The Best Hiking Boots for Iceland | Katlatrack

The Best Hiking Boots for Iceland | Katlatrack

Finding a good pair of hiking boots can sometimes be better than making a new friend!  You laugh, but I’m serious.  After all some people spend hours if not days in their hiking boots trekking for miles or hours.  Especially when you are taking a trip to Iceland.  Having proper shoes that can make or break a day adventuring around.

Choosing the best hiking boots for Iceland can be a lot of research and can be oh-so overwhelming.  But don’t fret!  We have created a guide that covers everything you need to consider when buying new hiking boots.  Fair to say, our Katlatrack adventure tours team is well versed on choosing the best hiking boots for Iceland.  Come along with us as we share with you our two cents on the topic!

Will I need hiking boots in Iceland?

Depending on the kind of Iceland itinerary, you are planning you may or may not need hiking boots.  For example, if you’re a city explorer, just wanting to come to Reykjavik to experience the foodie spots and nightlife and do not want to run around in nature then your Iceland packing list could get away with no boots.

But if you intend on discovering Iceland’s magnificent countryside and natural wonders, you need to invest in a pair.  Why?  To keep your feet supported, comfortable, dry, and you adventuring on all types of landscapes safely!

Welcome to Your Guide to the Best Hiking Boots for Iceland

Choosing what type of hiking shoes you need will depend on the activities you plan on doing.  For example, if you are just walking to and from the mainstream tourist locations like Gullfoss, Thingvellir National Park, Seljalandsfoss, and Skogafoss Waterfalls then a pair of trail running shoes will suit.  Whereas, if you’re heading out on a full day hike or into an Iceland ice cave with us, you’ll see that we are all likely in backpacking or mountaineering boots.  All that said, we would love to walk you through the different types of hiking boots for Iceland adventures to consider!

Hiking Sandals

Only in during the summer months in Iceland would we suggest bringing along a pair of hiking sandals to Iceland.  The main use would be crossing rivers in them because they offer traction and dry fast versus water logging your boots.  Our favorite brands for Keen hiking sandals.

Trail Running Shoes

If your days in Iceland are going to be spent going to tourist locations and hiking around less than 30 minutes at time, then trail running shoes may be a good fit for you.

The Pros of Trail Running Shoes:

  • They are very lightweight.
  • Comfortable like a pair of running shoes.
  • Fast drying.

The Cons of Trail Running Shoes:

  • Not long lasting or durable.
  • No ankle support.
  • The grip is not suitable for winter hiking conditions (snow or ice).
  • You cannot attach crampons to them.

Our favorite trail running shoes for outdoor activities in Iceland follow:

  1. La Sportiva
  2. Salomon

The Best Hiking Boots for Iceland Pro Tip:  If planning short hikes during your Iceland itinerary, then wearing these plus a pair of Sealskinz socks will keep you going strong during summertime in Iceland!

Hiking Shoes

Wait a second, are you confused by the title?  Believe it or not there is a difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots!  Let us educate you on the differences…  Basic difference is that hiking shoes, are basically stronger “trail running shoes” because they offer a stiffer reinforced support throughout the shoe and a bit better traction to tackle more rugged terrain.  In contrast, a hiking boot will offer ankle support and a perfect choice for sloped or longer trail hiking.

Hiking Shoes Pros:

  • The midsole and body of the shoe is stiffer.
  • Breaths
  • If waterproof, they are suitable for Iceland in winter.
  • Great for rougher terrain day-hiking.

Hiking Shoes Cons:

  • Longer to dry.
  • Not good for several day hiking with wet conditions.
  • Not suitable for steep hikes or hard snow / icy terrain.

Selecting the best hiking shoes for Iceland may begin at your favorite recreational outdoor store or online.  Our favorite when we’ve traveled in the US is REI.  They by far, have the best selection of hiking shoes for Iceland.  Brands like Arc’teryx, Merrell, La Sportiva, Oboz, Salomon, Asolo will all withstand the test of time and visiting Iceland!

Iceland Hiking Boots

A pair of proper hiking boots can be the difference between a happy day trekking or a dreaded day filled with blisters.  Spending a few extra bucks to ensure you have hiking boots that will support your ankles, feet, last for more than a few hikes, and allow you to reach tops of mountains without batting an eyelash.

Furthermore, hiking boots is what we suggest you to wear while glacier hiking with us to an ice cave.  Why?  They offer higher support to stabilize your ankles and also allow our crampons to flawlessly be put on to them.  Whereas if you did hiking shoes, the crampons would make your shoes collapse inward.

Pros of Hiking Boots:

  • Insulated and warmer.
  • Waterproof hiking boots for Iceland (most models are).
  • Thorough ankle support and extra stability
  • Suitable for longer hikes (scree slops, difficult terrain, and fresh snow).

Cons of Hiking Boots:

  • Do not allow you to be as mobile as the above options.
  • Heavier and do not breathe or dry fast.

Because you want your hiking boots to last more than a trip or two, it’s important to invest.  Our favorite brands of the best hiking boots for Iceland follow:

  1. Scarpa Hiking Boots
  2. Salomon Hiking Boots
  3. La Sportiva Hikers
  4. Merrell Hiking Boots
  5. Asolo

Backpacking Boots

Likely, you’re wondering what the difference if between hiking boots and backpacking boots, right?  Good question and we are thrilled to enlighten you more on that topic!  As you noticed in our description above, hiking boots offer ankle support and are likely more waterproof.  While backpacking boots are meant for multi-day hiking, and offer better balance overall in a boot.

Some of the pros and cons of backpacking boots follow below.  Note: We do not recommend these for hiking in Iceland unless you truly are running around with a backpack on your back for several days.

Good hiking boots for Iceland can mean a lot of things to different people.  So choosing the best hiking boots for Iceland really depends on what you intend on doing on your adventure.  Spend some time weighing the pros and cons to ensure you select the best for the terrain your trekking on.

Backpacking Boots Pros:

  • They offer durability and protect your feet well.
  • Ideal boots for winter hiking conditions.
  • Higher cut on your feet allowing for full support of ankles, stability, and more motion control. Basically overall better balance for you!
  • Perfect for off trail hiking or steep mountainous terrain.

Backpacking Boots Cons:

  • They tire your feet quicker than other boot types.
  •  
  • You must spend a longer time “breaking them in.”
  • At sometimes you could become “over confident” and have an ankle injury from the false sense of security they bring.

Many of our previous Vik Iceland ice cave clients have been happy in these at the glacier.  But in our opinion, they may be bit much for our regular tour.  However, for a private tour they would be perfect if you want more time on the glacier discovering other secret ice caves!

Our favorite backpacking boots follow:

  1. Lowa Tibet GTX Backpacking Boots because of the fearless design.
  2. Asolo TPS 520 GV Evo Backpacking Boots because they last across unforgiving terrain, daily!
  3. Scarpa ZG Trek GTX Backpacking Boots for the thoughtful waterproof stable design.

Mountaineering Boots

If you’re interest lies in technical climbing both on mountains and on glaciers then it would be smart to invest in a pair of mountaineering boots.  Here in Iceland, there are many places throughout the country you can technically climb.  Specifically several of our glacier guides wear these to be able to set ropes in and outside of the ice cave.  For example, they would also do this for safety and to set paths that you will use.  The best mountaineering boots come with pros and cons for sure and here are some thoughts to consider…

Mountaineering Boots Pros:

  • The best boots for challenging conditions both terrain and weather (For instance, glacier adventures and high elevation hiking).
  • Rigid soles to apply technical climbing crampons.
  • High cut on your ankles for the best balance, support, control and overall stability.

Mountaineering Boots Cons:

  • Feel bulky (almost clumsy to some) and less responsive on and off snow or icy conditions.
  • Most expensive outdoor boot out there.
  • Need to be broken in before your big climbs.
  • Takes a long while to dry out.

Hands down the best hiking boots for Iceland mountaineering or ice climbing are Scarpa and La Sportiva.  Specifically following models our team often personally uses:

  1. Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX Mountaineering Boots
  2. La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Mountaineering Boots

Where to buy Iceland Hiking Boots?

Where to find boots for Iceland, can be a loaded question.  Therefore, it is clever to do it in steps so you end up happy.  We’ll start with some helpful tips to consider before buying… Firstly, do not leave buying hiking boots for Iceland for the last minute or when you are here.  Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world and practically everything is imported and taxed at the high rate.  You are much better off buying your hiking boots before you come.

