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10 Tips For Booking Luxury Trains In India

Luxury trains in India are an incredibly unique way to see such a fascinating and beautifully chaotic country. Many people, even the most experienced of travelers, visit India for the first time and never come back because they didn’t like the hustle and bustle of the country. Luxury trains in India allow you to experience much of what India has to offer while being able to have space away from it all to retreat to if you want time to yourself or just want to relax and enjoy the view. If you are on the hunt for the best luxury train journeys, India is the perfect place to start! From the friendly people to the colorful culture, India has so much to offer and there is no better way to see the country than from one of India’s luxury train vacations.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

Getting To Know The Luxury Trains In India

There Are 4 Major Luxury Trains In India To Choose From

Most countries don’t even have one luxury train vacation while India has four! The list of luxury trains in India is as follows:

  • Maharajas’ Express Train
  •  Palace on Wheels Train
  •  Deccan Odyssey Train
  • The Golden Chariot Train

The Maharajas’ Express is the crown jewel of luxury trains in India. It is the most luxurious of all the trains listed above and the newest as well. It has been awarded the best luxury train in the world time and again by many magazines and travel companies. The rooms on the Maharajas’ Express are the most spacious and fanciest out of all the luxury trains in India so if you are looking for comfort, this is the train for you! This luxury train in India travels multiple routes including one from Mumbai to New Delhi and one that begins and ends in New Delhi and explores 5 Indian states [the route we took]. We highly recommend this luxury train in India!

Read more: 15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharajas Express Train

The Palace On Wheels luxury train in India is the oldest of all of the trains and began service in 1982. The purpose of the Palace On Wheels was to showcase the state of Rajasthan by using train cars formerly employed by Indian royalty. The cars had been sitting empty since Indian independence and the government wanted to put these luxury train cars back in use. The Palace On Wheels was renovated in 1996 and then renovated again in 2017 to bring it up to standard with all the other luxury trains in India.

The Deccan Odyssey Train is perfect for those who are looking for luxury trains in India that go off the beaten path a little. If you don’t love major tourist destinations, skip the north and head to the Deccan Odyssey which focuses mainly on the Maharashtra State Of India. This trip begins and ends in Mumbai so it is easy to fly in and out if this is the luxury train in India you choose to experience. If you have already been to India before or want to explore different parts, the Deccan Odyssey will take you to many historic parts of India including ruins, vineyards, and the beaches of Goa.

The Golden Chariot Train is one of the only luxury trains in India that focuses on the southern part of the country. Although other trains touch some of the same locations, The Golden Chariot is the only luxury train in India that stays exclusively in the south. While nice and a wonderful experience, The Golden Chariot train is the least luxurious and most affordable of all the luxury trains in India. If you want to experience an Indian train journey, consider the Golden Chariot Train! The service isn’t skimped on and the only difference is there aren’t crazy arrival performances like the Maharajas’ Express or an entire presidential suite to stay in.

Some of India’s luxury trains such as the Maharaja Express Train are critically acclaimed and have won many international travel awards. Other trains such as the Palace On Wheels train are government owned and still others like the Deccan Odyssey train are owned and operated by companies that run train journeys elsewhere in the world. Each train has something a little different to offer so it is important to know what you are looking to experience. Before you choose your mode of luxury train travel, make sure that you do your research and choose which train is best for you!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

10 Tips For Booking Luxury Trains In India

#1. Winter Is Actually The Best Time To Book A Trip On One Of The Luxury Trains In India

High season in India is actually October to March so while the winter may be cold where you are from, this is the best time to experience one of the luxury trains in India! While India does indeed have mountains [hello Himilayas], much of the country gets extremely hot during the summer, especially in the states that many of these trains travel. If you are looking to experience the luxury trains in India, make sure to carve out some time during the winter and make this trip during one of the months listed above.

We went during February and the weather was just perfect! It was warm during the day and cool at night! Don’t worry about being too cold and you won’t be too hot either! Make sure to check the train schedule depending on which of the luxury trains in India you choose to experience!

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#2 All Luxury Train Vacations In India Come With Your Own Private Butler

One of the best parts about luxury train travel in India is that you get your own private butler to help attend to your every need! If this isn’t pure luxury, we don’t know what is! Unlike a room steward on a cruise or hotel, your butler will be more intimately involved with your life aboard the train. Your personal butler will give you a private wake up call every morning and will descend gracefully into your room with hot coffee, masala tea, muffins, fresh fruit, you name it and your butler will bring it to you in the morning!

Your private butler will only serve you and, at the most, two other cabins, so he is near whenever you need him! He will also walk you to and from your room when you enter and leave your luxury train in India and will carry your bags and greet you upon arrival. He will spruce up your room and leave towel animals and fresh flowers at every turn. No matter which of the luxury trains in India you choose, you will find that having a personal butler will make you feel like royalty. Getting to know your personal butler is the best part of all as each and every butler, from the ones on the Palace On Wheels to the Golden Chariot, is kind and personable! Make sure to tip your butler generously at the end of your train trip!

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#3. Indian Luxury Trains Are Priced Differently So You Can Choose The Best One For Your Budget

Not all luxury trains in India are created equally! While they all offer a wonderful and memorable time, some are very expensive ultra-luxury while others still offer luxury but on a little more of a budget. For example, on the Maharajas Express, cabins start at around $900 per night per person depending on which class of cabin you choose. On the Golden Chariot Train, single occupancy starts at $6,135  with double occupancy starting at $10,000, depending on which cabin class is chosen. The Palace On Wheels Train single occupancy starts at $4000.

The price of luxury trains in India differs widely so it is best to look at what each Indian luxury train has to offer and then make your decision accordingly. Compare rates, what is offered, what the interiors and cabins look like, and what routes the trains run in order to come to your decision. For example, on the Maharajas’ Express “Indian Panorama” tour, guests get to eat dinner in the courtyard of a real working palace where a real Maharaja and his family still live. This is an ultra-exclusive experience and may be worth spending extra if this is something you are interested in doing. Weigh the pros and cons of each train price when making your decision.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

Inside a Maharajas Express Train cabin

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

Cabin On the Palace On Wheels. Photo Credit: Nobackhome.com

luxury trains in india golden chariot

Inside A Cabin On The Golden Chariot. Photo Credit: Solitararywanderer.com

#4. All Luxury Trains In India Include Unlimited Food And Drink And Excursions

No matter how pricey, or ultra-pricey, these luxury trains in India may be, they all have one thing in common. That thing is that all excursions and food and drink are included. This means that unlike a cruise ship vacation where you have to pay extra for excursions, luxury train vacations in India come with them included in the price.

Similarly, alcohol is also included so you don’t have to pay any extra to drink handcrafted cocktails while sailing through the Indian countryside! All of India’s luxury trains include these two things so if you are stuck between choosing which train you want to travel on, keep in mind they do all offer included excursions, food, and beverages.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

One of the two dining cars on the Maharaja Express

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

One of the dining rooms on the Golden Chariot Train. Photo Credit: solitarywanderer.com

#5. Some Trains Have A Doctor On-Board For Your Health And Safety

Everyone knows that Indian food has a tendency to make your stomach upset. If you are worried about issues, make sure to pick a train with a doctor on board. For example, the Golden Chariot Train and the Palace On Wheels Train do not have an onboard doctor while the ultra-luxury Maharajas Express Train does. This doctor will go on excursions with groups and will come to your room with a full medical kit in case of an emergency.

The doctor will even administer injections if necessary and is just a phone call away. If having a doctor nearby is important to you, make sure to check to see which of the luxury trains in India have one on board your itinerary or if they have one at all! Some never have a doctor on board while others, like the Maharajas Express, have a doctor as standard procedure.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#6. All Indian Luxury Trains Offer A Mix Of Indian And Western Food Options

If you are not comfortable with eating Indian food at every meal, do not worry! All luxury trains in India want to make your dining experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible! As a result, Indian luxury trains offer a menu featuring lots of Indian options and some western food options at every meal. If, for whatever reason, the western options do not appeal to you, you can kindly request a simple dish such as pasta and the chef will quickly make it up for you right then and there! When figuring out what to bring to India, you may even want to consider packing some snacks or food options for yourself if you want a treat later at night. The trains offer plenty of food but not everyone likes lots of Indian influence for all meals!

If you have never tried Indian food before, the luxury trains in India offer a perfectly safe environment to do so! If you order a dish and taste test it and don’t like it, you can order something more familiar to your taste buds! No matter what kind of food you choose, rest assured that it will be delicious!

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#7. Luxury Train Itineraries Differ By Train And Time Of Year

Each luxury train in India services different itineraries throughout the year. Each Indian luxury train also services different parts of the country than other trains and different itineraries. For example, the Deccan Oddesy may explore the areas surrounding Mumbai and Goa while the Maharajas Express will service the Nothern states of India and The Golden Chariot will service the southern. Sometimes, the Maharajas Express itinerary involves heading from New Delhi to Mumbai on a one-way basis.

Each of the luxury trains in India services different parts of the country and also offer between 3-7 different itinerary options. If you have your heart set on one part of India such a visiting the Taj Mahal or heading to Bangalore, make sure you choose a train and an itinerary that visits the stops you want. All of India is beautiful so no matter what luxury train itinerary you choose, you will be in for a real treat!

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#8. You Actually Won’t Spend Much Time Traveling On The Train During The Day

Unfortunately, you won’t spend much time traveling on the train during the day. We say unfortunately because one of the highlights of train travel is relaxing in your luxury room and watching the world go by! There are a few days here and there where you will travel during the day, but most of your time traveling by luxury train in India is spent during the night. This is because your days are spent exploring the culture and experiences that India has to offer.

While this isn’t a bad thing, understand that unlike a cruise where you may have a “day at sea” with nothing but traveling, luxury train travel in India offers more time off the train for sightseeing. Think of this experience more like a river cruise, where you stop every day and only travel at night, instead of an ocean cruise where you spend much of your time on the ship traveling.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#9. Sleeping On Luxury Trains In India Is Quite Enjoyable For Most But Be Prepared In Case You Dislike It

Many people love the feeling of sleeping on a train. Sleeping on a luxury train in India is even better because you have a large bed and an ensuite bathroom and much more. The motion of the train is not like that of a boat where there is rocking back and forth. It is more a feeling of a slight rumbling as the train travels over the train tracks. The white noise the rails provide along with the motion makes for a great night sleep….for some!

If you aren’t sure how you will fare sleeping on one of the Indian luxury trains, make sure to bring some motion sickness medicine and earplugs. If you are on the Maharajas Express, a doctor will be present on board for medicine, but bring your own just in case! We truly think that the feeling of sleeping on the train is quite enjoyable and are confident you will love it too. Most people settle in after the first night of sleeping and tend to really love the feeling of moving while you sleep.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

#10. A Trip On One Of India’s Luxury Trains Is Truly Unforgettable

This should go without saying, but it is worth a mention again! Choosing one of the luxury trains in India for your vacation will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip! You will get to see the most colorful country in the world at the height of luxury and will also be able to spend time sightseeing at unique places and eating delicious food. The pace is a little fast, but you are free to do as many or as little excursions as you want! The goal of luxury trains in India is to showcase the Indian countryside to visitors in a way that makes them long for India and want to come back for a future visit. From sleeping on a luxury train and waking up to see the Taj Mahal to visiting the beaches of Goa, luxury trains in India offer something for every interest and price point.

10 Things To Know About Luxury Trains In India

Getting To India For Your Luxury Train Journey 

You are going to have to get to the country when taking one of these luxury trains in India! Luckily, India makes getting there very easy and actually quite affordable. Depending on which of the luxury trains in India you are taking will depend on where you will fly into. You will most likely fly into New Delhi Airport or the Mumbai Airport and both are major international airports. There are many flights that arrive and depart from these airports on a daily and weekly basis so you have options.

Depending on where you are coming from to take the luxury trains in India, you may have to procure a tourist visa. For Americans, this can be easily done online but you must apply with a passport size photo and even still you will be restricted upon entering the country after a certain amount of time during the year before you have to apply again. This easy step-by-step guide will help USA Citizens to figure out tourist visas when getting to one of these luxury trains in India!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

Have you ever considered taking one of these luxury trains in India? Have you traveled by train before? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, especially if you have booked a luxury train journey or if you have already visited India!

 

 

Please note: We were invited to India by the Incredible India Tourism Board and were guests onboard the Maharajas’ Express for the purpose of this review. Our views are our own and do not reflect those of Incredible India or the Maharaja Express. We were not paid to write this post. 

10 Best Hot Springs In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

Looking for the best hot springs in Iceland? You have come to the right place and we have got you covered! Visiting one of the hot springs in Iceland is a totally memorable and magical experience that you won’t forget. Iceland is home to a variety of hot springs, from hot pools found on the middle of the road to famous spas built around stunningly blue hot water.

When visiting hot springs in Iceland, you need to be sure you are visiting safe bodies of water, especially when stopping along the side of the road. Some hot pools in Iceland are so hot you will be scalded instantly, which is why having a handy list of the best hot springs in Iceland will help you to safely enjoy your dip! No matter if you are taking an Iceland road trip, driving the whole Ring Road, or only spending a few days in Iceland, there will be a hot spring that is nearby and readily accessible for you to explore!

There are three different types of hot springs in Iceland. The first is man made where people built a pool or hot tub around the hot area. The second type of hot spring in Iceland are the natural hot springs such as hot rivers that you can swim in. The third type of hot spring in Iceland are the kind that you cannot swim in because they are so hot such as the Geyser found on the Golden Circle. This last type will not be recommended in this article as you will not be able to swim in them, but the first two types are hot springs in Iceland you must visit!

Hot Springs In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

10 Geothermal Hot Springs In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#1. The Blue Lagoon Is The Most Famous Hot Springs In Iceland

If you have heard about Iceland, chances are you have heard about the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is the most well-known and popular of all of the hot springs in Iceland and it is easy to see why. We originally did not go to the Blue Lagoon on our first trip to Iceland because we were told that it was touristy and that we should skip it in lieu of visiting other hot springs in Iceland.

When we finally went to the Blue Lagoon on future trips to Iceland, we learned what all the hype was about and 100% recommend that you budget some money to visit the famous Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is located less than 20 minutes away from the Keflavik Airport making it a popular stop for people who are coming in or leaving Iceland. The water is a milky white and the pool was formed as the result of a nearby chemical plant.

Price: The price for visiting the Blue Lagoon varies based on which package you choose. We have gone on the cheapest package and have had no issues. Just make sure to read the fine print and make a reservation!

Directions: From the main highway that connects Keflavík and Reykjavík,
turn at the sign marked “Blue Lagoon” and drive approx. 10 km/6,5 miles. It takes 20 min from Keflavík Airport to Blue Lagoon and 50 min from Reykjavík to Blue Lagoon. You can easily type “The Blue Lagoon” in your GPS to get driving directions. See Google Maps Location Here!

the blue lagoon is one of the best hot springs in iceland

#2. Geosea Sea Baths Is The Newest Hot Spring In Iceland

When we visited Goesea Sea Baths, it had been open for less than two weeks! This is one of the best hot springs in Iceland if you are looking for something a bit fancier with an epic view! Geosea Hot Springs is located in Husavik in North Iceland and is perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. In case you didn’t know, Husavik is a very popular place in Iceland for whale watching, and we even saw whales while relaxing in the Geosea pools! So keep your eye out during your swim and you may spot a whale swimming below.

Geosea Seabaths also offer light food and a bar you can access from inside the hot spring! These hot springs in Iceland are laid out with multiple infinity pools and raised pools overlooking the ocean. They even have a small shallow pool for babies and young children. This hot spring in Iceland looked like a bunker from the outside, but when you arrived inside, it is a modern architectural wonder! The changing rooms are pristine and very fancy and the view of the fjords, mountains, and possibly whales really can’t be beaten! Geosea makes the list of the best hot springs in Iceland because it is brand new, offers incredible views, is clean and stunning, and provides something different and unique to the Iceland hot springs scene!

Price: The price of entry into these hot springs in Iceland is 4700 ISK which translates to about $37 per person for adults visiting the geothermal baths.

Location: Vitaslóð 1 640 Húsavík Iceland is the exact address to visit Geosea hot springs in Iceland. The Icelandic hot springs is located right outside of the town of Husavik in North Iceland and is very easy to find. See Google Maps Location Here!

Geosea baths are the newest hot springs in Iceland

#3. Seljavallalaug Hot Springs Is Hidden Away In The Southern Icelandic Mountains

Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is one of the more dreamy hot springs in Iceland due to its location. Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is tucked away in the mountains of south Iceland and you must hike there to visit! Don’t worry, the Seljavallalaug Hot Springs hike makes our list for the best easy hikes in Iceland so it is nothing strenuous. This pool is also the oldest man-made swimming pool in Iceland and but tourists have since trashed a beautiful location.

This hot springs in Iceland were not at all what we expected when we visited. Other than the incredible views, the water was warm at best [and we were chilly!], there are gobs of gross algae and gunk floating around, and the changing rooms are worse than you can imagine. Find out what to really expect at Seljavallaug Hot Springs in our blog post! That being said, this is still one of the best hot springs in Iceland if you know what to expect. Understand that the water is not hot by any means so it is more of a heated swimming pool than a hot tub.

From the parking lot, the walk to this hot springs in Iceland is 20 minutes long across flat but rocky ground. The hike is easy but understands you will have to cross a few small rivers so take that into account when choosing what shoes you should wear to visit this hot springs in Iceland. Make sure to bring your own towel and a bathing suit as this is literally a hole in the ground with a small [crappy] changing facility and not a fancy swimming pool with staff to attend to you. Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is open all year round and the hot spring is accessible during the winter but very chilly as the water temperature cools down.

Price: Free! All you have to do is drive to the parking lot and walk for 15-20 minutes!

Directions: This hot springs in Iceland is a little under 2 hours away from Reykjavik on the Ring Road heading south. Put “Þjóðvegur, Iceland” or in your GPS or Google Maps and “Seljavallalaug” in Apple maps to get you going in the right direction. If you make it to Skogafoss Waterfall, you have gone too far and need to turn back or ask a local the right directions. See Google Maps Location Here

seljavallalaug hot springs is one of the best hot springs in Iceland to swim in

 

#4. Reykjadalur Hot Springs Is About As Natural As Hot Springs In Iceland Get

If you are looking to get into some real Icelandic nature, Reykjadalur Hot Springs is the perfect hot springs in Iceland for you! Unlike other hot springs or hot pools in Iceland that look like, well, a pool, Reykjadalur Hot Springs are literally just little rivers in the ground! Reykjadalur Hot Springs, also known as the Reykjadalur Steam Valley, is a magical slice of Iceland because you can literally jump into a river off the side of the road and relax in the hot stream! There is also a 30-60 minute hike to get to these hot springs in Iceland, so make sure to budget that time in your schedule when visiting!

Unlike other hot springs in Iceland, Reykjadalur Steam Valley is composed of little streams to sit in instead of pools. This adds to its allure and makes it a magical addition to your Iceland itinerary. This is also one of the coolest hot springs in Iceland for photography, especially if you are visiting Iceland in winter! The hot streams surrounded by snow is such a cool thing to see! There is even a nearby geyser that erupts every 10 minutes so be sure to check it out when visiting this unique hot springs in Iceland!

Price: Free! All you have to do is drive and walk to these magical hot springs in Iceland.

Directions: Head south from Reykjavik towards the town of Vik on the Ring Road/Highway 1. Continue to drive until you reach the town of Hveragerði and follow the signs to “Reykjadalur”. Drive through the town and continue up through the hills to the parking lot. See Google Maps Directions Here

Geothermal Hot Springs In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#5. Krossneslaug Hot Springs Is A Hidden Gem In The Westfjords

Krossneslaug is one of the hot springs in Iceland that is located in the far-flung Westfjords. Not many people visit the Westfjords as they are quite a drive from Reykjavik and off-the-beaten-path. If you decide to visit the Westfjords, you are in for a real treat and memorable views and wonderful hot springs in Iceland. The Westfjords is home to a variety of hot springs and swimming pools so you have options depending on where you are going and what time of year you are visiting.

The Krossneslaug Hot Springs are located on the north-eastern side of the Westfjords and are home to a hot swimming pool and a nearby even hotter tub. Krossneslaug is one of the man-made hot springs in Iceland but that doesn’t make the experience any less enjoyable or relaxing. Krossneslaug Hot Springs also offers stunning views of the eastern Westfjords and nearby mountains and is a wonderful place to watch a sunset! This hot springs in Iceland is a hot swimming pool with a million dollar view and you won’t want to miss it!

Price: The price to enter is $5 USD [500ISK] and is on the honor system. Pay by placing money in the bucket at the entrance. The money helps with the upkeep of the shower and changing facilities as well as this lovely hot spring in Iceland.

Directions: Krossneslaug Hot Springs is located at the end of road number 643 in the Westfjords on the north-east coast. You can easily plug the name into your GPS or smartphone to get taken straight to this location. See Google Maps Location Here

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#6. Landbrotalaug Is A Secret Hot Springs In Iceland On The Side Of The Road

Landbrotalaug is one of the hot springs in Iceland that does not have any Google Maps directions in order to get to it! You either have to follow local directions or something you found on the web, or put in the location coordinates, which we will provide for you below! Landbrotalaug Hot Springs is a hot pool located on the side of the road in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

This hot spring in Iceland is a small hole in the ground and only fits four people! There is a water pump and another larger pool nearby, but the smaller hot pot is unique and hidden gem on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The Landbrotalaug hot pot is located on an abandoned farm which makes it even more unique and alluring! If you can make time to visit, this far-flung hot spring in Iceland will not disappoint!

Price: Free!

Directions: The GPS coordinates to get to this secret hot spring in Iceland are as follows  N64°49.933 W22°19.110. Also, check out this blog post written by another traveler to Iceland which lays out how to get to Landbrotalaug Hot Pot in great detail and includes lots of photographic tips. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is located about 2 hours drive west from Reykjavik and it is here you will find these hot springs in Iceland.

#7. Mývatn Nature Baths Are The Blue Lagoon Of The North

Quick! We have gone 6 hot springs in Iceland without recommending a blue one! Did you know that Iceland has not one but two blue lagoon hot springs? Mývatn Nature Baths are located in north Iceland and are home to water just as blue and milky as the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik! Mývatn Nature Baths are less expensive and less crowded making them a more magical option for photographers looking to shoot the hot springs in Iceland.

