Iceland is a stunningly beautiful mountainous island nation in the north Atlantic Ocean. Generally, those who have visited Iceland describe it as one of the easiest travel destinations. Despite its name, the country has surprisingly a good number of geothermal hot springs and a mild climate.
Iceland, unlike many popular destinations, has a very small population of around 300,000 people, so you can expect a hassle-free visit to quiet places that are less crowded. Its capital city, Reykjavik has always enjoyed its reputation as a nearly crime-free area compared to other European destinations. It’s very easy to move around and get to some nice attractions like the Blue Lagoon, and the Golden Circle!
You don’t need to worry about communication as most Icelanders understand a basic level of English. Due to the influence of immigration and the growing tourism, English is now well-spoken in many areas of Iceland though you may encounter some in the rural areas who don’t speak it.
Surprisingly, Iceland is a trouble-free country far from the common crimes that define many western cities. Trust me, it will be hard for you to encounter crime in Iceland, as there are very nice people everywhere and so you should worry less often. But there might be little disorderliness at the weekends especially in bars and night clubs.
In case you prefer traveling alone, Iceland offers the best chance for you to do so! Due to the fewer risks both in the urban and countryside setting, most solo travels have been trouble-free. You can travel to the central islands, Eastern fjords or in the north on your own. But remember that much of the country has rugged landscapes, so have plenty of accessories at hand, including a GPS navigator.
The country is very easy to explore in case you want to have a quick getaway and then proceed to other destinations. Being centrally located near Europe and North America, you can easily jet in, explore Reykjavik and a few surrounding areas in a couple of days and then head back home.
Iceland is generally expensive more than other parts of Europe due to its high import duties like the 25% VAT to common imports like clothing, alcohol, etc. But this shouldn’t scare you because due to its relatively young economy, you can find cheap hostels to stay, buying local food from the stores. If you are a careful spender, you’ll manage your stay in Iceland, no matter the costs.
In its capital Reykjavik and a few other cities like Akureyri, Husavik, and Egilsstaðir, you will find very sociable people who will help you to get along with Icelandic life fairly well. Though they are quite opinionated, most of them will be glad to strike up a meaningful conversation to help you understand their country well.
There’s a lot to adventure in case you are planning to stay for a long time in Iceland. Try visiting the Þingvellir National Park just 50 km from Reykjavik, and Vatnajökull National Park. Others are the Blue Lagoon which is a geothermal spa famous for its outdoor pool and health center. There are also plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking in the central highlands, climbing the glaciers, volcanoes, mud pots, fjords, sea cliffs, scuba diving, and of course the geothermal lagoons. The country is best explored from the mild summer months of May until August. So it may not be too late for you to start preparations.