Iceland Escorted Tours
Currency: Iceland Krona
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: Tipping is never expected in Iceland, as it is an expensive place to visit – however it is always appreciated.
Iceland - an introduction
The sheer beauty of the Icelandic landscape is just one of the reasons why so many people choose to join Iceland tours. Another draw is that Iceland is the backdrop for popular TV series 'A Game of Thrones' so there has been a steady influx in visitors due to many of the shows fans wanting to see the locations featured on screen. Aside from its TV connections, you’ll find plenty of gushing geysers, hot springs and stunning waterfalls all adding up to making this country a great place to visit.
Iceland is a perfect destination for those of you looking for an adventure as there are plenty of activities you can take part in whilst holidaying here. There’s a plethora of things to do in Iceland so try your hand at whitewater rafting in Jökulsá-Austari or perhaps go on a hiking adventure through the awe-inspiring canyons of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park where you can see one of Europe’s most powerful waterfalls. Iceland is famous for its fire and ice and you can experience both on your coach holiday at the Kverkfjöll Caves. If you’d like to see the lava flows and rainbow-coloured mountains of Landmannalaugar, you can by joining a multi-day hike but if you don’t have the time, take a short sightseeing flight. See if you can spot whales in Húsavík, take a walk up the Svínafellsjökull glacier passing stunning blue ice to Skaftafell or watch the explosive eruptions of the geysers in Strokkur – something for everyone!
Do not leave Iceland without visiting Reykjavik, the capital city full of quaint cafes, stylish restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Culture vultures will have plenty of museums and galleries to explore full to bursting of Viking history. Dance the night away and enjoy the kaleidoscope music scene that this delightful capital city has to offer the intrepid traveller. If you’re feeling brave and fancy joining a wild pub-crawl, you should take part in the famous Friday-night Runtur which has the aim of frequenting as many bars and nightclubs in one night! After such a heavy night out, visit the Blue Lagoon Iceland – one of the country’s most famous thermal pools.
If you are planning to take escorted tours to Iceland, it is worth noting that Iceland weather is subarctic and the temperatures are likely to remain cool no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Summer months between June and August are the best times to visit with the average temperature peaking at 13°C. Autumn is generally cold and wet between September and October. The winter months from November to March tend to be very cold, dark and damp with January being the coldest month to visit with temperatures only reaching 2°C. Iceland in springtime can be quite pleasant as it is generally dry and bright.
Iceland touring packages typically include; return coach travel or flights, accommodation in a good standard hotel, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the resort you’re visiting. You will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy some traditional Icelandic meals during your holiday as the board basis tends to be Bed and Breakfast or Half Board.
Things to do
Iceland is a stunning place to explore with a number of great attractions and things to do, here are some ideas of what is available:
When in Iceland, one of the best attractions is a Whale Watching cruise/tour. Year round, you can explore the seas surrounding Reykjavik where you can possibly see humpback whales, minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. You might even be lucky enough to see the famous orca whales (also known as killer whales) in their natural environment.
One of the most visited attractions in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa. The steaming waters are part of a lava formation, located in a lava field. The waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur which are supposed to be good for the skin and have curative powers.
As Iceland has a high level of volcanic activity, it is home to some of the world’s greatest geysers. They are located all over the island, many in Haukadalur. The Strokkur geyser erupts every 5 to 8 minutes and when it does it hurls boiling water around 30 metres in the air. Geysers have become a major attraction for tourists visiting Iceland in addition to its spectacular scenery.
Formerly known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights have long enchanted visitors to Iceland. As the night sky lights up with dazzling shades of green and sometimes pink, become transfixed by this strange natural phenomenon. It is thought that the best time to see this rare sight is around midnight, be sure to escape city lights as they will give out a lot of light pollution. Obviously, there is no guarantee to seeing this strange phenomena, the weather has to be right but fingers crossed it'll be perfect for you!
Thinking of travelling to Germany? Check out the average temperatures for when you plan to visit courtesy of BBC Weather
Tips & Advice
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Iceland take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Before travelling to Iceland you should contact your GP to check whether you need any vaccinations or preventive measures.
Prior to visiting Iceland you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card isn’t a substitute for medical or travel insurance, however it will enable you to access state provided medical treatment should it become necessary throughout your trip. Any treatment given is on the same terms as Icelandic nationals. The EHIC does not cover on-going medical treatment, medical repatriation or non-urgent treatment, which is why it is always necessary to ensure you have suitable travel insurance and funds which can cover the cost of treatment or possible repatriation.
Should you require emergency medical assistance during your trip dial 112 to ask for an ambulance. If you are sent to a medical facility for treatment you should immediately contact your insurance or medical provider to inform them.
Sometimes anti-social behaviour and petty theft can occur, particularly around bars which are open late at night in downtown Reykjavik. Always take the necessary precautions and avoid leaving valuables lying around.
Local Laws and Customs
Never become involved with drugs of any class. Possession of even small quantities can lead to hefty fines and/or imprisonment. Using or importing the narcotic plant Khat is strictly prohibited.
Like in the UK, smoking is banned in public places. Anyone caught smoking will be asked to leave and could possibly be fined.
In Iceland, you don’t have to carry your passport with you, however it is sensible to keep some form of identification on you. Also ensure that your next of kin details are completed on the back of your passport.
Whale meat is available to be purchased in Iceland, however its importation into the UK/EU is illegal. Any whale meat which is imported into the UK will result in the goods being seized and possibly a maximum fine of £5,000 in addition to a custodial sentence.
If you are a British Citizen, British National Overseas or British Overseas Territory Citizen you will not need a visa when staying up to 3 months. Any other type of British national will need a Schengen visa which is valid in order to enter Iceland.
Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). British Citizens are entitled to work and live in Iceland with a work/residence permit, which you can get from the Directorate of Immigration (Tel:510-5400).
Your passport should be valid for at least a 3 month period from the date you enter Iceland.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETD) are accepted for entry and exit from Iceland and also airside transit.
Any other nationality looking to visit the Iceland must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
To get more information about visiting Iceland you can check out the tourist board website at visiticeland.com