Second, do not buy hiking boots used.  Never ever do this!  Many companies put a material inside of the sole that molds to your foot shape to increase comfort.  Therefore, your foot isn’t going to likely be a match with someone else’s and will cause blisters or irritation to your foot.

Thirdly, the steps you should consider as you figure out the best place to buy your Iceland hiking boots:

  1. Make a list of the activities you will do using the boots.
  2. Determine what type of boot will suit the trip.
  3. Research online the different brands.
  4. Read reviews.
  5. If the brand is sold near you anywhere, jump into a store and try them on!
  6. Figure out where you can get the best price. It’s been our experience that REI Co-op has an incredible selection.  And Amazon, if you are ready to buy a specific brand and model.

How Much to Spend on Hiking Boots for Iceland?

Choosing the best hiking boots for Iceland, is not dependent on price.  Rather, the quality and comfort of the boot you need for the activity you are embarking on.  Meanwhile, it is important we know to have in mind how much you may need to budget for the type of hiking boot you need.  On that same note, we would like to share with you a quick guide on how much to spend on shoes for hiking for your upcoming trip to Iceland.  Ranges follow by type…

  • Hiking Sandals: $50-120 USD
  • Hiking Shoes: $75-200 USD
  • Hiking Boots: $100-350 USD
  • Backpacking Boots: $250-350 USD
  • Mountaineering Boots: $275-625 USD
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How to Clean and Store your Hiking Boots

High pathetically let’s say that you take the plunge and buy new hiking boots… Hang on a sec, now how do you take care of them after you break them in after your hiking adventures in Iceland?  Valuable question!  Allow us to provide some steps to follow:

Step 1: Remove the insoles (Iceland Hiking Boot Tip: If they smell, sprinkle baking soda on them!).

Step 2: Take out the laces.  To wash them, use dish soap and warm water.  Hang dry.

Step 3: Grab a brush and go to town on the outside of the boot removing dirt deposits.

Step 4: Using a tooth brush (soft bristles) and dish soap, gently scrub away!  Hiking Boot Cleaning Tip: You can use a pencil eraser to remove stubborn scuff marks.

Step 5: Wipe away the soap with a wet warm cloth.

Step 6: Time for waterproofing again!  Make sure the boots are dry before applying.

Step 7: Condition your hiking boots with wax or oil depending on the material.

Step 8: Dry your boots away from direct sunlight or extreme heat.

Step 9: Do not put your hiking shoes away until they are completely dry.  Then store them in a cool dry area until you’re ready to adventure again!

Caution: Never put your hiking shoes or boots in the washing machine, you’ll damage them!

Accessories for your Iceland Hiking Boots:

Did you know you can accessorize your hiking boots?  I don’t mean bling them out.  For instance, there are things you can purchase alongside of the best hiking boots for Iceland to make them even more amazing for you.  To illustrate, please read on…

  • Waterproofing Spray – When you first buy your boots, you’ll want to spray them and reapply after you wash them. It’s important to the cleaning and storing process as we alluded to above to ensuring your trekking boots are long lasting! 
  • Oil or Wax – Dependent on if your boots are leather or suede, you’ll need one or the other to condition the outside of the Iceland hiking boot.
  • Sealskinz Socks –The ultimate socks for adventures! If you choose to go the lightweight hiking shoes for Iceland, then pairing them with these is a killer combo!  Imagine crossing rivers and not even feeling your toes get wet!
  • Extra Laces – Not many people consider having an extra set of laces on hand. But if you’re an active hiker, you’ll likely need to change them because of fraying, splitting or breaking.
  • Extra socks – As a general rule of thumb bringing along extra socks while hiking in Iceland is a smart decision. In fact, we often bring two!

Best Hiking Boots for Glacier Adventures

When it comes to picking out the best hiking boots for Iceland glacier adventures, we would suggest formal hiking boots.  Trail running and regular hiking shoes are not comfortable once you slip on our crampons.  Throughout winter in Iceland, we recommend you wear a pair of snow boots for hiking.  Which mainly means that they are insulated against extreme conditions.  Curious about what else to pack for your super jeep adventure?  We’ve previously put together an informative what to pack list!

Hopefully working your way through this thorough advice post on the very best hiking boots for Iceland has educated you.  Specifically also made you more confident in your next purchase of them too!  We dare you to pick your favorite tour and give those new hiking boots a whirl at our amazing offbeat locations!  Lastly, if you really want to be challenged, then book a custom tour with us if you’re into more technical adventures on the glacier.  We’re happy to make sure you get good use out of hiking boots, that’s for sure!!

Your Adventure Awaits,

The Katlatrack Team

The Best Time of Year to Visit Iceland | Katlatrack

The Best Time of Year to Visit Iceland | Katlatrack

Once in a lifetime bucket list trips usually center around traveling to a place that will leave you inspired and stir your soul.  Many people, couples, or families may find that taking road trips exploring a new country or city is the BEST adventure to have.  Whereas others may think climbing to the top of a mountain, witnessing the natural phenomena of the Aurora Borealis, or stepping foot inside of an ice cave is where adventure is found.  No matter what avenue you go down, Iceland will not leave you disappointed.  And today our team would love to share with you the best time of year to visit Iceland!

Choosing the Best Time of Year to Visit Iceland

It’s fair to say that Iceland is the most unpredictable weather place you will ever visit regardless of the time of year you come.  All that said, you’re likely wondering when is best time of year to go to Iceland?  Our answer differs depending on the objective of your trip.  Some folks come to Iceland to chase the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis) whereas others want to get lost among the dynamic and otherworldly landscapes.  For example, ice caves, mountain hiking, lush green waterfalls, lunar landscapes, geothermal hot pots, 360 views, rock formations, caves, the list is truly endless!

Our Katlatrack super jeep team would like to explain what Iceland looks like season by season and month by month.  Maybe then you can decide what time of year sounds ideal to you!

Furthermore, have you heard the saying, “There’s not bad weather, just bad gear?”  Making sure you are ready for Mother Nature is important during wintertime in Iceland.  Checkout our blog post on what to pack for your Iceland super jeep tour while you’re at it!

Visiting Iceland in Winter

Winter in Iceland can be both challenging and invigorating!  Overall in the South of Iceland, we typically get milder winters compared to the North of Iceland.  What does that mean?  Since we are in the Golf Stream we experience temperatures that range from 30 to 42 °F (-1.1°C to 5.6°C).  But the feel like temperature can be much colder because of the wind and storms.  Not to mention the long dark nights of November-March. 

However, the tradeoff is being able to experience the Aurora Borealis and hopefully a wintery wonderland.  If you’re brave enough to endure the winter weather conditions in Iceland, we encourage you to read our previous blog post on weather advice when preparing for your unique Iceland Ice Cave Tour with us!

November in Iceland

During the month of November in Iceland, you can expect significantly less daylight hours than in summer.  At the start of the month we have sunrise happening at 9:10am and sunset 5:10pm with a total of 8 hours of daylight.  Then at the end of the month you could expect more like 5 hours of daylight being sunrise around 10:45am and sunset 3:50pm. 

Rainfall is an average of around 8 inches but in Vik, that can easily translate to light rain to light / freezing rain or snow every day, especially up at the glacier!  If the sun emitted solar flares the days before and the sky is clear there could be a good chance during this month that you are witness to the Northern Lights!  Good luck! 

Iceland during December and Christmastime

Deciding for yourself the best time of year to visit Iceland can be tricky.  Mainly because we know most people try to balance their vacation time with family events, workload, and maybe even extended holiday time.  December can be an ideal month if you like spending holidays abroad. 

In contrast though, be aware that December in Iceland is our darkest and second rainiest month.  Also, most days are not filled with sunshine during the token daylight hours which vary from having 5 hours at the beginning of the month to only 4 at the end.  If there is not snow on the ground it can feel like a very dark day all day.  Fun Fact: Having snow on the ground reflects light and makes the day and night appear to be brighter.

The good news, is if you are not embarking on an Iceland self-drive itinerary, our team offers a pickup in Reykjavik for our Iceland Cave tour allowing you to experience the best of Southern Iceland from the luxury of the city limits too!  On the way, you’ll relax, cat nap, hear stories about the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads, and see all of the amazing local houses and business dressed in sparkling lights!

On that same note, we have seen some of the best Northern Lights after all of the firework madness tones down too.  Did you know Iceland only allows fireworks legally to happen between Christmas day and New Years Eve?  Imagine celebrating Christmas Eve or New Years Eve with seeing fireworks and Northern Lights!  …mind blown!

