More Iceland
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Helpful pointers
for your Iceland trip

Climate and weather


Fickle weather

It's unpredictable and can change in hours.  Main reason: The warm Gulf Stream meets the cold Arctic waters and winds near Iceland, creating unsettled weather. So if you ask a local about tomorrow's weather, he might give you a friendly smirk.

Seasonal temperatures

Temperatures average 15°C (59°F) in mid summer, and -1°C (29°F) in mid winter.

Climate contrasts

Coastal areas are noticeably warmer than inland ones. And the island's southwest (where Reykjavik resides) has higher temperatures than the other regions.

Sleeping issues


Sleeping mask

Bring and use one in the summer if your hotel room doesn't have thick, completely closable curtains. In Reykjavik in June, for example, daylight spans more than 20 hours.

Ear plugs

Be sure your hotel room doesn't face one of the many streets where Reykjavik's late-night pub crawlers cavort. If it does, you may need ear plugs.

Last names (family names)

Be aware that most Icelanders have none. This convention goes back to ancient Nordic times.

Those without last names have a "second name", the equivalent of a family name. It's composed by appending "son" (son) or "dottir" (daughter) to the father's first name. And a possessive "s" is added.

For example, if Einar Gudsson had a son Jon and daughter Anna, their names would be:

Jon Einarsson  Anna Einarsdottir

Name etiquette

When addressing an Icelander who has a family name, use just his/her first name. For instance, you should address the two people mentioned above as Jon and Anna, not "Mr. Einarsson" and "Ms. Einarsson". Do this even if they are completestrangers to you.

Likewise, if a person has a last name but no family name, use only his first name.

Know these
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Blue Lagoon
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Flights to Iceland
Geysir Geothermal Field
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Hotel tips
Ice & Fire flight
Iceland Excursions
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Thingvellir National Park
Vatnajokull Glacier


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