Iceland Holidays

 

Iceland FAQs

Many people come to us as first time travellers to Iceland and subsequently, have a multitude of questions – here are some of the more regular queries. We are always more than pleased to extol the virtues of a country we fell in love with so many years ago and as our team of travel consultants visit regularly, who better to give you insider knowledge.

Q. What type of people travel on holiday to Iceland?
A. If you are into the outdoors, nature and adventure then Iceland is for you. The island’s breathtaking and immense landscapes particularly, will fulfil the wildest dreams of hikers, photographers, bird watchers and geologists. Yet people of all ages, interests and fitness can appreciate what Iceland has to offer with many visitors more than pleasantly surprised and often coming back for more! It is a great place for a family holiday too, with lots of activities such as horse riding, whale watching, white water rafting, snowmobiling and superjeep adventures. 

Q. When is the best time to travel?
A. Well it depends what you want to see or do. Although Iceland is big enough to avoid the crowds, July and August are still the busiest months. The ‘shoulder season’ months of May and September are in our opinion fantastic times to visit, taking advantage of the good weather and competitive hotel rates. May and June are the best months for birds and mid June to August for wild flowers but if you want to travel through the uninhabited interior of Iceland, you should plan your visit for July and August as most of the highland tracks are only open during this period. If you want to go whale watching then you’ll need to travel between May and September.

Q. Isn’t it always cold in Iceland?
A. No, not at all! Warmed by the Gulf Stream, winter temperatures are similar to those of Vienna or Milan, while in summer they are usually in the range 10-16°C (lower in the highlands). The weather is changeable and most visitors can expect a mix of sunny and cloudy conditions as well as rain and wind. In winter, snow comes and goes, and from around October to April (inclusive) a 4WD vehicle is the best option for self-drive holidays.

MONTH
TEMP 
(Reykjavik 
daily 
max/min °C)
RAINFALL 
(mm)
SUNRISE/
SUNSET
 
(Reykjavik 1st day of month)*
NORTHERN LIGHTS** 
or MIDNIGHT SUN?
Jan
2/-2
89
11:19 / 15:44
NL
Feb
3/-3
64
10:09 / 17:15
NL
Mar
4/-1
62
08:36 / 18:45
NL
Apr
6/1
56
06:47 / 20:18
NL until approx. mid-month
May
10/4
42
05:01 / 21:51
-
Jun
12/7
42
03:23 / 23:30
MS
July
14/9
50
03:04 / 23:57
MS
Aug
14/8
56
04:33 / 22:33
-
Sep
11/6
67
06:08 / 20:45
NL from late September
Oct
7/3
94
07:35 / 18:58
NL
Nov
4/0
78
09:09 / 17:12
NL
Dec
2/-2
79
10:44 / 15:49
NL
Please note statistics shown above are averages, based on records. *Thanks to the Science Institute of the University of Iceland. **Possible viewing – subject to weather conditions.

Q. What are the northern lights/aurora borealis and when can I see them?
A. Iceland is an absolutely fantastic place to view the northern lights, and it may be possible to see them between September and mid-April (November to February in particular).The aurora borealis appears when solar wind particles collide with air molecules in the earth’s atmosphere, transferring their energy into light. Displays can vary in intensity (and duration); the swirling curtain of glowing green and yellow stretching overhead is just magical. A clear cloudless night without any light interference nearby is essential, making Iceland the perfect location! For visitors to Reykjavik, we offer evening Northern Lights excursions into the countryside (by both superjeep and coach), or why not consider our ‘Aurora Nights’ and ‘Northern Lights Special’ holidays. Take a look at our range of Lapland holidays too, for further northern lights adventures. But remember that displays cannot be guaranteed even if conditions are perfect! To read more about the northern lights, click here»

Q. When can I see the midnight sun? 
A. The midnight sun basically refers to the time of year when the daylight hours are at their longest. To be totally accurate, this only happens north of the Arctic Circle. The northernmost coast of Iceland is just kilometres below the circle, and during the months of June and July the sun barely disappears below the horizon. This period of ‘golden light’ is perfect for some creative photography and allows for longer days of exploration!

Q. Where is the Ice Hotel?
A. Actually, it’s a popular misconception - there isn’t one in Iceland! The original and quite magnificent ICEHOTEL is located in the village of Jukkasjarvi in Swedish Lapland. Surprisingly for many people, the comparatively warmer temperatures in Iceland simply can’t sustain a hotel made of ice! For information about our holidays at the ICEHOTEL, including an option that teams it with Iceland, click here»

Q. I’d like to visit but isn’t it really expensive?
A. It is fair to say that the country once had a reputation for sky high prices but thankfully, this is largely a thing of the past thanks to the pound strengthening against the Krona and the difficulties with the Icelandic banking system. In fact Lonely Planet and a number of other sources have stated in the press that 2010 is THE time to visit - value for money on the whole has never been so good! Iceland is indeed expecting a bumper year for visitors but with capacity being limited, the term ‘book early to avoid disappointment’ has never been more pertinent!

Q. What do I need to take with me?
A. For a summer visit touring by coach or car, comfortable and casual clothing in layers is best. Include a good quality breathable wind and rainproof jacket and trousers, a light and thick sweater or ‘fleece’ jacket, sunglasses, a hat and neck gaiter or scarf as well as sturdy walking shoes or boots. Hikers should pack thermal underwear, and for campers a three-season sleeping bag is advisable. For winter visits, warm over-trousers and a thick jacket or coat are essential. After booking your holiday with us, you will receive a Travel Tips booklet full of advice on what clothing and other items to take, notes on photography, local information and much more. Don’t forget - bring swimwear and a towel for the many naturally heated bathing pools – whatever the time of year!

Q. Do you offer a transfer service in Iceland or do I have to find my own way to my hotel?
A.
Transfers, where applicable, are included in the cost of your holiday. This transfer service is available for all our clients staying their first and/or last night in Reykjavik. When you arrive at Keflavik Airport our transfer service operated by Airport Express for Discover the World, will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavik - you just need to collect your ticket on arrival from the airport Express desk and the bus will be parked just outside. They also operate the return transfer and will pick up clients from their Reykjavik hotel - to see the timetable click here»

Q. I'd like to book a trip for a special occasion - do you offer such a service?
A.
We've put together some extra special departures designed with certain occasions in mind and we can pretty much tailor a trip to fit any wishes and any pocket, so let your imagination run wild! And we can offer a discreet booking service so the lucky recipient of your surprise will never know until the time you decide to tell them. If you have an anniversary or birthday coming up or even like to propose, do give us a call. We can also arrange refreshingly different weddings and honeymoons in Iceland - for further details click here»

Finally, For a quick guide to Icelandic Names and Places, click here»

Holidays at a glance

 

About Iceland

 

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Iceland Map

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The driver arranged by Hotel Ranga was so wise, kind, and supportive that I asked him to be my best man and consider it a compliment that he said ‘yes’.

Gregory Foss, Wedding in Iceland
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As destination specialists we pride ourselves on our ability to tailor-make any holiday to suit you. If you would like us to adapt or create an itinerary to your personal requirements then contact us today.

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