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General

Where are our offices located?

Ísafold Travel is located at Smiðshöfði 21 in 110 Reykjavík – which is located about 10 minutes from downtown Reykjavík. More information about our company can be found on our about us page.

When are the Ísafold Travel offices opened?

Our offices are opened every weekday from 8.00am until 5.00pm. More information about our company can be found on our about us page.

How can I contact Ísafold Travel?

It’s possible to contact us using the following channels:

+354 518 7200 (between 8.00am and 5.00pm from Monday until Friday)
[email protected]

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Do you have any questions?

Get in touch and share your thoughts and questions with us. We will gladly help you further.




Does Ísafold Travel offer travel insurance?

Ísafold Travel does not offer travel insurance. We recommend that all clients take out comprehensive travel insurance.

Does Ísafold Travel handle domestic/international flights?

Ísafold Travel does not handle or book international or domestic flights for our clients. However, if requested we do organise everything from your arrival in Iceland up to your departure with an international flight. None of our tours require the use of domestic flights and are all driven by car, jeep or mini bus – in either a self-drive or fully guided package.

Financial

In what currency do you charge?

It is possible to be charged in other currencies. However all calculations and offers are done in Icelandic Krona. The currency converter on our website is only a reference and uses the exchange rate on the day you use it. Prices in currencies other than the Icelandic Krona may vary from day to day.

What payment methods do you accept?

What is Ísafold Travel’s cancellation policy?

All cancellations must be made by e-mail or letter. In conformity with business practices within the Icelandic travel industry, the travel agent is obliged to charge cancellation fees to passenger(s) as follows, in addition to the non-refundable deposit:

More than 6 weeks prior to arrival: No additional charge
Less than 6 weeks and more than 2 weeks: 15%
Less than 2 weeks and more than 72 hours: 50%
Less than 72 hours and more than 24 hours: 75%

Less than 24 hours notice, and no-shows: 100%

We recommend that all passengers take out comprehensive travel insurance.

Tours

What is a self-drive/self-guided tour?

A self-drive or self-guided tour is a packaged tour that allows you to travel at your own pace – by yourself or in a group. We arrange everything from the vehicle to accommodation so you don’t have to worry about anything. You can just go and enjoy your own private road trip through Iceland.

Seasons

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are only visible when the nights are dark enough. This means they can be seen as of late August until end of April in Iceland. Outside of this period there is too much sunlight during night time which blocks out any chance of seeing any activity. So generally speaking it is only visible in winter time.

There are a few of things that have to be taken into account:

  • Seeing the aurora greatly depends on how cloudy it is and how much solar activity there is. This information can be found on the Icelandic Met Office website.
  • The aurora can sometimes be seen from within the city limits but with lower activity you increase the odds of seeing it by going away from any kind of light pollution.
Aurora Reykjanesviti Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

When I travel to Iceland in Winter, should I expect 24 hours of darkness?

When it’s winter time, the days are a lot shorter compared to summer but this does not mean that Iceland is covered in darkness all day long. Iceland is not on a high enough latitude for it to be covered in darkness every minute of the day.

To give you an idea of what to expect: on December 21st, the shortest day of the year, Iceland gets sunlight from around 11.30am until 3.30pm. Before and after that period of sunlight there is also a period of twilight which is not pitch dark.

Reykjanes Peninsula Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

When and where is it best to spot puffins?

Puffins are migratory birds and spend most of their lives at sea and only come to shore to breed. This means that they can only be spotted a few months a year near the Icelandic coast. Generally speaking this period lasts from the second half of May until the first half of August. This timeframe could change depending on climate conditions. If the weather has been warmer, some birds might leave Iceland earlier.

Puffins make their nests in or near cliffs. Some of the best puffin location include Dýrholæy, Vestmannayjær (Westman Islands), Borgarfjörður-Eystri and Ingólfshöfði. There are also boat tours being organised from Reykjavík. These mainly take you to Lundey, an island close to Reykjavík where a lot of puffins come to breed.

Puffins Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

What kind of weather should I expect when travelling in Iceland?

Icelanders tend to say that if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change.

The Icelandic weather is very different between the seasons and can be very localised also. Be sure to keep an eye on the Icelandic Met Office website during your trip. Below is a short overview of what to expect in different seasons:

Winter

The temperature during winter is relatively mild for its latitude, with an average temperature of 0°C on the southern parts of the island and -5°C in the North. The Icelandic highlands usually float around -10°C.  Snow is to be expected in most parts of the country as well as strong winds and gusts. The weather can be very unstable during Winter. It usually lasts from the end of October to first half of April.

Spring

Spring is considered to last from April until the first half of June. The first day of spring is usually celebrated the first Thursday after April 18th but it’s not uncommon for it to snow on this day. The days are getting longer, the weather more stable and the average temperature is getting higher, with an average of about 7°C. Spring is heralded in by the migratory birds arriving to the island and the flowers blooming.