The reason that Mývatn Nature Baths are one of the less popular hot springs in Iceland when compared to the Blue Lagoon is simply due to their location. Mývatn Nature Baths are located in the high north of Iceland which means they are much less accessible than a hot spring that is just 15 minutes away from the international airport. This does not mean that Mývatn Nature Baths are any less of a unique experience than the Blue Lagoon! We highly recommend paying a visit to this lovely hot springs in Iceland.

Price: Entry price to the Mývatn Nature Baths is about $35 USD or 3500ISK. Although this is a bit more expensive than other hot springs in Iceland, it is much more affordable than the Blue Lagoon!

Directions: Mývatn Nature Baths are located 6 hours away from Reykjavik in the North of Iceland. They are quite easy to find by simply putting the name in your GPS. There are no hikes or anything special to get to these hot springs in Iceland. See Google Maps Directions Here

Myvatn Nature Baths In Iceland are known as the blue lagoon Iceland of the North. They are one of the best hot springs in Iceland

#8. Hrunalaug Hot Springs Is A Picturesque Oasis Of Privacy

Hrunalaug Hot Springs is such a unique spot that you need to visit when planning your trip to see hot springs in Iceland! Hrunalaug Hot Springs is tucked away in the mountains of south Iceland and offers a small and intimate atmosphere. This hot springs in Iceland is home to a small changing hut and a bathing pool that looks like a bathtub perched on the edge of a cliff.

Hrunalaug Hot Springs can hold up to 15 people and is not as popular as other hot springs in Iceland. You may have the whole place to yourself and if you don’t, you just have to wait a little while for other bathers to finish and move on. These hot springs in Iceland are more popular with locals than tourists and locals will visit during the weekend to have a soak and take in the beautiful Icelandic views.

Price: There is a donations/honor bucket where you pay at the entrance to help support this little hot spring in Iceland.

Directions: Head toward the town of Flúðir, take Hrunavegur and then turn right on Kaldbaksvegur. Turn right on Sólheimar and drive until you reach the parking lot for the Hrunalaug Hot Springs. See Google Maps Directions Here

 

#9. The Secret Lagoon Is The Oldest Pool In Iceland

The Secret Lagoon is officially known as the oldest pool in Iceland. It is located near the Golden Circle drive so it is a great hot spring in Iceland to visit while completing this circuit. People started to visit this secret hot springs in Iceland in 1891 and then it was lost for over 60 years! The pool was forgotten about until 2006 when it was rediscovered which is why it is now called Iceland’s Secret Lagoon.

Nearby the Secret Lagoon is a Geyser that erupts every few minutes and stunning views. This hot springs in Iceland is located near Hrunalaug Hot Springs listed above so you can easily visit both with one stop! Make sure to have the appropriate hot spring plugged into your GPS so you don’t get lost when finding either of these hot springs in Iceland as they are nearby. The Secret Lagoon has wonderful changing facilities that are clean and well-kept.

Price: The Secret Lagoon costs $25 or 2800ISK which, in our opinion, is quite costly for what is offered but may people love visiting these hot springs in Iceland.

Directions: Head to the town of Flúðir and plug “The Secret Lagoon Hot Spring” in your GPS. It is very easy to find this hot spring and facilities are easily accessible. See Google Maps Location Here

#10. Grettislaug Is A Remote Hot Springs In The North Of Iceland

Located along a fjord in the far reaches of north Iceland, this hot springs in Iceland has impressive views and rejuvenating waters. Grettislaug Hot Springs and the nearby Jarlslaug Hot Springs are located across from one another with majestic views of the mountains, ocean, and nearby islands. Although they are located quite far, they are worth the drive if you are completing the Ring Road or visiting North Iceland.

Grettislaug is a hot spring in Iceland surrounded by rocks making it into a natural hot tub. There is a nearby changing facility and an outdoor shower for those who want to wash off before and after exploring these beautiful remote hot springs in northern Iceland. Note that these Icelandic hot springs are located on private property so treat the property with kindness and respect as you are guests.

Price: There is a small entrance fee to help the landowners sustain these lovely hot springs in Iceland

Directions: Grettislaug Hot Springs is located in the far north-west of Iceland and can easily be found by plugging the name into your GPS. See Google Maps Location Here

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Map Of Hot Springs In Iceland

To make life easier for you, we created this handy map of our favorite hot springs in Iceland! This will allow you to simply open the map and have the exact GPS locations on Google maps. We have also provided each Google Maps location under the individual hot spring so that you can easily find them that way as well! This map of hot springs in Iceland will give you a visual overview of where they are located around the country. Feel free to save this link and refer back to it when planning which hot springs in Iceland you want to visit!

Link To Hot Springs In Iceland Map

map of the best hot springs in iceland

How To Respect Hot Springs In Iceland

We are sad to announce that many hot springs in Iceland are closing down and it is because of disrespectful tourists, plain and simple. Hot springs in Iceland see toilet paper, actual human feces, rotting wet clothes, trash and more scattered around. Many hot springs in Iceland are located on private land so instead of dealing with tourists, independent landowners decide to simply close down the bathing pool for good. This takes away an Icelandic hot spring from locals who have been going for decades.

When visiting these best hot springs in Iceland, always remember to leave no trace. This means that you don’t leave a single thing behind. You pack out what you take in and you never leave anything, even feces. If you must go to the bathroom, now is the time to leave one of the hot springs in Iceland in search of a bathroom. If you “go” outdoors, make a 1-foot deep hole and then cover up your poop and bury it. TAKE YOUR TOILET PAPER WITH YOU in a plastic baggie. These are basic tips for camping and pooping outdoors and since so many people do it disrespectfully near hot springs in Iceland, we thought it begged to be mentioned.

Finally, if the hot spring is on private property, make sure to ask the landowner if you can visit it before you trespass. If we all come together to be kind and respectful to the local hot springs in Iceland, they will be open for years to come!

Geothermal Hot Springs In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

Best Time Of Year To Visit Hot Springs In Iceland

The best time of year for visiting hot springs in Iceland really depends on what you want to do! If you want to bathe under the midnight sun, then summer is the time for you! Looking to see the Northern Lights and hop in under the snow? Winter is perfect! We think that summer or the early off-season is the best time to visit Iceland for hot springs so you can choose any hot spring you want and you won’t be cold.

Many hot springs in Iceland are simply “warm” and not “hot.” Even when we went during the warmer months, we were a bit chilly in the water and have been told the water gets even colder during the winter as it can’t keep up with the temperatures outside. That being said, there are some very warm hot springs in Iceland and these are perfect to visit during the winter months. If you plan on visiting Icelandic hot springs in the winter, just make sure to read up on the warmth and skip going to any outdoor pools!

Average Iceland Hot Springs Temperatures

Believe it or not, many hot springs in Iceland aren’t all that hot! You will see magical photos of people relaxing in what appears to be an amazing pool and then we go and visit and it is COLD! Okay, not freezing but not hot like a jacuzzi either! We are here to give you the facts straight up and tell you the average temperatures of hot springs in Iceland.

Hot swimming pools in Iceland such as Seljavallaug Hot Springs listed above are a cool 20° to 30°C or 68 to 86°F which is pretty chilly when it is freezing outside. If you see anything that looks like a swimming pool, think of it as a heated pool instead of a jacuzzi so you won’t be disappointed.

Most hot springs in Iceland are around 34° to 40°C or 95°-104°F. As Floridians, we are here to tell you that during the summer, our ocean water is about 95 degrees so that isn’t all that warm to us, especially when it is cold out. Some of the hotter hot springs in Iceland are around 44°C which is 111°F. For example, Myvatn Nature Baths have a hotter jacuzzi area for those of you that like your hot springs super hot!

average temperature for hot springs in Iceland

Now you have a great list of hot springs in Iceland to get you started planning your dream trip! Make sure to leave no trace when visiting Icelandic hot springs and this means not leaving your trash or walking on areas that are not a designated trail. Some hot springs in Iceland have even been closed down because tourists have had no disregard for nature and private property which is a shame that people can’t behave better. Please treat these hot springs with respect so others can enjoy them for years to come!

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5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

If you are considering visiting Iceland in winter, get ready for the experience of a lifetime! Winter is one of the best times to go to Iceland because flights are cheaper, it is less crowded, hotels are more affordable, and there is a much higher possibility that you can see the Northern Lights in Iceland! Many people are tentative about visiting Iceland in winter, but that may very well be because they have a fear of the unknown.

We are here to tell you that with the proper planning and research, you will truly enjoy winter in Iceland. Before you pack your balaclava and start planning your Iceland itinerary, there are a few things you need to know so you can be better prepared for what to expect from an Iceland winter.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

#1 Pack Properly For Winter In Iceland Or Else You Will Be Sorry [And Cold!]

We know this sounds like a super obvious tip for visiting Iceland in winter and you may think it shouldn’t make this list, but packing for winter in Iceland should be taken seriously. We have been to Iceland when it was winter/snowing twice and you wouldn’t believe the number of people walking around icy waterfalls or snowy beaches wearing Converse or comparable canvas shoes. There are also people walking around in very thin jackets or falling down and getting their bums or hands soaked because their clothing isn’t waterproof.

We are from Florida so 65*F means breaking out the boots and scarves. Our first trip to Iceland was in winter and we did our research and took packing seriously and we are so glad we did! To help you save time, we put together a packing list for Iceland in Winter so you can cut to the chase and pack quality winter gear.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

The three most important things we invested in for our first Iceland winter was a waterproof and windproof winter jacket, waterproof winter pants, and waterproof snow boots certified to keep your feet warm on ground up to -25*F. Want to stand on a glacier in Iceland? No big deal! If you don’t want to shell out a ton of money for new gear, ask around with your friends and family to see if they have any items you can borrow. If your budget for Iceland is tight, we urge you not to skimp on snow boots/shoes and a good jacket.

We buy a lot of our winter gear on sale at our local Columbia outlet store or from Amazon so it ends up being a lot more affordable if you are hoping to travel to Iceland on a budget. If you already have quality gear that will hold up to an Iceland winter, consider packing a balaclava. Balaclavas are super affordable and you will thank us when Iceland’s winter wind doesn’t hit your face!

The key to enjoying Iceland in winter is to stay warm and dry and that isn’t hard to do when you are prepared with a winter packing list for Iceland. After all, there is nothing worse than having wet feet during the winter! If you want more tips on packing for winter in Iceland, head to the bottom of this post!

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

#2 Iceland Winter Weather Really Isn’t All That Fridgid

Compared to many places in the United States and Canada [and the world!], winter weather in Iceland really isn’t all that bad! The temperatures in Iceland tend to hover around 20-35*F [0 to -5C] throughout the coldest winter months. Compared to places such as Minnesota, New York, or the Rocky Mountains, Iceland experiences quite pleasant winter weather. This isn’t to say that Iceland doesn’t get snow storms like everywhere else, the country just doesn’t see sub-zero temperatures all that often.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

Why is winter in Iceland so “warm” comparatively speaking?  Although Iceland is situated in the Arctic, it is located right on the Gulfstream. This warm water keeps Iceland nice and reasonable pretty much all year round! Some cities in Alaska or Canada with similar geographical coordinates average -15*F highs during the winter while Iceland sees temperatures in the 20-30 range.

This isn’t to say that Iceland in winter isn’t cold. It is winter and it is the arctic but it truly isn’t that bad! New York City and certainly Chicago experience colder weather than Iceland in winter on a more consistent basis. We are Floridians and we have experienced winter in Iceland twice and loved every second of it. If we can do it, you surely can!

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

#3. There Is No Guarantee You Will See The Northern Lights When Visiting Iceland In Winter

People choose to visit Iceland in winter because of the high chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Having a chance to experience the Northern Lights in Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people. If you choose to visit Iceland in December through March [or even September-April], there is a great chance you will get to see the Northern Lights.

Winter is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland because it stays dark for so long. That being said, we want to warn you in advance that there is no guarantee you will see the Northern Lights in Iceland. Perhaps it will be cloudy every night of your trip or it may rain or the Northern Lights may simply not be very strong on the days you are traveling to Iceland.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

If you are hoping to spot the Northern Lights in Iceland, you are going to need to have a car and be in a dark area on a clear night that the Aurora is forecasted to be strong. Even if you are staying in Reykjavik, you can drive less than 25 minutes outside of the city and be in enough darkness to see the Northern Lights on a lovely Iceland winter night. Alternatively, if you don’t want to drive or find a specific spot, you can take a Northern Lights tour. There are so many different kinds to fit every budget and need!

Winter in Iceland is your best chance at seeing the Northern Lights so there is certainly a high possibility and we don’t want to scare you away from heading to the country during the off-season. We simply urge you to go into your winter trip to Iceland with an open mind regarding possible Northern Lights sightings.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

#4. Not All Roads Will Be Open During Winter In Iceland And That Won’t Impact Your Trip

If you are dreaming of taking an epic Iceland road trip, you can still do so during the winter with no problem! Our Iceland road trip itinerary was the exact drive we did in Iceland in February and in November and the same route many other readers have followed as well.

Certain roads such as F Roads and H Roads will be closed and off limits during winter in Iceland. As a result, you do not have to spend more money to get a 4×4 car as a 2 wheel drive car will handle the roads during an Iceland winter just fine.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

The Ring Road in Iceland is the main highway that circumnavigates the entire island. It is always open during winter unless otherwise specified [check online!] but it is a good idea to stay away from north Iceland during winter if the weather is forecasted to be too bad. This Iceland road trip itinerary covers a lot of fantastic sites and can be done during winter in Iceland.

Stay away from “The Highlands” and any F or H roads and stick to the Ring Road or the Golden Circle when road tripping Iceland in winter and you will be just fine. You won’t even know the roads are closed because you will be too busy visiting so many spectacular natural landscapes off of Iceland’s Ring Road.

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

#5 You Can Still See All The Stunning Iceland Landscapes And The Snow Makes It A True Winter Wonderland

Instead of burying the landscape, snow from an Iceland winter actually accentuates it! If you are worried about traveling to Iceland in winter because you won’t be able to see all the sights, think again! All the beautiful places, from The Blue Lagoon to majestic waterfalls are doing their natural thing 24/7/365! Sure, waterfalls in Iceland may look a little different during the winter when cloaked with icicles, but they are no less impressive or beautiful to behold!

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

Visiting Iceland in winter doesn’t mean you will be stuck inside looking at snow. Instead, you will have the opportunity to walk inside an ice cave [can’t do that during the summer], or photograph endless white mountains, or watch the Northern Lights dance over a partially frozen waterfall. Winter in Iceland is a truly magical experience and you won’t sacrifice any fun by choosing to travel during this time of year.

Bonus points for traveling to Iceland in winter include the fantastic “golden hour” light that seems to be ever present! Having sunset all day to accent the snowy landscape is pretty surreal!

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

What To Pack For Iceland In Winter

Although we discussed it above for a little, packing for Iceland in winter should be done carefully! This is not the trip to skimp on buying new clothing as you want to be warm and dry instead of cold and sorry! Whether you are hiking in Iceland or just taking a road trip, packing the proper clothes for your trip is essential, especially in winter. When it comes to packing for Iceland in winter, understand that you should be going for comfort over style. Winter weather in Iceland is not to be taken lightly, so dressing properly is a must.These are some of our tried and true favorite suggestions when traveling to Iceland in the winter.

  • A balaclava. Balaclavas are the perfect winter accessory because they don’t take up a lot of space yet they keep you super warm! Balaclavas will not be swept away by the winds during Iceland in winter and stay snug around your neck. Make sure to throw one in your backpack or suitcase and thank us later!
  • Filtered water bottle. We swear by our Bobble Water Bottles and they have seen multiple trips to Iceland. If you plan to drink the water in Iceland, you can drink it straight from the tap, but we suggest a filtered water bottle because everyone reacts to different bacteria differently. Plus, they don’t cost all that much! If you are planning a trip to Iceland in winter, you can even leave the bottle outside for a chill before you fill it!
  • Ski/Snow Pants. If you are heading to Iceland in winter, please make sure to pack a pair of snow pants. You will not regret it! Iceland will be blanketed in snow having waterproof pants is a must. If you want to kneel down or sit in the snow or lay on the ground to get the perfect shot, you are going to want your pants to stay dry. Waterproof winter pants are also windproof which will be useful to protect you from the wind in Iceland!
  • Winter Boots/Waterproof Shoes. Whatever you do, make sure to pack some waterproof boots for Iceland. We think that packing the correct boots for Iceland is so important that we even wrote this post about it to help you out! We highly recommend in investing in winter boots for Iceland, as they will be in charge of keeping you dry and warm the whole trip. Make sure the soles are certified to keep your feet warm to temperatures below 0*F to ensure you are purchasing a good pair. We love Columbia brand like these for winter boots.
  • A Solid Winter Jacket. There are winter jackets for Iceland that are only okay, and then there are good quality jackets like this one from Columbia. Like the boots above, we think picking the right winter jacket for Iceland was so important, we wrote an entire post on it which you can read here. We recommend bringing a jacket for Iceland in winter that has an omni-tech base layer and a waterproof shell. Along with shoes, we highly recommend investing in a high-quality jacket for Iceland in winter.
  • A Swimsuit. Yes, believe it or not, you do need to pack a swimsuit when you are traveling to Iceland in winter! Hot springs in Iceland are warm all year round, so you want to make sure you have a swimsuit so you can take a dip! Hot springs are the perfect way to warm up after a day exploring Iceland in winter.
  • Waterproof Gloves. As you can see, waterproof is a trend for surviving winter in Iceland! Make sure that you buy a pair of waterproof gloves or else your hands will be soaked the second you touch something covered in snow or ice [which is a lot of things during winter in Iceland!] A solid pair of gloves doesn’t have to break the bank, just make sure they are waterproof and made for winter!
  • Fleece-Lined Leggings. We do not care if you are male or female, you need to pack a pair of fleece-lined leggings. We recommend this pair for women and this pair for men. They are a lifesaver and will keep your legs insulated from the elements that are so common during Iceland in winter. Fleece-lined leggings are so affordable but they make all the difference during your trip!
  • Polarized Sunglasses. Sunglasses are one of those things you would never think to pack for Iceland, especially during winter. This is not the case because the sun is very strong during the winter in Iceland and it reflects off of the white ice and snow which can be very harmful to your eyes. Protect your eyes by packing sunglasses like these unisex ones! Polarized sunglasses add an additional layer of protection that normal sunglasses do not offer.
  • Knit Hat. Make sure to pack a knit hat for your trip to Iceland in winter. Bonus points if the hat is made out of wool! This isn’t the time to be fashionable, so pick a functional and affordable hat. Packing for Iceland in winter is meant to keep you warm, so don’t pick something flimsy!

what to pack for iceland in winter

Average Winter Weather In Iceland

Believe it or not, winter weather in Iceland isn’t all that bad! The main thing that makes an Iceland winter bad is the wind chill! The temperatures in Iceland during the winter are never that bad, but the wind is! As we are writing this, Iceland is experiencing a wind storm with gusts up to 75mph which is just crazy, even for Floridians who experience hurricanes! Make sure to dress in windproof layers when visiting Iceland in winter.

The average winter weather in Iceland also depends on where in the country you are traveling. The far-flung Westfjords or North of Iceland experience much worse and colder weather than Iceland’s popular south coast. Make sure to check in advance if you are traveling to any of these places during the winter as roads may be closed and they may not be accessible! Reykjavik will experience much warmer temperatures than North Iceland so it isn’t fair to quote a temperature and think it will be the same for the entirety of Iceland!

For the sake of this article, we will share the average winter temperature for Reykjavik Iceland below. Please note that the further north you go the colder it will get [obviously!]

December Temperatures In Reykjavik: 38°F high and 30°F low

January Temperatures In Reykjavik: 36°F high and 28°F low

February Temperatures In Reykjavik: 35°F high and 29°F low

March Temperatures in Reykjavik: 37°F high and 31°F low

This is the official Iceland website for weather and a great website for up-to-the-minute information! This will show you the current weather for winter in Iceland temperatures and weather all around the country.

Average weather in Iceland in winter | winter weather in Iceland

How To Drive In Iceland In Winter

Many people considering spending winter in Iceland are very afraid of driving and that is understandable! We are Floridians [aka no snow where we live!] and we have driven in Iceland in winter multiple times so if we can do it so can you! We strongly recommend that you check out this detailed article we created about driving in Iceland and head to the “winter” tips for more in-depth details!

When driving in Iceland in winter, it is important to be careful and drive slow. Some roads may not be cleared when driving in Iceland during the winter so you will be driving on dirty and slushy snow. There may be hidden patches of ice so once again, drive slow. You will not need a 4×4 vehicle when driving in Iceland in winter so if you don’t have the extra money to spend don’t worry and stick with a 2×2 car.

All rental cars in Iceland come with snow tires when you rent them during the winter, so you don’t have to worry about chains or anything too sketchy. Make sure to fill up your gas tank early and often so you aren’t stranded in the middle of an Iceland winter storm. Also, make sure to keep food and water in your car in the event you get into an accident and need sustenance until help comes.

how to drive in winter in iceland | iceland winter driving tips

Iceland Winter Safety Tips

Visiting Iceland in winter is quite safe if you follow some easy and basic safety tips! First and foremost, it is super important to dress appropriately during winter in Iceland. Dress in waterproof and windproof layers. You don’t want to get windburn or hypothermia and we can’t overstate proper dress for Iceland enough! Check out this post for what to wear in Iceland in winter for both men and women.

Although the roads in Iceland are quite open and it is tempting to speed, this is quite unsafe, especially when driving in Iceland in winter. Yes, it is illegal, but it is also dangerous as the roads can be slippery and icy. If you are visiting Iceland’s south coast, you will run into great clear roads. If you are traveling to the north of Iceland during the winter, you may run into roads that aren’t clear at all. Always check the latest information when driving in Iceland in winter for important safety information.

If you plan on hiking during winter in Iceland, make sure to let someone know where you are going and how long you plan to be gone. While this is a best-practice for hiking any time of year, it is especially important during winter in Iceland when the weather can change at a moments notice. Many hiking trails in Iceland are not cleared during the winter so if you aren’t experienced at hiking in winter conditions, Iceland may not be the first place to give it a try. Consider one of these best easy hikes in Iceland instead!

