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Aurora, Storms, and Snowpants: An Icelandic Saga by Something Fishy, whYME, and ChAiM'l
@Yehuda
BrachaB

Airlines that fly to Iceland direct from NY:
1. Iceland Air
2. Delta
3. Wow Air
4. United (May 23 - Oct 4)

Hotels in the Reykjavik Area:
1. 101 Hotel (supposedly one of the best spas in Iceland)
2. Ion (set on a lava field and one of Iceland's newest luxury hotels)
3. Hotel Ranga
4. Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel (provides exclusive access to a private lagoon for hotel guests only)
5. Radisson BLU 1919 (Can use Club carlson points and in the middle of town) Will warm and store food for a nominal fee.

Camper/RV Rentals:
There are several places where you can rent a camper truck or motorhome, including here:  http://www.campericeland.is/

Campgrounds:
The campgrounds in Iceland are large and never feel crowded.  Many offer excellent facilities and amenities.  You can drive in at any time of the day or night and pay the nominal fee whenever the office opens.

Kosher Food:
Kosher food is pretty much non existent in Iceland.  Even many American brands do not have a hechsher.  Some foods that have been found with a hechsher are Cheerios Cereal, Nature Valley Granola Bars, and Powerade.  That being said, several DDF members have been able to bring in kosher food/meat without being checked or stopped.  Just walk through the "nothing to declare" line.

Language
Most of the populace speaks English and children are taught English starting in the sixth grade.  It is rare but you might find some older folks that do not speak English.

Communications:
The Iceland Air Saga shop sells starter Síminn branded sim cards for a nominal amount.  If you order in advance, they will even deliver the sim cards to you on your Icelandair flight (one of the cheapest options to get a starter sim card).  You can also find stores in the airport that sell sim cards.  Vodafone is the other major carrier in Iceland and also sells sim cards.  You can purchase the Saga Shop sim starter here:

http://www.sagashop.net/men/detail/?id=57860-0009

GPS - Navigation
Garmin Nordic Maps includes Iceland and can be purchased here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BS4Q3I?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Voltage
Iceland uses 220v.  Most cell phones, cameras and laptops come with a multi switching power supply (verify by looking at power supply) so you will only need to buy a cheap adapter such as this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058EG0KC?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01

Currency/Credit Cards
Credit cards are almost universally accepted in Iceland.  As a result, you may find no need to exchange currency for the Icelandic Kroner (ISK).  If you use a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees, you should be set.  If you do decide to exchange currency, there are ATM machines in the airport right outside customs.

Activities:
1.  The Golden Circle Tour is very popular and takes you to Geysir (lame compared to Yellowstone), Gulfoss Waterfalls, and Thingvellir (where the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates can be clearly seen in the cracks or faults which traverse the region.  You can dive in a lake and touch both plates). 

2.  Inside the volcano tour to Thrihnukagigur Volcano.  In this tour, you either hike ( a few kilometers) or take a helicopter charter from the Reykjavik airport to the volcano.  Once there, you are lowered by a construction type lift into the magma chamber.  The least expensive way to get a semi private tour of the magma chamber is with the helicopter, which takes you there in between the regularly scheduled tours.

3.  There are various Super Jeep Tours (vans and SUV's with tractor tires), including a tour to Langjokull Glacier, where you drive onto the glacier.  Private tours can be arranged.

4. Jokulsarlon - a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajokull National Park.  Here, you can take a duck boat tour or a zodiac boat tour of the lake where you will see icebergs, seals, and various birds.  Across the road from Jokulsarlon is a black sand beach where you can see icebergs on the beach.

5. The Blue Lagoon - the public lagoon gets very crowded and if you go it is recommended to get there when they open.  If you can manage a stay at the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel (currently 15 rooms but they are expanding to 30 rooms) you will get exclusive access to the private lagoon for hotel guests only.  Since there are only 15 rooms at present, the private lagoon rarely has more than a handful of people in it at any time. Most people do not make a full day out of the Blue Lagoon and instead go on your arrival into Iceland or upon departure before the airport. All the Bus lines have stops to and from the airport. 3-4 hours is ample time.

6. Waterfalls abound including Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

7. Dog sledding in Skallafell.

8. Icelandic Horses - Horse back riding is extremely popular in Iceland. Most residents actually own a horse. Iceland is the only place in the world where you will find the Icelandic horse. It has 5 Gaits oppose to the 3 that most other horses have. They are gentle animals and very comfortable to ride.

Author Topic: Iceland Master Thread  (Read 39163 times)

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2012, 08:55:00 AM »
Alaskan actually has a great redemption option on Icelandair, not only to Iceland but to anywhere in Europe, at 80K RT in business class.

Only issue is, their business class is more like a domestic first class than a international business class.

Availability seems to pretty good and business class can be searched on EF.

Online Ergel

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Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2012, 09:21:36 AM »
Alaskan actually has a great redemption option on Icelandair, not only to Iceland but to anywhere in Europe, at 80K RT in business class.

Only issue is, their business class is more like a domestic first class than a international business class.

Availability seems to pretty good and business class can be searched on EF.
Free stopover? Would be nice NYC-kef-somewhere inEurope all for 80K
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2012, 09:25:15 AM »
Free stopover? Would be nice NYC-kef-somewhere inEurope all for 80K
Yup, great value.

