Visiting Iceland in September ❥ Top 10 Useful Things to Know for Your Trip

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Whether you’re planning a last-minute trip to Iceland in September or you’re excited and already researching for next year, here are 10 things you should know before you embark on your Iceland adventure.

Planning for your dream trip to Iceland in September? Here is everything you need to know starting with the most important one...
Planning for your dream trip to Iceland in September? Here is everything you need to know starting with the most important one...

That’s right! Your girl here just came back from her dream trip to Iceland!!! Turns out it’s super popular to visit Iceland in September and I’ve already gotten a bunch of questions about my experience. Even though this means I am pushing back my other blog posts, I’ll be starting an Iceland travel guide series to answer each and every single one of your concerns. Let’s kick things off with the number one most important thing you should know…

1. Do I need a visa?

Reykjavík

The great thing about being a Canadian citizen like myself is that you do NOT need a visa to visit Iceland. The same applies to U.S. passport holders. This is, of course, given that your stay is no longer than 90 days.

Nationals of EEA (European Economic Area) countries are not required to apply for a visa either. This basically includes all the EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK) + Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member, but is exempt from a visa as well.

If you hold an Asian passport like my dad does from Taiwan, this is where it gets tricky. For him, he didn’t need one because as of January 11th, 2011, Taiwan passport holders no longer need a visa to enter the countries of the Schengen Agreement (i.e. Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland). However, we did do some research online beforehand and also consulted family friends who have visited Iceland in the past – and were informed that we would need to provide proof of our returning airfare. We obviously printed out our e-mail confirmation, but none of this was actually needed at customs. Needless to say, I would still prepare for it just in case.

Please note that I’m not in any way shape or form a licensed, government professional of any sort who can truly speak to this matter. Here is The Directorate of Immigration’s full list of countries that require visa when entering Iceland. Visit Schengen’s visa info site to find out more about applying for one.

2. Is there a language barrier?

Goðafoss Waterfall

No, there absolutely isn’t any. When we were in the more touristy areas like Reykjavík and along the Golden Circle, everyone spoke perfect English. We didn’t have any problems checking into hotels or ordering food in restaurants. Not to mention, a lot locals were eager to help us when fuelling up our car at gas stations.

We did notice, however, that when we were in the smaller towns (Akureyri for example), things were a little different. Hotel staffs and restaurant employees were fine, no doubt, but the locals weren’t as fluent. I remember us asking a middle-aged lady for help about where to pay for parking. She had a very thick accent and had trouble forming complete sentences. (No, I’m not dissing her English. I went through a whole ESL phase back in elementary school myself.) Nonetheless, she was still very helpful in the end. If you speak English (which you must if you’re reading this), you’ll get by fine.

3. Icelandic orthography and its relation to Google Maps.

Reykjavík

While we’re on the topic of language barriers, let’s also talk about Iceland’s special alphabets.

If you haven’t noticed already, Iceland has its own set of alphabets. Þingvellir National Park, for instance, was one of those wtf things I had trouble reading. Like is that a letter “p” or a capital “d”? (It’s actually a “th” though i.e. Thingvellir National Park. Lol wut? I know.)

Luckily, you don’t need to add a special Icelandic keyboard to your phone to type out places in Google Maps. With Iceland being such a popular destination, Google has really done a good job with converting Icelandic orthography to regular English alphabets and vice versa. You can simply type out “Thingvellir National Park” and it will direct you to said location.

Tip: Download offline Google Maps to save money on SIM cards or data roaming charges. Not sure how? This will help.

4. Load up on prepaid gas cards.

This is probably one of the most crucial tips for travelling to Iceland and I cannot stress this enough. Load up on prepaid gas cards!

Prepaid Gas Card

All the gas pumps in Iceland pretty much operate 24/7 (the stores do not) because most machines take credit cards. (Some stations will have two machines: one for card and another where you pump your gas then pay inside the shop.) Please do note that the machines require you to use a card with pin. If you don’t know what your pin is or don’t remember, definitely sort that out with your bank first.

My dad holds a Taiwanese credit card whereas I own a Canadian RBC Visa card. We both have pins, but some gas pumps either didn’t recognize our pin OR only had space to enter 4 digits. (Four is standard, but don’t blame me for wanting extra security for my card and going with a longer pin!) That said, our cards only worked 50% of the time. (N1 always took our cards, but Olís and ÓB were iffy. Shoutout to N1!)

