Postcards from Iceland II
Where do you plan to venture this year? If you enjoy the crisp and slightly grim beauty of the North, then a trip to Iceland has to be at the top of your list. See part II of the "living" postcards our co-founder Kairi captured and get her tips on visiting Iceland.
Plan enough time. At least a couple of days for Reykjavik, and then a week is the bare minimum for driving all around Iceland (better make it two). If you have less time, then pick a smaller area to explore. Expect most drives to take longer than you plan—there could be roadwork, difficult weather conditions, or too many places that just need a stopover.
Know when to go. Summer might (but doesn't necessarily) mean better luck with the weather. Some interesting species (like puffins) are present only in summer months, there is the midnight sun and the long days, most hiking trails are open when it's peak season, and there are a lot of events and festivals happening. The down side of visiting in the summer: Iceland gets incredibly overcrowded with tourists in the high season, the rates for accommodation and car rent go up, and you have to book everything well in advance.
Know where to go. Iceland is a very expensive country but having a plan can save you a lot of money. For example, renting a 4x4 is not an absolute must if you don't plan to drive on the central highland F roads. You can do the whole Ring Road nicely with a regular car. So check out the map and find out in advance if you'll encounter any F roads.
Go the extra mile. "It's just another crater / beach / cave / etc. If you've seen one, you've seen them all." Don't let this thought even cross your mind—they are anything but the same! Go the extra mile and don't expect everything to be laid out in front of you. If there is a trail at a site then take it—many places are well worth several-hour hikes.
Don't do anything stupid. Last but not least, don't do anything stupid as Icelandic nature and weather can punish pretty harshly. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and road info and of course do everything you can to not harm the delicate and fragile natural environment. That's pretty much it —now get planning!