged particles. These eventually make their way to our planet and collide with atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere. This causes the electrons in the atoms to go a little haywire for a bit. When they calm back down, they release a beautiful burst of light in the form of photons.

All of this action takes place almost instantaneously, and the result is what you see in the undulating curtains across the sky: shades of emerald greens, rich purples, and vivid pinks. The color of the aurora is determined by what type of atom (nitrogen, oxygen, etc.) that the sun’s charged particles interact with. Pretty cool stuff, right?

Streaks of purple, pink and green in Iceland's Northern Lights

Best Way to See the Northern Lights

Now that you are an aurora expert, let's talk about some advice for the best way to see the Northern Lights. Step one: Go to Iceland. If you've already taken this crucial first step, then congratulations! You're already halfway there. If you're lucky, you'll be greeted at the airport by a dazzling nighttime display. If not, you'll need to put forth a little bit more effort in your hunt for the Northern Lights. Don't worry though. We’re here to guide you along the way.

The first big decision you need to make is whether or not you will go on a guided tour or seek them out on your own. Both have advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to go it alone, the most significant advantage is obviously that it's free. And as my dad likes to say when things are free “Well, the price is right!”. You will want to arm yourself with the aurora forecast provided by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. It tells you not only how much auroral activity is projected for the evening, but also where you can expect the least amount of cloud cover (shown on the map in white). The key to spotting the Northern Lights is viewing them on a night with clear skies from a vantage point with minimal light pollution. You want to get as far out of the city as possible to see the most vibrant displays.

Aurora forecast from the Icelandic Meteorological Office

Should You Take a Northern Lights Tour?

The other option is to trust the experts and hire a guide or a small group tour to take you on your Northern Lights expedition. The companies and tour operators that provide these services have already scouted out the best locations for observing Mother Nature's spectacular light show. Additionally, they also know to check the Aurora forecast before heading out (sorry, it’s not a secret between just the two of us). They want their customers to be happy and come prepared with the best times and places that will hopefully give you a good chance of at least catching a glimpse of the sometimes elusive wonder.

Whichever option you choose, you should know that nothing is guaranteed. The Northern Lights are affected by solar activity which always follows an 11-year cycle. The next peak will be in 2024-2026. Until then, you’ll still see them, just perhaps not as brilliantly or brightly as you would in 2025.

Take a small group tour or excursion to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

Fall Means the Return of Iceland's Northern Lights

If you're coming to spend some time in Iceland this fall, seeing the Northern Lights will no doubt be one of the highlights of your trip. Best of luck and let us know how your aurora hunting mission goes.

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Friday, 5 October 2018

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip Around Iceland

Planning a road trip (or any trip, really) can be a bit overwhelming. Factor in traveling to a country where you don't speak the language, and it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin. We are here to help with some basic information to get you started planning your Iceland road trip. Topics like which car is best for you, where you should go on your Icelandic itinerary, and what to pack will hopefully get you started on planning the ultimate driving holiday. So let's get started on the adventure!

Smiling happy family during road trip in Iceland

Start Your Iceland Trip Right: Find the Best Car Rental Company 

One of the most important factors to take into account when planning your Iceland road trip is which car rental company to use. Not only will you be relying on them to provide you with a well-serviced, well-maintained vehicle, but you will also depend on them for roadside assistance should any problems arise with your rental. Customer service is key. Make sure that you read what previous travelers have to say about the different companies by consulting Google reviews on TripAdvisor. We know how important this topic is, which is why we wrote an entire blog post about the best car rental companies in Iceland.

You need to take lots of factors into account when deciding on the best company. While price is very important, it's also good to know which companies have happy customers. Also, take into consideration which types of insurance are offered with your rental and what is already included in the price. There are four main types of car insurance in Iceland, and we recommend getting the full suite of protection.

  • Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) - Protects against damage from storms
  • Gravel Protection (GP) - Perfect for many of Iceland's unpaved roads
  • Collision Damage and Super Collision Damage Waiver (CDW and SCDW) - In case of an accident
  • Theft Protection (TP) - In the unlikely event of theft

We're not just talking about this because we want you to spend more money on your car rental. It's quite the opposite actually. Getting full coverage on your vehicle rental will actually save you money in the long run. Sandstorms, ash from recent volcanic eruptions, and golf ball-sized hail are all conspiring to ruin your car rental and empty your bank account. Be slightly smarter than Mother Nature, and just get the insurance. And of course, stay off the road if there is a storm warning.

Picking the Right Vehicle For Your Trip

Of course, there are plenty of different vehicles to choose from. You'll have to decide if you're looking for the least expensive option (which usually does not have four-wheel drive) or if you're looking to drive a car that lets you explore the Highlands and go off-roading. By law, you need to have a 4x4 vehicle to drive on Iceland’s F-roads (mountain roads). While many of the country’s famous sites and activities are close to the Ring Road, if you choose to go inland you need to have the right car.

Iceland mountain F-Roads in a 4x4 rental vehicle

The Perfect Itinerary for Iceland - What Should You See?

All right, now that we've gotten car rental out of the way let's talk about where to go! Depending on how long you have for your holidays, you're likely going to choose a 5-day or 7-day itinerary in Iceland. There are some lucky fellows who can take more time to explore in the country. For those folks who have extended vacation days, we recommend a 10-day itinerary or longer. The Diamond Circle itself can take four or five days alone. So what is there to see and do in Iceland? What are its main attractions and most popular places to visit? Here's a short list of Iceland’s attractions when traveling counterclockwise from Reykjavik along the country’s Ring Road:

  • Reykjavik (Iceland's capital, famous for its nightlife and fine restaurants) 
  • Thingvellir National Park (Home to Iceland's original Althingi Parliament and the Silfra Fissure 
  • Strokkur and Geysir (Two powerful, gushing geysers along the Golden Circle route) 
  • Gullfoss Waterfall (Iceland’s “golden” waterfall) 
  • The Blue Lagoon (Man-man geothermal spa with turquoise blue water) 
  • Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss (Two of Iceland's most beautiful and well-known waterfalls) 
  • The DC-3 plane crash site at Sólheimasandur beach (Haunting home of the remains of the fuselage of an aviation accident in the 1970s) 
  • Black sand beaches of Vik and basalt columns of Reynisfjara peninsula 
  • Landmannalaugar and the Laugavegur Trail (Famous area for hiking. Filled with colorful rock formations and hot springs) 
  • Vatnajökull National Park (Europe’s National Park. Home to Skaftafell glacier, Vatnajökull glacier and many other attractions like Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. Here you can explore ice caves and glacier caves or hike on a glacier) 
  • Lake Mývatn (Cerulean blue volcanic lake and part of the Diamond Circle route) 
  • Dettifoss waterfall (The most powerful waterfall in Europe) 
  • Goðafoss waterfall (The “waterfall of the gods and the key to Iceland’s conversion to Christianity) 
  • Krafla volcanic fields (Dark, rocky terrain and dried lava) 
  • Viti crater and Askja caldera (Volcanic lakes with geothermal heating) 
  • Hverir geothermal area (otherworldy, martian-like landscape with bubbling mud pools) 
  • Húsavik (The whale watching capital of Iceland) 
  • Akureyri (Iceland’s capital of the north) Dalvik (The ski capital of Iceland) 
  • Ísafjörður and the Westfjords (Iceland’s fjords. This area is famous for its dramatic landscape) 
  • Snaefellsnes peninsula (The iconic Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall)

This by no means includes everything. Instead, it's meant to be a set of Iceland highlights that you should definitely consider visiting when making your way around the island. A more exhaustive list would include more glaciers, waterfalls, fjords, select locations, unusual museums, and cultural sites and much more. And let's not forget the spectacular Northern Lights that take place every year from mid-September to mid-March.

Northern Lights over Iceland's Kirkjufell mountain

Another thing you'll want to consider when planning your itinerary is deciding where to stop for gas. In other countries does isn't really much of an issue, but we know that Iceland is different. While the Ring Road makes driving in Iceland extremely easy, there can be long stretches of Road in remote areas. Not knowing if the closest gas station is two minutes away or twenty minutes away is a terrifying feeling when your gas meter reading is inching closer and closer to E. Mark the petrol stations on your map beforehand. This will save you tons of stress and the headache of running out of gas on an isolated Icelandic road.

