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DansDeals Forum => Destination Guides And Trip Planning => Topic started by: PlatinumGuy on August 18, 2011, 03:41:31 PM

Title: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on August 18, 2011, 03:41:31 PM
Anyone ever been to Iceland?

 just saw cheap tickets on icelandexpress and was wondering if its kedai
Title: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on October 02, 2011, 03:34:25 PM
If anyone has some info about those places, please post them here.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on October 02, 2011, 05:23:03 PM
If anyone has some info about those places, please post them here.
theres a flash sale on jetsetter for the 101 hotel in Iceland. About $100/night
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on October 02, 2011, 05:25:59 PM
Thanks, any idea how to get to greenland without getting ripped off?

None of the 3 alliances flies there.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on October 02, 2011, 05:29:18 PM
Thanks, any idea how to get to greenland without getting ripped off?

None of the 3 alliances flies there.
try Iceland express. They often are the cheapest way between N america & Europe. IDK about greenland though. Also Delta has a jfk-kef flight now.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: ChAiM'l on October 02, 2011, 05:58:22 PM
try Iceland express. They often are the cheapest way between N america & Europe. IDK about greenland though. Also Delta has a jfk-kef flight now.
+1. The sometimes have some great transatlantic fares, with a stop in RKV. The fly here from LGW if that helps.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on June 06, 2012, 07:07:53 PM
Wrapping up my Iceland and Paris trip tomorrow. Anyone interested in a TR on my 1.5 days in Iceland?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: AsherO on June 06, 2012, 07:09:04 PM
Anyone interested in a TR on my 1.5 days in Iceland?

Yes please.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur on June 06, 2012, 07:09:49 PM
Yes please.
+1
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 06, 2012, 07:10:25 PM
+2
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on June 06, 2012, 07:10:43 PM
+1
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur on June 06, 2012, 07:11:47 PM
+1
Youre +3 ;)
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on June 06, 2012, 07:12:03 PM
Alrighty I'll try to get it done soon.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: U-no-me! on June 06, 2012, 07:12:21 PM
+2.2
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on June 06, 2012, 07:25:53 PM
Alrighty I'll try to get it done soon.
hopefully sooner than its taking AJK  :P
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 06, 2012, 07:35:19 PM
Please.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare on June 06, 2012, 07:36:59 PM
+5
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: AsherO on June 06, 2012, 07:55:09 PM
hopefully sooner than its taking AJK  :P

:D
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: AJK on June 07, 2012, 01:22:36 AM
hopefully sooner than its taking AJK  :P

OK, OK, I'll put the first part out :P
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on June 08, 2012, 01:49:38 PM
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 :)).
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on June 08, 2012, 02:36:58 PM
In terms of food there is a purely vegetarian place in the center of town, which coincidentally had an Israeli woman wearing a magen david necklace behind the counter.

Best activities are: Snowmobiling on the glaciers, Golden Circle Tour (we rented a car, which as said earlier, was relatively easy to drive around), Hot Springs and northern lights.

My feeling was that Iceland Express airline was rude, unless you are European (that might be the same with all of the European Airlines).
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: E on June 08, 2012, 03:40:45 PM

The only chain hotel in Iceland is the Hilton Nordica in Reykjavik
There are 3 Radissons (http://www.radissonblu.com/explore-hotels/browse#brands=SK&themes=&amenities=&lCountry=IS) in Reykjavik which two of them "Blu" which seem really nice.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on June 08, 2012, 05:40:29 PM
There are 3 Radissons (http://www.radissonblu.com/explore-hotels/browse#brands=SK&themes=&amenities=&lCountry=IS) in Reykjavik which two of them "Blu" which seem really nice.
My bad. I guess I was misinformed.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 09, 2012, 09:35:21 PM
Keep them coming guys, please add whether and rough dates please, as weather seams to be an issue there.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on June 09, 2012, 09:44:27 PM
weather seams to be an issue there.
its called Iceland for a reason
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PBNYC on June 10, 2012, 12:27:49 AM
Dan:

I am planning an Iceland trip in the near future.  Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to go there using frequent flier miles?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on June 10, 2012, 05:49:36 AM
Dan:

I am planning an Iceland trip in the near future.  Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to go there using frequent flier miles?

Thanks.
From USA only alliance that flies there is delta, good luck getting that with miles.
Flying through Europe is a lot longer, but you're only option using miles
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: ChAiM'l on June 10, 2012, 06:05:23 AM
From USA only alliance that flies there is delta, good luck getting that with miles.
Flying through Europe is a lot longer, but you're only option using miles

He was asking Dan... ;)
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare on June 10, 2012, 07:46:59 AM
From USA only alliance that flies there is delta, good luck getting that with miles.
haven't checked recently but there used to be a quite a bit of avail on that route with dl
Flying through Europe is a lot longer, but you're only option using miles
which alliance flies into iceland from europe?  except for sas from oslo it seems pretty bare
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on June 10, 2012, 07:54:13 AM
haven't checked recently but there used to be a quite a bit of avail on that route with dlwhich alliance flies into iceland from europe?  except for sas from oslo it seems pretty bare
Delta had plenty of avail, if you wanna spend 250k or so.

Can alaska book icelandair?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur 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.
Title: Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur 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.
Title: Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur on June 10, 2012, 09:33:34 AM
20:25 or 25:25
20:25

SPG give a 5K bonus for every 20K transfer.
Title: Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur on June 10, 2012, 10:38:03 AM
I am aware, correct your earlier post
Thanks.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy 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?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: sydunipete 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on June 12, 2012, 03:19:59 AM
Welcome to DDF!
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Suave 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on July 17, 2012, 05:37:52 PM
Since the volcano erupted, I'm sure some tours have been abolished, and new ones created.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 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).
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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.   
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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...    ;)
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer 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...
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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/
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha 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.

Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: AsherO 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur on July 20, 2012, 07:57:39 AM
NYC Aquarium? :P
Whales?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur 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...
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 23, 2012, 12:16:27 PM
Is it really worth going business for a sub-6 hour flight?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: aussiebochur 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
Title: Re: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 23, 2012, 12:39:35 PM
For those that take extra intra Europe flights to fly biz, probably :P
Lol
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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??
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: yare 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha 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.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on August 07, 2012, 08:42:10 AM
Might wana go with kids next week, if anyone has some last minute tips, or is there for a group price on the attractions...  ;-)

Also, with those long rides, isn't it worth staying different places along the way?

About the tours: do you take those couple hour drives with them, or yourself, and if the latter, you save a bunch?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on August 07, 2012, 09:18:22 AM

Also, with those long rides, isn't it worth staying different places along the way?

The nice hotels are in the city. With the drives, you will not see civilization most of the time, maybe a few small villages and if you are lucky a motel. I'd still do a day trip.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on August 07, 2012, 09:22:34 AM
The nice hotels are in the city. With the drives, you will not see civilization most of the time, maybe a few small villages and if you are lucky a motel. I'd still do a day trip.

Are those trips driving the same way? If yes, I rather sleep in a 2* than spending 2x 5h drive.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on August 07, 2012, 09:24:27 AM
Are those trips driving the same way? If yes, I rather sleep in a 2* than spending 2x 5h drive.

Can I assume you are talking about Jokosarlin? Sorry if my spelling is off. If so, yes 5 hours each way. With kids i can understand your thinking.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on August 07, 2012, 09:29:34 AM
Also paying for tours incl ride till tour or drive and meet there?

No idea of options, but if say 5h drive cost in a tour $100 per person, an expensive rental might make sense.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on August 07, 2012, 09:33:52 AM
Also paying for tours incl ride till tour or drive and meet there?

No idea of options, but if say 5h drive cost in a tour $100 per person, an expensive rental might make sense.

We rented a car and did everything ourselves, over the course of a couple days you would save money. When you are going to the extreme parts of iceland, the driving gets rough with the weather.
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on August 07, 2012, 10:43:45 AM
Is it hard to find all routes yourself? Need a gps? Did you get to see all vantage points etc?
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on August 07, 2012, 11:07:44 AM
Is it hard to find all routes yourself? Need a gps? Did you get to see all vantage points etc?

The GPS worked pretty well, the names were annoying to type in, but as long as you knew where you were going beforehand it wasnt bad.

You might lose a little of the vantage points by driving, but if you pull over once in a while i cant imagine it would be that different than a tour (minus the information they might provide).
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 08, 2013, 01:59:49 AM
http://vimeo.com/58527191
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on February 08, 2013, 02:06:26 AM
http://vimeo.com/58527191

Holy cow.

If not for the cold....
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: mendoul on February 08, 2013, 08:12:39 AM
http://vimeo.com/58527191

wow there is a way to go there?
where is that which city?
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: dhalpern1 on February 08, 2013, 09:46:14 AM
wow there is a way to go there?
where is that which city?

Looks like the Glacial Lagoon, maybe a 4-5 hour drive from Reykjavik.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: mendoul on February 08, 2013, 09:59:29 AM
Looks like the Glacial Lagoon, maybe a 5-6 hour drive from Reykjavik.

they are hotel in the erea where we could stay?

there is things to do in this erea?

whats about kosher food in this place?
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: dhalpern1 on February 08, 2013, 10:03:07 AM
they are hotel in the erea where we could stay?

there is things to do in this erea?

whats about kosher food in this place?

I assume you are asking about close to the pic posted above (Jökulsárlón)

Hotels are mostly in Reykjavik. This one might be closest: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g189960-d1890812-Reviews-Gerdi_Guesthouse-Hofn_Northwest_Region.html

Things to do: Explore, Duck tour in the glacial lagoon, black sand beach

kosher food: BYO.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: mendoul on February 08, 2013, 10:09:23 AM
I assume you are asking about close to the pic posted above (Jökulsárlón)

Hotels are mostly in Reykjavik. This one might be closest: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g189960-d1890812-Reviews-Gerdi_Guesthouse-Hofn_Northwest_Region.html

Things to do: Explore, Duck tour in the glacial lagoon, black sand beach

kosher food: BYO.


thank you very much is that a expensive place to go to for a few days vacation?
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: dhalpern1 on February 08, 2013, 10:11:42 AM

thank you very much is that a expensive place to go to for a few days vacation?

I would stay in Reykjavik, hotels are priced well, (there are a couple chain hotels also if you have points- Radisson and Hilton) and then get a car to drive anywhere you please. It might be a little expensive, but I believe well worth it. Might have been one of the most unique places I've been to.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: mendoul on February 08, 2013, 10:28:40 AM
I would stay in Reykjavik, hotels are priced well, (there are a couple chain hotels also if you have points- Radisson and Hilton) and then get a car to drive anywhere you please. It might be a little expensive, but I believe well worth it. Might have been one of the most unique places I've been to.

thank you very much
ill let you know before im going to get good deals ;)
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: ual902 on July 14, 2013, 12:05:07 PM
Is this one day Golden Circle enough?:
Http://www.icelandrovers.is/day-tours/the-classic-golden-circle-tour/#

Or I need to rent a car and do it in a few days?.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: dhalpern1 on July 16, 2013, 09:36:59 AM
You can do it in a day (might be a little packed in but very doable).
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: ual902 on August 04, 2013, 06:47:01 AM

Iceland's Handful of Jews Keep Faith Alive
50 Gather on Rosh Hashanah in Shadow of Arctic Circle



Read more: http://forward.com/articles/181557/icelands-handful-of-jews-keep-faith-alive/?p=all#ixzz2azp2Atvq
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: yare on August 05, 2013, 04:37:44 AM
Iceland's Handful of Jews Keep Faith Alive
50 Gather on Rosh Hashanah in Shadow of Arctic Circle



Read more: http://forward.com/articles/181557/icelands-handful-of-jews-keep-faith-alive/?p=all#ixzz2azp2Atvq

"The immigration officer’s response, according to Moussaieff, was: “I couldn’t care less who you are. I’ve never heard of Iceland, and the people there don’t interest me at all.”"

lolol  gotta love israelis
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: avadah on August 15, 2013, 06:23:06 PM
Has anyone had issues bringing in food I saw mentioned in the threads a 3 kg limit?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 25, 2013, 09:34:09 AM
So the current plan is a trip combining Lizensk and mekomos hakdoshim with a 3 day Icelandic photography marathon - non-stop shooting and driving, not touching a bed. Nothing's booked yet, but it looks like it'll be JFK-TXL-KRK-CPH-REK-JFK on AA, Norwegian, and IcelandAir.

The hardest part with planning for me is trying to keep track of these blasted unpronounceable names. I have no idea whether I'm coming or going :o. When I was planning my Hawaii trip I was getting frustrated trying to keep track of the difference between Halema'uma'u and Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu. But now trying to sort out Breiđamerkurjökull from Fjađrárgljúfur... Oy!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on October 25, 2013, 11:21:00 AM
Just a word of caution:
One of the main sites is a national park surrounded by glaciers (can't recall the name). When i went with 2 friends we rented the cheapest car they had. Turns out, some of the roads have rivers running across which can only be traveled with an SUV. We drove for about an hour to get to the park only to come across a river and had to turn back.
RENT AN SUV!!!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on October 25, 2013, 11:23:31 AM
Also, I went scuba diving in a glacial lake there AWESOME!!! it is the only place in the world you can touch the euro-asian and american continental plates at the same time
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: AJK on October 25, 2013, 11:45:02 AM
Also, I went scuba diving in a glacial lake there AWESOME!!! it is the only place in the world you can touch the euro-asian and american continental plates at the same time

Wow.

That's amazing.

Bucket-listed.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 25, 2013, 12:14:49 PM
Wow.
Scuba diving/snorkeling is the only time my mustache/beard really bothers me.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: AJK on October 25, 2013, 12:51:16 PM
Wow.
Scuba diving/snorkeling is the only time my mustache/beard really bothers me.

Just imagine the reward you're getting... you can scuba dive for eternity in olam haba ;)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 25, 2013, 12:55:59 PM
Or best of both worlds ;) , just gotta get a whole head mask or something.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Mocha on October 26, 2013, 08:21:37 PM
Has anyone had issues bringing in food I saw mentioned in the threads a 3 kg limit?
I know this q is old, but responding may help someone else. Officially yes the rule when I went was 3 kg. pp... 3 x 2.2 = 6.6 lbs. Sounds like a fair amount of food for 2 days or so. But either way no one checked me or scanned my luggage, so in theory you should be ok with brining in an entire buffalo carcass.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on October 26, 2013, 08:30:52 PM
Some good advice I got before going:
Rent a GPS and to find a particular site, find a hotel near there and put that into the GPS. If you put the name of the site itself you will often be directed somewhere else.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 01, 2014, 03:17:52 PM
I have a ta'ave to go, if anyone has some advice pls feel free.

To visit on a faster pace with tours (assuming I travel alone), how many days do I need to cover all the highlights ?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on June 01, 2014, 10:05:56 PM
I have a ta'ave to go, if anyone has some advice pls feel free.

To visit on a faster pace with tours (assuming I travel alone), how many days do I need to cover all the highlights ?

Thanks.

I went for 4 days, and got to see almost everything. Would think that should be good enough.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 01, 2014, 10:11:49 PM
I went for 4 days, and got to see almost everything.

+1. You could drive the entire loop road in 4 days and see most of the sights. Give yourself an extra day if you want to explore the Snćfellsnes Peninsula (or you could skip some less-popular sights on the far side instead and not do the whole loop). If you're going in the summer when the highlands are accessible and want to explore there you'd need to set aside plenty more time for that.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on June 01, 2014, 10:34:27 PM
The most important parts are all south near the golden circle
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 02, 2014, 02:41:19 AM
Thanks a lot.

4 days assuming the base is in Reykjavik?

I assume in the summer all the glacier and ice related tours are not possible, right?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on June 02, 2014, 07:28:01 AM
Thanks a lot.

4 days assuming the base is in Reykjavik?

I assume in the summer all the glacier and ice related tours are not possible, right?

i made the mistake of basing myself in Reykjavik. The first day we drove east and then had to backtrack for a few hours to get back. The next day we did the same drive just to get back to where we left off the day before. If i did it again, i would find a small hotel near where i think i'm gonna end each day.
the glaciers don't melt in the summer. i'm sure you can find tours.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 02, 2014, 08:16:03 AM
Great, thanks, most people gave the impression on this thread that you stay in Reykjavik.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 02, 2014, 08:28:25 AM
Great, thanks, most people gave the impression on this thread that you stay in Reykjavik.

Being based in Reykjavik is like being based in Anchorage - i.e. a total waste of time.

Check out these guys - cheaper than a car+hotel (at least when I checked) and you could stay wherever you want to.
http://www.happycampers.is/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: dhalpern1 on June 02, 2014, 09:23:58 AM
Great, thanks, most people gave the impression on this thread that you stay in Reykjavik.

Thats because the vast majority of hotels are are in Reykjavik. Not all people are small inn/camper types.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 03, 2014, 02:29:49 AM
Being based in Reykjavik is like being based in Anchorage - i.e. a total waste of time.

Check out these guys - cheaper than a car+hotel (at least when I checked) and you could stay wherever you want to.
http://www.happycampers.is/

Quite cute, but doesn't include a bed.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SuperFlyer on June 03, 2014, 02:30:29 AM
Thats because the vast majority of hotels are are in Reykjavik. Not all people are small inn/camper types.

Especially on this forum.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: robbie on November 07, 2014, 02:59:13 PM
so to get to Iceland from nyc, Iceland air only direct flight they dont have any mileage partners, any other ideas?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ual902 on November 07, 2014, 03:54:36 PM
so to get to Iceland from nyc, Iceland air only direct flight they dont have any mileage partners, any other ideas?

DL has seasonal flights to Iceland, I flew EWR > REK on Iceland Air using the Barclays landing card $440 in free travel.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 07, 2014, 03:56:29 PM
DL has seasonal flights to Iceland,

I believe he wants to go in the winter; no DL then.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: robbie on November 07, 2014, 04:04:40 PM
ye nothing for now, i wanna go in next 3 weeks
Title: Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on February 22, 2015, 10:59:49 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.
Just bumping this TR for the sake of adding some pics. First time using Flickr...bear with me.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8563/16593843286_98715fba5d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rhkMuj)IMGP6310 (https://flic.kr/p/rhkMuj) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8573/16434006549_c1cba4d8d8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r3dzAv)IMGP6309 (https://flic.kr/p/r3dzAv) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8676/16432793830_95ace67f33_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r37n6y)IMGP6297 (https://flic.kr/p/r37n6y) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8628/16432793990_fe131c3124_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r37n9j)IMGP6296 (https://flic.kr/p/r37n9j) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8638/16412518137_b9da043ff6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r1jrQD)IMG_0614 (https://flic.kr/p/r1jrQD) by Photo taken at 11pm

[url=https://flic.kr/p/r36vvj](https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8626/16432627008_e45821f0ba_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/)IMG_0477 (https://flic.kr/p/r36vvj) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8573/16593844166_e45d2f9ff2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rhkMKu)IMG_0468 (https://flic.kr/p/rhkMKu) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8613/16000057483_052e718c23_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/qnStE4)IMG_0464 (https://flic.kr/p/qnStE4) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8637/16434008229_6e2209e4f6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r3dA6t)IMG_0459 (https://flic.kr/p/r3dA6t) by mocha11281 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131479362@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on April 13, 2015, 11:30:00 PM
Is anyone familiar with the hotel at the blue lagoon? According to their site there are only 13 rooms and they seem very utilitarian though it's convenient to be on site at the hot springs. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 13, 2015, 11:32:53 PM
Is anyone familiar with the hotel at the blue lagoon? According to their site there are only 13 rooms and they seem very utilitarian though it's convenient to be on site at the hot springs. Any thoughts?

I believe Pbaruch recently booked there, let's see if he'll chime in.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 14, 2015, 12:06:25 AM
I believe Pbaruch recently booked there, let's see if he'll chime in.

Yes sir, I did book the Blue Lagoon hotel for 3 nights (remainder will be in a camper truck since we can't do Shabbos in that - we don't bowl on Shabbos  ;D).  They do have very few rooms and recently expanded by constructing some new rooms - not sure if they are all done yet.  Depending on when you go, I'd request the newly constructed rooms.  They can't guarantee you will get the new rooms but there is a greater chance if you ask. 

As for me, I figure that there is no better place to stay in or near Reykjavik.  First off, by staying at their hotel you get free access to the lagoon.  Plus, you get access for the entire day even on your day of checkout.  There are also hotel guest only special privileges as to places to soak.

There may be some better hotels such as 101 Hotel (supposedly one of the best spas in Iceland), Ion (set on a lava field and one of Iceland's newest luxury hotels), and Hotel Ranga (only 4 star hotel in Iceland) but I'd rather go for the Blue Lagoon as I think my kids will enjoy it most.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on April 14, 2015, 05:03:33 PM
Indeed it is of help. And I'll be waiting for a detailed trip report... Also, what r your plans regarding food? ( with your name being Baruch I suppose you keep kosher  ;))
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 14, 2015, 05:11:43 PM
Indeed it is of help. And I'll be waiting for a detailed trip report... Also, what r your plans regarding food? ( with your name being Baruch I suppose you keep kosher  ;))

I thought the no bowling on shabbos comment gave that away.   :)

There is, pretty much, no kosher food in Iceland.  I was told that you can find some food with an EU hechsher in supermarkets but I don't know what we'll find.  We plan on bringing whatever we need and supplementing with whatever we can find there. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 05:11:52 PM
We found a surprising amount of Kosher food in the local groceries. Chips and snacks, canned vegetables, Nature Valley bars (including a flavor I haven't seen before), and more.

Send an email to Icelandseder@gmail.com, he'll send you a lot of good info.

Can't remember the name of the grocery; maybe whYME or Chaim'l could chime in.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 14, 2015, 05:12:38 PM
We found a surprising amount of Kosher food in the local groceries. Chips and snacks, canned vegetables, Nature Valley bars (including a flavor I haven't seen before), and more.

Send an email to Icelandseder@gmail.com, he'll send you a lot of good info.

I don't intend to live on chips and snacks for a week.   ;D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 05:15:01 PM
I don't intend to live on chips and snacks for a week.   ;D

We shlepped a mountain of food and hardly used anything. We lived on chips and snacks for 3 days :P.

Was much simpler - and that's even with having a fridge and stove in the car.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 14, 2015, 05:15:48 PM
We shlepped a mountain of food and hardly used anything. We lived on chips and snacks for 3 days :P.

Was much simpler - and that's even with having a fridge and stove in the car.

What are the GPS coordinates to your buried stash of food?   ;D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 05:18:09 PM
What are the GPS coordinates to your buried stash of food?   ;D

We ate most of it in the airport before boarding - it seemed a waste ;D.

Now if I see one more cold cut wrap....
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on April 14, 2015, 05:21:54 PM
We found a surprising amount of Kosher food in the local groceries. Chips and snacks, canned vegetables, Nature Valley bars (including a flavor I haven't seen before), and more.

Send an email to Icelandseder@gmail.com, he'll send you a lot of good info.

Can't remember the name of the grocery; maybe whYME or Chaim'l could chime in.
I had emailed him a while ago, here's the email if anyone is interested

" To live a Jewish life in Iceland can be challenging, however being that almost all food items are imported, one can find many products from the US and UK with a kosher Certification on them, in the main stores like Hangkaup and Kronan. Bonus, in central Reykjavik 10/11 and noatun are some more options for grocers.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available all year round, just expect higher prices then in the States, same goes for soft drinks and Fruit Juices.

You can not bring in uncooked meat into Iceland, they can seize the meat and fine you, only cooked meat or cold cuts f/e smoked turkey, pastrami. And officially only up to 3 kilo, (the customs will be relaxed though for the cooked meat.) so either mask it really well or prepare two

There is a store near Reykjavik called Kostur. They are the Icelandic version of Costco. Most of their products are from the US straight off the shelf's of Wal Mart and Costco here. So you have all the staples In Iceland. Its just a bit more expensive. Bonus is a lower end store but they too have many products with a Hechsher. Breakfast Cereals. Packaged smoked salmon, Noodles (pasta), peanut butter, and crackers/pretzels, are some of the staples you can find in the stores.

Pas Yisroel and Cholov Yisroel are nowhere to be found."
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 05:24:38 PM
Yes, that's what he sent me as well.

Two notes:

Reading that, I remembered that Bonus is where we found the kosher food. We didn't end up going to Kostur.

Regarding customs, the people upthtead are right - practically you could bring whatever you like in. No one checks...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 14, 2015, 05:25:33 PM
Yes, that's what he sent me as well.

Two notes:

Reading that, I remembered that Bonus is where we found the kosher food. We didn't end up going to Kostur.

Regarding customs, the people upthtead are right - practically you could bring whatever you like in. No one checks...

Do they check for contraband on the way back to the USA?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 05:27:01 PM
Do they check for contraband on the way back to the USA?

No idea, used Global Entry. Didn't have any though... Food originally from the US is fine AFAIK.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 14, 2015, 05:28:23 PM
No idea, used Global Entry. Didn't have any though... Food originally from the US is fine AFAIK.

Not talking about food.  They sell sealskin products that you can't legally bring back to the USA.  Was wondering if they really check.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 05:31:45 PM
Not talking about food.  They sell sealskin products that you can't legally bring back to the USA.  Was wondering if they really check.

I wouldn't know about that.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on April 14, 2015, 07:25:03 PM
And here I thought the Icelander rebbe had written that email especially for me!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on April 14, 2015, 07:35:57 PM
Food originally from the US is fine AFAIK.
do you have a source for that?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2015, 07:41:39 PM
do you have a source for that?

No. Just from what I remember hearing/reading.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on April 14, 2015, 08:21:01 PM
Does anyone have experience flying with wow Air? It seems that it would be a waste to use miles on this itinerary.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on April 15, 2015, 07:21:38 AM
Not talking about food.  They sell sealskin products that you can't legally bring back to the USA.  Was wondering if they really check.
Regarding those products they usually just ask what it is and you can say imitation (which it usually is with these kinds of things regardless of how "official"the store or merchant was)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on April 15, 2015, 07:22:20 AM
And here I thought the Icelander rebbe had written that email especially for me!
I'm sorry
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 21, 2015, 06:32:02 PM
Has anyone had experience with the Garmin Nordic map for Iceland?  Amazon has it pretty cheap - way cheaper than buying a new GPS with EU maps.  Here is the link on the Garmin website to this item:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/maps/on-the-road-maps/city-navigator-nt/city-navigator-europe-nt-nordics/prod8427.html
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on April 21, 2015, 06:52:37 PM
Has anyone had experience with the Garmin Nordic map for Iceland?  Amazon has it pretty cheap - way cheaper than buying a new GPS with EU maps.  Here is the link on the Garmin website to this item:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/maps/on-the-road-maps/city-navigator-nt/city-navigator-europe-nt-nordics/prod8427.html (https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/maps/on-the-road-maps/city-navigator-nt/city-navigator-europe-nt-nordics/prod8427.html)

i just rented one from the company when I was there to play it safe. (this was also before smart phones were so common)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 21, 2015, 07:15:09 PM
i just rented one from the company when I was there to play it safe. (this was also before smart phones were so common)

Renting costs more than buying a new one.  Not doing that.  My choices are to either buy a new unit with EU maps or just buy this map pack.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Martyb on May 05, 2015, 09:54:04 AM
In general is there a lot of hiking involved in an Iceland Trip or is it driving around a lot and seeing things from the car or a  short walk? I'm debating if I can do this with my pregnant wife? Thanks
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 10:01:07 AM
or is it driving around a lot and seeing things from the car or a  short walk?

That.

Absolutely doable.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Martyb on May 05, 2015, 10:53:23 AM
That.

Absolutely doable.

I was hoping you'd say that. If I go in the summer, do you think one week is enough? Tuesday to Tuesday? or should I do 10 days?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on May 05, 2015, 10:56:17 AM
I was hoping you'd say that. If I go in the summer, do you think one week is enough? Tuesday to Tuesday? or should I do 10 days?

I did it in 3 days. only did the southern shore though. learn from my mistake and find a hotel somewhere out there instead of driving back to reykjavik at night
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 11:20:00 AM
I was hoping you'd say that. If I go in the summer, do you think one week is enough? Tuesday to Tuesday? or should I do 10 days?

If you want to do the entire ring road I'd suggest 10 days. But realistically the Most interesting parts are in the west and south, so a week should be plenty to see everything from Kirkjufell on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to Vesturhorn and Laekjavik in the southeast.

On the North side you have Godafoss and the Lake Myvatn area, but these are not necessarily worth it if you're pressed for time.

The most important thing - as Ushadude mentioned - is to not lock yourself down to Reykjavik. Sleep in local towns and you'll be able to have a far better time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Martyb on May 05, 2015, 11:23:29 AM
Roughly how much would a trip like that set me back (not including flights? I assume the hotels in local towns are all no names and don't accept points?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 11:25:19 AM
Roughly how much would a trip like that set me back (not including flights? I assume the hotels in local towns are all no names and don't accept points?

No idea... We took a campervan so we didn't pay for hotels. But correct, no points outside Reykjavik.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on May 05, 2015, 11:28:13 AM
If you want to do the entire ring road I'd suggest 10 days. But realistically the Most interesting parts are in the west and south, so a week should be plenty to see everything from Kirkjufell on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to Vesturhorn and Laekjavik in the southeast.

On the North side you have Godafoss and the Lake Myvatn area, but these are not necessarily worth it if you're pressed for time.

The most important thing - as Ushadude mentioned - is to not lock yourself down to Reykjavik. Sleep in local towns and you'll be able to have a far better time.

and rent an SUV. there was a national park we wanted to go to because it is surrounded by glaciers but couldn't because there was a river running across the road. rental agreement specifically says that if there is water damage because you crossed a river you're pretty much done for.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 05, 2015, 11:29:49 AM
and rent an SUV. there was a national park we wanted to go to because it is surrounded by glaciers but couldn't because there was a river running across the road. rental agreement specifically says that if there is water damage because you crossed a river you're pretty much done for.

Forget about the rental agreement.  If you don't know what you are doing you could be swept away.  It may not be well publicized but there have been stories of people getting killed in Iceland this way.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 11:39:30 AM
and rent an SUV. there was a national park we wanted to go to because it is surrounded by glaciers but couldn't because there was a river running across the road. rental agreement specifically says that if there is water damage because you crossed a river you're pretty much done for.


Forget about the rental agreement.  If you don't know what you are doing you could be swept away.  It may not be well publicized but there have been stories of people getting killed in Iceland this way.

Both of you are talking about Highland driving ("F" roads). This requires specially outfitted vehicles (generally souped-up SUVs) and a high level of technical driving skills. If you pay for a truck like that, you'd generally be covered under your rental agreement (it should be listed as "highland-ready").

But without the correct vehicle and know-how, you're putting yourself in danger. And in general, I don't think it's wise with a pregnant wife anyway.

If you're dead set on seeing the highlands, take a guided monster truck your. There are dozens of companies offering those.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Martyb on May 05, 2015, 11:56:19 AM

Both of you are talking about Highland driving ("R" roads). This requires specially outfitted vehicles (generally souped-up SUVs) and a high level of technical driving skills. If you pay for a truck like that, you'd generally be covered under your rental agreement (it should be listed as "highland-ready").

But without the correct vehicle and know-how, you're putting yourself in danger. And in general, I don't think it's wise with a pregnant wife anyway.

If you're dead set on seeing the highlands, take a guided monster truck your. There are dozens of companies offering those.

Are the highlands a must see, if I got to Iceland?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 11:59:12 AM
Are the highlands a must see, if I got to Iceland?

Not really. They're amazing and all, but skippable for most. And if you're not hiking, it's definitely a waste of time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on May 05, 2015, 11:59:20 AM

Both of you are talking about Highland driving ("R" roads). This requires specially outfitted vehicles (generally souped-up SUVs) and a high level of technical driving skills. If you pay for a truck like that, you'd generally be covered under your rental agreement (it should be listed as "highland-ready").

But without the correct vehicle and know-how, you're putting yourself in danger. And in general, I don't think it's wise with a pregnant wife anyway.

If you're dead set on seeing the highlands, take a guided monster truck your. There are dozens of companies offering those.