It wasn’t until the end of our trip that we finally decided to purchase a prepaid gas card. Boy did that save so much time! We didn’t have to try my dad’s card twice or thrice. Then try my card. Then watch other people try theirs to see if the machines actually worked… Moral of the story: load up on prepaid gas cards!

Oh and how to know what kind of gas to get? If you open up your gas tank cover, there is a sticker on the nob that will tell you. Most small cars take 95 and SUVs take Dísel.

Iceland Gas StationsMap of Iceland’s gas stations across the country from Rent.is.

Tip: Rent.is has a comprehensive map for all the gas stations in Iceland.

5. Does it snow in Iceland in September?

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

No, it does not snow in Iceland in September. See #6 for more on weather in Iceland in September.

6. Pack for every possible type of weather  WINTER.

GOT Meme

While it doesn’t snow in Iceland in September, the average temperature floats around 12°C, which with wind, will feel like the negatives and is a living hell. You may think September’s a fall month, but there ain’t no fall in Iceland! There’s literally only winter and mooooooooooooooore winter.

I do say pack for every type of weather since it can literally be sunny and somewhat warm (aka 3 layers instead of 4 + a coat), but as soon as you turn a corner, it will be pouring rain and freezing. AND I’m saying this as a Canadian gal who is accustomed to the cold! (By the way, no, not all Canadians live in igloos.) Consider yourself warned.

For “warm weather”, I recommend bringing long sleeve tees/henley tops, denim or plaid shirts that are great for layering, and a thick wool cardigan + blanket scarf (in case it gets windy). For bottoms, you can wear leggings, jeans, whatever you feel comfortable in. Sunglasses are a must because it will be blinding without – especially if you’re driving.

Skógafoss Waterfall

As for the cold, wet days, remember to pack raincoats with you. (Yes, raincoats, not umbrellas because the wind will destroy those things within seconds. The North Face is known to have awesome waterproof gear.) Always pick raincoats that are thicker with padding and insulation too. You’ll for sure need it. I had to wear a long sleeves undershirt, a regular cotton shirt on top of that, and thick wool sweater underneath my padded one and was still cold. Defs get your hands on some of those iron powder hand warmers if you can. I would also recommend wearing two layers of pants as well as bringing a warm hat, scarf, ear muffs, and thick socks + waterproof boots.

7. Information centers are your new best friend.

Búðakirkja

Not just because they are helpful with directions and itinerary suggestions, but because they have FREE  washrooms.

It’s not uncommon for European countries to charge for restroom use. In Iceland, we saw one of the fanciest outhouses built out of glass and it had little turnstile doors where you insert coins to enter. (Hilarious! I know!)

Now it’s hard to get coins at the currency exchange. In the case you forget to exchange some at local Icelandic shops… Welppppp, too bad. Can’t help you there. Gas stations and restaurants only provide washroom usage for paid customers so take note of information centers and make them your new best friend.

Below are all the tourist information centers in each of these respective areas:

8. Watch out for birds.

I’m not talking about flashers. Thank God.

Driving in Iceland

Do pay attention to birds when driving. (I know, not something you’d expect to see on a “things to know about Iceland” list.)

Icelandic birds – seagulls especially – aren’t exactly the brightest. They like to either sit in the middle of the road or off to the side. Usually by the time you get close to them, it’s either too late for them to get out of the way, or they’ll try to flee by crashing into your windshield. Not only did we hit one ourselves, we saw countless dead bodies along the road. As gruesome as this sounds, it’s extremely dangerous braking for birds while going 100+ km/h. Sometimes you just gotta man up and be a murderer. (Sorry vegans and animal rights activists.)

9. Can you see Northern Lights in Iceland in September?

The answer is yes and no.

Iceland Norther Lights ForecastNorthern lights forecast by Icelandic Met Office.

A lot of online sources will tell you September to April are the best months. The truth is, it depends on how cloudy the skies are and your luck really. It could be clear skies except if the activity level is low, you still won’t see anything. Icelandic Met Office has a fantastic Northern Lights forecast guide that I highly recommend you checking out.

Iceland Northern Lights Iceland Northern Lights

Our visit was during the beginning of September where we saw them one night on a lower activity of 2. Find out more about my experience and when’s best to see Northern Lights here.

10. Should I join a tour?

I don’t know, should you?

