Iceland is like the new promised land. For a few years, everyone has wanted to go there to see the Northern Lights, to admire the surreal landscapes, to play Game of Thrones or to taste the local gastronomy. Iceland is the dream country par excellence. However, be careful because that does not mean that there are not pitfalls to avoid there. Especially when you arrive with a smile on your face without necessarily being wary.
1. The Blue Lagoon
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A spa resort located about forty kilometers from Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most unmissable tourist destinations in Iceland. And basically, that’s the problem. Ok it’s quite nice to dive into this water naturally heated between 30 and 39 degrees and yes the atmosphere is unique. But there are too many people. Too much. Work has even been undertaken to enlarge the site. Basically, it’s now better to look for other hot springs than to come and swell the crowds that ultimately ruined the place.
2. Don’t get bottled water
Not so long ago in Iceland it was not even possible to buy bottled water. But the influx of tourists has encouraged businesses to offer them. However, it is strongly discouraged to buy it. Why ? Because in Iceland, tap water is as pure as it gets. So why spend money to buy a plastic bottle that will end up in the trash?
3. Rent a car and take out theft insurance
Iceland is one of the countries where car theft is almost non-existent. It’s not super eco-friendly, but many Icelanders even leave the engine running when shopping in supermarkets in the middle of winter. Statistically, you are therefore as likely to have your car stolen in Iceland as to be struck by lightning. And then seeing that car rentals are a bit expensive, it’s always a saving.
4. Taxis at the airport
When you disembark, it is often tempting to take a taxi to get to the hotel. However, this is a gross error. In Iceland, taxis are known to be expensive. Better to bet on the shuttles. And if you absolutely have to take a taxi, choose the official ones. Those with a yellow taxi sign on the roof!
5. Stores 10-11
It’s a bit like this store franchise was invented to scam tourists. Ok they are open all the time but the prices displayed are outrageous to speak of. For a drink or something to snack on it’s okay but for the shopping of the week, go your way.
6. Fake beers
For a long time in Iceland, the consumption of alcohol was prohibited. Today, of course, this is no longer the case and you can definitely find beer. Nevertheless, it is advisable to go to specialized stores, in connection with the State. The beer that supermarkets sell is not real beer. It’s good to know.
7. The Puffin Stores
The puffin is the bird of Iceland. And inevitably, it is everywhere and especially in souvenir shops. Businesses that have gradually invaded the streets of the largest cities, to the detriment of small businesses, to ultimately sell stuff bearing the image of puffins made in China. It’s the same with all the viking stuff.
8. Bathe anywhere
Security Question. It can be tempting to take advantage of a deserted beach, but it’s rarely a good idea if the beach in question isn’t on a guide that clearly emphasizes its non-dangerousness. In Iceland, some currents can be very dangerous. The same goes for geothermal pools. Rather numerous, they sometimes hide burning traps. You bathe in deliciously hot water, it’s cool but suddenly the clay floor opens up and the incredibly hot water burns you to the third degree.
9. Pay attention to day and night
In Iceland, landmarks for sunset and sunrise are shattered. So much so that if you are ill-prepared, in the middle of a road trip, you can easily find yourself lost. For example, in December and January, it gets dark from 3:30 p.m. until 11:30 a.m. the next day. Conversely, from mid-May to mid-August, the sun only sets for a few hours.
10. Northern Lights Bus Tour
It is very expensive and crowded. Better to find out for yourself and play it solo.