January in Iceland

When January rolls in, our Katlatrack adventure tour team rejoices because we go from having 4.5 hours or daylight to 7 hours by the end!  More daylight to adventure in!!  Likewise, there can still be rain, snow, and wind storms happening but it just adds to that “I survived Iceland” accomplished feeling you get at the end of it.  In January in Iceland, you can expect less rain than the previous two winter months but be prepared for it regardless!

Iceland in February

February is easily one of our favorite months as it is full on ice cave season and most times we have a bit of a winter wonderland on our hands too!  Super exciting for those of you that are looking for the best time of year to travel to Iceland to see snow!  We promise that you are in good hands with our Katlatrack Adventure Tour team… For real have you seen how prepared our team is with last year’s addition of a super sweet snow cat?

On the other hand, what can you expect in regards to weather in February in Iceland?  Firstly, beginning the month of February we have 7 hours of daylight and end the month being back to 10 hours of daylight to run around in!  Secondly, the month of February on average only bring around 6 inches of rain.  Better snow than rain, eh?  Nevertheless, February also can bring winter storms that bring along gale force winds and blizzards (aka white out conditions).  Don’t fret, our team of local experienced drivers and GPS systems will keep you safe!

March in Iceland

The last of the token winter months in Iceland is March.  Fair to expect temperatures somewhere between 29-42 °F and hit or miss with snow.  Often we have very snowy conditions the first week or so in March in and around Vik and then it transitions to slush.  By the end of the month, the snow begins to melt and the landscape starts to unravel.  Rain levels are about the same at February and you have at least 10 hours at the beginning of the month of daylight and almost 13.5 by the end!

Traveling to Iceland in Spring

Spring comes to Iceland during the months of April and May.  In fact, I think spring everywhere in the world is about a new beginnings.  Believe it or not it’s a transition month for Iceland too!  April increases a bit with rain and daylight (Average Sunrise: 6am and Sunset: 9pm) giving you from 13.5 hours to 20 hours by the end of May!  The mountain tops slowly melt and the piles of snow begin to also melt in the highlands. 

As this season begins all of the big “blue ice caves” close because stability if jeopardized.  Good for us, because our offbeat ice cave area becomes a shining star and one of the only ice caves accessible year round!  Did you know there are at least 8 different types of ice caves in Iceland to experience?

Experiencing Iceland in April

Explorers often see April as the best time of year to visit Iceland because it can be a slower month for tourists and many take off time during spring break (or Easter if you celebrate).  Airlines like Icelandair also often issue travel deals.  Conversely, of Route 1 can be accessed in an economy car if you plan to do self driving in Iceland.  April has also been the start of whale watching season in Iceland.  Could be a great time to experience the Golden Circle at a slightly more less touristy time.  Maybe even think about a self-driving itinerary through Iceland too!  Anticipated rainfall is usually under 7 inches and the temperatures vary between 36-45.5°F, well above freezing.

Iceland Weather in May

May in Iceland, Icelanders like to refer to as “gluggaveður” meaning “window weather.”  For example, this is usually the type of weather where you look outside and see the most amazing day outside and then you walk out in your shorts or pretty dress only to be greeted with FRIGED temperatures!  We have a lot of these days in May and it also happens to be the driest month in Iceland of the year.  Take advantage of it and make time to visit Iceland and explore it!

Visiting Iceland in Summer

Care to be surrounded by midnight sun and the warmest temperatures of the year in Iceland?

Dare you to come and visit during June, July, and August our full on summer months!  During summer you experience anywhere between 14-21 hours of daylight.  Even when the sun “sets” it doesn’t it still is very light outside and for most people it’s not enough to fall asleep very easily.

Visiting Iceland in June

Throughout the month of June, no matter the weather Icelanders will enjoy the first official summer month.  BBQ’s are in full swing and people trying to grab as much vitamin D as possible so get outside!  The highlands road begin to open too so screw going to the Blue Lagoon and take an offbeat adventure to a more o’natural hot spring instead! 

Some of the best activities to do in Iceland in June happen in our hometown of Vik too!  To illustrate, the best time of year to visit Iceland to you could mean celebrating the summer solstice while drinking a beer in a hot spring or what about celebrating it by a private ice cave tour with all of your favorite people?

Iceland July Adventures

Adventuring around in July in Iceland is THE BEST!  Our warmest temperatures of the year typically fill this month at a balmy 47-52 °F.  With the sun shining I’d dare to say it has had a “feel like” temperature of 60-70 degrees °F.  Further, the average time the sun rises is around 3:40am and it falls into sunset around 11:30pm, but faster and earlier if up in the mountains!  Speaking of mountains, our Hidden Mountains tour is extremely popular in during summer and specifically in July in Iceland

Best Month to Visit Iceland: August

August in Iceland wins the award for the greenest month! Comparing all the summer months, August is our favorite because it also is our warmest month because the scale hits 50-55 °F on some days!  Don’t let the warm temps and lush greens fool you though, as August in Iceland can have quite a bit of rain, especially in Vik.  Then again, how else do you expect to have the areas be so green without it?!

What does Fall look like in Iceland?

Fall happens in Iceland!  For real!!  Now, we don’t have cider mills, pumpkin pie, nor corn mazes, but we are lucky enough to have the usual fall colors!  You’ll see oranges, red, and yellows emerge from the ground cover and on the leaves on the trees.  It’s a really special sight to see and capture in photos.  The formal fall months in Iceland are September and October.  The main benefit of traveling to Iceland during this time is that hotels may have a slightly discounted rate as it can be for some “shoulder season.”

September in Iceland

Believe it or not, some say this is the best month to come to Iceland if wanting a taste of both summer and winter.  The average temperature is between 43-52 °F (which is 6-11 Celsius).  All that said, September is our rainiest month in Vik and with that comes wind most times. Then again, you can hardly expect anything else, no matter when you visit Iceland!  

September weather in Iceland is just as unpredictable as during any other month of the year, just be prepared for it!  This month also begins our formal Northern Lights season.  We have heard sightings as early as September 2nd  in Vik Iceland!  Next, you can expect sharing space with less tourists than compared in July or August.  Moreover, keeping traditions alive in our hometown of Vik, becomes a priority during the month of September in Iceland. 

Traveling to Iceland in October:

Planning a trip to Iceland in October could very well be the best time of year to visit Iceland if you love fall colors!  Colors are at their peak usually the first 2 weeks of October.  For instance, can you imagine chasing waterfalls brimming of fall colors and then ending it in a hot tub watching the Northern Lights?  Sounds like an ideal October adventure day!  Interesting Fact: The Peace Tower is officially lit on Viðey Island in October.

Best time of year to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights

On the top of most people’s minds and a questions we get asked often is… What is the best time of year to visit Iceland to see Northern Lights?  Formally the months there are possibilities are between September to the beginning of April.  However, the weather in Iceland is the definition of unpredictable and unfortunately, you need a clear sky to even have a chance of seeing them (alongside several other factors).  A fantastic local website you can check to see the Northern Lights forecast is from the Icelandic Met Office.

Best time of year to visit Iceland for Ice Caves

Depending on who you talk to, you may get mixed answers.  Why?  In most people’s minds, formal ice cave season in Iceland is only between Mid-October-March.  But that is for the overrun touristy blue ice caves.  Rather, our Katlatrack team provides year round ice cave experiences but our ice caves can vary in size, color, and texture.  Just rest assured they are 100% natural and it’s a crazy fun ADVENTURE to get there!!

Visiting Iceland Travel Tips:

Although Iceland has grown so popular now, that there really isn’t a line drawn for most between shoulder season and high season.  Most accommodations super jeep adventures, and tour companies offer the same year round pricing.  But you will likely see a difference in the cost of car rentals between seasons so take tidbit of travel tips with you when you leave today. 

Lastly, as you plan your trip to Iceland, we would love for you to keep our team in mind if you’re looking for a bespoke unique adventure in Vik Iceland!  Our team would love the opportunity to “wow” you just as we have other happy customers!  See more feedback on Trip Advisor and Google!

Your Adventure Awaits,

Guðjón + the Katlatrack Team

Visiting A Black Sand Beach in Iceland | Katlatrack

Visiting A Black Sand Beach in Iceland | Katlatrack

The black sand beaches of Iceland, are an awe inspiring landscape texture travelers often flock to.  I mean you can go anywhere else in the world and bask on golden or white sands.  But in Iceland you do not come to the black beach in Iceland to layout and relax on.  Rather you come to explore and marvel over its picture perfect creation!

