By all means GO. A few things to keep in mind: food can be pricey, as are hotels. I stayed in hostels, which if you take your whole family might not work out as well. I went in 2015, made it as far as Isafjordjur, where I kayaked fjords and rode horses (again). Then I went butt over teakettle down a set of 32 concrete stairs and had to be airlifted home. I am going back to finish it. Several things to keep in mind: first, plan your airfare at least six months in advance to get the best fare. They are at least HALF of what you’d pay closer in (when I went that was $600 vs $1200). The costs of everyday items might shock you but remember it’s Iceland and they have to import a great deal. I researched as much as I could and still didn’t know that when I got there I’d be able to find anything I wanted at a supermarket in Reykjavik. Pricey, but available. Nearly everyone lives in Reykjavik. The rest live in small towns that are sparsely dotted along the Ring Road. There are untold gorgeous places to explore. Most folks go between June and August, when the temps rise to a shocking perhaps 70 degrees (or thereabout) and even if it’s in the 50s, Icelanders will wear wife beaters to enjoy the relatively warmer air. However if you brave the road in March or even September you have a far greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Its’ a lot colder, but that might just be worth it. DO ride horses. Everyone in Iceland rides. I’m not kidding. Virtually everyone does, and you should too. They are fabulous. Do your research and plan to spend a day out on an Icelandic horse (do NOT call them ponies, despite their size, they are formidable). The easy sweet ride (tolt, is what they call the gait) will suck you in forever even if you have never ridden before. They are intensely sweet natured, love people, and have no natural predators, so they are unique in all the world. I adore them. So will you. Take your own supply of munchies, like KIND bars and the like, for your drive. These things tend to be very expensive and it’s easier to pack them along.

All along the Ring Road are tourist sites. If you plan well, you can avoid most of the crush (certain hot springs very close to Reykjavik, for example). The farther out you get, the better the view, the fewer people. Although, keep in mind, my expeirence is three years old. DO stop and stay in the smallest of fishing towns.

Most folks speak at least a little English. Icelandic is by far the most impossible language to learn and speak, so unless you are really really dedicated, don’t even try. It’s an hilarious language to listen to or try to read. I loved hearing it but couldn’t make heads nor tails.

Gas is expensive. Hell everything is. However, the landscape is second to none. Do go. Take your princess. Do it before Iceland becomes just another Disney World that has far too many tourists and candy wrappers and crap to clean up. I am heading back soonest for that reason. Also, DO make friends. I did. That’s one reason I’m heading back.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store