Summer

The second half of June, July and first half of August are considered to be the summer period in Iceland. The weather is relatively stable. Average temperature usually floats around 10-11°C. In the summer of 1939 the highest temperature ever recorded in Iceland was measured (30,5°C) in the East Fjords. Don’t expect that any time soon though!

Autumn

In September the temperature starts to drop and the weather is becoming more unstable. Autumn storms with very strong winds are not uncommon. The days are getting shorter at a fast pace and the Northern Lights can be seen again. The lush green plants and bushes start to change colours very fast and the average temperature floats around 5°C.

Icy Roads Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove
East Fjords Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove
ISAK 4x4 Mike Seehagel
Driving in Iceland

Is off-road driving allowed in Iceland?

All off-road driving and driving outside of marked tracks is prohibited by law and is considered a very serious crime.

Driving a vehicle off road, that is not on a track, so that it damages the natural environment or leaves a mark carries heavy fines up to 500.000 ISK and/or up to 2 years in jail. The exception would be if driving on surfaces where the vehicle does not leave a scar in the land. Like when fording rivers or driving on snow covered surfaces. Icelandic nature is delicate and tire tracks from off-road driving can cause substantial damage to the vegetation and leave marks that will last for decades.

Keep in mind that the Icelandic nature is very fragile, especially in the highlands, and we would like to enjoy it for generations to come. Please respect nature and tread carefully.

ISAK 4x4 Mike Seehagel

What should I know about driving in Iceland?

Iceland offers travellers an adventure of a lifetime in a beautiful and rugged landscape. However, experience shows that the forces of Icelandic nature can be harsh and unpredictable, and travellers are well-advised to exercise caution and respect for the country’s natural environment.

When driving in Iceland there are a few things travellers should keep in mind:

Speed limits and driving laws

  • The speed limit on Iceland’s route 1 or the ring road as it’s called is 90 km/h. On gravel roads the speed limit is 80 km/h. And in populated areas the limit is 30-50 km/h.
  • By law everyone in the car has to wear seat belts.
  • It is mandatory to drive with the headlights on at all times, night or day, summer or winter.
  • Driving after consuming alcohol is strictly forbidden and can carry heavy fines and loss of drivers permit.

Off-road driving

All off-road driving and driving outside of marked tracks is prohibited by law and is considered a very serious crime. Driving a vehicle off road, that is not on a track, so that it damages the natural environment or leaves a mark carries heavy fines up to 500.000 ISK and/or up to 2 years in jail. The exception would be if driving on surfaces where the vehicle does not leave a scar in the land. Like when fording rivers or driving on snow covered surfaces. Icelandic nature is delicate and tire tracks from off-road driving can cause substantial damage to the vegetation and leave marks that will last for decades.

Keep in mind that the Icelandic nature is very fragile, especially in the highlands, and we would like to enjoy it for generations to come. Please respect nature and tread carefully.

Highland and mountain roads

A 4×4 vehicle is essential in the highlands, where you might encounter rough terrain and unbridged waters. Most mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a gravel surface. The surface on the gravel roads is often loose, especially along the sides of the roads, so one should drive carefully and slow down whenever an oncoming car approaches. The mountain roads are also often very narrow, and are not made for speeding. The same goes for many bridges, which are only wide enough for one car at a time. Journeys may therefore take longer than expected.

The Icelandic highland roads are closed in the spring when the snow is melting. Although it can vary considerably from year to year, usually the majority will open around the 3rd week of June. In the winter most highland roads are deemed “impassable”, but they often stay open until late autumn.

For up to date information on road conditions and openings, please visit the website of the Icelandic Road Administration.

Weather

Icelandic weather can be very harsh at times and change extremely quickly. Icelanders are wont to say: ,,In Iceland you can experience all the four seasons in one day”. Keep a close eye on the weather forecast, and be sure that you have the right vehicle and proper equipment for your journey.

When driving in winter, you can expect to face snow, icy roads and darkness. If you are travelling outside of populated areas, always make sure that you check weather conditions and report your planned route to someone.

Information on weather and weather forecasts can be found at the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s website.

ISAK 4x4 Mike Seehagel
ISAK 4x4 Mike Seehagel
ISAK 4x4 Mike Seehagel
Trail running tours

Do we run the whole time during the tour?

No. We do stop by interesting places along the way, so please bring your camera!

How can I know if a tour is suitable for me?

Difficulty level varies between tours. All of our tours in Iceland and Faroe Islands are completely or partially on trail so some experience with trail running is always required. All of our tours in Greenland are technically difficult and only suitable for experienced runners. 

How many guides are there on a running/hiking tour?

Depending on the pace of each individual and how the group is put together if there will be one or two guides. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

Some of our tours tend to fill up around March but booking is confirmed with payment of 20% confirmation fee. 