Iceland Sheep Gatklettur Skógafoss Waterfall Hverir Geothermal Area Dyrhólaey Dyrhólaey Dyrhólaey Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara Black Sand BeachYes, I packed a dress for Iceland because I’m #extra like that.

This question really depends on what you’re interested in seeing. Before we get into this any further, let’s take a look at what kind of tours are available.

The cool tours versus the “boring” tours.

Cool tours are ones like whale watching, puffin spotting, ice cave explorations, and volcano visits. (Most of these outdoor excursions can only be done with a licensed tour guide and not on your own.) The boring tours are those that take you to basic tourist attraction sights. Because, well, you couldn’t be bothered to rent a car. (If you can’t drive, that’s fine. Join a tour. I just don’t think these tours are really worth the money since it’s almost always more fun exploring on your own and going at your own pace.)

Extreme Iceland - The Ice QueenPhoto from Extreme Iceland featuring their winter ice caving tour – The Ice Queen.

For our trip, we spent exactly one week in Iceland, including our arrival and departure dates. We were greedy with wanting to check everything off of our bucket list, which is why we did a DIY tour of the Golden Circle + the Ring Road. (Ambitious, I know.) Regardless, we were still able to see majority of the sights like the famous geysers and waterfalls. Having said that, no, you don’t necessarily need to join a (boring) tour.

All in all, driving in Iceland is fairly straightforward and rental cars are easily available. If you don’t feel like being a social butterfly and mingling with 100 other tourists whilst getting photobombed by them, don’t join a regular day tour. If you want scratch below the surface of a basic Iceland itinerary guide and adventure off into ice caves and lava fields, sign up for one!

Additional Information About Tours

As mentioned above, puffin tours are what I consider “cool” tours. You technically could see puffins on your own and the best place for it is in Westfjords. Unfortunately, this northwestern Iceland peninsula is off the Ring Road and a bit of a drive. If you’re short on time or not crazy about extended road trips, there are tours in Reykjavík that will allow you to meet these cuties. As for ice cave tours, these are indeed very popular, but most are unfortunately time-sensitive and start from October/November. Extreme Iceland does have some that run all-year. Here is a list of their most popular ice caving day tours.

Now that leads into the next question…

Where do I rent a car?

If you’re like us and would much rather explore on your own, you’ll have to rent a car.

For our trip, I decided to give Rentalcars.com a try. It’s essentially a third-party booking service (like Expedia) and their website is fairly straight forward and easy to navigate.

Since our reservation was a little last-minute, I went with the cheapest availability with the rental company Geysir. Our pickup was at Keflavík International Airport and from there we took a shuttle bus to Geysir. (Shuttles come every 15 minutes and the ride was quite short.) The whole process went very smoothly and we got our car with no trouble at all.

Geysir Car RentalBMW X1 from Geysir car rental. Total for seven days was $841.49 CAD and $124.18 for full-coverage insurance. We did not specify for a luxury car and were assigned this model.

Do I need car insurance?

Another key Iceland travel advice is picking the right car insurance for your car.

The hardest part about renting a car is deciding what insurance you need. For those unfamiliar with car rentals, purchasing insurance directly from car rental companies is the most expensive. While it is cheaper going with a third-party insurer, the downside is that if anything were to happen, you will have to pay the car rental company up front. You’ll then of course file a claim with your insurer and get the money back, but it’s a longer process.

No matter which you pick, do NOT make the mistake of purchasing from a third-party insurer AND buying insurance again from the rental company at the pick-up till. I’ve done this before when I was unfamiliar with car rental processes and it was a total waste of money. (If you’ve purchased insurance from say Rentalcars.com, even if the sales rep asks you in person if you need insurance, tell them no! One insurance is enough!)

Rentalcars.com Full Coverage Insurance

In regards to which specific type on insurance you should get… I personally always go with a full-coverage one. It’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s good knowing you can just walk away from everything if anything unfortunate were to happen. For Iceland in particular, this is important because there are a ton of gravel roads. It’s very likely that you rental will get rock chips and paint scratches. A lot of online reviews I read for Geysir were bad ones – but only because renters didn’t purchase the right insurance and had to pay for resulting dammages.

10 things you should know when visiting Iceland in September.

Visiting Iceland in September
Visiting Iceland in September

And there you have it! Top 10 things you should know when visiting Iceland in September.

Despite there not being that many days left in the month, I hope my last-minute travelling in Iceland tips can help those of you looking to visit this September. Even if your trip is in a later month, some of these still apply and are helpful to know when planning a trip to Iceland. (Don’t forget to check out my vlog!)

