Iceland has become one of the most popular tourist destinations, and rightfully so. Iceland has other-worldly scenery, geothermal hot springs, a wide variety of exciting activities/tours, world class cuisine, and is a great spot to view the Northern Lights. If you have been thinking of visiting Iceland, here are three reasons why now is a great time to book a trip to the “Land of Fire and Ice”.
More Affordable Than Ever
Iceland’s economy is not doing as well as it has been for the past few years, and as a result their currency is weaker. Exchange rates between the Icelandic Krona and the US Dollar and Euro are about 20% better (for travelers!) than they were a year ago. Everything from lodging to tours to food is significantly less. In addition to the better exchange rate, more hotels and guesthouses have opened increasing competition and driving down prices. Some hotels cost as little as half of what they were a year ago for a comparable time of year.
Earlier in 2019, Iceland’s discount airline Wow Air went out of business. Wow Air transported millions of passengers to Iceland over the years (granted some of them never stayed in Iceland but just connected), and the number of visitors is down compared to previous years. Iceland’s largest draw is the incredible nature and scenic sights, and visiting the black sand beaches, waterfalls, and glaciers with fewer visitors is a welcome change for many. We have noticed the reduced visitors both while hiking in the highlands on our Laugavegur trekking tours and while visiting Iceland’s top attractions on our Iceland Highlights tours.
New Attractions, Hotels, & Restaurants
There are several new attractions that have opened recently. Some of our favorites are the Icelandic Lava Show where you can see flowing lava (they melt down solid lava rocks so you are guaranteed to see it), the GeoSea geothermal spa and Bjorbodin beer spa (these are two of our favorite spas besides the Blue Lagoon), new ice cave tours are now available closer to Reykjavik, and the LAVA Center provides an interactive museum about Iceland’s volcanoes and geology. On the accommodation side, the ultra-luxurious Retreat at the Blue Lagoon has opened (this incredible hotel has stunning rooms with views of the surrounding lava flows, an exclusive spa that guests have access to, and a private section of the Blue Lagoon). There are also some fantastic new guesthouses/farmstays that have opened which provide a more authentic/cultural experience than staying in a larger hotel, and the Buubble hotel is a cool concept where you can watch the northern lights while sleeping in your “bubble”. Restaurants have also become more traveler friendly with many offering a wider variety of options for those with dietary restrictions including expanded vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free choices. Even if you have been to Iceland before, all of these changes mean there are new places to go and things to see on a return visit!
Iceland is one of the most incredible destinations in the world, and we love sharing our knowledge and passion with guests! If you are interested in visiting, Carpe Mundo offers three different types of tours to Iceland- small group guided hiking tours, guided Iceland Highlights tours visiting the most popular attractions as well as off the beaten path sights, and self drive tours for the more independent traveler.
|Mero Geesey started guiding tours in college with his university’s Travel and Recreation Program. He loves creating and enabling experiences for others, and this is what led him to start Carpe Mundo. |
Carpe Mundo (“Seize the World”) takes the “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day) mentality and applies it to travel, encouraging people to live life to the fullest through small group travel. They offer biking, hiking, highlights or self-driving tours,
Iceland and Croatia are two of Carpe Mundo’s most popular destinations; Mero also leads tours in Switzerland, Italy, and Germany. To learn more about their tours, see www.carpemundo.com
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.