If you've got limited time but want to experience a quick burst of a completely different culture, Iceland should be at the top of your list. In this guide, we'll unveil the secrets of Iceland's enchanting landscapes, geothermal wonders, and cultural treasures, ensuring your Iceland weekend getaway is nothing short of magical and proving that you don't need to use up all your holiday days to enjoy a culturally enriching trip abroad. But before we unveil our jam-packed Iceland weekend guide, let's dive into some practical information that will help you plan your trip to Iceland.

Where is Iceland?

go to iceland on your weekend trip
Nestled in the midst of the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland stands as a testament to nature's raw power and beauty. This volcanic island nation, with its glaciers, hot springs, and rugged terrain, captivates the imagination and beckons explorers from around the globe.

Is Iceland in Europe?

Yes, Iceland is located in Europe. It's situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, just east of Greenland and northwest of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Despite its geographical proximity to Greenland, Iceland is considered part of Europe both geographically and culturally.

Is 3 Days Enough for Iceland?

While Iceland's treasures are vast and varied, three days are more than enough to experience the best Iceland has to offer. From cascading waterfalls to geothermal wonders, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of awe-inspiring landscapes and unforgettable experiences.

What is the Best Month to Visit Iceland?

see the northern lights in iceland
Iceland's allure knows no bounds, with each season offering its own distinct charm. Whether you seek the midnight sun of summer, the dancing auroras of winter, or the vibrant colours of Autumn, Iceland is actually great to visit year-round. Just be sure to dress appropriately as it can get chilly!

When is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland?

go to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on your trip to iceland to see the northern lights
Of course, one of the main reasons so many tourists flock to Iceland is to view the incredible Northern Lights. The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is during the winter months, from late September to early April. This period offers optimal conditions for aurora viewing, with long nights and clear skies providing ample opportunities for sightings. For the most unforgettable experience, venture away from city lights into Iceland's remote countryside. Popular viewing spots include Thingvellir National Park, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and the village of Vik. Keep in mind that sightings are dependent on solar activity and weather conditions, so monitoring aurora forecasts and staying flexible with your plans can increase your chances of witnessing this natural wonder during your Icelandic weekend getaway.

Where else in the World Can You See the Northern Lights?

Beyond Iceland, there are several other prime destinations around the world where you can witness the mesmerising spectacle of the Northern Lights. Norway's northern regions like Tromsø and the Lofoten Islands offer breathtaking Arctic landscapes against which the auroras dance. Finland's Lapland region provides a magical setting for seeing the northern lights, often combined with exhilarating activities like husky sledding. Similarly, Sweden's Abisko National Park boasts dark skies and minimal light pollution, perfect for capturing the auroras' brilliance.

Is Iceland Very Expensive to Visit?

While Iceland has garnered a reputation for being a pricey destination, savvy travellers can navigate its wonders without breaking the bank. With careful planning and budget-friendly choices, you can indulge in Iceland's splendour while keeping costs in check such as:

  • Visit Off-Peak: Consider planning your trip to Iceland during the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn. Not only will you encounter fewer crowds, but you may also find lower prices on accommodations and activities.
  • Accommodation Alternatives: While Iceland does offer luxury hotels and boutique guesthouses, budget travellers spending a weekend in Iceland can opt for more affordable accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or camping. Many campsites across the country offer stunning views and facilities at a fraction of the cost.
  • Self-Catering: Dining out in Iceland can be expensive, so consider self-catering options to save money on food. Stock up on groceries at budget-friendly supermarkets like Bónus or Krónan and prepare your meals in shared hostel kitchens or campsites.
  • Free Attractions: Some of Iceland's most spectacular attractions come with no entry fee. Explore natural wonders like waterfalls, hot springs, and hiking trails without spending a penny. Don't forget to pack a picnic for a scenic lunch with a view!
  • Public Transportation: Renting a car can be convenient for exploring Iceland's remote regions, but it can also be costly. Consider using public transportation options like buses or joining guided tours to popular attractions.You can also opt for ridesharing services or hitchhiking, which are common and safe in Iceland.
  • Plan Ahead: Research and book activities and accommodations in advance to take advantage of early bird discounts and special offers. Look for combo deals or discount passes for multiple attractions to save even more during your Iceland trip.
  • Bring the Essentials: Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for all conditions. Pack layers, waterproof gear, and sturdy walking shoes to avoid purchasing expensive items on the go. This saves you having to buy things while you're there and over-paying for things you already own back home.

By following these budget tips and making smart choices, you can experience the beauty and wonder of Iceland without breaking the bank. With a little planning and resourcefulness, your Icelandic weekend getaway can be as affordable as it is unforgettable.

