10 valuable tips for your next Iceland vacation

You have heard a lot about Iceland and would like to spend your next vacation here? Then you are exactly right on our blog. In this article you get valuable tips for your next Iceland vacation. Furthermore we tell you how to get to Iceland and how much time you should plan for your Iceland vacation.

This article is intended to give you an overview of Iceland and thus forms a kind of guide. We have written a separate article about Iceland’s north and south. Here you can find detailed information about possible excursion destinations.

If you can travel Iceland also in the current Corona situation you will find out below.

General information for your Iceland vacation

Iceland has besides volcanoes and geysers also beautiful landscapes to offer. Iceland has approx. 360.000 inhabitants. From this live alone ca. 130.000 in the capital Reykjavik. Besides the inhabitants there is also a diverse animal world. Horses (Icelanders), puffins, sheep and whales are only a small selection in your Iceland vacation. Speaking of sheep. There are about a dozen of them on the island. 480.000 pieces. Someday they will take over the world. But more about that later.

Sheep on Iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Ice in the glacier lake Jokulsarlon

Iceland vacation in Corona times

Can I plan and carry out my Iceland vacation also in times of Corona?? The clear answer is: Yes, you can. For the trip to Iceland you should consider some things respectively. one should be aware that traveling is associated with restrictions. Which are these and how you can still travel, we tell you here.

One thing first – When you plan your Iceland vacation you are always subject to the current regulations of the Icelandic government. You can follow this daily via this website.

Currently you have two options when entering Iceland

  • 14-day quarantine
  • 2 PCR tests and a 5-day quarantine

Where are the differences? With the 14-day quarantine option, you will be in self-quarantine for 14 days and do not have to take a corona test upon entry. However, you are not allowed to visit any sights during this time. So little meaningful. We advise you to choose option 2. Here you do a first test immediately after entering the country. Afterwards you can e.g. drive with a rental car to a quarantine compliant accommodation of your choice. The nice thing about it is – you can choose them yourself for your Iceland vacation. You can find a list here. After 5 days you will be required to take a second Corona Test. After the result of the second test you may then officially continue your trip and start your Iceland vacation properly.

When is the best time to travel?

When is the best time to travel to Iceland, it is difficult to say. Of course it always depends on what you want to do and how often you want to visit Iceland. already been there. Nevertheless, we would like to make a recommendation at this point with which it can live well.

Iceland can actually be visited all year round. You have the best chance to see a wide range of Icelandic attractions in the months from May to early September. Here the temperatures are with 10-20 degrees Celsius still relatively pleasant. Temperatures and weather can change very fast on your Iceland trip. You should always keep this in mind. Iceland is influenced in the north by the Arctic air and the cold Atlantic Ocean and in the south by the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean Sea. This also explains spontaneous temperature changes at this point. So it can go down to 5-10 degrees in the summer or have a relaxed 25 degrees.

South of Iceland

The special thing about Iceland for us are the green mountains and meadows. In summer you will see countless sheep on the roadside and in the fields. With your car you can drive into the highlands and explore many remote places of the island. From September on, many pass roads, so called F-roads, are closed due to snow.

Whale at Husavik

In the north of your Iceland trip you can observe the whole year over different whale species. Time is less of an issue here.

Iceland Northern Lights

Northern or polar lights are of course also part of an Iceland trip. From the 21. June is the solstice. Here it is slowly getting darker again. To see auroras you will only succeed between the middle of September and the beginning of March. How to find the aurora borealis is described below in this article.

In winter you will find frozen waterfalls, snow covered glaciers and landscapes, which can also be very beautiful. There are even some ski resorts in Iceland.

How to get to Iceland?

Since Iceland is an island there are generally only two possibilities. Either with a ferry from Denmark to Reykjavik or with the airplane. If you like to travel with your own car, the ferry for your Iceland vacation is certainly a good choice. We describe here however the journey with the airplane.

Currently IcelandAir and Lufthansa fly from many German airports to Reykjavik. You can find a flight via the most popular travel portals. If you fly.B. from Frankfurt to Reykjavik you need approx. 3,5 hours.

On the way with the car

Iceland can be traveled in many ways. Beside camper vans and normal caravans there is of course also the classical rental car. Since we were on the road with the latter, we would like to describe this variant in the following more closely.

Of course there are the classic car rental companies, also known in Germany. We have chosen the Icelandic provider LotusCar Rental.

Which rental car should I book?

This question is of course quite justified with the multitude of possibilities. If you are on Iceland for the first time there are only two options. A classic car or a vehicle with all-wheel drive.

In Iceland you can distinguish between normal roads (e.g.B. the ring road 1) and the so-called F-roads, which can be found especially in the interior of the country. F-roads are characterized by a very rough terrain and unpaved roads. Here is a vehicle with four-wheel drive even mandatory.

The ring road 1 leads you quasi once around the island. Here you are mostly on paved roads on the way. A four-wheel drive vehicle is not mandatory here. However, there are places of interest that can only be reached via a gravel road (no F-road). For this purpose a four-wheel drive vehicle is quite useful.