Pack the Right Clothes 

Okay, great. You’ve chosen the best rental car for your budget and needs. You've decided on a jam-packed itinerary that will take you to some of the country’s coolest and most famous things to see and do. You’ve booked your accommodation along the route. all that's left is to make sure that you pack the right clothes for your Iceland trip. The island’s position on the map just under the Arctic Circle and cold, wet, snowy weather mean that your wardrobe choices can make or break your trip. It's challenging to have a good time when your cotton socks are soaked and your teeth are chattering because you're not insulated enough in frigid temperatures. When preparing your suitcase, you'll need to bring the right items. So what should you pack and wear in Iceland?

The Three Layer Rule - A Base Layer For Warmth and Moisture Control 

We always say that the bare minimum for choosing the right clothes for Iceland should follow the three layer rule. Your base layer needs to be an insulating, thermal layer. It should be breathable, trap body heat, and absorb moisture all at the same time. A top and pants made out of warm materials such as Merino wool or silk are popular apparel choices. I mention Merino wool specifically because of its high quality. It doesn’t itch, and you can wear it multiple times before needing to wash it. Read the reviews of other buyers on Amazon when purchasing your thermal underwear as these items will be a lifesaver in Iceland. And of course, you should invest in a good pair of wool socks. Wool has the magical quality of being able to absorb lots of moisture and still stay warm. You'll definitely want this in your winter wear arsenal.

The Three Layer Rule - A Middle Layer For Insulation 

When temperatures are freezing outside, you need to make sure you have insulating clothing. Materials like fleece are a good choice. It's better to pick a high-quality fabric and use fewer layers than to pile on a bunch of sweaters, pray to the warmth gods, and hope for the best. Try to avoid cotton as it holds on to sweat from below and condensation from above. Moisture is our enemy when trying to stay warm, so pick fabrics that work with you rather than against you.

The Three Layer Rule - An Outer Layer For Protection From The Elements 

Iceland is rainy and windy. You need to get a durable rain jacket and also add a windbreaker into the mix. A water-resistant outer shell is not enough. Search for clothing and hiking boots that are waterproof (or at least that claim to be) in order to stay dry. This is another area where crowdsourced peer reviews will be your best friend. Downpours and snowstorms are common, and the last thing you want is to be caught without the right footwear or outerwear.

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip Around Iceland

While car rental, trip itinerary, and what to wear are some of the more practical aspects of your road trip, you'll also want to start thinking about some fun activities. Glacier hikes and ice caves are especially popular in the winter. During the months of June, July, and August, the country comes alive with summer festivals. Whale watching is especially popular as is hunting the Northern Lights on an excursion. Not to mention all of the different cultural activities. Learn more about the Vikings and Iceland's fascinating history when you come. And last but not least: restaurants! Iceland has a lot of great places to eat, including Michelin-starred like Dill in Reykjavik. And with delicious creations like friend breakfast treat kleina and chocolate skúffukaka cake, your tummy will thank you every day while you're here. Good luck planning your road trip around Iceland and let us know how it goes.

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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

October Weather in Iceland

Whether you're planning on taking a road trip around Iceland or going camping, there's one factor that's going to have a significant effect on your trip: the weather. The country's climate is unlike many other places on Earth. We've even been known to experience multiple seasons in the same day! October is a transitional month, which means weather conditions and temperatures are slowly making their way from fall to winter. The autumn is still a pretty good time of year to visit Iceland, so let's look at what to expect as far as average temperatures, daylight hours, rainfall, and what to pack and wear.