Discovering a black beach with your loved ones will be something you always remember.  From the volcanic feel of the sand, basalt or lava rocks, to the sound of the ocean waves take your pick!  There are for sure more black sand beaches than white, yellow, or golden especially along the southern coast of Iceland!

Why are the beaches black in Iceland?

With over 100 volcanos across the island, Iceland is one of the most volcanic landscapes in the world.  Likewise, the very reason why it is also abundant with an endless supply of black sand beaches.  Specifically our hometown of Vik in Southern Iceland is incredibly rich lava fragments and minerals which create the black sands.

Where is Reynisfjara Beach?

One of the most famous places in Iceland and a “must go to” when you day trip around Iceland, is Reynisfjara Beach.  From downtown Reykjavik, you can expect the trip to get there in 2 hours and 30 minutes (map link).  Or better yet, if staying at our Volcano Apartments, it is only a 1 hour drive (85km)!

There is a reason why Reynisfjara has been voted “the most Instagramable beach” in the world.  Nothing can quite reach its uniqueness with crazy basalt stacks piercing into the skyline.  Plus on the same beach there are a few caves to adventure in, basalt columns to get your picture taken on, and never-ending bird watching opportunities (hello summer Puffin sightings!). 

Truly it is a special place not to be missed when you embark on your 3, 5, 7 or 10 day Iceland itinerary.  Did you know from the town of Vik, there is also a hiking trail you can take to the top of the mountain?  There you will have 360 views of the southern coast which include 2 glaciers, Dyrholaey Sea Arch and the Reynisdrangar basalt rocks.  Good news too, if you’re not a hiker but still want to visit the stop of the mountain you can book out “Best of Vik” tour, as our team has special permission to drive to the top!

Safety considerations when visiting Reynisfjara Beach

Although Reynisfjara Black Beach is a stunning beach to photograph, there is some responsibility that comes with visiting as a traveler.  When arriving to the area, please make sure you park where directed (not on grassy areas, only stone / pavement).  Next, take the time to read the signs (they are in English).  Reynisfjara can be a very dangerous beach due to sneaker waves and riptides.  For example, you could be watching the waves for 10 minutes and see the waves vary in length they come up.  And then one in a set of 5-10 always has a pull attached and goes further up a dry beach.

Nature rules here, so respect it.  Do not try to dip your toes in the water or walk where the stones / sand appear wet.  Keep a safe distance from the water and the rock formations.  Also know during the months of October to April the cave is not typically accessible safely.  Special Note: In this area, there has been several deaths so please heed our warnings and be careful when visiting Reynisfjara.

Which movies were filmed on Reynisfjara Black Beach?

It is no secret that Iceland has been a very popular filming location for Hollywood movies.  2014 movie, Noah with Russel Crow is hands down likely the most known film that has been shot on Reynisfjara black beach.  Literally the last 20 minutes is all filmed there featuring the beach, cave, and rock formations as the “new world.”  Fun Fact, our local super jeep guide, David Geir Jonasson worked on the film personally and would be happy to provide you with more intimate knowledge if you’re on a tour with him!

Reynisdrangar and the Legend of the Trolls

Not only does this infamous beach come with picturesque beauty, but it also comes with a memorable Icelandic folklore legend!  Curious?  Pretty sure our Vik super jeep guides tell it better than I’ll write it bu I’ll give it a go!

To illustrate, two trolls were told how beautiful the south coast of Iceland is, so they decided to relocate.  Dragging their 3 mast ship in the night the husband and wife troll couple spotted the cave at Reynisfjara in the distance and went for it.  Sadly, they were not quick enough to make it there before dawn broke and they were turned to stone! 

Standing there in the water, the husband, wife, and their ship dragging behind still stand there as a reminder and warning to other trolls to not venture towards the beach.  After all the cave on that beach is in the light or sun for a good part of the day!

Is Reynisfjara the only black sand beach in Iceland?

Contrary to popular belief, Reynisfjara is not the only black beach in Iceland.  In fact, there are countless!  Ideas for visiting Iceland black beaches on your own…  Firstly, if you hike from Reynisfjara going west (ocean on your left side) you’ll find the black beaches of Dyrholaey.  Secondly, in the town of Vik, you’ll find a different view of the basalt stacks at the Vik Black Beach.

Thirdly, if you plan on visiting the Westmann Islands, there is a lovely black beach where the primary ferry leaves that has a shipwreck and a fantastic view of the islands.  Fourthly, ever dream about having dinner overlooking a black sand beach?  The seaside restaurant, Hafið Bláa has a jaw dropping view of black sand dunes!  Fourth, if you are game for a hike and want to see a piece of American history crashed on a black beach / desert then you can take a hike out to the abandoned Solheimasandur DC-3 Plane Wreck (about a 45-60 minute hike 1 way).

Lastly, if your trip to Iceland brings you further east than Vik and all the way to Hofn, we encourage you to check out a local favorite.  The black beach of Stokksnes with the magical Vestarahorn Mountain behind is unforgettable!  Please note there is an entrance fee you must pay to the landowner (inside the café) but it also allows you entrance into the aging Viking village too!  When you visit and pay the fee, you’ll be able to drive down a bit or park at the café and spend the afternoon exploring by foot!

What Iceland Tours Visit Black Beaches:

Maybe you are a bit shy with directions and driving in Iceland and want a professional to take the wheel?  Several of our Vik super jeep tours will provide you an up closer and personal experience on driving on a black sand beach in Iceland and exploring!  Imagine yourself right now in the super jeep cruising down the beach next to the crashing waves… Really an invigorating experience!

In conclusion, the Katla Ice Cave Tour; South Coast Tour from Reykjavik; and the Private Ice Cave Tour will take you from the glacier and ice cave area to ending on our favorite local black beach!

On that same note, the Best of Vik – 1 Hour Express Tour will also give you inspiring views of several black beaches in Iceland!

How would you like to visit a private black sand beach in Iceland?

Visiting an Icelandic black beach is often a highlight for so many.  There is just something so mysterious yet so alive feeling when you experience it.  Adding in the fact that Iceland south coast beaches also come with interesting features like sea arches, waterfalls, dunes, basalt stacks, etc you cannot choose a bad one!

Furthermore, our Vik Iceland tour guides and super jeeps can also take you to several private property black sand beaches.  Being able to get permission from the local landowners goes a long way and amping up your adventure too!  Because having a black beach all to yourself is a really special experience.  You’ll get an intimate “just discovered it” feeling and that’s pretty powerful among the tourist locations.

Feel free to inquire about a custom tour with us if you find yourself yearning to explore more black sand beaches in Iceland!

Your Adventure Awaits,

–Guðjón and the Katlatrack Team

Iceland Private Tours | Book A Custom Tour | Katlatrack

Iceland Private Tours | Book A Custom Tour | Katlatrack

Iceland Private Tours – The Perfect Way to Explore Iceland

Having privacy at sight-seeing locations in Iceland is often rare.  Especially if you are venturing out on your own self-drive Iceland adventures.  You’ll find countless tour buses throughout the most known tourist locations.  All of which can be a major bummer if you’re looking to have a peaceful moment or take a photograph without hundreds of people in them.  But don’t worry, there is another option… Our Katlatrack team based in Vik offers extraordinary Iceland private tours!

Why Book an Iceland Private Tour:

When you choose to do a self-drive itinerary to explore Iceland, you miss a lot.  Mainly because you’re paying attention to driving and not enjoying the incredible scenery!  By booking an Iceland private tour, you and your partner (or family) can enjoy looking out the window with zero stress of driving!  Leave the work to our professional super jeep team!

Plus, by having a private super jeep tour in Iceland, you’ll have the truck to yourselves!  So ask all the questions you want, spread your stuff out, have a snack, put your feet up, or even take a nap between stops all sprawled out!  The luxury super jeep and guide are yours for the day!

Although private tours in Iceland, cost more than a typical “open tour,” they go at YOUR PACE.  So if you want to spend 15 extra minutes discovering a private waterfall, you can!  Our private day tours offer you the flexibility of spending more time at some locations and less at others.

Furthermore, there is something to be said about arriving at an offbeat location within the south coast of Iceland and seeing it all by yourself!  Our local guides are happy to take you to private black sand beaches, ice caves, exclusive waterfalls, unique viewpoints, Game of Thrones filming locations, isolated side of a glacier, secret mountains, canyons the list is endless!