What will the accommodation be like?

We offer tours with accommodation in huts and other tours with accommodation in hotels. In the hotels there are single, double or twin rooms with bathrooms in 3-4 start hotels. In the mountain huts everybody is in one big room.

How many participants are there on each running/hiking tour?

This depends on each tour but most of the time there are around 4 – 10 people on each tour.

What equipment should I bring on a running/hiking tour?

  • Sleeping bag
  • Trail running shoes (not brand new), can be with soft or hard sole. It is very useful to bring an extra pair if you have ones (do not need to be trail)
  • Other shoes for when not running
  • Running socks (not cotton)
  • Socks for when not running
  • Short-sleeve running shirt
  • Long-sleeve running shirt
  • We recommend woolen short and long sleeve shirts for when not running
  • Short and long running trousers
  • Warm trousers for when not running
  • Waterproof trousers (for when not running)
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (light and easily packable)
  • A good running jacket
  • Warm jacket for when not running and in the evening
  • Warm running cap/Buff, multifunctional headwear
  • Gloves (running gloves AND thicker ones for when not running)
  • A light day backpack
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection
  • Water container
  • Camera!
  • Earplugs
  • Soft travel bag (not hard suitcases)
Roof tent tours

Can I just park the car anywhere I want to sleep?

No. Camping is only allowed at designated campsites or camping areas. 

Do I have to pay camping fee?

Yes. Camping fees are not included in the package.

How many people can sleep in the roof tent?

Please note that the roof top tent is only suitable for 2 adults, so bring an extra tent if more people will be on a roof tent tour.

Am I allowed to camp everywhere?

The most frequent question regarding camping in Iceland is: “Can I camp everywhere?“. The short answer is “no“. In November 2015 the law was changed prohibiting camping outside of designated campsites and urban areas, unless the landowner or property right holder has given explicit permission to do so. There are some exceptions if you’re only camping in a tent, i.e. not in a camper van, roof tent, etc.

 

The guidelines are the following: 

  • Along public routes in inhabited areas, you may pitch a traditional camping tent for one night on uncultivated land, provided there is no campsite in the immediate vicinity and the land owner has not restricted or prohibited access, passage or stay within the area by means of signs on gates and walking paths.
  • Along public routes in uninhabited areas, you may pitch a traditional camping tent on privately owned land or national land.
  • Away from public routes, you may pitch a traditional camping tent, either on privately owned or national land, unless otherwise indicated in special rules which may be applicable to the land area in question.  

 

“Doesn’t this limit my options when travelling around Iceland with a roof tent?” No, definitely not. There are plenty of campsites in Iceland, and you would not need to drive very far to reach the next one during your trip. Staying overnight at a campsite is a rather inexpensive way to travel around, and most campsites are well equipped, and some offer free WiFi and free use of showers. 

 

For those of you who like to plan ahead, there’s also the possibility of purchasing a Camping Card. You can purchase the card in advance and it allows you to stay overnight at certain designated campsites.

Extra activities

Do all of the available activities include transport from/to Reykjavík?

Unless otherwise specified, these activities do not include transport from/to Reykjavík.

When can I visit an ice cave?

Iceland’s glaciers harbour some of the most mesmerising caves in the world, ice caves. These crystal blue marvels are on a lot of bucket lists these days.

In Iceland you can visit two kinds: one is a man-made ice tunnel in Langjökull glacier and the others are natural ice caves – mostly in the Vatnajökull area. The ice tunnel (Into The Glacier) is accessible all year round, while the natural formed ice caves are only accessible in winter time (usually this is from the end of November until the middle of March). You can book all of these activities on our Activities-page or ask your travel consultant to add them onto the trip.

Ice Cave Vatnajokull Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Where and when can you see whales?

Iceland really is a paradise for whale watchers. There’s numerous species to be seen around the island. Minke and humpback whales, together with dolphins, are probably the most frequent spotted sea mammals in Icelandic waters.

Whale watching is available all year round in Reykjavík and Grundarfjörður in West Iceland. In Húsavík and Akureyri whale watching is only available outside of the winter months. We have a selection of whale watching tours available in our Activities-section.

If you’re specifically looking to see orcas, your best bet is with Láki Tours in Grundarfjörður. They often spot orcas during the winter months.

Orca Orcas Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Where and when can I go snowmobiling?

Snowmobiling in Iceland is available throughout the year from two locations: Langjökull, leaving from Gullfoss waterfall, and Myrdalsjökull, leaving from Solheimajökull. Both organisations offer snowmobiling tours that take place on a glacier, which is quite the experience. To participate in this activity, a valid driver’s license is required.

You can book all of these activities on our Activities-page or ask your travel consultant to add them onto the trip.

Snowmobiling from Myrdalsjökull
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Do you have any questions?

Get in touch and share your thoughts and questions with us. We will gladly help you further.