Iceland is one of our favourite destinations ever, and rightfully so! It has a spectacular landscape, waterfalls, black sand beaches, geothermal pools, national parks and yummy food. If that was not enough, it has the northern lights; if you end up at the right time and if you are lucky enough. If you are planning a trip to Iceland, these are the things you should not do.
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What not to do in Iceland:
Drive a two wheel drive in winter
While two wheel drives are manageable in summer, Iceland in winter is a whole different ball game. Most of Ring Road is paved and kept clean even through winter. But if you are going on a road trip in Iceland which takes you off the Ring Road onto dirt roads or f-roads or mountain roads, a four wheel drive is a must. We recommend splurging on snow tyres in the winter. It can really make driving much easier.
Take Icelandic weather for granted
Icelandic weather is very fickle. It changes in a blink of an eye. Make sure you check their government weather (Vedur) website before heading out. Vedur forecasts are pretty accurate and are updated often. Sometimes the temperature might not be too extreme, but the wind can be pretty strong. Dress appropriately. If you are chasing the northern lights, check the aurora strength and whether the sky is cloudy. The closer you are to city lights, the less you see the Aurora. If you are in Reykjavík, the Grotta Lighthouse is a great location to see this beautiful phenomenon.
Iceland is beautiful and you may be tempted to stop and click photos almost at every turn. But don’t! Coz you may be fined! You are not allowed to drive off road unless its clearly marked. Along with legal concerns, there are also safety concerns.
Wear a swimsuit in the public shower at the geothermal pools
The male and female shower areas are different. But, if you aren’t comfortable with public showers, then you should might find yourself in an awkward situation. You are supposed to take everything off and then walk to the showers with your towel and bathing suit. Take a shower naked and then put on your swimsuit. It is mandatory to clean yourself before putting on your swimsuit.
Leave a tip
Icelanders can take offense to leaving a tip after a meal. It is not customary to leave the waiter a tip. However in our experience, Icelandic people are very warm and friendly. Don’t hesitate to tell them how great your meal was and exchange a smile.
Buy bottled water
Icelandic water is the cleanest and purest water in the world. Instead, carry a water bottle with you and refill. Better for the environment and in your pocket!
Leave before trying the local food
Yes, Iceland has a lot of weird food. If you are not brave enough to try the fermented shark or dried fish that does not mean you have to give up on Icelandic food. If you are a vegetarian, don’t forget to try their geyser (dark rye bread) and soup. We loved their onion and mushroom soup.
Also, go to the nearest local bakery to sample their Kleina (fried pastry) and Snudur (cinnamon bun). If you are a non vegetarian, you are in for a treat. Try their seafood especially the langoustines. And no matter what your food preference, you have to try their Skyr – which is similar to flavoured yogurt. Just a small tip, they don’t allow you to carry Skyr out of Iceland. Don’t try to take some home, it will be confesticated at the airport!
Check the most popular tours in Iceland:
Siddharth and Shruti are two nerdy souls who are either wandering the world or playing games in their pyjamas. They enjoy exploring offbeat places together and believe that the journey is just as important as the destination. You can read their blog – Siddharth and Shruti and follow them on Instagram & Twitter.
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