I'm not talking about anything too crazy. IT was more like a stream but still deep enough that it would have flooded our engine. Nothing an SUV couldn't handle though.
(http://s29.postimg.org/8wqvxx0b7/IMG_1732.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/8wqvxx0b7/)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 12:02:16 PM
I'm not talking about anything too crazy. IT was more like a stream but still deep enough that it would have flooded our engine. Nothing an SUV couldn't handle though.
(http://s29.postimg.org/8wqvxx0b7/IMG_1732.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/8wqvxx0b7/)

Is that an F road?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on May 05, 2015, 12:02:54 PM
Is that an F road?

don't remember, sorry. i do remember SUVs coming and going though
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 05, 2015, 12:06:03 PM
don't remember, sorry. i do remember SUVs coming and going though

It looks like one from the picture. If so, a regular car should have been there in the first place. Not worth the risk, IMO (both financial and physical). These could turn dangerous in a hurry.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: yare on May 05, 2015, 03:09:43 PM
http://wsimag.com/science-and-technology/4012-icelands-lunar-landscapes
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Martyb on May 07, 2015, 09:42:15 AM
Right now I'm looking at a ticket that leaves Saturday night (July 4th) from JFK it arrives in Iceland Sunday Night and Leaves Iceland Friday (12:45AM) (July 10th) and arrives in JFK late Friday afternoon. Total in Economy on AA is 60K RT. It gives me 4 full days in Iceland. 
Is that a decent deal? I wouldn't mind staying until Sunday July 12th but i'd have to find a ticket that allows my wife to be in the office Tuesday morning.
I checked United they have a flight leaving Sunday night but they only have business and I don't have 300K. is there a chance economy will open? Are there any other options? I have approx. 75K chase points that I can transfer and 60K Starwood ?
Should I just stick with AA and go for 4 days? 

Thanks
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 07, 2015, 09:55:20 AM
Did you check cash prices? Delta and IcelandAir fly direct, and Wow flies via BOS and BWI.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on May 07, 2015, 10:13:05 AM
Your really gonna turn a 5.5 hour flight into a 20 hour nightmare?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 07, 2015, 11:30:37 AM
Right now I'm looking at a ticket that leaves Saturday night (July 4th) from JFK it arrives in Iceland Sunday Night and Leaves Iceland Friday (12:45AM) (July 10th) and arrives in JFK late Friday afternoon. Total in Economy on AA is 60K RT. It gives me 4 full days in Iceland. 
Is that a decent deal? I wouldn't mind staying until Sunday July 12th but i'd have to find a ticket that allows my wife to be in the office Tuesday morning.
I checked United they have a flight leaving Sunday night but they only have business and I don't have 300K. is there a chance economy will open? Are there any other options? I have approx. 75K chase points that I can transfer and 60K Starwood ?
Should I just stick with AA and go for 4 days? 

Thanks

You can try WOW air.  Depending on the price, might be cheaper to pay in cash and sell some miles/points to cover the cost.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on May 07, 2015, 10:46:38 PM
Your really gonna turn a 5.5 hour flight into a 20 hour nightmare?
Is this in response to the wow air option?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on May 08, 2015, 08:23:07 AM
No. In response to the redeeming miles option with AA or UA.  All those entail multiple stopovers in Europe
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Mocha on May 08, 2015, 09:29:41 AM
No. In response to the redeeming miles option with AA or UA.  All those entail multiple stopovers in Europe
There is always Dl but flights always seem unreasonably expensive..
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: myb821 on May 08, 2015, 09:41:04 AM
new flight option BA now going from lhr to iceland beginning Oct 25th 3x weekly service.

HT: Lucky
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 01, 2015, 10:57:15 PM
 Cheap Wow prices are back (http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2015/04/20/99-fares-to-europe-are-back/).

HT: Gary
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 02, 2015, 12:33:48 AM
Cheap Wow prices are back (http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2015/04/20/99-fares-to-europe-are-back/).

HT: Gary

If you read the fine print doesn't actually sound so cheap to me.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 02, 2015, 01:36:32 AM
If you read the fine print doesn't actually sound so cheap to me.

$300-400 round trip in the summer seems pretty darn good.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 23, 2015, 11:33:45 AM
I'd appreciate some advice about renting a cheap cell phone that will work in Iceland.  Hipsim wants $327 for 2 iphones for a week.   I can't rent only a sim and need the phones.

TIA
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 23, 2015, 11:47:05 AM
I'd appreciate some advice about renting a cheap cell phone that will work in Iceland.  Hipsim wants $327 for 2 iphones for a week.   I can't rent only a sim and need the phones.

TIA

Do the T-Mobile test drive. 30 days and you'll have free text and 3G data there. Talk costs per minute (can't remember how much, but it's reasonable), or better yet, use Whatsapp calling or something similar.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 23, 2015, 11:55:36 AM
Do the T-Mobile test drive. 30 days and you'll have free text and 3G data there. Talk costs per minute (can't remember how much, but it's reasonable), or better yet, use Whatsapp calling or something similar.

I'm seeing a 7 day test drive online - not a 30 day test drive....

Also it has to be ordered online and can't be picked up in a store and I am pressed for time.

Travellcell wants 223.84 for 2 iphones but its .49 a minute....
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 23, 2015, 04:50:16 PM
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/iceland/254388

Found this info on cell phones in Iceland.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 24, 2015, 03:35:59 PM
I made some calls and did some research.

For anyone else who may be interested, the least expensive option is to bring your own unlocked GSM cell phone with you to Iceland.  Bestbuy sells cheap unlocked phones.

If you are flying Icelandair, you can order a cell phone starter pack for 13 euro which comes with 2000 ISK credit for talk and data.  This includes a sim card and local phone number and from what I am told is the cheapest option to get started.

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

If you need additional minutes/data, you can top it off inexpensively.

https://www.siminn.is/prepaid/

Perhaps its time to start a wiki with some information?


Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: JS69 on June 24, 2015, 04:23:57 PM
I went to Iceland last year and we didn't bother with the phone because just about every inch of the country has free WIFI. All tour buses, all cafes all hotels have some sort of WIFI....Just a FYI
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 24, 2015, 04:36:24 PM
Did you make calls using google voice on your cell over wifi?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: JS69 on June 25, 2015, 10:43:03 AM
We face timed whenever we needed to connect with the family and kids....Email for work sufficed.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Thingywingy on June 29, 2015, 04:46:11 PM
Anyone know what the best mileage options are from NYC? Dont mind stopping.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 16, 2015, 06:13:10 PM
Here is a trip report from our recent trip to Iceland.  Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.

Initially, I would like to express sincere gratitude to my good buddy (who shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons) for helping me book our free Icelandair flights.  (No PM's please).  Many thanks. Your help was greatly appreciated.

We arrived at KEF on Sunday night intending on spending the first night of our trip at the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel.  We met up with Sofus, a part time taxi driver/student/plumber, who became our taxi driver for the rest of the trip.  As I later learned, having multiple jobs in Iceland isn't uncommon as many people work in tourism during the hectic summer months and do something else during the winter.

We decided to stay at the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel on the first night of our arrival and then again for Shabbos, for reasons which will be discussed below.  Things didn't go exactly as planned.  We arrived at the Blue Lagoon on Monday morning at 2:30 a.m. (Iceland time) to an empty lobby.  After ringing the front desk bell a few times, a very wet attendant came running out.  He had clearly been soaking in the private hotel lagoon, a nice perk of the job.  After repeating my name a few times, I learned to my dismay that we didn't have a reservation.  Apparently the person who took our reservation didn't properly book it.  Further, since the hotel only has 15 rooms (they are presently expanding) they couldn't just give us another room because they were fully booked.  I later learned that the hotel had messed up another unfortunate fellow who booked a number of rooms for a conference only to show up and be told that the rooms were still under construction and wouldn't be ready until September.  Luckily, in our case, the front desk attendant was able to find us a room at another hotel nearby.  We loaded our bags back into the taxi and Sofus drove us to the brand new Geo Hotel.

At the Geo Hotel, the front desk attendant was a very pleasant Scotsman.  When asked how a Scotsman ended up in Iceland, I was told that he initially came for a visit and then got a local girl pregnant.  The rest is history.  He also spoke fluent Icelandic.  Apparently, he was forced to learn Icelandic when his boss stopped speaking to him in English.  I wonder if he speaks Icelandic with a Scottish accent. 

The next morning, Sofus picked us up at the hotel and drove us to pick up our camper truck, our home for the next four nights.  After a brief orientation, we were off.  The truck was a 2008 Ford F350 with a camper in the bed.
 
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/411/19550196689_2402f9cc95_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMzSmH)IMG-20150629-WA0000 (https://flic.kr/p/vMzSmH) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/482/19761450881_ce0419e68d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w7fASn)DSC08751 (https://flic.kr/p/w7fASn) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Although the truck was old (by USA rental standards) and had 125k Kilometers, the camper was brand new.  It took a bit of getting used to drive this behemoth.  For instance, you would normally expect a vehicle to stop once you press on the brake.  Not with this truck.  I quickly learned that I had to start braking about a block before I needed to stop.  That being said, once I got used to the truck, it was relatively easy to drive as long as I didn't have to back up.

We then drove to the local Reykjavik airport for our helicopter charter to the "inside the volcano" tour of Thrihnukagigur Volcano.  In this tour, you either hike ( a few kilometers) or take a helicopter charter from the Reykjavik airport to the volcano, which we chose to do.  Once there, you are lowered by a construction type lift into the magma chamber.  As some of you may know, I have a thing for volcanoes and lava and once I learned about this experience, I just had to go to Iceland.  For this trip, we booked the helicopter excursion, which was the least expensive way to get a semi private tour of the volcano.  With the hiking tour, you are stuck with a group of 15 descending into the magma chamber. However, if you take the helicopter tour, they take you to the magma chamber in between the regularly scheduled hiking tours.  If you fill up the helicopter with your family/friends, you will pretty much have the magma chamber all to yourself for about a half hour.  This experience was well worth it and I even managed to convince a frum family we met up with on the plane to join us.  The only thing that I'm pissed off about is that the volcano people refused to let me take the baby into the magma chamber.  I thought it would make for an awesome family picture.  Feh.

Here are some photos from the volcano tour:

View from the helicopter of the opening in the volcano.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/405/19736581865_28ea88d04d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w549be)DSC_2378 (https://flic.kr/p/w549be) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Kids getting ready to descend into the magma chamber.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/380/19555699998_1ab429146c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vN55im)DSC_2398 (https://flic.kr/p/vN55im) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Elevator descending into the magma chamber.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/438/19736579855_5858ea35c9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w548zz)DSC_2400 (https://flic.kr/p/w548zz) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/358/19114006194_bc9f83e8a9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v83h7W)DSC_2401 (https://flic.kr/p/v83h7W) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

My daughter inside the magma chamber.  What did your kids do on their summer vacation?  ;D

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/345/19741221791_bdfbee581c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w5sVsX)DSC_2431 (https://flic.kr/p/w5sVsX) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

After the volcano tour, we drove around Reykjavik hunting for kosher food and supplies.  After realizing that neither the hotel we had stayed at on Sunday night (or the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel) had microwaves, we went to the Elko store (an Icelandic version of Bestbuy) and bought a 220v microwave (to heat up Mealmart box meals) and crock pot (for Shabbos).  We forgot to get a VAT form from the store to get a refund of the taxes (DW insisted on bringing back the microwave and crock pot) so if any of you decide to purchase something that you will take back with you, remember to ask the store for a VAT form.  Given that one of the major supermarkets in Reykjavik ("Bonus") has a large pig as its mascot, we didn't really expect to find much in the way of kosher food.  We only managed to find three things with a hechsher: (i) Popcorn chips; (ii) Nature Valley bars; and (iii) Powerade.  Even American brands such as Pringles didn't have a hechsher. 

We ended Monday by camping out at Thingvellir National Park in the parking lot by the visitor center.  There was a "pay" toilet (which isn't too uncommon in Iceland as we later learned) where it cost you 200 ISK (~$1.50) to use the loo. This is where the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates can be clearly seen in the cracks or faults which traverse the region.  For those who are interested (and I know of one DDF member who has done this), you can dive into the lake and touch both plates at the same time.  We aren't divers (yet) and didn't have time for this activity anyways.

The next morning we took a charter super jeep tour to Langjokull Glacier.  The glacier is in the highlands and requires driving on unpaved roads.

The super jeep.

 (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/483/19113995894_925c8b5220_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v83e4m)DSC_2501 (https://flic.kr/p/v83e4m) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/330/19710626456_83bd8949fa_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w2L7xb)IMG-20150630-WA0005 (https://flic.kr/p/w2L7xb) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/302/19115641343_e9dcf3903d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8bEca)DSC_2711 (https://flic.kr/p/v8bEca) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/555/19548523320_aaedccb7b5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMrhVw)DSC_2713 (https://flic.kr/p/vMrhVw) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Views along the way:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/387/19113999014_83daf0c97f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v83eZ9)DSC_2494 (https://flic.kr/p/v83eZ9) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/477/19741206221_0a7af1b56b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w5sQQv)DSC_2557 (https://flic.kr/p/w5sQQv) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/320/19710372256_fdde877e32_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w2JNYq)DSC_2500 (https://flic.kr/p/w2JNYq) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Luckily for us, our super jeep had huge tractor type tires and had no difficulty navigating the large mounds of snow still covering parts of the road.  The roads were impassible to everything else, including a bunch of land rovers we saw along the way. 

Can your jeep do this?

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/468/19736564455_72b230258d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w54414)DSC_2531 (https://flic.kr/p/w54414) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/490/19113992204_043c1df6b4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v83cXJ)DSC_2532 (https://flic.kr/p/v83cXJ) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/320/19115647273_aa5bf400d3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8bFXp)DSC_2533 (https://flic.kr/p/v8bFXp) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Since we were the only tour heading out to Langjokull Glacier that day, we had the entire route to ourselves.  The scenery was spectacular and it was an interesting experience driving on the glacier. 

On the glacier.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/361/19736557845_6a41230a12_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w54236)DSC_2573 (https://flic.kr/p/w54236) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/357/19548506728_a92ced537d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMrcZs)DSC_2598 (https://flic.kr/p/vMrcZs) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/447/19548791710_e654261fec_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMsEGW)IMG-20150630-WA0015 (https://flic.kr/p/vMsEGW) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

On the way down the glacier, we had a flat tire.  Our driver/guide Jonas quickly fixed whatever the problem was.  Not sure how many others can say they had a flat while driving on a glacier.

After our glacier tour, we went to the Laugardalur Swimming Pool, a top rated public pool in Reykjavik.  The water was clean and refreshing and they had hot tubs with different temperature ratings.  However, the changing room/shower area was a revelation.  Apparently, the people in Iceland have no problem showering naked in front of everyone else.  You do your best to avert your eyes but sometimes you just can't help it if something is dangling literally right in front of you.  After Laugardalur, we drove back to Thingvellir and stayed at a campground.  I made a bbq at about midnight.  The next day, we began the drive to the Golden Circle.

Here is a picture taken at the campground.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/388/19736550095_8477fd9c38_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w53YJt)DSC_2735 (https://flic.kr/p/w53YJt) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

In our Golden Circle tour, we went to Geysir and Gulfoss.  We finished the day with the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls (which are not part of Golden Circle tour).  Here are some pictures from our Golden Circle Tour and from Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/463/19115633853_63b381af5c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8bBY2)DSC_2758 (https://flic.kr/p/v8bBY2) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/401/19113972544_437b1ebaf3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8377L)DSC_2836 (https://flic.kr/p/v8377L) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/432/19736541085_7a07d12b36_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w53W48)DSC_2841 (https://flic.kr/p/w53W48) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/451/19113966554_32f1714208_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v835ku)DSC_2906 (https://flic.kr/p/v835ku) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/366/19729394232_330f505d28_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w4qixw)DSC_2914 (https://flic.kr/p/w4qixw) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

We made a bbq at Skogafoss and then at about midnight drove to Jokulsarlon, arriving at 4:00 a.m.  Jokulsarlon is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajokull National Park.  Along the way, we passed by awe inspiring scenery which words cannot describe, including  Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano that erupted in 2010 and grounded flights throughout Europe due to the ash cloud.  The drive itself was worth the trip to Jokulsarlon.   

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/341/19115684893_a1503f299b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8bT92)DSC_2919 (https://flic.kr/p/v8bT92) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/420/19548509410_a994918e31_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMrdMG)DSC_2874 (https://flic.kr/p/vMrdMG) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/470/19729332692_0bf990f2c0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w4pZfu)DSC_2883 (https://flic.kr/p/w4pZfu) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Our view upon arrival at Jokulsarlon:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/367/19555775558_1d783a4d7b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vN5sL7)DSC_3064 (https://flic.kr/p/vN5sL7) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

While everyone else was shluffing, I woke up at 7:00 a.m. feeling refreshed and decided to take a walk.  I saw arctic terns fishing and flying back to their nests with their catch.  My attempt to get closer to the nests was promptly responded to by multiple dive bomb attacks.  When everyone woke up, we did a duck boat tour where we saw 1000 year old icebergs (I really should have brought some whiskey) and seals.  A little later in the day DW and my older kids did a zodiac boat tour while I stayed behind with the baby.  (DW says if you have a choice to do the zodiac tour as they take the zodiacs right up to the icebergs).  We ended up spending the entire day at Jokulsarlon.  Here are some pictures taken at Jokulsarlon:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/418/19710401906_90bd49b1e0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w2JXMC)DSC_2946 (https://flic.kr/p/w2JXMC) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/328/19548567350_38d8eb0323_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMrw1E)DSC_2958 (https://flic.kr/p/vMrw1E) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/256/19710398766_c1f64da918_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w2JWRu)DSC_2964 (https://flic.kr/p/w2JWRu) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/518/19736593905_44c9dd384b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w54cKP)DSC_2985 (https://flic.kr/p/w54cKP) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/479/19548563020_1e645cb30a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMruJ1)DSC_2992 (https://flic.kr/p/vMruJ1) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/496/19548561850_a16a1b9834_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMrunQ)DSC_3046 (https://flic.kr/p/vMrunQ) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/274/19736589485_4b4c33315a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w54brB)DSC_3050 (https://flic.kr/p/w54brB) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

After our boat tours, we drove across the road to a black sand beach where I had the opportunity to photograph ice washed up on the black sand.  That evening, we began our trek back to Reykjavik for Shabbos.  We drove for a while and stopped to stay the night at the Skaftafell Campground.  Hot showers cost 500ISK (~$3.75) for 5 minutes.  They also had a washing machine and dryer.  While I did the laundry, DW, my older daughter, and the baby (in a carriage) hiked to Svartifoss, a beautiful waterfall framed by hexagonal columns.  From this campground, they lead tours where you can walk on the glacier.

On Friday morning, we continued our drive back to Reykjavik and didn't really have much time for any touring.  Once again, we gazed at the awe inspiring landscape on the way back.  We returned the camper truck at about 4:00 p.m. and met our buddy Sofus who drove us to the Blue Lagoon Clinic.  Along the way I had to fill up the camper with gas.

Can someone please tell me which button to press for S&S gas rewards?

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/450/19115673963_61aef2dd7b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8bPTz)DSC_3123 (https://flic.kr/p/v8bPTz) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Luckily, this time the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel had our reservation.  While driving, we called the hotel to ask that our Pomegranate meal that we intended to eat Friday night be taken out of the freezer (we left it at the hotel when we arrived Sunday night).  We weren't surprised to learn that they didn't take the meal out of the freezer.  I asked the front desk attendant if there was a way they could heat up the meal for us and was told they didn't have an oven but that there was a restaurant on site.  I then inquired if the restaurant would heat up our meal but was told in a rather stern tone that "we don't do that in Iceland."

Pictures of the private Blue Lagoon available only to guests of the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/341/19549962759_597da4cb98_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMyEPr)DSC_3145 (https://flic.kr/p/vMyEPr) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/306/19710388946_4ec8b8f449_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w2JTWb)DSC_3148 (https://flic.kr/p/w2JTWb) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/522/19550197099_1b63b603f5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/vMzStM)IMG-20150705-WA0000 (https://flic.kr/p/vMzStM) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/520/19729617512_c57c8c7a73_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w4rrVb)IMG-20150705-WA0008 (https://flic.kr/p/w4rrVb) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

This is the public Blue Lagoon:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/264/19710626626_53b4119f77_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w2L7A7)IMG-20150705-WA0016 (https://flic.kr/p/w2L7A7) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/342/19115669143_52ec701685_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/v8bNst)DSC_3173 (https://flic.kr/p/v8bNst) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/395/19729617352_246d91f731_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w4rrSq)IMG-20150705-WA0014 (https://flic.kr/p/w4rrSq) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

They opened it up just for us.  Just kidding - we got there early when no-one else was there so I could take photographs.

After taking a dip in the Blue Lagoon, we put a Pomegranate chicken meal into the crock pot, which was our Friday night meal.  We then put a few Mealmart cholent meals along with potatoes and carrots into the crock pot, which was our Shabbos meal.  We also placed eggs into the crock pot which we ate for shalosh seudos.  After eating the Friday night meal, DW lit candles.  We davened, made kiddush, washed, benched and went to sleep.  Shabbos started at about 11:30 at night and ended after 1:30 a.m.  Since the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel is located in the middle of a lava field, we couldn't go anywhere to walk around.  Then again, it was a good opportunity to catch up on a weeks worth of lack of sleep.

We made havdalah on Sunday morning and then went to take a soak in the public lagoon (which opened at 8:00 a.m.) and then back to the hotel for a soak in the private lagoon (which opens at 9:00 a.m.).  This was one of the main reasons we decided to stay in the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel.  The hotel has a private lagoon for hotel guests only.  While the public lagoon gets very crowded, there are rarely more than a few people in the private lagoon at any given time.  Further, guests at the hotel get free access to the public lagoon.  Of course the baby went into the lagoon as well, although technically you have to be two years old to go into the lagoon.  (Some may already know I don't much care for rules).

After relaxing in the lagoon for a few hours, we packed out and met Sofus, who drove us back to the airport.  Before this trip DW didn't want to go to Iceland and now we are planning a winter trip to see the northern lights.  DW says she wants to go back because we didn't have time to go to the Viking Museum or the Settlement Exhibition in Reykjavik.  I'm also planning a two week camping trip to circle the entire island.  (DW says its not happening but we'll see about that).  Anyone interested in a kosher caravan tour of Iceland?  :)

After a week in Iceland, I felt like we barely scratched the surface and there is so much more to do and see.

PS:  In case any of you are wondering, BI is still number one.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Super Speed on July 16, 2015, 06:46:11 PM
Unbelievable read! Thanks!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ChaimMoskowitz on July 16, 2015, 07:44:04 PM
Unbelievable is an understatement.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 16, 2015, 08:25:50 PM
Here is a trip report from our recent trip to Iceland.
Awesome.
I guess this is what normal people do/see when they go to Iceland :))
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 16, 2015, 08:29:03 PM
just about every inch of the country has free WIFI.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on July 16, 2015, 08:32:35 PM
Wow amazing! I have to slowly convince dw that she doesn't really want to go somewhere warm for our next vacation :)
ETA: missed this on my first read, but count me in for the kosher caravan! ;)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 16, 2015, 08:53:29 PM
About the wifi bit, we were off the grid for the entire time we had the camper truck.  I mistakenly didn't buy a wifi data package from the rental agency.  None of the campgrounds or other public areas we were at had free wifi. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: zow on July 16, 2015, 11:09:16 PM
Wow. I just read Yehoshuah's Europe, and now this...the bar is set VERY high! Yasherkoach and thank you for sharing it.  Really terrific.  I can't wait to go.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: morgs on July 17, 2015, 05:41:53 AM
This is an amazing tr with amazing pics-it is definitely deserving of its on thread!! Thanks!!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 17, 2015, 09:58:20 AM
Crazy! Thanks for writing this up! I guess "Iceland is green and Greenland is ice" is not entirely true. lol

This really reminded me of SF's trip to Alaska. May we all get to these wonderful places one day!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 09:59:31 AM
Crazy! Thanks for writing this up! I guess "Iceland is green and Greenland is ice" is not entirely true. lol

This really reminded me of SF's trip to Alaska. May we all get to these wonderful places one day!

We actually flew by Greenland on the way to Iceland.  I was able to see land and icebergs floating in the water.  Greenland is also on the list and Icelandair flies there.   :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: shwarmabob on July 17, 2015, 10:20:59 AM
Wow, thanks for the TR.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 17, 2015, 12:59:06 PM
Amazing TR. Did I read that correctly, is gas really $3+ a liter?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 17, 2015, 01:00:38 PM
We actually flew by Greenland on the way to Iceland.  I was able to see land and icebergs floating in the water.  Greenland is also on the list and Icelandair flies there.   :)
I ignored it the first time, but now I'll comment. Is it really necessary to tell everyone that you have a trick that you don't plan on sharing? ::)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: EJB on July 17, 2015, 01:03:13 PM
I ignored it the first time, but now I'll comment. Is it really necessary to tell everyone that you have a trick that you don't plan on sharing? ::)

fuel dump?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 17, 2015, 01:09:06 PM
Did I read that correctly, is gas really $3+ a liter?
Unless my math is off it's more like $1.50
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 17, 2015, 01:16:53 PM
Unless my math is off it's more like $1.50
My bad, using the wrong Kroner (I knew something was wrong)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 01:24:15 PM
If I am correct in my calculations, 211 ISK equals $1.55 USD.  That makes a gallon of gas almost $6.00 USD.  Plus, the beast I drove had a massive fuel tank.  That being said, no regrets.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 01:26:26 PM
I ignored it the first time, but now I'll comment. Is it really necessary to tell everyone that you have a trick that you don't plan on sharing? ::)

I have many tricks I don't plan on sharing.   :-X
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: EJB on July 17, 2015, 01:47:01 PM
I have many tricks I don't plan on sharing.   :-X

PB PM
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 17, 2015, 01:56:32 PM
I have many tricks I don't plan on sharing.   :-X
As you have made very clear here before. I just don't see the point of posting it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: JS69 on July 17, 2015, 02:19:07 PM
Great TR!! Wife and I did Iceland last July and this TR brought back many great memories. The Inside the Volcano tour is probably one of the coolest tours anyone can take anywhere. sad you didn't do the walk though but with the baby it probably would have been pretty miserable.

Glad to see you had a blast.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on July 17, 2015, 02:19:57 PM
Great TR, how much did the camper van cost?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:21:52 PM
Great TR!! Wife and I did Iceland last July and this TR brought back many great memories. The Inside the Volcano tour is probably one of the coolest tours anyone can take anywhere. sad you didn't do the walk though but with the baby it probably would have been pretty miserable.

Glad to see you had a blast.

Not doing the walk (if you mean the hike to the volcano rather than taking the helicopter) had nothing to do with the baby.  I chose the helicopter tour only because it was the least expensive way to get a semi-private tour of the magma chamber.  With the hike, they bundle you with up to 15 people in total.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:22:54 PM
Great TR, how much did the camper van cost?

With extras (second driver, unlimited miles, 0 deductible insurance, end cleaning fee), the total cost came out to about $750 USD per day.  The reason I picked this camper truck is because it is the only one available (that I could find) with an automatic transmission.  They do rent other larger motorhomes but they all come with manual transmission.  For some reason, these other motorhomes are cheaper than the camper truck.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:23:51 PM
Awesome TR! Brings back good memories :D. Maybe I should get started on mine now...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:24:21 PM
$750 USD per day.

Say what :o :o :o???
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on July 17, 2015, 02:24:46 PM


With extras (second driver, unlimited miles, end cleaning fee), the total cost came out to about $750 USD per day.  The reason I picked this camper truck is because it is the only one available (that I could find) with an automatic transmission.  They do rent other larger motorhomes but they all come with manual transmission.  For some reason, these other motorhomes are cheaper than the camper truck.

Did I not read that correct or did you say $750 a day?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:25:02 PM
Awesome TR! Brings back good memories :D. Maybe I should get started on mine now...

And you were bugging me about mine?  Look who is talking!!!!  C'mon man!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 17, 2015, 02:26:08 PM
Maybe I should get started on mine now...
lol that's what I was thinking
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:26:22 PM
Yes, $750 (seven hundred and fifty dollars a day).  If you figure out what a car rental costs plus the cost of a hotel, this really isn't much more expensive.  I have no regrets and intend to rent one of these for 2 weeks at some point.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:26:37 PM
And you were bugging me about mine?  Look who is talking!!!!  C'mon man!

Well you did do things we didn't... For example, although Skogafoss was high on our list, we didn't end up going (we only saw it from a distance).
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:28:01 PM
Yes, $750 (seven hundred and fifty dollars a day).  If you figure out what a car rental costs plus the cost of a hotel, this really isn't much more expensive.  I have no regrets and intend to rent one of these for 2 weeks at some point.

Our camper cost $880.04 for three days. The highland-capable version would have been $50-100 more.

Where did you rent from?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on July 17, 2015, 02:28:50 PM
Yes, $750 (seven hundred and fifty dollars a day).  If you figure out what a car rental costs plus the cost of a hotel, this really isn't much more expensive.  I have no regrets and intend to rent one of these for 2 weeks at some point.
Well you can keep your free flights and I'll keep my reasonably priced vehicle rentals
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:29:48 PM
Our camper cost $880.04 for three days. The highland-capable version would have been $50-100 more.

Where did you rent from?

First off, I am really surprised you fit in the camper you rented.  That must have been like a circus act between you and they guys you went with.   :P

I rented from this place:

http://www.campericeland.is/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:30:36 PM
Well you can keep your free flights and I'll keep my reasonably priced vehicle rentals

I just said what it cost - didn't say how it was paid for.   :P
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on July 17, 2015, 02:31:39 PM
I have no regrets and intend to rent one of these for 2 weeks at some point.
Is that really the first place that comes to your mind when you have $10,500 to burn on two weeks just on transport and cheap lodging?



Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:33:09 PM
First off, I am really surprised you fit in the camper you rented.  That must have been like a circus act between you and they guys you went with.   :P

I think our average height was 6'-4". Driving was fine. Sleeping OTOH :P...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:34:45 PM
I think our average height was 6'-4". Driving was fine. Sleeping OTOH :P...

If and when you do a TR, please post a pic of you guys sleeping in your "camper."   :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:39:18 PM
If and when you do a TR, please post a pic of you guys sleeping in your "camper."   :)

Yup, we got some good ones. trust me ;D.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 17, 2015, 02:43:07 PM
Driving was fine. Sleeping OTOH :P ...
hmm, remember that 55 gallon drum of lube that amazon had on sale for prime day? I think that would've been useful for trying to squeeze into that top "bunk" :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:46:25 PM
hmm, remember that 55 gallon drum of lube that amazon had on sale for prime day? I think that would've been useful for trying to squeeze into that top "bunk" :)

Eh, who needs lube when you had me pulling from one end and Chaim'l pushing from the other ;D;D;D. It took a while, but we got ya out...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2015, 02:48:55 PM
Eh, who needs lube when you had me pulling from one end and Chaim'l pushing from the other ;D;D;D. It took a while, but we got ya out...

Wasn't worth it to splurge for what I got?  It is cheaper to rent in the winter low season.  Plus, you might have been able to make do without some of the extras I paid for.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 17, 2015, 02:52:43 PM
Wasn't worth it to splurge for what I got?  It is cheaper to rent in the winter low season.  Plus, you might have been able to make do without some of the extras I paid for.
1. From what I remember the difference was pretty significant.
2. We weren't exactly sleeping through the night in there, more like a couple of naps in between  shooting and driving.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2015, 02:54:23 PM
1. From what I remember the difference was pretty significant.
2. We weren't exactly sleeping through the night in there, more like a couple of naps in between  shooting and driving.

Exactly. IIRC we slept for 4 hours the first night and 2 hours the second.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 17, 2015, 02:55:46 PM
IIRC we slept for 4 hours the first night and 2 hours the second.
I think it was the other way around.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Thingywingy on July 20, 2015, 01:22:55 AM
Anyone going to be in Iceland for Shabbos Aug 1st? Any way we can arrange a minyan?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 20, 2015, 10:52:02 AM
awesome tr!! you mentioned not walking out on shabbos due to it being on a lava field. is that from a halacha standpoint or its just not interesting?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 20, 2015, 10:53:16 AM
Anyone going to be in Iceland for Shabbos Aug 1st? Any way we can arrange a minyan?
will you be in reykjavik or in blue lagoon? i would consider
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Thingywingy on July 20, 2015, 12:13:41 PM
will you be in reykjavik or in blue lagoon? i would consider
Didn't decide yet. Check PM.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 20, 2015, 12:24:39 PM
awesome tr!! you mentioned not walking out on shabbos due to it being on a lava field. is that from a halacha standpoint or its just not interesting?

I've walked on many a lava field in Hawaii but not for the sake of simply walking on lava - always to get somewhere.  I'm not sure what would be exciting to walk around on lava but to each their own.  However, by the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel, they had signs saying no walking on the lava - the lava there is covered with moss so maybe they wanted to protect the moss.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2015, 12:34:15 PM
I've walked on many a lava field in Hawaii but not for the sake of simply walking on lava - always to get somewhere.  I'm not sure what would be exciting to walk around on lava but to each their own.