Again, I will be adding to this Iceland travel tips series with my Blue Lagoon review and ultimate packing guide just to name a few. There’s obviously so much more to know about Iceland than just these 10 simple facts. Feel free to drop any of your burning questions down below in the comments section and I’ll get to them as soon as possible. Also don’t forget to sign up for newsletters to be reminded of the next time I post. See you then!

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110 Comments

  1. September 16, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    Gorgeous photos of Iceland, thanks! I went there last 2014. It is a must-see destination.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:46 am

      Thanks so much Carol! It’s a muse-see for sure and my photos don’t even do this beautiful country justice!

  2. Heather
    September 16, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Jas, thanks SO much for getting this post out so quickly and pushing back your schedule. I leave in 1.5 wks for Iceland and I can’t WAIT! Our trip is mixed. Tours and days on our own. I have the same concerns as you do for tours so we hopefully did a good mix of them plus on our own. We’ll see. The most helpful tip you have on there is packing for winter and more winter! This has been the hardest thing for me to figure out so thank you!! I will now order hand warmers (wasn’t going to before). Now I just hope those Northern Lights cooperate!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:45 am

      Aww you’re most welcome, Heather! You’re totally gonna have a blast and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you to see them Northern Lights. Stay warm! 😉

  3. September 17, 2018 / 12:12 am

    Thank you! I will be there in a week and this was super helpful!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:45 am

      Whoohoo I’m excited for you! HAVE FUNNNNNN!!!

  4. September 17, 2018 / 3:16 am

    I have always dreamed of visiting Iceland. It is in fact on top of my bucket list. Unfortunately, getting a visit is a challenge for us since I hold an Asian passport. Hope to find more information on how I can successfully get one.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:45 am

      It’s challenging, but it’s still doable! Hope you’ll be able to apply for one successfully so you can visit!

  5. September 17, 2018 / 7:23 am

    I hope to visit Iceland, too, someday. Seeing beautiful photos of landscapes, seascapes and the Northern lights always bring spark to my wanderlust. This will be a great resource for those traveling to Iceland for the first time.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:43 am

      I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you to cross Iceland off your bucket list, Jing!

  6. September 17, 2018 / 8:42 am

    I don’t think I have ever read such a detailed, informative, practical TIPS article for any country! Bravo. Keep them coming. I’m an older traveler but I still prefer to go it on my own rather than an organized tour. However, I wouldn’t mind a few short tours as a supplement to my trip. Thanks again!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:43 am

      You’re most welcome Tess! So glad you enjoyed the guide and hope this will inspire you to visit Iceland sometime soon 🙂

  7. September 17, 2018 / 10:05 am

    Wow wow and wow, incredible photos! Excellent guide for visiting in September, I did not know that there is a chance of seeing the northern lights. How frustrating that toilets cost! I have heard that Iceland is quite expensive but did not know that they charge you to use the bathroom!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Hahaa it’s quite common in Europe actually!!! And yes, Iceland is expensive. It’s such a beautiful country though and the $$ shouldn’t stop you from visiting 😉

  8. September 17, 2018 / 10:39 am

    Love your photos! I would love to see your itinerary for this trip as I am heading to Iceland soon and there is so much I want to do there.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:41 am

      Thank you Brianna! I’ll definitely be drafting one up for Golden Circle as well as the Ring Road. Stay tuned!

  9. umiko
    September 17, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    This is the most useful post before visiting Iceland I’ve found so far. Not sure when we will go, but I am so pin this. Thank you very much!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 2:51 pm

      Yay! So glad my guide is helpful for you and I’m excited for you to visit, Umiko!

  10. September 17, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    First of all, your photos look amazing! It is good to know that as a Dutch I don’t need a visa and that most of the people speak English well. The gas prepaid card sounds like a relief and good thing to know about. Your tips about seeing the Northern Lights and clothing are useful to! Can’t wait to visit Iceland one day!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 2:52 pm

      Aww thanks so much Daphne! Great thing about travelling within Europe for you is that you really don’t need a visa for anywhere. Hope you’ll get to make it out to Iceland soon 😀

  11. September 17, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Iceland has been on my list for a while but I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle the cold! But of course I want to see the northern lights so summer is out. Great tip about the prepaid gas card!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 2:53 pm

      The views are definitely worth the freezing in the cold. I’ll keep my fingers for you to cross this off your bucket list, Annick!

