I have been planning to travel to Iceland from past few years and finally managed to make a trip to the land of Fire and Ice last week. You understand the true meaning of ‘Fire and Ice’ when you land in this beautiful country.
I flew with Icelandair from London Heathrow (LHR) to Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF). It is a 3 hour flight and the in seat entertainment system had good choice of films to spend the 3 hours on board. Icelandair is a cashless flight, non alcoholic beverages are served free, but you can buy food and alcoholic beverages on the flight.
The inflight magazine Stopover had some good tips on Iceland for first timers like me. I specially loved the poem which is a nice way of telling travellers what to do and what not to do while in Iceland.
I learned on the flight that Iceland is the 3rd windiest place in the world and hardly anyone lives on the 1st and 2nd. I understood what this meant when I walked out of the terminal building towards my pick up car. It is so windy that it you can literally get pushed in the wind direction. They say in Iceland, when you open a car door, its best to hold the door because of the wind and if its a rental car, the car company will thank you for it.
My flight was on time and the first view I saw of Iceland from the flight was a very rugged landscape and covered mostly with snow and ice.
The distance from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik city centre is around 49 kms and it takes around 45 mins to an hour to reach the city centre by car or bus. There is shuttle bus service, which you can book online before travel you travel or even on the flight.
Most people in Iceland live in and around the capital Reykjavik. I stayed in a hotel in the city centre and most places around the city can be explored on foot.
The weather can change drastically within minutes. You can walk into a snow storm and few minutes later you can see the sun shining all over again.
The high season to travel to Iceland is from May-Sep but it is a beautiful country in any season and Iceland now gets visitors even in winter.
I personally chose to travel in February to get a change to view the Northern Lights but as we all know it is a natural phenomena and no one has control over the weather. I managed to see very mild glimpses of the famous dancing lights. I also learnt on the night that what our naked eyes cannot capture, the powerful lenses of the high end cameras can. So despite looking at the sky at the greyish movements, I could see the variety of colours on other tourist’s camera screens and it was no doubt a fabulous experience in the dark, bitterly cold and extremely windy midnight somewhere on the south western Iceland coast.
I managed to see some wonderful places of natural beauty in Iceland. I will be sharing further posts on my Iceland experiences soon.
Helpful Hints and Infos:
- Everyone in Iceland speaks English so language is not a problem.
- You can drink water straight from the tap and it tastes so fresh.
- Tipping is not prevalent in Iceland but you can if you like to do so.
- Northern lights trips are available everyday at 8 pm and 9 pm but are confirmed to all hotel receptions around 5 pm whether it is on or cancelled due to weather conditions. The trip can be rebooked or money refunded.
- All tours are dependent on weather conditions and can get cancelled but you can rebook.
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