October weather in Iceland with colorful leaves on wooden background

Average Temperatures in October 

If you’re looking on a map, Iceland is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean close to the Arctic Circle. This geographical location means that it's going to be pretty cold most of the year. By October, the mercury reading on the thermometer is already going to be showing numbers that are close to winter temperatures in some places. The average high in Reykjavik is about 43 °F (6 °C), Which is still quite chilly. You will definitely need to have thermal clothing and dress in multiple layers in order to be comfortable. October lows in Iceland unmistakably start approaching winter territory. With average temperatures of 36 °F (2 °C), when you're heading out at night for dinner, going on a Northern Lights expedition, or partaking in the country’s nightlife, be sure to bundle up.

Average October High in Reykjavik: 43 °F (6 °C)
Average October Low in Reykjavik: 36 °F (2 °C)

Daylight Hours and Sunshine in Iceland in the Fall

By the time we get to October, we've moved out of the Midnight Sun that is typical of the summer in Iceland. Instead, we have regular daylight hours that are similar to the rest of the world. As we inch closer to winter, there will be fewer and fewer hours of sunshine every day. Near the beginning of the month, the sun rises around 7:30 a.m. and sets around 7 p.m. This gives you plenty of time to explore and experience all the country has to offer. By the end of the month, sunrise takes place shortly after 9 a.m. and sunset is around 5:15 p.m. It's about 8 hours of daylight, which is less than before, but you still have plenty of time to see a lot of things and do some pretty cool activities.

October 1st: Sunrise 7:36 a.m. - Sunset 6:56 p.m.
October 15th: Sunrise 8:17 a.m. - Sunset 6:08 p.m.
October 31st: Sunrise 9:07 a.m. - Sunset 5:14 p.m.

Rainfall in Iceland in October 

October is a pretty wet month, and some areas of the country have more downpours than others. It rains most days in October (22 days on average), but it's not as wet as September. All this condensation and moisture means you want to be splashing around in waterproof boots with a solid rain jacket as your outer layer.

Red rain jacket facing sea during October in Iceland

What to Pack and What to Wear in the Fall

The items you decide to include on your packing list and put into your suitcase are going to make or break your trip to Iceland. If you don't bring the right clothing with you, you're going to be cold, wet, and miserable the whole time. And who wants that? The fastest way to ruin your vacation is to bring flimsy items or ones that cannot withstand the elements. So what exactly do we need to pack for our trip?

The minimum should always include at least three layers. Your base layer will be some sort of thermal pieces underneath such as thermal pants, a thermal top, and wool socks. We recommend wool specifically because it wicks moisture from the skin and retains body heat. On top of your base layer, you want to have a mid-layer made up of a shirt and a fleece jacket. Fleece is another warm material that you'll be thankful you packed in your suitcase.

Lastly, you want to top it off with an outer layer such as hiking pants and a jacket. The outer layer should be waterproof so that you don't get chilled to the bone if you get caught in a rainstorm. It also needs to be made out of a breathable material. You might also want to add a windbreaker in between your outer layer and your mid layer. It gets quite windy in Iceland, and the wind chill will make you feel even colder then it actually is.

Base Layer: Thermal pants, thermal top, wool socks to trap body heat
Mid Layer: A shirt and a fleece jacket 
Outer Layer: A waterproof jacket for wind and rain. Make sure the material is breathable.

Infographic for three layer outdoor clothing during October in Iceland

We wrote an entire post on this topic, so be sure to check it out here.

October Weather in Iceland 

If you're planning on visiting Iceland in October, it's a great time of year to go. You just need to be sure that you're prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Bring the right clothes, know what temperatures to expect, and to check the weather forecast every day. All of these things will go a long way to making sure you have the perfect vacation. Let us know if you spot the Aurora Borealis during your trip.

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Monday, 1 October 2018

Is Katla Volcano Really About To Erupt?

You’ve most likely seen the outlandish headlines recently. “Icelandic giant is about to erupt!" "Scientists warn huge Iceland volcano is about to blow!" “It will dwarf the 2010 ash cloud!” etc. With multiple news outlets, mainly British publications and tabloids, screaming that the sky is falling, many have been left scratching their heads (and possibly trembling in a corner) about what exactly is happening with Katla volcano. While the newspapers would have you believe we're about to experience Pompeii 2.0, I say not so fast. Let's do a little bit of digging to see if indeed Katla volcano is about to erupt and we’re all doomed to be devoured into a suffocating cloud of brimstone, hellfire, smoke, and ash.

