The Byrne Notice

The Five Most Important Things You Should Know Before Traveling To Iceland

Iceland Travel 

1. Pack for all weather conditions
The key word we took away is ‘layering’. Pack thermal tanks and long-sleeved T-shirts, hoodies and hat and scarf and gloves. Pack waterproof pants and a raincoat. Do NOT go to Iceland without a raincoat. We wore this amazing poncho from Scotch & Soda. Make sure your boots don’t let in water. We hiked a glacier and started out with gloves, a fur trim hat and four layers. At the end of it, we were in a T-shirt. Make sure you have a waterproof backpack, too. Oh, and the glacier isn’t much colder than the city, so don’t worry about that.

2. It’s Very Expensive

A bottle of water is around $3. Not sure what else to say here except don’t order everything on the menu and stay somewhere you can make breakfast and lunch every day to save on restaurant costs. We stayed at the Black Pearl apartments, which are really well-located in the center of town, so we didn’t need to take one taxi. They have full kitchens with full hotel housekeeping service so your Nespresso is replenished daily.

3. The Touristy Things Are The Best Things

From the incredible moon-meets-Lord of the Rings landscape to the Northern Lights, you absolutely must fit in as many geological wonders as you can. We used Noken to plan our entire trip. Everything is pre-booked ahead of time and you then choose what you want to do on any given day, which is most helpful as you may want to base your choices on the weather forecast. It’s like super organized pre-planning, but flexible so you can be spontaneous. It also tells you how long the car ride is and details what order to do things so you can maximize your time. It’s like a concierge in your phone.

4. The Water Is Amazing

Glacier water is so crisp and clean, even from the tap so if you want to save on bottled water you can. Bonus: you will notice your hair feels incredibly soft and smooth. You will have great hair days every day of your vacation.

5. The puffins are only there in the summer months.
We missed the puffins by just a couple of days, but in nesting season (May-August) you can visit them in their natural habitat on the South Coast. There’s a boat tour option, or just drive and hike to the cliffs. We were lucky enough to meet a blind rescue puffin called Mundi, who was found with a bloody beak and head trauma on the road. Poor little thing. Now he lives a happy life with a nice couple in Reykjavik. Here’s his super cute Instagram.

-- Fiona Byrne

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