Iceland: dismantling the myths

When you look at the photographs of Iceland, it seems that these are frames from a science fiction film – the landscape seems so unreal. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are many legends about such a magical place – true and not very true. We figured out what is worth believing and what is not.

В  Iceland is always cold

In fact, even in winter it is not as cold here as many people imagine. The average temperature during the darkest winter months here rarely drops below 0°C. But due to the strong wind and humidity, it may seem that the  the street is colder.

Must-haves in winter: a good down jacket or ski jacket, hat, scarf, gloves, sweater, thermal underwear, woolen socks and waterproof shoes with good tread, and ideally purchase anti-icing pads.

In summer, the average temperature fluctuates between 10-15°C, at night, especially in the plateau region and in the north, it can get really cold. It often rains and is very humid.

Masthev in summer: raincoat, waterproof jacket, rubber boots. Thermal underwear is worth taking if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. And, of course, trekking boots.

Important:  The weather here changes very quickly, literally every 20-30 minutes. Therefore, it is worth dressing in layers so that, if necessary, take things off if it gets hot and vice versa.

Iceland: Debunking the Myths

The Blue Lagoon

It's very expensive in Iceland 

Unfortunately, this is true. Prices in Iceland are among the highest in Europe, so you can’t organize a budget trip. Not counting the cost of the hotel, a minimum of 50 € will be spent on travel per day. The price for car rental starts from 100 €  per day + gasoline for a small car like Toyota Yaris or Corolla, & nbsp; Hyundai i10 or Fiat Tipo.  And from 250 € for a camper or van. Gasoline – € 2.185 per liter. Lunch in a cafe without alcohol will cost from 30 €, accommodation in a guesthouse – from 40 €. But the memories of the trip are priceless. 

Iceland: Debunking the Myths

The best way to travel around Iceland is by jeep

You can pay by card everywhere

Yes! You can pay with Visa and MasterCard cards anywhere: in shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, even in camping, the manager will come with a payment terminal. By the way, at most self-service gas stations, in principle, you can only pay by card. 

Important: Russian cards do not work now.  

But it is worth remembering that the official currency of Iceland is the Icelandic kroner. The coins are called Eire. Of course, payment in euros will be accepted, but your bank will most likely make a double currency exchange (rubles-euro-crowns) because of which the exchange rate will not be the most pleasant. 

You can exchange currency at the airport, bank branches, exchange offices (the largest network here is The Change Group) and even in many hotels. Usually the commission for the exchange is from 2 to 5 €.

You can spend the night only in a tent

There are many options for staying here: there are hotels, guesthouses, and huts. The most famous hotel chain in the country is Fosshotel. It consists of nine hotels that are located near popular tourist destinations in the country. The fashionable Icelandair are located in major cities of the country and are famous for their Scandinavian style in the interior. If you want something more interesting, then in Iceland & nbsp; you can find a Viking-style hotel, bubble hotels, hotels with their own observatory where you will be woken up to watch the northern lights, and hotels surrounded by hot springs.

For a more homely atmosphere, you should go to guest houses and farms that host guests. In the latter, you will be able to get acquainted with the lifestyle of local residents, try the local cuisine and even go fishing, hunting or riding horses.

Iceland: Debunking the Myths

View from the tent window

But still, mostly travelers come to Iceland to enjoy the pure and virgin nature. And it is better to succeed in camping – there are many of them, about 200 in the whole country. And, as you already understood, prices in Iceland are high, so budget camping in the top among travelers was not just for nothing.

There are only glaciers in Iceland 

Glaciers occupy 11% of the total area of ​​Iceland. Almost all of them are located in the southern and central part of the country, where the most precipitation falls. However, almost all the attractions here are really natural: & nbsp; geysers,  volcano, valleys, lava beaches, rugged fjord coastlines and blue water geothermal pools.

Iceland: Exploring the Myths

Cape Stoksnes

Iceland has weird food

Very! Where else can you find shark jerky, ginger whale, pickled seal fins, and a burnt sheep's head. Fortunately, in addition to this, there is a lot of food that is much more familiar to us. The island is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, so there are many dishes in Icelandic cuisine  from fish: salmon, pike and especially cod. & nbsp;

The meat here is mostly lamb. Be sure to try the famous warming Icelandic meat soup, kyotsupa, made from lamb, root vegetables and onions. The king of dairy products is skyr, the traditional Icelandic yogurt. It is thicker and creamier than we are used to, and it also contains more milk: it takes about 400 ml per jar.

In Iceland, rye bread is very popular, which is cooked in volcanic soil. It is dark in color and  sweetish aftertaste, it is usually eaten with butter and fish. 

Now it is impossible to get into Iceland

Tourists from Russia are allowed to enter Iceland. There are no covid restrictions in the country anymore, you don’t even need to wear masks. Any Schengen visa is suitable for visiting Iceland. But getting to the country is difficult. There is no direct regular communication with Russia, you will have to fly with at least two transfers: in Casablanca and Paris or Milan and Baku/Istanbul. & nbsp;

Iceland is an amazing country, like from a fantastic movie. The Icelandic language is unusual even for other inhabitants of Scandinavia, it is still the land of Vikings and fishermen, the land of wind and volcanoes. 

It's amazing, but it's also a country of musicians (remember Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Olafur Arnalds and other enchanters). For an Icelandic noir vibe, watch Katla with endless volcanic beaches. 

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