Gay Guide • ICELAND | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly
GAY FRIENDLY ICELAND
Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tips to enjoy your journey !
Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map
Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1: (Arrival Airport of) KEFLAVIK
Day 10: KEFLAVIK (Departure from the Airport)
TRAVEL TIPS about ICELAND by World Mappers
Rent a car at KEFLAVIK International Airport Office (drop off at the same pick up location), we opted for a Dacia Duster 4x4 Diesel (our Dacètta ❤) through Reykjavik Cars which offers great value for money. Remember to insure your car with the Kasco Policy, especially for damage caused by the wind and in case something happens to your doors (yes, be very careful to open them during strong gusts of wind or they could uproot). (Here is the website where to book: www.reykjavikcars.com )
Follow where the Ring Road (Icelandic Hringvegur) takes you and venture out! The Ring Road, or state road No. 1, is a circular road almost 1,350 km long that goes around the whole island, touching the main wonders of Iceland. But let yourself be carried away by the Icelandic Vibe and explore the back roads, which will lead you to remote villages and indescribable natural wonders. Monitor the condition of the road before setting out on a trip on definit.is. Keep in mind that, especially in winter or when the snow has not yet melted, some roads may be blocked (which has happened to us several times).
Northern Lights YES - Northern Lights NO. This is the dilemma facing all those who want to embark on a journey to Iceland. If this is the first time you visit this destination, then choose a period in which the bulk of the snow has melted, otherwise you will not see anything of the landscape (and it is really a shame). The best period is from May until the first days of September. Remember that the Aurora Borealis can be seen from many countries, so you don't need to burn the essence of Iceland by visiting it in winter just to see the Aurora (as long as you can actually see it).
Puffins and Whales - Don't miss the chance to get up close and personal with one of the cutest animals we've ever seen, the Puffin, a small bird with a wonderful orange, yellow and blue beak and whales that swim around Iceland's coasts . For this type of activity we went to Húsavík, a town in the north, known as the center of whale-watching. What a thrill to see our first humpback whale! The boat trips proposed by the various tour operators are all similar and also offer the opportunity to spot the Puffins on some islet off the coast (we have relied on Salka Whale Watching - www.salkawhalewatching.is ). Our advice to best admire the beauty of these birds, however, is to go to the eastern coasts of the island, specifically near the village of Borgarfirði Eystri where you can really observe them closely (much more than what can be seen from whale-watching boats).
Iceland Low Cost - You know, traveling to Iceland can be very expensive. Here we tell you what we have done to try to contain expenses. First of all, we advise you to move in time and book the facilities where to stay well in advance, preferring to the classic hotel apartments and guesthouses with kitchens where you can prepare something to eat independently without spending a fortune (we happened to pay 21 euros for a sandwich!). All the structures we booked pleasantly impressed us with their cleanliness and comfort, especially those equipped with hot pots (pools of hot water, a real pleasure). Shopping at the supermarket is one of the things that saved us a lot. We went to Bonus supermarkets, the cheapest (the sign is a pink pig); upon arrival in a new town he was immediately hunted for the pink pig. Being almost always around, especially at lunchtime, an alternative solution to the supermarket are the excellent hot dogs sold in almost all service stations at acceptable figures (from 2.50 to 3.50 euros). If you want to save on overnight stays, some local agencies rent campers or mini-vans to sleep on board, even if since 2015 it is no longer possible to camp anywhere but only in the equipped areas. ( here one of the best known agencies: www.happycampers.is ). We saved money by sharing the car rental and all related expenses with our two super travel companions.
Clothing - An aspect that should not be underestimated in both summer and winter. We traveled in May and the temperatures were still cold. We recommend that you bring technical clothing such as thermal clothing, waterproof jacket, hiking boots and, of course, gloves and a hat. But don't forget the costume! Around every corner a pool of hot water can be hidden in which to dive.
Credit Card - In Iceland you can pay anything with a credit card and it is much cheaper than withdrawing cash (we made the mistake of withdrawing at an ATM on the first day and the commissions killed us). A fundamental aspect to keep in mind is that at petrol stations you can only pay with cards with a 4-digit PIN.
WHAT TO SEE in ICELAND?
BEST THINGS and PLACES TO SEE in ICELAND
A lagoon formed by the melting of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, between 1920 and 1965, with floating icebergs. From time to time we witness the collapse of huge blocks of ice that make a deep noise. As soon as we arrived we felt catapulted into a nature documentary that left us speechless. On the spot you can buy a boat tour to discover the lagoon. Unfortunately we could not do it due to the strong wind, but you can get just as close to the ice just by walking along the shore, meeting some seals splashing in the icy waters.
