Traveling in Iceland in times of corona

14th May 2020

Geese flying over the chruch in Hvolsvöllur

Iceland is probably one of the safest places on the earth right now to travel. Not only did the Icelandic health care system get world recognition for its handling of the virus but Iceland is one of the least dense countries in the world with only 3.3 persons per square kilometre. This makes Iceland the perfect place for visitors that want to stay away from the touristic crowds and enjoy nature and experiences in a safe and unique way.

The best way to travel in Iceland is to hire your own car. Not only are cars relatively cheap to rent, but the road system in Iceland is really simple and it is almost impossible to get lost. Iceland offers a wide range of hotels and Airbnb around the entire island. If you are looking for something special I would recommend Airbnb since they tend to be more authentic, cheaper and fewer crowds then in a hotel. All towns in Iceland have their own supermarkets where you can buy your own local food – try the lamb it is the national dish of Iceland. My favourite is to stay on a farm in Iceland. Some of the farms also offer activity like horseback riding or homemade cooking.

There are some mainstream activities most people want to do when they visit Iceland, see the Geysir, Gullfoss and bathe in the Icelandic hot springs – do it! Yes it is touristic but it is definitely worth the trip, only 1.5 hours away from Reykjavík. However, to see the real Iceland you need to find your own spots. To find your own unexploited area in Iceland is easy. Sometimes you have to do a bit of hiking but the best way to explore Iceland is to go on a horseback riding tour.

You don’t have to be an experienced rider to ride the Icelandic horse. However I would recommend you to take a horse riding lesson before you go on your tour, not only is it safer but it also makes the ride so much more fun when you know what you are doing and have control of your horse. Practising social distancing during horseback riding tours is easy as long as the group is small. When you go riding in Iceland you should make sure that you are getting good quality horse. When you ride the Icelandic horse you want to have a happy, cooperative and responsive horse. Unfortunately, some of the large horse riding farms overwork their horses which results in not happy horses.

I have put together a 5-day itinerary that will capture some of the best things Iceland has to offer:

* Day 1: Stay in Reykjavík, visit a horse-riding farm only 20 minutes away from Reykjavík. At the farm you will get horse riding lessons, riding tour in a very secluded area along with an amazing homemade lunch with the farmer. This tour ends at about 2 pm which gives you ample time to do the golden circle and visit Gullfoss and Geysir. Dinner in Reykjavík

* Day 2: Leave Reykjavík and head towards the south coast of Iceland. Have lunch in Flúðir and bathe in the secret lagoon. Continue the drive towards Skaftafell. Buy your dinner in Hvolsvöllur and camp in Skaftafell

* Day 3: Spend the day hiking the glacial area, in the afternoon take a drive to the diamond beach and glacial lagoon.

* Day 4: Drive back towards Landeyjar and visit the horseback riding retreat on the largest black beach in Iceland. The farm offers riding lessons and horseback riding tours to the beach and amazing homemade meals.

* Day 5: Breakfast and short riding tour on the farm and then head back to Airport or Reykjavík for the final night.

During your travel in Iceland, you will find that the people of Iceland have taken social distancing and other precautions very seriously and most public places and stores have organized themselves in a way that you should be safe from getting infected by the coronavirus.

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