That's a good point. The area of the Blue Lagoon is just one huge, boring, lava field. You could walk for a mile or walk in a circle outside your door and see the exact same thing.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 20, 2015, 12:36:46 PM
By the way, DW mentioned that the staff at the Blue Lagoon Hotel thought we must have been a bit strange - walking around the hotel on Shabbos but not going for a dip.   Yes, we did walk around a little on Shabbos just to get out of the room - we just didn't leave the hotel grounds.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 20, 2015, 02:40:01 PM
is there a lobby worth sitting in or any landscaping?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 20, 2015, 02:44:22 PM
is there a lobby worth sitting in or any landscaping?

The lobby doesn't have a seating area but there is a room near the lobby where they serve breakfast (complimentary - they had uncut fruit and you could get fruit throughout the day that is leftover from breakfast) that has tables and chairs.  The hotel also has a lounge type room with some books and a chess set.  In addition, there are tables and chairs to sit around the private lagoon.

There is no landscaping to speak of in Iceland, at least not that I saw.   :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 20, 2015, 02:48:16 PM
as blue lagoon is technically a clinic, they do have a patient program where you would be able to access a private lounge. anyone has any info on that?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: rediplus on July 20, 2015, 09:34:00 PM
Great TR. Thanks for all the info.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on July 21, 2015, 12:04:50 AM
That's a good point. The area of the Blue Lagoon is just one huge, boring, lava field. You could walk for a mile or walk in a circle outside your door and see the exact same thing.

I remember driving out of the airport and being completely underwhelmed by how boring the landscape was...little did I know...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on July 27, 2015, 10:52:08 AM
Has anyone brought frozen chicken cutlets, frozen franks, frozen hamburgers, etc  into Iceland? I was thinking about bringing a "George Forman" grill. Reading the Iceland Immigration/Customs website it looks like it could be a problem and, with my luck, I will be stopped and food will be confiscated!.

Thanks!

Warren
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 27, 2015, 10:53:30 AM
Has anyone brought frozen chicken cutlets, frozen franks, frozen hamburgers, etc  into Iceland? I was thinking about bringing a "George Forman" grill. Reading the Iceland Immigration/Customs website it looks like it could be a problem and, with my luck, I will be stopped and food will be confiscated!.

Thanks!

Warren

Brought a mountain of food. Walked through the "nothing to declare" hallway and that was that.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 27, 2015, 10:56:08 AM
We brought frozen meals from Pom and like with SF, simply walked through the nothing to declare line.  No one stopped us.  As for a grill, there is no need to bring your own unless you want to.  Most gas stations and grocery stores (in outlying areas) sell grills and grilling supplies.  Plus, you will have to buy charcoal anyways.

Edit - sorry I see you meant an electric grill  - do you have a 220v unit? 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on July 27, 2015, 12:02:25 PM
Yes, I have a 220 watt grill

If no one stops us, great. The problem is if we are stopped. I don't want to have everything taken away and have nothing to eat for 4 days! I would rather knno what's what in advance!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 27, 2015, 12:10:20 PM
Yes, I have a 220 watt grill

If no one stops us, great. The problem is if we are stopped. I don't want to have everything taken away and have nothing to eat for 4 days! I would rather knno what's what in advance!

I don't think anyone can give you an absolute guarantee but if you have two people that shared the same experience with you I would think you are generally safe.  Plus, I don't think you have any other options unless you subsist on fruit, chips and granola bars for 4 days.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 27, 2015, 01:34:15 PM
Plus, I don't think you have any other options unless you subsist on fruit, chips and granola bars for 4 days.
Even with our whole mountain of food that's pretty much what we did...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on July 27, 2015, 01:41:08 PM
Good to hear!

Just bought a soft igloo to store cutlets, hamburgers etc and will pack it a regular suitcase as not to draw attention!

I always thought that one could find Coke and Chabad everywhere! Guess, I was wrong!

Leaving Iceland on Friday and will spend Shabbos and a few extra days in Scotland. There at least there is one kosher restaurant!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 27, 2015, 01:46:12 PM
Good to hear!

Just bought a soft igloo to store cutlets, hamburgers etc and will pack it a regular suitcase as not to draw attention!

I always thought that one could find Coke and Chabad everywhere! Guess, I was wrong!

Leaving Iceland on Friday and will spend Shabbos and a few extra days in Scotland. There at least there is one kosher restaurant!
Nice, what's your plan for Scotland (we can move this over to the Scotland thread)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 27, 2015, 01:47:47 PM
We used a collapsible rolling cooler - rolled it right through the nothing to declare line.  I don't think you have anything to worry about.

The one we used looks similar to this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Picnic-Ascot-Collapsible-Rolling-Cooler/dp/B001AZSHXG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1438019192&sr=8-2&keywords=collapsable+rolling+cooler
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 27, 2015, 01:51:23 PM
I always thought that one could find Coke and Chabad everywhere! Guess, I was wrong!

Coca Cola products in Iceland are kosher.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on July 27, 2015, 02:40:18 PM
Staying at small hotel/apartments in Reyjavik (Black Pearl) Found it on Expedia and looks very nice from pictures, similar to  place I rented in London a few summers ago. Has Wifi, kitchen (can kasher the oven and microwave) and washing machine/dryer. Decided that I won't rent car to drive and will try tours. Any suggestions? From prior posts, I decided to look into helicopter/volvano and Golden Circle.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 27, 2015, 02:43:03 PM
Staying at small hotel/apartments in Reyjavik (Black Pearl) Found it on Expedia and looks very nice from pictures, similar to  place I rented in London a few summers ago. Has Wifi, kitchen (can kasher the oven and microwave) and washing machine/dryer. Decided that I won't rent car to drive and will try tours. Any suggestions? From prior posts, I decided to look into helicopter/volvano and Golden Circle.

Why not rent a car and go on your own?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: JS69 on July 27, 2015, 04:10:13 PM
We had zero issue bringing our food in. Just walk on through with nothing to declare.

We did the south coast tour and loved it. You see different waterfalls than Gullfloss.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on July 27, 2015, 04:29:16 PM
From reading responses, it seems that no one stops you. You just keep walking.

I used to never get stopped in Israel. 25 years and never stopped. Last 5 years, if I go alone without wife or kids, I get stopped EVERY time if I have suitcase and a carryon. They assume that I am bringing gifts or merchandise for resale! I try starting conversation with a lady right before entering "green zone" LOL
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on July 27, 2015, 09:17:16 PM
Anyone know where I can get vacuum packed freeze dried canned deli etc?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 27, 2015, 09:29:26 PM
Anyone know where I can get vacuum packed freeze dried canned deli etc?

1. What in the world is "vacuum packed freeze dried canned"?
2. Vacuum packed deli could be bought at any grocery or take-out.
3. Post here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=220.800) instead.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 02, 2015, 11:30:29 PM
Trip report of the Iceland PhotoDO (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54461.0)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 05, 2015, 02:39:53 PM
I started working on a wiki - if anyone has suggestions or would like to contribute, please do so.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mutchkie1 on August 13, 2015, 11:00:11 AM
Just came back from Iceland - packed a full suitcase of food - walked right out of customs - there was no one even there
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 20, 2015, 08:37:48 AM
Iceland - Reykjavik City announced a boycott of Israeli goods.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/17/iceland-announces-boycott-israeli-goods/?intcmp=ob_article_footer_text&intcmp=obinsite

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: VacationLover on September 20, 2015, 07:18:25 PM
Iceland - Reykjavik City announced a boycott of Israeli goods.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/17/iceland-announces-boycott-israeli-goods/?intcmp=ob_article_footer_text&intcmp=obinsite
Sounds worse than in Arab countries  :o
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ChAiM'l on September 20, 2015, 08:33:54 PM
Iceland - Reykjavik City announced a boycott of Israeli goods.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/17/iceland-announces-boycott-israeli-goods/?intcmp=ob_article_footer_text&intcmp=obinsite
To clarify, this is more of a symbolic boycott, as it is only the city council that is boycotting, not the entire city (not that it makes it any less reprehensible).

Also, they now retracted the original boycott and will now only boycott goods from the settlements (a direction in which many European countries are unfortunately headed).
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on September 21, 2015, 03:35:39 AM


To clarify, this is more of a symbolic boycott

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4701735,00.html
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 21, 2015, 12:38:43 PM

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4701735,00.html

And?  So what? 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on September 21, 2015, 12:40:39 PM
And?  So what?
Nothing. Was simply showing how its purely symbolic and had effect whatsoever
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 21, 2015, 12:41:15 PM
Nothing. Was simply showing how its purely symbolic and had effect whatsoever

I think you are missing the point.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on September 21, 2015, 12:41:57 PM
I think you are missing the point.
Likely
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 24, 2015, 08:39:56 AM
http://splash.alaskasworld.com/Newsroom/ASNews/ASstories/AS_20150923_045646.asp

Alaska miles are once more earnable on Icelandair. Booking Icelandair with AS miles possibly "coming soon".

Now if there was a way to retroactively apply that to the pile of utterly useless Icelandair miles I'm sitting on >:(...

HT: Lucky
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 24, 2015, 10:43:40 AM
http://splash.alaskasworld.com/Newsroom/ASNews/ASstories/AS_20150923_045646.asp

Alaska miles are once more earnable on Icelandair. Booking Icelandair with AS miles possibly "coming soon".

Now if there was a way to retroactively apply that to the pile of utterly useless Icelandair miles I'm sitting on >:(...

HT: Lucky

interesting possibility.....
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: myb821 on October 02, 2015, 01:43:27 PM
How bad of an idea is it to go with a 9 month old baby to Iceland at the end of December. I really really want to go see the northern lights but cant decide if this is just not the right time to do it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 02, 2015, 02:09:08 PM
How bad of an idea is it to go with a 9 month old baby to Iceland at the end of December. I really really want to go see the northern lights but cant decide if this is just not the right time to do it.

The baby wouldn't hold you back per se, but I don't know if you'd feel comfortable taking her outside then. She should probably stay in the car.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: myb821 on October 02, 2015, 02:21:33 PM
The baby wouldn't hold you back per se, but I don't know if you'd feel comfortable taking her outside then. She should probably stay in the car.
You mean because of the cold weather? Its not that much colder tha NYC from what ive seen. My real question is how many of the things to do in iceland are baby friendly. From the things ive seen it looks like not too many.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 02, 2015, 02:27:27 PM
You mean because of the cold weather? Its not that much colder tha NYC from what ive seen. My real question is how many of the things to do in iceland are baby friendly. From the things ive seen it looks like not too many.

I would disagree with you on that.   Many natural wonders in Iceland are very accessible and a lot of sites don't require major hiking. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 02, 2015, 02:29:59 PM
You mean because of the cold weather? Its not that much colder tha NYC from what ive seen. My real question is how many of the things to do in iceland are baby friendly. From the things ive seen it looks like not too many.

You can't make a weather prediction based on temperature only. When I was there the weather was technically warmer than NY, but in reality it was dangerously cold due to the insane winds.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 02, 2015, 02:31:03 PM

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4701735,00.html
http://icelandreview.com/stuff/views/2015/09/19/amateurs-politics-bj
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ChAiM'l on October 02, 2015, 02:52:10 PM
You can't make a weather prediction based on temperature only. When I was there the weather was technically warmer than NY, but in reality it was dangerously cold due to the insane winds.
Time for the next installment?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on October 02, 2015, 02:52:43 PM
You can't make a weather prediction based on temperature only. When I was there the weather was technically warmer than NY, but in reality it was dangerously cold due to the insane winds.

Agreed. The day I went diving was not "cold" but we were absolutely freezing coming out of the water due to the winds
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 08:40:56 PM
There is nowhere to go for Shabbos in Iceland right?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 11, 2015, 08:48:57 PM
There is nowhere to go for Shabbos in Iceland right?

?

Pbaruch was there over Shabbos... What makes you say that? Or do you mean minyan-wise?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 09:15:09 PM
?

Pbaruch was there over Shabbos... What makes you say that? Or do you mean minyan-wise?
That
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 11, 2015, 09:28:41 PM
That

Got a pretty good laugh out of that one.   :)  Iceland is a wasteland from a yiddeshkeit perspective.  If you had a chance to look at my trip report you'd know there is pretty much no kosher food either.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 09:35:35 PM
Got a pretty good laugh out of that one.   :)  Iceland is a wasteland from a yiddeshkeit perspective.  If you had a chance to look at my trip report you'd know there is pretty much no kosher food either.
Still making my way through the thread. What did you do the entire Shabbos there?
ETA: if it's in your tr I'll get to it over the next few days
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 11, 2015, 09:43:54 PM
Still making my way through the thread. What did you do the entire Shabbos there?
ETA: if it's in your tr I'll get to it over the next few days

We spent Shabbos at the Blue Lagoon Hotel which I very highly recommend you stay at (for reasons discussed in the Wiki and in my trip report).  There was literally nothing to do and we were all going a bit stir crazy since Shabbos is over so late in the summer.  We spent a lot of time sleeping as we were all pretty exhausted from the prior weeks worth of running around and lack of sleep.  Also, the hotel did have a game room with a few board games and books so I took the kids there to hang out for a bit.  In addition, I shmoozed with some of the staff.

I do not regret staying at the Blue Lagoon Hotel for Shabbos and I'd do it again. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 10:30:51 PM
We spent Shabbos at the Blue Lagoon Hotel which I very highly recommend you stay at (for reasons discussed in the Wiki and in my trip report).  There was literally nothing to do and we were all going a bit stir crazy since Shabbos is over so late in the summer.  We spent a lot of time sleeping as we were all pretty exhausted from the prior weeks worth of running around and lack of sleep.  Also, the hotel did have a game room with a few board games and books so I took the kids there to hang out for a bit.  In addition, I shmoozed with some of the staff.

I do not regret staying at the Blue Lagoon Hotel for Shabbos and I'd do it again.
Over the past few weeks I was thinking about heading to Iceland on Thursday Nov 26 until Tuesday night Dec 1. However, flights are not cheap (just over $700 rt) and I am not thrilled with the idea of being there for Shabbos. Would it be worth it for me (price-wise and time-wise) to fly somewhere closer to Iceland on Thursday morning and then head over to Iceland from there on Saturday night? And if so where would be a good option?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on October 11, 2015, 10:36:22 PM
Over the past few weeks I was thinking about heading to Iceland on Thursday Nov 26 until Tuesday night Dec 1. However, flights are not cheap (just over $700 rt) and I am not thrilled with the idea of being there for Shabbos. Would it be worth it for me (price-wise and time-wise) to fly somewhere closer to Iceland on Thursday morning and then head over to Iceland from there on Saturday night? And if so where would be a good option?
I don't know the answer to your question, but you might find some useful information here. http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54461.msg1254209#msg1254209
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 11, 2015, 10:41:00 PM
Over the past few weeks I was thinking about heading to Iceland on Thursday Nov 26 until Tuesday night Dec 1. However, flights are not cheap (just over $700 rt) and I am not thrilled with the idea of being there for Shabbos. Would it be worth it for me (price-wise and time-wise) to fly somewhere closer to Iceland on Thursday morning and then head over to Iceland from there on Saturday night? And if so where would be a good option?

So you'd spend 2-3 days in Iceland?  In my opinion that is grossly inadequate.  I felt that a week was not enough. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 10:43:01 PM
I don't know the answer to your question, but you might find some useful information here. http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54461.msg1254209#msg1254209
Thanks I'll look into that. That tr (or whatever you want to call it so far  ;) ) is part of what finally pushed me into trying to go now.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 10:44:03 PM
So you'd spend 2-3 days in Iceland?  In my opinion that is grossly inadequate.  I felt that a week was not enough.
Would it not be worth it? I figured it may not be enough time but I don't know when I will have a chance to go again after this
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 11, 2015, 10:46:39 PM
Would it not be worth it? I figured it may not be enough time but I don't know when I will have a chance to go again after this

I don't think anyone can answer that question for you.  Some people go to Iceland as a stop over to somewhere else and spend only a few days there and seem content.  Others, such as myself, wouldn't be content with this option. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on October 11, 2015, 10:48:39 PM
Would it not be worth it? I figured it may not be enough time but I don't know when I will have a chance to go again after this
Even with our crazy schedule we barely scratched the surface. I would very highly recommend going for longer if it's at all possible.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jm1248 on October 11, 2015, 10:53:50 PM
I don't think anyone can answer that question for you.  Some people go to Iceland as a stop over to somewhere else and spend only a few days there and seem content.  Others, such as myself, wouldn't be content with this option.
Even with our crazy schedule we barely scratched the surface. I would very highly recommend going for longer if it's at all possible.
Then it probably is not a good idea for me to go right now. I like to feel that I managed to at least see all the main attractions in each place I visit. It doesn't seem like I will have enough time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Thingywingy on January 19, 2016, 09:08:57 PM
I'm flying Sunday 1/24 afternoon from Baltimore. Anyone gonna be there next week?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 19, 2016, 11:14:28 PM
I'm flying Sunday 1/24 afternoon from Baltimore. Anyone gonna be there next week?

What are your plans?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Thingywingy on January 20, 2016, 12:30:20 AM
Where still planning. We will only be there from early Monday morning till Thursday afternoon. Were debating doing the entire loop...What say you?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 20, 2016, 12:41:58 AM
Where still planning. We will only be there from early Monday morning till Thursday afternoon. Were debating doing the entire loop...What say you?

Crazy :P

That's the time frame I was there. Not nearly enough time to drive, and definitely not if you're planning on stopping and seeing or doing things. Not to mention that one spot of bad weather (and there will be many!) could have you stranded in the middle of nowhere with a plane to catch.

Do the south coast thoroughly (Golden Circle through the Laekjavik Coast); if you still have time consider heading out to the Snćfellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufell.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 20, 2016, 02:37:21 AM
That's the time frame I was there.
Um, didn't we leave Wednesday?

Regardless,
Not nearly enough time to drive, and definitely not if you're planning on stopping and seeing or doing things.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 20, 2016, 07:54:52 AM
Um, didn't we leave Wednesday?

Regardless,

Oops, you're right.

My points still stand though. He could try to do the loop and see nothing, and possibly get stuck, or choose a region and do it properly.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 01, 2016, 08:28:04 PM
thinking of going to iceland in may for 4 days of actual touring... is this enough? I'm ok hitting the highlights in the wiki....
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 01, 2016, 08:29:19 PM
thinking of going to iceland in may for 4 days of actual touring... is this enough? I'm ok hitting the highlights in the wiki....

Yes.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 01, 2016, 08:30:32 PM
Note that the things in the wiki aren't the highlights, it's only a partial list based on one persons trip.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 01, 2016, 08:39:12 PM
Note that the things in the wiki aren't the highlights, it's only a partial list based on one persons trip.
do u have any other suggestions other than those?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 01, 2016, 08:47:42 PM
do u have any other suggestions other than those?

Vik Beach and seastacks
Vik lupine fields (in the summer)
Reynisfjara beaches
Ice cave tour
Kirkjufell
Vesturhorn
Fjadrargljufur Canyon
Dettifoss
Godafoss
Skógafoss
Gullfoss

Searching for the northern lights
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 02, 2016, 09:24:26 AM
Anyway to avoid the ~$150 taxes when departing KEF (assuming you book with miles)?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 09, 2016, 06:59:23 PM
anyone have a good tour company for Thrihnukagigur Volcano? also the wiki mentions its cheaper to take a helicopter, but not seeing prices to that effect online.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 09, 2016, 08:21:41 PM
anyone have a good tour company for Thrihnukagigur Volcano? also the wiki mentions its cheaper to take a helicopter, but not seeing prices to that effect online.

Only one way to go there and that is with them:

https://insidethevolcano.com/

You can either hike out with them or take the helicopter.  As I mentioned in my TR, the good thing about the heli tour is that you get a semi private or private tour of the magma chamber.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 09, 2016, 09:16:12 PM
Only one way to go there and that is with them:

https://insidethevolcano.com/

You can either hike out with them or take the helicopter.  As I mentioned in my TR, the good thing about the heli tour is that you get a semi private or private tour of the magma chamber.
ok gotcha, was wondering about why in ur TR/in the wiki it says its cheaper to take the heli. is that based on the "cheapest for semi-private"
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 09, 2016, 10:00:16 PM
ok gotcha, was wondering about why in ur TR/in the wiki it says its cheaper to take the heli. is that based on the "cheapest for semi-private"
I imagine so. I had to reread it twice myself, but yeah, I think he was saying that it's the cheapest way to get a private tour.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 10:43:18 AM
I have friends that went to Iceland last summer. They decided to stay in Reykjavik and book all their activities through a tour company (they used Arctic Adventures (https://www.adventures.is/)) who included transportation to/from their hotel each day. They said they had a few hour drive every morning and evening, but that it wasn't such a big deal. Everyone here, however, seems to feel that renting a car is better and staying in whatever motel/hotel (or RV) you can find near the activities is a better idea. Can I get some thoughts from people? Is staying in Reykjavik really that unwise? My friends didn't think so...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 10:46:15 AM
Can I get some thoughts from people? Is staying in Reykjavik really that unwise? My friends didn't think so...

Yes. It's ridiculous.

Your friends may not have thought so because they didn't know what they were missing, but by not staying in Reykjavik they could have seen and done twice as many things as they did.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 10:51:40 AM
Yes. It's ridiculous.

Your friends may not have thought so because they didn't know what they were missing, but by not staying in Reykjavik they could have seen and done twice as many things as they did.
Okay thanks. So, once you're either doing RV/Campgrounds it or Car/Motels, does it make sense to do the activities on your own or through a tour company and just meet them at the activity sites?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 10:52:41 AM
Renting a camper was perhaps the best decision we made for our Iceland trip.   :) 

But, if you don't mind roughing it and don't want to spend on a camper, the campgrounds in Iceland are amazing and incredibly cheap.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 10:53:53 AM
Depends what you want to do.

Paying a company to go to waterfalls is a waste of money. But if you want to do an ice cave, or a glacier trek, or any number of other activities you'll need a tour.

Jokulsarlon for example could be done by yourself if all you a net to do is gawk and take pictures. But if you want to take a zodiac trip, you'll need a tour.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 10:54:33 AM
Renting a camper was perhaps the best decision we made for our Iceland trip.   :) 

But, if you don't mind roughing it and don't want to spend on a camper, the campgrounds in Iceland are amazing and incredibly cheap.
Confused by the last part - if I don't want to a camper, then how to do the campgrounds help?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 10:56:30 AM
Confused by the last part - if I don't want to a camper, then how to do the campgrounds help?

From what you wrote I didn't get the impression that you were against a camper and it seems like an option you are considering. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 10:58:57 AM
Depends what you want to do.

Paying a company to go to waterfalls is a waste of money. But if you want to do an ice cave, or a glacier trek, or any number of other activities you'll need a tour.

Jokulsarlon for example could be done by yourself if all you a net to do is gawk and take pictures. But if you want to take a zodiac trip, you'll need a tour.
Gotcha okay. That makes sense. I'm compiling a list of activities from the wiki, entire thread, TRs, and what my friends did. Will ask more Q's soon. :)
Just - did you do activities on your trip or just the PhotoDO?

From what you wrote I didn't get the impression that you were against a camper and it seems like an option you are considering. 
Correct, I would consider it. But you said "don't want to spend on a camper."
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 11:01:10 AM
Gotcha okay. That makes sense. I'm compiling a list of activities from the wiki, entire thread, TRs, and what my friends did. Will ask more Q's soon. :)
Just - did you do activities on your trip or just the PhotoDO?
Correct, I would consider it. But you said "don't want to spend on a camper."

I was just pointing out that this is an option you may want to consider given that campers can be pretty expensive.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: myb821 on February 17, 2016, 11:11:33 AM
yehuda he means camping in tents instead of renting an RV
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 11:14:34 AM
Just - did you do activities on your trip or just the PhotoDO?

Just the DO.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 11:18:03 AM
I was just pointing out that this is an option you may want to consider given that campers can be pretty expensive.
yehuda he means camping in tents instead of renting an RV
AHH gotcha. DW likes camping, that would prove to be quite the interesting trip. Anyway, happycampers that was mentioned in the thread have a 2 person option for 150euro a night - that's not crazy at all especially when you consider it's a car rental and hotel in one.

Just the DO.
Really? You seem to know so much about Iceland activities and you didn't even do them!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 11:21:47 AM
Seems like the Happy Camper option is pretty rustic.  Then again, you get what you pay for.  Also, make sure you get an automatic transmission unless you know how to drive stick.  That's the reason why I selected the camper truck as it was the only one I could find with automatic transmission that would fit my family.

I looked at Happy Camper and I could be wrong but it looks like everything they have is manual transmission.  The outfit that Something Fishy rented from has automatic transmission ones.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 11:27:21 AM
Seems like the Happy Camper option is pretty rustic.  Then again, you get what you pay for.  Also, make sure you get an automatic transmission unless you know how to drive stick.  That's the reason why I selected the camper truck as it was the only one I could find with automatic transmission.
I almost feel like I would have more difficulty with a camper truck than a manual transmission :P. Any pics of the inside of your camper truck? Your TR only has the outside.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 11:30:03 AM
I almost feel like I would have more difficulty with a camper truck than a manual transmission :P. Any pics of the inside of your camper truck? Your TR only has the outside.

I didn't bother taking pictures of the interior except for one of my little one on the bed above the cab:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/482/19761450881_ce0419e68d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/w7fASn)DSC08751 (https://flic.kr/p/w7fASn) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

BTW, I had no difficulty driving it.  DW was fine driving it as well.  The only issue is backing up because you cannot see anything behind you and there is no rearview camera.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 11:30:58 AM
Really? You seem to know so much about Iceland activities and you didn't even do them!

I research everything to death, then decide what to do and not to do. So even if we didn't end up doing a tour, I have all the info.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 11:32:20 AM
Oh, I might have actually seen that pic. So yeah that's nicer than happycampers, but I think we could handle it. Will have to discuss with DW.

I research everything to death, then decide what to do and not to do. So even if we didn't end up doing a tour, I have all the info.
Haha nice. Just found it interesting you researched all this stuff even though the plan wasn't to do any activities but just to take pictures of the Aurora.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 17, 2016, 12:09:56 PM
Oh, I might have actually seen that pic. So yeah that's nicer than happycampers, but I think we could handle it. Will have to discuss with DW.
Haha nice. Just found it interesting you researched all this stuff even though the plan wasn't to do any activities but just to take pictures of the Aurora.
I haven't been yet and will be there 4 days in may (so might not have a good handle) so its a little different than a 7-10 day trip, but one thing you may wanna do is fly to jokarsolan with eagleair and rent a car for the way back to reykavik. That's what we're gonna do instead of driving both ways (10-11 hrs total) in 1 day. Then  we'll do day trips out of reykavik. The day trips r things ud need a tour guide for anyways like caving, the ice tunnel tour, and helicopter to volcano.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 12:23:51 PM
I haven't been yet and will be there 4 days in may (so might not have a good handle) so its a little different than a 7-10 day trip, but one thing you may wanna do is fly to jokarsolan with eagleair and rent a car for the way back to reykavik. That's what we're gonna do instead of driving both ways (10-11 hrs total) in 1 day. Then  we'll do day trips out of reykavik. The day trips r things ud need a tour guide for anyways like caving, the ice tunnel tour, and helicopter to volcano.
Interesting. I'm still getting my surroundings with Google Maps. Is Jokulsarlon the furthest activity from Reykjavik?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 12:24:38 PM
Interesting. I'm still getting my surroundings with Google Maps. Is Jokulsarlon the furthest activity from Reykjavik?

Not technically, but practically.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 17, 2016, 12:26:29 PM
Interesting. I'm still getting my surroundings with Google Maps. Is Jokulsarlon the furthest activity from Reykjavik?
No there's stuff in the northeast that's much farther but we decided with only 4 days thats the farthest were going and the best way to do it. We like the comfort of hotel and wanna eat real meals instead of BBQ/pasta (maybe) or granola bars (most likely) the whole time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 12:37:21 PM
Not technically, but practically.
Ok.
No there's stuff in the northeast that's much farther but we decided with only 4 days thats the farthest were going and the best way to do it. We like the comfort of hotel and wanna eat real meals instead of BBQ/pasta (maybe) or granola bars (most likely) the whole time.
So then that's an interesting idea. I'm seeing about 130euro for the one way flight. Is that the general range you found? In that case, I feel like I'd rather have a camper for half that price and drive it. What do you mean about real meals? Why will staying at a hotel afford you real meals vs travel meals?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 12:39:05 PM
I highly doubt you could rent a camper outside of Reykjavik and maaaybe Akureyri.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 12:40:05 PM
I highly doubt you could rent a camper outside of Reykjavik and maaaybe Akureyri.
I meant take it from Reykjavic. That day's cost of a camper for 2 people will be much cheaper than 2 flights and a hotel in Jokulsarlon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 17, 2016, 12:40:50 PM
Ok.So then that's an interesting idea. I'm seeing about 130euro for the one way flight. Is that the general range you found? In that case, I feel like I'd rather have a camper for half that price and drive it. What do you mean about real meals? Why will staying at a hotel afford you real meals vs travel meals?
Yea that's what we paid for 2 tix. The rental is expensive bc of the one way rental charge for dropppoff in reykavik.

Probably wouldn't rent a camper so if we move at all it would be to a hotel but then I'd be worried about the travel meals spoiling.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 12:42:20 PM
Yea that's what we paid for 2 tix. The rental is expensive bc of the one way rental charge for dropppoff in reykavik.

Probably wouldn't rent a camper so if we move at all it would be to a hotel but then I'd be worried about the travel meals spoiling.
Total for 2, or per ticket? That's true add in the cost of the one way rental and for me, I think a camper makes more sense. Or even a regular car and sleeping there overnight. Ice and a cooler will keep your food just fine.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 17, 2016, 12:54:20 PM


Total for 2, or per ticket? That's true add in the cost of the one way rental and for me, I think a camper makes more sense. Or even a regular car and sleeping there overnight. Ice and a cooler will keep your food just fine.

Each ticket was 120 so 240 for both and around 220 for a one way rental back. To each their own though.

How would you get back the next day? If u have more time then I'd drive the whole ring road. Like I said we only have 4 days since wanted to go to Scotland also for 4
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 01:02:38 PM

Each ticket was 120 so 240 for both and around 220 for a one way rental back. To each their own though.

How would you get back the next day? If u have more time then I'd drive the whole ring road. Like I said we only have 4 days since wanted to go to Scotland also for 4
Again, I'm still in the very early planning stages. If there's nothing else to do in the area, I'd turn around...

This is the first time I've heard of the Ring Road. Looks like that's for a really long trip. I'm looking at a 4-5 day trip.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 17, 2016, 01:08:05 PM
Again, I'm still in the very early planning stages. If there's nothing else to do in the area, I'd turn around...

This is the first time I've heard of the Ring Road. Looks like that's for a really long trip. I'm looking at a 4-5 day trip.
Yup that's why we're flying. Don't wanna do the full 10 rt drive and that would cut into the trip. With just the drive back to reyk then u can see everything on the way and be back for dinner
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 09:57:06 PM
I just told my wife about the idea of a camper/RV and she got really excited, so that's great news!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on February 17, 2016, 10:14:49 PM
They said they had a few hour drive every morning and evening, but that it wasn't such a big deal.
They drive six hours every day (basically the same drive every time) but it was not a big deal?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 10:19:32 PM
They drive six hours every day (basically the same drive every time) but it was not a big deal?
From today's research, it seems like the Volcano and Golden Circle are both less than 45 minutes away from Reykjavik so 2 days of the trip are very close to the city.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 10:26:40 PM
From today's research, it seems like the Volcano and Golden Circle are both less than 45 minutes away from Reykjavik so 2 days of the trip are very close to the city.

If you rent a camper just map out an approximate spot as to where you want to stop each night.  When you get tired just find a campground and pull in.  Or, in the alternative, find a remote spot and camp for the night.  You can camp pretty much anywhere in Iceland for a night.

I should also mention that due to the 24 hours of light in the summer, it messes with your internal clock.  I was able to go for a few days with very little sleep and then would just crash.  So you might be able to do way more driving than you think.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 17, 2016, 10:40:33 PM
If you rent a camper just map out an approximate spot as to where you want to stop each night.  When you get tired just find a campground and pull in.  Or, in the alternative, find a remote spot and camp for the night.  You can camp pretty much anywhere in Iceland for a night.

I should also mention that due to the 24 hours of light in the summer, it messes with your internal clock.  I was able to go for a few days with very little sleep and then would just crash.  So you might be able to do way more driving than you think.
Interesting point there haha, but I won't bank on it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 10:42:34 PM
Trust me no one sleeps in Iceland in the summer.  :)  We were driving around at all hours of the night and the farm animals were all up and about and there were birds in the middle of the roadway. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 17, 2016, 11:25:21 PM
PB's right. I didn't have this in Iceland (I was there in the winter), but it was a real issue in Alaska. Your body rhythm could get really messed up if you don't keep track of the time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 17, 2016, 11:27:00 PM
PB's right. I didn't have this in Iceland (I was there in the winter), but it was a real issue in Alaska. Your body rhythm could get really messed up if you don't keep track of the time.