Shame about the seats...

SPG transfer to Alaskan 20:25K but names must match IME.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 10:37:49 AM by aussiebochur »

Online Ergel

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Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2012, 09:31:27 AM »
Yup, great value.

Shame about the seats...

SPG transfer to Alaskan 25:25K but names must match IME.
20:25 or 25:25
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2012, 09:33:34 AM »
20:25 or 25:25
20:25

SPG give a 5K bonus for every 20K transfer.

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Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2012, 10:16:03 AM »
20:25

SPG give a 5K bonus for every 20K transfer.
I am aware, correct your earlier post
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Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2012, 10:38:03 AM »
I am aware, correct your earlier post
Thanks.

Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2012, 01:22:41 PM »
Alaskan actually has a great redemption option on Icelandair, not only to Iceland but to anywhere in Europe, at 80K RT in business class.

Only issue is, their business class is more like a domestic first class than a international business class.

Availability seems to pretty good and business class can be searched on EF.
that only helps if your coming from the us.  alaska doesn't have an award chart for intra-europe on their partners...  ie, you can't book an award ticket on iceland air if your coming from europe.         and, ya, hard to drop 80k miles on such a "business" product

Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2012, 01:24:37 PM »
that only helps if your coming from the us.  alaska doesn't have an award chart for intra-europe on their partners...  ie, you can't book an award ticket on iceland air if your coming from europe.         and, ya, hard to drop 80k miles on such a "business" product
How do u know u can't book that?
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Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2012, 01:34:10 PM »
How do u know u can't book that?
i tried, i'd love to find out i'm wrong though, so see what you can do

Offline sydunipete

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2012, 02:26:02 AM »
I travelled to Iceland last year (using *A points MXP-VIE-OSL-KEF-OSL-ARN) and loved it. It's the quaintest most "different" place I've visited. The food was fantastic and I ran out of time to see everything. Their lamb is so rich, sweet and tender. And that's coming from an Aussie!

My TR is here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1277790-sydney-iceland-via-china-mostly-j-some-china-domestic-y-magnetic-levitation.html](http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1277790-sydney-iceland-via-china-mostly-j-some-china-domestic-y-magnetic-levitation.html

You have to scroll down a bit because Iceland was at the end of the trip and the TR is mostly about the travel and less about the destination. Sorry not too much on the destination itself, but I hope it's interesting.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 10:32:56 AM by Dan »

Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2012, 03:19:59 AM »
Welcome to DDF!
Purpose > Pleasure

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2012, 11:20:46 AM »
Been to KEF several times, Can't say much for Reyk, there is a nice place called the Blue Lagoon IIRC, If you are on a 5h+ stopover I suggest checking it out.

There is a smoking area in KEF behind the tech shop (Elko?)

I found some OU imported stuff in the food shop.
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Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2012, 03:52:12 AM »
Ok so here's part 1 of my Iceland TR as promised.

The flight from JFK to KEF went really well. I opted for the 2pm flight which gets you into KEF at about 11pm. There is another flight which leaved at night and arrived early morning. I'm generally not a fan of short red-eyes especially not to start off a vacation with one. We flew with our 3.5 month old daughter and positioned our seats at the window and isle hoping that the middle remained unoccupied but unfortunately someone took the seat. The Iceland air crew really were exceptionally polite and offered to change the individuals seat so that both him and us had a more relaxed flight.

Regarding kosher food in Iceland, your practically out of luck. What was even more of a headache was the fact that the Iceland department of agriculture does not allow more thank 3kg per-person. I was only there for 1.5 days so I didn't reach my limit either way. But its good to note that my bags didn't go through any screening before exiting the airport so I'm not sure exactly if/how this is enforced.

The main city where most of the hotels are is in Reykjavik which is about a 30 minute drive from the airport which is in Keflavik. There is a bus that can take you to a center point in the city and from there you can take a van that will drop you off right at your hotel. I forgot the exact pricing but it wasn't a lot. I believe its cheaper to get a roundtrip ticket for that. Additionally there are a few tour companies that will take you on a variety of excursions also for not too much money, and definitely cheaper than the price of renting a car plus gas which both are insanely expensive in Iceland. I nevertheless still chose to rent a car for the convenience. I rented from Budget for about $145 for 2 days. I got a free upgrade to some Nissan crossover which was awesome. If you have a decent sense of directions you will probably find driving in Iceland to be pretty easy despite the fact that every street sounds about the same.

Something that I found extremely cool was that when we landed at around 11pm the sun had just set and through the summer months it never gets fully dark at night.

The only chain hotel in Iceland is the Hilton Nordica in Reykjavik (by the way its pronounced rey-ka-vik). As a Hilton Gold member I got a room upgrade to a family sized room (which was nice to have with a baby) free internet, as well as access to the executive lounge. Though I wouldn't call the hotel fancy, it was really decent. The lounge had coffee some fruit as well as sodas and a variety of alcoholic beverages (which are complimentary until 7 or 730 so be sure to stock up :)).
hey, i'm heading out there later in the summer...    how about the rest of your TR?

Offline Mocha

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2012, 12:08:59 PM »
hey, i'm heading out there later in the summer...    how about the rest of your TR?
Oops. Sorry I've been busy with work. I'll try to get at it today or tomorrow. No fear though because nothing in my 2 days there required reservations except car and hotel.