There’s been an interesting blog post recently that invited readers to share their reasons for loving Iceland, and quite a few people have. When it comes to one of my favourite things, the weather in Iceland, I’m often asked what one should expect and my response is that it’s sensible to expect every kind of weather in a day, especially if you are travelling any distance. It’s all too easy to wake up to a beautiful or very wet, windy or snowy morning and either upgrade or downgrade your plans for the day. The best thing is to stay with the plan as the elements will almost certainly change more than once before bedtime. If it’s really not a good day for travelling, your hotel or tour guide will let you know. For independent travellers there’s a vital website.
Many Icelanders have commented to me that it’s not the weather that causes problems in Iceland. It’s bad clothing. How I agree. The Icelandic experience is very much about the weather and it’s really not hard these days to organize the kit that you need. Every high street and online outdoor shop is brimming with clothing and equipment, and Iceland Traveller’s clients are encouraged to ask for advice if they don’t find what they need from their pre-holiday planning literature.
But it can be pretty disappointing when you’ve driven a long way to see THAT waterfall, glacier, area of columnar basalt or those puffins to have your best ever photo opportunity marred or perhaps even totally obscured by cloud or rain or a white out. So giving it 5 minutes is often all that’s needed to allow the brisk gusts of wind to move that rain or those storm clouds out of the way, or to allow the sun to shine on your dazzling snowy landscape!
Following the weather…well keeping up with all of the Icelandic elements is very definitely every bit as much of a habit in Iceland as it is here, and so in the general scheme of things tour guides will usually try to provide their clients with the best chances of stunning camera shots over the course of the day. And they aren’t necessarily just watching the weather.
Iceland has a great website with an English version that’s getting better and better all the time. I actually use if more to see what’s happening seismically than with the weather (unless I’m just about to go there) but there’s so much more to see! What about the sea ice? Or Jökulhlaups? Or an overview of recent large eruptions… The website is arranged on a national and regional scale and if you love Iceland, or think that you might take a look, but give it a bit more than 5 minutes!