As you may well be aware, Iceland was one of my all time favourite trips. It was way more than I expected it to be and I’ve fallen in love with it. As soon as I have a chance to go back there, I’ll be gone! So, before you jump on the plane to visit the beautiful country of Iceland and (hopefully) tick the Northern Lights off your bucket list, I’ve got a few handy tips and FYIs to give you a heads up.
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1. THE WATER SMELLS FUNKY
By this I mean the shower water. And by funky, I mean eggy. This is due to the hot water coming from geothermal sources which contains sulphur. But don’t worry, you won’t smell nasty. Either that or everyone does so no one notices anyway
2. THE WATER IS DRINKABLE
Now I know what you might be thinking after No. 1, but hold it with the retching! The cold water comes from a different source to the hot so you don’t have all the sulphur in it. It is pumped up straight from the natural springs where it has been filtered through the volcanic rocks, so is pretty damn pure. Eat ya heart out Volvic!
3. YOU WILL SEE RATHER UNUSUAL FOOD IN RESTAURANTS
Dishes available include puffin, fermented shark and whale meat. Now, I like to consider myself to being open to try new foods but I couldn’t really bring myself to try these. It’s also worth noting that on my Iceland free walking tour, hosted by a local Icelander, we were informed that he has never eaten these and species such as the Puffin are in fact endangered or not hunted sustainably. So have a think before you jump in with the novelty!
4. YOU WILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TIME IT IS
In the winter, Iceland has about 6 hours of daylight and this is often pretty grey anyway. It doesn’t start getting light until 10.30/11.00am and the sun sets around 3.30/4.00pm. I COULD NOT get used to this. I’m a horrible morning person and a minor insomniac, but even I really struggled to wake up here.
5. REYKJAVIK IS SMALL
Like really small. The population is tiny and it all pretty condensed, but in a cosy way. This also mean’s its super easy to get around and explore on foot (aka for free).
6. ICELAND HAS THE BEST MONEY
Icelandic currency is the Krona and roughly it works out £1 = 142ISK ($1 – 113ISK), but on a far more fun note, they have fish on their coins!