  12. Yukti
    September 17, 2018 / 10:51 pm

    Wow, great tips on Iceland and thanks for sharing it. It is great that there is no language barrier and also Google has converted all those Icelandic alphabets into English on their maps. I would also love to have prepaid Gas Card and would try my chance for Northern Lights in September.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 2:54 pm

      You’re most welcome, Yukti! You can see aurora borealis during other times of the month as well, not just September 😉

  13. September 18, 2018 / 9:39 am

    I love Iceland, and think that September is actually a good time to go. It’s not yet cold (I went in November), and the days are still longer. They speak excellent English, and I never knew about the prepaid gas card when I was there! A tour was good for us, as we didn’t take a car, but may not suit everyone!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      I thought it was pretty cold already during September and I couldn’t begin to imagine what November/December would be like!

  14. September 18, 2018 / 12:45 pm

    Wow! What stunning photos, Jasmine! Loved them all. Iceland has been on the top of my list for some time now and hopefully, we will get there soon. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      So glad you like them, Deeptha! Let me know if you ever have any questions planning for your future trip!

  15. September 18, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    Hi Jaschen, the pictures are epic in your blog. The prepaid gas card advice is really great. I am heading to Iceland this December and the first thing I would do is get that card. It would save a lot of chaos as we are going to rent a car. From which company, have you rented your car? We have to get an SUV and we are thinking to get it from SixT. Let me know your thoughts on about it. Thanks.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 3:05 pm

      Thanks so much Shreya! That’s so awesome that you’ll be there in a few months and I’m excited for you! I actually updated the post with more information about rental cars after seeing your commment.)

      We rented with Geysir car rental and despite some mixed reviews online, we had absolutely zero trouble with our car. Everything was smooth sailing and I would actually rent with them again in the future too. I’d say the insurance is more important than which company you rent from. Just make sure you purchase full coverage insurance so that you can walk away completely if anywhere were to happen. Our insurance was from a third-party as booked through rentalcars.com. That’s generally cheaper than purchasing directly from your car rental. Hope this helps!

  16. Shaily
    September 18, 2018 / 11:03 pm

    Wow! These are really great tips and tricks. Iceland is on my bucket list for so long and your amazing pictures have motivated me to plan my visit soon. Those Northern Lights are truly hypnotic and I’m dying to see them for real. Thanks for sharing this helpful information – you’ve covered it all from visa requirement to language barrier to the tour breakup.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Shaily! Glad to have motivated you to want to visit sooner!

  17. September 19, 2018 / 5:55 am

    First let me say your dress was dope! and so was that pic!

    I loved the picures all the way thru. iceland is such a beautiful place. I hope I can go one day. This article defiinitely increased my desire to go there. And I’ll be stocking up on the prepaid gas cards for sure! Thanks again for sharing.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 3:07 pm

      Hahaa thanks Kenan! I definitely got a few stares from tourists who thought I was crazy. Happy to hear I could inspire you to visit and let me know if you ever have any questions planning for your future trip 🙂

  18. September 19, 2018 / 11:44 am

    I just got back from Norway and agree that, in the northern latitudes, there is only winter, especially for those of us that come from warmer climes. Even though the temperature ranged between 8 and 16 degrees C, it felt like much lower on our Northern Lights chase and we had to wear the thermo suits to stay warm. That said, Iceland looks amazing! I’m always envious of those who manage to go there, but it seems too rugged and hard a trip for the likes of me.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 3:11 pm

      Norway, how fun! I’ve been wanting to visit myself! Also, I definitely think the winds make it colder than weather forecast says otherwise. Iceland roads, like I mentioned in the post, are actually fairly easy to navigate through. Plus, we didn’t really have time to go on any hikes, but everywhere was pretty much flat ground and easy to walk on. Don’t let the rawness of nature discourage you from paying a visit!

  19. September 19, 2018 / 1:58 pm

    I am really fascinated by visiting Iceland but I’d love to go there with my young kids. Watching the Northern Lights would be a huge plus so I am looking forward to reading your post about it.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      Aww that sounds like the perfect family trip! Can’t wait to share my northern lights experience with you! 🙂

  20. September 19, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    My sister had been to Iceland twice and said she would go a third 🙂 These are great answers for people who want to visit in September. People often ask her if September is a good time, so now we’ll just direct them to read your post.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 21, 2018 / 12:40 am

      That’s so sweet of you Candy! And ughh I’m so jealous she’s gotten to visit so many times!

