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

Airlines that fly to Iceland direct:
1. Iceland Air
2. Delta seasonally in the summer
3. Wow Air

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.
« Last edited by @Yehuda on July 11, 2017, 10:21:14 PM »

Author Topic: Iceland Master Thread  (Read 29266 times)

Offline dhalpern1

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2012, 01:43:56 PM »
I went in 2010, but not much has changed, here is my TR:

Hotel:
http://www.centerhotels.com/our-hotels/hotel-thingholt/
I recommend it as it was very modern and clean. There are other good
ones, and also cheaper ones, but we liked this Hotel. Rooms are small,
but such is Europe. The hotel is has a good central location, which is
good and bad. This might apply to all hotels in the city, but request
a room facing the inside and not the street (that is if you would like
to sleep at night. Bar life is very very loud and peaks around 2-4am
so that could turn out to be very bad). Included a free breakfast
buffet (fresh fruit etc..)

Transportation:
We had a bunch of guys and we figured it would be much easier to get a
car so you wouldnt have to spend hundreds on the tours and the roads
are relatively easy, but if you get lost there is nobody around
outside the city.

Main Attractions:
-Golden Circle. This includes the main national park, big waterfall,
geysirs. There is also the crater and other stuff along the way. It
probably takes a day to do this all.
-Glaciers. You can do walking tours, snowmobiling etc.  We did one day
of snowmobiling (on a glacier around 2 hours from the hotel) and we to the far glacier-
5 hours from the hotel (Glacial Lagoon) that
appears on Bond movies called "Jokusarlon". Very scenic and i think
worth it depending on how much you like long drives. There is a "duck
tour" that you can take in the lagoon. The drive is around 5 hours
each way, while the closer glaciers around maybe 1.5 to 2 hours away.
Along the way there is a black sand beach.
-Hot springs hot springs hot springs. Blue lagoon is the main one, big
tourist attraction. I wish we went to more hot springs.
-Northern Lights. This is a rough one, because you arent guaranteed to
see it,. We chose to drive around to a place away from the city
(middle of nowhere) and got lucky seeing it. You can also do a tour
but it might be a waste if you dont see it (i think if you dont see
it, they take you out once more for free).
-Volcano- Depends on the time of year, we didn’t go.
-The city itself Reykjavik is kind of cool and distinct looking. You
can take some time to explore and they have museums.

Hope this helps.

Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2012, 04:41:56 PM »
I went in 2010, but not much has changed, here is my TR:,

Hotel:
http://www.centerhotels.com/our-hotels/hotel-thingholt/
I recommend it as it was very modern and clean. There are other good
ones, and also cheaper ones, but we liked this Hotel. Rooms are small,
but such is Europe. The hotel is has a good central location, which is
good and bad. This might apply to all hotels in the city, but request
a room facing the inside and not the street (that is if you would like
to sleep at night. Bar life is very very loud and peaks around 2-4am
so that could turn out to be very bad). Included a free breakfast
buffet (fresh fruit etc..)

Transportation:
We had a bunch of guys and we figured it would be much easier to get a
car so you wouldnt have to spend hundreds on the tours and the roads
are relatively easy, but if you get lost there is nobody around
outside the city.

Main Attractions:
-Golden Circle. This includes the main national park, big waterfall,
geysirs. There is also the crater and other stuff along the way. It
probably takes a day to do this all.
-Glaciers. You can do walking tours, snowmobiling etc.  We did one day
of snowmobiling (on a glacier around 2 hours from the hotel) and we to the far glacier-
5 hours from the hotel (Glacial Lagoon) that
appears on Bond movies called "Jokusarlon". Very scenic and i think
worth it depending on how much you like long drives. There is a "duck
tour" that you can take in the lagoon. The drive is around 5 hours
each way, while the closer glaciers around maybe 1.5 to 2 hours away.
Along the way there is a black sand beach.
-Hot springs hot springs hot springs. Blue lagoon is the main one, big
tourist attraction. I wish we went to more hot springs.
-Northern Lights. This is a rough one, because you arent guaranteed to
see it,. We chose to drive around to a place away from the city
(middle of nowhere) and got lucky seeing it. You can also do a tour
but it might be a waste if you dont see it (i think if you dont see
it, they take you out once more for free).
-Volcano- Depends on the time of year, we didn’t go.
-The city itself Reykjavik is kind of cool and distinct looking. You
can take some time to explore and they have museums.