Finally, please note that the emergency number in Iceland is “112.” Many people travel to places without ever knowing the emergency number and we think this should change! If you are renting a car, this number may be posted inside as a reminder as well. The phone service is pretty great in Iceland for foreigners and the reason is so it is easier to call for help in an emergency. Keep this number handy, especially when visiting Iceland in winter.

Top safety tips for Iceland in winter | how to be safe in Iceland during the winter

Cost Of Travel In Iceland During Winter

Lucky you! Traveling to Iceland in winter is absolutely the cheapest time to visit the country. Although Iceland is still one of the most expensive countries in the world, there are ways to get around it and traveling during the winter is one of those ways. By visiting Iceland in winter, you will be able to experience cheaper prices for rental cars, hotels, tours and more. If you plan on staying in an Airbnb while in Iceland, they will be a lot more affordable during the winter by a long shot.

A simple meal in Iceland will run you around $30-$40 for something as simple as a burger and fries and a gas station meal will run around $15-$20. During winter in Iceland, some restaurants may drop their prices, but don’t expect a change when it comes to liquor! Buy your liquor duty-free at the airport to save money. If you are looking to save money when spending winter in Iceland, consider shopping at one of the grocery stores in Iceland and cook at your accommodation.

Unfortunately, gas in Iceland does not get any cheaper during the winter. Gas is one of the most expensive parts about traveling in Iceland any time of year and the price doesn’t get much cheaper during the winter. Expect to pay between $80-$100 to fill your tank, even in a small 2×2 economy car. Make sure to factor the cost of gas in your budget when visiting Iceland in winter.

We promise that traveling to Iceland in the winter really isn’t as scary or daunting as it seems. You don’t even have to do much to “survive” winter in Iceland other than plan ahead and prepare a little. Going in with an open mind and a sense of adventure to experience the great places that Iceland has to offer will ensure that you are off to having a great trip!

cost of travel during the winter in Iceland | how much does it cost to travel to iceland

Additional Reading For Your Trip To Iceland In Winter

Have we convinced you to travel to Iceland in winter? Have you ever experienced winter in Iceland? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments! 

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The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter (Weather, Safety & Tips)

Visiting Paris in winter is a magical and memorable experience you won’t soon forget. The weather during winter in Paris will be a bit cold [Paris has an average temperature of 41°F in January and 38°F in Feburary], but that doesn’t mean you should write off visiting Paris in the winter all together!

Winter in Paris is generally defined as December to February, but months such as November and March can experience winter weather in Paris as well.  Winter in Paris means Christmas decorations and Valentine’s Day treats and the chance of snow and fewer crowds to fight.  With a few tips and this handy guide by your side, you will be off to an enjoyable trip to the City Of Light during the winter months.

eiffel tower during winter in Paris

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter

Average Paris Winter Weather

The average weather in Paris in winter is a bit rainy and chilly. It does snow in Paris in winter but you won’t find it every year and it won’t snow until the end of January or February. December weather in Paris [and in France in general] is actually more on the rainy and warmer [for winter] side, so there is less chance of snow because it is too warm and wet for the snow to form. Even if it does snow in Paris, it is usually just a dusting or 1-2 inches.

Since Paris observes Daylight Savings Time, the sun sets quite early during the winter in Paris. If you are visiting Paris in winter, understand that the sun will set by 5 pm at the latest. Sure, this gives you shorter daylight hours, but it offers more time to explore the city by night and the rain and cold allow you a unique way to enjoy what the city has to offer. If winter is the only time you have to visit Paris, just remember that the average Paris winter weather isn’t all that bad and is quite doable with the proper packing and planning!

average winter weather in Paris during the winter | things to do in paris in winter

Average Winter Temperatures In Paris

The temperature of Paris in the winter is actually relatively reasonable, especially for a northern city. The average temperature of Paris in December is 42°F, the average temperature of Paris in January is 41°F, and the average temperature of Paris in February is 38°F. As you can see, these temperatures are not entirely freezing and are actually more enjoyable than similar cities such as New York City, which averages in the mid-to-low 30’s during January.

If you are looking to visit Paris in the winter, rest assured that it is no colder than any other large northern city. You won’t show up to your Paris winter trip and be shocked by the temperature change, especially if you already live in a place that experiences winter. We are from Florida and have visited Paris during the winter twice and survived just fine so if we can do it, you certainly can!

Check out these average Paris winter weather highs and lows to get an idea:

November Temperatures For Paris: 52°F high and 43°F low

December Temperatures For Paris: 46°F high and 37°F low

January Temperatures For Paris: 45°F high and 37°F low

February Temperatures For Paris: 46°F high and 36°F low

March Temperatures For Paris: 54°F high and 41°F low

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter

How To Get To Paris In Winter

Getting to Paris in winter is quite easy! Transportation prices will be at a yearly low during the majority of the winter, so you will save a lot of money by booking your trip to Paris in the winter! Charles de Gaulle is the main airport in which people fly into and the Paris Orly airport is secondary and a bit further out of town. Once you land, you can take an Uber or Taxi into town or take public transportation, which is easy and affordable. If you live in Europe or you are already traveling there, you can take one of the many high-speed trains that go in and out of Paris every day! The main train stations in Paris are Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, and Gare de l’Est. Spending winter in Paris has never been easier or more affordable!

Book transfer here: Charles de Gaulle And Orly Airport Transfer

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter

How To Get Around Paris In The Winter

If you are in good fitness, consider taking the Paris Metro! The Metro is a fast, affordable, and easy way to get around, even in winter! The Paris Metro will run rain, shine, snow, and sleet, so it is pretty reliable! You can purchase a metro ticket for 1.90 Euros, a booklet or 10 tickets, or a weekly metro pass, depending on your needs. If you are not able to walk up and down a lot of steps [elevators are rare] or you are in a wheelchair, we recommend taking an Uber as it may be easier and safer.

Walking around Paris in winter is quite enjoyable because the city will be decked out for the holidays and then may be blanketed in snow during the early months of the year. Paris is actually quite a large city, so if you plan to walk, remember to wear good walking shoes and to dress appropriately. Finally, depending on the weather, you can also choose to rent a bike and bike around Paris. Biking is very popular among Parisians and there are many local bike stands you can rent from.

Book here: Discover The Heart Of Paris By Bike

paris in winter metro stops

What To Pack For Paris In Winter

If you are heading to Paris in the winter, there are a few packing tips we suggest you adhere to! Visiting Paris in winter is quite enjoyable and magical, but you need to stay warm and dry. Since it is Paris, you will also want to do all these things while looking a bit fashionable too! Dressing in layers is key! This way, you can easily go from warm out on the streets of Paris to comfortable inside a building. If you get too warm or too cold, simply add or take away a layer until you feel better.

Both times we have visited Paris in winter, we packed our entire wardrobe in carry-on luggage! If you want to pack in a carry-on, know that it is totally doable! If you want to bring a checked bag, that is even better as you will have more space!

  • Fleece lined leggings. We don’t care if you are a guy or girl, if you are packing for Paris in winter, you need to bring fleece lined leggings! We actually bring two pairs each so that you can double them up if you want to wear a dress! Fleece lined leggings are the perfect thing to add to your winter packing list for Paris because they don’t take up much space and they keep you warm under slacks, jeans, or dresses!
  • Warm winter dresses. Jeans and pants only go so far! Make sure to pack at least 3 winter dresses [if you are the dress-wearing type] for your winter trip to Paris! Warm winter dresses pair well with doubled up fleece lined leggings, boots, and a warm hat keeping you comfy and stylish on the streets of Paris! Add a few of these affordable ones to your Paris packing list and strut your stuff in style!
  • Thin Long Sleeve Thermal Tops. Whether you are a guy or girl packing for Paris, we recommend bringing 2-3 thin thermal tops. These tops are affordable and pack up very small all while keeping you extra warm! They are perfect for layering and can be worn underneath other tops as a base layer or under dresses with shorter sleeves to transform them from summer to winter wear.
  • Comfy Knit Hat. Simple knit hats or beanies are a staple to add to your Paris packing list. Not only do cable knit hats make any outfit a bit cuter, they also keep you warm and protect your ears from the wind. You really only need to bring one, but we won’t blame you if you pick up a few! The best part? You probably already have one lying around the house!
  • A Solid Pair Of Waterproof Boots/Shoes. Although you can probably get away with bringing canvas or lighter shoes to Paris in winter, we do not recommend it! We brought these Hunter Boots on our last Paris packing list for a winter trip and it was the best decision ever! They are a little pricey, to begin with, but you can find cheaper versions like these that just aren’t the brand name. Unless it is snowing, you really don’t need snow boots but shoes or boots that are waterproof really do help. By having waterproof boots, we were still able to have fun outdoors in a light drizzle in the middle of winter without worrying about getting cold or wet.
  • A Winter Jacket. Do not think that you can visit Paris in the winter and NOT bring a winter jacket. Bonus points if that winter jacket is waterproof! Last trip, Terrence brought one waterproof winter jacket and layered up on hoodies and long sleeve shirts. Victoria brought two winter jackets, one waterproof, which she only wore a few times, and one more stylish but not waterproof, which she wore more often. We recommend looking at the weather for when you go to Paris and then packing accordingly. You can’t go wrong with a jacket that is stylish AND waterproof like this one here!
  • Warm Gloves. Don’t forget to add warm gloves to your list of what to pack for Paris in winter! Since you will be sightseeing, you will be on your smartphone a lot and your fingers will get super cold if you don’t protect them! Even walking the streets of Paris in winter without gloves will make your hands freeze! Make sure to buy touch screen gloves so that you can still access your phone without taking them off!
  • A Balaclava. Winter weather in Paris can get windy and blow your scarf all over the place! Cut down on chasing your clothing around and add a Balaclava to your Paris packing list! A balaclava is perfect for both men and women and is often unisex. They fit neatly under your clothing and are barely noticeable but you notice the benefit that they provide! By protecting your neck from the elements, you will stay much warmer during your time exploring Paris in winter!
  • Dark Denim Jeans. Darker Colored jeans are perfect to add to your packing list for Paris because they fit in instead of standing out. Use them as a top layer and add fleece lined leggings as your base so you can stay warm. Then accessorize as you see fit, for men, with a flannel or sweater, and for women, with a stylish jacket or cute sweater.
  • Pull-Over Sweaters. Pair a pull-over sweater with jeans, leggings, or slacks and you are set for winter in Paris. Sweaters make for the perfect Paris packing list accessory for both men and women and keep you warm and cozy while looking stylish. We recommend picking sweaters that are in neutral tones for your winter trip to Paris so you can mix and match with other pieces.

packing list for paris in winter

Top Things To Do In Paris During The Winter

Visiting Paris during the winter presents a unique opportunity to explore parts of the city that you may have otherwise passed up. While the weather is cold and possibly inclement, head indoors to one of the many things to do in the city! If the weather is great, you can take to the streets and explore, all while being dressed appropriately! Whether you are looking to spend a long weekend in Paris or have a week or more to visit, there is plenty to see and do!

Bundle Up And Explore Paris By Bike

You can rent bikes at the Velib Bike Stations in Paris for very little money. It costs $8 to rent for a week and the first 30 minutes of each ride is free. Even if you end up having to pay by the hour, it will still be cheaper than renting from a bike shop. Biking is a wonderful way to explore the city, even in winter! Make sure that you are dressed in warm clothing and make sure it is windproof, if possible. Wear gloves to keep your hands warm and a hat and get ready to explore what winter in Paris is like by bike! You can also ride your bike across town and drop it off at any Velib bike station and simply take the Metro home if the weather gets bad!

If you would prefer, there are many guided bike tours that you can take around Paris in winter! That way, you can enjoy the sites without worrying about getting lost!

Book here: Electric Bike Tour Of Paris’ Hidden Gems

Check availability: Paris 4-Hour Bike Tour: Off the Beaten Path

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter

Go Window Shopping Along The Champs-Elysées

There is nothing more magical than a walk along the Champs-Elysées during the winter! Winter in Paris means stores decked out for the holidays, Christmas trees galore, and maybe even a little snow if you are lucky! Parisians love to window shop, especially around the holidays! Take the Metro to either end of the Champs-Elysées and window shop your way up and down the streets! There are plenty of good places to eat if you need to stop in to warm up during your walk!

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter

Head Indoors And Enjoy One Of The Many Parisian Museums

Museums are a highlight to explore in Paris during the winter! Millions of people travel to Paris from all around the world to visit museums and there is no better time to enjoy them than when visiting Paris in winter! If you are visiting the Louvre, make sure to buy a timed entrance ticket so you aren’t stuck waiting over an hour in line to buy a ticket! You can buy a Louvre Entrance Ticket here and choose your time that you want to visit. Make sure to budget at least 4-5 hours at minimum for exploring the Louvre. It is the perfect activity to do in Paris in winter if the weather gets bad because it allows you to spend a great deal of time indoors without ever getting bored. You can even book a cool guided tour about Louve Scandals or you can try and find the best butts at the Louvre! How entertaining, right?

If you have already seen the Louvre, check out one of the other fantastic museums to explore in Paris such as the Musee d’Orsay, the Musee de l’Orangerie, the Holocaust Museum, Musee Rodin and many many more! Click here to book your Musee d’Orsay tickets in advance!

Book here: Louvre Skip The Line/Timed Entrance Ticket

Book here: Skip The Line/Louvre Scandals Tour

Book now: Musée d’Orsay Reserved Access 1-Day Admission Ticket

visit the louvre during winter in paris

Go Underground And Visit The Parisian Catacombs

The catacombs are the perfect activity to when visiting Paris in winter because they are underground which means they are sheltered from the elements! The Parisian catacombs are home to over 6 million bones, so get ready for the experience of a lifetime. You can book your Catacombs ticket online so that you can skip the line and get an included audio guide. If you are visiting Paris in winter and want to head to the catacombs, make sure to wear warm clothing, as you will be underground and it may be cold. Discovering the dark side of the City Of Light has never been more fun!

Book here: Catacombs Skip The Line Ticket

during paris in winter visit the catacombs

Warm Up With A Cooking Class During Winter In Paris

Paris is home to some of the best food in the entire world! From delicious crepes to fluffy Macaroons, the food is truly out of this world. Taking a cooking class when visiting Paris in winter is the perfect way to head indoors and learn about your favorite French food while staying warm and dry. There are so many options for cooking classes, from learning the secrets of French pastries to learning how to cook an authentic Christmas dinner, there is truly a Parisian cooking class for everyone!

Book here: Learn The Secrets Of French Pastry From A Parisian

Book now: French Macaroon Baking Class

Book here: 2-Hour French Bread Making Class

cooking classes in paris during winter

Go Ice Skating For Free Around The City

Ice skating is the quintessential winter activity and it can be found in Paris! Ice skating during winter in Paris is actually free, all you have to do is rent ice skates which will run about $7. We can’t think of anything more magical than strapping on a pair of skates and Ice skating around Paris in winter! The most popular Paris winter ice skating locations are in front of Hôtel de Ville and at the base of the Montparnasse skyscraper. Make sure to dress warmly so you don’t spend your whole time skating wishing you had worn a hat!

ice skating in paris in winter

Go To A French Christmas Market In Paris

If your trip to Paris in winter falls around the holidays, you are in for a real treat! Head to one of the authentic Christmas markets in Paris and shop at the stalls, eat delicious food, and enjoy the holiday cheer. We love Christmas markets and there are some fantastic ones in Paris during the winter! Try the mulled wine as a way to warm up while browsing the handcrafted goods and homemade cookies. There are multiple Christmas markets around Paris in winter so make sure to visit a few, if you have time. Each one has its own little twist!

winter christmas markets in paris

Take In Paris From Above On Top Of The Eiffel Tower

Just because it is winter in Paris does not mean that you should forgo a trip up the Eiffel Tower. If you have never gone up the tower, don’t skip it just because it is winter. Going up the Eiffel Tower in winter is actually more enjoyable than in the summer because you won’t be fighting with long lines of people and you will have more open space to take in the view without the crowds. That being said, going up the Eiffel Tower in winter can be quite cold so be sure to dress in your warmest clothing so you have an enjoyable trip! We highly recommend gloves, a hat, and layers!

Book here for discounted entrance: Eiffel Tower: Second Floor Priority Access or Summit Ticket

Check availability here: Dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel with Priority Lift Tickets

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Paris In Winter

Where To Stay In Paris During The Winter

Where to stay during your winter trip to Paris will depend on what you plan on doing. We prefer to stay near the Eiffel Tower as we like to be able to walk a few blocks and see it in the distance. Perhaps you are looking to explore the Montmartre District or spend a lot of time in certain museums. If you find a hotel you love, do not worry! The Paris Metro goes to every corner of the city and makes it quick and easy to get around!

If you are truly looking to get a feel of how the posh locals live during your winter trip to Paris, we suggest that you consider renting an Airbnb! An Airbnb allows you to live like the locals do in the heart of bustling neighborhoods! You can experience everything from grocery shopping in Paris to walking home from the metro to cooking with local ingredients in your own kitchen! Airbnbs in Paris also allows you to stay in a nicer area for a lot cheaper than many hotels! You will also save money on eating out in the event that you want to try your hand at creating authentic French dishes at home!

Redeem Now: Get A Free $40 Airbnb Coupon

Our recommended areas to stay in Paris in winter would be near the Eiffel Tower, near the Arc De Triomphe/Champs Elysees, and near the Louvre. There really is no “bad” area to stay in Paris so we can really only give our personal recommendations for areas, hotels, and Airbnbs that we love.

hotels in paris during the winter

Hotel Recommendations In Paris:

  • Hôtel Elysées Bassano, Paris.  This four-star hotel is located in a fantastic area in between the Arc De Triomphe and the Seine river! It is moderately priced, for Paris, and the rooms are spacious and modern! It is also 0.8 miles away from the Eiffel tower which is an easy walking distance for most. Check price and availability here! 
  • Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel, Paris. If you are looking for a hotel in Paris that is right next to the Eiffel Tower, this is it! Just steps away from the base of the famous Eiffel Tower, this four-star hotel delivers Parisian charm. If you are visiting Paris in winter, be sure to walk along the Seine and share some delicious crepes under the Eiffel Tower! Check price availability here!
  • Hôtel Eiffel Petit Louvre, Paris. If you are looking for a more affordable Eiffel Tower hotel in Paris, check out this one! It is only a few blocks further from the tower than our suggestion above, but it is a bit cheaper. The rooms are clean and modern and pretty luxe for the price! Check price and availability here! 
  • Sofitel Paris Baltimore Tour Eiffel Hotel, Paris [Luxury Option]. There are many luxury hotels in Paris you really can’t go wrong! As we said, we love a good Eiffel Tower location and the rooms are well done. You are also close to a Metro if you need easy access to transportation! Check prices and availability here! 
  • District République, Paris [Budget Hotel]. If you are in the market for a good budget hotel, we like this one located in the 10th district. It offers free wifi and is located near metros and bus stations so you can easily get around. The rooms are clean and many attractions are within walking distance! Check prices and availability here! 

Click Here To Check Rates And Availability For Hotels In Paris

Airbnb Recommendations In Paris:

We have stayed at many Airbnbs in Paris, but sadly, some of the listings are not up anymore or are only rented for a month or year-long contracts. That being said, we are going to share some Airbnbs that we would personally book, along with some we have stayed in to make things easier for you! We are only going to recommend “entire home” Airbnbs where you will get to stay in the entire home by yourself, without sharing with anyone! You can also use our code and get $40 off your booking in Paris!

  • Charming Studio near the Canal Saint-Martin. This adorable studio is oh-so-cute and so very affordable! We love that Airbnb in Paris are affordable yet allow you to live like a local. This one has many reviews [over 200], is in a good location, and has great ratings! Plus, it has the cutest street view! Check prices and availability here! 
  • 5 minutes near Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars. This is our very favorite location in all of Paris! Walking distance from the Eiffel Tower and the Seine as well as near more shops and restaurants than you can count! It is so cute and colorful we can’t resist this listing! Check prices and availability here! 
  • Charming Parisian Studio. This little studio offers the best of both worlds between a hotel and an Airbnb. It comes with a full kitchen and is comfortable and clean with a couch, TV, and separate bed! It is quite cozy if you are spending winter in Paris! Check prices and availability here! 
  • L’Etoile du 7éme – 2-bedroom, sleeps 4 [Luxury option]. If you are on the hunt for a luxury flat in Paris, this one will not let you down! It is stunning, romantic, massive, and in a fantastic location! If you are looking to go all out on your winter trip to Paris, consider booking a luxury Airbnb location! Check prices and availability here!
  • Lovely & bright studio 10 min from Moulin Rouge [Budget Option]. If you are looking for a budget Airbnb option in Paris, head to Montmartre! It is a haven for lovely affordable Airbnbs without sacrificing the authentic Parisian charm! This one is so cute and has a whole kitchen and is located in a great area that we have stayed in before! Check prices and availability here! 

Best Places To Eat During Your Winter Trip To Paris

Paris is a true foodie city! From authentic French food to international fare, there is truly something for everyone! When visiting Paris in winter, you can choose to eat outside one of the many cafes like a true Parisian, or you can opt to eat inside, which is what we usually choose. Parisians sip their coffee outdoors, no matter what the weather is like! We were shocked how many people were sitting outside during winter in Paris, so do so at your own risk! Here are some of our favorite places to eat in Paris!

  •  Breizh Cafe Breizh Cafe offers galettes and crepes along with local ciders and beers. They have both an indoor and outdoor sitting area, in case you want to try eating outside in Paris in the winter! The food was delicious and the drinks were great! We recommend a galette for dinner and a crepe for dessert!
  • La Catrina TaqueriaIf you are looking to experience some Mexican in Paris, this is the place for you! Their tacos are out of this world and the location is right next to a Metro stop and a Velib bike station. Their Hibiscus juice is a highlight!
  • PapelliAuthentic Italian in Paris? Why not! As we said above, Paris is an international city so it makes sense to try all different types of food! The pizza at Papelli is so amazing and their appetizer of bread and olive oil is scrumptious! There are multiple locations around Paris to make getting around easy.
  • La Taverne de ZHAO. This Chinese restaurant is our all-time favorite restaurant in Paris! We go every time we visit! It is the perfect place to visit when traveling to Paris in winter because the food just warms your soul. Try the tofu with egg of a thousand years. It looks weird, but it is one of the most delicious things ever!
  • Les Fondus de la Raclette. We went here for Victoria’s birthday and it is literally the perfect spot for a Paris winter dinner! Raclette is a cheese dish that came from the French Alps and skiers eat it after coming in from the slopes. This restaurant mimics a ski chalet and the food is so delicious! Come hungry because they give you a ton of food and so much cheese you have enough to take home!

food to eat in paris during winter

Getting To/From The Paris Airport In The Winter

If you are planning to travel to Paris in winter and you won’t be taking the train, chances are you are flying into one of the Paris airports. Charles De Gaulle Airport is the main airport in Paris for international arrivals. Paris Orly is the second most popular international airport in Paris but much less popular than Charles De Gaulle.