  21. September 19, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    Great practical advice! You hear so much about what to see in Iceland, but this info is so helpful to reducing stress on the trip. Hoping to get there someday…

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      September 21, 2018 / 12:40 am

      I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you to visit, Kristie 😉

  22. September 19, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    Gorgeous photos of Iceland Jas!! My Mom visited Iceland in January this year and it’s very high on my wish list 🙂

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks so much Richa! Hope you’ll get to visit soon!!

  23. September 19, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    Super helpful information about traveling to Iceland. Very true! We spent a week camping around the country and can’t wait to get back to see more!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:18 pm

      Camping!? How fun! I kinda wish I’d done that now.

  24. September 19, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    So much helpful information here. I haven’t been to Iceland but whenever I do, I’m going to remember every single point you mentioned here. Thanks for sharing all these details, September is definitely a great time to visit

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:18 pm

      You’re most welcome, Suma. Glad to hear you enjoyed the guide! 😀

  25. AMBER TATTON
    September 19, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    This is so useful. The prepaid gas cards are entirely new for me, I have a lot of friends from the UK who have been to Iceland and said it was amazing. I worry about the cost so I may head there when I feel flush with cash!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      The prepaid gas cards are a must and hope that happens soon for ya!

  26. aareeba
    September 20, 2018 / 12:05 am

    You have shared such a helpful article about Iceland . I have always wanted to visit Iceland but couldn’t travel because of my son who is too young to travel abroad specially to a place like Iceland.But I do have plans in future so am saving this post for my future use.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      You’ll have to tell me all about your trip if you do end up going!

  27. September 20, 2018 / 12:31 am

    Iceland is definitely happening for me in 2019 (I have to make sure that it does) and since the main purpose is to see the Northern Lights, I will try to make it in October since, like you said, you’re to be really lucky to be able to see them in September! Good to know that there aren’t any language issues except maybe a little in the smaller towns (which is quite normal anywhere else in the world as well), and that google maps have adapted well to their letters! I’d love to rent a car and drive around for a week or even more!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      It actually really is more about luck than which month you decide to visit. I heard from others who saw Northern Lights in as early as August so it all comes down to the weather and how cloudy the skies are. I’m excited for you to visit next year though! This was a bucket list item for me for 2018 and it’s for sure worth the trip and $$!

  28. September 20, 2018 / 4:23 am

    Great tips! The aurora borealis is on my to-do list so I will be sure to look out for that article. It’s clever that Google has accounted for the difference in spelling between English and Icelandic languages, that seems like it would take a lot of frustrations out of finding the right location.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      It really does! Amazing how technology has transformed travelling!

  29. September 20, 2018 / 5:53 am

    Iceland looks magical! I’ve always wanted to check out the northern lights 🙂

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:37 pm

      Sounds like you’ll have to plan a trip over 😉

  30. September 20, 2018 / 6:08 am

    I’ve been wanting to visit Iceland for years! Your photos are truly incredible. I cannot wait to plan my trip!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:37 pm

      Thanks Jenny! I’m excited for you to visit. You’d love it!

  31. September 20, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    You covered a lot of good tips in this post. We visited for a week 2 years back in the summer and did the same roadtrip as you in 7 days. Luckily we were able to survive without a gas card but will keep that in mind for the next time.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:38 pm

      Fun! I actually think if I ever go back, it’ll probably be during summer when it’s a little warmer and the days are longer. Must’ve been a memorable trip for you!

  32. Lance
    September 20, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Thank you for a great, informative post. Iceland is high up on our bucket list, so these hints will come in handy. I like the idea of having prepaid gas cards. I did not know that as U.S. citizens we would not need a visa. I loved a whale-watching tour I took in Newfoundland, and would really enjoy taking another tour for whales and puffins. in Iceland.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:39 pm

      Oh wow! As a Canadian gal myself, I have yet to really explore the east coast. Plus, whale-watching is high up on my list too so I guess Newfoundland awaits and so does Iceland for you 🙂

  33. September 20, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    I normally recommend people to visit Iceland in autumn for northern lights. Not cold and you can actually see them. Nice to see Northern lights pics from september.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      Not cold? I thought September was freezing! I heard from others who have seen Northern Lights in August too actually. Guess it all depends on luck!

