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The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland

03.20.18

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The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland

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  • Seljalandsfoss without a soul in sight.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • Arctic lupine beneath the midnight sun.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • Kirkjufellsfoss near Grundarfjörður.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • The famous Sólheimasandur plane wreck.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • Open roads near Skaftafell National Park.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • Hiking at midnight.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • The gorge through Almenningar on the Laugavegur hiking trail.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
  • Some local Icelanders.- The Secret to Avoiding Summertime Crowds in Iceland
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With Iceland's increasing popularity, it can be hard to find the seemingly wild and secluded areas you so often see on social media. Attractions like Seljalandsfoss, Kirkjufellsfoss and Skaftafell National Park are worth the hype, but the secret is out— they're often quite crowded, especially during the summer months. So how can you experience those idyllic scenes without the crowds and tour busses? I'll let you in on my secret...  

First, you'll need to rent a car. I cannot recommend this enough, no matter the duration of your trip or time of year you're visiting. Some of my best adventures in Iceland have come from driving down little dirt roads where busses won't take you! With that in mind, a four-wheel drive vehicle is even better. Being on your own schedule is essential for getting the most out of your experience, and for avoiding crowds that are dependent on the bus schedules.

Ok, here it is: With your own car, you have the ability to be nocturnal in your travels. That's right, I'm telling you to sleep through the afternoon, and do your adventuring at 3 a.m. Most people will be tucked away in bed, and the busses won't be shuttling people through all the attractions. You're bound to see other night owls out there, but in general, far fewer than you would during daytime.

Because you're already adjusting your time schedule from travel, this is pretty easy to do. Additionally, Iceland has endless light from June though August, so you're not losing daylight. In fact, the light is better. Way better. You'll have hours of "golden hour" to get your hikes and photos in. Just remember to pack some food for your adventures, as there aren't many 24-hour grocery stores outside of Reykjavik!

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