Iceland, the land of Fire and Ice, is a country well suited to solo travel, and if it wasn’t so damn expensive, it would be totally perfect.
Because let’s face it: sharing the costs of hiring a car and accommodation with a mate definitely makes a big difference in the end.
But taking money out of the equation, Iceland is almost perfect for travelling solo.
I recently spent 10 days travelling along Iceland’s West coast, as high as Rif and as south as Skógafoss, and my verdict is that Iceland is absolutely worth visiting as a solo traveller – even when you factor in expenses.
1. Iceland automatically attracts the independent traveller
Unlike other well-trodden paths, Iceland seems to attract the type of traveller who isn’t afraid to get off the beaten track and head off into a raw and untamed world that’s anything but comfortable. Iceland isn’t on the mainstream tourist trail (yet) and most of its visitors fall into the independent traveller category.
What this all means is that you’re going to be meeting people in Iceland who are eerily similar to yourself, who value the adventure that comes with travelling solo and a good chat with a like-minded traveller.
2. Solo travellers don’t stick out as much here
In some countries (such as Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu) solo travellers stick out amongst the crowd like a sore thumb. But not so in Iceland.
For starters, there are hardly any people here relative to its size, so there aren’t many crowds at all. And secondly, most of the time you’ll be surrounded by pure nature anyway, far away from civilisation and the gaze of bored-out-of-their brains couples looking over at you in a cafe as you plan your next advnture.
Iceland seems to attract the type of traveller who isn’t afraid to get off the beaten track and head off into a raw and untamed world that’s anything but comfortable.
3. You’ll have heaps of time on your own
It wasn’t uncommon for me to drive half an hour without seeing a single other car on the road when I was in Iceland. True, a big part of this was probably due to the fact that I visited in December which is low season and not really ideal – with only five hours of daylight, you don’t have a lot of time to appreciate the country’s rugged landscape, with is certainly frustrating!
But even during the rest of the year, I’m tipping it’s possible to feel like you’re the only living person on the planet in Iceland. This means you can enjoy spending time on your own, either going for a hike to see some epic waterfall, walking along volcanic sandy beaches, or snuggling up with a book overlooking vast lava fields. Then, back at your hostel, you can get your social fix and have a few drinks with the locals to glean tips on where to go, and what to do next.