  34. September 20, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    This is probably the most informative and detailed article about Iceland I have ever read. Your pictures look amazing and I am totally inspired to visit. I’ll definitely refer to your post more than once. Thank you!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you so very much, Anya! You just made my day <3

  35. September 20, 2018 / 3:34 pm

    These are such great tips! I’m hoping to visit Iceland soon, so definitely bookmarking this for later. And I’m totally with you on the tours! I’d much rather rent a car and DIY my way around than be tied up to the schedule of a guided tour. And those photos! Great post.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks Erica! Can’t wait to hear all about your Iceland adventures 😀

  36. September 20, 2018 / 3:44 pm

    Iceland is such an amazing country and so beautiful, I can’t believe I still haven’t visited yet! Those tips all sounds amazing, thanks for sharing them. I had no idea you could possibly see the northern lights so early in the year, it’s good to know!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      I can’t believe you haven’t visited yet either! Now with my tips, surely you got to plan a trip for next year 😉

  37. September 20, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    It is definitely good to know that we would not need visas. We were surprised with that one time. It is also nice to hear that there isn’t a language barrier as that can be a “barrier” to travel somewhere. We will definitely rent a car when we go so the gas card is great advice.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Happy to hear you found the gas card advice useful. Happy adventuring!

  38. September 21, 2018 / 12:05 am

    This is such an informative guide! Iceland is on top of my bucket list! I have bookmarked it, it will really help me planning my journey there. Thank you!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      You’re most welcome, Anjali! Hope you’ll get to cross it off soon!!

  39. AMBER TATTON
    September 21, 2018 / 12:59 am

    I have always dreamed of going to Iceland, but my budget seems it would be a little small for Iceland. I love the information you have given, especially about Visas and the weather! Ver well thought out and informative post!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:46 pm

      Thanks Amber! While I agree that Iceland isn’t the cheapest country to travel to, it is worth each and every penny. You should for sure save up and treat yourself to an adventure in the future!

  40. September 21, 2018 / 1:18 am

    Your photos are amazing – I saved a couple to my Pinterest, love the way you edit them 🙂 Also, one of those locations really looks like the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, I never knew Iceland had those rock formations too!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      Thanks so much Bekah! <3 Happy you like the pin, as I always second guess myself with what fonts or colors to use, etc. etc. etc. And I haven't been to Ireland yet, but I just might need to visit now!

  41. September 21, 2018 / 10:52 am

    Iceland is in every travel enthusiast’s list. Good to know you struck it of your wish list. I dunno if I’ll get to have go so thanks for this virtual tour. I hold an Asian passport so its better for me to check if I plan to go at all. Good to know they speak good English as well.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:49 pm

      Aww well my dad holds a Taiwan passport and did not need a visa. It’s worth looking into and who knows, you might not even need one!

  42. September 21, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    Hooray for not needing a VISA! That’s always good to know. I am sending this straight away to my friend who is leaving for Iceland in a few days! I wish I was going with her 😉 LOVE your photos by the way!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Thank you Carmen! Hehee glad you could help spread the word and give tips to other fellow travellers. So, when are YOU visiting Iceland? Hahaa.

  43. September 21, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    Oh you make me book my flights like NOW 😀 Iceland has been on my list for ages and I cannot wait to go.. like your images too 🙂

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      GO GO GO! You will not regret it, Anna! Book that trip now!!!!! 😉

  44. September 21, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    This is a great comprehensive guide for those travelling to Iceland for the first time. I hope to visit Iceland, too, someday. Seeing your beautiful photos of landscapes, seascapes and the Northern lights make me book my tickets soon.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      Thanks Anwesha! Feel free to let me know if you ever have any other questions regarding your future trip to Iceland!

  45. September 22, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    I love it, always brace for the cold! Iceland is beautiful and so are your photos. Agree about the car insurance as well.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much Nicole! Hope you enjoy your weekend ahead <3

  46. September 22, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Iceland is so on my travel wish list. Trying to decide whether we go in summer or winter. September might be a good time after the crowds thin out. I am glad to know that as a Canadian I don’t need a visa. Always makes it easier for spontaneous visits. Good to know that the Google guy has visited and mapped the names so we can type them! I would never have thought of getting prepaid gas cards. Thanks for the tip about free bathrooms at the visitor’s centre! I sure hope I get lucky and can see the Northern Lights. Thanks for this good set of practical tips.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:11 pm

      You’re most welcome, Linda! Excited for you to cross Iceland off your wish list and you’ll have to let me know how you like it when you do end up going!

