Travel Guide to Iceland from India 2024

Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice, beckons with its otherworldly landscapes, Viking whispers, and geothermal wonders. But planning a trip from India can seem daunting, right? Worry not, desi adventurers, for this guide is your trusty Jötunn companion!

Read more: Is it Safe to Travel Iceland? Things to know before traveling to Iceland

Getting There:

Getting thereVisas:

  • Schengen Visa: As India is not part of the Schengen zone, Indian citizens need a Schengen visa to travel to Iceland.

  • Application Process: Apply for your visa at the nearest Icelandic embassy or consulate well in advance, ideally at least 2 months before your travel date.

  • Documents: You'll need documents like your passport, travel insurance, flight bookings, proof of accommodation, and financial statements.

Tip: Check the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration website for the latest visa requirements and application procedures.

Flights from India:

  • Airlines: Several airlines offer one-stop connections from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Look for options with airlines like Icelandair, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, and Emirates.

  • Flight Time: Expect around 15-18 hours, with a layover in a European hub like Amsterdam, Paris, or Frankfurt.

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on the season and airline, but expect to pay between ₹50,000 and ₹1,00,000 for a round-trip ticket.

Tip: Book your flights well in advance, especially during peak season (June-August) or around festive periods. Consider flying on weekdays for better deals.

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Getting Around Iceland:

Getting around Once you're in Iceland, renting a car is the best way to explore the island's dramatic landscapes at your own pace. Be prepared for winding roads and sheep crossings (yes, those fluffy white balls have the right of way!), but the freedom and flexibility are worth it.

  • Car Rentals: Prices start around €40-€50 per day (roughly ₹3,500-₹4,500) for a small car, but can go up depending on the season and car type. Compare prices from different rental companies to find the best deal.

  • Buses: Public buses connect major towns and cities, but schedules can be limited and travel times longer. It's not the most convenient option for exploring the whole island, but it's budget-friendly for short trips.

  • Domestic Flights: Internal flights are available for travelers short on time or wanting to reach remote areas. However, they can be quite expensive, so factor this into your budget if you're considering this option.

Tip: Consider purchasing a Reykjavik City Card for free public transportation, discounts on attractions, and access to thermal pools.

Accommodation:

AccommodationIceland offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and travel style. Here's a quick guide:

  • Hostels & Guesthouses: Budget-friendly options starting around €20-€30 per night (roughly ₹1,800-₹2,700). Perfect for solo travelers or groups on a tight budget.

  • Camping: Pitch your tent under the midnight sun or the dancing Northern Lights for a truly immersive experience. Campsites are available throughout the country, with basic amenities like toilets and showers. Just be prepared for unpredictable weather! ️

  • Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Cozy cabins, quirky apartments, and even traditional turf houses offer a home-away-from-home experience. Prices range widely, but expect to pay between €50-€150 per night (roughly ₹4,500-₹13,500). 🇮🇸

  • Hotels: From charming guesthouses to luxury spa resorts, Iceland has hotels for every taste and budget. Prices can range from €100-€500 per night (roughly ₹9,000-₹45,000) or more, depending on the location and amenities.

Explore: Budget-Friendly European Destinations for Indian Travelers in 2023

Seasons and Celebrations:

Iceland Iceland's beauty transforms with each season, offering unique experiences for every kind of traveler. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Summer (June-August): Hike under the 24-hour sun, chase the elusive Northern Lights at twilight, and soak in geothermal pools under star-studded skies. It's peak season, so book flights and accommodation well in advance!

  • Autumn (September-November): Witness fiery foliage paint the landscapes, fewer crowds, and the Northern Lights start their dazzling display. Cozy up in rustic cabins and enjoy the serenity.

  • Winter (December-February): Embrace the wonderland! Think ice caves, glacier hikes, geothermal lagoons steaming against the snow, and the ethereal Northern Lights dancing overhead. Just be prepared for chilly temperatures and shorter daylight hours.

  • Spring (March-May): Witness the dramatic ice melt, cascading waterfalls, and wildflowers bursting through the thawing earth. It's a shoulder season with good deals and a taste of summer's magic.

What to See in Iceland?