Super Jeeps: The best mode of transport in Iceland:

Your sense of adventure is heightened when you embark on super jeep tours in Iceland.  Frankly, you just feel immediately way more badass to start!  Then the super jeep trucks normally sit high up on 38” to 46” tires towering above just about everyone. 

Furthermore, for the sustainability of the landscape and the smoothness of your ride, the majority of our Katlatrack super jeeps also have deflation systems.  And if they do not, we still deflate before we adventure into the highlands and inflate after!  For instance, by doing this it allows our trucks and local guides to be more capable in extreme snow conditions or rivers.

With our professional driver guides, you will find yourself crossing rivers to get to your epic locations!  Imagine how unforgettable it will be splashing through rivers as you pass by crazily shaped mountains to get to a private waterfall or secret ice cave!  Locations you can only get to by booking an Iceland private tour via super jeep with our Vik Iceland guides!  Super jeeps are seriously the best mode of transport in Iceland!

Types of Iceland Private Tours:

Likely your curiosity is peaked as to what types of Iceland Private Tours we can offer you, right?  Happy to elaborate!  A few ideas to get your mind stirring to follow below:

  • Private Ice Cave Tour – Do you want to several different types of ice caves? We scout weekly so if you’re adventurous enough, we can take you to come amazing ice caves privately!  If you want something less intensive we can also do our Katla Ice Cave as a private tour for you at an additional cost.

 

  • Ice Climbing at Katla Glacier– A few of our guides are experienced ice climbers and can offer you year-round ice climbing at Katla Glacier. Please contact us for more information.

 

  • Best of Vik Tour– Our daily tour that allows you to discover the offbeat side of Vik Iceland can also be available privately, please contact us for more information.

 

  • Hidden Mountains Tour– Are you intrigued by crazy shaped mountains, caves, trolls, and canyons? A private version of our hidden mountains tour may be exciting for you!

 

  • A Secret Waterfall Hunting Expedition– There are countless waterfalls that are far away from the tourist locations we would love to show you on an Iceland private waterfall tour!

 

  • Family Friendly Super Jeep Tour- Let us know the ages of children and capabilities of the family and we can put together a private family friendly tour for you in Southern Iceland!

 

  • Southern Iceland Ghost Tour- Did you know South Iceland is one of the most haunted areas of Iceland? There are countless stories our super jeep team can tell you about.  And places!  Picture yourself exploring a haunted mountain hut and listening to the stories that come along with it!  It’ll intrigue you and send shivers down your spine!

 

  • Trolls and Folklore Tour in Iceland- Are you fascinated by culture, mystery, and enchanted locations? You may love an Iceland private tour that focuses on trolls, elves, and all of the mysterious folklore Iceland has!

 

  • Iceland Luxury Adventure Tour- Do you want to experience private landscapes as a VIP and have lunch as an EXPERIENCE?! Imagine having a luxury picnic inside of a private ice cave?!  We can make it happen for you!

 

  • Craft Your Own Private Super Jeep Tour to exactly what you are interested in seeing and doing. Do you envision yourself visiting a private hot spring, discovering a secluded private black sand beach?  Or exploring private ice caves without the crowds? Contact us for more information!

As Iceland Changes…

With travel to Iceland increasing every single year with no sign of stopping, the country is at a point of over-tourism in numerous areas.  For instance, just to name a few would be the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, glacier lagoon, and many of the attractions in the south shore. The majority of those Iceland sightseeing locations have thousands of visitors every day.  More ropes and barriers go up every week to protect the quick deteriorating landscape. 

So as you finalize your Iceland travel plans, why not find your way away from the typical and overpopulated tourist places?  You can do this by booking an offbeat adventure to non-touristy locations throughout Southern Iceland and specifically in Vik via super jeep!  Feel free to contact us for more information on an Iceland Private Tour via super jeep!

Your Adventure Awaits,

– The Katlatrack Super Jeep Team in Vik Iceland

Iceland Itinerary | 3, 5, 7 or 10 Days | Katlatrack

Iceland Itinerary | 3, 5, 7 or 10 Days | Katlatrack

Choosing a location to visit next from your wanderlust list or bucket list can be hard!  But we do it, all in the name of adventure and epic memories!!  Our Katlatrack Super Jeep Team often gets asked from our guest’s recommendations on what they should go do or explore next.  We find folks value a local’s opinion, so today we would like to share with you our thoughts on the best Iceland Itinerary.  So come along with us to find out what to see and do in Iceland and what time of year to do it!

Your Iceland Itinerary – The Perfect Plan to Explore Iceland

 

Adventuring to Iceland, often referred to as the mecca of adventure and beauty, was likely an easy decision on your part.  What isn’t so easy though I bet is planning your trip day by day!  You’ve likely found yourself overwhelmed and up to your eyeballs in options but feel confused about what is really worth your time to see and do, eh?  We hear you, and want to share with you from our local perspective what is the best Iceland Itinerary to embark on.  Doesn’t matter if you plan to come to Iceland for 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days, we have your perfect Iceland Itinerary!

 

Iceland Itinerary 3 Days

 

Having 3 days in Iceland we believe is an absolute minimum.  So if you find yourself on one of Icelandair’s’ awesome “stopover” deals we would encourage you to go full force and follow the Iceland itinerary below we spec out for you.

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Day 1: Best of the Golden Circle

The famed Golden Circle is what Iceland is most known for.  So if you are only spending 3 days in Iceland this is the perfect adventure, to begin with.  We, however, have added in a few of our favourite lesser known locations too so you can cash in on our local experience.

  • Þórufoss Waterfall is a waterfall barely anyone (even locals) know about! It is an inspiring sight to see too!  You can hike down into the canyon is time allows but also get a very Instagrammable shot from a cliff and the waterfall behind (be safe though!).

 

  • Thingvellir National Park is next on your adventure! It is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site and within you will find an amazing waterfall named Öxarárfoss which emerges from incredible lava rock walls.  Note: It is about a 15 minute walk from the car park.  Can be muddy at times but has had a boardwalk recently built.  If you wish to spend more time here you can visit the famed tectonic plate area called Silfra.  And if you’re a dare devil you may want to try your hand at snorkeling or scuba diving between them with the experts at is

 

  • Geysir – Is a spouting hot spring (think Yellowstone). It’s a natural phenomenon which bursts about every 9-12 minutes.

 

  • Gullfoss Falls – This unbelievable waterfall has often been referred to Europe’s version of Niagara Falls. In summertime, it boasts so much glacial river runoff that it is hands down the largest volume falls in all of Europe!  It’s a sight to be seen although it will have hundreds of people at it.  Please heed the ropes and chains that are set to keep you safe, though okay?

 

  • Faxafoss – Within 10 minutes of Gullfoss and further down the rivers stream is an offbeat waterfall named Faxafoss. Most of the tour buses only stop at the top and never give their guests time to walk down.  Do the walk down (or drive) to witness it from its base.  You’ll notice the sheer power it has and the sneaky little salmon ladder next to it.  You’re welcome to hike alongside the river to the front of the falls and also hike to the top of the falls for another viewpoint.

 

  • Friðheimar Greenhouse – The majority of the tomatoes that are eaten in Iceland are grown by Friðheimar Greenhouse. It is there you will also find one of the best lunch spots in Southern Iceland.  We encourage you to have a late lunch here (anytime between 12-4pm) as they serve delicious tomato soup, fresh bread, and tomato based pasta dishes. Best to make a reservation so you will not be disappointed.

 

  • Secret Lagoon – As your belly is full and you need a little break from adventuring, the Secret Lagoon in Flúðir is a primo stop to consider! Imagine yourself floating around in a hot spring on a fun-noodle with a cold beer or wine in hand.  Bliss!

 

  • Kerið Crater – You suddenly have extra energy and want to visit one more location, right? Kerið Crater is a volcanic crater that is beautiful to photograph and hike around. It’s massive!

So now you’re like where should I stay after all this awesome-ness?  In this area, our favorite place for you to stay is Hotel Grimsborgir.  It offers superior American style customer service, amazing amenities, super clean hot tubs for all, and 5 star dining experience.  Lastly, here is a self-drive map link to follow right from the KEF International Airport: https://goo.gl/maps/iKDXq7gkiN22

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Day 2: Best of Southern Iceland

Southern Iceland is the most dynamic and addicting in our local opinion.  What are to suggest you do for Day 2 of your 3 days in Iceland is a huge day.  It is best executed in spring to summertime days or you will need to pick and choose your favorites if coming when there is less daylight hours.

