10 Things You Must Know Before Travelling To Iceland

If you’re planning on visiting Iceland, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most beautiful places you could possibly go – and also, one of the most dangerous. Here are ten things every traveller needs to know before travelling to Iceland.

10 things you must know before travelling to Iceland

1) The Weather

Iceland is known for its unpredictable weather. It can be sunny one minute and snowy the next. The average temperature in Iceland ranges from 12°C in summer months to -2°C in winter. You can expect rain, snow, wind, or fog at any time of year. Bring layers and dress accordingly.

2) The People

Iceland is a sparsely populated country with a population of just over 300,000. The vast majority of the inhabitants live in or near the capital city Reykjavík, which is home to around 120,000 people. Icelanders are warm and welcoming people who are always happy to provide you with directions and advice on how best to enjoy your stay. They are also very proud of their heritage and will happily talk about their rich culture, history, and traditions.

3) The Language

Icelandic is the official language of Iceland. Icelandic is a Nordic language and a descendant of Old Norse, the language spoken by Vikings during the Viking Age. The Icelandic alphabet has 32 letters, 16 of which are vowels. The alphabet also features six diacritics that show whether the preceding consonant is voiced or voiceless. All texts in Icelandic are written with spaces between words and sentences.

4) The Roads

Icelandic roads are different from American ones in a few ways. The main difference is that highways aren’t numbered, just named. So if you’re looking for the highway that goes from Reykjavik to Akureyri, it’s called the Ring Road (or Route 1). The other important thing about Icelandic roads is that many of them don’t have names, so there’s no way of knowing what it is unless it has a sign on it.

5) The Landscape

Iceland is home to many geysers, volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls. The rugged landscape will make your jaw drop with wonder. All of this natural beauty has made it a hot spot for travellers. Not to mention the Northern Lights in Iceland which are a wonder that you must see when visiting Iceland.

6) The Wildlife

The puffin is Iceland’s national bird and it can be found in most coastal areas. But that is not the only animal you will find in the land of fire and ice. There are plenty of animals you may not see elsewhere in Iceland due to its cool temperatures. Be sure to do your research if you are interested in wildlife.

7) The Activities

It is important to pack for the activities you want to do in Iceland. If you plan on doing any of the following, make sure that your clothes are appropriate and weather-appropriate: snowmobiling, ice climbing, horseback riding, whale watching, hiking, and glacier walks. The best time for any activity is during the summer months of June through August.

8) The Food

Icelandic cuisine is largely based on seafood, lamb, and potatoes. Seafood is usually sourced from the island’s waters. The most popular dishes are smoked fish or hákarl (cured shark meat), boiled or fried cod, and skyr (a type of strained yoghurt). A traditional meal for a mid-winter feast includes some combination of cured ram, smoked sheep’s head and dried fish.

9) The Accommodation

Because the tourism in Iceland is just slowly growing, it can be quite expensive to stay in certain cities. If you are on a budget it would be a good idea to stay in one if the main cities which have options of dorms, hostels, and even AirBnbs.

10) The Budget

Iceland is an expensive destination, so it’s worth taking some money with you in cash or travellers checks. There are also ATMs throughout the country. It’s easy to think that it’s going to be expensive to travel in Iceland, but with some clever research and preparation, it doesn’t have to be. The Icelandic Krona is not as strong as the US Dollar. Make sure you get your money converted beforehand so you aren’t hit with any nasty surprises when paying for items or services.

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