Iceland – Travel Tips

Etiquette

  • Hot-pots and Pools Strip and shower thoroughly before entering a hot-pot or pool.
  • Shoes Remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.
  • Babies Leave your pram and baby outside when visiting boutiques and cafes (yes, you read that correctly).
  • Smoking Don’t smoke in public places, bars or restaurants.
  • Tipping Don’t feel obliged to tip in restaurants – it’s not customary.
  • Birdwatching Don’t stand near the edges of bird cliffs – lie on your stomach so as to not spook the wildlife.
  • Off-roading Don’t drive off-road.
  • Drones Don’t use drones in national parks.
  • Closures Don’t ignore signs that advise that roads or sites are closed – this is due to safety reasons, and you endanger yourself and others by ignoring them.

Getting Around

Air

Iceland has an extensive network of domestic flights, which locals use almost like buses. In winter a flight can be the only way to get between destinations, but weather at this time of year can play havoc with schedules.

Bicycle
Cycling is an increasingly popular way to see the country’s landscapes, but cyclists should be prepared for harsh conditions.

Bus
Iceland has a shrinking network of long-distance bus routes, with services provided by a handful of main companies. The free Public Transport in Iceland map has an overview of routes; pick it up at tourist offices or view it online at www.publictransport.is

Car & Motorcycle
Driving in Iceland gives you unparalleled freedom to discover the country and, thanks to (relatively) good roads and (relatively) light traffic, it’s all fairly straightforward. Be warned car rental in Iceland is expensive.

Campervan Hire
Combining accommodation and transport costs into campervan rental is a booming option – and has extra appeal in summer, as it allows for some spontaneity (unlike every other form of accommodation, campsites don’t need to be prebooked). Travelling by campervan in winter is possible, but I don’t recommend it – there are fewer facilities open for campers at this time, and weather conditions may make it unsafe.

Train
There is no train network in Iceland