Newspapers are saying Katla will be worse than Eyjafjallajökull. Is it true?

Katla’s History

Of course, none of this comes from completely out of the blue. We’ll concede that Katla is one of the more volatile volcanoes in Iceland. In the island's 1,000+ year history, the active volcano has erupted approximately twice per century at the rate of once every 40 to 80 years. It caused an unusually large amount of devastation and damage in the late 1700s when the explosions and after effects of starvation, the death of livestock, and poor air quality wiped out nearly a quarter of the country's population.

The enormous mountain’s last eruption was in 1918, which means we're decades overdue for another volcanic event. Katla is also located in southwest Iceland close to Eyjafjallajökull. The difficult to pronounce mountain beneath a glacier is the same infamous volcano that wreaked havoc in 2010. Its massive ash cloud caused European airspace to be shut down for nearly a week and displaced 10 million travelers.

Where The False Rumors Began

It all started innocently enough. A University of Leeds scientist and volcanologist, Evgenia Ilyinskaya, recently published a study about CO2. The scientific study stated that Katla was a globally a significant source of the greenhouse gas atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This is important as CO2 is one of the main contributing factors to climate change and global warming. However, nowhere in the study did it say anything about eruptions or magma "building up beneath the surface of the volcano."

Graph showing seismic activity precluding volcano eruption

Additionally, Ilyinskaya clarified on her Facebook page and on Twitter that during the 20-minute interview with a journalist, she actually said the opposite of what is being quoted. She expressed her frustration that the publications twisted her words and did not practice responsible journalism. Many of these tabloids, such as The Daily Express, The Sun, and the Evening Standard, have latched on to the untrue story as a way to terrify their readers, sell newspapers and get clicks for their website. Their tendency to sensationalize potentially catastrophic geographical events is something they are quite known for. Even the usually more serious and reliable Sunday Times has been swept up into the journalistic hysteria.

What Was Really Said About Katla

We'll go straight to the horse's mouth and quote the lead author of the study to find out exactly what she said. Here's what she has posted on social media regarding the frenzy around the results of her research:

"I said explicitly that we are in no position to say whether or not Katla volcano is ready to erupt, and that air traffic disruption in case of an eruption is unlikely to be as serious as in 2010".

She tweeted that it was “incredibly disappointing to see that @thesundaytimes have gone down the route of trashy tabloids. This article misinforms their readers and undermines me as a scientist and a specialist in my field. Shameful job".

Evgenia Ilyinskaya had to clarify on social media what she really said

Fortunately, we now live in the age of social media, where people can clarify and correct things that are misconstrued, misrepresented, or taken out of context. This mini checks-and-balance can help keep false stories from gaining too much credibility.

Is Katla Volcano Really About To Erupt?

So it looks like for the time being, Katla is not going to erupt after all and there is no imminent danger. Despite the sensationalism that has popped up surrounding new findings about the volcano, we don't have any new evidence to suggest that we are in any danger. That being said, it has been a hundred years since the volcanic mountain’s last eruption. And because it has consistently erupted every 40 to 80 years over the last thousand years, we can never be too sure. Another factor to consider is that most of the time, volcanoes don't just erupt out of nowhere. They usually start rumbling weeks if not months in advance of a volcanic event. Seismologists are continually monitoring their activities, so hopefully there won't be any surprises when you visit.

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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Iceland in Winter: 5-day Itinerary - Day 5

Sadly, we've reached the last day of our five-day winter itinerary for Iceland. But you can't be too unhappy, because your final day in Iceland will feature some of the coolest activities yet. I know what you're thinking; how is it possible to top hiking on a glacier and visiting plane crashes on black sand beaches? Well, how about soaking in the miraculous waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon or visiting the beautiful natural attractions like Mt. Kirkjufell on the Snæfellsnes peninsula? We've seen and done a lot in the last four days along the Ring Road, and it's time to head back towards Reykjavik from Vik to enjoy everything that West and  Southwest Iceland have to offer.