Blue Lagoon (Blaa lónið)
Very touristy, keep in mind that lost in the Icelandic territory you will find a multitude of natural hot pools, much quieter and more authentic than the Blue Lagoon. In our opinion, however, the place is still worth a visit. You can relax among clouds of steam and blue waters, perhaps making yourself a nice silica mud mask (included in the price). The lagoon is located near the Keflavík airport, so we advise you to stop as soon as you arrive in Iceland or before going to take the return plane, as we did, to conclude your tour of this magnificent island in the best possible way. To book in advance www.bluelagoon.com, the basic ticket costs € 44 and in addition to the entrance it includes the use of a towel, a welcome cocktail and a mud mask.
This is probably our favorite waterfall (there are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland). There are much taller and more impressive ones but we are particularly fond of this one, perhaps because it was one of the first we saw or perhaps because we particularly liked walking the path that leads behind the jet of water (be prepared to get wet). Coming from the West, the waterfall is visible from the Ring Road, just walk a few hundred meters and you will arrive at the small lake into which the water is thrown, creating splendid plays of light. A short distance from Selijlandsfoss, in a rocky ravine that is not very visible and reachable by wading a small stream, you find yourself in front of Gljúfurárfoss, a certainly smaller waterfall but just as fascinating given its position hidden inside the small canyon.
Reykjadalur Hot River
Near the village of Hveragerði starts a path that in less than an hour leads to a river with warm waters. One of the best experiences we had on this trip and where we celebrated Simone's birthday. In the central part there are walkways and screens to change and then just immerse yourself and let yourself be pampered by the hot water that flows on you. The further you go up the river, the more the water temperature increases.
Sólheimasandur Abandoned Airplane
Don't worry, there were no casualties! Literally located in the middle of nowhere on the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach, it looks like a carcass of an old US Navy airplane, which crashed in 1973 due to bad weather in that area, whose crew fortunately managed to survive the emergency landing. It is not very easy to find or reach, get ready to brave the wind, but if you are a photography lover, then everything will be deservedly rewarded.
WHERE TO STAY in ICELAND?
BEST LGBT FRIENDLY HOTELS & APARTMENTS in ICELAND
Below we recommend some of the structures we leaned on along the way and which contributed to making this trip perfect.
Keflavik - A. Bernhard Bed and Breakfast
Skogafoss Area - Welcome Hotel Lambafell
Höfn - Ártún Apartment
Egilsstadir - Skipalaekur Cottages
Húsavík - Húsavík Cape Hotel
Akureyri - Lava Apartments & Rooms
Borgarnes - Egils Guesthouse Kaupangur
Reykjavík - Thomsen Apartments - Reykjavík
Keflavik - Raven's Bed
WHERE TO EAT in ICELAND?
BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS of ICELAND Quality / Price
Seyðisfjörður - Kaffi Lára El Grillo Bar
Reykjavík - Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (van serving hot dogs!)
Reykjavík - Cafe Babalú (LGBT Friendly)
GAY TRAVEL TIPS
Reykjavík - Nightlife capital and landmark of Iceland's LGBT + community. Pinkiceland is based here ( www.pinkiceland.is ) LGBT agency that offers tours but also organization of events and weddings.
Tours of Iceland and the city of Reykjavík with Gay Friendly Guides are also offered by Gaily Tour, an international tour operator with whom we have already collaborated several times (you can consult the site here )
In the central street of Laugavegur is the Kiki Queer Bar, the most famous Gay Friendly bar in the city where you can spend pleasant evenings with music and karaoke until late at night.
Seyðisfjörður - We found a beautiful tribute to the LGBT community in this picturesque village in eastern Iceland. It is a rainbow-colored road that crosses the town until it reaches an equally beautiful blue church. A visit to this village is certainly worthwhile, not only for the Rainbow Street, but for the charm of a small colorful town nestled between the fjord waters and the mountains. For the umpteenth time Iceland has given us a fairytale landscape.
WHAT TO BUY in ICELAND?
The MOST BEAUTIFUL SOUVENIRS from ICELAND
A typical hand knitted wool sweater, with a design on the front (very cute!). Today, in addition to sweaters you can also find gloves, scarves, hats and blankets all strictly with Icelandic wool. (Pay attention to the prices)
There are many handicrafts made of this material, especially bracelets, necklaces and rings that can be a beautiful memory of this country.
Kolaportið Flea Market
In a shed near the Reykjavík harbor every weekend you can visit this market where you can find a lot of interesting things at a low price. There is also a part dedicated to gastronomy to taste and buy local specialties.
Watch here the Official Video • Iceland
Check also Practical Information for the Trip