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Solo Travel in Iceland: 5 Essential Tips

Why Traveling to Iceland Alone Should Be Your Next Adventure

|February 14, 2020
Jessie is your basic nature lover with a particular interest in all things water. From the high peaks of the Himalaya's to the lush depths of the Amazon, she's hiked some of the the world's greatest trails.

Traveling solo is one of the greatest ways to discover yourself while trying something new and exploring all corners of the world. Iceland is one of the most beautiful and safest places on Earth, so it’s no wonder the country is considered one of the best places to travel by yourself.

hiking a path in landmannalaugar in iceland

A country filled with stunning nature, friendly people, and endless adventure, traveling to Iceland alone is the experience of a lifetime. Plus there are many guided group tours in Iceland for solo travelers who want to explore the country alongside an expert guide and like-minded adventurers. 

Whether you’re prepping your first solo trip or are a seasoned lone traveler, here are our top 5 tips for solo travel in Iceland:

1. Talk to Locals

Being understood by others is more important than ever when you travel alone. When you’re by yourself, you’re put into a position where you need to ask locals for guidance from time to time. Luckily for you, most Icelandic people speak English well and are very welcoming to visiting travelers!

group of trekking friends in iceland

As a traveler in Iceland, you’ll have no problem being understood and asking for help if need be. Icelandic people are known to be approachable if you’re in a pickle or need guidance. When traveling alone there’s no need to hesitate to ask a stranger for directions or for tips on  the best food in town.

2. Travel in Peace

Iceland is considered one of the safest countries in the world to visit. This is great if you want to have a fun solo trip in a safe environment. Iceland has a very small amount of crime and the capital city of Reykjavik is extremely peaceful (the police don’t even carry guns!). Also, if you face a medical or personal emergency while traveling alone, Iceland is equipped with great public healthcare and social services.

Female Solo Travel in Iceland

Wondering if it’s safe to travel to Iceland as a solo female traveler? Certain countries are definitely better than others when it comes to traveling as a woman. This is especially true for women who have never traveled alone before.

happy woman smiling for a picture after a hike

Fortunately, Iceland is one of the safest and best places for solo female travel. The combination of Iceland’s low crime rates and stellar gender equality makes it the perfect solo female travel destination. The country also has a strong support network of women, meaning Iceland solo female travelers don’t have to hesitate to ask for help if they ever find themselves in an uncomfortable scenario.

3. Move About With Ease

If you’ve ever traveled alone, you’ll know that one of the biggest challenges is getting from place to place. When solo, you only have yourself to rely on to get yourself from one place to the next. In Iceland, however, transport between places is fairly straightforward, meaning travelers can move about with ease.

Want to ditch the worry of transport? Then you can easily join a guided Iceland group tour, where solo travelers pass the reins to skilled drivers and get picked up directly in Reykjavik.

Drive a Car

No matter if you’re by yourself or with others, car travel is a popular mode of transport for solo travelers. Solo road trips in Iceland are a great option because there’s a well-traveled and paved highway (the Ring Road) encircling the entire country.

driving on the f roads in iceland near thorsmork

Please note: many Icelandic roads aren’t paved and some (F-Roads) even require a 4WD vehicle. If you decide to rent a car, make sure to decide whether or not you’ll need a 4x4 vehicle ahead of time.

Take the Bus

Traveling to Iceland on a budget? Save money and travel by bus! Many of Iceland’s towns and cities have bus transport options. You can bus to most populated locations across the country from the central bus station in Reykjavik. 

If you want to take the bus but don’t want to deal with the stress of timetables and bus station locations, guided group tour options include comfortable bus transportation with free WiFi.

Join a Group

smiling hikers on laugavegur trail in sumemr

Want to let someone else deal with the hassle of getting around? Join a guided tour! Guided group tours are popular with solo hikers, especially those who want to adventure to not-easily accessible locations. Another big perk of group tours is you don’t have to worry about hauling your big bag everywhere as most excursions include site-to-site luggage transport.

4. Meet New People

Solo travel is one of the greatest ways to meet new people. Opening yourself up to the opportunity to cross paths with other travelers is truly one of the best reasons to travel alone. Whether you solo hike across Iceland or embark on the ultimate backpacking adventure, there’ll be new and interesting people to meet every step of the way.

well dressed trekking group in iceland in summer

How to Meet People When Traveling to Iceland Alone

Traveling to Iceland alone and want to meet new people along the way? Then you’re in luck! Bumping into other solo and group travelers is really easy to do. If you’re into hiking and trekking, then we suggest joining an organized group hiking trip.

Guided hiking adventures won’t only give you the chance to meet others — it’ll also put you in direct contact with people who love the outdoors as much as you do. One of the most popular adventures for solo trips in Iceland is the Laugavegur Trek. The 55 km Laugavegur Trail is considered one of the world’s greatest hiking paths because of its breathtaking scenery and otherworldly landscapes.

happy group of hikers posing for a photo in iceland

The Laugavegur Trek for Solo Travelers is a small-group hike designed to bring fellow single travelers together to share in the area’s unforgettable landscapes. What better way to meet new people than spending four days exploring the best nature in Iceland!

5. Be Adventurous

A huge benefit of traveling alone in Iceland is that you can choose from a long list of different types of activities meant just for you. From hiking dramatic landscapes to entering majestic ice caves, there’s something for every type of adventurer.

Day and Multi-Day Hiking Adventures

Iceland is filled with incredible hiking and trekking trails to explore. As a solo traveler, you can easily spend your entire trip venturing across the country on foot. With day hiking adventures through volcanic landscapes and multi-day treks in the Icelandic Highlands, hiking trips offer people the chance to meet great people in a small-group environment.

Explore the best hiking spots alongside knowledgeable guides and fellow adventurers. Also, make traveling alone simple by choosing to get picked up and dropped off in Reykjavik with one of our experienced adventure leaders.

Glacier Exploration

Want to explore glaciers on your solo trip to Iceland? Then we suggest adding a glacier walk to your solo adventure! Iceland’s South Coast is full of majestic glacier terrain that’s perfect for walking. For example, Skaftafell Glacier Walk is a short hike atop Vatnajokull —  Europe’s largest glacier — located inside the famous Skaftafell Nature Reserve.

spiky ice formations on a glacier in south iceland

Want to add ice caving to your glacier adventure? Iceland has a number of beautiful natural ice caves speckled across the country’s ever-changing glacier terrain. We suggest combining a glacier hike with a guided ice caving adventure inside Vatnajokull Glacier’s icy-blue Crystal Ice Cave.

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