So you've heard the stories of the magical place, you've seen the outstanding photographs and now you've booked your flight. Well, here's a few things to keep in mind.
1) Buy duty-free groceries
Don't forget that because of the climate, Iceland cannot farm food or animals so they have to import. However, Iceland is a remote island away from the Scandinavian countries, far from United Kingdom so goods/products tend to be expensive. There is a duty free shop opposite baggage collection so before you pick up your luggage on arrival, do your grocery shopping.
2) Safe travel
Log onto http://safetravel.is/ everyday to check out the weather conditions so that you're dressed for the occasion, whether it be gale force winds or sleet and snow. The website also details roads that are closed and impossible to drive. If in doubt, keep to the main highways, especially if you have a smaller car.
3) Bring medication
My baby boy got ill on the first day that we arrived in Reykjavik. He was throwing up, not eating, sneezing, coughing and, to add insult to injury, his top teeth were cutting through his gums. I was worried that he would get a fever and not cope with the Icelandic wind chill. Luckily, I had brought medication just in case of any illnesses. I brought baby paracetamol, cough syrup, bonjela, nasal spray, first aid kit and painkillers for me.
4) Snow tyres
It is very very important to have snow tyres on your hire car. I cannot stress this enough. The roads are rough and there is black ice. So even with a 4x4, you still need snow tyres. I suspect that in the winter, car hire companies will not risk their insurance, and therefore snow tyres are given to you, whether you want them or not. Don't pay for them as an extra.
5) Aurora forecast
Log onto http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/ to keep a lookout for the northern lights. Don't forget to head outside of the city, away from the lights, look north and there you go. There are also apps that you can download, such as Aurora Tonight which gives you the chances of seeing the northern lights in whatever part of the world you are to the exact location.
6) Beat the crowds
Go clockwise. Everybody else is driving anti-clockwise on the circular routes past the tourist attractions. Do the opposite. Start in Reykjavik and head east towards the Fjords. Don't get me wrong, you're bound to meet tourists along the way but at least you won't feel like you're following everybody else. For the Golden Circle tour, start at the top and go down. Everyone else starts at the bottom, going up. Get your sunrise at the glacier and your sunset at the tectonic plate divide in Pingvellir.
7) Book the Blue Lagoon well in advance
The man-made pool, Blue Lagoon, is the most visited attraction in Iceland, whether it is during off season or peak season. It gets busy all the time and if you don't buy your tickets in advance, you'll get to Iceland and find that you can't enter this spa. But if it's fully booked, don't despair, Keep an eye out for my next blog posts as I'll be sharing with you some (better) alternatives to the Blue Lagoon.
If you have any tips for other readers, why don't you share them below?
31/1/2017 07:49:19 pm
Gorgeous photos! Did the carhire company provide a car seat or did you have to hire as an extra?
31/1/2017 07:51:26 pm
Hi! Yes, they fitted a child seat for us. It was an extra. It's a really good one. I'm thinking of buying a similar one when I get home
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