What Currency Do They Use in Iceland?

people horse riding in iceland during their weekend getaway
The Icelandic Krona (ISK) is the currency of choice in Iceland. While credit cards are widely accepted, it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller transactions, particularly in rural areas.

Now, let's chart a course for your perfect weekend in Iceland, where adventure awaits at every turn!

The Perfect Weekend in Iceland

Day 1: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle

enjoy baked goods during your weekend trip to iceland at sandholt
Begin your Reykjavik adventure with a hearty breakfast at a local cafe like Sandholt. Sandholt is a family-run, artisanal bakery where you can fuel up with Icelandic yogurt topped with wild berries or try the classic Icelandic breakfast of smoked salmon and rye bread. After your Icelandic breakfast, take a leisurely stroll through Reykjavik's colourful streets. Snap some photos of the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church or browse the shops for unique Icelandic souvenirs.

visit the golden circle during your iceland trip
Next up on your weekend in Iceland, it's time to hit the road and explore the Golden Circle! Rent a car or join a guided tour for a hassle-free journey. Start at Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk between the continents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Be sure to stop by the Law Rock, where Iceland's first parliament convened over a thousand years ago. Next up, marvel at the powerful cascade of Gullfoss waterfall and watch Strokkur geyser shoot water into the air at the Geysir geothermal area.

After your Golden Circle adventure, return to Reykjavik and treat yourself to a traditional Icelandic lunch. Head to a local restaurant and indulge in a hearty bowl of lamb soup or feast on a plate of freshly caught fish and chips. Wash it all down with a refreshing Viking beer or a glass of Brennivin, Iceland's signature schnapps.

As the sun sets, Reykjavik comes alive with its buzzing nightlife scene. Start your evening with a cosy pint at a local pub like Slippbarinn or Microbar. Then, hop around the city's trendy bars and cocktail lounges, sampling innovative drinks made with local ingredients like birch syrup or Arctic thyme. Dance the night away to live music or catch a comedy show at one of Reykjavik's many entertainment venues as you close off day one of your Iceland trip.

Day 2: South Coast Adventure

seljalandsfoss waterfall
Rise and shine early for a scenic drive along Iceland's stunning South Coast. Grab a quick breakfast to go from your hotel or stop at a roadside cafe for a grab-and-go pastry and a cup of strong Icelandic coffee. Hit the road and head towards Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can hike behind the cascading water for a thrilling experience and some incredible photo opportunities.

visit the black sand beach in iceland during your weekend getaway
Continue your journey to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, where you'll be greeted by dramatic basalt columns rising from the sea. Take a stroll along the shore, feel the spray of the crashing waves, and keep an eye out for puffins nesting in the cliffs. After exploring the beach, head to the nearby village of Vik for a leisurely seaside lunch. Enjoy fish and chips or a hearty seafood chowder while soaking in the breathtaking ocean views.

a dyrholaey rock formation during a trip to iceland
After lunch, make your way to Dyrholaey promontory for panoramic views of the surrounding coastline. Keep your camera handy as you might spot seals lounging on the rocks or seabirds soaring overhead. Take your time exploring the area before beginning your journey back to Reykjavik.

As you drive back to Reykjavik, stop at one of the many scenic viewpoints along the way to catch the sunset. Once you're back in the city, treat yourself to a celebratory dinner at one of Reykjavik's top restaurants like Sjávargrillið. Indulge in modern Icelandic cuisine featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Toast to an unforgettable weekend in Iceland and savour every delicious bite before your journey home.

Gift a Weekend in Iceland with our Airline Gift Vouchers

Reykjavik city centre during your Iceland trip
Looking for the best travel gift for the adventurer in your life? Give them the ultimate experience with a weekend getaway to Iceland, made possible with our airline vouchers. With Flightgift, your recipient can plan their dream weekend in Iceland, from exploring Reykjavik's vibrant streets to embarking on thrilling adventures along the South Coast. They can book their flights, select their preferred airline, and even upgrade their travel experience with extra comfort options.

Flightgift offers the flexibility and freedom to choose from over 400 airlines worldwide, including those that fly directly to Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. Whether it's a surprise birthday present, a special anniversary gift, or a gesture of appreciation for a loved one, Flightgift makes it easy to give the gift of travel. But what makes our airline gift vouchers truly special is our personalisation options. You can customise your airline voucher with a personal message and image and choose from three convenient formats: digital delivery via email, printable PDF, or luxurious physical delivery.

So why wait? Give the gift of adventure with an airline gift card and make someone's dream of a trip to Iceland a reality. With our airline vouchers, the possibilities are endless, and the memories will last a lifetime.