  • Keldur Sod Farm is a historical little place that is very offbeat from tourists! It has amazing mountain views, a river, lots of grass covered houses, and a historical church!  When you walk through the area you will feel the history oozing from it.  Please make sure you find your way to pay the entrance fee to the landowners so they can continue preserving the area for your future visits and other folks as well.

 

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is hands down the touristiest waterfall in Iceland, but worth a look to experience it. There are not many waterfalls in the world that you can walk behind.  NOTE: It’s best to ensure you are fully suited with waterproof rain gear to go behind the falls.

 

  • Gljúfrabúi Waterfall is the lesser known waterfall nearby. If you plan on camping your way through Iceland, this is a very nice campsite to also rest for the night.  You have 2 options to experience this waterfall… Hiking to the top  and looking down inside or going full on inside.  If you go the latter, be sure to have waterproof boots (knee high ones are best) as you will have to hike through the river to get inside.

 

  • Skálafoss Waterfall is an extremely offbeat private waterfall you can find your way to off of the main road. It is found on a farm between Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.

 

  • Skógafoss Waterfall is another must see tourist waterfall and the super cool thing is that there are stairs that will take you to the top. It’s huge, wide, and makes for a wonderful photo opportunity!  And if you have more days to spare, there is an incredible hike that starts at the top we will tell you about later in this Iceland itinerary blog post!

 

  • Dyrhólaey Lighthouse comes with a view of a super cool sea arch too! The road winds to get up there so it is best to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  Can be pretty touristy in summer but there are still areas you can find to have to yourself.

 

  • Reynisfjara Black Beach has been voted the most touristy, beautiful and yet dangerous beach in Europe, and maybe the world! Still worth a look, we promise you!  But, it is not a beach that you lay out on to get tan, for sure you are there just to experience its beauty.  You’ll be witness to amazing basalt rock columns, a cave (during summer / low tide), and basalt stacks in interesting shapes in the sea!

 

  • Vik Black Sand Beach – Around the other side of the mountain in the village of Vik (our hometown and base) you will find another viewpoint of those famous basalt stacks in the sea. It looks totally different from this side, so we encourage you to spend some time checking it out!

Our Katlatrack team suggests you stay at Icelandair Vik or Hotel Kria for the night.  Are you so excited to self-drive this Iceland itinerary?  Good news: here is a super awesome map link for you to follow from Hotel Grismborgir: https://goo.gl/maps/UdMDbrSaGDA2

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Day 3: Katlatrack Adventure Tours – Scheduled or Private

You cannot come to Iceland without experiencing something offbeat and unique to the country right?  We would love to invite you to experience Iceland from a local perspective with our Katlatrack super jeep team.  So on your 3rd day of your 3 days in Iceland take your pick on the tour type!

  • Fasttrack Ice Cave Tour – For 2.5 to 3 hours let us quickly show you what it’s like to experience an ice cave on one of Iceland’s 13 glaciers!
  • Katlatrack Ice Cave Tour – Want to have more time to explore different areas of the ice cave, possibly multiple ice caves (did you know there are 8 types of ice caves?), and a memorable ride down a black volcanic beach?
  • Vik 1 Hour Express Tour – Short on time or budget but still want to walk away seeing areas or perspectives not many ever do? Let our local guide show you Vik Iceland from our perspective!
  • Hidden Mountains Tour – You will find your way to an area that is really known about by some locals. Experiencing unique mountain views, gorgeous private canyons, secret cave, local folklore stories and so much more!
  • Private Tour – Dying to ice climb? Explore unknown areas? Hunt waterfalls all by yourself?  Challenge us to craft the perfect private day for you in Vik Iceland!

Furthermore, here is a map to our meeting point which is across the street from the Icelandair Vik Hotel and next to the N1 fuel station: https://goo.gl/maps/FXpGbj97Krx

Iceland Itinerary 5 Days

Spending 5 days in Iceland is a nice amount if that is all you have to spare!  We would suggest you focus on the following area for your Iceland Itinerary for 5 Days!

Day 1: Reykenes Peninsula Itinerary

An area of Iceland that is often passed by is actually the area around the airport.  It is called the Reykenes Peninsula and it is rich with amazing sights!  Minutes from landing you’ll be on an adventure!

  • Garður Old Lighthouse – Is a historical lighthouse built in 1897 and is red and white. In winter this can be a fantastic viewing point for Northern Lights too!
  • The Bridge between America and Europe is basically a point where you can experience being between tectonic plates.
  • Reykjanesviti is an interesting area to visit. You have a lighthouse, rock formations in the sea, and crazy beautiful cliffs!
  • Seltún Geothermal Area offer a boardwalk around bubbling mud pots!
  • Lake Kleifarvatn is one of the nicest drives in Iceland and there is a lovely viewpoint of the overview of the lake too.
  • Rauða Húsið Restaurant – If you are looking for a delicious late lunch or early dinner Rauða Húsið is the very best when it comes to lobster soup and other local seafood!

After a super fun day of exploring, we would encourage you to stay at Hotel Grimsborgir or our Volcano Apartments!  Driving this route, you’ll want to follow this map carefully:  https://goo.gl/maps/buhstNahf1w

Day 2: Best of the Golden Circle

Take a look the 3 days in Iceland section above for the full rundown on the best of the Golden Circle adventures.  As we mentioned above, in this area, our favorite place for you to stay is Hotel Grimsborgir.  Here is a self-drive map link again for you to follow right from the Grimsborgir: https://goo.gl/maps/wdi5QBXXgyv

Day 3: Best of South Iceland

Above you will see the intensively but unforgettable day you should give ago.  And here will you find a awesome map link for you to follow from Hotel Grismborgir to Vik: https://goo.gl/maps/UdMDbrSaGDA2

Day 4: Book a Local Tour

Reserve your seat one of our Katlatrack Adventure Tours in Vik on day 4 of your 5 days in Iceland!

Day 5: Explore like a Local

Take it easy as you head back towards the airport to leave the next day and try your hand at some of the local things to do!  Check out our previous blog post on 25 things to do in Vik Iceland!

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Iceland Itinerary 7 Days

Lucky you!  You get to spend one week in Iceland!  This is the perfect amount of time to explore all of Southern Iceland fully including a nice hike!  CCheck outour 7 days in Iceland plan below!

Day 1 in Iceland

Explore the Reykenes Peninsula – Driving this route yourself, follow this map:  https://goo.gl/maps/buhstNahf1w

Day 2 in Iceland

As you head into day 2 of 7 in Iceland you’ll want to embark on the best route for the offbeat side of the Golden Circle.  Follow this route: https://goo.gl/maps/wdi5QBXXgyv

Day 3 in Iceland

From the Golden Circle, it’s the ideal to begin your adventure south!  Southern Iceland boasts some of the largest and most interesting waterfalls and countless black sand beaches.  See this map for highlights for day 3 in Iceland: https://goo.gl/maps/UdMDbrSaGDA2 

Day 4 in Iceland

Ready for a real adventure that everyone will be jealous of back home?  Embark on one of our exclusive Ice Cave Tours!  Then 15 minutes before the departure time, meet us here: https://goo.gl/maps/FXpGbj97Krx

Day 5 in Iceland

Vik is one of the most beautiful and fastest growing towns in Iceland.  Spending the day here is easy to do!  Checkout our favorite 25 local things to do in Vik!

Day 6 in Iceland

Southeast Iceland is an area that doesn’t get enough love! Adventuring through it is super fun if you follow this map: https://goo.gl/maps/qkCsTQRQpXm

  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon: This place a gorgeous canyon that you must take time to explore! Generally there haven’t been big tour buses here and if you do a 30-60 minute hike back following the trail you’ll escape the masses.  Special Note: During times of unthawing or heavy rains this area can be closed to ensure the preservation of it.
  • Fjallsárlón is a lesser known glacier lagoon that has 2 glacier outlets doing into it. Worth a look and you’ll be slightly away from the hoards to tourists a few miles down.
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is the famous glacier lagoon that is depicted in movies like the newest James Bonds. It’s busy with tourists but a must see.  Across the street is an area called “Diamond Beach” where the icebergs flow out to the ocean.  Worth a look if you have time!
  • Vestrahorn Mountain is one of the most picturesque mountains in Iceland. It is also nicknamed “mirror mountain.”  Fun fact: There is an admission fee here but it also buys you admission into the studio set of a Viking village!