When arriving in Paris in winter, you can take the bus from Paris Orly into the city center which only takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic. One of the benefits of traveling during winter in Paris is that the traffic is much better than it would be if you were visiting during the summer time!

The larger and more popular Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport is further away and takes almost an hour to transit into Paris. When traveling from Charles De Gaulle to Paris in winter, you have the option of taking the bus, hiring a private taxi or uber, or taking the RER train. If you have a long walk from a train or bus station to your accommodation, take this into account because the Paris winter weather may be harsh and you don’t want to drag your baggage on the street. We personally prefer to take the RER train from the airport as it is generally only around $10 per person and is quick and easy as you transfer trains inside the metro station.

how to get to Paris from the charles de gaulle airport

Scam & Safety Tips For Winter In Paris

While visiting Paris in winter is a much lower season than summer or warmer months, scammers are still out and you still need to keep an eye on your things for safety! Many times, it isn’t obvious or easy when spotting scams in Paris which is why we are here to tell you what to do! Luckily, Paris is a very safe city overall so there isn’t too much to worry about! Just keep in mind best practices for safety as you would for any major city and you will be fine!

Quick Safety Tips For Paris:

  • Always watch for pickpocketers. Pickpocketing is huge in Paris and even bigger during winter in Paris! During the winter, everyone spends more time inside in enclosed spaces such as the Louvre Museum and this is the perfect place for thieves to do their dirty work! We always recommend an anti-theft handbag that is crossbody in style so you can keep your valuables in front of you at all times. If you are using pockets, always keep your valuables in your front pocket or avoid carrying in your pocket altogether.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance. If you are worried about safety in Paris, consider purchasing travel insurance that will cover your valuables if anything is lost or stolen. Pickpocketing and stealing is the most common crime in Paris and rampant during winter in Paris so it is always good to stay prepared.
  • Verify your route when taking a taxi. Always ask Paris taxi drivers what the minimum price for the ride is and then keep a close watch on the meter. Taxi drivers in Paris often overcharge unsuspecting tourists and try to take advantage by taking longer routes. If you take a taxi in Paris, plug your route into your Google Maps on your phone and if you deviate from that route say something! We always recommend Uber as the company will help out if something goes wrong!
  • Keep emergency numbers handy. All emergency numbers in Paris are toll free when called from any phone in France. This includes payphones as well! Winter weather in Paris may get harsh and slippery and you may fall and hurt yourself and need emergency assistance or some other hardship may befall you. Dial “15” for medical emergencies and dial “17” for the Paris police.
  • Find your local embassy and make copies of your passport. When traveling to Paris in winter, it is always a good idea to travel with a copy of your passport. If your things are lost or stolen, you will need a copy as proof of who you are and your citizenship. It is also a good idea to find your local country embassy in Paris and make a mental note of the location and details in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep an eye out for Paris scammers. Scammers are all over the main tourist areas in Paris. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to simply avoid talking or interacting with them all together. Scams in Paris come in the way of random people inviting you to play super simple games or people trying to hand you a “free” flower and then freaking out and demanding payment because you “stole” the item. Firmly say no and walk away from anyone who tries to approach you and avoid approaching any suspicious groups during winter in Paris.
  • Dress in layers and pay attention to your body. Winter in Paris can get quite cold, especially if there is a wind chill! When visiting Paris in winter, we highly recommend following our packing list above because you don’t want to underdress and become chilled. If you don’t dress properly and the Paris winter weather is particularly bad, you run the risk of hypothermia or wind chill. A trip to the local hospital isn’t the way you want to spend your vacation!

paris winter travel safety tips | how to avoid scams in paris

Walking Tours Of Paris In Winter

Just because you are visiting Paris in winter doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside all day! Exploring the city by foot is one of our favorite ways to see Paris, even in the winter! If you are visiting during the winter in Paris and you want to take a walking tour, simply ensure that you are dressed appropriately in the right coat and footwear and you should be good to go!

Recommended Paris walking tours:

  • Secret Paris Guided Tour: The Hidden Heart Of Paris. If you are like us and love discovering new places that are off-the-beaten-path, this Secret Paris Guided Tour is the perfect walking tour for you! If is very affordable and a great way to see a unique take on Paris.
  • Self-Guided Evening Walking And Food Tour. Since the sun sets so early during winter in Paris [think 4-5pm!] an evening walking tour is the perfect way to fill the dark hours! This Self Guided Evening Walking And Food Tour take you around Paris at night while you dine at 3 different restaurants! Tres Chic!
  • Paris Shopping Arcades Walking Tour. If you love shopping and aren’t a fan of being outside during the winter, this Paris Shopping Arcades Walking Tour is affordable and fun! Not many people leave time to discover Paris’ covered arcade shopping centers and that is what this tour specializes in!
  • Paris Pure Chocolate Walking Tour. What better way to spend winter in Paris than with a Paris Pure Chocolate Walking Tour? This walking tour takes you into the candy shops of Paris while learning how chocolate is made and exploring the city by foot!
  • Montmartre Gastronomy Tour And Tasting. If you love food, you must consider a visit to Montmartre! This artistic district is even cuter in winter and the Montmartre Gastronomy Tour And Tasting allow you to discover the charms of the neighborhood!

going on a paris walking tour is a wonderful way to spend the day during the winter

There is so much to see and do when visiting Paris in winter! We could write an entire novel on our favorite things to do and where to eat and stay, but we have to narrow it down to the suggestions above so we don’t completely bore you! If you read this far, congratulations! You are well on your way to planning your dream trip to Paris in winter! If you have any questions about planning your winter Paris vacation, make sure to let us know in the comments and we will try and answer the best we can!

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How to plan the perfect paris itinerary in winter! Looking for things to do in Paris? This first time in Paris itinerary will show you what to do in 2 days in paris, 3 days in Paris, or however long you have to spend on your paris itinerary. Perfect things to do in paris for your trip. #paris #itinerary

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which means we make a small profit at no cost to you from certain sales made. 

 

7 Reasons Why The Best Time To Visit Iceland Is The Off-Season

If you are looking for best time to visit Iceland, you should highly consider heading there during the off-season.  Now, don’t take our word for it because the best time to go to Iceland is truly based on your preferences, but we are here to convince you that the slower season is a great time to visit Iceland! Many people think that high season is the best time to go to Iceland, but there is a mystical draw about visiting a place when everyone else has gone home for the season. Whether you are planning an unforgettable road trip, planning to go on one of the many epic tours in Iceland, or just dreaming about a future vacation, rest assured that the best time to travel to Iceland spans from autumn, through winter, and into early spring.

That being said, let’s first take a look at why different times of the year may or may not be the best time to visit Iceland based on what you personally like or dislike! We will explore why summer vs winter is the best time to travel to Iceland and then will explain why we think the off-season is the perfect time to visit Iceland.

Save money in Iceland by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using our code when you book! 

If you are planning your trip to Iceland right now, here are some posts you may want to check out later!

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Itinerary 

Top 15 Tours In Iceland Worth Every Penny

7 Things To Know Before Driving In Iceland

10 Budget Iceland Travel Tips To Help You Save Hundreds

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In Winter

best time to visit iceland

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Time To Visit Iceland

When Is The Best Time To Visit Iceland?

The best time to visit Iceland depends on what YOU want to see and do! There really is no right or wrong answer and Iceland is a magical country to visit at any time of year! The best time of year to go to Iceland will depend on what you are hoping to do. Looking to spot puffins in Iceland? On the hunt for the elusive Northern Lights? Hoping to capture waterfalls at their best? Hopefully, our breakdown will help you choose when to go to Iceland for what you need!

It is the best time to visit Iceland in the summer if you:

-Want to experience the midnight sun. The summer may be the best time to go to Iceland if you have always wanted to experience 24 hour daylight. You won’t find this experience any other time of year so when figuring out the best time to go to Iceland, make sure you take this into consideration!

-See Iceland 100% green. If you are looking to see Iceland 100% green, then the summer is the best time to visit Iceland for you. That being said, the off-season has the potential to be green, especially if you go to Iceland around April/May and September/October. Iceland will still be green during these months but also brown. If you want to see Iceland 100% green then the best time to visit Iceland is in the summer for you.

-Don’t mind the crowds. Iceland is a popular destination and that won’t stop anytime soon. The summer is the best time to visit Iceland if you don’t mind crowds or a lot of people all at one place. If the summer is the best time for you to go to Iceland, keep in mind that it will be more crowded than any other time of year. If you travel to Iceland in summer and want to avoid the crowds, try and go to less popular areas of the country.

-Have more money to burn. Yep, traveling to Iceland is expensive as it is, and traveling to Iceland during the summer is about as expensive as it gets! The summer is the best time to visit Iceland if you don’t mind paying a little extra to visit during the summer months. This is high season for Iceland so it only makes sense that prices on everything from accommodations to car rentals is higher. If you think the summer is the best time to go to Iceland, be sure to keep this in mind!

why the summer is the best time to visit iceland

Iceland in fall is the best time to go to Iceland if you:

-Want to experience the northern lights without the crowds. Fall in Iceland is what we consider to be the off-season. It is one of the best times to see the Northern Lights in Iceland because the weather is warmer and there aren’t as many tourists.

-Want to go to the Iceland Airwaves music festival. Iceland Airwaves is a huge music festival in Iceland, usually held in November each year. If you are looking to rock out in addition to your usual travels, the best time to go to Iceland will be in the late fall!

The winter may be the best time to visit Iceland if you:

-Want to see the northern lights. We won’t talk much about this here but we will say that the winter is the only time to go to Iceland if you want to see the Northern Lights for many hours and not at 2am!

-Love the snow. Snow completely transforms what Iceland looks like. Many people purposefully decide that the best time to visit Iceland is in the winter because they want to see snow!

-Want to do something a little bit different and unique. The best time to travel to Iceland is the winter if you are looking to do something fun and unique that many travelers would never consider to do! Why not give something different a go?

Iceland in spring may be the best time of year to go to Iceland if:

-You are hoping to see Puffins! Puffins start arriving in Iceland for their annual nesting around April! If you are looking to see these cute birds and photograph them, the best time of year to go to Iceland will be in the spring! There are many places around Iceland where you can see puffins so make sure to do your research in advance.

-You don’t want to drive in the snow. Spring in Iceland is known for better weather and less snow than the winter! Depending on what time of year you visit Iceland in spring, you will most likely NOT encounter any snow. If you are tentative about driving in Iceland in the snow, this is the best time of year to go to Iceland if you still want to travel during the off-season!

READ NEXT: Best Hiking Boots For Iceland In Winter Or Summer

7 Reasons Why The Best Time To Visit Iceland Is The Off-Season

High And Low Seasons For Visiting Iceland

Iceland’s travel seasons are broken down into three separate categories. There is the high season, the low season, and the shoulder season. We lump the shoulder and low season together and consider that to be the off-season. We think the off-season is the best time to visit Iceland for a variety of reasons that are listed below, but depending on what you want to see and do in Iceland, another time of year may be the best time to go to Iceland for you!

  • Low Season In Iceland [November-Feburary] Low season in Iceland is from November to February and is the least busy time to visit Iceland. Although it is technically the least busy time to go to Iceland, Iceland is getting more and more popular meaning that every time of year is busier than you may think.
  • High-Season in Iceland [June-August] Iceland’s high season is dead in the middle of summer. Pros of visiting Iceland during the summer are the 24-hour daylight [not a pro if you want to see the Northern Lights!] and the warmer weather. Cons? More expensive and lots of tourists!
  • Shoulder-Season in Iceland [March-May and September-October] The shoulder season in Iceland is the time in between the high and low seasons and is the best time to go to Iceland for weather, cost, lack of tourists and more.
  • Off-Season in Iceland [September-April] We consider the off-season in Iceland to be a combination of the low and shoulder seasons and truly one of the best times to travel to Iceland! The off-season is a wonderful time of year to go to Iceland for many reasons which we detail below!

7 Reasons Why The Off-Season Is The Best Time To Visit Iceland

#1 The Low Season Is The Best Time To Travel To Iceland Because The Flights Are Super Affordable

First thing is first….you have to get to Iceland! Low-season is the best time to visit Iceland because the flights are extremely cheap. We are talking $99 one way from America and even cheaper from Europe when you fly WOW air. We love flying WOW to Iceland because of their ultra-affordable fares, on-time performance, and super-cool purple planes [It’s a no-brainer!]

We appreciate WOW air’s fare calendar that pops up during booking because it shows which dates are cheapest and help you choose when to visit Iceland. Sometimes, if you modify a date by a day or two, a few hundred dollars may be shaved off your fare! Even though WOW offers cheap flights all year round [$200-$300 one-way, roughly], their flight prices plummet to $99 as soon as the off-season starts which is why we always suggest slower times of the year as the best time to travel to Iceland. This is WOW’s way of helping to convince you that the off-season is the best time to visit Iceland and we couldn’t agree more! 7 Reasons Why The Off-Season Is The Best Time To Visit Iceland | Best Time To Visit Iceland To See Northern Lights | Iceland Travel Tips | Visit Iceland On A Budget | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#2 The Off-Season Is The Best Time To Visit Iceland For Northern Lights

Traveling to Iceland during the fall/winter/early spring is the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights. While Iceland is beautiful all year round, a summer trip will not afford you this once-in-a-lifetime chance. Although the Northern Lights are not a guarantee any time of the year, there is a much higher chance of seeing them during winter in Iceland. 

If you are looking for the best time to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights, plan your trip during the low season or winter months. If you don’t want to see snow but still want darkness, visit Iceland in September, October, or April and May. These slower months are the best time to go to Iceland for the Northern Lights!

7 Reasons Why The Off-Season Is The Best Time To Visit Iceland | Best Time To Visit Iceland To See Northern Lights | Iceland Travel Tips | Visit Iceland On A Budget | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#3 It Is The Best Time To Go To Iceland Because The Smaller Crowds Make Travel More Enjoyable

It is no secret that Iceland is an incredibly popular travel destination right now. Millions of tourists flock to the Arctic island year-round to bask in its majestic beauty. For us, the best time to visit Iceland is when we aren’t fighting with hundreds of people to catch a glimpse of a waterfall. Although there are still tons of people visiting Iceland year-round, the number of tourists increases dramatically in the summer months. Whether you are a photographer, couple, or solo traveler, the best time to go to Iceland is when you have a little space to enjoy its natural beauty sans crowds.

If you are on the hunt for when to travel to Iceland, consider if you want to fight crowds at the popular sites or if you would prefer to drive for miles without seeing another soul! If you chose the latter, then the off-season is the best time to visit Iceland!

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#4 Accommodations Are More Affordable When Traveling To Iceland In The Off-Season

When deciding on the best time to visit Iceland, do a simple search for hotel or accommodation prices and compare between high and low season. Accommodations such as Airbnb, hostels, hotels, or luxury homes may be as much as $150 cheaper per day in the off-season. Just because the summer is much more expensive does not automatically make it the best time to go to Iceland. Accommodations, flights, car rentals, and more are drastically cheaper during the low-season making it the best time to travel to Iceland.

Get $40 off your first Airbnb booking when you use our coupon code! If you have never used Airbnb before, we also have a handy guide for first time Airbnb users! 

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#5 Visiting Iceland In Winter Is Simply Magical

If you are truly looking for an experience you will never forget, the best time to visit Iceland is during the winter. So many millions of people consider the summer to be the best time to travel to Iceland, but not as many consider visiting Iceland in winter. Winter in Iceland is less cold than many places in the United States and Europe so don’t let that put you off when considering when to visit Iceland. Iceland in winter is breathtaking and seeing it blanketed in snow and icicles is an experience that not many people choose to have.

Even if you have been before, traveling to Iceland in winter may convince you that it is the best time to visit Iceland. If you are considering when to go to Iceland and are thinking about Iceland in Winter, just be sure to peek at our Iceland packing list to be sure you have appropriately warm clothing.

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#6 Just Because The Off-Season Is The Best Time To Travel To Iceland Doesn’t Automatically Mean You Will Be Knee Deep In Snow And Ice

Although some people consider winter to be the best time to visit Iceland, tons of other travelers want all the benefits listed of going to Iceland listed above without worrying about snow. We totally understand that when people are searching for the best time to travel to Iceland they want to see the beauty of the country without dealing with snow.

7 Reasons Why The Best Time To Visit Iceland Is The Off-Season

The slow season in Iceland begins in October and November and the country is just lovely during these months. Visiting in late September or early October [or during the spring] will afford you cheap flights, smaller crowds, and the ability to do it all without any, or much snow! It is also one of the best times to see the northern lights in Iceland. If you are on the hunt for the best time to go to Iceland, rest assured that you can travel to Iceland during the off-season without worrying about snow if that is what you are interested in!

Keep in mind that part of Iceland’s draw is it’s changing weather conditions. So one part of Iceland may experience snow during your trip and another part less than an hour away may be sunny and snow-free. The off-season’s interesting and ever-changing weather patterns are just another reason why it is the best time to visit Iceland.

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Taken mid-November 2016

#7 If You Are Searching For The Best Time To Go To Iceland, You Will Want To Know That The Off-Season Is A Photographer’s Dream

Photographers…..what could be better than constant “golden hour” light, cheap flights, diverse landscapes, smaller crowds, and the opportunity to photograph the northern lights? Pretty much nothing which is why the slow season is the best time to visit Iceland. In addition, we know how hard it is for photographers and travelers to diversify their work from all the other content out there. This isn’t always easy to do when we are all taking pictures of the same exact locations that millions of other fantastic artists are showcasing as well.

7 Reasons Why The Best Time To Visit Iceland Is The Off-Season

The off-season is the best time to travel to Iceland because these locations are in transition or are already cloaked in their winter wear. Millions photograph Skogafoss green and summery, but the number of professional shots of the waterfall dressed up in icicles and snow are few and far between. Everyone shoots green lava fields, but what about lava fields in the fall or completely covered in snow?

The low-season is the best time to go to Iceland because photographers and creatives have the ability to showcase the diverse landscape in a way that isn’t typically seen. If you are looking for the best time to travel to Iceland and are looking for something unique and different, this is the time of year that will rock your socks off!

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How To Get Around Iceland

When choosing the best time to visit Iceland may be difficult, figuring out how to get around Iceland is quite easy! You have a few options and they depend on your travel style. Once you figure out when to go to Iceland, decide if you prefer to drive yourself, go with a tour, or hitchhike [it is a real thing in Iceland!]

If you choose to self-drive, check out our 3 day Iceland itinerary or our 5 day Iceland itinerary and get to planning your road trip! We also put together this detailed guide to driving in Iceland with everything you need to know to plan your trip. Driving is the best way to get around Iceland if you want more freedom to stay at places as long as you want. The downside is you will have to plan the whole trip yourself so depending on your travel style this may or may not be an issue.

If you don’t want to plan the whole trip yourself or drive on your own, consider taking a tour in Iceland! There are so many Iceland tour options and they take you all over the entire country. You will go by motorcoach instead of car and will usually be with a local guide.

Finally, if you are really looking to save money, you can try your hand at hitchhiking in Iceland. During our past trips to Iceland, we saw countless people trying to hitchhike and since Iceland is such a safe country, people do indeed pick them up!

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Cost Of Travel In Iceland

Iceland is far from a budget destination but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few hacks to bringing down the cost of travel! When considering the best time to visit Iceland, take the cost of travel into account. Summer will be the best time to go to Iceland if you have money to spend, while winter and parts of the off-season will be the best time to visit Iceland if you are on a budget.

Luckily, the majority of attractions in Iceland are completely free so you don’t have to take the cost of doing things into consideration when figuring out when to go to Iceland! That being said, the cost of gas in Iceland is quite high as well as food which is why we always recommend grocery shopping in Iceland! Make sure to check out our article on gas stations in Iceland and grocery stores in Iceland to help cut the cost of travel!

how to choose the best time to visit Iceland

Getting To/From Iceland

Depending on where you are coming from, the best time to visit Iceland may differ based on flights and prices! The two main Icelandic airlines are WOW air and Icelandair and each offer something different. WOW air is a budget Iceland airline and offers fares as low as $99 each way. WOW air also flies from many major USA and European cities and now even flies from New Delhi in India!

We have flown WOW air 11 times over the course of the past few years and it is very affordable and always a good experience. When figuring out when to go to Iceland, keep an eye on the WOW air sales because you may be able to snag a super great deal on airfare!

Icelandair is a more expensive Icelandic airline but offers more comfort than WOW air by providing things such as a pillow and blanket and food included in the cost of your flight. If you are heading to Iceland from Europe, other carriers such as Easyjet and Vueling also fly to Iceland. When choosing the best time to visit Iceland, keep in mind that routes from some cities in North America and Europe are seasonal! If you are dying to fly direct from your city to Iceland, choose when to go to Iceland based off of the airline routes!

it is easy to figure out the best time to go to Iceland depending on what you want to do

Where To Stay In Iceland

Choosing where to stay in Iceland is also dependent on choosing the best time to visit Iceland! As you can see, figuring out when to go to Iceland impacts pretty much every aspect of planning your trip to Iceland! When figuring out where to stay in Iceland, the country has everything form 5 star luxury hotels to guesthouses, hostels, airbnb, and of course, camping in Iceland!

Camping in Iceland is very popular and many people rent a campervan which allows them to sleep and drive all in one vehicle. If you aren’t all about camping in Iceland, we don’t blame you and there are plenty of other options!

