How to get to isolated Iceland in Europe? Driving to the “saga” island is impossible as this country is an island far away from the mainland of Europe.
But don’t worry! There are several ways of getting to Iceland. I am from Norway and the weather conditions are similar except for the typography. It is not as difficult as you might think to reach this exotic island country, but you need to plan the trip. In this guide, I go through how to get there and what to prepare for visiting this country full of ice and fire. Arriving at one of the most liberal countries in the world doesn’t mean that the weather is as liberal.
Iceland is an amazing country full of mystics and remarkable nature. But this country demands much more from you as a visitor than others because of its typography and weather climate. Be prepared and your dreams will come true on your trip to Iceland.
Get Ready For Weather on Iceland
When going to Iceland. You need to be prepared. Over the last decade, the “saga” island which is located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean has become one of Europe’s hottest destinations to visit. Iceland attracts people from all over the world who want to see the northern lights, ancient glaciers, and beautiful landscape.
Iceland is part of the Nordic countries in the northern parts of Europe. So, the truth about Iceland is the fact that this popular island nation is not the hottest place to visit. That is the harsh reality. Yes, even in summer the temperature rarely crosses 20C (68F) so preparing yourself to go there even in summer is vital for a great experience there. Iceland will become an emotional nightmare if you don’t follow this guide.
Prepare Clothes On Your Journey
You must prepare clothes when going to Iceland. Even though the island is famous for its hot springs. You need to be prepared for the weather that this country offers. You won’t come far with a t-shirt and shorts. Because even in the summertime, the average temperature in Iceland is not hot or warm from what you expect from other countries in the same area of the world. Norway and Sweden are both in the same area but they have much warmer temperatures than Iceland during the summer.
In Iceland, the average temperature during summer is around 15C (59F), which is for many too cold for wearing a t-shirt outside. However, it also depends on where you plan to fly. The east coast of Iceland tends to be warmer than the west coast of Iceland. In the Icelandic winter, the temps are often around 0C (32F), but you can expect those temperatures during the summer too. So be aware of this when going to Iceland. At rare periods of the summer, the temperatures can hit 20C (68F) or a bit above Iceland but those are very rare days in the summertime.
Preparing your bag or suitcase with clothes is vital. All of the regular clothes can be packed, but you also need a thicker jacket, sweater, thicker socks, scarf, and something for your head. You also need to buy proper shoes that I recommend to be water-proof ones. Also, bring swimming clothes as even though the weather is cold. There are tons of places around Iceland where you can get an exciting bath.
Take Extra Pair Of Clothes
Either you plan to go alone, with friends or family. It is highly recommended to always pack more than what you need for the most basic stuff. The more pants and socks you bring, the better. You never know when you will have use for them. Being prepared for the Iceland trip makes the total experience perfect. Do not take chances.
When you stay in Iceland, you should also bring with you some extra clothes. Especially if you plan to go on hiking trips. The weather can change very quickly in Iceland, so do always bring with you extra.
Sail To Iceland and as a Bonus you can Visit Faroe Islands Too
You can fly to Iceland as the last option to get to Iceland, but the best way to experience Iceland is to take the ferry that is sailing from Denmark. Then when you arrive you just need to forget wasting hours behind the wheel on endless motorways getting to your destination and back again. Because once you hit the land at the eastern part of Iceland. Your journey begins. There are no real highways on Iceland except in small parts near the capital. Seyðisfjörður where the ferry arrives at is far away from Reykjavik.
Denmark To Iceland With Faroe Island Stop
The ferry company sailing to Iceland and back to Denmark is Smyril Line. It sails from both Tórshavn and Hirtshals in Denmark to Seyðisfjörður in Iceland. You can book either trip to Iceland only or with a stop-over in the Faroe Islands. All of this depends on the season what’s possible. Check out Smyril Line’s website here for all the details about booking trips to Iceland with them.