Our recommendation goes at this point quite clearly to a vehicle with all-wheel drive. In the end it is also a question of budget.

Which insurances do I need for the rental car?

If you are traveling on Iceland’s roads, we recommend that you take out insurance for your rental car. In addition to the standard insurance, we always recommend an ash and dust insurance, as well as an insurance against stone chips. These two are mandatory if you want to spend a carefree Iceland vacation. Optionally, and this depends a bit on your planned tour, you can also take out an insurance for F-roads as well as an insurance for crossing rivers.

What are all these insurances about? Since the last volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 ash is whirled up by storms again and again. The ash can scratch the paint on the car. How likely is that? No idea – but you feel safe and better if you have one – believe us.

Depending on the roads you are driving on, especially on gravel roads and F-roads stones can be thrown up. Also such damages can reduce your travel budget at the end of your Iceland vacation. Apropos F-roads. If you drive through the interior of the country, you will have to cross rivers. Yes, read correctly. You can drive your car through rivers. For this you definitely need a vehicle with four-wheel drive. But here you have to be careful. Rivers can be deep and the current strong. So if you plan to do that – start small.

How much time should I plan for my Iceland vacation??

Iceland is relatively easy to reach from Germany. Nevertheless you should have some time on the spot. A classic for Iceland is the Ring Road 1. With a length of approx. 1400km you can drive around Iceland completely and see many sights. Other destinations are the Golden Circle, the Snæfellsnes peninsula and the Westfjords. In the next two sections we want to give you an impression of what you can realistically do without getting stressed out.

I have 7-10 days..

If you have for your Iceland vacation “only” 7-10 days time you can look at nevertheless relatively. However, we do not recommend a complete circumnavigation of the island. In our experience this will be too stressful and you might get annoyed afterwards because you just drive past many sights. For a stay of 7-10 days we recommend you the following possible tour.

Since you arrive in Keflavik by plane, your Iceland vacation also starts right here. It makes sense to rent a car right at the airport. The first stop could be the capital Reykjavik. This is about. 50km east of the airport. From Reykjavik you can drive north to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Snæfellsnes peninsula is also called Iceland compact. If you don’t have much time you can see everything Iceland has to offer with little effort. Of course in a slimmed down form. You can expect green meadows, sheep, Icelandic horses, the volcano Snaefellsjokull, lava fields, waterfalls, small fishing villages and snow-covered mountains. If you look carefully you can even get in contact with elves and trolls.

Budir churchKirkjufell mountain with waterfall

After visiting the Snæfellsnes peninsula you can drive back towards Reykjavik. In Mosfellsbær turn left onto road 36 in the direction of the Golden Circle. Here you can visit the Thingvellir National Park, where the two tectonic plates of the earth are moving a little bit further apart every year. Divers get their money’s worth here and can dive into the depths between two continental plates. Furthermore, the geyser Strokkur awaits you, which reliably sprays hot water into the air every 5-7 minutes. The road will lead you to the famous Gullfoss waterfall.

Geyser StrokkurGullfoss Waterfall

From Gullfoss waterfall you can drive by car in direction Sellfoss. On your Iceland trip you are now heading towards the south of the island.

Geyser Strokkur

In Sellfoss you come to the ring road 1. From here you can continue your journey through the south of Iceland. A complete article about Iceland’s south with the most popular sights and accommodation can be found here.

The village Hofn

Hofn is with ca. 1700 inhabitants a small fishing village in the southeast of Iceland. If it fits in time we recommend you to spend a night here. In a supermarket you can replenish your supplies and fill up your car for the next stage.

For Hofn we have at this point three recommendations to go out to eat. In the Ishusid Pizzeria you can get a very tasty pizza within seven minutes. The pizza can be ordered by phone and costs between 2000 ISK and 3600 ISK. (12 – 20 Euro).


If you like to eat fish, the restaurant Pakkhus 1932 is highly recommended. It is said to be one of the best restaurants from Iceland. It’s a bit expensive, but you get to enjoy lobster. You can also find the Pakkus at the harbor.

If you want to spend less we recommend the Hafnarbuðin, which is also close to the harbor. Hafnarbuðin is more a snack bar than a restaurant.

East Fjords – From Hofn to Egilsstadir

From Hofn, you continue your Iceland vacation northward. Your way leads you through the eastern fjords of Iceland. Here the way is the goal. We do not want to dedicate a separate article to the East Fjords and described in this section what awaits you on the way.

Shortly after Hofn you will find a small Viking village with the connected Viking Cafe. The village was built in 2008 for a US American movie as a backdrop, then unfortunately never used. The entrance fee is ca. 7€. Nearby you can also visit the Stokksnes Lighthouse. Since the lighthouse is on private property, again there is a small fee to pay.

A next possible stop could be the village of BreiðdalsvIk. BreiðdalsvIk lies ca. 160km from Hofn. For the route you should spend approx. 2.Plan 5h. The route is really beautiful and invites to some photo stops. The place has ca. 130 inhabitants. At the Kaufpfielagid Art& Craft Cafe you can get a coffee and a small snack before you go on.

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