Essential Trip Information —Iceland
Passports, visas and entry requirements
You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date.
We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while traveling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends.
VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites.
Medical and health information
All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. For the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others, if you are unwell prior to traveling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements.
When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the assessment of our group leader or local staff a traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while traveling. If you are carrying medication, ensure you check your government's foreign travel advice for any local restrictions or requirements.
The safety and well-being of our travelers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. We have no specific vaccination, testing or vaccination requirements, however please be aware that some parts of the world still require COVID-19 vaccination or testing as part of their entry requirements and may have their own quarantine or isolation protocols. Please check for any additional requirements on your government's foreign travel advice website.
Food and dietary requirements
While traveling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in Iceland. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try in Reykjavik. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally meals aren't included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. In remote areas outside of Reykjavik the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Some guesthouses have kitchen facilities that are free to use if you wish. Stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. Your leader will be able to advise on the facilities available at the guesthouses used on your trip departure.
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travelers with another traveler of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers traveling on different trips than your own.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
On this trip we are traveling in our own private minibus as this allows us to reach some more off the beaten path destinations and gives us flexibility which would not be possible by public transport. Please note that there are some long travel days and some rough stretches on gravelly and windy roads. On some days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time.
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveler is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while traveling.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travelers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.
The official currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK).
Card payments are accepted almost everywhere in Iceland and you can get by without withdrawing any cash. If you do need an ATM, they are available in most towns. Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels, with EUR and USD the easiest to exchange.
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Please remember that Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. You may consider tipping your tour leader/driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 300ISK-600ISK per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Tipping is not a way of life in Iceland for meals, hotels or taxi drivers though.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are traveling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travelers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.
Many travelers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when traveling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you.
The Icelandic climate is very unpredictable the whole year round thus we recommend to all our guests to bring good sturdy shoes with a good grip for trekking, a warm wind and rainproof jacket and trousers, gloves or mittens, good head wear and sunglasses.
The closer you travel to the second half of June, the shorter the nights are in this part of the world. As many of our accommodations may not have suitable curtains to block out light you may want to consider bringing an eye-mask, especially if you are a light sleeper.
In order for you to be able to experience Iceland's famous thermal baths please don't forget to bring your swimsuit and a spare towel.
Climate and seasonal information
Iceland can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the summer season, and at night. Rain is possible at any time of year. Please familiarize yourself with what climate to expect and bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, rain coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.
Iceland winters are relatively mild due to the influence of the gulf stream. The coastal lowlands have an average January temperature of about 0 °C, while the temperatures in the highlands of central and northern Iceland generally fall well below −10 °C. Please keep in mind that the lowest winter temperatures in Iceland can be as low as −25 °C and −30 °C, so it is advised to dress accordingly.
All group trips in Iceland are accompanied by one of our group leaders, who will also be the driver. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while traveling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we make no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
A couple of rules
We like to think our travelers are all connected by a love of adventure and passion for seeing the world in a different way. We've laid down a few non-negotiable rules to ensure everyone feels connected, comfortable and safe on our trips.
We ask that you respect your fellow travelers, group leader, and local people and places we visit in all circumstances. We don't tolerate any forms of violence and expect that you follow the local laws, customs and regulations in any destination we travel to. Any behavior contrary to the above, including any behavior that prevents our staff from performing their duty of care or continuing the itinerary as planned, may result in travelers being removed from the trip.
If you consume alcohol while traveling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect you to abide by local alcohol laws.
To ensure the well-being of everyone on the trip, all decisions made by group leaders and ground staff are final.
Romantic relationships between travelers and group leaders are not permitted while on trip.
By traveling with us, you agree to comply with these rules and the laws and customs of all countries visited.
If something is concerning you during your travels with us, please speak to your group leader or local guide immediately.
Travelling on a group trip
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travelers booked on your trip prior to departure.
The beauty of our style of travel is that it caters to travelers who are traveling solo and who want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people.
On our trips rooming is organised on a twin-share basis. We pair up solo travelers with another traveler of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports.
As a responsible tour operator, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. In the case that your gender identity differs from what is indicated on your passport, please contact us so that we can discuss rooming options with you.
We also have an optional single supplement available on most trips for travelers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will be on a single room basis.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those traveling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are traveling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
For travelers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travelers from these regions who decline travel insurance when traveling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise.
Problems and emergency contact information
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognize that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still traveling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travelers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.