iceland & greenland trip Recommendations
More About Iceland & Greenland
Things to Do and See in Iceland and Greenland
Iceland has a richly developed independent culture and absolutely amazing landscapes. Greenland, which belongs to Denmark, has much more to offer travelers than at first may strike the imagination. Each country offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in a truly unique environment, regardless of the activities that make it onto their itineraries.
Greenland, the largest non-continent island, offers the adventurous traveler the opportunity to go whale watching, to seek out the polar bears of the Arctic Circle, to explore unspoiled fiords of incredible beauty by sea kayak, and ice fields and glaciers by foot. It also offers travelers the opportunity to golf inside the Arctic Circle, to hear live traditional folk music, and to browse museums dedicated to the oldest European presence in North America.
Iceland, on the other hand, is an adventure lover’s paradise, boasting great cultural opportunities on the one hand, and a geothermal, volcanic, hiking, winter sports, and exploring paradise on the other.
The Weather in Iceland and Greenland
The story goes that the Vikings named Iceland and Greenland the opposite of what each is purposefully, to keep other groups from visiting and attempting to take over Iceland. Greenland lies almost entirely within the Arctic Circle, and the weather certainly reflects that fact. Summer is short and winter very long on the island. Summer temperatures rarely reach over fifty degrees Fahrenheit, and in winter, they can be sixty below or more.
Iceland, however, lies almost entirely below the Arctic Circle and has a much more temperate climate. It sits in the path of the North Atlantic current, which brings warmer weather with it than would normally be seen at Iceland’s latitude. Summertime highs average in the fifties, and winter lows are just below freezing. Reykjavik, its capital, is the world's most northern capital.
Iceland and Greenland Transportation Options
All transportation in Greenland is conducted by boat, plane, or helicopter. There are no roads between settlements, no car ferries to the island, and no railways on the island. Instead, most travel requires reliance on local small craft.
On Iceland, with two-thirds of its population clustered around the capital, Reykjavik, and no railways on the island, most of the transportation to the interior is handled by car or by bus. Reykjavik has a mass transit system, as well. Traveling longer distances in the country is typically accomplished by airplane, (a one-hour flight takes you from Reykjavik's domestic airport in the southwest to the furtherest airport northeast), though some sea travel options exist, for those who may be looking to see the island from the water, or to circumnavigate the island by ship.
Hotels & Resorts in Iceland and Greenland
Greenland offers visitors several hotel and resort options. Though each town may not have a range of accommodations available, most will have at least some place reasonable for visitors to stay.
Iceland, on the other hand, boasts a range of accommodations, mostly three- and four-star hotels. For those desiring five-star luxury, it’s quite limited and not like the five-star hotels you’ll find elsewhere in Europe, but TravelStore can find you the best options. In the major cities, there is a range of options available, but in the interior, options may be far more limited. Increase in visitors has been tremendous in recent years, so it's best to pre-arrange your accommodations well in advance, especially if planning a trip over the prime summer months.
Unique Adventures and Experiences in Iceland and Greenland
Given the extremes in vacation opportunities offered by both island destinations, you may not feel the need to get too far off the beaten path on your Iceland or Greenland vacation. But just in case, here are a few ideas for the adventurous at heart.
Visitors can scuba dive between tectonic plates on their trip. Just outside Reykjavik, in Thingvellir National Park, intrepid explorers will find Lake Thingvallavatn directly over the gap between the American and Eurasian plates. You must be certified to dive the lake, but anyone is free to snorkel in it.
Ski where Jules Verne entered the “Centre of the Earth”: Snaefellsjökull, a beautiful, conical volcano where the author set the start of his book, and which now has its own ski lift.
Explore the moon without leaving the planet on Myvatn lake and nature reserve, which is open to visitors year-round. The area boasts a plethora of volcanic and geothermal features that you can hike, bathe in, or fly-over for the full lunar-landscape experience.
You might consider finding a music store in town, sitting down with a cup of espresso and listen to some of Iceland's new bands; or head to Kex, a seaside hostel, and catch a live show at night.
Do visit in winter if you're keen on seeing the Northern Lights at their best. While seeing the Aurora is subject to weather conditions and clear skies, the best sightings are in the winter months. Most excursion companies offer night trips out of reach of the city lights for best viewing.
More About Iceland & Greenland
Plan your adventure to Iceland and Greenland today. Whether you’re hoping to concentrate solely on the summer adventure options available to you in Iceland, or you’re planning to pull out all the stops and add the ice fields of Greenland to your travel itinerary, set up a vacation experience worth remembering by calling one of our Iceland and Greenland travel experts today. Learn more about vacations in Iceland.