Hope this helps.

great, ty!    I was looking at doing both the snowmobiles and the glacier lagoon. 5 hours sounds like a lot of driving though for each way.  Is the snowmobiling in the same direction, so we could do both in the same day?   Also, is the snowmobile an extreme thing or more relaxed?

Offline dhalpern1

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2012, 04:56:38 PM »
great, ty!    I was looking at doing both the snowmobiles and the glacier lagoon. 5 hours sounds like a lot of driving though for each way.  Is the snowmobiling in the same direction, so we could do both in the same day?   Also, is the snowmobile an extreme thing or more relaxed?

I would make the glacial lagoon a day trip and not combine it with the snowmobiling. There are things to do on the way i.e. beaches (black sand) and a tourist stop or 2.

The snowmobiling wasnt very extreme, no hills. Top speeds prob reached 60 km/h, but was mostly flat surfaces.

Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2012, 05:07:56 PM »
The snowmobiling wasnt very extreme, no hills. Top speeds prob reached 60 km/h, but was mostly flat surfaces.
eh, i was hoping for something a bit more out there.         you see any whales over there?

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2012, 05:25:37 PM »
eh, i was hoping for something a bit more out there.         you see any whales over there?

Nope. The one i went to was a very large glacier with no water/ wildlife just pure nothingness.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2012, 05:36:14 PM »
The snowmobiling wasnt very extreme, no hills. Top speeds prob reached 60 km/h, but was mostly flat surfaces.

Spoke to someone who went last week, and he said his sister overturned twice, but did not hurt herself.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2012, 05:36:54 PM »
eh, i was hoping for something a bit more out there.         you see any whales over there?

whale watching you can do in the USA as well, maybe a waste there.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2012, 05:37:52 PM »
Since the volcano erupted, I'm sure some tours have been abolished, and new ones created.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2012, 05:40:45 PM »
Spoke to someone who went last week, and he said his sister overturned twice, but did not hurt herself.

Since you are on ice, its still dangerous. They told us of someone who overturned and broke their arm in a crack in the glacier. But for the most part, if you fall in line with everyone else your should be fine (exceptions obviously).

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2012, 05:45:46 PM »
Spoke to someone who went last week, and he said his sister overturned twice, but did not hurt herself.
now it's sounding a bit funner.   i was hoping for something somewhat extreme.            they actually for the first time ever (so they say), have a volcano that you could go inside for a few weeks over the summer... thinking of checking that out.  though it costs a pretty penny.   

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #55 on: July 17, 2012, 05:46:26 PM »
whale watching you can do in the USA as well, maybe a waste there.
where in the us, except maybe alaska, do you see whales?

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2012, 05:47:04 PM »
where in the us, except maybe alaska, do you see whales?
HI.
Along with private volcanic hot springs and hiking into volcanoes should you so desire.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2012, 05:52:17 PM »
Well interesting enough I read in one of those NYC what-to-do-on-chol-hamoed-papers that there is a whale watching tour.

I do not remember the details.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2012, 06:25:03 PM »
HI.
Along with private volcanic hot springs and hiking into volcanoes should you so desire.
ok, but that's also an exotic location like alaska and iceland.   it's not like you could go down to south beach and see whales.          though according to sf maybe they have them in sheepshead bay...    ;)

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2012, 07:22:28 PM »
Well, if the guys keep on annoying me, soon the main topic on the Lakewood thread will be visiting the crater...