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Guide to Iceland

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Frequently Asked Questions

About Nature Tours in Iceland

Most travellers visit Iceland to explore the many and diverse natural marvels that make up the country's landscapes—and nature tours allow you to do just that. These day- and multi-day tours are specially designed to immerse you in Iceland's raw and unbound nature.

1. What are the most popular natural attractions in Iceland?

The most popular attractions to visit from the capital, Reykjavík, are the Golden Circle (a sightseeing route consisting of Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall) and the waterfalls and black sand beaches that adorn Iceland's South Coast towards Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. In the North, you should neither miss the town of Akureyri nor the incredibly scenic Lake Mývatn area—and West Iceland's beautiful Snæfellsnes peninsula deserves a visit any time of the year. Of course, this is a very limited summary, so have a look at our Explore Iceland section and discover more.

2. What is so unique about Icelandic nature?

Iceland’s nature is considered unique because of the multiple contrasting natural elements that make up the island’s unbound landscapes, where rivers run through deserts and fire erupts from ice.

3. What are the main dangers one is faced with when travelling in the Icelandic wilderness?

The Icelandic wilderness can be as dangerous as it is beautiful. The major risks factors are the ever-changing weather patterns and the rough terrains that make up the uninhabited wildlands. Always check the weather forecast before heading out on a journey, and make sure that you are fully prepared for what you are getting yourself into.

4. What is the weather like in Iceland?

The weather in Iceland is moderate, but extremely volatile and can change in an instant. The average temperature in summer (June to August) is around 10°C (50°F) in urban areas, and approximately 0°C (32°F) during the depth of winter (December to February), but the windchill can make it feel much colder. The air does not contain much humidity except when it rains or snows. Outside urban areas (on mountaintops, glaciers and beaches) it is usually colder.

5. What is there to see and do in Iceland besides going on nature tours?

Multiple cultural activities are available all over the country; museums, galleries and theatres are found in every major town, and the capital, Reykjavík, is a hub of music, art, culture and entertainment.

6. What should I wear in Iceland?

It depends on when you visit and what you plan to do. However, you would always be well advised to pack warm and waterproof layers and sturdy footwear.

7. How long is the summer in Iceland?

Icelandic summertime starts in late May and lasts throughout August. It can, however, snow in May in Iceland. During spring, millions of migratory birds visit the island and the cliffs around the country fill up with multiple nesting bird species, including the Arctic Puffin. In autumn—as early as mid-August, in fact—the northern lights can be seen dancing in the sky when the night is dark and cloudless.

8. How long is the winter in Iceland?

According to the old Icelandic calendar months, winter is considered to start in September and end in April. 

9. What are Iceland's daylight hours like?

From mid-May to mid-August there is perpetual daylight in Iceland because the midnight sun only sets for around three hours on average per day. During midwinter, Iceland sees roughly five hours of sunlight per day.

10. Why does the hot water smell strange? Can I drink the tap water in Iceland?

In Iceland, the hot water is only used for cleaning and bathing but not for consumption; it is pumped straight from the ground where it has been warmed by the exposure to the island’s volcanism and it, therefore, smells of sulphur. The cold water, however, is amongst the cleanest in the world and is drunk straight from the tap.

11. Is it safe to drive in Iceland?

Yes, the ring road that encircles the whole island is entirely paved and accessible to any car type, but the maximum speed never exceeds 90 km/h (56 mph). During heavy winter storms, roads might close, so always check the weather forecast before driving in Iceland in winter.

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