Since the cost of food is so high in Iceland, we always recommend booking an Airbnb in Iceland so that you can buy food from the grocery store and cook at your accommodation. If you stay at a hotel, you will have to go out to eat for meals and will end up spending a lot more money than you can ever imagine! Airbnb allows you to have access to additional facilities such as kitchen and laundry for even cheaper than it costs to stay at a hotel!

When choosing the best time to visit Iceland, understand that prices on accommodations are sky high during the summer! Many Airbnb and hotels are even sold out and not listed! If you plan to go to Iceland in the summer, make sure to book in advance! If you want a little more flexibility, visiting in the off-season or winter will be the best time to go to Iceland as there will be many more accommodation options!

best time of year to visit Iceland | when to go to iceland

Additional Reading For Your Trip To Iceland

If you have traveled to Iceland, when did you visit? Would you ever consider going to Iceland during the off-season? What do you think is the best time to travel to Iceland? We would love to chat below! 

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15 Things To Know Before Taking The Train Across Canada

If taking the train across Canada isn’t on your bucket list, it totally should be! Seeing the entire country, from Halifax to Vancouver, by train is an unforgettable experience like no other. You will go to sleep in one province and time zone and wake up in a completely different part of Canada. The Canadian train is a wonderful way to slow travel across Canada and enjoy the scenery, cities, and people along the way. We have put together some things you should know about a trans-Canadian train journey so you are fully prepared for the epic you are about to experience!

Before you go, make sure to check out our Packing List For The Train Across Canada

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Train Across Canada: Insider Tips, Schedules, Fares, & Routes

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Train Across Canada

#1: Via Rail is the only company to offer cross Canada train travel

Via Rail Canada is owned by the Canadian government and is the only company to offer train travel from one end of Canada to the other. If you are looking to travel between Halifax and Vancouver, you are going to have to book through Via Rail. Worried about only having one choice? Don’t be! Via Rail Canada has been operating for decades as the trusted name in train travel across Canada! When you take the Canadian train, you will be riding with Via Rail! 

Check Hotel Prices In Halifax

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#2: The entire cross Canada train journey will take between 5-6 days, with no stops

Depending on the time of year you decide to take the train across Canada, the whole trip will take between 5-6 days. This is because you have to be sure that the Canadian train schedules match up with your connecting train! If you are riding on “The Canadian” which runs between Toronto and Vancouver, the trip will be four straight days if you don’t get off. If you want the true transcontinental experience and start in Halifax, you will take “The Ocean” to Montreal and then take a commuter train down to Toronto. If this sounds confusing, it really isn’t and Via Rail staff are just a phone call away to help with the planning.

Start Your Train Trip Off By Checking Hotel Price In Toronto

#3: Winter is the best time to take the train across Canada

You may be thinking that Canada in winter is a frozen tundra, but you are overreacting! We saw temperatures that ranged from 30-35*F in the mountains and 38-55*F everywhere else. During the winter, you can book a trans-continental train journey for much cheaper than high season and will enjoy huge benefits including less people to compete with for views on the train. Just make sure you pack your winter coat and a warm sweater for the train, you will want to be cozy! For more detailed information on what to pack, check out our post on 10 Things To Bring On The Cross Canada Train! 

If you are planning to stopover at some cities like we did, the cities will be free from loads of tourists and much cheaper as well. Most importantly, traveling by train across Canada during the winter actually gives you the best views of any season! Since many trees have shed their leaves, you can see through them and out to the landscapes beyond! If you traveled during the summer, the trees would have their leaves and you would be stuck in a “tree corridor.” Don’t forget to pack your camera for great photos! We love the Sony a6000 for an affordable camera that anyone can easily learn to operate! 

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15 Things To Know Before Taking The Train Across Canada | Via Rail Train Trip Across Canada | What To Know About Via Rail Canada | How To See Canada By Train For Canada 150 | What To Do In Canada | Adventures In Canada By Train | Best Train Trips In Canada | How to travel across Canada By Train

#4: Delays in the Via Rail Cross-Canada Train schedules are a very real thing…plan accordingly

Because of our booking process [we booked over the phone and the HR representative was leaving for surgery and 5 weeks of recovery the day after we booked], we did not know that the Canadian train would experience serious delays during our journey. If we had known in advance and planned accordingly, the delays would have been no big deal. Since we had not, the delays had a big impact on a large part of our trip. To be fair to Via Rail, they do have disclaimers on their website that you should not book onward travel or activities the day your train arrives into your station. Delays are unlikely to happen every trip and our experience was extreme, but it is never bad to be prepared when taking the trans-Canada train. 

Our Via Rail train was from Toronto to Jasper left 5.5 hours late which resulted in us arriving in Jasper 3.5 hours late [considering time change]. The Canadian train from Jasper to Vancouver [we did a stopover] was a whopping 9 hours late which cost us an entire day of sightseeing. The moral of the story? If we had known about the possibility of delays in the Via Rail schedule, we would have simply added an extra day to our itinerary at each destination and would have expected delays at each stop. Then, if we arrived at a reasonable time, it would have been unexpected. If you are planning to travel across Canada on Via Rail, simply build one extra day into your itinerary at each stop and do not book any flights the day you arrive. You can keep abreast of on-time performance on Via Rail’s website. Don’t let delays keep you from taking the train across Canada, simply be prepared!

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#5: Passenger trains in Canada share the track with freight and do not have priority

The main reason for all the delays on the Canada train? On Canada rail, freight trains bring in more money than passenger trains do so they get priority on the track. The freight company also owns the train tracks so Via Rail trains must often head over to a side rail to wait while freight trains pass. Each train that passes may take up to 20-40 minutes because some freight trains in Canada can be 3 miles long! Since passenger trains in Canada are a lot shorter, they must wait on a side track until freight passes. It is pretty neat to see the giant freight trains pass your train and count how many cars make up the train. That is a great way to make this part of the train ride across Canada even more enjoyable! 

#6: Sleeping on the Trans-Canadian train is magically relaxing

We have slept in cars, on planes, and on cruise ships, but sleeping on the Canada train was something special and one of the best parts about taking the train trip across Canada. The sound of the Canada rail cars traveling over metal tracks coupled with the relaxing movement of the train rocked us to sleep in under five minutes each night. The motion of the the Canada train was perfect enough to feel completely relaxed without feeling anxious about constant movement. For an even more restful night, don’t forget to bring your sleep mask and earplugs for maximum comfort! Traveling by train across Canada made for some super restful nights!

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#7: Not stepping foot outside the Canada train for days on end is not a problem

You can get off the Canadian train at pretty much every stop if you want so not getting off for three straight days is totally on us! We are homebodies and it was winter so we didn’t mind hanging out on the train through Canada for over 72 hours. We got plenty of exercise trekking between all the Canadian train cars multiple times a day [these things can be long!] and loved being cozy inside at all the stops our train across Canada made! If you are considering taking Via Rail “The Canadian” train trip, choose your stops along the way or choose to ride the Toronto to Vancouver train the whole way! Whatever you chose, you Canada train experience will be memorable! 

#8: Only some Cross-Canada trains have Wifi

“The Atlantic” and the corridor train in Canada that connects Montreal to Toronto both come equipped with Wifi in certain cars, but “The Canadian” [the longest Canada train you will be on] does not. The connection on our trains from Halifax and Montreal were great and it was nice to have access to the outside world. It would have been nice to have the option for Wifi on “The Canadian” but you won’t die without it and it’s a great way to detox digitally. If you plan to take the train ride across Canada, pack or download some books in case you want to read them.

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#9: You will find plenty to do and will rarely be bored on the train trip across Canada

In our entire 6 days of traveling by train across Canada, we can safely say that we were not bored one single time. The whole beauty of the train ride across Canada is getting to stare out the window and watch the world go by. We are an introvert/extrovert couple and the experience was delightful to both of us. Via Rail Canada has activities onboard such as wine and beer tasting, live music, discussions about what is going on outside and more.

There are also magazines and books and a constant supply of coffee, tea, and snacks. We also downloaded movies and watched them at night while relaxing on our bed. A Canadian train trip is truly an enjoyable and relaxing experience that you won’t soon forget! 

#10: Trans-Canada train food is actually very delicious

If you book a “sleeper plus” class ticket on “The Canadian” and “The Atlantic”, you will have access to three very yummy meals a day in the dining car when riding the Canadian train. For each meal, you are offered a soup or salad starter, a choice between a variety of entrees, and a choice of dessert. We were thrilled that there was a vegetarian entree offered with each and every meal for Victoria.

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The food you will eat during your time on the train through Canada is high quality and home cooked by Via Rail chefs in the kitchen. They have the ability to make minor substitutions since everything is cooked right in the dining car. During one of our delays, the only vegetarian food left on the Canadian train was a salad, so the chef cooked Victoria a delicious grilled cheese with soup and salad. We were really impressed by the flexibility and range of food offered on a train across Canada!

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#11: You can choose your accommodations for the train across Canada based on your budget

With a little saving, everyone should take the opportunity to take the train across Canada. Fortunately, Via Rail offers a bunch of options for each price point. If you are on an extreme budget, you can travel in economy class, but you will not receive meals and you have to sleep in your [comfy] seat. Looking for more room? You can book a “roomette” on the “Canadian” which is a cute semi-private bunk bed that lines the hallway in the sleeper car. The beds are huge and you have a curtain for privacy.

Alternatively, you can book a private cabin for one, two, or three, depending on your needs. Finally, if you are looking to go all-out, you can book the pricey Prestige Class which offers a full bed, unlimited liquor, a TV and more. Although it is expensive, prestige is already fully booked for the summer so it is quite a popular way to travel by train across Canada. We stayed in a cabin for two it was super roomy and comfortable for the journey! You can keep track of the lowest possible fares on this page! 

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A peek inside “Prestige” accommodations

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A “room for one” in daytime configuration

#12: The “Dome Car” offers the best view of Canada by train

The “Dome Car” was our favorite part of the Canada train and one of the best parts about traveling by train across Canada. It is equipped with very comfortable seating that elevates you above all the other train cars, giving you a 360 view of your journey. This car is by far the most popular so we suggest getting there early if you want to a good space [but don’t leave items to “save” your seat]. This car is perfect for photographers [or smartphone photographers] because you can see the entire train, what is ahead, what is above, and what is behind. These days, you can buy really affordable GoPros that make taking great videos and wide-angle photos easy for anyone! It is certainly one of the best parts of seeing Canada by train! 

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#13: You will meet a ton of new people on the train trip across Canada

Even if you are very introverted like Terrence, you are most likely going to meet a bunch of new people when riding the train across Canada. We met people from different parts of Canada, America, Australia, England, and Korea. Simply by virtue of sitting together and admiring the scenery, you will start to connect with or chat with others. People were intrigued by our camera which opened us to a lot of conversations making the train trip across Canada even more fulfilling! 

In addition, you may not always get to sit at a private table for meals. Since the cars are so small and there are a lot of people, you may be put with other groups to dine. Other diners can tell if you are open to talking or not but some will befriend you anyway. Out of all the meals we ate with others, there were only two where we didn’t chat with our meal partners very much. By the end of our train ride across Canada, we had given away every business card save one to all our new friends!

#14: You will travel through 5 time zones and getting used to a new one is super easy on the Trans-Canada Train

If you choose the entire transcontinental train trip, you will pass through five time zones [Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific] from Halifax all the way to Vancouver. Some people online seem to think that traveling losing time while your train is going forward will mess with your mind. It actually won’t and this is truly the best way to cross time-zones that we have experienced.

When traveling out west, we usually have a difficult time adjusting to the time zone. During our time on the Canadian train, we didn’t have a problem at all and our sleep was right on target the entire time! If this is something you are worrying about or considering, don’t fret! There is something about taking the train across Canada that makes time zones a lot easier to adjust to! If you think you may still have a hard time adjusting, we suggest taking some melatonin just in case. 

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#15: You won’t want to say goodbye to your train trip across Canada

You just rode a train across Canada which is something not many people get to do! When it comes time to pack up your belongings and say goodbye to the train and your journey, it is going to be really hard! The experience is so unique that you will instantly begin to miss the motion, the meals, the views, your accommodations, and more. We genuinely felt a little sad everytime we had to step off the Canadian train, but especially when we arrived in Vancouver and had to leave for good. Make sure to make the most of your travel so you can remember every detail about your time on the Canadian train! 

Train Across Canada Routes

If you plan to take a train trip across Canada and you want to go the entire way, from Halifax to Vancouver, you will be taking two different Cross-Canada trains but they will all be with Via Rail Canada. If you want to head from Toronto to Vancouver or back on the train across Canada, you will want to choose “The Canadian” option on the Via Rail Canada website under “The Great Western Way” tab. Via Rail Canada is the only company who provides the train trip across Canada through the entire country. 

Train Across Canada Routes for the canadian train trip

“The Canadian” is the most popular train trip across Canada route and you really can’t go wrong with choosing it. It will show you the best of what Canada by train has to offer. But, if you are like us and want to truly travel Canada by train from one end to the other, you will choose “The Canadian” route as well as “The Maritime Way” Canada train route to take you through the Canadian Maritime area. 

Train Across Canada Routes and maps for the maritime way train trip across canada

Fares And Prices For The Train Trip Across Canada 

The good thing about taking the train across Canada is that you can choose the price you want to pay! If you are looking for a honeymoon or anniversary getaway, we recommend booking Prestige Class accommodation on the Canadian train to give you something romantic and luxurious. If you are a student on a budget but still want to experience a train ride across Canada, Via Rail offers economy class fares and sales! 

Winter prices for an economy ticket for the train through Canada start at $431 [updated 2018]. This is for the Canadian route from Toronto to Vancouver during the winter months. We took the Cross Canada train in winter and highly recommend it! A winter fare for the train trip across Canada for Prestige Class, the most expensive Canada train fare offered, ringing in at $4,156 for the four-day cross Canada train trip. 

Via Rail makes seeing Canada by train accessible to a variety of budgets with their varying cross Canada Train fares. There are budget trans Canada train options, luxury train across Canada options, and everything in between, depending on what you are looking to spend. Check out the example fares directly from Via Rail below to see prices on the train trip across Canada. 

Prices for the train trip across Canada | Fares for the train across Canada

Schedules And Timetables For Seeing Canada By Train

If you are looking for the updated train across Canada schedules and Cross-Canada train timetables, we recommend checking out this page on the Via Rail website. These timetables will show you the exact schedule for the train trip across Canada as written by Via Rail Canada. Please remember that these trans-Canada train trip schedules are just predicted as things may change as detailed in our post above. We highly recommend being flexible when taking the Canadian train trip as the Canada train doesn’t always stick to the timetables laid out here due to freight trains, weather, and a variety of other reasons. 

Schedules And Timetables For Seeing Canada By Train | train across Canada schedule

Getting To The Cross Canada Train

Luckily, getting to the Cross Canada train for your train ride across Canada has never been easier! The train through Canada begins and ends in two major world cities, Vancouver or Toronto! Depending on where you are coming from in the world, the prices to fly to these cities are quite affordable! If you plan to take the train across Canada from either the United States or Canada, you may be within driving distance to one of the places where the train ride across Canada either starts or ends!

If you are in driving distance to either Toronto or Vancouver, we recommend renting a car one way and leaving the vehicle at your destination. This way, you won’t have to come back to your starting point to return the car or pick up your own vehicle. If you are flying in order to take the train across Canada, we highly recommend looking out for deals and considering budget airlines and a variety of days of the week in order to get the best deal. Luckily getting to the cross-Canada train is quite easy to do! 

Visit Toronto Getting To The Cross Canada Train

Quick Tips For Taking This Train Trip Across Canada

Pack Light For The Cross Canada Train

When taking the train across Canada, make sure to pack light but comfortably. We have a packing list for your Canada train trip, but we want to ensure that you understand how small the cabins on Vai Rail trains may be unless you book prestige class. You want to have enough clothing to be comfortable in, but you also don’t want your clothing and bags to overrun your room on the train through Canada!  

Call Via Rail If You Have Any Questions Regarding Booking Your Train Ride Across Canada

Via Rail is very helpful in answering all of your questions. If you have not found the answer here, feel free to ask in the comments and we will do our best to answer your Canada train questions to the best of our ability. That being said, if you can’t find the answer anywhere online and want to make sure, it is a good idea to simply give Via Rail a call! They will help you out! You can call Via Rail here: 1 (888) 842-7245

Never Book Onward Travel The Day Your Cross Canada Train Arrives In Station

As detailed above, Via Rail must give priority to freight trains as Via Rail does not own the tracks for their train trips across Canada. As a result, you may experience delays that range from 20 minutes to 7-10 hours. Be prepared for potential delays by not booking any onward travel such as flights or long drives on the day your Via Rail train is due to arrive in the station. 

We also advise not to make any plans that are set in stone such as going to a birthday party or a specific hike. Make loose plans for the day you arrive at any station where you get off the Canadian train and be flexible as there very well may be delays. 

Delays On The Canadian From Toronto To Vancouver Will Always Be The Worst 

It is important to be aware that you may experience the worst delays when taking “The Canadian” route from Toronto To Vancouver by train. This part of the country is very popular with the freight trains, more than any other region in Canada. If you are taking the train from Halifax to Montreal or one of the other routes that Via Rail offers, you will be less likely in experiencing delays.

For our portion of our cross-Canada train trip that went through the Maritime provinces, we only experienced a few short delays whereas on “The Canadian” from Toronto To Vancouver, we experienced major delays as detailed above. Instead of fretting about delays, we recommend you look on the bright side and be happy that you are getting “free” extra time on to enjoy travel across Canada by train. If you prepare yourself for delays ahead of time with our tips, you should be smooth sailing! 

You Don’t Have To Spend A Fortune To Experience A Trans Canada Train Trip

Did you know that Via Rail has economy class? Although we did not personally take the train across Canada in economy class, we have heard from many readers that the Toronto to Vancouver train trip is still very worthwhile to take in economy class. During our time on the trans Canada train, we did see economy class and the seats looked very comfortable. Economy class Via Rail passengers have access to their own viewing car and an area where you can purchase food too. 

We have also been told that economy class on the train ride across Canada is a great place to make friends and meet new people from around the world! 

Via Rail Also Offers Luxury Train Trips Across Canada If You Want Pampering

In 2017, Via Rail introduced their Prestige Class. It was brand new when we took the cross Canada train, but we peeked into the rooms and took a few photos. Prestige Class sold out and entire season very quickly and it is easy to see why. The Prestige Class rooms are only on “The Canadian” which is the Toronto To Vancouver train trip and the rooms are huge and offer full-sized beds, picture windows, large bathrooms, and your very own dome viewing car for your class.

If you are looking for a luxury train trip in Canada, Prestige Class is perfect for you and after seeing the cabins in person, we highly recommend the experience! Sleeping in a full bed next to your partner while looking out as your trans-Canada train whizzes through the countryside? What could be better than that?! 

Be Aware That The Canadian Train Is Not Equipped With Wifi And Prepare Accordingly

This may sound redundant, but this cross Canada train journey does not come with wifi accessibility. No idea why other than possible budget restrictions, but it is slightly annoying but not the end of the world. Now you may be a more mature traveler reading this and thinking oh you young folks and your phones can barely go without wifi for 5 days but that isn’t the case! The majority of older travelers on our trans Canada train trip were very annoyed with the lack of wifi so we promise it just isn’t young people!

Instead, make sure to come to your train trip across Canada prepared with lots of reading materials and perhaps an ipad with some movies or books on tape downloaded. During the day, you will have plenty to see and do, but we found having a book and some movies for later at night after dinner was quite helpful and enjoyable. We recommend a Kindle E-Reader and a Kindle Unlimited subscription which gives you unlimited access to over 1 million titles! You can do a free trial of the Kindle Unlimited subscription and just cancel after your cross-Canada train trip which is exactly what we did 😉 

Is a Canadian train trip on your bucket list? Make sure to let us know if you decide to see Canada by train! Let’s chat in the comments.

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Canada by train: insider tips for the train across canada | how to see Canada by train | what to know before the train trip across canada | Via rail Canada train | canadian train trips | best things to do in Canada #canada

Please note: We were hosted by Via Rail for the purpose of this review. Our views are all our own and do not reflect those of Via Rail Canada. We were not paid to write this post. This post also contains affiliate links which means we may make a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase an Amazon product suggested by us. 

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Thorsmork Iceland

If you are looking to visit Thorsmork Iceland, you are in for a real treat! This nature reserve located in the southern Icelandic highlands and is full of stunning remote nature and wonderful hikes in Iceland. The valley is named after the Norse god Thor and the name translates into “Thor’s Valley” in English. Thorsmork is one of the true last frontiers in Iceland and after you visit just one time it is easy to see why! From Arctic Foxes to canyons and mountains of compressed volcanic ash, Thorsmork Iceland will surprise you at every turn!

The name is spelled Þórsmörk in Icelandic but sounds like “Thorsmork” as the Þ in the Icelandic language sounds similar to “th” in English. As a result, if you are writing the name in English, Icelandic people ask that you spell it Thorsmork and not Porsmork! Now that we got the spelling and pronunciation of Thorsmork straightened out, there are a few things you need to know before visiting this off-the-beaten-path location in Iceland.

Hiking in Thorsmork | Thorsmork Hikes | 5 Things To Know Before Visiting Thorsmork Iceland

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Thorsmork Iceland

#1. The Entrance To Thorsmork Valley Is Located Right By Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

We had been traveling to Iceland for years and had only heard about the mystery of Thorsmork but were never really quite sure where it is. Well, it turns out that the driving entrance to Thorsmork Iceland is located down the same exact road that the very popular Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is on Iceland’s south coast. We were quite surprised to learn that this is where the entrance to such a mystical place is located as we had been down the road to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall many times!

Although the entrance to Thorksmork is marked with a tiny sign from the Ring Road, most people are too busy searching for Seljalandsfoss Waterfall to even pay it any attention! The entrance to Thorsmork Iceland is very unassuming as you drive around past Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and past a few small towns and homes before you really enter the true beauty of the nature park. You will start off driving down a plain gravel road and the fantastic nature will arrive gradually until you are in the heart of Thorsmork!

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Thorsmork Iceland | Entrance to Iceland's Thorsmork

#2. You Will Have To Drive Through Rivers And Insurance Won’t Cover Your Car

If you plan on driving into Thorsmork Valley, as opposed to a multi-day trek on foot, understand that the driving is dangerous and the roads are not well-taken-care-of. The road into Thorsmork is considered an F-Road which means you must have a 4×4 car when driving into the valley. Check out our guide to driving in Iceland for more tips! Just because you rent a 4×4 vehicle does not mean that it is recommended to drive into Thorsmork.

