Iceland Update: October 2019

There’s a lot going on in Iceland these days– there are fewer tourists around in October, but there’s still a lot to talk about! A new thermal bath that sounds amazing. A neat constant guessing game of whether a new airline will launch (or re-launch, I guess, in the case of WOW.) A new road, more expensive parking in Reykjavik, and more. Let’s take a look!

A new thermal bath in Húsafell

Lots of luxury thermal baths have opened in the last couple of years in Iceland. I assume that the success of the Blue Lagoon is to blame? Our favorite of the new crop is the brand new Vök Baths in East Iceland. [Read more…] about Iceland Update: October 2019

The current state of flying to Iceland

Update for 2021: Covid-19 has of course changed the information below dramatically. Things are changing quickly; find the latest Icelandair schedule here:

The good news is that 24 airlines currently fly directly into Keflavik airport in Iceland. Icelandair is far and away the biggest, with flights from 18 different countries. Let’s take a look at Icelandair, and how they compare to other options you may have.

Keflavik Airport

As an aside, note that nearly all international flights to Iceland land in Keflavik, a city about 45 minutes east of the capital Reykjavik. Even if the destination city is listed as Reykjavik, note the airport code is KEF, which is Keflavik. See options for getting from Keflavik to Reykjavik.

[Read more…] about The current state of flying to Iceland

WOW Air: Will the Icelandic Airline Survive? (Probably) Update: Nope.

(Photo by Eric Salard used under CC by 2.0 license.)

Even more important update, March 28, 2019: WOW Air has ceased all operations.

Looks like the last word of my title was wrong … WOW Air just shut down.

Icelandair is offering $100 tickets if you have a WOW Air ticket.

EasyJet, Norwegian, Wizz Air, and XL Airways are also helping WOW Air passengers. See all of the details here.

IMPORTANT WOW Air update, March 26, 2019:

In my post below, I predicted that WOW Air would survive for two reasons: One, that Indigo Partners would invest in them, as they have with many other discount airlines; and two, that low oil prices would keep WOW profitable.

Unfortunately, reason #1 has just vaporized. Indigo Partners just walked away from a deal with WOW. This is a big deal, since in my mind it means WOW Air’s financial troubles are much worse than I expected. (Oil prices are also rising, though they are still lower than they were through much of last year.)

Now it seems the only option is for the Icelandic government to bail WOW out. Will they? I can only guess, and I’ll guess yes. But note that I’m clearly not very good at making predictions about this!

Below I say that “But if it were my trip, I wouldn’t book with WOW until the deal with Indigo is complete.” That deal is not happening, and I’d still stick with this advice: Avoid booking with WOW until some sort of bailout is finalized.

UPDATE January 2019: Wow Air has cut its number of cities to just 4 in the United States: “By summer, WOW’s only gateways in the United States will be Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Boston, Detroit and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty airport.

This is a “back to basics” move for WOW– BWI and Boston were their two original US airports.

This is bad news if you wanted to travel from their other US destinations, but I think it’s good news for the survival of the airline: A severe cut in destinations like this should help them stay in business.

[Read more…] about WOW Air: Will the Icelandic Airline Survive? (Probably) Update: Nope.

Reykjavik? Ring Road? Planning your Iceland trip

So you’re going to Iceland, and trying to figure out how to plan your trip. The internet is full of millions of pictures of thousands of things you can see and do. How do you plan your itinerary? What should do you do, and what will you need to skip?

Here are my brief recommendations for how you should structure your trip, based on the number of days you have. Note that the categories overlap:

1-5 days: Stay in Reykjavik, and do day tours
3-8 days: Cover one or two areas, but not the whole country
7+ days: Cover the whole country. Well, more of it at least.

I think that some people will find these surprisingly conservative. Why just stay in Reykjavik for 4 days? Why not try the whole country in 6 days? [Read more…] about Reykjavik? Ring Road? Planning your Iceland trip

Planning your Iceland trip – Iceland With Kids

Reykjavik” by Marco Bellucci is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We’ve written many posts about planning for your trip to Iceland. Here is a summary of our best advice, at least so far.

When to go to Iceland?

There will be several obvious differences in your vacation experience based on what time of year you go:

  • Temperature. This isn’t as big as you think: Highs in the summer are in the mid 50s, while winter highs are in the mid 30s. See details in this post. Yes, there is snow in the winter, and so you’ll need to make your travel plans less aggressive.
  • Daylight. This is a bigger deal than you may think. Summer has 24 hours of usable daylight. The middle of winter may only give you 7. More details in the same post. This picture was taken at about 11:30 PM in June:

Midnight sun

Midnight Sun” by Hafsteinn Robertsson is licensed under CC BY 2.0 [Read more…] about Planning your Iceland trip – Iceland With Kids