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Iceland

Iceland literally bursts with natural attractions; active volcanoes, geysers and thermal pools hint at the explosive force here whilst great glaciers continue to carve and sculpt the dramatic landscape and the Northern Lights put on a surreal show in the skies above. [See Iceland itinerary ideas]

Reykjavik, the world's most northerly capital, is a cultural powerhouse, with art galleries, museums and a coffee culture to rival anywhere. At night the city jumps to a vibrant music scene whilst on weekends the locals maintain the tradition of the runtur, the legendary Icelandic pub-crawl.

Outside the capital, the Blue Lagoon, set amidst a black lava field in the heart of the volcanic wilderness is a popular attraction for people who want to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich waters.

To see the main sights take a tour of the Golden Circle, which encompasses the gushing pools of Geysir, the giant double waterfall of Gulfoss and the rugged rift valley at Pingvellir, site of the ancient parliament, the Althing.

The more adventurous should travel to the western fjords to stand on Europe's most westerly point and see sea birds in vast numbers. Cruise to the Westman Islands to find puffins though. Walkers should take the opportunity to trek on Vatnajokull, Europe's largest ice cap, although a skidoo safari here or dogsled trips on the icecaps at Myrdalsjokull are marginally less taxing.

WEXAS Travel brochure for Iceland

Wildlife

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.


When to go

Weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. Blue and sunny days can turn grey and foggy in a very short time, so if you're trekking, be prepared for all types of weather and take a map and a compass.

The high season runs between June and August when, at times, it's light for 24 hours of the day, which improves the local mood no end. Warmer weather opens up mountain roads and trails that are closed during the winter months and Icelanders leave the towns and head from the countryside homes and lakeside cabins.

The winter months, October to April, are dark and can be bitterly cold. Heavy snow closes interior roads and blizzards and whiteouts can occur. Though technically the low season, some visitors are happy to brave the bad weather in the hope of a clear night and a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
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Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.


Practical Information

Capital - Reykjavik

Size - 103,000 sq km

Language - Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German

Population - 315,281

Religion - Lutheran Church of Iceland (official), Roman Catholic, Reykjavik Free Church, Hafnarfijorour Free Church

Currency - Icelandic króna

Time zone - GMT +0

Flight time from the UK - 2.5 hours

Festivals

Late January to early February  - Þorrablót, Viking mid-winter feast

February - Winter Lights festival

March - Beer Day, celbration of the day in 1989 when prohibition in Iceland was overturned 

April - Sumardagurinn Fyrsti, celebration of the first day of summer

May - Rekjavik Arts Festival

June - Sjómannadagurinn, Seafarers' Day

July - Listasumar á Akureyri, ten week summer arts festival in the nothern capital of Akureyri

August - Reykjavik Jazz Festival

September - Reykjavik Film Festival

October - Iceland Airways, festival dedicated to new music

November - Dagar Myrkurs, celebration of the onset of winter in East Iceland

Visas

Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports must be valid for the full duration of your stay and for at least three months beyond the proposed stay.

Money

The Iceladic króna (kr) is the official currency. Coins come in denominations 1kr, 5kr, 10kr, 100 kr; notes in denominations of 500kr, 1000kr, 2000kr and 5000kr.

ATMs are available at all times of the day in Rekjavik. Withdraw cash before leaving the capital as access to cash machines in more rural areas may be limited. There will likely be a small charge for foreign transactions, but exchange rates at ATMs are generally as good as you'll find anywhere else. Be sure to notify your bank of your travels to avoid them from blocking your card when an international transaction is made. Credit and bankcards are accepted at most shops, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Regions [10]

Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Iceland, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.


Itinerary ideas [32]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Iceland. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Northern Lights in style

From £1740 pp incl. flights
Escorted tour Winter Activity & adventure

Escorted tours can be a wonderful way of seeing a country without having to worry about finding your own way. Experienced guides give fascinating insights into …

Aurora Adventure, Iceland

From £870 pp incl. flights
Winter Natural world Activity & adventure

The Northern Lights are one of nature's most spectacular phenomena, a mesmerising light show of dancing electrons in the night skies of northern Europe. This …

Jewels of north Iceland 8-day self-drive

From £1285 pp incl. flights
Self-drive Natural world Wildlife

This exclusive new eight-day self-drive tour focuses purely on the north of Iceland, with return flights into Akureyri via Keflavik that allow for lots of time …

New Year in Reykjavik

From £845 pp incl. flights
Short break

When in Iceland at New Year, do as the Icelanders do; eat, drink and be merry! The New Year nightlife in Reykjavik has to be seen to be believed and whether …

Iceland Circle

From £1725 pp incl. flights
Self-drive Natural world Wildlife

This is the trip our Iceland specialists always recommend to independent travellers looking to get the most from this breathtaking country. Equipped with a good …

Iceland and the Northern Lights

From £715 pp incl. flights
Natural world History & culture Winter

Experience the best of Iceland's winter on this great-value, five-day escorted tour to Reykjavik and spectacular countryside of southern Iceland. During the day …

Reykjavik Adventure

From £835 pp incl. flights
Short break Natural world Wildlife

Reykjavik and its surrounds offer a wealth of exciting activities to enthrall even the most adventurous of travellers. From powerful geysers to towering …

