FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOLIDAYS TO ICELAND
The enchanting Land of Fire and Ice is easily accessible via direct routes from UK airports. Fly from the UK to Iceland and prepare to discover the country’s incredible natural wonders for yourself.
Read on for safety information, advice on how to get to Iceland from the UK, tips for what to do when you arrive, plus lots more. Before continuing, you can also check out our Book With Confidence policy.
CAN I TRAVEL TO ICELAND FROM THE UK?
Yes, Iceland is open to fully vaccinated visitors from the UK. Head to our Iceland Travel Update page to find out more.
Rest assured your wellbeing is our number one priority, so you can Travel With Confidence when you visit Iceland with Nordic Visitor. Now’s the time to start planning an unforgettable trip to the Land of Fire and Ice.
DO I NEED A VISA TO VISIT ICELAND FROM THE UK?
You don’t currently need a visa to visit Iceland from the UK if you have a British passport.*
If you’re unsure about your personal situation, we recommend checking the Government of Iceland London Embassy page. This is where you’ll find the most up-to-date information about whether or not you need a visa to visit Iceland as a tourist.
*Please note that this information is correct at the time of writing.
HOW FAR IS ICELAND FROM THE UK?
London is approximately 1,896 kilometres (1,178 miles) from the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík. This means that your flight time will be around 3 hours from London.
You can also fly into Iceland’s main airport, Keflavik International Airport, from a few other cities in the UK. Read on to find out which other British airports you can fly to Iceland from, and what the journey times are from each.
HOW LONG IS THE FLIGHT FROM THE UK TO ICELAND?
You can fly direct from the UK to Iceland in as little as 2 hours 20 minutes, depending on where you depart from.
Below you’ll find the approximate journey times between these UK airports and Keflavik International Airport:
Birmingham (BHX) - 2 hours 50 minutes
Bristol (BRS) - 3 hours 10 minutes
Edinburgh (EDI) - 2 hours 30 minutes
Glasgow (GLA) - 2 hours 20 minutes
London Gatwick (LGW) - 3 hours
London Heathrow (LHR) - 3 hours 15 minutes
London Luton (LTN) - 3 hours 10 minutes
London Stansted (STN) - 3 hours 10 minutes
Manchester (MAN) - 2 hours 45 minutes
Find out more about flights between the UK and Iceland.
DOES NORDIC VISITOR OFFER PACKAGE TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes, if you book with Nordic Visitor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your trip is 100% financially protected. Your payments are safeguarded as we comply with the European Union’s Package Travel regulations. This means that you will get a refund in the unlikely event of insolvency.
DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN ICELAND?
Icelandic is the official language of Iceland. It derives from a North Germanic language, similar to Old Norse, that has changed little since Iceland’s Viking history.
Most Icelanders speak English fluently though, since it’s a mandatory subject in primary schools. So although you don't need to bring a phrasebook, you might like to learn some of these basic words and phrases before you go:
Já = Yes
Nei = No
Góðan daginn / Góðan dag = Good day
Gott kvöld = Good evening
Hæ / Halló = Hi / Hello
Bless = Goodbye
Takk = Thank you
WHAT IS THE BEST MONTH TO VISIT ICELAND?
Iceland has plenty to offer year round, so there isn’t one month in particular that stands out. The best time to visit Iceland really depends on where you’d like to go and what activities you plan on doing.
Throughout the year, changes to daylight hours mean that you can explore late into the evening under the midnight sun in summer. Meanwhile, winter’s long, dark nights are ideal for chasing the magical aurora borealis on a northern lights tour.
The country’s distinct seasonal changes give you the opportunity to discover Iceland in different ways, whether you visit in summer or winter.
If you head to Iceland during the summer months, you could:
Get up close to dazzling icebergs on a boat trip in the renowned Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Take advantage of the calmer seas and go on a whale-watching cruise to try and spot these incredible creatures.
Visit remote regions of Iceland, like the highlands and Westfjords, while the weather is at its mildest.
Enjoy one of the many art or music festivals that happen throughout summer.
On the other hand, winter in Iceland brings a different set of experiences for you to enjoy, including:
Seeing the northern lights dance in colourful arcs above Iceland’s stunning scenery.
Soaking up the lively festive atmosphere in Reykjavík around Christmas and New Year.
Joining guided snowmobiling and ice caving excursions on Vatnajökull and Kötlujökull glaciers.
Horse riding through beautiful snow-dusted countryside on a charming, yet sturdy, Icelandic horse.
There are also plenty of top things to do in Iceland that can be enjoyed year round, like driving southern Iceland’s Golden Circle route.
While this is certainly a popular summer activity, it’s something that you might prefer to do in winter. With less visitors at this time of year, you’re more likely to have iconic places, like Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Þingvellir National Park, to yourself.
Another year-round activity that you’ll love is a visit to one of the many hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland. Why not treat yourself to a trip to the most famous geothermal pool in the country? Picture yourself luxuriating in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon after a day of sight-seeing.
Check out these guides for more information about the weather, daylight hours and what to do in Iceland depending on the season:
WHAT IS THE BEST MONTH TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND?
There isn’t one particular month that comes out on top for northern lights sightings in Iceland. That said, the best time of year to chase the aurora is during the Icelandic winter, from October to March.
Timing your visit to when the skies are at their darkest, for longest, is key to increasing your chances of seeing the northern lights.
This is because the long winter nights give you more opportunities for sightings. Plus, the shimmering aurora stands out more against the dark skies of winter, compared to the light summer nights.
The best time of day to see the northern lights tends to be later in the evening. So it’s worth noting that if you choose a northern lights excursion it will start in the evening, rather than during the day.
Want to make sure that you don’t miss out on a spectacular display while you’re sleeping? No problem, you can take advantage of the aurora wake-up service offered by many hotels.
You could benefit from the knowledge of a local guide by adding a northern lights excursion to your trip to Iceland. Or, if seeing the aurora is your main reason for wanting to visit, then we recommend a northern lights holiday package in Iceland.*
To find out more, we recommend reading this helpful blog about the best times and places to see the northern lights in Iceland. You can also find additional tips and advice in this Iceland aurora borealis guide.
*Please note that northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so unfortunately sightings cannot be guaranteed on your trip.
WHAT DO I PACK FOR ICELAND?
Iceland is known for its changeable weather. In fact, the locals have a saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”.
As such, warm layers and waterproofs are recommended, whether you are travelling in summer or winter. That way, come rain or shine, you can get out and about to enjoy Iceland’s natural beauty.
Don’t forget to bring swimwear and sandals too. If you’re planning to indulge in the local’s favourite pastime of bathing in hot springs and geothermal pools, then these will come in handy. While you can hire a towel at some bathing spots, it’s best to bring your own for visiting smaller or more remote ones.
Below you’ll find a basic all-season packing list for your trip to Iceland:
Walking boots or shoes with good grip
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Woollen or fleece jumpers
Thermal base layers
Warm hat, scarf and gloves
Warm hiking socks
Quick-drying travel towel
For more seasonal information on what to bring, read this Iceland packing guide. You can also check out this blog on what to wear on your trip to Iceland for further tips and advice.
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