Heading this far east, it is good to stay at Fosshotel Vatnajokull in the town of Höfn.

Day 7 in Iceland

The last day of your 7 days in Iceland should include a fun hike to a waterfall named Svartifoss!  It’s a fantastic 45-60 minute hike one way.  It’s a black lava rock waterfall and stunning to photograph, truly!  Since you will be driving Route 1 in the south, you can hit any of the locations you missed on Day 3 before you hit your hotel for the night!  See this map link for self-driving directions: https://goo.gl/maps/z1tej6fHkG52

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Iceland Itinerary 10 Days

If visiting Iceland for the very first time you will likely want to sightsee the entire “Ring Road,”  Which is also referred to as Route 1, which is the road that takes you around the island.  To experience this comfortably and safely, you need 10 days in Iceland.  If we were you, we would plan this Iceland Itinerary for 10 Days.

Day 1 in Iceland

Adventure to the less touristy Reykenes Peninsula!  This is the best self-drive route:  https://goo.gl/maps/buhstNahf1w

Day 2 in Iceland

Even though the Golden Circle is touristy in parts, it is a “must see.”  Follow this route to also checkout some of our favorite offbeat spots too: https://goo.gl/maps/wdi5QBXXgyv

Day 3 in Iceland

Southern Iceland rocks!  You could frankly spend days adventuring through but see this map for highlights for your 3rd of 10 days in Iceland: https://goo.gl/maps/UdMDbrSaGDA2

Day 4 in Iceland

Ever want to visit a glacier and an ice cave in the same trip?  Look to booking one of our Ice Cave Tours!  Then 15 minutes before the departure time, meet us here: https://goo.gl/maps/FXpGbj97Krx

Day 5 in Iceland

Venturing further east, you’ll find a unique canyon to explore, a hike to a lava rock waterfall, and 2 glacier lagoons to checkout.  Follow our advice above and this map link to find your way there: https://goo.gl/maps/rKp3znkSAcE2

Day 7 in Iceland

The best of Southeast Iceland!  The East Fjords are best experienced during a summer adventure in Iceland mainly because of the service of the roads. Our Katlatrack Iceland Adventure Tour team suggests that you go from Vestrahorn Mountain to the Viking Village / Café and then onto the amazing drive to the village of Mjóifjörður (from July – September), then on to the quaint and colorful village of Seydisfjordur.

Staying in Egilsstaðir and specifically at the Icelandair Hotel Herad is a great choice.  See the route on a self-drive map here: https://goo.gl/maps/QunjTM2BhT22

Day 7 in Iceland

Woot woot, you’re almost half way around!  This day will be a big driving day, so depending on how you like to travel, you may want to split into 2 days.  To get you started, this is the map link to follow (if coming during summer and early fall in Iceland, before the snow comes): https://goo.gl/maps/5oShXWBZRjG2

  • Dettifoss Waterfall is one that is famed from the Hollywood film Prometheus, recognize it? Note: This waterfall is only accessible during summer.
  • Selfoss Waterfall is another waterfall that is offbeat but only accessible safely when there is no snow.
  • Namaskard is a beautiful geothermal area that is worth a look!
  • Lake Mývatn is another one of our fresh water lakes that is also a protected area. It may also seem familiar to you from the most recent Fast and Furious movie that was filmed in Iceland.
  • Dimmuborgir lava rock area is really unique to explore. There are several hikes through here that are short and long so take your pick!
  • Goðafoss Waterfall is memorizing. Specifically our favorite side is the more offbeat LEFT side.  Leave the tourist buses to explore the right side.  If you’re feeling daring enough you can hike down into the canyon too!

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, is an awesome place to rest your head after a busy day of adventuring in North Iceland!

Day 8 in Iceland

Alright folks, you have a big day of driving today so get on the road as early as you’re comfortable with.  Day 8 of our 10 days in Iceland will consist of driving through the seaside village of Siglufjörður and hiking to a dragon looking rock formation in the sea called, Hvitserkur.  The last is not to be missed if you’re this far north already and it tends to be more offbeat.

You’ll wind down and around towards the Snaefellsness Peninsula, where we suggest to stay at Hotel Budir.  Follow along our self-drive map link here: https://goo.gl/maps/9znndgnTuay

Day 9 in Iceland

How inspiring!  You wake in a magical peninsula called the Snaefellesness!!  You’ll want to use every inch of daylight exploring this fabulous area.  Drive along to our favorite locations in the Snaefellsness here: https://goo.gl/maps/RdDHfdXWr412

  • Arnarstapi Sea Cliffs offers amazing bird watching, crazy cool sea cliffs, rock arches, and stunning photo opportunities. Plan to stay at least 1-2 hours here if you want to go from end to end (hiking along the sea cliffs is the BEST).
  • Londrangar is a unique rock formation in the sea. There is a hike that goes from here to the next location too if that is of interest!
  • Malarrif Lighthouse offers amazing rock, beach, and sea views. Cool lighthouse that is a bit off the beaten path.
  • Vatnshellir Cave is a unique lava tube tunnel system. For the best experience of viewing, you need to book a tour down with the landowners, here.
  • Djúpalónssandur happens to be another black sand / rock beach. Often here you find pieces of shipwrecks too!
  • Skarðsvík Beach is a truly golden sand beach that offers amazing textured cliffs on one side and moss covered lava on the other. Often when it is clear too you can catch a glimpse of the glacier, Snæfellsjökull.
  • Kirkjufell Mountain and Waterfall will likely look familiar from Game of Thrones! Plan to spend at least an hour here walking from one side of the waterfall to the other.

End the day by driving back to Reykjavik and staying at one of the best hotels, Hotel Borg.

Day 10 in Iceland

Awwww your last full day in Iceland and by now, you likely want to live here!  Crazy beautiful places you’ve seen and now you get the opportunity to experience downtown Reykjavik!  Feel free to turn our self-drive map into a walking one if you wish here: https://goo.gl/maps/5QdcKXLoqkF2

  • National Museum of Iceland is a perfect place to start your morning seeing the history of our 330,000 person nation. They are open Tuesday – Sunday from 10-5pm.
  • Grab lunch at our favorite bakery, Sandholt. Note: If you’re a shopper this street the bakery is on is our main shopping drag downtown.
  • Take in the view from the highest point in Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja
  • Sun Voyager is a unique art installation many folks are intrigued to take photographs of down by the sea. Worth a look!
  • If you’re feeling cheeky, check out the one and only in the world, the famous The Icelandic Phallological Museum.
  • End your Reykjavik day at one of the very best restaurants in town, The Grillmarkaðurinn. Reservations are highly suggested year-round.

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Best Time of Year to Visit Iceland

Okay, so you’ve chosen Iceland to be your next adventure, but have no freaking idea when to go!  Don’t fret, there are pros and cons to every time of the year to visit Iceland and we’d like to bring them to your attention today.  Because Iceland sits in the “Gulf Stream” we actually have quite temperate weather without crazy swings like most areas of the USA.  But the trade off to this is that we can have some very extreme weather conditions happen like sideways rain, blizzards, wind storms, etc no matter the time of year.  Get prepared by checking out our “driving in Iceland” previous blog post too!

But when you start thinking about when you should visit Iceland, it really all depends on what your token “must do’s” are.  For instance, do you want to self-drive the entire island, go hiking in the highlands, snowmobiling, go ice climbing, or visit an ice cave, etc?  Luckily for you, our Katlatrack team can show you an ice cave year round on our offbeat glacier via the Fasttrack or Katla Ice Cave Tours.  But let’s break it down by season and you can decide for yourself when is the best time of the year to visit Iceland…

Winter in Iceland

Iceland’s formal winter season is between November-March.  This is when the lowest rates are for hotels and could be considered a “shoulder season.”  But visiting Iceland in November, December, January, February and March is also the time when the Northern Lights are most often seen as well.  It’s likely you will experience very harsh weather conditions from heavy rains, extreme gale force winds, to blizzard white out conditions but if you’re lucky hopefully sunshine!  Who knows!  Temperatures average from 0-3 °C / 32-37 °F and daylight varies as well from having 3-5 hours per day.