Smyril Line sails to Seyðisfjörður where you can drive in all directions or stay a night there. Seyðisfjörður got several hotels that you can book at various hotel sites. The sail takes time from Denmark, so the advice is the recharge your batteries at one of them. Book it all before you go so you are sure about having room to sleep at.
Going To Iceland By Flight
There are 5 major airports in Iceland. This means that you can reach various areas of the country with a flight. You don’t need to land at the most known airport as you do have several other options to choose from. You do also have airports that support low-cost airlines which means that you can visit Iceland on a budget too. Iceland is big with a low population, but it does have more than one airport.
Here are the most important Airports in Iceland
This is the biggest and most known airport in Iceland. The airport is also known as Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport and it is located 50km southwest of Reykjavik.
This is the main airport in Iceland. Keflavik Airport is not Reykjavik Airport! There are shuttle bus services between the two airports. The tickets cost 19 Euro and up.
However, if your pocket is on a budget there is also a public bus service. Line 55 takes you to various destinations in Reykjavik and it is a cheaper alternative to the shuttle bus services. The comfort might not be as good, but you get yourself to Reykjavik. The bus fares are sold in their online store here, the Strætó app, or other vendors. There are also special prices for students and for the elderly. A good tip for anyone traveling to Iceland on a budget.
Also, when taking the public transportation route you also will hear Icelandic way more. A great way to feel a bit more Icelandic in Iceland.
This is not Keflavik Airport as Reykjavik Airport is a very small airport that is located in the heart of Reykjavik. In the picture below you can see how tiny the airport is. It is however within Reykjavik city borders.
Reykjavik Airport focuses on domestic flights but some international flights are also using this airport. So, be aware of that. Bus lines 5, 8, and 15 can be used. Check out the Strætó route planner here. There is also a bus running between Reykjavik Airport and Keflavik Airport.
If you come to Iceland and need to take a flight to some other destination in Iceland or even on Greenland. Then this airport got the service for it.
This airport is just south of Ísafjördur. It is an airport that mainly got a flight route to Reykjavik and back. However, there are a few international flights that land on it.
There are bus shuttle services from the airport. Service to and from the towns of Ísafjörður, Hnífsdalur, and Bolungarvík whenever there are Air Iceland flights to or from Ísafjörður.
Passengers are advised to book their coach tickets in advance by calling (+354) 893-8355.
Ísafjördur is around the bay sort of. The oldest part of Ísafjörður with the village center is located on a spit of sand, or eyri, in Skutulsfjörður on the other side of the airport. With a population of about 2,600, Ísafjörður is not the biggest town but it is a very cozy one. You can hike, do water activities and breath the fresh air that this village has to offer. Also, the mountains around it are majestic.
This airport sits south of the Akureyri town. It is one the international airports in Iceland.
SBA-Norðurleið which is the Icelandic Bus Company goes through this airport with its northern route. The bus company is an Akureyri-based company that provides long-distance bus service to the town.
Local bus services within Akureyri are provided by the SVA (Akureyri Bus Company), which does not charge fares. This makes the town not so expensive compared to the other towns in Iceland. The busses have been free to use by anyone since 2008 but they don’t go to the airport. The nearest station is about 660m.
The bus schedule covers a time frame from 6 in the morning until after 10 in the evening all weekdays and during weekends during the daytime only. Akureyri is ready to be explored by you and its surroundings.
This is the easternmost airport. It sits in the northwestern part of Egilsstadir town. The airport is one of the airports in Iceland which fulfill requirements for international flights and is open 24 hours a day.
The town that the airport is located in is young. It was created in 1947! That’s very early and now the town got over 2500 inhabitants. Egilsstaðir has grown to become the largest town in East Iceland. The town is at a relatively low elevation makes it somewhat shielded from winds and that enables warmer air to stay for longer than in coastal areas. This is the warmest town in Iceland but that doesn’t mean that summers can be cold.
Don’t get scared if you see Icelandic people wearing a t-shirt in temps above 13C (55F). But they are used to it. Take a trip to Iceland, but also take needed clothes with you. Then your journey to Iceland will be a perfect one.
Welcome to Iceland!