Just sleep when you get back.  I don't sleep on trips.   :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on February 18, 2016, 12:07:07 PM
Talking about not sleeping at night, they call NY "the city that never sleeps" but I gotta say, Havana is really the city that never sleeps. All hours of the night that place is rocking like it's middle of the afternoon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on February 18, 2016, 01:16:17 PM
We davened mincha close to midnight when we were there and there was still plenty of time until shkia
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 18, 2016, 04:56:52 PM
Okay, I believe I have compiled my list of activities based on the wiki, thread, TRs, my friend's trip, and TripAdvisor (FWIW). I'm not saying I can possibly come close to all these activities in a 4-5 day summer trip, but I wanted to list all possibilities. I have broken them down by general area. My first request is to please let me know if I am missing any activities worth doing. Secondly, why can't the first "area" be done while staying at a hotel in Reykjavik for 1-2 nights and then renting the RV to do the 2nd area?

Area 1 - Greater Reykjavik Area - West to Central Iceland
- Thrihnukagigur Volcano: go inside the volcano, 30 min. from REK
- The Blue Lagoon: hot springs in REK (get access to more private lagoon if stay at hotel)
- Golden Circle: all day, first stop is 30 min. from REK
   ~ Thingvellir National Park: tectonic rift, snorkeling in the Silfra fissure
   ~ Haukadalur Valley: Strokkur geyser
   ~ Gullfoss Waterfall
   ~ Kerid Crater Lake
- Langjokull Glacier: jeep tour onto glacier, ice cave tour - Google Maps doesn't have a route to get here. Can't tell how far this is from REK, but it's definitely not in Area 2

Area 2 - Road to Jokulsarlon - Southwest to Southeast Iceland
- Vik: Reynisfjara black sand beach, salt seastacks, lupine flower field
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Sólheimajökull Glacier: hike/climb glacier with ice picks
- Skogafoss Waterfall
- Fjadrargljufur Canyon
- Vesturhorn Mountain
- Jokulsarlon (Vatnajokull National Park): zodiac boat tour, ice cave tour
- Skaftafell Campground: hike to Svartifoss Waterfall. From this campground, they lead tours where you can walk on the glacier - FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THAT.

I have basically ruled out the activities below. Area 3 seems to require its own day and is *just* to see 2 more waterfalls.

Area 3 - Northwest Iceland
- Kirkjufell Mountain and Waterfall
- Dynjandi Waterfall

Random
(Ring Road: including Dettifoss Waterfall and Godafoss Waterfall but it's too long for this trip)
(Skallafell: dog sledding, but that can be done in places other than Iceland)
(Snowmobiling on a glacier, but can be done in places other than Iceland)
(Laugardalur Swimming Pool: not interested)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on February 18, 2016, 05:21:39 PM
When we went, we didn't really have it as planned out. We drove along that main road that's on the south and just stopped at whatever looks cool. We followed along in the book and that definitely helped us. There are a lot of cool things to see and I don't think we missed much.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 18, 2016, 05:24:31 PM
Okay, I believe I have compiled my list of activities based on the wiki, thread, TRs, my friend's trip, and TripAdvisor (FWIW). I'm not saying I can possibly come close to all these activities in a 4-5 day summer trip, but I wanted to list all possibilities. I have broken them down by general area. My first request is to please let me know if I am missing any activities worth doing. Secondly, why can't the first "area" be done while staying at a hotel in Reykjavik for 1-2 nights and then renting the RV to do the 2nd area? It absolutely can.

Area 1 - Greater Reykjavik Area - West to Central Iceland
- Thrihnukagigur Volcano: go inside the volcano, 30 min. from REK
- The Blue Lagoon: hot springs in REK (get access to more private lagoon if stay at hotel) Tourist trap IMNSHO, rather find a small local place in one of the little towns along the south coast. <Ducks and runs from PBaruch>
- Golden Circle: all day, first stop is 30 min. from REK
   ~ Thingvellir National Park: tectonic rift, snorkeling in the Silfra fissure
   ~ Haukadalur Valley: Strokkur geyser
   ~ Gullfoss Waterfall
   ~ Kerid Crater Lake
- Langjokull Glacier: jeep tour onto glacier, ice cave tour - Google Maps doesn't have a route to get here. Can't tell how far this is from REK, but it's definitely not in Area 2 See where the tour meets up and use that as the location.

Area 2 - Road to Jokulsarlon - Southwest to Southeast Iceland
- Vik: Reynisfjara black sand beach, salt seastacks, lupine flower field
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Sólheimajökull Glacier: hike/climb glacier with ice picks
- Skogafoss Waterfall
- Fjadrargljufur Canyon Incredible place, kills me that we couldn't make it there (crazy story, will be in the TR soon).
- Vesturhorn Mountain IMO not worth it unless you're a photographer.
- Jokulsarlon (Vatnajokull National Park): zodiac boat tour, ice cave tour They do ice caves in the summer? Also save time for the beaches there.
- Skaftafell Campground: hike to Svartifoss Waterfall. From this campground, they lead tours where you can walk on the glacier - FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THAT.

I have basically ruled out the activities below. Area 3 seems to require its own day and is *just* to see 2 more waterfalls. Smart.

Area 3 - Northwest Iceland
- Kirkjufell Mountain and Waterfall
- Dynjandi Waterfall

Random
(Ring Road: including Dettifoss Waterfall and Godafoss Waterfall but it's too long for this trip) Yup.
(Skallafell: dog sledding, but that can be done in places other than Iceland)
(Snowmobiling on a glacier, but can be done in places other than Iceland)
(Laugardalur Swimming Pool: not interested)

Looks pretty good so far; see in red above for some comments.

The Eyjafjallajokull visitors center is also worth a short stop.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 18, 2016, 06:36:29 PM
When we went, we didn't really have it as planned out. We drove along that main road that's on the south and just stopped at whatever looks cool. We followed along in the book and that definitely helped us. There are a lot of cool things to see and I don't think we missed much.
What book did you use? Also, we clearly have different ways of approaching trips. :)

Looks pretty good so far; see in red above for some comments.

The Eyjafjallajokull visitors center is also worth a short stop.
Thank you!! Glad you agree about staying in REK for a few nights. I'll have to see the prices of a rental to make sure it's worth it vs renting the RV for the whole time.

- Didn't know there are other hot springs you can go into. Will research those. I'd love to avoid the 50eur lagoon and especially the 350eur hotel.
- Good idea for the Langjokull Glacier location. Although, it seems like the jeep tours might be out of our budget. PBaruch what jeep tour did you take?
- Regarding ice cakes at Langjokull and Jokulsarlon, I have to re-research that to see if they run the tours in the summer. As an aside, I interestingly found out that it seems like dogsledding rides are not available in August. Not sure why exactly.
- Vesturhorn would be something we would stop by only if we're bored in the area anyway.
- Are the Jokulsarlon beaches black sand? Are they so necessary if we'll possibly stop by Reynisfjara black sand beach? And even more so - if we've already seen black sand in Hawaii...?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 18, 2016, 06:42:09 PM
We booked through Extreme Iceland and selected a "Private Super Jeep - Langjokull Glacier" tour.  Cost was 150k ISK (under 1200 USD) for an all day tour.

Tip:  If you intend to do this particular tour, you can camp out by Thingvellir National Park and have the guide pick you up from there.

The Jokulsarlon beach does have black sand.  You will likely see icebergs on the black sand beach.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 18, 2016, 07:47:55 PM
The Eyjafjallajokull visitors center is also worth a short stop.
Google is not helping explain why this is worth a short stop. To see the information inside?

We booked through Extreme Iceland and selected a "Private Super Jeep - Langjokull Glacier" tour.  Cost was 150k ISK (under 1200 USD) for an all day tour.

Tip:  If you intend to do this particular tour, you can camp out by Thingvellir National Park and have the guide pick you up from there.

The Jokulsarlon beach does have black sand.  You will likely see icebergs on the black sand beach.
Thank you! I actually saw it on that site and that price range. Might be out of our budget especially since we're just 2 people and it looks like you might need to rent out the whole jeep. Hopefully we'll get to do the ice pick hike and maybe a walking on the glacier hike, so those experiences will have to hold us over for now.

Thanks for the info on the beach. I guess we'll see if we have time/are interested in seeing more than 1 of them.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 19, 2016, 01:22:45 AM
- Vesturhorn would be something we would stop by only if we're bored in the area anyway.

I'll give you the Something Fishy guarantee that that won't happen 8).

If you do decide to go, keep in mind that Verturhorn is over an hour past Jokulsarlon. If you're going that far, I'd say go another 20 minutes further and check out the incredible Laekjavik Coast instead. Doing both doesn't make much sense, as Vesturhorn to Laekjavik is 45 minutes (look at the distances chart in my TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54461.msg1280931#msg1280931) to see how this timing math works out).

- Are the Jokulsarlon beaches black sand? Are they so necessary if we'll possibly stop by Reynisfjara black sand beach? And even more so - if we've already seen black sand in Hawaii...?

Once you see the upcoming part of my TR you won't have this question anymore... Here's a tiny teaser, of something you won't see on an Hawaiian beach:

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1556/23824765303_300534308d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/GmS2LB)

So yes, the beaches are an absolute must-do, especially as your'e there already anyways (one parking lot for the lagoon and beaches).
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 19, 2016, 07:55:16 AM
Wow, that's an insane picture! You have me sold. Good to know it's in the same place as the glacier. Do you still recommend stopping at the Reynisfjara beach? Or this one is "enough"?

Thanks for the info about Vesturhorn. I'll read through your distance chart - I forgot you put together that awesome post. I imagine we won't go that far past Jokulsarlon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 19, 2016, 07:58:33 AM
From this morning's research, this (http://www.gocampers.is/our-campers/go-smart-automatic-camper-2-pax/483) is the cheapest automatic camper I can find. It's not too pretty on the inside, but from among ~10 sites, there were only a few that had 2 people automatic campers, and they were much cheaper than the others at about $150 a day. I also did a bit of research into a regular car rental if I were to split the trip with a hotel/car for half and camper for half, but I couldn't find anything cheaper than $90 so far, and the campers all have a minimum of 3 day rentals, so it seems like it's gotta be a camper for the whole trip
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 19, 2016, 08:03:10 AM
Do you still recommend stopping at the Reynisfjara beach? Or this one is "enough"?

Do both, it's worth it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 19, 2016, 11:11:18 AM
Do both, it's worth it.
When u say both u mean also beach at jokulsarlon?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 19, 2016, 11:30:00 AM
When u say both u mean also beach at jokulsarlon?

Correct, Reynisfjara and Jokulsarlon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on February 19, 2016, 11:31:42 AM
Correct, Reynisfjara and Jokulsarlon.
OK tx. Couldnt quite follow the conversation.

Also, I know people don't like cross posting but does anyone know about how to get Hertz or Avis one-way rental fee waived or taken off with a code? (Specifically from hofn to reyk)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 21, 2016, 12:55:38 AM
In case anyone is interested we bought this book for our Iceland trip:

http://www.amazon.com/Top-Iceland-Eyewitness-Travel-Guide/dp/1465410376/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456034094&sr=8-1&keywords=iceland+top+10

On the plus side its very compact in size.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 28, 2016, 07:58:29 AM
Looks pretty good so far; see in red above for some comments.

The Eyjafjallajokull visitors center is also worth a short stop.
I just checked and you are correct - the ice caves by Jokulsarlon are closed in the summer. The man-made ice cave by Langjokull is open, though.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ejhirschberger on February 28, 2016, 03:03:25 PM
Any ideas for reward travel to Iceland? I have 150K UR, 100K MR, 40K Avios, 75K United.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 28, 2016, 03:24:50 PM
Any ideas for reward travel to Iceland? I have 150K UR, 100K MR, 40K Avios, 75K United.

Direct from the US is only Delta in the summer, but very difficult to find award availability. You're other option is via Europe (for example SAS flies from OSL), but you'll lose a lot of time.

Paying cash is generally the best way to go unfortunately.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 28, 2016, 05:56:26 PM
Technically, you can also use AS miles (which I know you don't have right now) to fly IcelandAir, but they charge over $100 tax each way, which kills the deal. Technically, you can also use AS miles (which I know you don't have right now) to fly IcelandAir, but they charge over $100 tax each way, which kills the deal. And you can always book through the UR or MR sites directly, which usually isn't a great use of miles.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ual902 on February 28, 2016, 06:03:11 PM
Any ideas for reward travel to Iceland? I have 150K UR, 100K MR, 40K Avios, 75K United.

I used the Barclay's arrivals which gave me $440 in free travel on Iceland Air EWR REK EWR
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 28, 2016, 06:17:45 PM
I used the Barclay's arrivals which gave me $440 in free travel on Iceland Air EWR REK EWR

To clarify (nitpick ;)?), Icelandair flies JFK-KEF-JFK.

REK is mostly domestic flights.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ual902 on February 28, 2016, 06:29:09 PM
To clarify (nitpick ;)?), Icelandair flies JFK-KEF-JFK.

REK is mostly domestic flights.
They flew for awhile  EWR KEF EWR in 2013, they probably disconnected that flight.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 28, 2016, 06:37:33 PM
They flew for awhile  EWR KEF EWR in 2013, they probably disconnected that flight.

Interesting, never heard of it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 13, 2016, 05:28:18 PM
Booked my flights! Motzai Shabbos through Friday morning.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 13, 2016, 06:32:54 PM
Booked my flights! Motzai Shabbos through Friday morning.

Mazel Tov!

This coming week?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: benjie1305 on March 13, 2016, 06:40:36 PM
Booked my flights! Motzai Shabbos through Friday morning.

Going with the wife? What's the plan for the week? How'd you book?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 13, 2016, 07:03:55 PM
Mazel Tov!

This coming week?
No no no.
Thanks, but yeah not till the summer. Leaves me with plenty of months to bombard you with questions. ::) :P

Going with the wife? What's the plan for the week? How'd you book?
Yep, iy"h. Mostly what I posted here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=9572.msg1413699#msg1413699). I used 90K MR pp booked directly through Amex. Flying DL with lie-flat J for the outbound (which is nice for the overnight flight to begin an activity-packed week). While not a great use of MR, it was still the cheapest way I could fly out on Motzai Shabbos in J and return on Friday, and it gave me the flexibility to book without Saver space being available. (Saver on DL/AF would have been 92.5K + $50-100 taxes.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 16, 2016, 06:05:47 PM
After compiling as much data as I could find on the different camper rental companies, I created a spreadsheet and attached it here for future reference for others. It only lists summer prices (high season) and automatic campers (since I don't know how to drive manual).

As SomethingFishy pointed out in his TR, Kuku Campers (and later I found out Go Campers is owned by the same person) had a history of being anti-Israel and weren't renting out to Israelis a year+ or so ago when they publicly said they were doing it to protest Israel's presence in Gaza. Their low/cheap season on their site used to actually say "Jew season" (per SF's TR). While they seemingly have retracted their stance on the issue (by changing their low season name), I still feel uncomfortable and won't be using them for my trip despite their much lower cost. I also came across an AirBnB-style website for Iceland cars/campers, but it doesn't look professional enough for me to trust it for my trip. Therefore, I think I'll be going with the green-highlighted option - Cozy Campers. They have almost 100% positive feedback on a few different sites, their sleeping area seems to be on the higher-end of comfort (based on pictures), and their prices are in the middle of the pack.

(http://i.imgur.com/bTRLyXY.png?1)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 26, 2016, 11:50:29 PM
I'll give you the Something Fishy guarantee that that won't happen 8).

If you do decide to go, keep in mind that Verturhorn is over an hour past Jokulsarlon. If you're going that far, I'd say go another 20 minutes further and check out the incredible Laekjavik Coast instead. Doing both doesn't make much sense, as Vesturhorn to Laekjavik is 45 minutes (look at the distances chart in my TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54461.msg1280931#msg1280931) to see how this timing math works out).

Once you see the upcoming part of my TR you won't have this question anymore... Here's a tiny teaser, of something you won't see on an Hawaiian beach:

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1556/23824765303_300534308d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/GmS2LB)

So yes, the beaches are an absolute must-do, especially as your'e there already anyways (one parking lot for the lagoon and beaches).
Showed that picture to my friend who went in the summer, and they said there is no way I'll see that on a beach in the summer. When they were planning their trip, they spoke to tour operators who told them not to expect to see any ice except for on the glaciers. They were also told to expect enough rain on 1 our of 4 days to cancel that day's activity. Thoughts from the crowd here?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 27, 2016, 12:15:55 AM
Showed that picture to my friend who went in the summer, and they said there is no way I'll see that on a beach in the summer. When they were planning their trip, they spoke to tour operators who told them not to expect to see any ice except for on the glaciers. They were also told to expect enough rain on 1 our of 4 days to cancel that day's activity. Thoughts from the crowd here?

Plenty of ice on the beaches in the summer. The pieces tend to be smaller, but not any less beautiful. Look through some pictures here (https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=jokulsarlon%20beach&advanced=1&min_taken_date=1435723200&max_taken_date=1438401599&sort=interestingness-desc) - this is filtered by pictures taken last July.

Weather-wise, expect rain every day. If it doesn't, consider it a bonus. Dress properly and don't let it distract from the awesomeness.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 27, 2016, 07:29:14 AM
Plenty of ice on the beaches in the summer. The pieces tend to be smaller, but not any less beautiful. Look through some pictures here (https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=jokulsarlon%20beach&advanced=1&min_taken_date=1435723200&max_taken_date=1438401599&sort=interestingness-desc) - this is filtered by pictures taken last July.

Weather-wise, expect rain every day. If it doesn't, consider it a bonus. Dress properly and don't let it distract from the awesomeness.
Thanks for that link! I appreciate it. Unfortunate news about the rain, but going in with the right mindset will definitely help.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 27, 2016, 11:17:56 AM
http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/concert-iceland-volcano-secret-solstice-festival?xid=NL_TLDaily032716IcelandicVolcanoConcert

This is pretty cool.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on April 07, 2016, 02:05:22 PM
Trying to decide how many days I should book a camper for vs. stay in REK at a hotel. Minimum rental is 3 days.

I land on Sunday at around 9:30AM and leave Friday morning. Part of me says to stay at least the last night (Thursday) in a hotel so I can return the camper the night before and not have to worry about returning it (in REK) and making my way to the airport all in the same busy morning. (Assuming there's even a campsite in REK to stay Thursday night.) The volcano comes with included transportation from REK, but Golden Circle would need to rent a car (or the camper) to do it without a tour.

Here are my planned activities. How many days should I allocate to being able to stay in REK vs. needing a camper, and any recommended order to do it?

Thrihnukagigur Volcano
Golden Circle (Strokkur geyser, Gullfoss Waterfall, Kerid Crater Lake)+ Silfra snorkeling
(Maybe: Langjokull Glacier for Into the Glacier ice cave tour)

Vik: Reynisfjara black sand beach, salt seastacks, lupine flower field
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Sólheimajökull Glacier: hike with ice picks
Eyjafjallajökull Erupts Visitor Center
Skogafoss Waterfall
Fjadrargljufur Canyon
Jokulsarlon Glacier: Zodiac boat tour
Hike on 1 of the glaciers: Falljökull, Vatnajökull or Svínafellsjökull
Svartifoss Waterfall
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 07, 2016, 02:52:24 PM
I like the idea of returning the camper Thursday night. It'll make your next morning much less stressful (returning a camera is kinda more involved than returning a car. Regarding your question of camping in REK, you really don't need a campsite - find a random parking lot or something and get comfortable.

For your itinerary, plot everything on a map and it'll be much clearer what order to do things, when to camp, etc.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 08, 2016, 11:36:34 AM
Anyone care to buy some land in Jökulsárlón  :)

http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/landmarks-monuments/iceland-glacier-lagoon-sale?xid=NL_TLDaily040816GlacierLagoonInIceland
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on April 12, 2016, 09:31:36 AM
I like the idea of returning the camper Thursday night. It'll make your next morning much less stressful (returning a camera is kinda more involved than returning a car. Regarding your question of camping in REK, you really don't need a campsite - find a random parking lot or something and get comfortable.

For your itinerary, plot everything on a map and it'll be much clearer what order to do things, when to camp, etc.
Didn't know you can just pull over anywhere, thanks. What did you do for insurance? Do you know if CCs cover the camper insurance?

I had already laid out everything on a map. L'maissa it seems that the only day I can go without a camper is the Volcano day since the bus is included. The other REK activity is Golden Circle, and if I don't have a Camper for that day, then I'll need to rent a different car. So either I'll get a camper for 4 days or I'll get it for 3 and then rent a regular car for 1.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on April 21, 2016, 07:52:13 AM
Will any size car work fine for the Golden Circle?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 21, 2016, 08:55:10 AM
Will any size car work fine for the Golden Circle?

Sure.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on April 21, 2016, 09:25:09 AM
Sure.
Super. Found SIXT for $40 for an automatic. Most likely will do camper from Sunday morning through Tuesday for South/East coasts. Regular car for Wednesday for Golden Circle. And Thursday do the Volcano with included transportation, or take the car rental for a second day just so I have more flexibility.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: jopav613 on June 01, 2016, 09:19:06 AM
Hi. Planning a first time 5 day trip to Iceland with my daughter in July. Wondering if anybody can offer me some advice on a cheap reliable rental car company as I've read so many horror stories on blogs and on TripAdvisor about ripoffs for minor damages. Also I've heard that the typical Visa coverage for waving CDW does not work there as you cannot waive CDW in Iceland. I'm assuming I should take while coverage in that case from the car rental company? Thanks.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 01, 2016, 09:33:08 AM
Hi. Planning a first time 5 day trip to Iceland with my daughter in July. Wondering if anybody can offer me some advice on a cheap reliable rental car company as I've read so many horror stories on blogs and on TripAdvisor about ripoffs for minor damages. Also I've heard that the typical Visa coverage for waving CDW does not work there as you cannot waive CDW in Iceland. I'm assuming I should take while coverage in that case from the car rental company? Thanks.

Most rental places have packages that cover just about everything for a very reasonable price. I've paid for that in the last and am paying for it again now.

Sand and gravel damage is a real possibility on the Icelandic roads. And if you're planning on doing some F-roads you're pretty much guaranteed some damage.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: jopav613 on June 01, 2016, 10:26:02 AM
Thanks for the quick reply. I hear ya. Not planning on highland driving but will follow your advice nonetheless. Which rental car company did you use and what was your experience with them?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 01, 2016, 10:32:33 AM
Thanks for the quick reply. I hear ya. Not planning on highland driving but will follow your advice nonetheless. Which rental car company did you use and what was your experience with them?

I've rented only campers, not regular cars. CampEasy, was very happy with them.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on June 01, 2016, 12:03:49 PM
From speaking to members at the benefits desk of Citi AA cards, campers would be included in their car rental protection as the only requirements are:
1) The vehicle must have at least 4 wheels.
2) The vehicle must be intended to drive on public roads.

Those T&C are clearly written in the benefits guide if you Google it. The rep confirmed that a camper would be covered. If something c"v happens, I hope they will honor their word.

I just realized now that you didn't even mention you were renting a camper. Whoops. Well, in terms of your questions, SIXT told me I can waive the CDW when I pick up the car.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on June 02, 2016, 10:31:17 AM
would anyone know to tell me whether there is a fridge or/and microwave in blue lagoon?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: foseph on June 02, 2016, 10:32:50 AM
would anyone know to tell me whether there is a fridge or/and microwave in blue lagoon?
in the hotel rooms? yes there are
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on June 02, 2016, 10:36:31 AM
in the hotel rooms? yes there are
both?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 10, 2016, 12:00:33 AM
Two potentially negative pieces of news:

1. The Icelandic parliament just passed a law severely limiting airbnb-type places, and there are reports of existing places being shut down and reservations canceled.

http://grapevine.is/news/2016/06/05/new-airbnb-law-approved-by-parliament/

2. I haven't been able to find an official English-language source for this yet, but there are reports online that wild camping is now illegal in Iceland. No more staying in a random pullout or on the side of the road overnight; you must stay in (and pay for) a designated campground.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 10, 2016, 08:00:52 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/30/iceland-plans-airbnb-restrictions-amid-tourism-explosion

(The law referenced in the article has now passed.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 20, 2016, 08:26:55 AM
Costco is opening a branch outside Reykjavik this year. Hopefully that'll mean some kosher food...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on June 20, 2016, 08:44:48 AM
I love how you're the Iceland news guy.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: rudswjkbv on June 24, 2016, 12:53:22 AM
Has anyone done the Fimmvörđuháls hike between Skógar and Thórsmörk and has any thoughts about it?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 06, 2016, 08:21:32 AM
http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-what-the-99-flight-from-la-to-iceland-is-like-2016-7?r=UK&IR=T
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dawie on July 06, 2016, 10:28:09 AM
http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-what-the-99-flight-from-la-to-iceland-is-like-2016-7?r=UK&IR=T
"Iceland, I promise you, is much nicer than Cleveland, especially this time of year." don't let the Mods see that
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 03:39:21 PM
Some questions. Perhaps you can help answer them by just copying my whole post and maybe putting a space or a dash infront of your answers...

If I want to visit the Westman Islands on my own, what's the recommended way to do so:
1) Any tips on getting the ferry cheaper or is their official site the only place to book?
2) Do you need your car on the island to do the aquarium, hike to the volcano, and south cliff puffin watching or can you walk it all?
3) Any tips for finding the sites (directions, things to enter into a GPS)?
4) How long do I need on the island? (I know aquarium takes 30 minutes.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: lfas25 on July 20, 2016, 03:41:26 PM
Some questions. Perhaps you can help answer them by just copying my whole post and maybe putting a space or a dash infront of your answers...

If I want to visit the Westman Islands on my own, what's the recommended way to do so:
1) Any tips on getting the ferry cheaper or is their official site the only place to book?
2) Do you need your car on the island to do the aquarium, hike to the volcano, and south cliff puffin watching or can you walk it all?
3) Any tips for finding these places (directions, things to enter into a GPS)?
4) How long do I need on the island? (I know aquarium takes 30 minutes.)

2 - yes you need your car.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 03:42:14 PM
2 - yes you need your car.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2016, 03:53:40 PM
Some questions. Perhaps you can help answer them by just copying my whole post and maybe putting a space or a dash infront of your answers...

If I want to visit the Westman Islands on my own, what's the recommended way to do so:
1) Any tips on getting the ferry cheaper or is their official site the only place to book?
2) Do you need your car on the island to do the aquarium, hike to the volcano, and south cliff puffin watching or can you walk it all?
3) Any tips for finding these places (directions, things to enter into a GPS)?
4) How long do I need on the island? (I know aquarium takes 30 minutes.)

1) You could book on the Westman Islands site (http://visitwestmanislands.com/tour/ferry-landeyjahofn-to-vestmannaeyjar) or on the official ferry site (http://eimskip.is/EN/iceland_domestic/herjolfur/bookings/default.html). Prices are the same on both places, but I've seen scattered reports of issues with not booking direct (lost bookings and the like). I booked direct.

2) Technically you could walk all over, but you're looking at very long and difficult hikes. Bring you car, it's fairly cheap and totally worth it.

3) Put the coordinates into the GPS, that'll be your best bet. Parking lot for the puffin watching area is 63.400753, -20.287034. We had lots of luck seeing them fly from 63.402717, -20.293544 and at their burrows from 63.403432, -20.291123 (note that you need to swap the lat and long if you have a Garmin). Keep in mind that the cliffs are incredibly dangerous and that the edge crumbles. Use common sense and you'll be fine.

4) We were there for 5 hours, around 30 minutes in town (we needed drinks and things like that), around 3 hours shooting puffins (and stoned killer sheep), half an hour doing tech support for a bus-full of Israeli seniors, a while relaxing, and maybe 30 minutes driving.

Being that you most likely will not be spending so much time with the puffins, you should have some time left over for a quick hike or two.

Also keep in mind that you need to be at the dock half an hour before the boat departs (officially). We arrived a few minutes late and it was fine, but I don't know how far you could push it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 03:55:57 PM
lol You answered the question anyway, so I deleted it from my ETA. haha
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2016, 03:56:40 PM
lol You answered the question anyway, so I deleted it from my ETA. haha

Yup, deleted my ETA as well and added a bit more detail :P
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 04:40:40 PM
1) You could book on the Westman Islands site (http://visitwestmanislands.com/tour/ferry-landeyjahofn-to-vestmannaeyjar) or on the official ferry site (http://eimskip.is/EN/iceland_domestic/herjolfur/bookings/default.html). Prices are the same on both places, but I've seen scattered reports of issues with not booking direct (lost bookings and the like). I booked direct.

2) Technically you could walk all over, but you're looking at very long and difficult hikes. Bring you car, it's fairly cheap and totally worth it.

3) Put the coordinates into the GPS, that'll be your best bet. Parking lot for the puffin watching area is 63.400753, -20.287034. We had lots of luck seeing them fly from 63.402717, -20.293544 and at their burrows from 63.403432, -20.291123 (note that you need to swap the lat and long if you have a Garmin). Keep in mind that the cliffs are incredibly dangerous and that the edge crumbles. Use common sense and you'll be fine.

4) We were there for 5 hours, around 30 minutes in town (we needed drinks and things like that), around 3 hours shooting puffins (and stoned killer sheep), half an hour doing tech support for a bus-full of Israeli seniors, a while relaxing, and maybe 30 minutes driving.

Being that you most likely will not be spending so much time with the puffins, you should have some time left over for a quick hike or two.

Also keep in mind that you need to be at the dock half an hour before the boat departs (officially). We arrived a few minutes late and it was fine, but I don't know how far you could push it.
I saw both those sites for booking - will go direct. Will bring my car. Thanks for the coordinates - amazing how you find all that stuff out. I imagine we won't spend close to 3 hours by the puffins, so we'll try to find one of the hikes up to the volcano. I'll research online where to find the beginning of the hike. Good to know 30 minutes of driving means the island isn't too large. I'll play it safe and aim for 30 minutes before departure.

2:25PM is the earliest departure we can catch to the island (since I want to do it on my first day), and I'm going to try to push it with a return on the 6:30PM.

Yup, deleted my ETA as well and added a bit more detail :P
Caught that. ;D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2016, 04:42:36 PM
I saw both those sites for booking - will go direct. Will bring my car. Thanks for the coordinates - amazing how you find all that stuff out. I imagine we won't spend close to 3 hours by the puffins, so we'll try to find one of the hikes up to the volcano. I'll research online where to find the beginning of the hike. Good to know 30 minutes of driving means the island isn't too large. I'll play it safe and aim for 30 minutes before departure.

2:25PM is the earliest departure we can catch to the island (since I want to do it on my first day), and I'm going to try to push it with a return on the 6:30PM.
Caught that. ;D

I'd suggest the 9ish return instead. That gives you enough time on the island, and you could still catch sunset on the mainland with plenty of time left over.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 04:50:51 PM
I'd suggest the 9ish return instead. That gives you enough time on the island, and you could still catch sunset on the mainland with plenty of time left over.
Yeah the other return is 9. Isn't sunset around 9:30? I was planning to do Seljalandsfoss on the way from the camper rental to the ferry, but maybe I'll do something else before the ferry and then do the falls for sunset when we get back. Any idea for something else to do between REK and the ferry? Selj was my first stop going east that I researched.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2016, 05:09:44 PM
Yeah the other return is 9. Isn't sunset around 9:30? I was planning to do Seljalandsfoss on the way from the camper rental to the ferry, but maybe I'll do something else before the ferry and then do the falls for sunset when we get back. Any idea for something else to do between REK and the ferry? Selj was my first stop going east that I researched.

Depends on your dates... Sunset for us was 11:30ish.

If you're flying Delta, they've been delayed pretty consistently all summer. We had to hightail it from the Camper pickup to the ferry without stopping even for basic groceries. Rather keep your schedule open IMO. If you have extra time, there's a lovely horse pasture on the way (63.628277, -20.035519) where you could spend some time watching the Icelandic ponies. If you have even more time, Skogafoss and the volcano visitors center are around an hour out of the way, as are most Golden Circle sights.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 05:19:54 PM
Depends on your dates... Sunset for us was 11:30ish.

