Here is a guide on the things not to do in Iceland, at the risk of ruining your vacation a little or having a very bad time.
1. Trust a car rental company
We had experienced express car check-ins and returns in Spain and Greece with an excellent car rental company, but they do not have a presence in Iceland.
In Iceland, even if you have paid for your rental with the eye of your head, your rental company may be trying to extract a few tens of thousands of Icelandic kroner from you by any means possible. Do you doubt it? just read the google reviews about car rental companies in Iceland. And unfortunately no rental company is spared.
You will have to drive carefully and be as meticulous as possible with your car.
Another point, in Iceland it is forbidden to drive outside the marked roads and if you do so you risk having to pay a very high fine.
2. Mixing up hot and cold water when cooking
If you’re the type to use hot water for pasta water to save time, you might have a really bad time in Iceland.
The reason is simple, for ecological and economic reasons, in Iceland we use water from hot springs to supply the network. Hot water and cold water are therefore two different networks.
The hot water therefore comes from geothermal sources and these sources are naturally loaded with sulphur. In the shower or in a bath, this water is very good for the skin and hair, even if it smells a bit like rotten eggs.
Rest assured the cold water comes from mineral springs . Having been naturally filtered by the rock, this water is therefore perfectly drinkable. You can drink it without any problem, you just have to remember to run the water for a few seconds
3. Pay to see whales
The whales will tell you about it until you pay. Seeing whales in Iceland is a bit like playing poker. You have to pay to see and everyone is bluffing.
Whaling in Iceland
The whales, we see them everywhere and they are drawn everywhere. They are on city walls or in travel guides. But it is difficult to show whales in a country that practices whaling. Indeed some Iceland is one of the countries that practice whaling. And it’s not just traditional, since some restaurants in the country don’t hesitate to put whales on the menu. During my stay, Iceland reiterated its desire to continue whaling. As a result, many NGOs have called for a boycott.
The cost of the operation to see whales can vary between 80 and 150 euros. Generally a purchased ticket allows you to go to sea a second time. But in fact it is almost impossible to stay two days in the same place because the country is so vast.
This kind of excursion is always invoiced at high prices but the service provided in exchange is always quite low. In fact, the ice caves chosen for tourists are generally located on the edge of the glacier. Almost no risk and above all profit maximization. These caves are easily accessible and the excursion only mobilizes the guide for barely an hour (excluding waiting time, you will understand)
If you go to Iceland it is important to understand that you will face winter conditions. In summer the temperature rarely exceeds 15 degrees. And when it rains or snows, the wind is so strong that the temperature felt can seem freezing. It is not for nothing because Iceland is located just below the Arctic Circle.
Free sale of alcohol is prohibited. If you want to buy wine or champagne you have to go to a state store. It is the only institution that can sell you alcohol at a prohibitive price.
In Iceland, the weather is always quite capricious. Icelanders used to say that in one day we have the four seasons. Rain or hail but also snow and sun, cloud and blue sky. And if the weather changes quickly, if the clouds can appear or disappear so quickly, it’s simply because the wind is blowing very, very hard.
Everyone wants to take the most beautiful photo and that’s normal. However, beware of the edge of the cliffs which can collapse suddenly. If you are at the foot of a cliff, think about moving away a little because rock falls are frequent.
Take driving in Iceland as a joke
The roads in Iceland are quite dangerous. And if you doubt it, all you have to do is count the number of abandoned cars on the side of the road. There are even sometimes buses that go off the road.
First of all with its bizarre climate, Iceland is not the best place to observe the Northern Lights. Lapland in northern Scandinavia lends itself much better to this kind of exercise.