I'm going to Airwaves at the end of this month. What are your suggestions besides Blue Lagoons, seeing Northern Lights, Hallgrimskirkja, etc? Anything off the beaten path?
Well, do all that.
If you’d like a day of nature, I used to guide the tour Walk through Ice and Fire during Airwaves. The clients were usually very hung over and grumpy on the first bit, complained a lot on the hike to the hot spring, but during the hot spring bath they’d wake up and freshen up. Then they’d be fine while we walked on the glacier but in deep sleep on the way back to Reykjavík, saving up energy for the next night’s partying.
Couple of quick questions for you! #1) Who/where is the best place to go to for riding the Icelandic horses. I know the restrictions on the gear being brought in (have to sterilize, etc) but is there a particular company/place to go that you recommend? #2) Despite the fact that most people speak English, will knowledge of Norwegian help me at all and will people be able to understand me if I say something in Norwegian to them? Thanks!
#1. I’m no specialist on riding tours, but if you are aiming for some long tour (multi-day) check out something like Íshestar and their tour around Hópið. I’ve heard good things about that. For short day tours I would absolutely recommend some small local company out in the country. If you are travelling around the country you’ll find plenty of farms offering riding tours.
#2. Knowing Norwegian, with a little effort, positive thinking and some practice you should be able to read some Icelandic. That can always help. Yes, people can also understand you somewhat if you speak Norwegian although I bet it’ll be easier to communicate in English. Might be more fun in Norwegian though.
Hi Iceland, I'm a little upset. I try to keep up on the Icelandic news and I've been hearing about all they're bars and music venues being torn down:( I just heard about the Faktory closing down and visiting that place is on my bucketlist. Why is this happening? Even though I'm upset I'm still going to live on you one day:)
Most people come to Iceland for Iceland’s nature and for them Reykjavík is just a stepping stone. But somehow, Reykjavík has also bred a particularly active cultural life in recent years and this in itself is becoming an attraction. In any case, more visitors require more hotels and there definitely is a risk that the hotels will squash the culture that people are coming to see.
So University of Iceland doesn't have a BS in Geology taught in English. Do you think it is possible for a person without knowledge in the Icelandic Language to be able to take BS in Geology or should I just take my BS here in the US and take my Masters and PhD there? Thanks
That would be an achievement. Or maybe more of a miracle.
Still if you are something like Jordan Chark then miracles could happen.
Ey Hi! We're planing to move to Island soon, but in Blend we can't find the RIGHT apartment. Do you have any advice or site of a Real State to rent (Kopavogur Zone, or not to far from the Downtown will be perfect)
Hello! :) I wanted to ask you if you please could translate this quote to Icelandic. 'You say that you love rain, but you open your umbrella when it rains. You say that you love the sun but you find a shadow spot when the sun shines. You say that you love the wind, but you close your window when wind blows. This is why I am afraid, you say that you love me too.' I know it would require a big effort and much time as well, but it would mean so much to me! Thank you in advance!
Þú segist elska regnið, en þú notar regnhlíf. Þú segist elska sólina, en leitar í skugga þegar sólin skín. Þú segist elska vindinn, en lokar þó glugganum þegar Kári blæs. Þess vegna fyllist ég ótta þegar þú segist elska mig.
What can you tell me about the University of Iceland? I was planning on attending, it seems like a nice place, is it true or would you recommend another Uni?
I did my bachelor’s degree at the University of Iceland. I reckon that its strengths and weakness is that it has to cover a large range of subjects with a limited number of students. The only subject it has a true advantage in is geology. Thanks to Iceland’s volcanic landscape it is the ideal location for geology.
I'm from New Zealand and it's my last few weeks of school here :) I'm planning to come to Iceland next year but I need to know when would the best time to visit would be, i want to see the northern lights, but i want to experience midnight sun as well. im planning to be there for a few weeks at least staying with my best friend from school. Advice?
Fitting both the midnight sun and northern lights into a few weeks would require some sort of alternate universe. The midnight sun is in the summer, from mid-June to early August. The northern lights on the other hand are impossible to see when it is bright out. The best time to see the Northern lights is December through early March. Still there is a chance of seeing them any time it gets dark. I already saw some really good northern lights just a few days ago.
Hullo, gorgeous blog you have! As someone of Scandinavian descent, I adore the sort of endlessly foggy, wet regions that you always see in pictures of Iceland - rolling green hills, stone outcroppings, rivers. Not the extremes of snowy tundra, but the milder, foggier regions. The littler sun and heat, the better! Where would I find these geographically? Thanks so much!