If you're flying Delta, they've been delayed pretty consistently all summer. We had to hightail it from the Camper pickup to the ferry without stopping even for basic groceries. Rather keep your schedule open IMO. If you have extra time, there's a lovely horse pasture on the way (63.628277, -20.035519) where you could spend some time watching the Icelandic ponies. If you have even more time, Skogafoss and the volcano visitors center are around an hour out of the way, as are most Golden Circle sights.
I won't have that much time for Skogafoss, etc. but the horse pasture seems like a neat idea! Last full week of August shows 11:30 via Google, but 9:30 once I went to an actual sunset website. Where do you recommend to check? Thanks for the delays info. It's incredible how you have coordinates for all these things.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2016, 05:26:05 PM
I won't have that much time for Skogafoss, etc. but the horse pasture seems like a neat idea! Last full week of August shows 11:30 via Google, but 9:30 once I went to an actual sunset website. Where do you recommend to check? Thanks for the delays info. It's incredible how you have coordinates for all these things.

http://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=63.552635,-20.014097&center=63.6327,-20.0015&dt=20160829204439%2B0000&z=9&spn=0.65,3.70
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 05:27:39 PM
http://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=63.552635,-20.014097&center=63.6327,-20.0015&dt=20160829204439%2B0000&z=9&spn=0.65,3.70
Wow, that site is intense. 11:10PM it is and therefore I'll go for the 9PM ferry. Thanks!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 20, 2016, 05:28:51 PM
Wow, that site is intense. 11:10PM it is and therefore I'll go for the 9PM ferry. Thanks!

LOL, that's my first stop for any trip or photography planning ;D.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ad120 on July 21, 2016, 12:16:50 AM
I hate to troll but: Following
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: lfas25 on July 21, 2016, 12:19:24 AM
I hate to troll but: Following
You know there is a "notify me of new posts" button, without the need to post in the thread.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 21, 2016, 12:26:10 AM
You know there is a "notify me of new posts" button, without the need to post in the thread.

Following
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: lfas25 on July 21, 2016, 12:49:07 AM
Following

"FACEPALM"

(http://rs215.pbsrc.com/albums/cc280/bleurgh_bucket/facepalm.jpg~c200)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Moishebatchy on July 21, 2016, 01:35:59 AM
Following

פיִשיִ איִז אַ פאָני פ*ָ**ֶר 😂
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 21, 2016, 01:50:53 PM
Which car size did you choose for the ferry booking?
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8764/27839311384_fb7ee82621_m.jpg)
I'm renting the Easy Auto which is either a MB Vito or a Toyota Previa, both of which are about the size of a minivan and are under 5m and 2.15m per Wikipedia. So, think I'll be safe with the first car choice?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 21, 2016, 01:51:49 PM
Which car size did you choose for the ferry booking?
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8764/27839311384_fb7ee82621_m.jpg)
I'm renting the Easy Auto which is either a MB Vito or a Toyota Previa, both of which are about the size of a minivan and are under 5m and 2.15m per Wikipedia. So, think I'll be safe with the first car choice?

Yup
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 21, 2016, 01:52:38 PM
Yup
I'm not even going to guess what a Farartaeki is, but I assumed Vagn is a van and therefore thought maybe a camper falls under that. Anyway, thanks for the insanely quick response!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 21, 2016, 02:21:35 PM
You know there is a "notify me of new posts" button, without the need to post in the thread.
but doesnt that send an annoying email for each reply?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: lfas25 on July 21, 2016, 02:22:56 PM
but doesnt that send an annoying email for each reply?
Only once you read the last post
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 21, 2016, 02:24:40 PM
Only once you read the last post
didnt know that. thanx
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 21, 2016, 02:25:08 PM
Can you walk from Vik beach to Reynifsjara beach? Or do you need to drive back out and come around?
(https://s31.postimg.org/6ghz2bw6z/Picture_This_screenshot_20160721_142332.jpg)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 21, 2016, 02:45:05 PM
Can you walk from Vik beach to Reynifsjara beach? Or do you need to drive back out and come around?

No, you must drive.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 21, 2016, 03:11:23 PM
No, you must drive.


Recommendation for a campground near Seljalandsfoss?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 21, 2016, 05:37:30 PM


Recommendation for a campground near Seljalandsfoss?

I think the one by Skogafoss is the closest.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 21, 2016, 05:41:44 PM
I think the one by Skogafoss is the closest.
Sorry, I meant to update this but I found one right by Seljalandsfoss called Hamragardar, which also taught me about another waterfall nearby - Gljufrabui.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 22, 2016, 09:59:34 AM
Fjallsarlon vs. Jokulsarlon:
Zodiac boat on Fjallsarlon then go to Jokulsarlon for pictures from the shore?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 22, 2016, 10:43:50 AM
Fjallsarlon vs. Jokulsarlon:
Zodiac boat on Fjallsarlon then go to Jokulsarlon for pictures from the shore?

Sounds right. Make sure to check out both the Jokulsarlon lagoon and beach.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 22, 2016, 11:35:50 AM
Sounds right. Make sure to check out both the Jokulsarlon lagoon and beach.
Thanks, noted.

I highly doubt I'll get answer to this from the DDF crowd but: any recommendations for a hotel in Reykjavik? I was going to stay at the Hilton for my last 2 nights, but decided now I want to save my points for other trips. Keeping the camper for another 2 nights would cost me $400, so looking for a place under $200 a night.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 01, 2016, 02:52:28 PM
Ready for some random questions?

1) Is there still a strike at KEF? How much time do I need to arrive by before my flight?
2) Can you get back VAT at the airport?
3) What to do for food? The camper comes with a propane-powered burner, so ideas so far have be to bring a pot and make pasta, buy a grill in Iceland and bring meat/chicken, Tradition soups, and oatmeal. Someone suggested looking into this (https://www.amazon.com/HotLogic-Mini-Personal-Portable-Oven/dp/B00EC7XJ28), which seems to be a hot plate with an insulated bag and perhaps it can heat up POM meals (assuming the camper fridge is large enough to hold a few POM meals).
4) Any ideas for seeing the Bridge Between Continents? It seems to be far from REK, the Golden Circle, and the highway leading southeast. Not sure whether it's worth trying to get out there to see it.
5) Recommendations for changing cash/ATM withdrawals? Open a Schwab account and then withdraw from anywhere w/fees refunded seems to be the best option, but just want to confirm.
6) Do campers have regular cigarette lighter plugs or do I need an adapter?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 01, 2016, 03:00:53 PM
Ready for some random questions?

1) Is there still a strike at KEF? How much time do I need to arrive by before my flight?
2) Can you get back VAT at the airport?
3) What to do for food? The camper comes with a propane-powered burner, so ideas so far have be to bring a pot and make pasta, buy a grill in Iceland and bring meat/chicken, Tradition soups, and oatmeal. Someone suggested looking into this (https://www.amazon.com/HotLogic-Mini-Personal-Portable-Oven/dp/B00EC7XJ28), which seems to be a hot plate with an insulated bag and perhaps it can heat up POM meals (assuming the camper fridge is large enough to hold a few POM meals).
4) Any ideas for seeing the Bridge Between Continents? It seems to be far from REK, the Golden Circle, and the highway leading southeast. Not sure whether it's worth trying to get out there to see it.
5) Recommendations for changing cash/ATM withdrawals? Open a Schwab account and then withdraw from anywhere w/fees refunded seems to be the best option, but just want to confirm.
6) Do campers have regular cigarette lighter plugs or do I need an adapter?

1) Yes. I'd suggest 3 hours to be safe.
2) No idea. What are you planning at buying that this should be a major concern?
3) Camper fridge will hold a couple of POM meals, not problem. We rented a grill from the camper place and it worked out great. I called a few weeks before and requested brand-new grates, which they provided for free. Obviously you'd need to confirm that they could do this for you as well, don't just rely on my experience.
4) This is the first I'm hearing of this, so no recommendation.
5) In two trips I never had the remotest need for cash, everyone and everything takes CC.
6) Regular ciggarette lighters. I'd suggest an inverter to 110v.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: lfas25 on August 01, 2016, 03:03:57 PM


Ready for some random questions?

1) Is there still a strike at KEF? How much time do I need to arrive by before my flight?
2) Can you get back VAT at the airport?
3) What to do for food? The camper comes with a propane-powered burner, so ideas so far have be to bring a pot and make pasta, buy a grill in Iceland and bring meat/chicken, Tradition soups, and oatmeal. Someone suggested looking into this (https://www.amazon.com/HotLogic-Mini-Personal-Portable-Oven/dp/B00EC7XJ28), which seems to be a hot plate with an insulated bag and perhaps it can heat up POM meals (assuming the camper fridge is large enough to hold a few POM meals).
4) Any ideas for seeing the Bridge Between Continents? It seems to be far from REK, the Golden Circle, and the highway leading southeast. Not sure whether it's worth trying to get out there to see it.
5) Recommendations for changing cash/ATM withdrawals? Open a Schwab account and then withdraw from anywhere w/fees refunded seems to be the best option, but just want to confirm.
6) Do campers have regular cigarette lighter plugs or do I need an adapter?

When paying for gas with Amex and SP it requested for a pin, make sure you know yours.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 01, 2016, 03:05:04 PM
1) Yes. I'd suggest 3 hours to be safe.
2) No idea. What are you planning at buying that this should be a major concern?
3) Camper fridge will hold a couple of POM meals, not problem. We rented a grill from the camper place and it worked out great. I called a few weeks before and requested brand-new grates, which they provided for free. Obviously you'd need to confirm that they could do this for you as well, don't just rely on my experience.
4) This is the first I'm hearing of this, so no recommendation.
5) In two trips I never had the remotest need for cash, everyone and everything takes CC.
6) Regular ciggarette lighters. I'd suggest an inverter to 110v.
1) What could go wrong that requires so much time? Long checking/security lines? Flights departing early?
2) I bought a lot of tours + camper and car. Can you get back the tax from there?
3) Good to know! Toveled it somewhere?
4) Check it out on Google, looks like a nice short stop, just out of the way.
5) SUPER good to know, unless I need to slip someone a twenty at some point...
6) Great - that'll charge my phone like normal and I'll get an adapter for my laptop.


When paying for gas with Amex and SP it requested for a pin, make sure you know yours.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 01, 2016, 03:22:53 PM
1) What could go wrong that requires so much time? Long checking/security lines? Flights departing early?
2) I bought a lot of tours + camper and car. Can you get back the tax from there?
3) Good to know! Toveled it somewhere?
4) Check it out on Google, looks like a nice short stop, just out of the way.
5) SUPER good to know, unless I need to slip someone a twenty at some point...
6) Great - that'll charge my phone like normal and I'll get an adapter for my laptop.
Thanks!

1) Yes, lines are absolutely nuts.
2) I may be very wrong here, but IIUC the concept of VAT refunds is only on portable goods. I imagine the VAT situation would be the same across Europe, so maybe ask in one of the more active destination threads and see if anyone has some clearer insight.
3) No, you don't need to toivel something that's owned by a non-Jew. Maybe AYLOR to hear his perspective.
4) Looks nice, but personally I wouldn't go out of the way for that. You're doing Silfra, which is a similar concept yet far cooler.
5) If you need to slip someone a twenty, I'm sure the'll take USD as well ;D.
6) Yup.

When paying for gas with Amex and SP it requested for a pin, make sure you know yours.

Thanks for that reminder. Note that the majority of US cards won't work, as you need a chip-and-PIN, which is a European concept. CSP and Amex Plat didn't work, regardless of PIN. My debit card did work, but I got hit with a forex fee (sometimes you just gotta eat that :P). If you time your stops right, you could go only take gas from a full-service station, who will be able to swipe a regular card inside.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 01, 2016, 03:33:22 PM
1) Yes, lines are absolutely nuts.
2) I may be very wrong here, but IIUC the concept of VAT refunds is only on portable goods. I imagine the VAT situation would be the same across Europe, so maybe ask in one of the more active destination threads and see if anyone has some clearer insight.
3) No, you don't need to toivel something that's owned by a non-Jew. Maybe AYLOR to hear his perspective.
4) Looks nice, but personally I wouldn't go out of the way for that. You're doing Silfra, which is a similar concept yet far cooler.
5) If you need to slip someone a twenty, I'm sure the'll take USD as well ;D.
6) Yup.

Thanks for that reminder. Note that the majority of US cards won't work, as you need a chip-and-PIN, which is a European concept. CSP and Amex Plat didn't work, regardless of PIN. My debit card did work, but I got hit with a forex fee (sometimes you just gotta eat that :P). If you time your stops right, you could go only take gas from a full-service station, who will be able to swipe a regular card inside.
1) Wow, okay. Will update my itinerary to leave to the airport much earlier.
2) Will look into VAT more.
3) Good call. I'll look into that.
4-5) True, true.

A+ has chip&pin. Will see if that works. If not, I'll have to do debit. Good to know.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 02, 2016, 01:28:02 PM
Per people in the London thread, VAT is only for things you can prove you're taking out of the country with you.

CampEasy wants 3000 ISK for the grill and 2900 for propane - that's $50! You don't think you could have found a grill to buy for cheaper than that or you didn't want to deal with spending time shopping?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 02, 2016, 01:29:35 PM
you didn't want to deal with spending time shopping?

That.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 10, 2016, 11:46:22 PM
Anyone interested in an Iceland RV caravan trip next summer?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 15, 2016, 01:48:46 PM
Last thing to plan, food.

I have most of it planned out, and I'll post here to help others in the future, and I'll save my actual question for the end. With 3 days in a camper from (CampEasy) and 2 days in a hotel in REK, I have to figure out some different types of meal options. The camper comes with a burner, and I'll bring a pot for boiling water. I'm also figuring out the best way to get a grill as CampEasy wants $50 for a rental, and I'm trying to find a store where I can purchase one for cheaper. Assuming I get a grill, then... For breakfasts I'll bring different types of bars and oatmeal. For lunch, I'll bring sandwich stuff and, while in the camper, we can also do Tradition soups or pasta. For dinners, with the camper, I'll bring BBQ stuff.

My question comes for dinners in the hotel. I'm not sure if they have microwaves, but even if they do or even if I buy a toaster oven, what food can I bring (POM meals, etc.) that will stay fresh by the time I get to the hotel after 4 days? I'm not sure more food will stay that fresh or even fit in the small "fridge/cooler" that comes with the camper. Perhaps CampEasy has a fridge in their office I can ask to leave food in, but that doesn't sound like an ideal option. Any other ideas?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 15, 2016, 01:51:38 PM
Maybe see if the hotel will store it for you for a few days before you check in.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 15, 2016, 01:59:02 PM
Maybe see if the hotel will store it for you for a few days before you check in.
Thought about that. Just another stop after picking up the camper is annoying if I want to get in an activity before catching the ferry. But I may have to do something like that.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 15, 2016, 02:01:04 PM
Thought about that. Just another stop after picking up the camper is annoying if I want to get in an activity before catching the ferry. But I may have to do something like that.

Reykjavik is not a very large city, worst case is probably half an hour out of the way.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on August 15, 2016, 03:15:07 PM
i believe it was koshwhere.com that sent me an email that they now provide meals in iceland. i erased the email and dont know how to find it though
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 15, 2016, 03:19:35 PM
i believe it was koshwhere.com that sent me an email that they now provide meals in iceland. i erased the email and dont know how to find it though
Cool, thanks. Their site has REK listed with a Hechsher from Chabad of Vienna. But either way, they have only Pareve foods and nothing sounds appetizing. (Things like pitas with spreads or Pareve lasagna.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on August 15, 2016, 03:44:41 PM
Cool, thanks. Their site has REK listed with a Hechsher from Chabad of Vienna. But either way, they have only Pareve foods and nothing sounds appetizing. (Things like pitas with spreads or Pareve lasagna.)
good to know. where will you be staying in rek?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 15, 2016, 03:50:08 PM
good to know. where will you be staying in rek?
Radisson Blu Saga
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 16, 2016, 01:40:23 PM
Last thing to plan, food.

I have most of it planned out, and I'll post here to help others in the future, and I'll save my actual question for the end. With 3 days in a camper from (CampEasy) and 2 days in a hotel in REK, I have to figure out some different types of meal options. The camper comes with a burner, and I'll bring a pot for boiling water. I'm also figuring out the best way to get a grill as CampEasy wants $50 for a rental, and I'm trying to find a store where I can purchase one for cheaper. Assuming I get a grill, then... For breakfasts I'll bring different types of bars and oatmeal. For lunch, I'll bring sandwich stuff and, while in the camper, we can also do Tradition soups or pasta. For dinners, with the camper, I'll bring BBQ stuff.

My question comes for dinners in the hotel. I'm not sure if they have microwaves, but even if they do or even if I buy a toaster oven, what food can I bring (POM meals, etc.) that will stay fresh by the time I get to the hotel after 4 days? I'm not sure more food will stay that fresh or even fit in the small "fridge/cooler" that comes with the camper. Perhaps CampEasy has a fridge in their office I can ask to leave food in, but that doesn't sound like an ideal option. Any other ideas?
It's nice to have a smart wife. :) Tuna and deli will do for the last 2 dinners. And deli is small enough that it should fit in the cooler.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on September 07, 2016, 02:06:47 PM
My G-d, Svartifoss is so beautiful.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8486/29491017606_b0cb624a1e_b.jpg)

(Was just looking through my pics.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on September 07, 2016, 03:30:55 PM
breathtaking! the rock formation looks upside down somehow...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on September 07, 2016, 03:32:01 PM
and waiting for a proper summer in iceland TR. (no offense PBaruch, loved yours too)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on September 07, 2016, 03:34:53 PM
breathtaking! the rock formation looks upside down somehow...
Agreed. I'm sure there's a reason for it. You'll see other basalt formations like this at Reynifsjara Beach and if you go rafting on the Hvita River. Rafting guide was impressed I had the answer to "where else can you see these basalt formations." ;D Interestingly, on Hvita, they were formed horizontally.

and waiting for a proper summer in iceland TR. (no offense PBaruch, loved yours too)
Intro complete, just need to add a few pics and proofread. It may be insanely long...  :-X
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on September 07, 2016, 04:57:04 PM
Intro complete, just need to add a few pics and proofread. It may be insanely long...  :-X
Would expect no less
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 07, 2016, 05:05:45 PM
Would expect no less

+1, and looking forward.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: sky121 on October 01, 2016, 08:04:22 PM
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/world/europe/iceland-northern-lights-aurora.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=https://t.co/kTgenBUUCC
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: shael on November 06, 2016, 09:36:53 PM
Agreed. I'm sure there's a reason for it. You'll see other basalt formations like this at Reynifsjara Beach and if you go rafting on the Hvita River. Rafting guide was impressed I had the answer to "where else can you see these basalt formations." ;D Interestingly, on Hvita, they were formed horizontally.
Intro complete, just need to add a few pics and proofread. It may be insanely long...  :-X
Looking forward to reading your TR
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Freddie on November 14, 2016, 10:47:16 PM
Anyone want to do Iceland the week before Chanukah?
I want to do a Northern Lights watching trip. DO?
Title: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on November 14, 2016, 10:48:54 PM
Anyone want to do Iceland the week before Chanukah?
I want to do a Northern Lights watching trip. DO?
What are the flight options? (Option?)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Freddie on November 14, 2016, 11:00:21 PM
What are the flight options? (Option?)

Nu, why do you think I'm posting on DDF? I want to go with guys who will figure all that out for me.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on November 14, 2016, 11:01:06 PM
Nu, why do you think I'm posting on DDF? I want to go with guys who will figure all that out for me.
Lol, I thought you had something in mind. I'll take a look.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Bukboy on January 14, 2017, 10:59:54 PM
From the Monsey View this week,
In Iceland, Norway, There's no such a thing as bad weather only bad clothing!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 18, 2017, 11:07:49 AM
I just found an extra FlyBus ticket for KEF-Reykjavik or vice versa. Up for grabs, send me a PM.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on January 18, 2017, 03:44:04 PM
You're welcome.
(https://picoolio.net/images/2017/01/18/Clipboardimage2017-01-1815433795ca1.png)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 19, 2017, 02:41:21 PM
Icelandair sale, $489 TR. I checked regular prices last week and they were typically $700-800 for those dates.

Book by January 27, 2017, travel February 1 - March 30, 2017. Saturday night stay required.

http://www.icelandair.us/special-offer/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=FlashSale&utm_medium=email



Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 14, 2017, 11:24:22 PM
Only such problems...

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-38970477
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 15, 2017, 06:30:16 AM
Lol
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on February 15, 2017, 10:15:38 PM
Only such problems...

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-38970477 (http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-38970477)

I can relate :)
[whYME] Some lessons learned while driving that night:

1. If you're the one driving, try and leave the sky-watching to the passengers. I know it's important to know if there's any new aurora displays, but it's more important to pay attention to the road.
2. When disobeying rule #1, if you're approaching a one-lane bridge, be extra cautious and make sure you're not about to hit a tractor trailer head-on.
3. When disobeying rule #2, you darn well better hope the tractor trailer flashes his high beams and honks his air horn at you to get your attention with enough time for you to stop before the bridge...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: IsraelLover on March 16, 2017, 07:19:24 AM
Will anyone be in Iceland from March 31- April 6? We would love to spend Shabbos, or even a day, with other frum Jews!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: metsgiantsfan on March 17, 2017, 03:13:48 PM
How many days do you think you need to experience iceland? very tight on vacation days and was wondering if a wednesday night flight, getting in at 10pm wednesday and leaving sunday afternoon is long enough, or it to short and not worth the trip for just a thursday, friday and little sunday?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 17, 2017, 03:21:26 PM
How many days do you think you need to experience iceland? very tight on vacation days and was wondering if a wednesday night flight, getting in at 10pm wednesday and leaving sunday afternoon is long enough, or it to short and not worth the trip for just a thursday, friday and little sunday?

Definitely far too short.

If it's on a stopover from Europe it may make sense to see a few of the top sights in this time frame, but to "experience Iceland"? Waaaay too short.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 17, 2017, 03:39:20 PM
Definitely far too short.

If it's on a stopover from Europe it may make sense to see a few of the top sights in this time frame, but to "experience Iceland"? Waaaay too short.
+1 Need 4-5 full weekdays to get a taste. See my trip report intro where I laid out a few of the classic Icelandic trips.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on March 17, 2017, 04:43:35 PM
How many days do you think you need to experience iceland? very tight on vacation days and was wondering if a wednesday night flight, getting in at 10pm wednesday and leaving sunday afternoon is long enough, or it to short and not worth the trip for just a thursday, friday and little sunday?
You won't have enough time to really experience Iceland--you'd have to get at least to Jokulsarlon for that, IMO, but if you have this time available, and another opportunity won't arise too soon, I would go for the few days.  There are lots of things you can do in those days to get a feel for Iceland, and it will put a full trip to Iceland on your bucket list.

Also, when would this vacation happen?  If it's around the summer solstice, I would for sure say to go for it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 17, 2017, 06:48:01 PM
Also, when would this vacation happen?  If it's around the summer solstice, I would for sure say to go for it.

...Or if it's in the winter, with 4 nights you stand a decent chance of seeing the aurora.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on March 21, 2017, 02:57:27 AM
Whats there to do there that's young child/infant friendly?
Everything seems to be natural beauty which won't really keep them interested.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on March 21, 2017, 08:30:47 AM
Whats there to do there that's young child/infant friendly?
Everything seems to be natural beauty which won't really keep them interested.
What would you consider young child/infant friendly?

Read PBaruch's TR:  http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=60568 (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=60568). There are also some museums.  Viking World sounds fascinating, for kids, too (not infants, though).

Also, regarding crockpot, you'd need a 220 one.  If you buy there, don't forget to get the VAT form at the store.  They will NOT offer you one if you don't ask, even though they know you will be screwed if you don't get it then.  (They ask for a resident ID number, so if you don't have one, you clearly could use a VAT form.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 24, 2017, 04:13:04 PM
Wow.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/iceland/articles/reykjavik-compared-to-disneyland-as-number-of-us-tourists-pass-population/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-16/victim-of-its-own-success-iceland-considers-new-tax-on-tourists

(https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/media/2017/04/19/chart.jpeg)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 25, 2017, 01:31:53 PM
Icelandair now allows you to use your points to pay for part of your flight. The rate is horrible at around half a cent per point (.00549 to be precise), but it's better than having some absolutely useless points in your account.

A NY-KEF RT earns 4200 points, so I can now get - waaaait for it -  all of $23.06 off my next flight. Still better than the $0 i was getting till now, I suppose.

https://www.icelandair.us/frequent-flyer/book-with-points/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on May 26, 2017, 08:25:23 AM
I love Fishy's Iceland updates.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 29, 2017, 12:51:44 PM
I love Fishy's Iceland updates.

Now if only we can get some @yehuda Iceland updates (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66826.0) too please ...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dawie on May 29, 2017, 12:54:43 PM
Now if only we can get some @yehuda Iceland updates (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66826.0) too please ...
he must be waiting for your norway ones
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 29, 2017, 12:55:38 PM
he must be waiting for your norway ones

At least I'm still actively putting out others ;D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on July 13, 2017, 04:47:45 PM
Im gonna be in iceland for 28 hours and want to make the most of it. no its not a layover. I'm actually flying out for 28 hours.
So far on the itinirary
land 9:30 in KEF and pick up car
(maybe stop into Mar guesthouse if we can check in early.)
Reykjavík, Iceland walk around the city just to strech. Anything in particular to check out?
Golden Circle  Ţingvellir national park,  Geysir, Gullfoss
Blue Lagoon ( any free hot springs not to miss?)
Did i miss anything?
Can I expect to find microwaves along the route at gas stations?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 13, 2017, 04:51:47 PM
Im gonna be in iceland for 28 hours and want to make the most of it. no its not a layover. I'm actually flying out for 28 hours.
So far on the itinirary
land 9:30 in KEF and pick up car
(maybe stop into Mar guesthouse if we can check in early.)
Reykjavík, Iceland walk around the city just to strech. Anything in particular to check out?
Golden Circle  Ţingvellir national park,  Geysir, Gullfoss
Blue Lagoon ( any free hot springs not to miss?)
Did i miss anything?
Can I expect to find microwaves along the route at gas stations?

If I were you, I'd skip the Blue Lagoon and go to the Secret Lagoon instead as it is by the Golden Circle Tour that you plan on doing.

https://guidetoiceland.is/book-holiday-trips/the-golden-circle-the-secret-lagoon

Me personally, I was not all that impressed with anything on the Golden Circle Tour. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on July 13, 2017, 05:15:37 PM
Im gonna be in iceland for 28 hours and want to make the most of it. no its not a layover. I'm actually flying out for 28 hours.
So far on the itinirary
land 9:30 in KEF and pick up car
(maybe stop into Mar guesthouse if we can check in early.)
Reykjavík, Iceland walk around the city just to strech. Anything in particular to check out?
Golden Circle  Ţingvellir national park,  Geysir, Gullfoss
Blue Lagoon ( any free hot springs not to miss?)
Did i miss anything?
Can I expect to find microwaves along the route at gas stations?
Viking World.  How much driving are you willing to do?

Never saw a microwave at a gas station, but didn't pay attention.

Personally, part of the appeal of the Blue Lagoon is its color.  The other ones didn't look quite the same. 

If you've been to Yellowstone, Geysir is meh.  I just like how close you get, and how often Strokkur (?) goes off.  Gullfoss, meh, too.  There are much nicer waterfalls.

Have you considered Inside the Volcano?

Iceland has so much to offer, but more if you get away from the city.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on July 14, 2017, 12:03:01 AM
We're willing to drive up to three four hours max away from the airport. Anything more doesn't mke sense anymore

Biking world sounds good since it's five min from airport so maybe we'll do that in the morning before the flight
Inside the Volcano is about An hour away right?
That sounds reasonable.
What else?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 14, 2017, 12:10:30 AM
Have you considered Inside the Volcano?

In all honesty I can't fathom why someone would pay $400 or so per person to be lowered into a hole in the ground. I understand that it's interesting and pretty unique, but $400???. Maaaybe $100, if that.

Am I missing something here? Paging @SSLPhD @PBaruch @@yehuda...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 14, 2017, 12:25:07 AM
In all honesty I can't fathom why someone would pay $400 or so per person to be lowered into a hole in the ground. I understand that it's interesting and pretty unique, but $400???. Maaaybe $100, if that.

Am I missing something here? Paging @SSLPhD @PBaruch @@yehuda...

I do not know of anywhere else on this planet where a tourist can be lowered into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano.  I spent about 600 pp to be flown in a helicopter from the municipal airport for a semi-private tour of the magma chamber and have absolutely no regrets. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on July 14, 2017, 01:48:23 AM
i noticed the tour is approx. 5-6 hours. that basically kills the day.... any way to tour it on your own (pay to get down the elevator etc?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 14, 2017, 02:02:46 AM
The helicopter tour is only 2-2.5 hours.

https://insidethevolcano.com/the-tour/helicopter-tour/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 14, 2017, 05:15:36 AM
It was a cool experience, but as I said in my TR, had I not had Arrival points to use, I would never have spent $400 per person cash.

@blue eyes you'll have fun just doing Reykjavik and the Golden Circle (do Secret Lagoon!) but just know that the more spectacular things in Iceland are further away from the city and can't be done in 28 hours.

@Something Fishy didn't you say the blue in Blue Lagoon is from some sort of waste deposits into the water?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moish on July 14, 2017, 05:29:28 AM
Be prepared to be completely underwhelmed by the Golden Circle
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on July 14, 2017, 07:54:04 AM
the blue in Blue Lagoon is from some sort of waste deposits into the water?
The water itself is "waste" water from the nearby geothermal plant, and the Blue Lagoon didn't actually exist before it.  The gorgeous color is caused by all the silica in the water.  (Ocean blue + silica white). They give you buckets of silica to smear on yourself, as well.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on August 02, 2017, 12:42:34 AM
Short Trip Report:
Arrived in Iceland rented a car from firefly (owned by hertz and gets their overused cars)
drove out to the city since it was on the way to golden circle anyway. visited city visitors center. Headed out to golden circle first stop was the Thingvallire national park. The hike was pretty nice and very iconic to pass the tectonic plates. next was the gullfoss waterfull where we caught a rainbow forming. last was the Gesire geothermal area. The mall across the st offered sitting and picnic areas. Good for a rest stop. on the way back to the city we stopped off at Kerid Crater Lake which was a great way to end the day. Hveragerđi is a cute little town with lots of hot springs and some new ones that broke after the 2008 earthquake met some of the locals watched sunset. Blue lagoon was basically closed by the time we got there but we did to see the place and it will def be on the my itinerary on our next trip to Iceland!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on August 02, 2017, 07:26:45 AM
How many hours were you in Iceland for?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 02, 2017, 08:18:09 AM
Glad you had a good time, what hike did you do?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on August 02, 2017, 01:55:55 PM
Glad you had a good time, what hike did you do?
26 hours touch town to takeoff
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on August 02, 2017, 01:58:26 PM
Glad you had a good time, what hike did you do?
no real hiking. the golden circle is mostly nature walks.....
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 02, 2017, 03:15:20 PM
no real hiking. the golden circle is mostly nature walks.....
We did it while driving. Curious what walks there are to do. Like did you actually follow a path somewhere, etc.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 02, 2017, 04:33:04 PM
We did it while driving. Curious what walks there are to do. Like did you actually follow a path somewhere, etc.
Did you not walk a path to see Strokkur and the Blesi pools?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moish on August 02, 2017, 04:41:50 PM
How many hours were you in Iceland for?
Too many 🙈
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 02, 2017, 08:43:38 PM
Did you not walk a path to see Strokkur and the Blesi pools?
Read my TR, we skipped it. Just wondering if there was a specific walk activity that I missed.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 12, 2017, 11:22:47 AM
United announces Iceland flights:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/09/12/united-airlines-iceland-portugal-included-among-four-new-europe-routes/656370001/

May 23 - Oct 4 on a 757-200.
EWR-KEF 10:30p - 8:10a +1
KEF-EWR 11:55a - 2:05p

My thoughts:
- Still no decent seat to Iceland, except for the random DL lie-flat. EDIT: Apparently the 757-200 is lie-flat. Awesome!
- Summer only, which is a bummer
- Likely better Scandinavia availability, with SAS flying KEF-CPH.
- The DL and FI flights leave KEF at 10:30, which facilitates a practical Friday return. UA, not so much.