Spring in Iceland

Yes, we actually have Springtime in Iceland!  It is between April-May.  You can still get good deals with the hotels through mid-May and I’ll be honest I feel like this are less busy months to also explore the “must see” tourist locations too.  Visiting Iceland in April tends to be a bit rainier and May in our experience has been colder and less rainy.  You can expect temperatures between 3-6 °C / 37-43 °F and daylight hours 13-20 hours per day as we near towards Summer.  This is an exciting time though to visit the glacier areas with us because the area begins to change quite rapidly with the warmer temperatures, so you very well may be the first to step foot in one of our newly scouted ice caves on our Katla Ice Cave Tour

Summer in Iceland

Ah, summer we long await you each year!  Summer in Iceland is the greenest.  Between June 15 and July 15th you can find the Alaskan Lupine in full bloom across the south.  It looks like a sea of purple and blue as you make your drive to the large waterfalls in the south!  Summertime is between June-August and is hands down the most expensive time to visit Iceland.  Usually visiting Iceland in July you will find all of the highlands roads open along with every single hiking track.  Daylight is never-ending (June 21st you will find 24 hours of daylight) and temperatures average 4-7 °C / 39-45 ° F.  Since this is the most popular time to come to Iceland, you’ll likely want to find your way away from the tourists and find you own off the beaten path places… Our Hidden Mountains Tour would be a perfect adventure for you to consider!

Fall in Iceland

You’re likely surprised that Iceland experiences this season, but we do!  The ground cover changes colors from greens to orange, red, and finally to a brown green.  Our formal fall is between September – October and we welcome it back with the possibility of Northern Lights again too!  The best time to come if you wish to experience fall while visiting Iceland is between September 1st to mid-October.  Daylight hours begin to dwindle again and temperatures fall to an average of 9-11 °C / 48-52 ° F.

© 2018, Your Adventure Wedding (www.youradventurewedding.com)

Additional Advice for your Iceland Itinerary Travels:

  • There are many areas charging for parking or asking for small donations that go towards the preservation of the areas. They only take cash so it’s good to have some Icelandic Kronas (ISK) on hand.  Iceland does not charge formal entries to 95% of our natural wonders so when the landowners have donation buckets out, it’s helpful to them as they provide bathrooms, etc to make your visit more comfortable and safe.
  • Please make sure you follow the rules for driving in Iceland and look up road / weather conditions before traveling each day.
  • Tipping in Iceland is not a requirement as you dine in restaurants or go on adventures with companies. But what we will say is that there are a lot of people (our guides included) that work very hard on ensuring you have a very local and amazing experience.  So if you feel the service you have received was extraordinary, tipping is way to show the guides your appreciation for your time and hard work.

Thank you for joining us today and we hope this Iceland Travel Blog post was helpful.  We hope it inspires you to plan your own 3, 5, 7, or 10 day trip to Iceland!  Feel free to book a tour with us to enhance your adventure too!

Your Adventure Awaits,

Guðjon + Katlatrack Team

 

Game of Thrones Tour in Iceland

Game of Thrones Tour in Iceland

Are you familiar with the tune, “A Song of Fire and Ice?” If you’re a fan of the popular TV series Game of Thrones (GOT), you can likely hum it from memory! When you think about Game of Thrones, does Iceland come to mind? It should! There are countless areas around the country that were used as “sets” to portray the regions Game of Thrones were filmed in. Today, we would love to share some of the locations where the Game of Thrones TV series was filmed — in our neck of the woods, Southern Iceland!

Fun Fact: One of our primary staff members, David Geir, previously worked in the film-making industry before we snagged him to become a fantastic glacier guide and professional driver. He was often on the Game of Thrones sets handling special effects — you know, creating the extreme winds and snow that you see happening earlier on in the early to mid-seasons. Please note: Not all of our tour guides have had the chance to work on the actual GOT set as David has, but they are all equally familiar with the filming locations, and have plenty of GOT tales to share.

 

 

Why did Game of Thrones Choose Iceland?

 

If you haven’t found your way to Iceland for your own sightseeing tour, you may not be able to quickly answer, but the dynamic landscape really transports you to another world. Plus, there are very few areas of the world that rival Southern Iceland’s glaciers and black sand beaches! The diversity of the landscape really gave the show its edge. Several Game of Thrones staff and actors have even spoken about their experience of filming in Iceland.

 

 

Filming Locations for Game of Thrones in Iceland

 

During our Vik Iceland super jeep tours throughout Southern Iceland, guests often ask our travel guides where Game of Thrones was filmed. There are many locations that are available for visiting and exploring through filming location tours, whereas other locations are on private property and would need advance permission from landowners or special 4×4 super jeeps to access.

The good news is, booking a Private Tour with us offers you the chance to have a very special Game of Thrones Tour in Iceland. So snag your tour tickets and join us for a touring exhibition to visit some of the must-see sites that have inspired the amazing scenes throughout all 7 seasons (season 8 releases in April 2019) so far!

 

Thingvellir National Park

 

Ever wonder where Game of Thrones found crazy amounts of moss-growing lava rocks and awesome rock formations with water elements? The answer hides at Thingvellir National Park.  It is an area of Southern Iceland that you are welcome to — and we encourage you to — visit yourself. It is easily accessible by car in the days before or after your Katla Ice Cave Tour.

You may recall the memorable Game of Thrones moment that took place here. It is the famed fight between Brienne and the Hound in Season 4 Episode 10. Other Thrones film locations include the falls of Oxarafoss and between the tectonic plates of Silfra where many of the greatest massacres and bloody bath battles during the 7 seasons have taken place. A few others to note are Entrance to the Eyrie in S01E05; S04E05; and S04E08.

 

 

Hidden Mountains

 

Any diehard Game of Thrones fan loved seeing the connection of our favorite Wildling, Ygritte and Jon Snow. Their adventures north of the wall were filmed throughout some of our favorite hidden mountains. Can you imagine witnessing the stomping ground of theirs? It feels very old world, as if you stepped back into the settlement era of a Viking lodge.

North of the wall includes most of the landscapes of Iceland throughout the many seasons of Game of Thrones. The hidden mountains are for sure our second favorite (our first follows below). We would love to have you join us on a custom Game of Thrones tour where we show you these secret mountains and tell you some of the local stories that come with them.

 

 

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in Southern Iceland

 

A super cool spot that has become a heavily populated day tour spot for tourists to visit on their own is Reynisfjara. This black sand beach is the setting for the elaborate scenes of Castle East Watch by the sea seen in Season 7 Episode 5 and 6.

 

 

Dyrhólaey Sea Arch

 

Dyrhólaey serves as The Wall and Castle East Watch which can be seen in Season 7 Episode 5 and 6. There is also a private side of this beautiful area that we could show you.

 

 

North of the Wall GOT Location

 

There are 13 glaciers in Iceland, and we are lucky to call our business home at the fourth largest, Myrdalsjökull. This fantastic glacier inspired the construction of ‘the wall’ and being ‘north of the wall’ in the Game of Thrones series. See S02E05 and others. More often than not, while exploring this area on self-guided walking tours, you’ll feel as if you are walking in the footsteps of the white walkers. Especially during winter in Iceland.  We would love to show you what ‘north of the wall’ looks like and feels like on our Katla Ice Cave Tour.

 

 

Other Areas Associated with Game of Thrones Filming in Iceland

 

  • Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellfoss Waterfall (Arrowhead Mountain) – S06E05; S07E06
  • Stöng í Þjórsádal (Village where Olly lived) – S04E03
  • Dimmuborgir Lava Area – North Iceland (Wildling Camp) S03E01, S03E02, S03E05
  • Nesjavellir (The Vale) – S04E10
  • Þórufoss Waterfall – Near to Thingveille National Park (Drogon eats the farmers goat) – S04E06
  • Grjótagjá – Northern Iceland (Famed Wildling hot spring cave) – S03E05

Unlike other Game of Thrones tour company offerings, our tour is independently operated to offer our clients a private and more personalized experience that can take place over the course of one day or several. If you wish to get the full experience of how elaborate the scenes and film locations were, we suggest you join us for three days of action-filled GOT location tours.

Winter is coming, and we dare you to join us on a custom Iceland Game of Thrones Tour! These adventures are a truly remarkable experiences that take you off-road in your own private super jeep to explore the land of ice and fire. Our Southern Iceland super jeep tour guides are Game of Thrones experts who will enlighten you about the different Game of Thrones locations and filming areas, while sharing stories about the series, the location’s history, and much more. Please contact us for more information on booking your private Game of Thrones filming locations tour!

Your Adventure Awaits,

– The Katlatrack Super Jeep Team in Vik Iceland