The mid-south of Iceland is probably what you have in mind. The south coast is the part of Iceland that gets the most rain and is therefor abundant with grass and lush moss. Something like, Þakgil and Seljalandsfoss.
This is a fascinating blog! Been at it for a good 4 hours now! It takes me forever since your links are great and I find myself deviating onto other sites that you list. Loving the videos, pictures, insight, etc. Keep at it! Thanks ~ Elizabeth from Colorado
Hello. We will be traveling to Iceland and will be getting married while we're there. It's just two of us, not a giant affair, but we'd like to try to find someone who might be able to take some photos. Not even necessarily a wedding photographer. Would you be able to direct us to someone who might be up for a brief photography gig? Please email me at matt metzger at gmail com. Thanks, Matt
Congrats. Just got married myself, so I’m up to date on the subject. I got a friend who’s a photographer to take photos. However, he only wants to do a couple of weddings a year, so here’s a list of other photographers we’d checked out: Christopher Lund (www.chris.is), Lalli Sig. (www.larus.is), Sissi (www.sissi.is), Arnþór Birkisson (www.arnthorb.is), Gassi (www.gassi.is), Steinar (www.steinar.is).
If you want to go semi-amateur you could also post a request on the forum at www.ljosmyndari.is.
Hi, We're hoping to do some hiking in the Trollaskagi mountains this summer. Will be staying 3 days near Siglufjordur. We're from Colorado, climb mountains here, can read maps, use compass, etc. Any suggestions about routes, guidebooks (if any), local hiking clubs we can contact for information? We saw some photos of hike on Mulakolla, but the translation of route description into English was not comprehensible. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dan Clark
Unfortunately (really need to change this), I’m not very familiar with the Tröllaskagi area. I’ve been meaning to go there for some ski touring, but it hasn’t happened yet.
There are no prepared or marked routes in the area, but if that is not an issue, then there is plenty to do there.
Bergmenn is a guiding company smack in the middle of Tröllaskagi. They could probably give you some pointers (or you could hire them).
I am full time faculty at a community college in the US, teaching IT related courses - software and web development. I had a long career in IT prior to joining the college. Are there any fellowships available for someone like me to come in and teach?
I don’t know much about that, but any of the universities could be candidates. In Reykjavík there’s The University of Iceland and The University of Reykjavík (private). Out in the country there’s Bifröst (private) and The University of Akureyri.
Hallo! I just read the question about the person who asked which jobs are more popular to work in as a foreigner. I am currently studying for being a teacher in high school in visual arts and later I'm planning on studying Ceramics & Glass Art. Do you think it's possible to work in Iceland with those degrees? Here in Belgium being a teacher is a profession where you can find a lot of work in, because we don't have a lot of them. But what about Iceland?
The salary for teachers in Iceland is pretty low, therefore there generally is a lack of them. There are plenty of educated teachers, but a lot of them work with other things.
Perhaps you could find some exchange program either for teachers or for those studying teaching.
If you are from the French speaking part, there are several high schools that teach French. Not nearly all schools have full time art teachers, so I would think that a teacher that can teach French as well as art would be easier to hire.
Hi there, i visited your beautiful country back in October 2012 & was completely stunned by its landscapes & the northern lights. Never had i ever seen such beauty before. Since a long time i was looking to study about earth sciences as well as renewable energy & recently got through one of the universities :) i wanted to know how much do you think it would cost me per month to live in Iceland as it was quite expensive as a traveler :) Cheers!
Glad you loved it. Earth sciences should be a perfect topic to study in Iceland.
I am about to embark on a master's program at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. I am very happy to have stumbled upon your lovely blog! I'd appreciate any advice you could offer about what neighborhoods are reasonable to live in on a student's budget or if it is reasonable to think my husband will be able to find work. Please keep up the great pics!
The neighborhoods around the University; Vesturbær (107) and Miðbær (101) are very expensive. However, these are the areas where it might be easiest to find a rental apartment (most Icelanders buy their apartments with loans) and you could get away with not having a car which will save you lots of money. Prices drop as soon as you get to around Háaleiti (105) and anywhere further out.
Have you checked out student apartments? They are pretty good, well located and reasonably priced.
It should be quite possible to find some work. Of course it depends on what skills, education and work interests he has. I’ve answered various such questions before. It might be useful to read through them.
I am going to be in Iceland this week for the second time. Last time I missed out on doing a glacier tour but I see you HIGHLY recommend doing one. Do you have any specific recommendations? I will have a car and can start from anywhere. So what is the best tour out there?