HT: AJK
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 12, 2017, 11:31:12 AM
That's friggin awesome!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on September 12, 2017, 12:13:40 PM
In the summer a 2pm landing is doable. Nice to have more options.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: dovigz on September 16, 2017, 11:31:36 PM
I have the wow air 13 hour stopover in KEF  (Wed. Morning Sept27 4:50am-6:15pm) Any ideas what to do
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 17, 2017, 12:26:57 AM
I have the wow air 13 hour stopover in KEF  (Wed. Morning Sept27 4:50am-6:15pm) Any ideas what to do

Golden Circle
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on September 17, 2017, 07:33:34 AM
Golden Circle
... But not the classic route. Geysir is, well, a geysir. You can see them in other laces and they're not all that exciting. Gullfoss it's hard to get a good view of and is less impressive than Niagara is even other falls in Iceland. Instead, if you can still book a Silfra snorkel trip and then head past the other  activities I mentioned (maybe stop for 5 minutes each as that's all they take) and head to Secret Lagoon, that would be a fun day with unique experiences. If you could somehow pull off seeing Skogafoss (1.5 hours from the lagoon and not in there direction of the airport), you'll see a much more awesome falls than Gulfoss, and get a lot closer too.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: dovigz on September 17, 2017, 11:05:18 PM
Thanks for the tip @yehudah It saves allot of time to skip Geysir and Gullfoss. (also I don't think its recommended to go scuba diving right before you get on a plane something to do with air/ear pressure)
What I would like to do is 4:30am rent a car and drive to Ţingvellir national park on the way hope to see northern lights. (I know its a small chance but i hope)
Daven shachris vasikin
Go to Keriđ crater
Then Hveragerđi
Reykjavik What to do depends on the time (any ideas?)
Then back KEF
I figured about $200 $100 for the rental $100 for gas ($7 a gallon!!!) If any yeshiva buchor wants to join me for this trip (Wed. Morning Sept27 4:50am-6:15pm) let me know
Any insights on this itinerary would be very helpful Thanks allot
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 17, 2017, 11:20:25 PM
Thanks for the tip @yehudah It saves allot of time to skip Geysir and Gullfoss. (also I don't think its recommended to go scuba diving right before you get on a plane something to do with air/ear pressure)
What I would like to do is 4:30am rent a car and drive to Ţingvellir national park on the way hope to see northern lights. (I know its a small chance but i hope)
Daven shachris vasikin
Go to Keriđ crater
Then Hveragerđi
Reykjavik What to do depends on the time (any ideas?)
Then back KEF
I figured about $200 $100 for the rental $100 for gas ($7 a gallon!!!) If any yeshiva buchor wants to join me for this trip (Wed. Morning Sept27 4:50am-6:15pm) let me know
Any insights on this itinerary would be very helpful Thanks allot

Astronomical twilight the day you're there is at 4:32am, so I'm afraid you won't be seeing any northern lights unfortunately.

You could snorkel Silfra instead of diving it, highly recommended. You need a tour though, so make sure it fits in your schedule.

Keriđ crater is a waste of time, I wouldn't bother.

Nothing really interesting to do in Rek really. If you specifically want to hang around a pretty town, do it in Keflavik. It's small, it's quaint, and the souvenirs are just as overpriced ;D.

@yehuda's idea of going to see Seljalandsfoss is a solid one, I would recommend that. The road out and back is stunningly beautiful. (@yahuda actually recommended Skogafoss, but I believe he meant to say Seljalandsfoss. The former is much further away and not nearly as interesting.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on September 18, 2017, 06:37:05 AM
Neither Skogafoss nor Seljalandsfoss are worth a trip out thataway, IMO, but I'd go anyway because of the drive.  Google maps says Skogafoss is just 26 minutes further, and you can see Eyjafjallajokull along the way.  There's a small visitors center on E15.  Just driving along the ring road gives you a feel for Iceland, that I enjoyed very much.  Looming glaciers, meltwater rivers, Icelandic ponies, a sod house or two.  I would definitely do this over Thingvellir, especially if you're not going snorkeling there.

I enjoyed the Geysir area, and wouldn't blow it off if you've got time.  You can get quite close and see the plumbing of Strokkur.  Not like in the US, where they keep you a "safe distance" away.  Gulfoss IS skippable.  Haven't been to Hveragerthi or Kerith.

The one thing I regret not doing, is checking out Viking World, or even the national museum (in Reykjavik?).  Iceland=Vikings to me, and most other stuff you can do/see elsewhere.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on September 18, 2017, 10:15:57 AM
Thanks for the tip @yehudah It saves allot of time to skip Geysir and Gullfoss. (also I don't think its recommended to go scuba diving right before you get on a plane something to do with air/ear pressure)
What I would like to do is 4:30am rent a car and drive to Ţingvellir national park on the way hope to see northern lights. (I know its a small chance but i hope)
Daven shachris vasikin
Go to Keriđ crater
Then Hveragerđi
Reykjavik What to do depends on the time (any ideas?)
Then back KEF
I figured about $200 $100 for the rental $100 for gas ($7 a gallon!!!) If any yeshiva buchor wants to join me for this trip (Wed. Morning Sept27 4:50am-6:15pm) let me know
Any insights on this itinerary would be very helpful Thanks allot
As Something Fishy said, go snorkeling, not scuba diving :). I missed Kerid myself, so I can't comment. Hveragerđi is a free option, but from pics it just looks like a stream. Secret Lagoon was a large hot pool (temp of a hot tub even!) and cost about $20-25. Was a real treat. Don't know what to do in Reyk.

@yehuda's idea of going to see Seljalandsfoss is a solid one, I would recommend that. The road out and back is stunningly beautiful. (@yahuda actually recommended Skogafoss, but I believe he meant to say Seljalandsfoss. The former is much further away and not nearly as interesting.)
I actually meant Skogafoss, but I forgot about Seljalandsfoss and I agree it's also a great experience plus closer than Skogafoss - so, good recommendation! I still think Skogafoss was the most powerful falls we saw, but being to walk behind Seljalandsfoss was very cool.

Neither Skogafoss nor Seljalandsfoss are worth a trip out thataway, IMO, but I'd go anyway because of the drive.  Google maps says Skogafoss is just 26 minutes further, and you can see Eyjafjallajokull along the way.  There's a small visitors center on E15.  Just driving along the ring road gives you a feel for Iceland, that I enjoyed very much.  Looming glaciers, meltwater rivers, Icelandic ponies, a sod house or two.  I would definitely do this over Thingvellir, especially if you're not going snorkeling there.

The one thing I regret not doing, is checking out Viking World, or even the national museum (in Reykjavik?).  Iceland=Vikings to me, and most other stuff you can do/see elsewhere.
I kinda agree with this itinerary over the Golden Circle if you won't be doing snorkeling or Secret Lagoon. Drive from KEF straight down the highway along the southern border - nicer drive than the Golden Circle drive. You could even pass by Hveragerđi if you wanted and then see Seljalandsfoss and maybe continue on to Skogafoss then turn back. I didn't plan seeing Eyjafjallajokull properly, unless all it is is looking from the highway, because I didn't see much - just a white capped mountain in the distance. If there is a specific viewing point, I missed it. Passed by the visitor center but heard it wasn't worth visiting on a week-long trip, so I'd say kal v'chomer on a 13 hour stopover. My friends said the viking museum was boring. Iceland=Vikings? Iceland=beautiful sights, not museums... But, I know, to each their own.
Title: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
Post by: JudithAbenson on September 28, 2017, 12:38:54 PM
I am flying to Israel from Montreal and have a 13hr stop over in KEF Airport, Iceland.
This ticket was sort of a last minute trip via wowair.com so didnt have much time to look too much into the trip.
I have a few questions if anyone can help me out  would be really appreciated...
oh and were flying me, my husband and our 2 month old baby...
1. Wowair doesn't allow drinks on board but has anyone ever flown with a newborn? do they give problems regarding baby formula (powder+water).I would need enough for the first leg of the trip, the 13 hr stop over and the second leg. Aprox 24 hrs total.
2. I am allowed a car seat or stroller for the baby free of charge. I have a UPPAbaby Vista stroller, meaning it has the frame and then the seat as 2 separate pieces. Will they count that as a stroller or Ill have to pay for the second part?
3. Regarding this Iceland stopover...what are your suggestions? As far as my research tells me, there is only one lounge from Icelandair which doesnt allow access unless you are flying with them. My stop over is roughly from 5am to7pm. Is there a Chabbad house open Sukkot time? Anywhere I can get Kosher food? Whats the most cost efficient way to get a couple of hours sleep?

Thank you so much
:)

Oh and no need to rub it in that I probably did a stupid thing booking these tickets...I already figured that out on my own   
Title: Re: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
Post by: Ergel on September 28, 2017, 12:44:40 PM
Yikes
Title: Re: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
Post by: davidd75 on September 28, 2017, 01:27:50 PM
Yikes

maybe better to be more helpful
Title: Re: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
Post by: Something Fishy on September 28, 2017, 03:51:10 PM
3. Regarding this Iceland stopover...what are your suggestions? As far as my research tells me, there is only one lounge from Icelandair which doesnt allow access unless you are flying with them Correct. My stop over is roughly from 5am to7pm. Is there a Chabbad house open Sukkot time No? Anywhere I can get Kosher food No? Whats the most cost efficient way to get a couple of hours sleep Taxi to hotel in Keflavik, or FlyBus to hotel in Reykjavik.?

See in bold.

If you want to do some touring instead, see the discussion a couple of posts up.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on September 28, 2017, 07:41:02 PM
I'm taking a similar flight from Newark, with the same stopover times. The problem with renting a room to sleep is that you're landing in the early morning and leaving later that afternoon, so you can't book a regular hotel room. And so far from what I've seen, the hotels don't rent out rooms by the hour. I would even ditch the idea of sleeping, if I had some other place I could refresh myself - take a shower, change my clothes...

As far as activities, I would love to go snorkeling or scuba diving, or even go to the spas, but I have tznius (modesty) concerns - I don't think going snorkeling in a skirt is the best idea, and I wouldn't want to go to a spa just to go fully clothed into the hot tubs... Is the Golden Circle really not worth it? I was going to take one of the tours but the hours don't work out, so I started looking into renting a car and driving the circle myself. Should I not?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ludmila on September 28, 2017, 08:28:29 PM
I'm taking a similar flight from Newark, with the same stopover times. The problem with renting a room to sleep is that you're landing in the early morning and leaving later that afternoon, so you can't book a regular hotel room. And so far from what I've seen, the hotels don't rent out rooms by the hour. I would even ditch the idea of sleeping, if I had some other place I could refresh myself - take a shower, change my clothes...

As far as activities, I would love to go snorkeling or scuba diving, or even go to the spas, but I have tznius (modesty) concerns - I don't think going snorkeling in a skirt is the best idea, and I wouldn't want to go to a spa just to go fully clothed into the hot tubs... Is the Golden Circle really not worth it? I was going to take one of the tours but the hours don't work out, so I started looking into renting a car and driving the circle myself. Should I not?
started looking into renting a car and driving the circle myself. Should I not?
Why not? Sounds like a good choice, we did it last year.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on September 28, 2017, 10:04:34 PM
I'm taking a similar flight from Newark, with the same stopover times. The problem with renting a room to sleep is that you're landing in the early morning and leaving later that afternoon, so you can't book a regular hotel room. And so far from what I've seen, the hotels don't rent out rooms by the hour. I would even ditch the idea of sleeping, if I had some other place I could refresh myself - take a shower, change my clothes...

As far as activities, I would love to go snorkeling or scuba diving, or even go to the spas, but I have tznius (modesty) concerns - I don't think going snorkeling in a skirt is the best idea, and I wouldn't want to go to a spa just to go fully clothed into the hot tubs... Is the Golden Circle really not worth it? I was going to take one of the tours but the hours don't work out, so I started looking into renting a car and driving the circle myself. Should I not?
There are guest houses throughout Iceland.  This might be a viable alternative to a hotel.

The Golden Circle is not *bad*.  It's just not worth the time, especially as there are other things to do in the timeframe.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: srap on September 28, 2017, 10:49:51 PM
I'm taking a similar flight from Newark, with the same stopover times. The problem with renting a room to sleep is that you're landing in the early morning and leaving later that afternoon, so you can't book a regular hotel room. And so far from what I've seen, the hotels don't rent out rooms by the hour. I would even ditch the idea of sleeping, if I had some other place I could refresh myself - take a shower, change my clothes...

As far as activities, I would love to go snorkeling or scuba diving, or even go to the spas, but I have tznius (modesty) concerns - I don't think going snorkeling in a skirt is the best idea, and I wouldn't want to go to a spa just to go fully clothed into the hot tubs... Is the Golden Circle really not worth it? I was going to take one of the tours but the hours don't work out, so I started looking into renting a car and driving the circle myself. Should I not?
You're already in a foreign country.  WHY SLEEP?  I would rather take a sleeping pill to sleep on the plane (never done that before) and be awake for touring than waste precious hours sleeping in a gorgeous foreign place like Iceland!  I remember seeing women with black leg coverings and a skirt over them when we were ziplining.  Hot water will feel hot with or without sleeves or covered legs.  Either way you will have the experience of a hot tub in Iceland. 

I believe WOW has their tours on their website and many of the hours should work out.  Enjoy!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 28, 2017, 10:54:10 PM
I'm taking a similar flight from Newark, with the same stopover times. The problem with renting a room to sleep is that you're landing in the early morning and leaving later that afternoon, so you can't book a regular hotel room. And so far from what I've seen, the hotels don't rent out rooms by the hour. I would even ditch the idea of sleeping, if I had some other place I could refresh myself - take a shower, change my clothes...

As far as activities, I would love to go snorkeling or scuba diving, or even go to the spas, but I have tznius (modesty) concerns - I don't think going snorkeling in a skirt is the best idea
, and I wouldn't want to go to a spa just to go fully clothed into the hot tubs... Is the Golden Circle really not worth it? I was going to take one of the tours but the hours don't work out, so I started looking into renting a car and driving the circle myself. Should I not?

This has been discussed multiple times already but there are several places where you can order tznius swimwear.  My wife uses it all the time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: JudithAbenson on September 28, 2017, 10:58:32 PM
Any ideas about food to take along for the flight and stop over?
travelling with a newborn so would need access to hot water if possible...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on September 28, 2017, 11:40:21 PM
Any ideas about food to take along for the flight and stop over?
travelling with a newborn so would need access to hot water if possible...
Don't use the hot water on airplanes.  It's my understanding that the tanks are never cleaned, and the water is not heated to a high enough temperature to kill germs.  Can you get some ready made formula just for the flights?  Some prepackaged MealMart meals are not horrible without warming.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on September 29, 2017, 12:53:18 AM
I kinda agree with this itinerary over the Golden Circle if you won't be doing snorkeling or Secret Lagoon. Drive from KEF straight down the highway along the southern border - nicer drive than the Golden Circle drive. You could even pass by Hveragerđi if you wanted and then see Seljalandsfoss and maybe continue on to Skogafoss then turn back. I didn't plan seeing Eyjafjallajokull properly, unless all it is is looking from the highway, because I didn't see much - just a white capped mountain in the distance. If there is a specific viewing point, I missed it. Passed by the visitor center but heard it wasn't worth visiting on a week-long trip, so I'd say kal v'chomer on a 13 hour stopover. My friends said the viking museum was boring. Iceland=Vikings? Iceland=beautiful sights, not museums... But, I know, to each their own.

Hmm this is sounding like something I want to do. I mapped out a tentative trip including Hveragerđi, passing by Eyjafjallajökull (trying to figure out the best place to see it from), Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, and Reynisfjara Beach to see the black sand.
@srap, @PBaruch, I'm not much of a water person, and although I would like to go snorkeling just for the experience of it and for seeing marine life in its natural environment, I'm think I'm going to skip it for this time. Maybe if I take another wowair flight some other time I'll go in the other direction and do these other things. I'm flying alone, so I'd feel weird going snorkeling and to the hot springs by myself, but I love nature so wouldn't mind doing all the above things alone.
I can't do the wowair and all the other local tours I saw because the hours are wrong - I have 13 hours, but starting at 5am, and most tours are from 9am or so, for 8-12 hours, so can't do that. I probably will end up renting a car and doing that route above, or something similar.
Are the cars at the airport rentals much more expensive than out of the airport? I almost reserved a car but then read the terms and conditions that said alllll the way on the bottom that rentals from the airport cost an extra 5500 isk, which would almost double the cost of my rental. Is that the "other fees upon pickup" that they mention when you book?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 29, 2017, 01:21:53 AM
Hmm this is sounding like something I want to do. I mapped out a tentative trip including Hveragerđi, passing by Eyjafjallajökull (trying to figure out the best place to see it from), Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, and Reynisfjara Beach to see the black sand.
@srap, @PBaruch, I'm not much of a water person, and although I would like to go snorkeling just for the experience of it and for seeing marine life in its natural environment, I'm think I'm going to skip it for this time. Maybe if I take another wowair flight some other time I'll go in the other direction and do these other things. I'm flying alone, so I'd feel weird going snorkeling and to the hot springs by myself, but I love nature so wouldn't mind doing all the above things alone.
I can't do the wowair and all the other local tours I saw because the hours are wrong - I have 13 hours, but starting at 5am, and most tours are from 9am or so, for 8-12 hours, so can't do that. I probably will end up renting a car and doing that route above, or something similar.
Are the cars at the airport rentals much more expensive than out of the airport? I almost reserved a car but then read the terms and conditions that said alllll the way on the bottom that rentals from the airport cost an extra 5500 isk, which would almost double the cost of my rental. Is that the "other fees upon pickup" that they mention when you book?

- No need to look for the best place to see Eyjafjallajökull from, it's pretty boring. The visitors center may be worth a stop, and you'll have your best view across the road from there.
- Reynisfjara is way too far IMO. A crucial point to remember is that actual driving times in Iceland are a good 20-30% longer than what Google claims. Even Eyjafjallajökull and Skogafoss pushes my comfort level a bit too far. I would recommend not going further than Seljalandsfoss and actually enjoying the route and being able to stop for views, walks, and of course horses.
- Snorkeling in Iceland is in Silfra, and there is no marine life to speak of there. The point is the amazingly clear water and the North American and Eurasian continental plates.
- I haven't checked car rental rates, but it may indeed be way cheaper in Rek. You could take the FlyBus into town for around $23 each way. Keep in mind the time lost on that though (KEF>Rek>car rental location and back).
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on September 29, 2017, 12:03:39 PM
- No need to look for the best place to see Eyjafjallajökull from, it's pretty boring. The visitors center may be worth a stop, and you'll have your best view across the road from there.
- Reynisfjara is way too far IMO. A crucial point to remember is that actual driving times in Iceland are a good 20-30% longer than what Google claims. Even Eyjafjallajökull and Skogafoss pushes my comfort level a bit too far. I would recommend not going further than Seljalandsfoss and actually enjoying the route and being able to stop for views, walks, and of course horses.
- Snorkeling in Iceland is in Silfra, and there is no marine life to speak of there. The point is the amazingly clear water and the North American and Eurasian continental plates.
- I haven't checked car rental rates, but it may indeed be way cheaper in Rek. You could take the FlyBus into town for around $23 each way. Keep in mind the time lost on that though (KEF>Rek>car rental location and back).

- Hmm okay I guess I'll stop at the visitor's center on the way up or down the coast.
- I have 13 hours... gotta fill it with something... I can play it by ear though, right? Like if I see I'm running short on time, I won't do the further stops. Is there another nice black sand beach that's closer than Reynisfjara? Why are the driving times longer? In my experience, generally Googlemaps overestimates a little, but it usually evens out because of traffic and long lights.
- Ha! Just shows how much I know... or don't know... Seeing and touching the plates would be cool! Maybe another time then...
- Okay, I'll have to do some more research on rentals then. Thanks!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 29, 2017, 01:22:53 PM
- Hmm okay I guess I'll stop at the visitor's center on the way up or down the coast.
- I have 13 hours... gotta fill it with something... I can play it by ear though, right? Like if I see I'm running short on time, I won't do the further stops. Is there another nice black sand beach that's closer than Reynisfjara? Why are the driving times longer? In my experience, generally Googlemaps overestimates a little, but it usually evens out because of traffic and long lights.
- Ha! Just shows how much I know... or don't know... Seeing and touching the plates would be cool! Maybe another time then...
- Okay, I'll have to do some more research on rentals then. Thanks!

- You do not have 13 hours... Between airport time at both ends, dealing with a car rental and possibly going into Rek, getting gas and snacks, you have maybe 9.
- Down the short road opposite Seljalandsfoss you'll find the Vestmannaeyjar ferry landing and some pretty lovely black beaches, but they're missing the epic formations of Reynisfjara. There may be other black beaches in the Grindavik area, but I'm not sure.
- Driving times are longer, period. I've driven something like 1500 miles in Iceland and that has always proven true.
- You could still see and touch the plates above ground at Ţingvellir on the golden circle if you decide it's interesting enough to spend the time on.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 29, 2017, 03:32:07 PM
- Down the short road opposite Seljalandsfoss you'll find the Vestmannaeyjar ferry landing and some pretty lovely black beaches, but they're missing the epic formations of Reynisfjara.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4484/37139221120_9be7913103_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/12059a)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4428/37139224900_0b6de80645_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/5J5dt4)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 01, 2017, 07:31:22 PM
This has been discussed multiple times already but there are several places where you can order tznius swimwear.  My wife uses it all the time.
Won't work for Silfra snorkeling. They require you to wear a bearsuit. Good luck getting one of the swim skirts over that mama. Then again, if your pants are so ginormously bulky, where it's actually hard to see the separation between your legs, you may not have a tznius problem, AYLOR.

@Something Fishy shows 2 views from those black sand beaches, but leaves out the view overlooking the ocean with Vestmannaeyjar in the background.
Out in the distance we could see the Westman Islands.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5574/30871104041_2b558fcb05_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 01, 2017, 08:29:13 PM
Erm how does that solve the begged ish aspect?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 01, 2017, 10:01:29 PM
Erm how does that solve the begged ish aspect?
Okay, I shouldn't have brought Halacha into it. FTFM

Won't work for Silfra snorkeling. They require you to wear a bearsuit. Good luck getting one of the swim skirts over that mama.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 02, 2017, 12:18:32 AM
- You do not have 13 hours... Between airport time at both ends, dealing with a car rental and possibly going into Rek, getting gas and snacks, you have maybe 9.
- Down the short road opposite Seljalandsfoss you'll find the Vestmannaeyjar ferry landing and some pretty lovely black beaches, but they're missing the epic formations of Reynisfjara. There may be other black beaches in the Grindavik area, but I'm not sure.
- Driving times are longer, period. I've driven something like 1500 miles in Iceland and that has always proven true.
- You could still see and touch the plates above ground at Ţingvellir on the golden circle if you decide it's interesting enough to spend the time on.
Okay, thank you for all the input! I'll go over my itinerary again and adjust accordingly. I was complaining about having such a long stopover, but now I'm wishing I had more time...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 02, 2017, 12:22:29 AM
Erm how does that solve the begged ish aspect?
That is half the issue, but one might be able to get a psak that it's okay. I haven't seen the suits, but I'm sure they're not regular pants, rather specific unisex ones made for this purpose, therefore might not be a problem. But I didn't ask, and I'm planning on doing South Iceland this time rather than the Golden Circle, so maybe if there's another time...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 02, 2017, 02:07:25 AM
I was complaining about having such a long stopover, but now I'm wishing I had more time...

I suspect that this will become a common sentiment now that more people are beginning to fly WOW. 13 hours seems mighty long until you realize that it's Iceland, for gosh sake ;D.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on October 04, 2017, 12:13:14 PM
I suspect that this will become a common sentiment now that more people are beginning to fly WOW. 13 hours seems mighty long until you realize that it's Iceland, for gosh sake ;D .

is it possible to see the nothern lights during the stopover?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 04, 2017, 12:54:36 PM
is it possible to see the nothern lights during the stopover?

If it's dark when you're there, sure.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 09, 2017, 01:12:25 AM
http://www.icenews.is/2017/10/03/a-new-concept-for-an-aurora-explorer-introduced-by-icelandic-camper-company/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 09, 2017, 06:51:48 AM
http://www.icenews.is/2017/10/03/a-new-concept-for-an-aurora-explorer-introduced-by-icelandic-camper-company/
This is the company that had a bad booking sure and overbooked me / cancelled before my trip. I would assume that issue is fixed, but anyway, if there auroras are dancing, would you really want to sit inside your camper?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 09, 2017, 08:02:50 AM
This is the company that had a bad booking sure and overbooked me / cancelled before my trip. I would assume that issue is fixed, but anyway, if there auroras are dancing, would you really want to sit inside your camper?

It sure would be nice to fall asleep watching them...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 09, 2017, 11:32:01 AM
It sure would be nice to fall asleep watching them...
What's stopping Mr. Fishy from sleeping outdoors? There are no polar bears in Iceland.  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 17, 2017, 07:57:22 PM
What's stopping Mr. Fishy from sleeping outdoors? There are no polar bears in Iceland.  ;D ;D

LOL

Although I am currently planning a Svalbard trip that involves sleeping outside in polar bear country.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 17, 2017, 08:02:19 PM
can we spend shabbos in RV with kids?

Let's do this one at a time...

RV: Do you mean RV or campervan? RVs are not a good option in Iceland. They are completely out of the picture in the winter, and in the summer all the companies you see are fronts for the same two very shady places. Stay far, far away.

Kids: RV: sure. Campervan: sure, but crowded. And only two beds, max.

Shabbos: RV: AYLOR, there are many issues, most solvable. See the RV thread (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=64975.0). Campervan: Absolutely not.

In any case, I don't know why you'd want to do that. Find a nice guesthouse for Shabbos and you'll be far happier.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: boruchy on October 17, 2017, 08:29:44 PM
i meant campervan.
thanks for the reply.
we booked tickets for the end of january,  ( still able to cancel tomorrow )
is that doable with 2 little kids?
or too windy? would the kids be able to be outside at all?
is it better to stay in the hotel and rent a car and drive daily ?
or do campervan partially ? ( thats where bathroom issues comes with kids )
we are arriving Thursday and leaving Tue evening.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 17, 2017, 08:56:22 PM
i meant campervan.
thanks for the reply.
we booked tickets for the end of january,  ( still able to cancel tomorrow )
is that doable with 2 little kids?
or too windy? would the kids be able to be outside at all?
is it better to stay in the hotel and rent a car and drive daily ?
or do campervan partially ? ( thats where bathroom issues comes with kids )
we are arriving Thursday and leaving Tue evening.

- See me post here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=20823.msg1816972#msg1816972) re. daylight in January. End of Jan will have around 6-7 hours of daylight, make sure you're fine with that.

- Which campervan? You'd need one of the larger ones.

- Chances are that it'll be incredibly windy, but I doubt it'll be bad enough to blow the kids into Munchkinland. That being said, Iceland in the winter is not something to be trifled with. I doubt the kids would even remotely enjoy being outside in that.

- Campervan vs. hotel+car depends what you plan on doing...

- Partially works great, @yehuda did that and loved it.

- No bathroom in the campervan, so you'd need to go al fresco (remember that there are no trees in Iceland and to mind the wind :D) or in gas stations (which can be few and far between). You could also use a campsite for bathrooms and showers, but the vast majority of those will be closed in the winter.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on October 18, 2017, 09:35:06 AM
What does 9 AM look like in Jan? Is it really dark or more like dusk?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 18, 2017, 11:09:31 AM
What does 9 AM look like in Jan? Is it really dark or more like dusk?

9am on January will still be pitch dark. Sunrise isn't until 10:42, and it'll never get really bright, considering the sun never climbs higher than 5.4°.

Play around with the dates here to see how the rest of January compares, it varies quite a lot throughout the month:

http://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=63.741500,-19.978345&dt=20180115133000%2B0000&center=63.4827,-18.9676&z=7&spn=3.29,14.80
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on October 18, 2017, 11:12:16 AM
9am on January will still be pitch dark. Sunrise isn't until 10:42, and it'll never get really bright, considering the sun never climbs higher than 5.4°.

Play around with the dates here to see how the rest of January compares, it varies quite a lot throughout the month:

http://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=63.741500,-19.978345&dt=20180115133000%2B0000&center=63.4827,-18.9676&z=7&spn=3.29,14.80

Thanks. Considering going Feb 1, for that reason. Looks like it will be a lot better then.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 18, 2017, 11:14:28 AM
Thanks. Considering going Feb 1, for that reason. Looks like it will be a lot better then.

You'd get an extra hour and a half of sunlight per day, but still only around 7 hours. If you can go mid-Feb, that's even better.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 18, 2017, 05:25:15 PM
@Something Fishy, I'm doing some more research into self-touring Iceland during my stopover next week, and I have a few questions.
-Do you have any Jewish contacts in Iceland? I know there's not much of a Chabad there...
-Did you encounter any locals who would be willing to take people on private tours in their own car? Booking private tours online is way too expensive, and I wanted to know if there was an alternative to doing the driving and touring on my own.
-Did you have any experience with non-camper rental companies? Do you think it's smarter to rent from an international company (Avis, Enterprise, etc) or a local one? It seems like the local companies charge less, but on the other hand, the international companies [might] have discount codes. Do you know if local companies would upgrade your rental if they had cars available?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 18, 2017, 05:31:03 PM
@Something Fishy, I'm doing some more research into self-touring Iceland during my stopover next week, and I have a few questions.
-Do you have any Jewish contacts in Iceland? I know there's not much of a Chabad there...
-Did you encounter any locals who would be willing to take people on private tours in their own car? Booking private tours online is way too expensive, and I wanted to know if there was an alternative to doing the driving and touring on my own.
-Did you have any experience with non-camper rental companies? Do you think it's smarter to rent from an international company (Avis, Enterprise, etc) or a local one? It seems like the local companies charge less, but on the other hand, the international companies [might] have discount codes. Do you know if local companies would upgrade your rental if they had cars available?
Thanks!

- For all intents and purposes, there is no Jewish presence in Iceland.
- I'm sure there are plenty such people, but I don't know anyone specifically. IIRC @PBaruch may have met up with someone, maybe he can chime in here. The big problem with this kind of scheme is that you don't know who the dude is, there's no vetting process of any kind...
- I've only rented campervans, but @yehuda and others have rented regular cars. I believe the local places may be cheaper than the chains, but the cars are not as know or well maintained. @yehuda , CMIIW.

What's your planned itinerary?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 18, 2017, 05:42:58 PM
- For all intents and purposes, there is no Jewish presence in Iceland.
- I'm sure there are plenty such people, but I don't know anyone specifically. IIRC @PBaruch may have met up with someone, maybe he can chime in here. The big problem with this kind of scheme is that you don't know who the dude is, there's no vetting process of any kind...
- I've only rented campervans, but @yehuda and others have rented regular cars. I believe the local places may be cheaper than the chains, but the cars are not as know or well maintained. @yehuda , CMIIW.

What's your planned itinerary?

Received this email about kosher food in Iceland in 2015 - I doubt anything has changed since:

I'm privileged to have served the small Jewish community in Iceland. There are about 100 Jews residing there. almost all reside in the capital city of Reykjavik. It is a very diverse bunch, Israelis, Americans, and a handful from other countries. Most of them are married to Icelanders, so that's how they ended up there. I have met a handful of 3rd generation Icelandic Jews, but they are a rarity.

The community gathers for the Holidays, so we send a Rabbi every couple of months for the Chagim. For Pesach We held a communal seder for over 50 people. This past Rosh Hashana we had 40 people for Rosh Hashana dinner. at the moment there is not a full time Minyan or Chabad House in Reykjavik.

Kosher brands of Food is hard to find however being that almost all food items are imported, one can find many products from the US and UK with a kosher Certification on them, in the main stores like Hangkaup and Kronan. Bonus, in central Reykjavik 10/11 and noatun are some more options for grocers.

Best,

Berel

As for private tours  - I did meet up with a few people.  One is kind of flakey but if you want I can try and reach out to him.  Another fellow drives for the tour companies - have to see if I can find his number.

There is also a photographer that gives private tours in his car.  I emailed back and forth with him a few times and need to find his contact info.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 18, 2017, 06:27:09 PM
- For all intents and purposes, there is no Jewish presence in Iceland.
- I'm sure there are plenty such people, but I don't know anyone specifically. IIRC @PBaruch may have met up with someone, maybe he can chime in here. The big problem with this kind of scheme is that you don't know who the dude is, there's no vetting process of any kind...
- I've only rented campervans, but @yehuda and others have rented regular cars. I believe the local places may be cheaper than the chains, but the cars are not as know or well maintained. @yehuda , CMIIW.
What's your planned itinerary?

As for private tours  - I did meet up with a few people.  One is kind of flakey but if you want I can try and reach out to him.  Another fellow drives for the tour companies - have to see if I can find his number.
There is also a photographer that gives private tours in his car.  I emailed back and forth with him a few times and need to find his contact info.

Figured it couldn't hurt to ask about the Jewish community...
As far as guides, that's why I asked if you actually met anyone who you could recommend. Don't think I'd want to go with the flakey guy, but if you could find the contact info of the other guys, I'd definitely appreciate that!
So if the local place is offering current and known cars, that would be worth it? (I came so close to booking with one of the chains and then read in the tiny print in the terms and conditions that cars from KEF come with an extra 5500 ISK or so. Thanks but no thanks...) @yehuda, would love your input on this.
I posted a few times on page 36 about my itinerary - hoping to drive down the South Coast and see as much as possible in the time we have - Hveragerđi, Seljalandsfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Skógafoss, Reynisfjara Beach. This will probably be my only long stopover in Iceland ever, so I want to try to cram in as much as I can.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 19, 2017, 12:13:37 PM
Strange that I didn't get any of the notifications about being tagged in these posts. Still haven't figured out the tagging well yet.

