When you hear of someone speaking of Iceland, what sort of images spring to mind? How about wonderfully friendly and interesting people, dramatic landscapes, volcanoes, hot springs, geysers so high, they disappear into the clouds… does this sounds about right? If you have other images of Iceland, please do let us know but hopefully the previous sentence may entice you enough into seeking some more information about this stunning country, it is full to the brim with incredible surprises and experiences.
Located on the very edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is packed full of variety throughout the whole year. Known as the home of ‘the midnight sun’ where the sun barely dips below the horizon (throughout the month of June, the sun rises around 3am and sets just after midnight) you could immerse yourself in the Summer Solstice festivals that take place throughout the country. Perhaps take a boat cruise trip to see one of the 700 (plus!) hot springs – and have a dip too, as some of the geothermal springs are said to have huge health benefits. Take a trip to see the huge glaciers in Snaefellsjokull and Vatnajokull and juxtaposed against the glaciers witness the sheer power of one of the worlds most volcanically active spots – take a look at the rivers of lava meandering past as well – but don’t get too close, you might burn your fingers!
Iceland is full to the brim with tonnes of activities to do, both relaxing and energetic. the wildlife viewing opportunities are fantastic, home to the endangered Puffin as well as the native Arctic fox. Head to Skalakot Manor to gain an insight into the history and breeding the Icelandic horses. Believed to have been introduced to Iceland by settlers in the 9th Century, these hardy animals have two unusual gaits that enable them to preserve their energy on long distances whilst carrying heavy equipment as well as to preserve energy when in a rush! A large proportion of Iceland is uninhabited, which makes ponies the perfect way to explore and see much of her dramatic landscape.
Finish your days relaxing, wine in hand at locations such as Deplar Farm, one of Iceland’s most spectacular hotels. Take advantage of the Eleven Guide Team who are experts in everything Iceland has to offer, with their ethos being that you will have ‘the best day ever’ tailor making everything you do during your stay around you. Its location is also perfect to witness the famous Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. The colours of this natural phenomenon are simply breath-taking spanning from fluorescent greens to reds, pinks and oranges, purples and blues.
From riding the Icelandic horses across the plains, to snowmobiling, glacier trekking as well as Helicopter tours, Iceland has it all.
The current regulations state that travel to Iceland is incredibly restricted to most countries worldwide. There is some leeway for Schengen Nationals however – you must hold an appropriate certificate upon arrival into Iceland, as well as undergo 1 x PCR test on arrival. This usually takes around 5-6 hours and will require you to wait within your accommodation until the results come through (this is a temporary requirement and will be reviewed on the 1st June). Visitors holding passports from low risk EU/EFTA countries are also welcome into Iceland with testing and quarantine regulations to adhere to.
The restrictions to those who have UK, US and Canadian passports are very tight. You will require a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to arrival into Iceland. Passengers arriving from these destinations must undergo a double screening process, followed by 5-6 days quarantine in between tests. Because of this, it is mandatory to stay in a quarantine facility (with no charge). US or Canadian passport holders cannot enter Iceland without proof of vaccination or prior infection. These restrictions come to and end mid May 2021 when only PCR tests or vaccination records will be needed to enter and Iceland is expected to be on the UK’s GREEN LIST!
As with many travel restrictions within this year, they are constantly evaluating the restrictions and rules. Here at The Luxury Arctic Travel Company, we will keep you up to date with any changes to these rules and will endeavour to make your trip to the Arctic Circle as easy and seamless as possible. We know for a fact, Iceland is very much looking forward to awaiting your arrival, as and when you are able to go.