The Golden Circle:

The Golden Circle, Iceland Img: James Genchi

Witness the geothermal Geysir explode, peer into the volcanic crater of Kerið, and marvel at Gullfoss, the "Golden Waterfall." It's a classic Icelandic day trip, perfect for Bollywood-style family drama! ‍‍‍

The Blue Lagoon:

The Blue Lagoon icelandSoak in this milky-blue geothermal oasis, surrounded by lava fields and the promise of pure relaxation. It's like a spa treatment straight out of a reincarnation movie!

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon:

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland Float amongst glistening icebergs in a boat tour, kayak between glacial giants, or simply stand in awe of nature's icy sculptures. It's a scene straight out of a Prabhu Deva song!

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Landmannalaugar:

Landmannalaugar, IcelandImg: Atlas Of Wonders

Hike through colorful rhyolite mountains, swim in geothermal pools, and camp under the endless summer sky. This is Iceland for the adventurous souls, the Shah Rukh Khans of the travel world!

Myvatn Nature Baths:

Myvatn Nature Baths, Iceland Img: Myvatn Nature Baths

Take a dip in this geothermal oasis surrounded by volcanic craters and bubbling mud pools. It's like a natural jacuzzi with an otherworldly view!

Beyond the Tourist Trail:

  • Westfjords: Hike dramatic cliffs, spot puffins, and soak in hidden geothermal pools.

  • Landmannalaugar: Trek through colorful rhyolite mountains – a photographer's paradise!

  • Dettifoss: Witness Europe's most powerful waterfall – raw, untamed beauty.

  • Eastfjords: Kayak through glacial fjords, explore charming fishing villages, and hike in untouched wilderness.

Insider Tips for Indian Travelers:

  • Currency: Iceland uses the Icelandic króna. Get a prepaid travel card or exchange some currency before you go. ATMs are widely available.

  • Pack for all seasons: Be prepared for sun, rain, wind, and even snow, all in one day! Layers are your friend.

  • Embrace the outdoors: Hike, kayak, glacier walk – Iceland is an adventure playground!

  • Sample the local fare: Fresh seafood, lamb, and Skyr yogurt are must-tries. Don't be afraid to try fermented shark (Hákarl) if you're feeling adventurous!

Also see: 15 Things to do in Belgium for a Complete Travel Experience

Food – Must-Try Delicacies:

Icelandic cuisine is a unique blend of fresh seafood, lamb, and hearty vegetables, with a touch of Viking spirit. Don't miss these must-try treats:

Hákarl:

HákarlFermented shark meat, a traditional Icelandic delicacy with a potent aroma and acquired taste. For the brave souls only!

Kjötsúpa:

KjötsúpaA hearty lamb stew with vegetables, perfect for warming up on a chilly day.

Plokkfiskur:

PlokkfiskurImg: Your Friend in Reykjavik

Mashed fish and potatoes, a comforting and delicious dish.

Brennivín:

BrennivínImg: J. Csiki

Iceland's signature schnapps, distilled from potatoes and flavored with caraway seeds. Enjoy responsibly!

Skyr:

SkyrA thick, creamy yogurt packed with protein, perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Bonus Tip: Don't forget to try Icelandic hot dogs! They're surprisingly delicious and a budget-friendly option.

Experiencing Icelandic Culture:

Step into history:

National Museum of IcelandImg: The Iceland Museum Guide

Visit the National Museum of Iceland to explore artifacts from Viking settlements, marvel at weapons and jewelry, and learn about their fascinating mythology.

Wander through Þingvellir National Park:

Þingvellir National ParkStand where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, a place steeped in Viking history and the setting for Iceland's first parliament in 930 AD.

Catch a concert in Harpa:

Reykjavik's concert hallImg: !eberhard

Reykjavik's concert hall, a stunning architectural marvel, hosts everything from classical symphonies to experimental electronic music, showcasing the breadth of Icelandic talent.

Join the Þjóðhátíð revelry:

Þjóðhátíð revelryImg: Iceland Advice

Witness the colorful parades, traditional costumes, and festive spirit of Iceland's National Day on June 17th.

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With this guide in hand, you're all set to embark on your Icelandic adventure!

Iceland is calling, and it's calling you with the promise of adventure, beauty, and a journey that will stay with you long after you return home. So, answer the call, pack your bags, and get ready to experience the magic of the land of fire and ice.

Safe travels and happy adventures!

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