When you drive into Thorsmork Iceland from the Ring Road the dirt F-road you drive on will seem pretty good. After driving for a few miles, the road will start to get worse and you will come across the all-dangerous river crossings. This is where you must drive through a river in the middle of the road. Initially, the rivers on the road to Thorsmork will be little babies if there hasn’t been much rain so they won’t seem that bad. The deeper you go into Thorsmork the more raging and more dangerous the river crossings will be. If you plan on driving into Thorsmork yourself, you will think that the river crossings are easy, until you get deeper in the valley.

Crossing rivers in Thorsmork Iceland

Even if you rent a 4×4 vehicle like we did, that does not mean you will be equipped for driving in Thorsmork. The moment you drive into a river, your insurance automatically STOPS covering anything to do with the car you just put in the water. During our time in Thorsmork Iceland, we saw so many abandoned cars on the side of rivers. This means those 4×4’s tried to cross the river and the water was too high and got into the engine, thus stalling the car and ruining the engine. Since insurance doesn’t cover your car once in the water, these people would be out tens of thousands of dollars.The only vehicles that may be okay to cross rivers in Iceland are defender Land Rovers and even then, it is a gamble!

Besides the insurance not covering your car the moment you get into the water, it is also dangerous, especially if you have never crossed a river before. People die quite often trying to do this in Thorsmork and if they don’t die, they get into trouble and must be rescued. When we were in Thorsmork, a woman had died trying to cross a river on her own just a week before. She was on her honeymoon! We don’t say this to scare you from visiting Thorsmork but we want you to go in with open eyes and take proper precautions!

A stalled car at night in Thorsmork Iceland

Just one of the many stalled and abandoned cars we saw in Thorsmork.

#3. It’s Strongly Recommended To Hire A Local Guide With A Superjeep To Take You Into Thorsmork

Unless you are an experienced driver with a Defender Land Rover 4×4, you aren’t going to want to drive yourself into Thorsmork. Visiting the entrance of Thorsmork on your own is totally fine, but once you come to the first large river, aka when the sites start to get good, you are going to want to turn back for your own safety and wallet.

We highly recommend hiring a local guide with a superjeep to take you into Thorsmork. The cost of the tour will be well worth it for the knowledge of the individual tour guide as well as your life and your car. $100 now is way better than $50,000 later if your car stalls out and insurance doesn’t cover an expensive 4×4 vehicle or the water in Thorsmork is high and you get swept away [this is a real thing that happens often in Throsmork not a scare tactic we promise!]

When we visited Thorsmork, we went with Logi from Into The Wild. Logi has actually lived his whole life in one of the small towns in the Thorsmork Valley entrance so to say he was knowledgeable was an understatement! Logi owns not one, but two super jeeps and runs lots of tours in Iceland including to Thorsmork. You can also hire him privately if you want the whole tour customized as we did. Crossing rivers in a superjeep was fun and safe with Logi, but scary when we thought out trying it in our own small 4×4 as we passed stalled vehicle after vehicle during our drive into Thorsmork.

Logi knew all the best places to take us in Thorsmork as he has been visiting for decades and knows off-the-beaten-path gems that you would never find on your own. Logi also had an iPad full of informational photos and videos as well as apps where he could track the location of the sunset, milky way, weather and more. As photographers, this was very helpful so we could track exactly where we wanted to be for sunset and Logi was able to show us the way and help us when hiking in Thorsmork and exploring the valley.

For your own safety and enjoyment, we highly recommend making the investment and hiring a local guide such as Logi from Into The Wild. You will find all the best areas with a knowledgeable local and will be safe while exploring Thorsmork!

super jeep tours to thorsmork Iceland

#4. Valahnukur Hike Offers Some Of The Best Views In Thorsmork

When we were planning to visit Thorsmork Iceland, we knew there was one particular view we wanted to see. We asked Logi, our guide, about it and he told us it was called the Valahnukur Hike. The Valahnukur Hike in Thorsmork takes about 1.5-2 hours round trip, depending on how long you stay at the top. We aren’t seasoned hikers and it took us 45 minutes each way to complete.

hiking in Thorsmork Iceland

Valahnukur is essentially an ancient volcanic ash mountain located in the heart of Thorsmork. Once you hike to the top, you are standing at the very peak of the small mountain and have incredible 360-degree views of Thorsmork and even all the way into nearby Landmannalaugar. From this Thorsmork hike, you can see down into the valley where you came from, all the way out to the Ring Road/south Iceland coast, over glaciers, and through canyons. The view is incredible and well worth the hike up.

The Valahnukur hike in Thorsmork is a steep upward hike that lasts for 45 minutes. We took quite a few breaks and still completed it faster than we had anticipated. The trail either starts from the Volcano Huts property on the west side of the mountain or at the camping and hiking store at Slyppugil on the east side of the mountain. We ascended Valahnukur from the east side but you can complete a similar hike if you are staying at the Volcano Huts in Thorsmork.

hiking in Iceland's thorsmork

#5. Wild Camping Is Not Allowed In Thorsmork And You Must Stay At Approved Campsites

One of the main reasons people visit Thorsmork Iceland is to go hiking, trekking, or camping. After all, one of the most popular treks/hikes in Iceland is the hike from Skogar to Thorsmork. That being said, wild camping is not allowed anywhere in Iceland. When camping in Iceland, you must stay at a designated campsite, even when visiting more rustic places such as the Highlands and Thorsmork.

camping in Thorsmork in the Icelandic highlands

People do still camp wherever they want in Thorsmork, whether that is tent camping or camping in their cars if they drive, but it is illegal and not allowed and you will get in trouble if caught. Unlike other parts of Iceland where people literally drive until they see a campground or hotel and book for the night, we highly recommend planning ahead if you want to camp in Thorsmork and especially if you plan on doing an overnight or multi-day trek through Thorsmork and other parts of the Icelandic Highlands.

The Thorsmork Volcano Huts are a popular accommodation choice for people visiting Thorsmork and they offer glamping and camping options. If you plan to hike or trek or are looking for more options for camping in Thorsmork, this website gives you a list and location of all the campsites in the Highlands of Iceland, including details for Thorsmork. Make sure to plan ahead if you plan on camping in Thorsmork or staying the night as wild camping is illegal in Iceland!

thorsmork campground and campsites

We highly recommend planning a trip to Thorsmork Iceland if you are looking to get off the beaten path and want to see real and untouched Iceland far away from any tourists. When visiting Þórsmörk, always make sure to “leave no trace” and take out whatever garbage you bring in. This goes for using the restroom outdoors as well. There are designated restrooms in Thorsmork but if you must “go” outdoors, make a hole in the ground 1 foot deep and bury any evidence. Bring a plastic bag and take your toilet paper out with you too. Together we can keep Thorsmork wild and beautiful for many years to come!

Please note: Our trip into Thorsmork was provided by Visit South Iceland for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own! 

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018: Best Houses And Scare Zones You Shouldn’t Miss

If you love a good scare, get excited for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2018! The Halloween event made its opening debut Friday, Sept 14 and runs through November 3th. If you know us, you know we love Halloween Horror Nights Orlando! This is our 7th year in a row going, and before we became bloggers, we attended just like you. This year, we partnered with Universal Resort Orlando to attend Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 for the purpose of this review and, as a result, for the first time ever, we got to try out a Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass. That being said, we know that upgrading to a Halloween Horror Nights 2018 express pass or taking a RIP tour isn’t always in the budget [but if you can swing it, it will save you a ton of time!] Before we get started, check out the Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 houses map which also includes information about the HHN 28 scare zones.

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

 

There are strategies to seeing all of the 2018 Halloween Horror Nights Houses in one night without an express pass and if you comment below we will tell you ours! If you don’t think you will have time to see everything, we put together this list of the top Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 houses and scare zones you should make sure to put on the top of your list. Get your tickets to 2018 Halloween Horror Nights Orlando here and get started planning your frightful trip to Halloween Horror Nights 2018!

 

We obviously think you should try your best to make it to all of the houses at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2018 but if you can’t make it to all of them, our suggestions are below. We know how busy and fun a trip to Halloween Horror Nights can be and we know you may not make it to every house! That being said, these are the 2018 Halloween Horror Nights Houses you just cannot miss! [Please forgive the quality of the photographs..taking photos of scare zones and houses while it is dark while walking can be difficult!]

Killer Clowns Scare Zone At Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018: The Best Haunted Houses You Shouldn’t Miss

The “Seed Of Extinction” House Was Our Favorite At Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

My best friend who had gone to Halloween Horror Nights Orlando a week earlier told us that we must do the “Seeds Of Extinction” House. It was the last house we did of the night and we didn’t know what to expect. She called it “the plant house” and since I love plants I figured it could be cool! From the moment we stepped inside, “Seeds Of Extinction” became our very favorite Halloween Horror Nights house of 2018!

This house is NOT based on a famous movie and is a Universal Studios original creation. What we loved about this HHN 28 House was the originality and the scares! While zombies, bats, swamp witches, and killer clowns are all cool, killer plants are not overdone in the Halloween industry. You may be reading this and may be bored because “ew plants” but we are here to tell you this was also hands down the scariest house at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 too!

Why was “Seeds Of Extinction” the scariest HHN 28 house? Because the scare actors blended in so well with the surroundings you could never spot them! In many houses, you can sometimes look ahead and see if a scare actor is hiding against a wall or something of that nature and possibly predict the scare. In “Seeds Of Extinction” every scare actor is dressed up in organic matter, be it giant lumps of moss, covered in leaves, whatever. They will stand against the wall or up in other foliage and you will never see it coming! The originality and the max scare factor are the top reasons why we think “Seeds Of Extinction” should be the top Halloween Horror Nights Orlando House you choose to visit!

Seeds Of Extinction Is One Of The Best Houses At Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” House At HHN 28 Was Lifelike And Realistic

We are HUGE Stranger Things fans so when we found out that Halloween Horror Nights Orlando would be having a Stranger Things Haunted House in 2018, we were thrilled! Since Stranger Things is so unique and brand new, we didn’t know what to expect as it had never been done before! From start to finish, this Halloween Horror Nights House was like jumping into the first season of Stranger Things.

We do not say this lightly as houses in years past are similar but not exact [looking at you Walking Dead]. Every single detail in the Stranger Things house was PERFECT to the Netflix Original Series. Not to give too much away, but the Demogorgon certainly makes multiple appearances and jumped out in stood for 5 seconds in the middle of the path in front of Terrence’s face. Who did I get scared by? Freaking Hopper of all people, one of the least scary characters in the entire show! It was so lifelike and exactly what it would be like living in the Stranger Things World.

Again, not to give too much away, but my favorite scene in the Stranger Things House at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando is the scene from the first season when Hopper and Will’s mom are in the upside down in the hazmat suits searching for Will. This scene was so well done at Halloween Horror Nights 2018 that you felt like you were walking right along with them! The Stranger Things House is the most popular house at HHN 28 so we recommend saving it for LAST! Don’t waste 2 hours of your day starting with this house first. Enjoy other Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Houses and finish big with Stranger Things.

Stranger Things At Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

The “Slaughterhouse Sinema” Halloween Horror Nights 2018 House Is An 80’s Extravaganza

This is another Halloween Horror Nights 2018 house my best friend suggested, another Universal Studios Original, and another winner to make our top list! This Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 House was SO MUCH FUN and so unique! The amount of work that must have gone in to creating and executing the idea is clearly seen when you visit “Slaughterhouse Sinema.”

The theme of this Halloween Horror Nights House is 80’s movies/80’s horror movies. Everything is a throwback to one of the greatest decades of all time. If it was simply an 80’s haunted house, that would be cool, but may not land it on our top list. So why did “Slaughterhouse Sinema” land on our list of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 Houses you must see?

Each and every room of this HHN 28 House is themed on a different fake 80’s movie. When you walk between rooms, there is a made-up 80’s movie poster hanging in the hallway. This poster is a preview for the room that is to come and the scene that you will be stepping into! It took us a while to catch on that this is actually what was happening, but when we did, we enjoyed the house even more!

When you visit “Slaughterhouse Sinema” make sure to keep an eye out on ALL the movie posters in the hallways you walk through as this is exactly what the next room will be portraying! It is fun and unique and one of the most well-done Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 houses!

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 Best Haunted Houses

The “Poltergeist” House Is Your Worst Nightmare Come To Life

The Poltergeist House is another one of the most popular Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Houses this year and it is easy to see why. I originally told Terrence I didn’t think this one would be that scary as I’m not scared by ghosts/demons, but boy was I super duper wrong! This HHN 28 house is based on the movie Poltergeist and the Haunted House depicts an actual haunted house atop a hill.

The variety of Poltergeist scare actors are what made this Halloween Horror Nights Orlando House scary. It wasn’t that they jumped out at you and startled you like the “Seeds Of Extinction” House above, it was that they were actually just scary and terrifying! The costumes, designs, and scale of these demons was incredibly life-like and I was sorry I said I didn’t think it would be scary! If you appreciate horrifying demons, make sure the Poltergeist House is on your list when you visit Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018.

Poltergeist House At Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

The “Carnival Graveyard” House Had A Fresh Take On Killer Clowns

How many times have we seen haunted houses with killer clowns during Halloween? A lot. The “Carnival Graveyard” House At Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 was so different from any other type of “clown” haunted house we had ever experienced! Now, carnivals are something that make me uncomfortable in real life, so I was very judgey before going into this HHN 28 house.

“Carnival Graveyard” was NOT the fun, bright colored, clown haunted house you are used to seeing. It was very “dark” and realistic and looked like a run down carnival which honestly gives me the creeps as again, carnivals and clowns scare me in general! We loved this 2018 Halloween Horror Nights House because it wasn’t as brightly colored as the usual clown house.

This Universal Studios Original house is a must, especially if you hate clowns in real life or are jaded from visiting “carnival” themed haunted houses at events. We won’t say more as we don’t want to spoil it for you, but “Carnival Graveyard” is worth the visit when you attend Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018.

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

Halloween Horror Nights 2018: The Best Scare Zones You Shouldn’t Miss

“The Harvest” Scare Zone Is Visually Stunning

“The Harvest” Scare Zone is the best to visit at Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 2018. and was very similar to last year’s “Trick Or Treat” Scare Zone. It also made our list of best scare zones last year and it once again makes the cut. “The Harvest” Scare Zone is more visually stunning than it is scary, although there were more than enough people running around and screaming in fear!

There are thousands of hand-carved pumpkins suspended from the trees and you will run into living pumpkins who have had their heads smashed in and more scary characters during your walk through this  Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 Scare Zone. This Scare Zone is perfect for those of you who love more “traditional” Halloween as there are lots of pumpkins and “Halloween” colors decorating the area. Make sure to take some time to enjoy “The Harvest” Scare Zone at  Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 but watch your back!

best scare zones at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

The “Vamp ’85 New Years Eve” Scare Zone Is Fun But Startling

The Vamp ’85 New Years Eve Scare Zone AT Halloween Horror Nights 2018 essentially transports you to the New Years Eve “ball drop” In Time Square in 1985. There is a rockin’ dance performance and we were enjoying the show when the dancers broke apart and became scare actors! There were SO MANY of them that you couldn’t tell who was a scare actor and who was just a regular person in the crowd!

The Vamp ’85 New Years Eve Scare Zone is fun because it is 1980’s theme, but startling because the scare actors are very unassuming until they are RIGHT on you. They aren’t dressed like a scary ghoul or clown. They are dressed as 80’s vampires and you won’t see them coming until after they scare you! We enjoyed a cold drink while hanging out in this scare zone and so many people got scared because they couldn’t initially tell who was who! Make sure to stay for the dance performance when visiting this scare zone at Halloween Horror Nights 2018!

Best scare zones at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018

And there you have it! Another epic year at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2018 and more houses than ever to review! If you have already gone to Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, comment below and tell us what your favorite houses and scare zones were! Did they line up with our suggested ones? This is our favorite event of the year and we hope you have a great time!

Please note: This post was written in collaboration with Universal Orlando Resort Halloween Horror Nights. All opinions and statements are true and our own and do not reflect Universal’ Orlando Resort’s views. 

The Ultimate 5 Days In Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

If taking an epic 5 days in Iceland road trip is on your bucket list, you are not alone! These days it seems like everyone is suiting up, packing their photography gear, flying on a budget airline or with a stopover, and visiting the Land of Ice and Fire. We are one of those people and we think you should absolutely take an Iceland road trip. 5 days in Iceland is the perfect amount of time to spend if you are looking for a good introduction to the country or if you are looking to visit on a stopover.

If you are searching for how to best spend 5 day Iceland itinerary, we have got you covered and have been to Iceland and done this 5 day Iceland itinerary multiple times in all types of weather and in all seasons. This Iceland itinerary can be completed during any time of year, so whether you are visiting in winter or summer, this Iceland 5 day itinerary has got you covered!

Save money in Iceland by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using our code when you book! 

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

5 Days In Iceland: The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

If the thought of driving the entire Ring Road [the 827+ mile highway circumnavigating the island] doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t have enough time, you can still plan a 5 days in Iceland road trip itinerary that covers all the best parts of the country! Our Iceland 5 day itinerary offers you the perfect “snack size” trip to Iceland and fits perfectly with a 48-hour airline stopover or extended weekend trip. During your time on the island, you can still see geysers, hot springs, volcanic rock, ponies, glaciers, puffins, landscapes that look like they should be on another planet and more. If you are hoping to see Iceland in 5 days, this is the way to do it!

Instead of driving the entire Ring Road, you will get to see the best parts of the Iceland Ring Road in 5 days. Our Iceland itinerary focuses on the stunning landscapes in the south-eastern part of the Island. You will still get to spend a ton of time on the Ring Road but you will experience it in a do-able amount of time. 5 days in Iceland is a great starting point for seeing all the best sights on the ultimate Iceland road trip.

Disclaimer: Although shortened, the entire 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary we have laid out below is not for the faint of heart. It includes a lot of driving and quite a few stops. That being said, you can always tailor it to your wants and needs so that it best fits your preferred 5 days in Iceland itinerary.  Since this is a 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary, you will be spending minimal time in Reykjavik, but that is okay because there is so much to see. Are you ready? Let’s get to planning!

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Day 1: Begin Your 5 Days In Iceland By Driving the Golden Circle

Highlights: Geysers, Gullfoss Waterfall, Icelandic Ponies, Reykjavik

During the first day of your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary, you are heading out on a loop road called the Golden Circle. It both starts and ends in/near Reykjavik so you can spend the day in nature and the night exploring the city since one afternoon-night is really all you need for Reykjavik. The Golden Circle drive is an easy 190-miles round trip. Along the way, be sure to stop and pet the adorable Icelandic ponies who are waiting for some love! If you want to opt out of driving this part, there are many affordable Golden Circle Tours you may like to go on instead.

Check Out The Best Hotels In Reykjavik Under $80/Night

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

If you are dedicated to driving the Golden Circle fast, you can complete the whole thing and see all the sights in about 3 hours. We recommend budgeting around 5 hours to make the most of your experience. When you are driving this part of your 5 day Iceland itinerary, you can either start clockwise or counterclockwise. We suggest the clockwise version so you can get started seeing the sights right away! Driving the Golden Circle is a great way to kick off your 5 days in Iceland road trip!

Best Stops On The Golden Circle Self Drive Itinerary:

Stop 1: Thingvellir National Park

Listen up: Vikings used to have meetings here! How cool is that? Thingvellir National Park is also where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet and you can actually go diving/snorkeling between them if you budget enough time in your 5 day Iceland itinerary. Regardless, it is a cool place to walk around and take photos.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 2: Geysir Hot Spring Area

Boiling mud pits, the smell of sulfur, and lively geysers can all be found at Geysir Hot Spring Area and make a unique addition to your 5 days in Iceland. Geysers erupt every 7-10 minutes so you will certainly be able to capture multiple eruptions on film. The hot spring area is the perfect place to stop at a restroom since there aren’t many on the Golden Circle!

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Stop 3: Gullfoss Waterfall

Whether you visit Iceland for 5 days in winter or take your Iceland road trip during the warmer months, Gullfoss Waterfall is an epic sight to behold. Unlike most waterfalls that you stand under, you actually stand above and gaze down into Gulfoss. Budget spending the most time at the waterfall because it can’t be missed and should be added to your Iceland itinerary even if you are visiting Iceland in the low-season.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Day 2: Continue Your 5 Day Iceland Itinerary By Traveling From Reykjavik To Vik

Highlights: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck

Day 2 of your Iceland road trip is going to require a few hours of driving and a bunch of sightseeing and walking around. You will start by programming Vik into your GPS and will head east on the Ring Road out of Reykjavik. As we said above, it is totally doable to see some of the Iceland Ring Road in 5 days and today is when you begin!

During your self-drive in Iceland, you will traverse between a mountain pass, over glacial rivers, and through stunning lava fields. You will spend the night in or near Vik, depending on availability. Make sure to get plenty of rest because Day 3 of your 5 Day Iceland itinerary is going to be busy!

Stop 1: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall [and the hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall]

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A little less than 2 hours outside of Reykjavik lies the stunning Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
As you approach, you will be able to see the waterfall from the road. There is also a sign and the waterfalls shows up in your GPS so it is quite easy to find! Seljalandsfoss is a fascinating stop to add to your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary because it is a waterfall you can walk behind! Although beautiful, we much prefer the hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall.The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

To find Gljúfrabúi Waterfall, face Seljalandsfoss and walk about 1/4 of a mile to your left. You can also drive to the next parking lot over. There you will spot a small sign marking that you have arrived. In order to see the hidden waterfall, you are actually going to have to walk through a gorge until you get to a cave. Here you will see Gljúfrabúi Waterfall in all of its glory! This is one of the most fun stops along any 5 day Iceland itinerary!

Stop 2: Skogafoss Waterfall

If you thought the first two waterfalls were epic, you are in for a real treat! Skogafoss is only a short drive from stop 1 [about 30 minutes] and there are plenty of signs to direct you where you need to go. When you are at Skogafoss, make sure to head to both the base and the top of the waterfall. This stop is a “must” on your Iceland road trip as it is one of the most iconic spots in the country.