North Iceland Aurora Adventure

Winter Natural world City

Iceland is a geological wonderland, a volcanic island of towering glaciers, spouting geysers, majestic waterfalls and ice-filled lagoons. In the winter months …

Inside the Volcano – Iceland

From £825 pp incl. flights
Short break Natural world Wildlife

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand inside the crater of a volcano? Now you don't have to wonder any longer as this incredible four-day …

Southern Iceland self-drive

Natural world Activity & adventure Self-drive

Equipped with a good quality hire car, road map and suggested itinerary - and with all your accommodation safely booked in advance - this weeklong trip is …

Volcanoes & Glaciers Escorted tour

From £1125 pp incl. flights
Natural world

Escorted tours of Iceland can be a wonderful way of seeing the country without having to worry about finding your own way as well as ensuring you don't miss out …

Whales & puffins in Iceland

Wildlife Natural world

Iceland's wildlife is best seen in summer, when humpback, minke and giant blue whales can be spotted off the coast at Reykjavik and Húsavík, and millions of …

Reykjavik and the Golden Circle

Short break Natural world

Iceland is a country in the making, a vast volcanic landscape which the forces of nature are still sculpting away. Its natural wonders include active volcanoes, …

Journey to Sagaland

Short break Self-drive Spa

The Sagas of Icelanders, a series of historic prose written in the 13th and 14th centuries, tell the story of some of the country's earliest settlers and were, …

Arctic gems escorted tour in Iceland

Escorted tour Natural world History & culture

See the best of Iceland whilst travelling at a leisurely pace on a circular tour that focuses on the country's natural wonders and landmarks. You'll also be …

Best of South and West Iceland 8-day self-drive

Self-drive Wildlife Natural world

This eight-day classic fly-drive holiday takes in the major natural wonders of the south and west of Iceland. You'll begin your journey in the capital Reykjavik …

Snaefellsnes and the West Fjords 8-day self-drive

Self-drive Natural world Wildlife

If you're a second-time visitor to Iceland or a first-time visitor keen to get a little more off-the-beaten-track, this eight-day self-drive visits the scenic …

Highlands & lowlands of Iceland 9-day self-drive

City Natural world Activity & adventure

Packed with adventure, this comprehensive nine-day self-drive tour offers the chance to drive on two of Iceland's remote highland tracks, only accessible during …

Iceland’s Grand Countryside Escorted tour

City Natural world Wildlife

With so much on offer in Iceland, from dramatic volcanic landscapes and towering glaciers to majestic waterfalls and incredible wildlife, this comfortable …

Northern Lights escorted photography tour in Iceland

Escorted tour Natural world City

This eight-day escorted tour through the west of Iceland is the perfect winter adventure for amateur photographers and nature lovers, especially those who dream …

Hidden Powers of Southern Iceland

From £840 pp incl. flights
Natural world History & culture City

Snow-laden mountains, towering volcanic peaks, icebergs, black lava beaches and bubbling geothermal pools characterise Iceland's dramatic winter landscape. This …

Reykjavik & Whalefjord

History & culture Natural world

If sitting in a geothermal hot tub watching the Northern Lights sounds like your perfect start to a romantic break, then this is the trip for you. Over the …

Ion Hotel & Reykjavik

Self-drive Natural world Spa

Iceland is deservedly known for its dramatic landscapes and abundance of geological wonders. This five-day tailor-made self-drive tour combines a two-night stay …

Hotel Ranga and the Blue Lagoon

Self-drive Spa Natural world

Iceland is a country of contrasts where action and adventure await around every corner, yet total rest and relaxation are always close at hand. This five-day …

Iceland Explorer

When it comes to environmental wonders, there’s simply nowhere in the world like the top of the world. This trip brings you right up close to lava fields, …

Local Living Iceland - Northern Lights & Reykjavík

It’s one thing to look at photos of the majestic Northern Lights – it’s definitely another to see them for yourself while living in Iceland for five days. …

Trekking in Iceland

Iceland is one of those rare places on Earth that feels more science-fiction than fact, even when you’re actually there. Gushing geysers, bubbling hot …

Places to stay [4]

The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Iceland. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Iceland, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Hotel Borg, Reykjavik

Special offer Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
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WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).

Despite what the name might suggest, it was not in fact a tennis player but a wrestler who in 1930 commissioned this landmark four-star art deco hotel, …

Iceland Express Fly-Drive

Iceland is a country in the making, a vast volcanic landscape, which the forces of nature are still sculpting away. Home to a myriad of natural wonders …

Hotel Frón, Reykjavik

Standard

What does Standard mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).

Hotel Frón is a modern and friendly hotel situated in the heart of Reykjavik on the main shopping street, Laugavegur. From its bright blue façade to its …

Hotel Reykjavik Centrum

Special offer Superior

What does Superior mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).

Located in a newly renovated building on one of Reykjavik's oldest streets, this superior hotel really couldn't be better located, sitting right in the centre …

Offers [3]

WEXAS negotiates with a wealth of travel companies, airlines, cruise operators, hotels and tour operators to bring you the very best travel offers. For great value or a range of add-on benefits, review the list of offers below.

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Just back from: Iceland

Iceland is a wonderful country to visit at any time of year, but in the winter months, when the … [Read more about Just back from: Iceland]

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