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

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 whYME on October 11, 2015, 10:40:19 PM »

Author Topic: Iceland Master Thread  (Read 23567 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #60 on: July 17, 2012, 07:52:29 PM »
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...    ;)
http://www.bostonharborcruises.com/boston-whale-watch/
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.

Offline Dan

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #61 on: July 17, 2012, 08:50:43 PM »
If you find 4 people interested, this all-inclusive tour+hotel+airfare comes out to $1,000/person: http://www.livingsocial.com/adventures/386988-iceland-5-day-adventure-flights
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.

Offline Mocha

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #62 on: July 19, 2012, 11:36:55 PM »
Part 2

We landed on Sunday night and my flight from KEF-CDG was Tue morning at 7am, that left me with 1 full day to do whatever I wanted to do. Being that we were with a 4 month old we had to go at a slightly slower pace. So for that full day we decided to do just the Golden Circle Tour and then the Blue Lagoon later in the day.

The Golden Circle for those that aren't familiar with it is a scenic drive that is in a somewhat circle and there are 3 main attractions to see:

1. Ţingvellir Park - this 1st stop (a historic site where the first parliament was) was slightly overrated, though the weather was a perfect in the mid 60's so I didnt mind the stop, as it was a pretty site.

2. Gullfoss - Gorgeous was an impressive and magnificent waterfall

3. The Geysers - This was cool. You walk past this gated off area that is full of these bubbling pits. Only 1 geyser at this area and it shoots about every several minutes high into the sky. Funny how everyone stands around for 5 minutes with their hands ready on the camera to snap the pic the second it shoots up (the burst of water only lasts several seconds).

All in all the Golden Circle tour may be a bit boring for some as you don't actually do much, its all about the natural beauty.

We were dont this "tour" at about 3:30-4pm and from there headed straight to the Blue Lagoon which is relatively near the Airport. (if your pressed for time on a short layover I'd recommend hitting up the Lagoon on your way to the airport as its literally 15 min away and there are showers and all so that you can refresh before your flight)

Though I don't remember the exact price, the entrance to the Lagoon was quite expensive, but being that it is like the biggest attraction, its a must do. I was a bit nervous taking the baby into the water, but the temperature was just perfect for her...like a giant warm bathtub. After buying the entry pass you are given a bracelet that is linked to your credit card..any drink bought at the bar in the Lagoon can be payed for with your bracelet. Additionally your locker in the changing rooms gets locked and unlocked with that bracelet, so don't lose it. Being a guy means easier preps to get into swimwear so I took the baby with me into the locker room and met up with my wife at the Lagoon. The only kosher thing at the bar was beer from a local brewer which was surprisingly good. The Lagoon itself was a beautiful glowy clue color it was cool to experience but the landscape around the entire area was surreal.

From there we drove back to the hotel where went we relaxed at the lounge for a bit before dinner.

All in all Iceland was a really neat destination. I'd like to go again one day but in the winter as there's entirely different sites/activities to enjoy.


Offline AsherO

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2012, 06:47:08 AM »
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.

NYC Aquarium? :P
HTs are the new post-count.

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #64 on: July 20, 2012, 07:57:39 AM »

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #65 on: July 23, 2012, 06:48:49 AM »
Delta has just loaded their summer 2013 schedule (beginning 5/24) for flights from JFK to Reykjavik.

At the moment multiple days are available with miles for the dates able to be booked, even for 2 seats.

If you are looking to go, keep an eye open as further dates become bookable. DL low availability doesnt stay around long...

Offline Dan

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #66 on: July 23, 2012, 12:16:27 PM »
Is it really worth going business for a sub-6 hour flight?
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.

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #67 on: July 23, 2012, 12:38:43 PM »
Is it really worth going business for a sub-6 hour flight?
For those that take extra intra Europe flights to fly biz, probably :P

Offline Ergel

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Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #68 on: July 23, 2012, 12:39:35 PM »
For those that take extra intra Europe flights to fly biz, probably :P
Lol
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Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #69 on: July 23, 2012, 01:07:32 PM »
Is it really worth going business for a sub-6 hour flight?
that all depends on how you value your miles.  for those that use them for luxury and have an abundance of them, when is it not worth going business..?           

besides, 6 hours is not a walk in the park.  you don't fly business when you go to la??

Offline Dan

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #70 on: July 23, 2012, 01:09:21 PM »
you don't fly business when you go to la??
Nope.  Under my threshold for pain.
These days I turn down upgrades on routes like that as it's better to have en empty middle for Rafi than it is to hold him in first.
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Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #71 on: July 23, 2012, 01:34:57 PM »
Nope.  Under my threshold for pain.
These days I turn down upgrades on routes like that as it's better to have en empty middle for Rafi than it is to hold him in first.
wow, you're a real trooper.    i just used an extra 40k ty points to go fra-kef-bru in business instead of coach.   and that's only 3 and a half hours. and not even a real J product.     :P

Offline Mocha

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #72 on: July 23, 2012, 07:24:04 PM »
Is it really worth going business for a sub-6 hour flight?
Would have never dreamed I'd hear that from Dan  ;). But I couldn't agree more. Coach is more comfortable than business with a lap child.

Offline yare

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2012, 12:57:03 PM »
But I couldn't agree more. Coach is more comfortable than business with a lap child.
if you have a lap child that's gonna sit in a carseat for the whole flight.

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2012, 01:24:12 PM »
if you have a lap child that's gonna sit in a carseat for the whole flight.
I meant if you get an empty seat. Either way were ot.