  47. September 23, 2018 / 7:38 am

    Great read and gorgeous photos! Thank you so much for such pertinent detailed info. Especially the gas card tip. I have so often had the worst luck of being in some remote location and a useless card (usually my own poor planning). And I think this is the first blog I’ve read that included a gas station map. Super helpful. Please tell your adventurous dad that his daughter makes me laugh with her gas station maps and iceland evening dress. I bet he had an absolute blast traveling with you. I’m looking forward to your next adventures! 😀

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Thank you Vanessa and you’re most welcome! Happy to hear you found my guide helpful and I was able to make you laugh. Hope this will inspire you to book a trip to Iceland soon 😉

  48. Blair Villanueva
    September 24, 2018 / 3:07 am

    Thanks for sharing these top 10 tips! Which of your Iceland trip is your most memorable experience?

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:15 pm

      You’re welcome, Blair! And gosh, that’s such a difficult question! I think the winner goes to seeing Northern Lights for the first time. The activity level wasn’t super high, but it was such a breathtaking experience and I’m happy to have checked it off my bucket list!

  49. September 24, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Those photos are so beautiful! They make me want to go to Iceland tomorrow. I m actually planning a trip to Iceland next year, so I m glad to have come across your post to give me some inspiration.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Aww thanks Barbara! Gahhh I’m so excited for you!!!!!!!! Feel free to let me know if you ever have any other questions 🙂

  50. September 24, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    What a helpful and interesting outline about what to see, do and how to do it well in Iceland. I’m so lucky to have a US Passport first, would definitely rent a car and load up on those cards and would take a tour of the more experiential spots. Helpful too is knowing what clothes to bring. It’s so hard to pack well when you mentally know about the conditions but live in a totally different climate!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Right!? I remember hearing how September in Iceland is a fall month, but their fall is so different from the fall here in North America. I mean, obviously not comparing it to LA’s (fake) fall, but it surely doesn’t get that cold in the autumn months here hahaa.

  51. Kathryn
    September 25, 2018 / 6:26 am

    Your photos are truly incredible! Thanks so much for a really informative write up about Iceland in September. I’ve always wanted to visit there and of course see the Northern Lights. I’ve tried in other parts of Canada, but never lucked out.
    I would definitely self-tour like you did, looks like such a cool drive.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:20 pm

      Thanks Kathryn! Glad to hear you found the guide helpful and I’m excited for you to visit!!! 😀

  52. September 25, 2018 / 8:00 am

    WOW! I love absolutely everything about this post! Especially the pictures, ofcourse! Just STUNNING!! I’m so glad that Google Maps helps us out because I don’t think I’d adjust to Þ being “th”. Overall, this post is filled with so much value! And one last thing – the Northern Lights!!! Incredible!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Aww thanks Lisa! That makes me so happy to hear and hope this will inspire you to pay Iceland a visit!

  53. September 25, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    Eeshk if it was that cold in September, I can only imagine what I’m in for when I go in November this year! I’ve been going back and forth about renting a car vs joining tours (don’t normally drive at home but I have a license) — do you have a sense for how the main roads would be in bad weather? I’m just a bit nervous about snow.

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Yikes! I’m getting chills just thinking about how cold it must be in November. I’m excited for you to visit though! You’re gonna have such an amazing time and I think you should join a tour instead. If you don’t normally drive at home, it may be safer to join a tour just in case the roads are a little harder to navigate in the ice/snow. Enjoy your trip and let me know how it goes 😀

  54. September 26, 2018 / 6:48 am

    I have been in the winter and have said so many times i want to return when I do not have to crawl on my hands and knees up to the waterfalls — the ice is CRAZY. September looks perfect! Everything is green, there is no ice and the Northern lights were out! Great info on such an amazing country

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Omg that’s INSANE!!!!! Honestly even without the snow, I was slipping all over in the rain hahaa. You should revisit again in the summer months next. I hear the lupines are gorgeous!

  55. September 26, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    Iceland is definitely on my bucket list – even more so now after seeing your gorgeous pics! I think coping with the weather will be the hardest thing for me – a good jacket is the most important thing for sure, although I hadn’t thought about sunglasses, thanks for the reminder!

    • JASCHEN
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      You’er welcome, Claire! Hope you’ll get to cross it off your list soon and let me know if you ever have any other questions for your future visit!

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