Glacier guiding is my second job. There are two glaciers that nearly all glacier tours are done one; Sólheimajökull (part of Mýrdalsjökull) and Svínafellsjökull (part of Vatnajökull). Both are really nice and each is very different. However, Sólheimajökull is mostly popular because it is close to Reykjavík and lots of day tours from Reykjavík go there.
Svínafellsjökull is in most ways much more spectacular and although it is a good bit out of Reykjavík (4.5hrs), there’s plenty to do in the area for several days. Svínafellsjökull is a glacier tongue that comes out of the south edge of the giant Vatnajökull glacier right by the Skaftafell National Park (now part of Vatnajökull National Park).
Halló! My brother and I are coming to Iceland at the end of July for a week. One question I have: Do you think it would be acceptable for us to purchase an Icelandic flag while we are there and have our various tour guides, etc. sign it as a memento of our trip? Or do people frown upon using the flag like that? Thanks!
Extremely strictly speaking I reckon that would be illegal (nothing to worry about though). But, still I would advise against it. I don’t think everybody would be fond of the idea.
How about signing an Iceland map? You could have people sign by the place that you meet them :)
Being a foreigner that wants to go to Iceland to work and live permanently, what kind of jobs are more popular in the country? Which kind of professionals does Iceland need?
The two booming sectors right now are tourism and IT. There is a lot of demand for programmers and various other IT professionals. This is also a sector that does not worry that much about whether or not you speak Icelandic.
In tourism there are a lot of easy to get entry level jobs during the summer. Waiters, receptionists, hotel staff, drivers etc. From these it is quite possible to work your way up into higher grades and permanent year round work.
With our tiny economy, many sectors experience crazy booms that require an influx of professionals. Engineers are a good example. Right now, there’s not a lot of good work for them, but if suddenly one hydroelectric dam is planned, we’re in need for a bunch of engineers.
We'd love to do the Laugavegur hiking route this year; however, the only time we would be able to go to Iceland is during the first two weeks in September. Could you tell me if it's worth planning a trek for that time of the year? Is the area still as stunning in September as is it during the more popular hiking times? Thanks!
It’ll still be as stunning. Just keep in mind to be prepared for absolutely any kind of weather. The first snow in that area comes around that time.
I’m not sure for how long into the autumn they keep the huts operational. I’ve sent the Travel Association a question about it and will update when they answer.
When in Iceland I stayed at a guest house near the Reykjavik town. I fell obsessed with the mixed berry jam they always had on the breakfast table in the morning. All I was told it was a mixed berry jam and for 7 months since I've left Iceland I've been on this never ending search to find a similar one. Is there a site to internationally order a jam and the Skyr from Iceland to the states?
Nammi.is ships all sorts of Icelandic food products, including skyr. I don’t see any jams on their site, but I’m sure they’ll help you out if you figure out the type of jam. The most common berries for jams in Iceland is “rifsber” (redcurrant), “bláber” (blue berry), “jarðarber” (strawberry) and “krækiber” (crow berry). We also make lots of jam out of “rabarbari” (rubarb).
Amazing blog, I have spent most of the time reading it since I found it a few days ago! I am planning to visit Iceland this fall and have read that abrasive ash- and sandstorms that sandblast car paint and car windows do happen in Iceland. Now I am wondering how often and at what times of the year such storms usually appear and in which areas (Highlands, I guess, but what about the Ring Road?). And are there any precautions one can take besides checking the forecast?
Don’t worry, that is not common at all. It was more common a couple of years ago right after the eruptions when everything was covered in ash. It occasionally happens up in the Highlands, but it is most common on the Ring Road when crossing the great sands along the south coast; Skógasandur, Sólheimasandur, Mýrdalssandur and Skeiðarársandur.
It can happen any time of the year when it is really windy, particularly if it is dry (although not necessarily). But it’s only a few days a year that it can become strong enough to damage a car’s finish. Just take a look at the forecast in advance and perhaps ask a local.
Hi! I want to do some hiking in iceland but i'm only free during the first half of June. Are any of the trails open then? Or do they all only open late June?
Most hiking trails in Iceland are not that organized that they officially open or close. However if you are thinking about the most established hiking route in Iceland, Laugavegurinn, then early June is a gamble. The route starts in Landmannalaugar which is up in the highlands and the roads to there can open anywhere between mid May to mid June.
Lower lying hiking routes should however be accessible without any trouble. But keep in mind that you can experience full winter weather any time of the year up in the mountains. Check out SafeTravel.is for some good tips.