I spent $114 for a one day, one-way, automatic rental with pickup in REK and return at KEF booked with SIXT (Platinum status gave a little discount). Add $11 for wifi in the car and $80 for gas. :o
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 19, 2017, 12:25:34 PM
Strange that I didn't get any of the notifications about being tagged in these posts. Still haven't figured out the tagging well yet.

That's because of the @ in your name. I believe the above tags fare for a yehuda, not @yehuda. Sometimes it seems to get you, sometimes it doesn't.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 19, 2017, 12:28:54 PM
That's because of the @ in your name. I believe the above tags fare for a yehuda, not @yehuda. Sometimes it seems to get you, sometimes it doesn't.
Aha. But I also don't know how the notification is supposed to show. I'm not getting emails, I don't have tapatalk, but I think a few times, I got a notice on my phone anyway.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 19, 2017, 12:29:02 PM
That's because of the @ in your name. I believe the above tags fare for a yehuda, not @yehuda. Sometimes it seems to get you, sometimes it doesn't.
LOL
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?action=profile;u=145
Last Active: March 30, 2009, 11:51:15 PM

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 19, 2017, 12:39:27 PM
Strange that I didn't get any of the notifications about being tagged in these posts. Still haven't figured out the tagging well yet.

I spent $114 for a one day, one-way, automatic rental with pickup in REK and return at KEF booked with SIXT (Platinum status gave a little discount). Add $11 for wifi in the car and $80 for gas. :o

Don't look at me, I'm new here... :)
What size car was it? I know from your TR that they charged extra to return it to KEF. Was that because it was KEF specifically, or because it was a different location than the pickup? I don't have Platinum, so can't get that discount...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 19, 2017, 01:10:16 PM
I'm not getting emails

Profile > Mentions > check the email box on the lower right hand corner.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 19, 2017, 01:21:21 PM
That's because of the @ in your name. I believe the above tags fare for a yehuda, not @yehuda. Sometimes it seems to get you, sometimes it doesn't.
Oh that's weird! What would happen if you did @@yehuda?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 19, 2017, 01:23:29 PM
Oh that's weird! What would happen if you did @@yehuda?

Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It's weird.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 19, 2017, 01:35:34 PM
Oh that's weird! What would happen if you did @@yehuda?
I got an email for that one!

Don't look at me, I'm new here... :)
What size car was it? I know from your TR that they charged extra to return it to KEF. Was that because it was KEF specifically, or because it was a different location than the pickup? I don't have Platinum, so can't get that discount...
Small car. 5 seater. Different location, not KEF specifically.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 19, 2017, 02:04:23 PM
I got an email for that one!
Small car. 5 seater. Different location, not KEF specifically.
Lol maybe because you just enabled the notifications?

Okay, thanks! Hopefully we'll be able to work something out soon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 19, 2017, 02:08:54 PM
Lol maybe because you just enabled the notifications?

Okay, thanks! Hopefully we'll be able to work something out soon.
I did not change my settings. Have fun! Iceland is so amazing, and I am blessed to have had the chance to go.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on October 19, 2017, 02:24:35 PM
Anyone know if there is a campervan that would fit more than 3/4 adults?
I've seen a few that say they can but I'm skeptical.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 19, 2017, 02:27:21 PM
Anyone know if there is a campervan that would fit more than 3/4 adults?
I've seen a few that say they can but I'm skeptical.

4 is the most you can put in, and that's tight.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on October 19, 2017, 02:31:47 PM
4 is the most you can put in, and that's tight.

Thanks
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on October 19, 2017, 02:47:56 PM
Anyone know if there is a campervan that would fit more than 3/4 adults?
I've seen a few that say they can but I'm skeptical.
you can consider taking along a tent to sleep more people. (of course depending on time of year this may not be practical.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on October 19, 2017, 03:12:41 PM
you can consider taking along a tent to sleep more people. (of course depending on time of year this may not be practical.)

Thanks. It's February so that won't work.
We'll just switch hotels
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: BrachaB on October 19, 2017, 07:29:02 PM
I did not change my settings. Have fun! Iceland is so amazing, and I am blessed to have had the chance to go.
My bad, sorry!
Thank you! I'm nervous that things won't work out, but hopefully they will!
Title: Re: Icelandair: $248.32 for BOS/JFK/EWR/IAD/ORD to KEF roundtrip!
Post by: Yoel1 on November 08, 2017, 11:41:36 AM
Anyone booked Newark - KEF for January 9 - 18 please reply, or DM, We are looking to make a Minayn.

Also spoke with Vox ( that manages Hilton restaurant) they advised me that they might be able to get kosher food if I have a group of 20 people.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 08, 2017, 11:02:42 PM
BrachaB's Iceland Teeny Tiny Trip Report (WOW Airlines Layover) (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=85178.0)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on November 09, 2017, 09:05:12 AM
BrachaB's Iceland Teeny Tiny Trip Report (WOW Airlines Layover) (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=85178.0)
Added to wiki :P
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 13, 2017, 10:25:27 PM
As discussed over at BrachaB's TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=85178.0), parking fees have now been implemented at Seljalandsfoss:

http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/parking-fees-introduced-seljalandsfoss-waterfall-morning-will-pay-maintenance

http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/view-will-still-be-free-parking-not-so-much-a-toll-gate-planned-seljalandsfoss-waterfall

I can't say it's a bad thing. $7 per day is a small price to pay for decent facilities and improved management of the site, IMO.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on November 14, 2017, 07:06:46 PM
Was only a matter of time. Iceland's natural sites can't be free forever. I'm sure we'll see more things like this as tourism continues to rise.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 15, 2017, 07:56:13 AM
Iceland is really turning into the place to go...

AA announces seasonal DFW-KEF, will fly June 7 through Oct. 26 on a B752 with lie-flat seats. This is on top of Icelandair and WOW, which announced the same route a few months ago.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 15, 2017, 02:50:35 PM

I just sent this email to Iceland air, let's see what their response will be.


To whom it may concern,

My name is xxxx xxxxx. My wife and I have booked a flight to Iceland departing Jan 9 2018 (xxxxxx) with your airline.

My wife and I are Orthodox Jews. As part of our travel itinerary, we always pre-order a Kosher meal.

Unfortunately, when we attempted to order a KSML (Kosher meal), we were told that Iceland Air does not offer this meal option. While it wouldn’t be a big deal on a short flight, traveling 5.5 hours is a different story.

I was surprised because this has never happened before

In fact, what makes this more surprising is the fact that other airlines that do fly to Iceland offer Kosher meals. Examples of those airlines include United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta.

If I had known that you don’t offer KSML, I surely would’ve booked my flight with one of the airlines that do.

While it is too late for me to cancel my reservation, it is not too late for others.

The Rabbi in Iceland who I contacted was equally surprised since many people who eat kosher travel to Iceland. As a result, he told me that when asked, he will tell people who contact him to book their flight with a different airline.

Therefore I strongly recommend that you begin to offer KSML as a meal option for all your customers.

Thank you,

xxxxxxx
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: noturbizniss on November 15, 2017, 03:23:16 PM
I just sent this email to Iceland air, let's see what their response will be.


To whom it may concern,

My name is xxxx xxxxx. My wife and I have booked a flight to Iceland departing Jan 9 2018 (xxxxxx) with your airline.

My wife and I are Orthodox Jews. As part of our travel itinerary, we always pre-order a Kosher meal.

Unfortunately, when we attempted to order a KSML (Kosher meal), we were told that Iceland Air does not offer this meal option. While it wouldn’t be a big deal on a short flight, traveling 5.5 hours is a different story.

I was surprised because this has never happened before

In fact, what makes this more surprising is the fact that other airlines that do fly to Iceland offer Kosher meals. Examples of those airlines include United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta.

If I had known that you don’t offer KSML, I surely would’ve booked my flight with one of the airlines that do.

While it is too late for me to cancel my reservation, it is not too late for others.

The Rabbi in Iceland who I contacted was equally surprised since many people who eat kosher travel to Iceland. As a result, he told me that when asked, he will tell people who contact him to book their flight with a different airline.

Therefore I strongly recommend that you begin to offer KSML as a meal option for all your customers.

Thank you,

xxxxxxx
Way to continue the stereotype of entitled Jews. The tone of that letter is nasty and condescending. That was the wrong way to go about it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on November 15, 2017, 03:24:19 PM
Way to continue the stereotype of entitled Jews. The tone of that letter is nasty and condescending. That was the wrong way to go about it.
+1
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: EJB on November 15, 2017, 03:25:36 PM
Curious where they mention that they offer Ksml? Show me one source. Why should they be penalized for your bad assumption.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Moes Tavern on November 15, 2017, 03:26:55 PM
Way to continue the stereotype of entitled Jews. The tone of that letter is nasty and condescending. That was the wrong way to go about it.
+1
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Moishebatchy on November 15, 2017, 03:43:27 PM
I just sent this email to Iceland air, let's see what their response will be.


To whom it may concern,

My name is xxxx xxxxx. My wife and I have booked a flight to Iceland departing Jan 9 2018 (xxxxxx) with your airline.

My wife and I are Orthodox Jews. As part of our travel itinerary, we always pre-order a Kosher meal.

Unfortunately, when we attempted to order a KSML (Kosher meal), we were told that Iceland Air does not offer this meal option. While it wouldn’t be a big deal on a short flight, traveling 5.5 hours is a different story.

I was surprised because this has never happened before

In fact, what makes this more surprising is the fact that other airlines that do fly to Iceland offer Kosher meals. Examples of those airlines include United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta.

If I had known that you don’t offer KSML, I surely would’ve booked my flight with one of the airlines that do.

While it is too late for me to cancel my reservation, it is not too late for others.

The Rabbi in Iceland who I contacted was equally surprised since many people who eat kosher travel to Iceland. As a result, he told me that when asked, he will tell people who contact him to book their flight with a different airline.

Therefore I strongly recommend that you begin to offer KSML as a meal option for all your customers.

Thank you,

xxxxxxx

Super-entitled prick.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 15, 2017, 04:29:24 PM
Way to continue the stereotype of entitled Jews. The tone of that letter is nasty and condescending. That was the wrong way to go about it.

Since when is a recommendation consider as an Way to continue the stereotype of entitled Jews? And what part of the letter is nasty?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 15, 2017, 04:32:31 PM
Curious where they mention that they offer Ksml? Show me one source. Why should they be penalized for your bad assumption.

Where do you see a request to be penalized in this post?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Emkay on November 15, 2017, 04:36:11 PM
I just sent this email to Iceland air, let's see what their response will be.


To whom it may concern,

My name is xxxx xxxxx. My wife and I have booked a flight to Iceland departing Jan 9 2018 (xxxxxx) with your airline.

My wife and I are Orthodox Jews. As part of our travel itinerary, we always pre-order a Kosher meal.

Unfortunately, when we attempted to order a KSML (Kosher meal), we were told that Iceland Air does not offer this meal option. While it wouldn’t be a big deal on a short flight, traveling 5.5 hours is a different story.

I was surprised because this has never happened before

In fact, what makes this more surprising is the fact that other airlines that do fly to Iceland offer Kosher meals. Examples of those airlines include United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta.

If I had known that you don’t offer KSML, I surely would’ve booked my flight with one of the airlines that do.

While it is too late for me to cancel my reservation, it is not too late for others.

The Rabbi in Iceland who I contacted was equally surprised since many people who eat kosher travel to Iceland. As a result, he told me that when asked, he will tell people who contact him to book their flight with a different airline.

Therefore I strongly recommend that you begin to offer KSML as a meal option for all your customers.

Thank you,

xxxxxxx
I just received this email by mistake. I assume it was meant for you.
Quote
To whom it obviously deeply concerns,

My name is xxxx xxxxx. You and your wife have booked a flight to Iceland departing Jan 9 2018 (xxxxxx) with our airline.

You are super entitled. As part of your travel itinerary, you always look out for things to complain about. In this case we didn’t offer the option to pre-order a Kosher meal. Although even if we would have, we would still receive your email complaining about the quality.

Unfortunately, when you attempted to order a KSML (Kosher meal), we realized we just don’t care enough to cater to you. While it might be a big deal on a full day flight, traveling 5.5 hours is a different story and a simple sandwich you pick up prior for under $10 will be infinitely better than any of our offerings.

I was surprised that you even took the time out of your day to complain about a meal that you would just push around with your fork before returning it still complete back to the attendant.

We are aware of the fact that other airlines that do fly to Iceland offer Kosher meals. Examples of those airlines include United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta. But we aren’t them. We don’t drag you off the plane (although we may want to), provoke Godwin's law, charge you ludicrous fees, or devalue your award points twice daily. Noone is perfect (You would know that) and we all have our faults.

If you had known that we don’t offer KSML, you surely would’ve booked still booked the exact flight that you did. Because face it, you didn’t book us for luxury or fine dining. You booked us because we were the cheapest and or most convenient option for you.

It is not late too cancel your reservation, you can still dispute it with your credit card provider as we didn’t supply you with a full service as per your demands which we never were aware we needed to cater to.

The Rabbi in Iceland who you contacted was equally not surprised since there isn’t even enough demand in a country with 2 million tourists and residents to sustain services of any kind year-round. As a result, he can tell the 3 people who contact him to book their flight with a different airline.

Therefore I strongly recommend that you pick more important crusades to rally againt.

Góđa daginn,Tjallar

xxxxxxx
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 15, 2017, 04:40:24 PM
I just received this email by mistake. I assume it was meant for you.

Since when is a reasonable accommodation considered as a form of entitlement?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on November 15, 2017, 04:42:07 PM
LOL
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on November 15, 2017, 04:43:40 PM
Since when is a reasonable accommodation considered as a form of entitlement?
Honestly if you would have just written your letter asking nicely for KSML, no one would have been offended. But your condescending, threatening tone is just silly
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: henche on November 15, 2017, 04:45:11 PM
Nice
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Moishebatchy on November 15, 2017, 04:52:23 PM
I just received this email by mistake. I assume it was meant for you.

Congratulations. You, sir, have won the internets for today
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: EJB on November 15, 2017, 11:34:19 PM
Since when is a reasonable accommodation considered as a form of entitlement?

Since when do you decide what is reasonable?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 16, 2017, 08:33:48 AM
Since when do you decide what is reasonable?

Since United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta are offering KSML...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: EJB on November 16, 2017, 08:35:19 AM
Since United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta are offering KSML...
Which they all advertise to do on their website. You didn’t do your research. That’s your problem - don’t make a chilul hashem over it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: EJB on November 16, 2017, 08:38:26 AM
http://www.icelandair.co.uk/information/on-board/meals/. They make it clear what options they offer (at a cost)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: noturbizniss on November 16, 2017, 10:36:56 AM
Since United Airlines, Lufthansa, Britishairways, and Delta are offering KSML...
oooooh great point!!
next time i use my amex card at staples i will write a nasty letter demanding that they give me 5x points since i get 5x on my ink card!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 16, 2017, 12:42:20 PM
oooooh great point!!
next time i use my amex card at staples i will write a nasty letter demanding that they give me 5x points since i get 5x on my ink card!

Where do you see a request to provide free kosher food or 5 x points??
I am merely asking / recommending that they should offer the option of purchasing kosher food on board just like other major airlines.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: noturbizniss on November 16, 2017, 12:48:31 PM
Where do you see a request to provide free kosher food or 5 x points??
I am merely asking / recommending that they should offer the option of purchasing kosher food on board just like other major airlines.
You are saying company a does x therefore company b should. I'm saying the same thing. Oh and since company b does it I am entitled to get it. From a too.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on November 16, 2017, 02:19:33 PM
Where do you see a request to provide free kosher food or 5 x points??
I am merely asking / recommending that they should offer the option of purchasing kosher food on board just like other major airlines.
You are not merely asking or recommending. You are threatening. If you would have politely said, "other airlines offer kosher food, can you please do the same" no one would have freaked out. Your condescending, threatening, entitled tone is what sets you apart
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 16, 2017, 02:25:03 PM
You are saying company a does x therefore company b should. I'm saying the same thing. Oh and since company b does it I am entitled to get it. From a too.

"...company a does x therefore company b should," since they are in same industry, shouldn't they try to compete ?..

"...entitled to get it?" who said entitled? I said offer an option to "buy and let me pay" for my kosher meals.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 16, 2017, 02:29:40 PM
You are not merely asking or recommending. You are threatening. If you would have politely said, "other airlines offer kosher food, can you please do the same" no one would have freaked out. Your condescending, threatening, entitled tone is what sets you apart

threatening = showing an intention to cause bodily harm.
Please point me in the email where I am threatening them...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: noturbizniss on November 16, 2017, 02:31:34 PM
your TONE.  I know you can't see it because you feel everything you do it perfect, but the TONE in you letter (as I and multiple others have said) reads of incredible entitlement and condescension.
Also - what Rabbi in iceland? There is no fill time chabad.

Quote
Due to budgeting concerns there is not yet a full time Minyan or Chabad House in Reykjavik, rather regular visits by Rabbi's around the Major Jewish Holidays. see below for a report of our latest visit.
so your letter is not only sanctimonious, condescending and entitled, but it is incredibly dishonest.
threatening = showing an intention to cause bodily harm.
Please point me in the email where I am threatening them...
stop playing semantics. or if you prefer, nobody can show you since we are not with you and by definitions "show me" has to be done in person.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 16, 2017, 02:39:38 PM
your TONE.  I know you can't see it because you feel everything you do it perfect, but the TONE in you letter (as I and multiple others have said) reads of incredible entitlement and condescension.
Also - what Rabbi in iceland? There is no fill time chabad.
so your letter is not only sanctimonious, condescending and entitled, but it is incredibly dishonest.stop playing semantics. or if you prefer, nobody can show you since we are not with you and by definitions "show me" has to be done in person.

A Rabbi can only be called full time Rabbi?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: noturbizniss on November 16, 2017, 02:42:10 PM
You said the rabbi in Iceland. Implies that he lives there and is a part of the community.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on November 16, 2017, 02:43:34 PM
You said the rabbi in Iceland. Implies that he lives there and is a part of the community.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood, what I meant was a part-time rabbi..
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: noturbizniss on November 16, 2017, 02:44:25 PM
I don't care what you meant. Your letter does not say that. It's elitist
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on November 16, 2017, 05:55:17 PM
threatening = showing an intention to cause bodily harm.
Please point me in the email where I am threatening them...
Since when does threatening imply bodily harm. It implies and harm, and you threaten to harm them by advising others not to book flights with them
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on November 18, 2017, 10:55:46 PM
How did you find driving in the winter? Is it dangerous?
I'm debating if it's worth it to rent a car, or to have tours pick us up each time. Of course renting a car is easier but I'm concerned about driving conditions, as well as the price of gas and potential traffic tickets.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 18, 2017, 11:01:21 PM
How did you find driving in the winter? Is it dangerous?
I'm debating if it's worth it to rent a car, or to have tours pick us up each time. Of course renting a car is easier but I'm concerned about driving conditions, as well as the price of gas and potential traffic tickets.

Anyone have any thoughts?

If you have experience driving in NY winters you'll be okay. One thing that's different, is in some places they don't plow the roads; they grade it instead, but etching patterns into the ice. If your car has winter tires (with those little metal spikes in them), you'll be perfectly fine. By law all rentals must have that, but some of the cheap rental places don't. Makes sure you do.

Of course if a storm comes up you may get stranded, especially if you don't have cell service. That's a risk you need to decide if you want to take.

No need to worry about traffic tickets if you don't break the law... It's pretty difficult to speed there in the winter. And if you do, you have worse things to worry about than getting ticketed.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on November 18, 2017, 11:12:38 PM
Thanks for your input.
I was hearing about the outrageously priced speeding tickets, but you're right that it will be a lot harder to speed in the winter.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on November 18, 2017, 11:57:57 PM
Thanks for your input.
I was hearing about the outrageously priced speeding tickets, but you're right that it will be a lot harder to speed in the winter.

I got a speeding ticket. Was 150 bucks in 2008. That's including a20 percent discount for paying it on the spot. In hindsight I'm not sure I really needed to pay it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on November 19, 2017, 02:44:53 PM
Someone else told me theirs was $650, and it was not for a bad speeding offense. They had to pay on the spot, or risk getting arrested
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 01, 2017, 12:40:58 PM
Just made the "best" points redemption of my life :P: 4200 useless and expiring Icelandair Saga points to 748 Jetblue on Points.com.

Better than nothing, I suppose...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 03, 2017, 01:25:20 AM
I have a tentative itinerary planned out and would love some input. Please let me know if you think I'm missing something spectacular that would fit my schedule, or I am grossly wasting my time. Keep in mind that I'll be there in February with a group of 6 (so everything will take a bit more time).

Friday:
Land in KEF at 6:15 AM.
Rent car
Head to the Blue Lagoon for sunrise.
Drive to Reykjavik and settle in Airbnb for Shabbos
(I'd love to find something nice or fun to do nearby, but can't seem to find something that's not too far out or time consuming)
Sunset: 5:19 PM

Saturday Night:
Go out and chase the Northern Lights (any recommendations on best place to go?) From what I can see, it doesn't make sense to take a tour.   

Sunday:
Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier
Ţingvellir / Snorkeling in Silfra

Monday:
Geysir
Gullfoss
Head back to KEF to return car and catch 5 PM flight


Things I would love to do but can't seem to fit them in:
Jökulsárlón
Dog sledding (only place I can find is in Hólmasel)
Seljalandsfoss


Thanks!!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 03, 2017, 02:01:35 AM
I have a tentative itinerary planned out and would love some input. Please let me know if you think I'm missing something spectacular that would fit my schedule, or I am grossly wasting my time. Keep in mind that I'll be there in February with a group of 6 (so everything will take a bit more time).

Friday:
Land in KEF at 6:15 AM.
Rent car
Head to the Blue Lagoon for sunrise.
Drive to Reykjavik and settle in Airbnb for Shabbos
(I'd love to find something nice or fun to do nearby, but can't seem to find something that's not too far out or time consuming)
Sunset: 5:19 PM

Saturday Night:
Go out and chase the Northern Lights (any recommendations on best place to go?) From what I can see, it doesn't make sense to take a tour.   

Sunday:
Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier
Ţingvellir / Snorkeling in Silfra

Monday:
Geysir
Gullfoss
Head back to KEF to return car and catch 5 PM flight


Things I would love to do but can't seem to fit them in:
Jökulsárlón
Dog sledding (only place I can find is in Hólmasel)
Seljalandsfoss


Thanks!!

- Friday: Skip the Blue Lagoon and do Gunnuhver instead. This will save you a pile of cash, give you something interesting to do on Friday, and allow you to skip Geysir completely.

- Saturday night: Anywhere outside the city; just head east and keep an eye in the sky.

- Monday: Skip both Geysir and Gullfoss and do Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui instead, as well as all the little pullouts en route.

The only way you can do Jokulsarlon is if you stay in Vik Sunday night. Head there straight from Silfra, and leave to Jokulsarlon in time to get there for sunrise (add 30% to whatever Google says). Leave Jokulsarlon early AM and stop by Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui (and Skogafoss) on the way back.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 03, 2017, 07:14:43 AM
When I saw snowmobiling on Langjokull, I thought, "Do dog sledding there instead."  When we were on Langjokull, there were teams of dog sleds, but that was in summer.  Not sure about winter or how to find out.

If you want to do a Zodiac tour on Jokulsarlon (highly recommended), getting back to airport for flight home Monday will be tight.  It takes 6+ hours driving in summer, probably longer in winter. .... Just checked, no Zodiac tours until May 15.  Even the duck boat tours don't start until May 1. It's beautiful to see, but can't justify all that driving if no boat tour.

We stayed in the campground from where you hike to Svartifoss, and I remember seeing advertised trips out to the nearby glacier.  If you can do dog sledding/snowmobiling there (very likely), then head east to Vik or wherever Sat. night, Jokulsarlon + glacier + waterfalls Sunday, snorkeling Monday.  Gulfoss is skippable. 

https://www.visitreykjanes.is/en/what-to-see-do/reykjanes-geopark/geosites/index/place/gunnuhver
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 03, 2017, 12:31:38 PM
Thank you both for your input. As much as I'm dying to go to Jökulsárlón, I just don't think it makes sense. Next time!

I haven't seen anything about dog sledding on Langjokull but I've reached out to a couple of tour operators, so I'll see what they say. I don't think we'll do both snowmobiling and dog sledding, but one of those should give us a great experience.

Something Fishy: Can you expound on Gunnuhver? I haven't been able to find much about it. How does it compare to the Blue Lagoon? Obviously not price-wise, but is it a similar idea? I am all for skipping the Blue Lagoon but I need to please my crowd :) 
The same goes for skipping Geysir and Gullfoss. They both look slightly underwhelming to me, but am I missing the basics if I skip?

Thank you!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 03, 2017, 12:51:47 PM
Something Fishy: Can you expound on Gunnuhver? I haven't been able to find much about it. How does it compare to the Blue Lagoon? Obviously not price-wise, but is it a similar idea? I am all for skipping the Blue Lagoon but I need to please my crowd :) 
The same goes for skipping Geysir and Gullfoss. They both look slightly underwhelming to me, but am I missing the basics if I skip?

Gunnuhver is a replacement for Geysir, not the BL, which I suggest you skip due to being the world's greatest tourist trap and priced in the stratosphere. The reason I'm saying to skip Geysir, is, like you said, that it's entirely underwhelming. You want to see real geysers, go to Yellowstone. Don't waste precious time in Iceland seeing a relatively boring thermal area.

Now Gunnuhver, to be fair, is also a relatively boring thermal area. But it's close to the airport and Reykjavik, and just interesting enough for a Friday morning thing to see. The advantage over Geysir is less crowds, but more importantly, time. You don't waste an entire day on Geysir and the also-boring Gullfoss, when you can use that time to see the infinitely more interesting Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui, and the incredible landscape en route.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 03, 2017, 01:07:10 PM
Got it. Being that I will probably be crucified for suggesting skipping the BL, I'm thinking we can probably do both on Friday. Gunnuhver is only 20 minutes from BL, so we can go there after and then head to Reykjavik.
I definitely like your Monday plan better than mine, I felt like I was wasting time. If I stick Gunnuhver in on Friday, and far nicer waterfalls on Monday, I can get away with skipping the 'basic sights' of Geysir and Gullfoss.

Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 03, 2017, 01:09:37 PM
Got it. Being that I will probably be crucified for suggesting skipping the BL, I'm thinking we can probably do both on Friday. Gunnuhver is only 20 minutes from BL, so we can go there after and then head to Reykjavik.
I definitely like your Monday plan better than mine, I felt like I was wasting time. If I stick Gunnuhver in on Friday, and far nicer waterfalls on Monday, I can get away with skipping the 'basic sights' of Geysir and Gullfoss.

Thanks a lot!

Sounds like a good plan all around.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 03:55:44 PM
I've been having second thoughts on missing so much in the south. Option 2 would mean much more driving time, probably a way less decent Airbnb (provided I can find one), and spending Shabbos in a random town as opposed to Reykjavik.
If you've been to both, please weigh in on if it's worth the cons of going to the south.


Option #1 - Southwest Iceland

Friday:
Land in KEF at 6:15 AM.
Rent car
Head to the Blue Lagoon for sunrise.
Gunnuhver Hot Springs
Drive to Reykjavik and settle in Airbnb for Shabbos
Sunset: 5:19 PM

Saturday Night:
Go out and chase the Northern Lights

Sunday:
Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier
Man-made ice tunnel in Langjökull
Ţingvellir / Snorkeling in Silfra

Monday:
Seljalandsfoss
Gljufrabui
Head back to KEF with leisurely route, stopping along the way for scenic locations
Return car and catch 5 PM flight



Option #2 - South Iceland

Friday:
Land in KEF at 6:15 AM.
Rent car
Head to the Blue Lagoon for sunrise.
Gunnuhver Hot Springs
Drive to an Airbnb as far east as I can find (so far it's only been Hella)
Sunset: 5:19 PM

Saturday Night:
Go out and chase the Northern Lights

Sunday:
Jokulsarlon
Zodiac Boat Tour
Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave Tour
Dog Sledding if I can find in the area

Monday:
Seljalandsfoss
Gljufrabui
Head back to KEF with not so leisurely route, stopping along the way for scenic locations
Return car and catch 5 PM flight
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 04, 2017, 04:29:08 PM
What time is sunrise when you're there?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 04:30:34 PM
Approx 10 AM
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 07:15:56 PM
Update: it doesn't look like the Zodiac Boat Tour is available in the winter.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 07:45:02 PM
Paging @Something Fishy please help! Can't make up my mind.
From what I can gather:

Pros of Option 1: be at a more leisurely pace all around. Much less travel time. Opportunity for nicer house. Can be in Reykjavik for Shabbos

Cons of Option 1: Will miss out on amazing scenery, will not see any ice caves or black sand beaches.

Pros of Option 2: Will  see amazing sights such as Jokulsarlon, black sand beaches, ice caves etc.

Cons of Option 2: Much more travel time, more rushed in general. Probably will have a not as decent house.  Will miss out on Reykjavik and snorkeling in Silfra between tetonic plates

 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 04, 2017, 10:57:26 PM
Paging @Something Fishy please help! Can't make up my mind.

Option 1.

Option 2 is physically impossible; you can't be at Jukulsarlon for a 10 o'clock sunrise and at Keflavik for a 5pm flight, end of story. Leave the further things for a second visit, maybe in the summer.

If you want to see black beaches, you could do that at the Vestmannaeyjar ferry landing, down the short road opposite Seljalandsfoss.

One other suggestion, but this will be one heck of a long day: Skip the man-made tunnel on Sunday (why see something fake in this land of natural wonders?), and make a seriously early night. Leave Reykjavik waaay early, and arrive at Vik for sunrise. Watch sunrise from Reynisfjara Beach (black sand, incredible formations, intensely beautiful sunrises), then make your slow way back west, continuing as per your original Option 1 itinerary.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 11:09:43 PM
You mistook Sunday for Monday, I wouldn't be at Jokulsarlon and KEF the same day. I was planning on finding a house somewhere in the middle, possibly Skogar.

That being said, I pretty much came to the same conclusion. Option 2 is way too much travel in too little time and I just don't think it justifies it.

Thanks for the Vik idea. That might be a good option.

Really appreciate the help!! For some reason I'm having a way harder time planning this short little trip, than I did with 10 day trips.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 04, 2017, 11:18:17 PM
Correct, I see that I misread your second option. Regardless,

Option 2 is way too much travel in too little time and I just don't think it justifies it.


Really appreciate the help!! For some reason I'm having a way harder time planning this short little trip, than I did with 10 day trips.

Pleasure.

I think the reason it's so difficult is that there is so much to do and so little time. a 10-day trip to Iceland would be heaven.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 11:26:49 PM
One other suggestion, but this will be one heck of a long day: Skip the man-made tunnel on Sunday (why see something fake in this land of natural wonders?), and make a seriously early night. Leave Reykjavik waaay early, and arrive at Vik for sunrise. Watch sunrise from Reynisfjara Beach (black sand, incredible formations, intensely beautiful sunrises), then make your slow way back west, continuing as per your original Option 1 itinerary.

Actually really excited about this idea. I think combines enough of both options. Who needs sleep anyways
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 04, 2017, 11:34:42 PM
Actually really excited about this idea. I think combines enough of both options. Who needs sleep anyways

Well that's Iceland ;D:

We just woke up, crashed after being up 39 hours straight.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 04, 2017, 11:39:24 PM
Precisely
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on December 05, 2017, 09:08:40 PM
Ok, my turns for 2 cents.

I don't think you're doing nearly enough on Friday, and you can do more on Monday as the 2 falls take 30-60 minutes max. In option 1, I think you're doing way too much on Sunday. Bear in mind that all these tours have set times, usually run for a few hours and aren't always right next to each other, which means it's really hard to do 2 in 1 day, let alone 3. In option 2, if there really are no boat rides in Jokulsarlon or Fjallsarlon, then I'm not sure it's worth schlepping all that far just to spend a few minutes gawking at the icebergs. The boat ride adds a nice activity to the area and makes the trip worth it. I also don't see the benefit of being in REK for Shabbos, not like there's anything Jewish there, but I guess you could stroll around town? Anyway, here's my suggestion for another idea to consider...

Friday:
KEF to Silfra, looks like 10:30 is the earliest snorkel time, so you can technically visit Geyser/Gulfoss on the way, but more interestingly might be to see the Bridge Between Continents near KEF (which is actually near Gunnuvher). Then go to Secret Lagoon for half the price of Blue Lagoon - convince your peeps that they're crazy especially since you'll take them here. Airbnb... somewhere.