Kirkjufell mountain covered in snow and with the Northern Lights dancing in the background

If you’d like to check out any previous posts, here are all of the sections of the 5-day winter itinerary for Iceland:

Part One: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle 
Part Two: The South Coast of Iceland 
Part Three: Vatnajökull National Park, Ice Caves and Glacier Hike 
Part Four: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon

Drive Back to Reykjavik 

You’ll start the morning by making the three-hour drive back to Reykjavik. Be sure to stop by Skógafoss waterfall or Seljalandsfoss waterfall if you missed either of them on the first leg of your journey. Once you start getting close to Reykjavik, you can either head south toward the Blue Lagoon spa or keep going towards the Snaefellsness peninsula, which lies a couple of hours north of Reykjavik. The option you choose will depend upon your priorities as well as the time of your return flight the following day.

It's possible to fit in both the Blue Lagoon and Snaefellsnes peninsula into the same day, but it will definitely be a long one. And remember, there is limited daylight in Iceland during the winter months. If you're looking to do things when there is light outside, your window of opportunity lasts from about 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The hour of sunrise and sunset varies in December, January and February, so check the exact times of the month you're planning your visit here.

If you have a return flight late in the day, you can do what many tourists opt to do, which is stop at the Blue Lagoon on their way to Keflavik airport. This technically spills over into the sixth day of your itinerary, but if you have the time it's definitely the better option. Otherwise, you can choose to either focus on the Blue Lagoon or Snaefellsnes peninsula or take it to the extreme by trying to see both places and spending less time at each.

Iceland's Blue Lagoon spa makes a great stop on your 5-day winter itinerary

Soak in the Healing Waters of the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa 

This is one of the most famous sites in Iceland and is the country's most visited attraction. A few hours soaking in the healing, silica-infused waters of the Blue Lagoon will rejuvenate you. Relaxing amid the turquoise blue and volcanic black scenery of this man-made geothermal spa will be just what you need after nearly a week of traveling. Get a massage or another body treatment or simply chill out as you watch the steam rise from the warm water into the frosty winter air.

Don't worry; you can enter the lagoon from indoors. I don't know about you, but being outdoors in a swimsuit in the middle of winter on a Nordic island that borders the Arctic Circle isn't exactly my idea of a good time. But if you do choose to embrace your inner polar bear, feel free to go full Icelander and walk out to the pool. Don't say that I didn't warn you though; bathing etiquette requires that you shower before entering. You could turn into a shivering Icelandic popsicle before you reach the water.

Explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufell Mountain

About two hours north of Reykjavik is Snaefellsnes peninsula. This is the one you've seen in that iconic photo of Iceland that has the mighty pointy-yet-rounded mountain in the background with cascades flowing into the waters below. In the colder months, these waters freeze, and you are left with a snow-covered landscape that evokes something out of a wintery dream.

Game of Thrones fans will no doubt recognize the majestic Kirkjufell mountain from seasons six and seven of the popular HBO series. If you recall, the Hound had a vision of the White Walkers making their ghostly march past a “mountain shaped like an arrowhead”. Jon Snow & Co spot this famous Icelandic mountain while traveling north of the Wall on their quest to find the army of the dead. Pretty spooky (and cool), right? Fear not, dear readers. We promise that you won’t run into the Night King in Iceland. Although according to urban legend, there are some rogue polar bears running around our little island.

Iceland in Winter: 5-day Itinerary - Day 5

You’ve seen and done a lot during these last 5 days (including dodging White Walkers, which as Samwell Tarly can tell you is no small feat). While you haven't seen everything that Iceland has to offer, you've certainly covered many of the highlights and have visited almost everything there is to see in the south. Maybe next time you visit, you can spend some time in the North and explore the Diamond Circle. There's also the possibility of visiting during the summer, when the Midnight Sun, warmer temperatures, and outdoor festivals completely transform the country. Planning a vacation to Iceland in June, July, or August is a completely different experience than visiting during the months of December, January, or February. Who knows, maybe we'll be seeing you again sooner than you thought.

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