How Should I Plan My Trip to Iceland?

Proper planning is at the heart of any successful adventure—especially one overseas.

But as a land filled with thrilling activities and mesmerising landscapes, not to mention home to changeable weather conditions, planning a trip to Iceland takes some careful thought.

At Ice Guardians, we provide adventure trips and courses in Vatnajökull, Iceland, so we know exactly what goes into creating epic experiences in this one-of-a-kind country.

Keep scrolling to find our local tips and recommendations for planning an Iceland adventure you’ll never forget.

Do you have any questions for us in the meantime? Don’t hesitate to get in touch for all the information you need.

How Long is Your Trip to Iceland?

There are endless wonders to explore here in Iceland, but we’ll assume you have some time limits to work around!

We recommend dedicating at least a week to fully immerse yourself in our stunning country’s natural beauty and thrilling adventures. 

With this timeframe, you’ll have ample time for priorities like glacier hiking and climbing, ice cave exploring, canyoning, and plenty more besides.

For more travel inspiration, check out our recommendations for the most exciting things to do in Iceland.

Choose the Right Time of Year for Your Interests

Timing is everything! Not all Icelandic experiences are available year-round, so you need to ensure you visit at the right time.

You can enjoy activities like glacier hiking and ice climbing all year long.

During winter (November to March), conditions are perfect for experiencing the magic of Vatnajökull National Park, including visits to ice caves.

These jaw-dropping structures are at their most stable in the coldest temperatures.

As an added benefit, winter is also the peak season for viewing the Northern Lights. 

During summer, you can experience the rush of canyoning and witness the enchanting sight of the midnight sun.

Our Adventurer’s Guide to Vatnajökull National Park is another valuable resource for planning a trip to Iceland.

Leave Plenty of Time to Research and Book Flights 

Your journey in Iceland begins on arrival at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), the gateway to our captivating country. 

Keflavik is Iceland’s main international airport, so if you’re flying in from overseas, you will likely arrive here.

Akureyri International (AEY) has flights to and from Europe, but they are an insignificant percentage of the total number.

The airport, located in the southwest of Iceland, is a 45- to 50-minute drive from Reykjavik. 

We recommend hiring a rental car from the airport (more on that below), but you can also transfer to the city by bus.

Book your flights early for the best range of prices and arrival times.

Reserve Your Accommodation in Advance

After a day of conquering the ice and exploring magnificent canyons, it’s important to rest, relax, and get a good night’s sleep. There are more adventures to come!

Look into accommodation options that look comfortable and meet your expectations.

For stays in the Vatnajökull area, focus your search on areas like Höfn, Skaftafell, or Kirkjubæjarklaustur. 

You’ll find a range of choices, from cosy hotels and guesthouses to rustic cabins.

Plan Your Adventure Activities in Iceland

Let’s focus on adventure trips and courses in Vatnajökull! After all, this is the main reason why you’re coming to Iceland.

To ensure you can do everything you want to do while you’re here, you should book your spot in advance to make sure you don’t miss out.

Just some of the best adrenaline-pumping experiences you can join include:

Glacier Hiking and Climbing on Vatnajökull

Strap on your crampons and get ready to embark on an exhilarating glacier hiking adventure. 

Join us at Ice Guardians as we guide you across the breathtaking glaciers of Vatnajökull. 

Our knowledgeable guides will equip you with the necessary gear and lead you through an unforgettable journey into an icy wonderland. 

Don’t forget your camera, as the photo opportunities will be absolutely mind-blowing!

Our Vatnajökull Glacier Walk is a perfect starting point for anyone planning a trip to Iceland.

If you’re truly adventurous, check out our Ultimate Glacier Exploration tour. This experience combines a glacier walk and an ice climb!

Ice Cave Exploring

Prepare to venture into a world of enchantment as you step inside the mesmerizing ice caves of Vatnajökull. 

Led by experienced guides, you’ll safely explore these natural wonders and witness nature’s incredible artistry firsthand. 

Get ready to be awestruck by the magical blue hues and intricate formations within these frozen realms.

Read about the Crystal Ice Cave Adventure in Vatnajökull, operated by our partners at Glacier Adventure, to discover more about this unique experience.

We also recommend reading our Ultimate Guide to Visting Ice Caves in Iceland for even more information about these breathtaking adventures.

Canyoning Near Vatnajökull National Park

Canyoning is a must-do summer activity for thrill-seekers visiting Iceland. 

The area surrounding Vatnajökull National Park offers exhilarating canyoning opportunities in stunning landscapes. 

Descend through narrow gorges, leap into crystal-clear pools, and rappel down majestic waterfalls. 

Our experienced guides will lead you through these natural playgrounds, ensuring your safety while you unleash your inner adventurer. 

Brace yourself for heart-pounding moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If this sounds like your idea of fun, we think you’ll love our Iceland canyoning experiences.

Pack Appropriately for the Icelandic Weather

The Icelandic weather can be as unpredictable as a rollercoaster ride, so pack smart and prepare for any surprises that may come your way. 

Bring along warm clothing, waterproof layers, sturdy hiking boots, thermal layers, multiple pairs of gloves, and a trusty hat to keep you comfortable during your Icelandic escapades. 

And of course, don’t forget to pack a reliable camera to capture those awe-inspiring moments!

Plan Your Transportation in Iceland

To truly unlock Iceland’s treasures, having your own wheels is a game-changer. 

Consider renting a car from the airport to enjoy the freedom of exploring at your own pace. 

The reality is, if you want to visit locations off the Golden Circle tourist trail, you need your own vehicle.

This is especially true if you want to enjoy adventures in and around Vatnajökull National Park.

A handy resource that all drivers in Iceland will need is This website gathers information from the Icelandic Met Office and the Road Administration.

Explore Beyond Vatnajökull 

While Vatnajökull National Park offers unparalleled adventures, don’t miss the chance to explore other iconic Icelandic destinations. 

Embark on the famous Golden Circle route, where you’ll witness the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermal marvels of Geysir, and the historical wonders of Thingvellir National Park. 

Venture along the dramatic south coast, discovering the mesmerizing Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Dyrhólaey cliffs with their iconic arch, the winding beauty of Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, and the otherworldly Black Sand Beach. 

Safety Considerations 

Adventure comes with a certain level of risk, but with Ice Guardians you have nothing to worry about.

Your safety is our top priority. Always follow instructions from your guides, be mindful of changing weather conditions, and stay informed through regular updates. 

Prioritise your well-being by checking the weather forecast, heeding the advice of local authorities and experienced guides, and embracing the spirit of adventure responsibly.

If you’re booked onto one of our full-day adventures, we will also contact you via WhatsApp or email within 48 hours of departure with weather updates and expected conditions.

Feel the Thrill of Our Iceland Adventure Trips 

We hope this guide has given you all the information and inspiration you need to start planning your trip to Iceland.

As an adventurer, we think you’ll love our adventure trips and courses in Vatnajökull, Iceland.

Browse our range and find out more about the experiences waiting for you here. And if you have any questions about anything you see, feel free to get in touch.