Many people spend a ton of time at the bottom but don’t hike the stairs to the top. Don’t spend the entire time looking at the falls either! From the top of the ridge, turn around and check out the fields and sea in all their glory! These days, Skogafoss Waterfall will be one of the busiest stops on your Iceland 5 day itinerary. There will be hundreds of other people and it won’t be that remote unless you go at sunrise or sunset!

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Stop 3: Kvernufoss Waterfall

If you are looking for lesser-known things to add to your 5 day Iceland itinerary, this is it! This is one part of your Iceland road trip itinerary that many people miss or don’t know about. Shh, keep it a secret so there aren’t hundreds of tourists! Kvernufoss Waterfall is located down the same road as Skogafoss! Once you turn off the Ring Road, instead of turning left for Skogafoss, you continue straight until you reach the Skogar Museum.

Drive to the remote end of the Skogar Museum, park, and then walk behind the building and hop over a little fence. You will walk through a gorge until you arrive at Kvernufoss Waterfall! When we have visited during past 5 day Iceland road trips, there have only been 5-10 people we see the whole time! You can walk behind this waterfall too and you won’t get super wet either! It makes for a wonderful stop on your 5 day Iceland itinerary.

Find out exact directions for the hike to Kvernufoss in this post!

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Stop 4: Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck

Once you leave Skogafoss, you are heading only a few miles away to make the long trek to Iceland’s hidden airplane wreck. You used to be able to drive down the beach until you reached the wreck, but you are no longer able and must hike around 4 miles round trip. The hike is on flat ground and takes a while, but you get to see a freaking airplane on a black sand beach! This will surely be one of the most unique stops during your 5 days in Iceland!

Make sure that you know what time the sun sets based on the time of year you are completing this 5 day Iceland itinerary so you aren’t stuck rushing your visit and hoping you don’t get stuck in the dark. We were only at this cool landmark for about 10 minutes total because we didn’t budget our time correctly. Don’t make the same mistake we did and be sure to factor enough time into your Iceland road trip itinerary to enjoy this unique site.

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Stop 4: Vik

Spend the night in or near the town of Vik. There are small grocery stores and a gas station if you are looking to purchase affordable food to save some money while in Iceland. If you can’t find any accommodations in Vik, try looking near Selejendafoss Waterfall. Although the waterfall is a bit further out and you will have to backtrack, you can find more affordable accommodations out here. You can visit Vik on the third day of your 5 day Iceland itinerary so don’t fret and consider locations all over the south coast for your second night’s accommodation.

READ NEXT: 25 Mind-Blowing Iceland Photography Locations

Day 3: Drive From Vik To Hofn For The Next Day Of Your 5 Day Iceland Itinerary

Highlights: Black sand beach, basalt columns, glaciers, Skaftafell National Park

Day 3 of our Iceland road trip itinerary is what we call a “sleep when you die” day because you will be out and about from dawn-till-dusk! This jam-packed 5 day Iceland itinerary isn’t for the faint of heart! You will spend the morning admiring black sand and basalt, the afternoon checking out glaciers and lava fields, and the evening driving to the city of Hofn or somewhere near it if you find an accommodation option closer. It is a lot of work but you can totally make it happen if you only have 5 days in Iceland and want to see as much as possible! If you have a longer time to spend on an Iceland road trip itinerary, split this portion up into two or even three days!

We were able to do all of this and more in the winter when it was completely dark by 7pm. If you are fortunate to visit during warmer months, you will have more than enough time before night falls. Anything you pass up on the way to Hofn you will catch on your way back to Reykjavik. Make sure to budget some time to get out of your car and admire the lava fields during this part of your 5 Day Iceland itinerary.

Stop 1: Reynishverfi Basalt Column Beach

You will start the third day of your Iceland 5 day itinerary by visiting the countries most famous black sand beach. You have seen the photos of these basalt columns darn near everywhere, and now it is your turn to visit! If the tide is out, climb on them for unforgettable photos! You can easily reach the basalt columns by a side road off Highway 1 near Vik. Keep your eyes out and program your GPS accordingly so you don’t miss it and have to backtrack like we did! Get an early start because this is the longest day of your 5 days in Iceland itinerary so you want to make the most of every stop!

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Stop 2: Vik’s Black Sand Beach

The entrance to Vik Beach is located right near the only gas station in town. Stop for a bite to eat or to stock up on groceries and gas and then walk along the beach and admire the sea stacks and jet black sand. The beach is equally beautiful in both winter and summer. Before you visit, make sure to read up about these 5 things to know about beaches in Iceland! Although they are beautiful, they are quite dangerous and people have died from not paying attention to safety precautions. This is not the way you want to see Iceland in 5 days so make sure to be careful.

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Stop 3: Skaftafell National Park

Today is the perfect time to make a quick stop in Skaftafell National Park to see what it is all about. The park is massive with tons of hikes and beautiful landscapes, but since you only have 5 days Iceland, it is best to hit the highlights. We suggest a trip to the visitor center followed by a short 2-mile round trip hike to a nearby glacier. The hike consists of walking down a pebble path until you reach the glacier. It is ideal for anyone and doesn’t require much time at all. If you do NOT want to hike to see a glacier, WAIT until stop 4 of today’s itinerary where you can simply drive to one! If you are pressed for time on your 5 day Iceland itinerary, skip the Skaftafell Visitor Center hike and wait for stop 4.

If you started really early or can add more time to your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary, you may be able to take a fabulous tour of one of the Ice caves at Skaftafell National Park! Please note that you can only do this tour during the winter! If you are sticking to our 5 day Iceland itinerary, you will love the glacier hike from the visitor center! Whether you have 5 days in Iceland or more time, make sure to at least drop by Skaftafell National Park!

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Stop 4: Svínafellsjökull Glacier

If you don’t want to hike to see a glacier, don’t worry! If you drive just a few moments past the entrance to the Skaftafell Visitor Center, you will see a small sign for Svínafellsjökull Glacier. This is the easiest place on your 5 day Iceland itinerary to get up close and personal with a glacier! When you turn off the Ring Road to go down the road to Svínafellsjökull Glacier, you will be driving on a poorly-kept dirt road.

The road is horrible so if you are driving a 2×2 you will have to go slow because of all the potholes. The short drive to Svínafellsjökull Glacier is doable during winter or summer and you will drive to a parking lot and then get out and the glacier will be right there! Walk along the side of the mountain and enjoy the wonderful views! This is a quick and easy stop to see when spending 5 days in Iceland.

Visit Svínafellsjökull Glacier during your 5 day Iceland itinerary | how to spend 5 days in Iceland

Stop 5: Hofn

You will end day 3 of your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary by spending the night in the town of Hofn. If you can’t find any accommodations in Hofn, feel free to search the entire area from Skaftafell National Park area to Hofn area. Don’t fret if you can’t find anything the town is small but the area is popular! In Hofn, you will enjoy local restaurants, a large grocery store, and multiple lodging options. Remember that you can save a lot of money by not going out to eat! 

Day 4: Spend The Day Exploring Glaciers And Mountains For The Most Relaxing Part Of Your 5 Days In Iceland Itinerary

Highlights: Stokksnes, Glacier Lagoon, Hofn

By this point, you have done a TON of driving during your Iceland road trip Itinerary and you have a lot more left to do. Take Day 4 of your 5 days in Iceland to relax a little and soak it all in. If you wanted to spend more time in Skaftafell National Park, the nearest entrance is about an hour away so it is totally doable with an early start. Other than that stick around town and the surrounding areas.

Pick up some food at the local grocery store, stroll around town for some Icelandic souvenirs, and walk along the beautiful waterfront of this maritime fishing village. If the weather is nice, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy watching the boats go in and out of the harbor.

Stop 1: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Located less than an hour away from Hofn, you start Day 4 of your Iceland road trip itinerary by visiting a glacier lagoon. You haven’t seen anything until you have seen a glacier lagoon in Iceland! Seeing chunks of crystal-clear blue ice sitting on a perfectly black beach is something you will never forget and a must-see during your 5 days in Iceland. Look out for wildlife because seals often come out to play among the floating icebergs. Rain, shine, or snow, this is an essential stop on any road trip itinerary in Iceland.

Although you will pass the Glacier Lagoon on Day 3 of this Iceland itinerary, we recommend going back on Day 4 because you will want to spend a lot of time exploring the area. While you are visiting the Glacier Lagoon, make sure to go across the street to visit the popular Diamond Beach! This is a must-see during your 5 day Iceland itinerary as the pieces of ice drift out of the lagoon and land on the beach.

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Stop 2: Stokksnes

Simply plug the name Stokksnes into your GPS or drop a pin and within 30 minutes you will land on Mars. Okay not really, but Stokksnes looks like it shouldn’t even be on this planet! This stop will be a memorable one on your 5 day Iceland itinerary because the landscape is unlike anything you have ever seen. The landscape consists of giant dunes, seagrass, a black sand beach, and mountains that plunge straight into the sea. Depending on the time of year, you can also see the northern lights! This is as far northeast as you will head on our 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary so make sure to spend some time exploring!

There is an entrance fee of 800 kroners to visit Stokksness and the entry is good for only one trip. If you are looking to photograph the Northern Lights, you will have to buy a ticket in advance so you can get through the gate that is there. Altneratively, you can park your car and simply walk to avoid paying the entrance fee. Stokksness is a great place to visit during your 5 days in Iceland, especially if you are a photographer!

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Day 5: Finish Your 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary By Driving From Hofn To Reykjavik

Highlights: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Dryholaey

The final day of your Iceland road trip itinerary concludes with a 5-hour drive back to the capital of Reykjavik. Five hours seems like a long time, but time flies when you are having fun and taking in the scenery. This will also be the day you visit the famous Blue Lagoon! Visiting the Blue Lagoon at the very end of your 5 days in Iceland itinerary is a great way to cap off a busy Iceland road trip!

If you want to spend more time at any of your previous stops on this 5 day Iceland itinerary, now is the perfect time because you will pass each and every stop on your drive back to Reykjavik. For example, we stopped at Skogafoss again because we didn’t get enough of it the first time! Maybe the first time you stopped at the Glacier Lagoon it was very sunny and today it is moody! Weather changes in an instant in Iceland which is why this 5 day Iceland itinerary is flexible enough for you to modify if necessary!

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Stop 1: Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of the lesser-known and most underrated stops along our 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary. This massive canyon is just a few miles away from the main road so it is an easy stop to get to. Please note that you will be driving down a dirt road. This is not an F-road and it is accessible all year round. The road is in pretty good condition but you may have to drive slowly if you are in a 2×2 vehicle.

You are able to climb to the top of the canyon to see some awesome views! We recommend hiking along the whole canyon until you come to the very end so you can see the entire length of it. If you are short on time, just climb to the top to the first lookout, take a peek, and be on your way! Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is less than two hours away from Vik so if you have less than 5 days in Iceland you can still make it a stop. We highly recommend Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon for your 5 day Iceland itinerary, even if you are short on time!

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Stop 2: Dyrhólaey

Dyrhólaey is a small peninsula not too far from Vik and about a 2 and a half hour drive from Reykjavik. While you could technically make this stop on day 2 of your 5 days in Iceland, it makes for a nice view on your way back to Reykjavik. Feel free to modify this stop as you see fit! You may want to visit on Day 2 or Day 3 as it is near the Basalt Black Sand Beach. Either way, you have multiple options to fit it when you are seeing Iceland in 5 days.

It is the home to Puffin, rock formations, and stunning beaches. This stop is the ideal spot for photography, especially if you arrive during sunset. The cliffs and giant waves are reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest and you will be hard pressed to convince your friends and family that you really weren’t in Oregon or British Columbia!

Dyrhólaey has two parts, a lower beach with one view, and a higher beach with Dyrhólaey for a higher view from above. The drive up to the higher view is on a pretty sketchy dirt road with no gaurdrails. We have done this short drive in both winter and summer and with both a 2×2 and 4×4 so it is doable either way. The top view of the black sand beach stretch is a highlight on your 5 days in Iceland itinerary. Dyrhólaey is a fantastic way to cap off your 5 days in Iceland and to mark the last stop along your Iceland road trip itinerary.

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Stop 3: The Blue Lagoon

If you can afford it, we highly recommend a stop at the Blue Lagoon at either the beginning or end of your 5 days in Iceland. We love a stop at the Blue Lagoon after your 5 day Iceland itinerary has come to a close because it is a great way to relax and wind down before your flight. You may consider skipping the Blue Lagoon because it is too touristy, but we assure you it is a worthy stop to round out seeing Iceland in 5 days.

The Blue Lagoon is so large and entrance tickets are timed so only 500 people are allowed in at a time. This means it never feels overly crowded compared to some other hot springs in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon also had restaurants, saunas, changing rooms, and a huge pool area so the number of people never feels overwhelming or crowded. The blue water is so unique and you can purchase entrance tickets that allow you to have an included drink and multiple mud masks.

Consider purchasing a Blue Lagoon ticket for later in the evening in case the drive takes longer than expected. This is a wonderful way to conclude your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary!

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Stop 4: Reykjavik

Congratulations! You just completed an epic 5-day Iceland road trip! Spend your last evening resting in the capital, hitting the town, or dropping off your rental car and catching a late flight back to your home country. If you have already seen Reykjavik, we highly recommend spending the night near Keflavik Airport either in the towns of Keflavik or Vogar. This makes your drive to catch your flight so much easier!

There are many ways you can modify this Iceland road trip itinerary so take the parts you love and leave the parts you don’t have time for as you spend a memorable 5 days in Iceland.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Iceland Road Trip Map

If you are a more visual person, don’t worry! We created this Iceland road trip map so you can see where you will be heading during your 5 days in Iceland! Iceland is a very GPS friendly country and you can visit all of the locations listed above by quickly plugging them into your GPS! This makes your Iceland road trip very easy to navigate and your 5 days in Iceland a breeze!

5 Day Iceland Road Trip Map

When To Visit Iceland

Don’t be surprised, but there really is no bad time to take your Iceland road trip! We created this whole post that breaks down the best time to visit Iceland and explains the pros and cons of each season. This 5 days in Iceland road trip can be done at any time of the year! Whenever you are planning your Iceland road trip and you have time off to spend 5 days in Iceland is when you should visit this beautiful country!

If you are looking to see the Northern Lights, visit during the winter! Winters in Iceland are quite mild but you need to be sure to dress properly. Want to experience neverending daylight during your Iceland road trip? Then make sure to travel during the summer! The off-season is also the perfect time for an Iceland road trip because everything is more affordable and the weather is still great. No matter when you have 5 days in Iceland to spend, you should ensure you have proper clothing so you enjoy your Iceland road trip!

iceland itinerary 5 days | iceland plane crash in winter

Where To Stay In Iceland

As you know, Iceland is very expensive! When spending 5 days in Iceland, costs can add up quickly. For your Iceland road trip itinerary, we highly recommend that you book an Airbnb or a similar home-share type property because you will gain valuable access to a kitchen. We do recommend hotels in our 5 day Iceland itinerary above because not everyone likes Airbnb, but we do suggest it for maximum ease and convenience during your 5 day Iceland road trip.

If you are wary about spending 5 days in Iceland sharing with other guests, don’t fret! Many Airbnbs in Iceland offer “entire home” accommodation options which means you will have the entire house or flat to yourself and won’t have to share with anyone else! We love that a homestay provides you valuable access to a kitchen which will save you lots of money if you are spending 5 days in Iceland.

We have tried both hotels and Airbnb while in Iceland and prefer Airbnb for sure. We love that with Airbnb you won’t be forced to eat all meals out [which adds up quickly] and entire home Airbnbs are often the same price as a hotel or hostel, if not cheaper! If you are looking to go on this Iceland road trip on a budget or are looking to save money, cooking your own meals is the way to go!

For the purpose of this 5 days in Iceland road trip, we aren’t going to tell you what to do or where exactly to stay! That is up for you to decide based on what you think your 5 days in Iceland should be like! If you are looking for a luxury Iceland road trip, there are wonderful luxury hotels in Iceland as well as more expensive Airbnbs you can stay at! If you are looking to save money and eat at home? Airbnb is just a click away with many great lodging options for your 5 days in Iceland!

Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using our code when you book! 

See the glacier lagoon during your 5 day iceland road trip itinerary

Quick tips for your Iceland road trip

-Bring plenty of water. When taking an Iceland road trip, you will want to bring plenty of water! Be sure that you bring a reusable water bottle so you can save the earth and fill up in a bathroom or at your hotel. If you must, buy bottled water at one of the Iceland grocery stores to bring with you on your Iceland road trip.

-Be prepared to potentially pee on the side of the road. Iceland is actually a pretty desolate place so don’t be surprised if you have to pee on the side of the road during your Iceland road trip. When taking a road trip through Iceland, you may drive for hours before you see an appropriate bathroom stop. Pull over to a safe spot on the road, open both car doors, and do your business! It is all part of the Iceland road trip experience!

-Driving off-road is 100% illegal in Iceland. When taking an Iceland road trip, you may be tempted to drive off-road. After all, there is no one around and there are so many open spaces. Don’t do it! Driving off-road is actually illegal in Iceland and also destroys the environment. Stick to the approved roads for a safe, legal, and environmentally friendly Iceland itinerary.

-Leave no trace. This means that when you are taking an Iceland road trip, do not litter in any way, shape, or form. If you are driving along this 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary and have trash, do not throw it out your car window. Make sure to put it in a plastic baggie and throw it away in an appropriate receptacle when you arrive into a city.

-Do not speed or drive recklessly. It is super tempting to drive fast on the perfectly straight Icelandic roads but don’t do it! You may risk getting a hefty ticket and that isn’t an enjoyable part of an Iceland road trip. Plus, you don’t want to do anything dangerous or illegal during your Iceland itinerary.

-Make sure to stay safe at all the stops along your Iceland road trip. Places such as the black sand beaches in Iceland are one of the best things to see in Iceland but they are also the most dangerous. When taking an Iceland road trip, make sure to read all the signs and proceed with caution when visiting many of the stops listed above. The warning signs along this 5-day Iceland itinerary are provided in multiple languages so there really is no excuse for doing ill-advised things.

-If you want to walk on the road, make sure to watch out for cars and give them the right of way. Many articles tell travelers to never walk on the road during their Iceland road trip but we disagree. Roads in Iceland are beautiful to photograph but you must do so safely. First, make sure you pull off the road as far as you can and that you stop on a straight stretch of road where you can see for a good distance and not on a hill or a corner. Then, if you are doing your Iceland road trip in a group, make sure that you have someone stand watch for oncoming cars. If you are alone, make your time walking down the road very short and quick. Never walk in the road at night at any point during your Iceland road trip.

-You do not need an international drivers license to take an Iceland road trip. As long as you have a driver license from your home country, you should be good to go when driving in Iceland. Save yourself time and money and forgo the international driving permit. If you aren’t sure, it is always good to ask the car rental company you are hoping to take your Iceland road trip with for clarification.

-Always make sure you have enough gas. The gas stations in Iceland are few and far between so if you think you need to fill up, you probably should! It is better to be safe than sorry and stranded on a desolate Icelandic road. When taking an Iceland road trip, it is always a good idea to top off your tank when you pass a gas station, especially if the nearest town is a few hours away.

Seeing cute churches in Iceland is the best part of your 5 day iceland itinerary | iceland in 5 days

Additional Reading To Help You Plan Your Iceland Road Trip

Planning your 5 days in Iceland road trip should be fun but not hard and stressful! We know that planning your Iceland road trip for the first time can become overwhelming at times, which is why we created a whole lot of helpful posts!  These posts will provide you with further reading and additional information when planning your 5 days in Iceland! Check out these posts below for further help on planning and preparing for your Iceland road trip:

Iceland vacation planning articles:

Top Things To Do And See In Iceland In 5 Days:

Start shopping for your Iceland road trip:




Heading to Iceland for 5 days soon? Which one of these stops along our Iceland road trip itinerary has you most excited? Have you taken an Iceland road trip? Where did you head? Let us know in the comments! 

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Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Are you searching for the most luxurious and comfortable Airbnbs in Iceland? We have got you covered! These are real Airbnbs that we stayed in all around the entire Ring Road, including Iceland’s Westfjords region! We aren’t just giving you a list of places to stay that we haven’t personally tried and loved! We have stayed in each and every one of these gorgeous locations and are recommending them to you based on location, price, amenities, comfort, and communication!

In Iceland, simply finding a place to stay seems like a task, let alone an “entire home” Airbnb. This means you get the entire place to yourself! For all of these Airbnb options suggested here, you are able to check in and check out all on your own by using a key lock box. This is our favorite feature when staying at an Airbnb so you don’t have to disturb the owners of the home if you arrive late!

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Best Airbnb For Exploring Southern Waterfalls: Hemlulundur

See Listing Here!

When we arrived at Hemlulundur, we had been up for almost 24 hours and driven straight from the airport to a waterfall for sunrise before finally arriving at this Airbnb in Iceland. Katrin, the owner, was wonderful throughout our entire booking process and made it easy to understand. There is a map of what the road was like once you turn off highway 1 and it was easy to follow!

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Check-in to Hemlulundur was also easy with a lock-box for entry. When we opened the door we were amazed at what we saw! This cabin was so cute and cozy and was well-appointed with luxurious touches such as the ultra-soft beds. It was the perfect size for our group of 3, but could have easily accommodated four, not including children. If you are looking for something a bit smaller, Rakel also offers two studio cabins further down on the same property which you can see here!

Hemlulundur is located about 2 hours from Reykjavik area but only 10 minutes away from one of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls Selejendafoss as well as the entrance to the Icelandic Highlands! It within 40 minutes of most other southern Iceland attractions and makes the perfect “home base.” There is also a small town with a grocery store as well as a gas station just 10 minutes in the opposite direction. We had to get gas a few times during all of our exploring so this was very appreciated!

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

The cabin itself was stocked with many cooking supplies such as oil, spices, and more, which made making meals in this little slice of heaven quite easy! The space looks out over vast fields and you even have a view of a nearby glacier as well as Selejendafoss if you look into the distance. Finally, the outdoor hot tub which you can fill with geothermal water was the perfect thing to relax after a long day of exploring Iceland’s south coast!

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Best Airbnb For Seeing The Glacier Lagoon And The East Coast: Lambhus Cabins

See listing here!

