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BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The main season and most popular time for visitors to come to Iceland is between June and August when the days are long and large parts of the country are free from ice and easily accessible. The hinterland offers great hiking conditions during this period as most of the terrain is now fairly dry.
May and September also allow travelers to get to most places, but some of the higher areas and the heartland might be restricted because of snow. The weather is
colder, wetter and breezier than over the summer months, but you will be rewarded with less crowded landscapes and viewpoints.
Even though most of the side roads are closed and the days are short, October to April is a rewarding time to visit Iceland. This is the perfect time to experience the Northern lights flickering on the dark sky and to venture off to a real snow and ice adventure.
HOW TO GET THERE
Kevlavik, Iceland’s international airport, is located around 50km Southwest of Reykjavik. Icelandair and many other international airlines offer frequent connections to Kevlavik usually a few times a week. There are many direct flights from the European continent and it’s also possible to connect through major European hubs. You will also find frequent connections to North America due to the fact that Iceland had recently become a popular stopover destination between North America and Europe and the flights take only a couple of hours.
It is easiest to rent a car upon arrival and discover the island in your own time. If you are staying around Reykjavik and prefer not to drive, there is a wide range of organized tours starting from Reykjavik nearly every day, bringing you to the most beautiful places and areas in the Southern, Western and Southwestern regions.
Iceland is part of the Schengen area and no visa is required for people traveling from other Schengen or EU countries if their stay is less than 90 days within 180 days. To enter Iceland, a passport or identity card is required, which is valid beyond their stay in Iceland.
Visitors from outside Schengen or the EU will need a visa to enter Iceland and must hold a passport, which is valid for at least another three months.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS
Traveling with kids in Iceland is easy. Even though there are not many activities extra for kids, the overwhelming landscape, the many swimming pools and the friendly hospitality of the Icelandic people make a trip to Iceland with kids very enjoyable. Curious children will be eager to find out more about the volcanoes, waterfalls and glaciers and will be delighted by the sheer amount of seabirds. Adventure activities are available for kids from 8 years (sometimes older)
and the easy hikes, horse riding adventures, speedboat or whale watching tours will keep them easily entertained.
The route should be planned carefully as some of the distances between the attractions are quite far. Reykjavik has the biggest choice of offers for kids. Kids pay half price (or often nothing) in museums and pools. Most of the accommodation offer family rooms and cater for smaller children.
WHAT TO BRING
Regardless of the time of the year that you are traveling, you should come prepared for all kind of weather in Iceland and plan a lot of layers. Make sure to pack smart and to stay warm and dry. So your luggage should always contain the following items:
Fleece jacket or woolly sweater/jumper
Rain and windproof jacket
Sturdy walking shoes with good grip
Proper waterproof hiking boots
Gloves and a scarf
Hat (sun hat also)
Quick dry towel
As you will encounter the midnight sun over summer, it can also be helpful to bring some eye shades for sleeping. Sun glasses and sunscreen are highly recommended. Midgets are common over the summer months, so bring an insect repellent.
A very warm, ideally insulated jacket should always be packed if traveling over the winter months.
Remember that you will most likely also hit town in Reykjavik, so make sure to pack a nice outfit and shoes.
From simple mountain huts and hostels, farms and guesthouses to boutique and luxury hotels, Iceland has something to offer for every taste and budget. The standard can be lower as compared to other European destinations, standard tourist class rooms are often simple and small, but come with all necessary amenities.
While you find a good choice of all kinds of hotels and guesthouses in the bigger towns, the choice in rural areas is often limited to farms or guesthouses.
Due to the high demand over the summer months, it can be advisable to book a bit in advance, especially if you want to travel between June and August. Prices are highest over this period too. Many accommodations are closed over the winter months, especially in the less urban areas.