How to travel to Iceland after the corona pandemic? Good news! Iceland has reopened its borders for travelers from the Schengen area and EU/EFTA countries and UK beginning June 15th, but the residents of the USA and other countries outside of the Schengen area must wait until July 1. We are all wondering what will change in the world of tourism after the pandemic and how soon it will come back to normal.
In terms of handling with the COVID -19 Iceland was in the top positions of effectiveness. Iceland has the highest amount of tested people comparing to another countries. Thanks to the Icelandic authorities for guiding their nation through the crisis and been able to welcome tourist from around the globe to the land of ice and fire.
New reality of traveling
You may wonder what to expect upon your arrival to Iceland, how will you get through control at the airport and how long it will take, everything was already organized by a wise Icelandic government. First of all, prior the arrival you have to fill out the pre – registration form, which includes your address during the stay in Iceland, contact information and a declaration of health. And this could be done not earlier than 71 hours before arriving in Iceland. If you have children born in 2005 or later, they are exempt for pre – registration, testing and self – isolation.
While arriving to Keflavik airport there are two opportunities you may choose from – to take a test or go under the quarantine for two weeks. The tests are free of charge until July 1, and after that date they will cost 15000 ISK for a single test. Taking a test is probably the easiest and most convenient way because you have to wait for the result only 24 hours been at a hotel or at whatever you book for stay. The tourism is the top source of income in Iceland now, and therefore Icelanders take special care to organize everything in a right way. If you take all the required actions carefully you will be one hundred percent sure that your trip will flow smoothly.
The land of insane beauty and expensiveness
Iceland is a marvelous country with tons of natural attractions to enjoy – countless waterfalls, green mountains, black beaches, glaciers, ice caves and much more. For people who likes been outside and things like hiking, camping, relaxing in the geothermal pools – Iceland is a paradise. This magnificent landscape can also be dangerous, and for those who consider traveling to Iceland should be cautious and well – prepared. Besides the main attractions such as The Blue Lagoon, The Reynisfjara Black Beach and The Golden Circle, where you can observe the power of Geyser and see the amazing Pingvellir National Park – you can always discover something new and not so well – known. You may go beyond and experience for example the World’s largest ice tunnel. Caves and the ice tunnel located high on the Iceland’s second largest glacier – Langjökull. You may like to visit the Myvatn Nature Baths opened in 2004, which is called “The Blue Lagoon of the North”. You can swim in the lagoon, book a massage and experience steam baths. The Myvatn area also offers numberless walking trails. One of these is marked path from Reykjahliđ to Gjótagjá – the cave from Game of Thrones.
Iceland’s touristic sector is growing rapidly, and the amount of visitors approximates over 2 millions yearly. Tourism began to develop so fast after the financial crisis in 2008, when the national currency dropped down and the prices became much lower than it was before the crisis. During the next years while the Icelandic economy was recovering, the price went back to normal, and nowadays Iceland still remains on of the most expensive countries in the world. If you are planning your journey to Iceland you must consider the average daily price of $170, based on expenses for a hotel – about $100 for a night per person, for meal if you eat from a supermarket $30, and for transportation approximately $30. These numbers can be vary of course depending on your approach. If you plan your journey in a more budget way, you could get by on $60 – $75 a day. You may consider options discussed below.
Stopover and Volunteer Programs
If you are short on cash but still willing to go to Iceland, the next options may be a good solution for you! Icelandair offers an attractive option for those who makes cross – Atlantic flights. If you are travelling for instance from the States to Europe and want to experience Iceland for the first time and do not want to spend lots of money for a separate trip to the Land of ice and fire, you can combine two trips in one. If you decide it is a fabulous idea – you can book a Stopover in Iceland with no additional costs up to seven nights! Isn’t it great? Even if you stay only one or two nights in Iceland you will be able to see some of its attraction. Reykjavik offers a variety of open swimming pool and all of them have hot tubes. If you don’t want to spend almost 100 euros to visit the Blue Lagoon, my advice is to go to one of the Reykjavik’s open swimming pools for just 6-8 euros.
The cheapest way to stay in Iceland is to take a camp if you are travelling across the country. They offer the most affordable prices for $15 -$20 per night for a flat space for your tent, and campgrounds can be found almost everywhere in Iceland. Another beautiful option is the couch surfing, which gives you opportunity to meet wonderful people, get acquainted with the local culture and a free place to stay. Almost the same opportunity is to find some local people offering different types of house or farm work – it could be babysitting, cooking, helping with the household or at a farm. This information could be found on www.workaway.info. You just need to choose Europe/Iceland and you will see the latest offerings from the local people. It is a good possibility to get know the local culture and language, make new friends and to stay for free.
My trips to Iceland
I have made my first journey to Iceland in 2017. I was traveling from Chicago to Finland and have decided to make a Stopover in Reykjavik. Iceland was the country I have always dreamed about and wanted to visite. After discovering the Icelandair’s offer about the Stopover, I took the immediate decision to book my ticket from Chicago to Helsinki with a couple of extra days in Reykjavik. My trip was in May and this is not a hot season yet, so I booked a Hotel in Keflavik at the very reasonable price – for $65. The Blue Lagoon was completely booked for this and the next days, and I haven’t known that this place needs to be booked at least a few days prior. I decided to go to Reykjavik and dedicate the whole day to see the famous Hallgrimskirkja, explore the city and go to one of the local swimming pools which I really enjoyed. You can stay at the pool s long as you can and enjoy steam baths, open pool and interact with people. This is a good alternative to the Blue Lagoon for just 8 euros. The swimming pool culture is the essential part of the Icelandic life and almost a daily ritual.
My second jorney to Iceland was in 2018, one yer later after my first. I went to Reykjavik again and then flew to the East part of the country – Egilstadir and Fjardarbyggd region. This was a truly amazing trip! The eastern part is famous by its puffins colonies, hiking trails and awesome mountains. As I mentioned above I used a way to safe money and to stay with the locals. Another good tips which could be useful for you trip to Iceland – never buy a water, instead bring a water bottle, and cook you own food. All of these tips will help you to safe a lot of money.