We are going to be honest with you, finding accommodation along south-east Iceland is very hard. It is also very expensive and you don’t get much for the price. If you are searching for a fantastic south-east Iceland Airbnb, Lambhus Cabins will be your saving grace! These cabins are located equally 30 minutes from Iceland’s insanely popular and magical Glacier Lagoon and 30 minutes from the town of Hofn and the mountainous area known as Stokksness.

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Lambhus Cabins are also perfectly located for exploring Skaftafell National Park and you can see a massive glacier from the window of some cabins. Finding Lambhus Cabins from the Ring Road is very easy and there is a sign. If you arrive during opening hours, you can head to the front office to get your key, otherwise, the staff will leave your door unlocked with the key inside.

We loved that the price of Lambhus Cabins was very affordable for what they offered. We were going to have to pay $150+ to get two rooms [which woud have cost our group of 3 $300+ per night] when we found the cabins! They start at $189USD per night [depending on your time of year] and can sleep four adults. The best part is that Lambhus Cabins come with a kitchenette which allows you the luxury of staying in and cooking yourself after a long day. A small fridge and cooktop was something that no one on the east coast was offering during our trip, especially for that price!

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

The beds were comfortable and set up in an adult style bunk bed which we didn’t have a problem with. The whole cabin is surrounded in windows, giving you a view of the glacier when you are dining or sitting on the sofa. The cabin was a studio so everything was all in one room, but for the location, price, and views, you really can’t beat it and we recommend this space to any traveler heading to Iceland!

Most Comfortable And Luxurious Airbnbs In Iceland All Around The Ring Road

Best Airbnb For Exploring North Iceland: The Cabin In The Lava

See Listing Here!

If you are driving the whole Ring Road and are looking for a luxurious Airbnb in North Iceland The Cabin In The Lava is the perfect slice of heaven for you! The Cabin In The Lava is located just 10 minutes from the town of Husavik, which is a very popular spot for whale watching in Iceland. The town is very nice and a brand new geothermal spa that overlooks the sea just opened! The Cabin In The Lava is also well located within an hour of other popular North Iceland attractions such as Godafoss and Myvatan Nature Baths.

Best Airbnb For Exploring North Iceland: The Cabin In The Lava

The check-in process was easy and communication was perfect the entire time. One thing worth mentioning is that The Cabin In The Lava does not come with sheets/linens so you can pick them up for free in either Reykjavik or North Iceland or supply your own, depending on your circumstances. We chose to pick up our own in North Iceland and pickup was made easy for us. The Cabin is equipped with many essentials for cooking and comes with a washing machine which was nice after exploring the Ring Road.

Best Airbnb For Exploring North Iceland: The Cabin In The Lava

The Cabin In The Lava sleeps 6 people and is spacious enough for all of your belongings. The cabin is very secluded in a lava field so the view is of surrounding trees. In case you didn’t know, trees are very rare in Iceland so having them around the cabin was a real treat! Finally, if it is a nice day, you can sit out on the large deck and enjoy a morning coffee or a lunch while taking in the wonderful Icelandic nature.

Best Airbnb For Exploring North Iceland: The Cabin In The Lava

Best Airbnb For Seeing The Westfjords And Waterfalls: Renewed Charming House

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If you make it all the way to explore Iceland’s Westfjords, we highly recommend staying in Renewed Charming House in Thingyeri. The town of Thingnyeri is adorable and located just 30 minutes away from Dynjandi Waterfall, one of the most popular attractions in the Westfjords. Renewed Charming House is also located less than 30 minutes away from the biggest town in Westfjords and lots of grocery store and dining options. The Airbnb is across the street from the only gas station in town, which makes finding it very easy and getting gas during your exploration even easier!

Best Airbnb For Seeing The Westfjords And Waterfalls: Renewed Charming House

The check-in process for Renewed Charming House was easy with a lock-box and communication was great. The house is split into two parts, upstairs, where you rent out the whole apartment, and downstairs, where you rent a room and share a kitchenette area. We rented the entire upstairs which was quite spacious and gorgeous, with incredible views of the fjord just outside the window! There is a bathtub with a hand shower upstairs, but if you want to shower in a regular shower or use the washer/dryer, you must climb down a secret staircase to the bottom floor. We loved this unique touch! While upstairs guests have access to the downstairs, downstairs guests do not have upstairs access.

Best Airbnb For Seeing The Westfjords And Waterfalls: Renewed Charming House

The kitchen in Renewed Charming House was huge and there was everything from flower and sugar to a waffle maker for Airbnb guests to use! The wifi was extremely fast, the beds were comfortable, and the price was great for what we were offered. Our favorite part was the sweeping views of the adorable town and stunning Fjords right outside!

Best Airbnb For Seeing The Westfjords And Waterfalls: Renewed Charming House

Best Airbnb Near The Blue Lagoon And Keflavik Airport: Vogar House

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The official name of this house is “House w/4 bedrooms near the airport and Reykjavik” but for the sake of this post we will call it Vogar House. After a super long day of driving we arrived into the town of Vogar and checked-in to Vogar House. Take it from us, this house is ultimate Icelandic luxury! Everything is pristine and the furnishings are perfect. There are no radiators, all the heating is done through the flooring. If that isn’t luxury we don’t know what is!

Best Airbnb Near The Blue Lagoon And Keflavik Airport: Vogar House

Vogar House sleeps 8 people across 4 bedrooms and doesn’t feel crowded at all. The place is huge and even has a piano room and outdoor hot tub as well as a room for a washer and dryer. The wifi is fast and the kitchen is stocked with necessities for making a variety of meals. Checking-in was very easy with a lock-box by the door and communication was fast. We loved the decor of the home, the theme, and how spacious and airy it was with a wonderful view of nature out back.

Best Airbnb Near The Blue Lagoon And Keflavik Airport: Vogar House

The best part of the Vogar House is the location! It is located less than 10 minutes away from the Blue Lagoon and less than 10 minutes away from Keflavik Airport. The home is located in a small town of Vogar and there is a local gas station and some places to eat if you need some extras. The proximity to the Blue Lagoon and airport make Vogar House the perfect first or last stop on any Iceland itinerary. Finally, it takes about 40 minutes to get to Reykjavik from the Airbnb, which we easily did for an afternoon trip on our last day in Iceland. If you are looking for a purely luxurious place to stay after your dip in the Blue Lagoon or before your flight home, Vogar House is the place for you!

Best Airbnb Near The Blue Lagoon And Keflavik Airport: Vogar House

If you take our recommendation and stay in any of these Airbnb properties around Iceland, we would love to hear from you about your experience! We recommend each and every property to you for the reasons explained above and know that they will exceed your expectations!

11 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

Are you on the hunt for the best hikes in Iceland that aren’t too crazy and are easy to do? Not all of the top hikes in Iceland have to be multi-day treks, so if you aren’t into that type of thing you have come to the right place. From stunning waterfalls to black sand beaches and glacier lagoons, easy hikes in Iceland abound. For the purpose of this article, we are defining an easy hike as a walk that is either slightly long or slightly strenuous. Whether you are visiting Iceland in winter or during the warmer months, finding the hike that is right for you has never been easier!

Save money in Iceland by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using our code when you book! 

If you are in the process of planning travel to Iceland, here are some posts to read later:

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Itinerary 

How To Pack For All Seasons In Iceland

Top 15 Tours In Iceland Worth Every Penny

7 Things To Know Before Driving In Iceland

10 Budget Iceland Travel Tips To Help You Save Hundreds

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

11 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#1. Skogafoss Waterfall Offers One Of The Best Easy Hikes In Iceland

If you are looking for a fantastic easy hike in Iceland, head to Skogafoss Waterfall. Instead of just viewing the waterfall from the ground, why not try a different perspective? While you are standing in front of Skogafoss, turn to your right and you will see a stairwell heading up the right side of the mountain next to the waterfall. The stairs are quite slippery and steep, especially in winter, but they lead to the top of Skogafoss Waterfall. The view from the top will blow your mind!

Even better? You can continue the hike on the plateau where the river that eventually becomes Skogafoss flows from. That location is actually the start to a multi-day hike in Iceland, but since you are on the hunt for the easy hikes, you can just explore as far as you are comfortable with and then head back down to the Skogafoss parking lot. Make sure to turn around and look back at the south Iceland coast as it is quite stunning and memorable to behold!

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#2. The Mount Esja Trail Is One Of The Best Hikes In Iceland That Is A Little Longer

If you are looking for an easy hike that is more of a true hike than a walk, the Mount Esja Trail is perfect for you! The hike is 7km/4.3 miles long, which in all reality, isn’t all that bad and certainly isn’t considered a trek. You can complete the Mount Esja Trail in a few hours which makes it one of the best hikes in Iceland for seeing epic views. Along the way, you will be hiking up a volcanic mountain range known as the Esja Mountains. Once you arrive at the top of the Mount Esja Trail you will be greeted with memorable views of the capital of Reykjavik below!

If you are staying in Reykjavik and are looking for the best hikes in Iceland that are nearby, the Mount Esja Trail is the perfect day hike for you. We highly recommend it for photographers who are looking to get a unique perspective of the city below as well. If you are looking to get your heart pumping, the Mount Esja Trail will be perfect for you!

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#3. The Arnarstapi To Hellnar Cliff Walk Is Lesser Known But A Must-Do

Okay, so this isn’t an official name of a hike in Iceland, but it is quite popular so we have included it here! To get to the Arnarstapi hike, head to the Snaefellsnes Penninsula in west Iceland and put Arnarstapi in your GPS. Once you arrive, head as far as you can in the small town, down to a marina. Park your car in the parking lot and head up the hill towards the south. Walk along the cliff for a few hundred yards and you will come across a beautiful archway that is sunken into the cliff face. You can even walk across it!

Continue to head west along coastal cliff walk and you will come across a second archway about 1km further than the first. If you follow this easy hike in Iceland from Arnarstapi you will head through a small white gate and up a hill that is next to the city. You will walk through stunning lava fields and weather-beaten cliffs. Eventually, you will hit the next town over, called Hellnar. This hike is very enjoyable, with moderate up and down, and breathtaking scenery.

Most people visit Arnarstapi and just stop at the arch, but one of the best hikes in Iceland is the trail between Arnarstapi and Hellnar. If you want to do the hike in reverse order, you can also drive and park in Hellnar. The whole walk is no more than 5km round trip so it is quite easy and enjoyable! The perfect easy day hike in Iceland!

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#4. The Skaftafellsjökull Hike In Iceland Brings You Up Close With A Glacier

Looking to get up close and personal with an ancient glacier? Head to Skaftafell National Park, in east Iceland! There, you can head to the visitor center and explore different hiking options, but we suggest heading to Skaftafellsjökull glacier which is one of the best hikes in Iceland for seeing breathtaking views! The drive to Skaftafell from Reykjavik is about 4 hours, so if you plan to do this easy hike in Iceland, consider staying out in the nearby town of Hofn, go camping in the national park, or stay at one of the local hotels.

The Skaftafellsjökull Hike literally starts right from the visitor center. It is not a loop trail so you walk the same trail back out. It is pretty much completely flat and only 2.3 miles/3.7 km round trip making it one of the best easy hikes in Iceland. Along the way, you will walk on a gravel trail which will eventually open up at the foot of a massive glacier. Here, the trail sort of ends, unless you follow sticks marking the path to get closer. Visitors are encouraged to hike as close to Skaftafellsjökull Glacier as they want. You may want to walk all the way to the base or up along the sides. If you are not looking for anything strenuous, this is one of the best hikes in Iceland for you! The view of the Skaftafellsjökull Glacier is well worth the walk and it starts by the visitor center and parking lot so getting there couldn’t be easier!

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#5. Seljavallalaug Hot Spring Is One Of The Most Rewarding Hikes In Iceland

If you are looking for one of the best easy hikes in Iceland with a big payoff, the Seljavallalaug Hot Spring trail is perfect for you. If you came to Iceland for the hot springs, you are going to want to take this hike! You have probably seen the Seljavallalaug Hot Springs all over travel magazines and Instagram, and for a good reason. If you loved the Blue Lagoon, then this oldest swimming pool in Iceland is a real treat.

From the parking lot, this is one of the shorter hikes in Iceland at just 20 minutes long, but the reward is great! What isn’t to love about a hidden swimming pool in the mountains of Iceland heated by geothermal water? The hike is easy and takes you along the valley floor. While not completely flat, this hike in Iceland wouldn’t be considered difficult! Make sure to bring your own towel and a bathing suit as this is literally a hole in the ground with a small changing facility and not a fancy swimming pool with staff to attend to you. Please read this post on 5 Things To Expect Before visiting Seljavallaug Swimming Pool so you are prepared at the state of the changing room and how dirty the water is.

If this is one of the hikes in Iceland you plan to do, we suggest wearing sturdy walking shoes and bringing flip flops for when you are changing and getting in and out of the pool. We do not suggest hiking in flip flops because the terrain is uneven and your feet will certainly freeze! The Seljavallalaug Trail is open all year round and the hot spring is particularly inviting during the winter!

5 Best Easy Hikes In Iceland That Will Blow Your Mind

#6. The Trail To Kvernufoss Waterfall Is One Of The Best Hikes In Iceland Off The Beaten Path

If you are looking for the one of the best hikes in Iceland that is a bit less touristy, Kvernufoss Waterfall is perfect for you! This hike in Iceland is actually located down the same road Skogafoss Waterfall is! To get to this magical hike in Iceland, you simply drive down the road leading to Skofafoss from Highway 1 and continue on until you reach the Skogar Museum.

Once you reach the Skogar Museum, you drive to the back and park your car. You will walk around the back and hop over a fence [legally allowed] and begin one of the most rewarding hikes in Iceland! We consider this to be one of the best hikes in Iceland because it is short and easy with a big payoff at the end! You will walk along the base of the mountain and round a bend to the left. You will follow a river along until you reach Kvernufoss. The hike is about 20 minutes long each way.

Once you have arrived at Kvernufoss you will feel like you have entered middle earth and the scene looks like it is out of Lord Of The Rings. You can stop for photos of Kvernufoss in the distance but we highly encourage you to continue this Iceland hike until the end. Another reason this is one of the best hikes in Iceland is that you can walk behind Kvernufoss! Walking behind waterfalls is so fun and the scenery is stunning. If you are visiting Skofagoss, consider adding the nearby Kvernufoss to your list of best hikes in Iceland you simply must complete! We promise that it will blow your mind!

Best Easy Hikes In Iceland | Hikes In Iceland | Iceland travel tips

#7. Reykjadalur Valley Is One Of The Hikes In Iceland With A Hot Springs Payoff

If you are looking for one of the best hikes in Iceland that is truly unique, then you will truly enjoy a visit to Reykjadalur Valley. This valley is located about an hour away from Reykjavik and is filled with a hot stream that you can swim in! The small hot rivers run through Reykjadalur Valley and are warm enough to swim in. Of course, you have to hike there first before you can take a dip!

The hike to Reykjadalur Valley is considered easy but it does take quite a while compared to other easy hikes in Iceland on this list. Allow about 45 minutes each way to get to the Reykjadalur Valley steam rivers and budget around 2 hours of time in general for the experience. You really want to get the most out of one of the best hikes in Iceland, so go during the day so you aren’t rushed by sunset.

This hike in Iceland is better done during the off-season or summer and skipped during the winter. The conditions make going in winter difficult or maybe even impossible, and the hot rivers aren’t so hot in the winter because of how cold it is. If you truly want to enjoy one of the best hikes in Iceland, shoot for a slightly warmer time of year. Make sure to stay on the approved path until you reach the designated swimming area of Reykjadalur Valley so you don’t scald yourself!

Reykjadalur Valley hot springs is one of the best hikes in Iceland | Iceland travel tips

#8. The Hike To Sólheimasandur Plane Crash Is Long But Easy

Gone are the days when you can drive out to Sólheimasandur Plane Crash like we did on our very first trip to Iceland. Now, you must hike from the Ring Road all the way down to the plane wreck. Although Sólheimasandur Plane Crash is one of the best easy hikes in Iceland, it is long and takes a long time. The ground is completely flat but you are walking on a beach that has rocks and pebbles and sand the entire time.

The hike to Sólheimasandur Plane Crash is roughly 5 miles [8km] round trip and the hike is very boring and uninteresting. You won’t even see the plane crash until you are directly on top of it because it is hidden down a hill! The hike itself is pretty boring, but the plane wreck is pretty epic which is why it is one of the must-see hikes in Iceland. Don’t worry, no one died here and everyone was safe after the crash which makes it okay to visit!

Sólheimasandur Plane Crash is one of the better hikes in Iceland if you want to actually hike for a distance but don’t want to spend the night outdoors or don’t want a lot of elevation change. It is easy and flat, but takes a good 2-3 hours minimum to complete, depending on how long you stay at the plane crash at the end. Once you arrive, you will see how it made the list of the best hikes in Iceland!

Hiking to Sólheimasandur Plane Crash in Iceland is one of the best hikes in Iceland for all levels

#9. Dynjandi Waterfall Is A Remote But Epic Hike In Iceland

If you have never considered heading to the Westfjords in Iceland, you aren’t alone! This remote region of Iceland is off-the-beaten-path but the views are epic! Dynjandi Waterfall is an absolutely massive waterfall and home to one of the best hikes in Iceland. We consider this hike easy even though it is steep because it is a short distance. You are hiking from the parking lot up along a trail until you reach the very base of the huge Dynjandi Waterfall.

The hike is 1km each way and takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how fast you hike uphill and downhill. You can stop all along this hike in Iceland as you climb to the base of the waterfall to take pictures of lower falls. It is quite incredible as you get closer Dynjandi Waterfall gets bigger and bigger until it is towering overhead. Pictures really don’t do Dynjandi Waterfall justice and it is totally worth paying a visit to the Westfjords so you can check one of the best hikes in Iceland off your bucket list!

Dynjandi is one of the best hikes in Iceland | Westfjords Iceland | hiking in iceland

#10. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon Is One Of The Best Hikes In Iceland For Seeing Unique Landscapes

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of the best hikes in Iceland if you are looking for something different other than lava fields and waterfalls. Although they are epic, a deep canyon covered in green moss with a winding river flowing through it will do the trick! Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is located about 15 minutes off the Ring Road in south Iceland and you must drive down a dirt road to get there. Don’t worry, a 2×2 car can make the drive!

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is considered one of the best easy hikes in Iceland, but be aware that the first part is a steep uphill. You will hike up a flat-but-uphill path from the parking lot until you reach the top of the canyon. Then, this hike in Iceland will flatten out as you walk along the top of the canyon. This is one of the best hikes in Iceland for families with smaller children as it isn’t too difficult and there aren’t a lot of stairs.

In all, the length of the entire Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is around 2km or little over a mile, but you don’t have to do the entire hike to feel satisfied. You can simply climb to the top of the shorter steep part and take in the views and continue on your way. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of the best hikes in Iceland for you to choose how much you want to see and how long you want to stay!

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon makes the list as one of the best hikes in Iceland for easy hikers

#11. Dettifoss Waterfall’s East Side Offers An Easy Downhill Hike In Iceland

If you are heading to Dettifoss Waterfall, located in North Iceland, be aware that there are two ways you can view the waterfall. One towards the west and one towards the east. We highly recommend heading to the eastern side [or both] especially if you want to experience one of the best hikes in Iceland. The hike is short, about 15 minutes, but is a winding downhill hike to the top of the waterfall.

There are no railings or guardrails on this hike in Iceland, so if you are taking children, keep them close by and don’t get to near the waterfall. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe and this easy hike in Iceland allows you to get up close and personal with the raging falls. The downhill and uphill portion of this hike is short and easy, but it gets a little more difficult as you walk to the falls from the base of the hill. You will have to make your way through rocks so keep your eyes on the ground to ensure you don’t trip and fall.

The walk down to Dettifoss is one of the best hikes in Iceland because it is much less touristy than other suggestions on this list and really allows you to experience the waterfall first hand. As we mentioned above, safety is key when completing this easy hike in Iceland so don’t get dangerously close as the edge is slippery!

Iceland's powerful dettifoss waterfall is one of the best hikes in Iceland | things to do in iceland

Map Of The Best Hikes In Iceland

To make things easier for you, we created this map of the best hikes in Iceland! This Google Map will show you where all the easy hikes in Iceland are located around the country. This will help you pinpoint your itinerary and choose exactly which hikes in Iceland to take and which to skip! We recommend bookmarking the link to refer back to during your trip!

Google Map Of Best Hikes In Iceland 

Map of the best hikes in Iceland | best Iceland hiking trails with map

Best Time Of Year For Hiking In Iceland

The majority of these best hikes in Iceland can be completed year round. If you look at the map above, all of the hikes located in the south of Iceland are accessible in both winter and summer. Dynjandi, in the Westfjords, and Dettifoss, in the north, are subject to road closures due to snow and weather during the winter in Iceland. When hiking in Iceland, always research ahead and ensure that you are cleared to complete a hike. Some roads in Iceland and especially in the Westfjords may be impassible during the winter.

In the summer (June-August) you will experience the midnight sun and will have plenty of time for completing hikes in Iceland. If you are looking for endless days, then summer may be the best time to visit! We always recommend visiting Iceland in the off-season such as in September or April as the weather is still pretty nice and the roads aren’t usually closed but the prices are a bit cheaper and there are less people. Finally, if you are looking to hike in Iceland under the Northern Lights, visiting in winter will be your best bet!

How To Get Around Iceland

You have a few options for getting around Iceland! You can drive yourself, take one of the many tours in Iceland, or hitchhike around to the different locations you want to visit! Driving in Iceland or taking tours in Iceland are the most popular ways to see the country. If you plan on driving in Iceland, you get to see the country at your own pace. If you plan to take one of the many tours in Iceland, you get a local guide with the knowledge you may never find out on your own.

There are no right or wrong ways to get around Iceland and it all depends on your personal travel style! Do you want to do the planning yourself or do you prefer for someone else to do the planning for you? This is all dependent on the way you choose to get around Iceland during your trip!

Additional Reading For Your Visit To Iceland:

If you are on the hunt for the best hikes in Iceland that are easy and fun but still have a big payoff, these will not disappoint you! These easy hikes in Iceland will allow you to see the best of Iceland without hiking for multiple days or camping on the land. They are perfect for families or just those of us that don’t feel like committing to something long and involved!

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