Motzai Shabbos:
Northern Lights (if you don't see them, you'll want to keep trying each night)

Sunday: Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui to start the day. Then another reason why it's okay to skip Blue Lagoon - hike to Seljavallalaug hot pool. Then find some activity/tour on Langjokull Glacier - ice walk/climb, snowmobiling or dogsledding.

Monday: Reynifsjara Black Sand Beach, maybe find some ice cave? head back to KEF. (If timing doesn't work, you can do Reynifsjara Sunday afternoon and save Langjokull to start Monday morning.)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 05, 2017, 10:34:53 PM
Ok, my turns for 2 cents.

I don't think you're doing nearly enough on Friday, and you can do more on Monday as the 2 falls take 30-60 minutes max. In option 1, I think you're doing way too much on Sunday. Bear in mind that all these tours have set times, usually run for a few hours and aren't always right next to each other, which means it's really hard to do 2 in 1 day, let alone 3. In option 2, if there really are no boat rides in Jokulsarlon or Fjallsarlon, then I'm not sure it's worth schlepping all that far just to spend a few minutes gawking at the icebergs. The boat ride adds a nice activity to the area and makes the trip worth it. I also don't see the benefit of being in REK for Shabbos, not like there's anything Jewish there, but I guess you could stroll around town? Anyway, here's my suggestion for another idea to consider...

Friday:
KEF to Silfra, looks like 10:30 is the earliest snorkel time, so you can technically visit Geyser/Gulfoss on the way, but more interestingly might be to see the Bridge Between Continents near KEF (which is actually near Gunnuvher). Then go to Secret Lagoon for half the price of Blue Lagoon - convince your peeps that they're crazy especially since you'll take them here. Airbnb... somewhere.

Motzai Shabbos:
Northern Lights (if you don't see them, you'll want to keep trying each night)

Sunday: Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui to start the day. Then another reason why it's okay to skip Blue Lagoon - hike to Seljavallalaug hot pool. Then find some activity/tour on Langjokull Glacier - ice walk/climb, snowmobiling or dogsledding.

Monday: Reynifsjara Black Sand Beach, maybe find some ice cave? head back to KEF. (If timing doesn't work, you can do Reynifsjara Sunday afternoon and save Langjokull to start Monday morning.)

Thanks for your input.

Just mapped this out and I don't think it works. Friday we don't have enough time to do snorkeling and Secret Lagoon.
Sunday would be going in complete opposite directions. Down south to Seljalandsfoss and then back up north to Langjokull and than back west to Reykjavik for the night.
Then on Monday back down southeast to Reynifsjara.

I know Sunday will be busy, but I'm working with the tour operators to make sure timing works. I think it's the best bet.
There are no Zodiac Boat Tours in the winter, and the only ice caves are much further east in Jokulsarlon or Vatnajokull.

I don't specifically want to be in Rekjavik for Shabbos. But in Option 2 it would mean finding an Airbnb out in the middle of nowhere which doesn't excite me, firstly because of the roads in the winter, and secondly, for safety reasons.

We have basically settled on Option 3, which is Option 1, but Monday will go down to Reynifsjara for sunrise and then continue west towards KEF with stops in Seljalandsfoss etc on the way.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on December 06, 2017, 08:49:24 AM
I see you're pretty settled on your itin, but to answer some points you made...

1) Your reason to stay in a big city makes sense, so then I agree my Friday itin won't work. But, for one who stayed at a random area near the eastern side of the Golden Circle, it could work.
2) My tour on Langjokull was actually scheduled to meet on the southern ring road, not near where Gmaps has Langjokull, so it actually was very close to Seljalandsfoss. Be sure to check where you meeting points are. And I never recommended going back to REK that night. Your Shabbos Airbnb should not be where you stay on Sat night (unless you find Northern Lights so close to REK) nor on Sunday - would be silly to go all the way back to REK each night. Find a cheap hotel if no Airbnbs. And don't be scared of roads to the Airbnb in the winter, you'll be driving on them anyway to get to these activities... easier to drive a few more minutes on them to an Airbnb than a few hours getting back to REK.
3) Do try to get Seljavallalaug into your itin. If it was that amazing in the summer, I can only imagine what it would be like sitting in a natural hot tub among snow-covered mountains.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 06, 2017, 10:34:18 AM
Well I only went back and forth 20 times, so I think need to stop now or it will never end!
The end of my snorkeling will probably be getting dark out, which is not perfect, but doesn't bother me too much.
1. Yes. Ideally, I would pitch a tent or stay anywhere I can find :) Gotta do what I gotta do.
2. It seems that everything works very differently in the winter. The meeting point for snowmobiling is not at all near the south. It's northeast from Reykjavik in Húsafell, which is north to the glacier, as opposed to the south which is the summer meeting point. So it wouldn't work.
    Technically, it doesn't make sense to drive back and forth. But in our case, we're a large (some slow-moving) crowd and I don't think it's worth the hassle of switching locations.
3. Would love to, if we have time on Monday. It looks like it's on the route I plan to take.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: DoubleU on December 25, 2017, 12:41:17 PM
HI, thanks everyone for their input. I'm going to Iceland in February for nearly 3 days.
landing tuesday morning 6am, departure is thursday 5pm

Tuesday- Golden circle.

Wednesday- guided tour $350 and they take you to skogafoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black beach, Glacier Lagoon, Crystal Beach, Ice caving, Seljalandsfoss waterfall then back to Reykjavik.

Thursday- attractions close to the airport

Does anyone object to this plan?
Did anyone rent a 4x4 in the winter? do i have to request any special tires?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on December 25, 2017, 01:13:36 PM
I rented a 4x4 vehicle for February from Blue Car Rental and it comes with winter tires (all their cars do for the winter months)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 25, 2017, 01:19:37 PM
Wednesday- guided tour $350 and they take you to skogafoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black beach, Glacier Lagoon, Crystal Beach, Ice caving, Seljalandsfoss waterfall then back to Reykjavik.

Sorry, this is crazy. You have around 12 hours of driving here. You'll be too tired to see or do anything, let alone stuff in practically all of the south coast's attractions. And this is all with about 8 hours of daylight...

And not to mention that you can do all this for free, besides for the ice caving. The very fact that you have "Crystal Beach" listed there shows that this is itinerary is designed for unwary tourists - there's no such place, it's just the beach at the glacier lagoon (Jokulsarlon). It's a little thing, but giving it an exotic-sounding English name just to lure tourists in disingenuous in my book.

To see Jokulsarlon normally you need to overnight in Vik, or better yet, Hof or a similar guesthouse. You can't do it as a day trip from Reykjavik.

Regarding a rental, there's no need for a 4x4, although it will fare better if you have bad weather. Same as back home, really.

All cars from legit rental places will have winter tires (they're required by law). Make sure to do your research, as unfortunately many Icelandic car rentals are notorious for being horrible.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eljay07 on February 01, 2018, 07:30:58 AM
@Something Fishy @yehuda - Any advice on best northern lights hunting experiences/options if planning to go mid-February?  Thanks. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 01, 2018, 08:08:48 AM
@Something Fishy @yehuda - Any advice on best northern lights hunting experiences/options if planning to go mid-February?  Thanks.

Stay away from clouds and stay away from city lights. Keep on looking up and don't give up and go to bed at midnight.

That's pretty much all there is to it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 01, 2018, 09:06:26 AM
Went in the summer, don't have northern lights experience.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on February 01, 2018, 09:55:09 AM
Stay away from clouds and stay away from city lights. Keep on looking up and don't give up and go to bed at midnight.

That's pretty much all there is to it.

What's optimal viewing time for this time of year? 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 01, 2018, 10:04:46 AM
What's optimal viewing time for this time of year?

Nighttime ;D

That's all there is to it, really.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on February 01, 2018, 10:36:17 AM
Thanks :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on February 06, 2018, 02:05:18 PM
Just got back from a short trip. We had really bad luck, weather-wise, so although most of my itinerary did not pan out, I will try to post a short trip report soon
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: MLEV on February 11, 2018, 09:57:23 PM
Is CDW insurance mandatory in Iceland? it seems a lot of the car rental companies include it in the standard rental, but am i correct that if that is included my Chase Sapphire would not cover any potential damage? (full insurance on the car)

And thanks to everyone on this thread, all the info has been extremely helpful in trying to plan my trip. I don't have enough of a concrete itinerary, but when I do I'll be asking the group for everyones thoughts. Thanks!

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yaalili on February 12, 2018, 11:09:17 AM
http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=49396&alias=history-chabad-opens-in-iceland
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yoel1 on February 12, 2018, 11:11:33 AM
On twitter
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on March 08, 2018, 03:54:31 PM
Trip report posted here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=91437.msg1904135)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on March 12, 2018, 09:47:58 PM
https://www.facebook.com/groups/dansdeals/?multi_permalinks=10155950195586041&notif_id=1520897263280275&notif_t=group_activity&ref=notif
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: boruchy on April 26, 2018, 07:17:50 PM
August in Iceland, SUV or regular sedan will do?
Thanks
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 26, 2018, 10:44:36 PM
August in Iceland, SUV or regular sedan will do?
Thanks

No SUV needed unless you want to drive in the highlands. Then you'd need a special F-road certified vehicle.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Saver on May 06, 2018, 08:50:14 PM
Hi! I am thinking of going to Iceland for one day as I have a stopover. I am hesitant to rent a car. Is there any inexpensive way to see some sights and not break the bank? Any advice? This would be at the end of July.
Also is WOW an airline like Spirit? It is a lot cheaper from NY would you advise not to take it?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 06, 2018, 09:05:49 PM
Hi! I am thinking of going to Iceland for one day as I have a stopover. I am hesitant to rent a car. Is there any inexpensive way to see some sights and not break the bank? Any advice? This would be at the end of July.
Also is WOW an airline like Spirit? It is a lot cheaper from NY would you advise not to take it?

There are literally dozens of tours you can take that will provide all transportation.

WOW is ultra cheap but decent. Manage your expectations and you'll be fine. Make sure to check out all their fees before you book so you can accurately price match.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Saver on May 06, 2018, 09:17:01 PM
thanks so much! I will look into it!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: damaxer91 on July 01, 2018, 10:07:12 PM
Ok go drink the milk in Iceland if you are ok w Cholov Akum?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on July 01, 2018, 11:57:20 PM
Ok go drink the milk in Iceland if you are ok w Cholov Akum?
You can drink the milk anywhere in the world if you are ok with being over on cholov akum....
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 02, 2018, 02:02:14 AM
You can drink the milk anywhere in the world if you are ok with being over on cholov akum....
Incorrect, you can only drink it in countries that have a "fda" and rules and regulations about milk.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on July 02, 2018, 02:02:56 AM
Incorrect, you can only drink it in countries that have a "fda" and rules and regulations about milk.
Read my post again...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 02, 2018, 02:04:39 AM
Read my post again...
My bad.
Although to my knowledge any milk in the EU, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia is considered chalav STAM
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on July 02, 2018, 02:05:52 AM
My bad.
Although to my knowledge any milk in the EU, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia is considered chalav STAM
That's not necessarily true, I'm not sure about the rest of the world but definitely in the EU it is country dependant.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 02, 2018, 02:08:09 AM
That's not necessarily true, I'm not sure about the rest of the world but definitely in the EU it is country dependant.

I heard that directly from a kashrus expert that knows Europe.

I would rely on him and my rav was sitting right next to him as he said it.

Feel free to pm me if you want a name or continue the conversation.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yehudaa on July 02, 2018, 06:38:20 AM


I heard that directly from a kashrus expert that knows Europe.

I would rely on him and my rav was sitting right next to him as he said it.


+1

I was also there when he said that :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 02, 2018, 06:56:56 AM

+1

I was also there when he said that :)
Shame we didn't have DO after
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yehudaa on July 02, 2018, 07:03:27 AM
Shame we didn't have DO after
Lol I'm sure we weren't the only ones.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 02, 2018, 07:07:17 AM
Lol I'm sure we weren't the only ones.
No doubt.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: shiframeir on July 09, 2018, 12:51:34 PM
http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=49396&alias=history-chabad-opens-in-iceland
has anyone stayed at Chabad for shabbos (details on minyan?/food?) they did a good job putting up a basic website, and thinking of going for thanksgiving. https://www.jewishiceland.com/programs
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 09, 2018, 01:14:11 PM
has anyone stayed at Chabad for shabbos (details on minyan?/food?) they did a good job putting up a basic website, and thinking of going for thanksgiving. https://www.jewishiceland.com/programs

Great to see Chabad is offering kosher food now as well.  This will definitely make a return trip more palatable.  Hopefully someone will report soon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: deal catcher on July 10, 2018, 05:14:45 PM
Great to see Chabad is offering kosher food now as well.  This will definitely make a return trip more palatable.  Hopefully someone will report soon.
i
No doubt.
just got back from Iceland, after speaking to chabad, they just arrived about a month ago to Iceland, when i was there last week they had a minyan one day during the week. they said they have a minyan every shabbos. trip report coming soon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 10, 2018, 05:15:34 PM
i just got back from Iceland, after speaking to chabad, they just arrived about a month ago to Iceland, when i was there last week they had a minyan one day during the week. they said they have a minyan every shabbos. trip report coming soon.
Wow wonderful news
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 10, 2018, 05:20:34 PM
That's really great. How do they get a Minyan together every week? Is the Rabbi the only one out of 10 who is Orthodox? Unless he does good organizing of the frum tourists.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yammer on July 10, 2018, 05:27:09 PM
That's not necessarily true, I'm not sure about the rest of the world but definitely in the EU it is country dependant.
I heard that directly from a kashrus expert that knows Europe.

I would rely on him and my rav was sitting right next to him as he said it.

Feel free to pm me if you want a name or continue the conversation.
Did he mean those countries as well?

Bulgaria ()
Croatia ()
Cyprus ()
Estonia ()
Greece ()
Latvia ()
Romania ()
Slovakia ()
Slovenia ()
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PlatinumGuy on July 11, 2018, 12:12:09 AM
My bad.
Although to my knowledge any milk in the EU, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia is considered chalav STAM
Very hard to believe about South Africa. There is very little rule of law there
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dawie on July 15, 2018, 02:36:59 PM
Very hard to believe about South Africa. There is very little rule of law there
-1
Title: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: moisheyb on July 15, 2018, 02:55:03 PM
Did he mean those countries as well?

Bulgaria ()
Croatia ()
Cyprus ()
Estonia ()
Greece ()
Latvia ()
Romania ()
Slovakia ()
Slovenia ()

I didn't ask him specifically about these countries and he didn't mention them specifically.

However he did say EU multiple times and I would feel comfortable relying on that for any country in the EU (I believe most of the countries listed are in the EU)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Yammer on July 15, 2018, 05:39:59 PM
I didn't ask him specifically about these countries and he didn't mention them specifically.

However he did say EU multiple times and I would feel comfortable relying on that for any country in the EU (I believe most of the countries listed are in the EU)
1) I hear
2) all are part of the EU
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on October 30, 2018, 09:51:11 PM
Just went through this entire thread, decided to add Iceland to a Europe trip. Plan is for four days/three nights at end of November.
Would really appreciate if all you Iceland experts out there could answer a question.

From what I read in my research, driving this time of year can be very dangerous mainly due to extreme winds. I'm leaning towards leaving the driving to the experts and booking tours, but those are so much more expensive and then you can't just pull over to the side of the road when you want to (I'm pregnant, need I say more...) Anyone have experience driving this time of year?

Really don't want to risk our lives driving through whiteout conditions/ gusts etc (we drove in New Zealand through a terrifying storm-really don't want to repeat that experience.)


Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 30, 2018, 10:10:20 PM
Driving isn't bad the vast majority of the time. But when bad weather shows up (and it most likely will), you need to be comfortable with the conditions. When I was there we drove through some pretty hairy situations, but there came a point where we decided it wasn't safe to continue and hunkered down for the night. Easy to do in a camper; not so much in a car (plus you'll have the pressure of wanting to get back to your hotel, which doesn't make for good decision-making).

I say go with tours if you can afford it. FWIW, there aren't a lot of bathrooms along the road anyways, and where there are, it's a reasonable assumption that a tour will be able to stop. See if you can discuss it with them beforehand.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on October 30, 2018, 10:15:30 PM
Driving isn't bad the vast majority of the time. But when bad weather shows up (and it most likely will), you need to be comfortable with the conditions. When I was there we drove through some pretty hairy situations, but there came a point where we decided it wasn't safe to continue and hunkered down for the night. Easy to do in a camper; not so much in a car (plus you'll have the pressure of wanting to get back to your hotel, which doesn't make for good decision-making).

I say go with tours if you can afford it. FWIW, there aren't a lot of bathrooms along the road anyways, and where there are, it's a reasonable assumption that a tour will be able to stop. See if you can discuss it with them beforehand.

Thank you so much for your reply, as well as your contributions up thread!
Is it possible to be aware of bad weather beforehand (from the road condition/weather sites) or will it just pop up? Definitely not planning on renting a camper and risking being upside down the next morning  ;D and big cars usually have more problems in the wind.
Also, if there is bad weather can one pull over and wait it out, or does it usually last a while?
I keep going back and forth-I would so rather have the freedom of self-driving!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 31, 2018, 01:33:50 PM
If you're a small group, you can fit in the small campers which are no larger than a minivan.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on October 31, 2018, 02:26:32 PM
If you're a small group, you can fit in the small campers which are no larger than a minivan.

Thanks, just myself and husband. But then the dilemma of driving (and sleeping) in potentially scary weather still holds...

For self-driving, would this itinerary make sense? Anything I'm missing? I figured that if we're based in Vik for 2 nights, if we see bad weather predicted one day, we'll always have the next. Hopefully weather will be ok arrival day....
Day 1: Arrive morning, drive towards Vik, stopping on the way to see skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Reynisfjara if there's time. Stay overnight in Vik
Day 2: drive out towards Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, see Svartifoss on the way. Drive back to Vik, stay in same hotel
Day 3: Drive back towards Reykjavik seeing sights that missed on way there
Day 4: Drive abbreviated Golden Circle (not interested in Geyser), evening flight back to London.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on October 31, 2018, 02:49:20 PM
Thanks, just myself and husband. But then the dilemma of driving (and sleeping) in potentially scary weather still holds...

For self-driving, would this itinerary make sense? Anything I'm missing? I figured that if we're based in Vik for 2 nights, if we see bad weather predicted one day, we'll always have the next. Hopefully weather will be ok arrival day....
Day 1: Arrive morning, drive towards Vik, stopping on the way to see skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Reynisfjara if there's time. Stay overnight in Vik
Day 2: drive out towards Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, see Svartifoss on the way. Drive back to Vik, stay in same hotel
Day 3: Drive back towards Reykjavik seeing sights that missed on way there
Day 4: Drive abbreviated Golden Circle (not interested in Geyser), evening flight back to London.

Seems doable. Day 3 needs more to do. Maybe you can get in hot springs like Seljavallalaug. Day 4 - if you're not snorkeling or rafting, the Golden Circle doesn't take all day. See my TR (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66826.50) for how much I did that day (was my last day).
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on October 31, 2018, 03:09:11 PM
Seems doable. Day 3 needs more to do. Maybe you can get in hot springs like Seljavallalaug. Day 4 - if you're not snorkeling or rafting, the Golden Circle doesn't take all day. See my TR (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66826.50) for how much I did that day (was my last day).

Thanks so much for your input! Read your trip report previously (which is so detailed, thanks!). I figured that since winter days are so much shorter, I shouldn't pack in too much. Also wanted to leave some buffer time in case of bad weather (Something I'm super nervous about, don't know if you could tell :)

More interested in taking in beautiful scenery than hot springs or snorkeling. Could we instead cut our trip shorter to two nights, and instead do the golden circle on day 3?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on October 31, 2018, 03:12:14 PM
Actually, forgot that I had planned on 3 nights to give us more of a chance to see the Northern Lights.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on November 06, 2018, 12:35:47 PM
Any other driving Iceland in winter input?
Been reading so much on TripAdvisor about how dangerous it is to drive etc.
If I plan on checking weather/road conditions every morning will I be ok? (Or could 74 mph winds suddenly crop up in the middle of a drive without warning)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 06, 2018, 12:42:43 PM
Any other driving Iceland in winter input?
Been reading so much on TripAdvisor about how dangerous it is to drive etc.
If I plan on checking weather/road conditions every morning will I be ok? (Or could 74 mph winds suddenly crop up in the middle of a drive without warning)

Trip Advisor is the land where the term "self-drive" is a 4-letter word. It is not a good source for reliable information about driving in potentially/possibly/theoretically hairy areas.

If you know how to drive in a NY winter you will be fine, unless a storm comes up. The forecasts are pretty good, but of course anything can happen. Common sense will go a long way.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on November 06, 2018, 12:55:16 PM
Trip Advisor is the land where the term "self-drive" is a 4-letter word. It is not a good source for reliable information about driving in potentially/possibly/theoretically hairy areas.

If you know how to drive in a NY winter you will be fine, unless a storm comes up. The forecasts are pretty good, but of course anything can happen. Common sense will go a long way.

Sure sounds like it! But most are locals....
East Coast winter sounds like nothing compared to Iceland in terms of winds and black ice. In your experience, was the bad weather you encountered forecasted before? What kind of common sense  :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 06, 2018, 12:57:30 PM
Sure sounds like it! But most are locals....
East Coast winter sounds like nothing compared to Iceland in terms of winds and black ice. In your experience, was the bad weather you encountered forecasted before? What kind of common sense  :)

It was forecast, but we were not connected enough to know. we heard it from someone we met along the way.

Common sense means knowing when not to proceed down a particular road, how fast to drive, and most importantly, when to give up.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on November 06, 2018, 01:01:25 PM
I drove in Iceland in February. For the most part, it was completely fine.
The last day, I got stuck in a white-out snow storm and it was absolutely terrifying. I had to pull over and wait for a while, until I was forced to drive again to make our flight.

Your schedule may change a bit depending on the weather, but overall it should be okay.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on November 06, 2018, 03:03:34 PM
It was forecast, but we were not connected enough to know. we heard it from someone we met along the way.

Common sense means knowing when not to proceed down a particular road, how fast to drive, and most importantly, when to give up.

Thanks! will hopefully have data and diligently check weather. I guess our contingency plan will be not driving out, and potentially losing next night's hotel reservation/having to make a last minute res. Since you rented a larger car, did you find that it was more susceptible to winds? Debating between a 4x4 like Toyota Rav4 vs a mid-size
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on November 06, 2018, 03:05:15 PM
Thanks! will hopefully have data and diligently check weather. I guess our contingency plan will be not driving out, and potentially losing next night's hotel reservation/having to make a last minute res. Since you rented a larger car, did you find that it was more susceptible to winds? Debating between a 4x4 like Toyota Rav4 vs a mid-size

Taller vehicle = more susceptible to winds, can't get around that fact. However the benefits of a 4x4 vs. not may outweigh that.

And whatever you do, be damn certain that you have winter tires before leaving the lot. Some shady rental places are known to lie about that.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on November 06, 2018, 03:06:59 PM
I drove in Iceland in February. For the most part, it was completely fine.
The last day, I got stuck in a white-out snow storm and it was absolutely terrifying. I had to pull over and wait for a while, until I was forced to drive again to make our flight.

Your schedule may change a bit depending on the weather, but overall it should be okay.
Thanks a lot for your input! just reread your trip report, seems like you had pretty bad weather while driving the golden circle? Was it manageable?
I'm booking the first two nights in Vik, and then the last one or two nights in Reykjavik to allow for a buffer and so we'll make our flight. Really hoping for good weather the first day so we'll be able to drive to Vik, and if not we'll just need to make a last minute booking for Reykjavik.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on November 06, 2018, 03:10:03 PM
Taller vehicle = more susceptible to winds, can't get around that fact. However the benefits of a 4x4 vs. not may outweigh that.

And whatever you do, be damn certain that you have winter tires before leaving the lot. Some shady rental places are known to lie about that.
Right. If it's super windy we'll pull over and wait it out/ drive slowly (which could also make us vulnerable to the wind..) vs if we get stuck in snow the AWD will benefit.
Thanks for the winter tire tip! Read about a lot of rental car "scams" as well, and planning on going with Blue car rental which had the best reviews, as well as studded tires. Will make sure they provide a spare as well as some sort of equipment.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ponash123 on November 06, 2018, 03:20:28 PM
Thanks a lot for your input! just reread your trip report, seems like you had pretty bad weather while driving the golden circle? Was it manageable?
I'm booking the first two nights in Vik, and then the last one or two nights in Reykjavik to allow for a buffer and so we'll make our flight. Really hoping for good weather the first day so we'll be able to drive to Vik, and if not we'll just need to make a last minute booking for Reykjavik.

Yep, we were not very lucky :)
We had terrible weather, but aside from the last day, the driving was very manageable. Like @Something Fishy says, if you're okay with NY winter driving, you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on November 06, 2018, 05:47:58 PM
Yep, we were not very lucky :)
We had terrible weather, but aside from the last day, the driving was very manageable. Like @Something Fishy says, if you're okay with NY winter driving, you'll be fine.
Yeah, it really sucks when you go all the way somewhere and have terrible weather! Really hoping we'll be fine, at least for like 2 out of 4 of our days lol
Hoping to report back with any uneventful and beautiful trip report  :D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ludmila on November 06, 2018, 05:52:03 PM
Yeah, it really sucks when you go all the way somewhere and have terrible weather! Really hoping we'll be fine, at least for like 2 out of 4 of our days lol
Hoping to report back with any uneventful and beautiful trip report  :D
Hope the weather will be OK and you'll have a marvellous trip :)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: S123 on December 26, 2018, 05:16:49 PM
How many days/nights are recommended to do Iceland? Is 4 days 3 nights enough or need more?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on December 26, 2018, 05:27:58 PM
How many days/nights are recommended to do Iceland? Is 4 days 3 nights enough or need more?
Depends how much you want to do. See my TR where I did 6 days, 5 nights. You could technically skip things like the volcano and Westman Islands and do the rest in 4 days.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 27, 2018, 09:24:03 AM
How many days/nights are recommended to do Iceland? Is 4 days 3 nights enough or need more?
What time of year?  If winter, probably fine.  In summer, you'll want to go out to Jokulsarlon, and that's a good six hour drive each way.  I'd allocate a bit more time for the summer.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: eandd on December 27, 2018, 02:43:54 PM
What time of year?  If winter, probably fine.  In summer, you'll want to go out to Jokulsarlon, and that's a good six hour drive each way.  I'd allocate a bit more time for the summer.
Actually opposite, I would allocate more time for winter when there is less daylight.
However, I just got back from a 4 day/3 night trip (trip report coming soon!) And had an AMAZING time. If you can, aim to spend a little longer; although we saw a lot, there was so much we didn't have time for. Again, a big factor was the early sunset.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on January 23, 2019, 02:47:03 PM
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on January 31, 2019, 04:50:16 PM
im looking at visiting iceland for four days primarily to alleviate skin conditions which blue lagoon is touted as amazing for . im wondering if secret lagoon has same healing properties? also, although i would love to stay on site at retreat hotel, it is ridiculously expensive .anyone have experience or reviews of hotels nearby? i understand that most trip reports here are regarding lots of tours and sightseeing and of course i would love to do that too but i dont think there would be time to do both so any suggestions and help would be much appreciated
eta: hoping to travel in march
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: chff on February 20, 2019, 01:07:40 PM
https://liveandletsfly.boardingarea.com/2019/02/20/northern-lights-iceland/
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190218.html

(https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1902/DragonAurora_Zhang_960.jpg)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on February 20, 2019, 01:30:47 PM
Beautiful, but...

"This iconic display was so enthralling that the photographer's mother ran out to see it and was captured in the foreground."

Why do they even bother? No one is buying it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on February 20, 2019, 01:41:56 PM
im looking at visiting iceland for four days primarily to alleviate skin conditions which blue lagoon is touted as amazing for . im wondering if secret lagoon has same healing properties? also, although i would love to stay on site at retreat hotel, it is ridiculously expensive .anyone have experience or reviews of hotels nearby? i understand that most trip reports here are regarding lots of tours and sightseeing and of course i would love to do that too but i dont think there would be time to do both so any suggestions and help would be much appreciated
eta: hoping to travel in march
I think the only commonalities between the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon is that they're warm.  Even if you don't stay at the Blue Lagoon Clinic, you can still pay to use the public Blue Lagoon.  Staying at the Clinic itself, if you can swing it, will be a better experience, and they have an indoor area.  While there, I noticed they had posted some research on the wall. I may have photographed it, will check and see if it's relevant.

Check out PBaruch's TR; he mentions a place to stay that's not far.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on February 20, 2019, 08:34:50 PM
I think the only commonalities between the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon is that they're warm.  Even if you don't stay at the Blue Lagoon Clinic, you can still pay to use the public Blue Lagoon.  Staying at the Clinic itself, if you can swing it, will be a better experience, and they have an indoor area.  While there, I noticed they had posted some research on the wall. I may have photographed it, will check and see if it's relevant.

Check out PBaruch's TR; he mentions a place to stay that's not far.
would love to see the research it you find it tx! Will check out his TR again.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on February 21, 2019, 08:34:09 AM
would love to see the research it you find it tx! Will check out his TR again.
Apparently the thought, "I should photograph this," didn't translate into action.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Luvtotravel on February 21, 2019, 02:26:15 PM
Apparently the thought, "I should photograph this," didn't translate into action.
oh well. I guess GIMF...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: robbiesam on March 03, 2019, 10:10:43 AM
Just booked flights with the recent fare sale (17K chase points roundtrip)- arriving Wed early AM, leaving Monday AM in July
My initial thought was to try and explore the South coast and southeast Wed-Fri getting back to Reyjavik for late shabbos (have a bunch of clubcarlson points for years) and then Golden circle/secret lagoon on Sunday.
Debating whether to rent a car vs. try and book tours. NY driver so not particularly afraid but I dont love driving so the comfort of sitting on bus and hearing a guide talk to us rather than fighting with my wife to direct us and read the guidebook seems a little appealing.
Hotels outside Rekjavik (e.g Vik) seem pricey for not much but I guess will have to do that either way.
Any thoughts on itinerary or driving?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: blue eyes on March 03, 2019, 11:20:36 PM
You can do a little of both. There is a golden circle 8 hour tour which is basically exactly what you would do with your own car minus being the driver. then rent a car for the additional days to either do another circle or just side trips. I found it very helpful having a car there.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on March 16, 2019, 11:29:49 PM
I'm planning a summer trip which includes 4 days in Iceland. I'm posting my planned itinerary and would  love some suggestions (constructive ones I hope) or opinions. The places I plan on staying on those particular nights are booked. They can be changed but hotel availability kinda forced me into doing it this way.


Monday day 1


Landing 630am. Pick up car from blue car. At this point I am still unclear. I can go to the 'inside the volcano' tour (either driving straight there from kef and waiting for the tour to start or going to Reykjavik and taking their tour bus back down to the volcano but that would have to be a later tour) but I haven't decided if it's worth it. It costs a fortune and I'm not sure if it's really amazing or people justify spending a fortune by convincing themselves it's awesome. $400 per person is nuts but if it's really amazing then I'd consider it....maybe. I'd love some thoughts on this. If I do go this route, I would spend day 1 doing the volcano and hanging out in Reykjavik and that's it. After all, we dont sleep on plane and will be tired. Take a look at the rest of the itinerary and if there's something you'd suggest I do instead of volcano on day 1, I'd appreciate the heads up.


Day 2 tuesday


From Reykjavik  do the golden circle , we like walking and hiking so would take our time. This includes thingvellir,geyser, gulfoss, kerid. Then drive to vik and  doing black beaches in that area. 


Day 3 wednesday


From vik up to jokusarlon take zodiac boat and hang there. Then head back to seljalandfoss, glufrabui and skogafoss (staying the night in that area)


Day 4 Thursday


Glacier walk tour on eyjaffjajokull ( think that's it. I'm convinced if you just mash your keyboard itll come up with the name of a town or waterfall in iceland) and pick up anything that was missed in the black beaches (reynifsjara , reynisdrangar) or waterfalls ( seljalandfoss or skogafoss )that might've been missed . Or if you guys know of something I should see in that area. Then head out (about 3 hr drive ) to blue lagoon. 


Tell me if I'm wrong, but I think the blue lagoon works as follows: there is the public area, the silica hotel which is an older more nice but basic hotel with a private lagoon that doesn't seem very large, and then the clinic which has a much larger and nicer private lagoon. I know the silica and clinic come with passes to the public area too. The clinic is very very expensive though. Has anyone stayed at silica?


If we choose this option, wed get to silica (probably) at 5/6 PM and hang there. Flight out at 730 am and need return car so I'm guessing leave hotel about 430/5 am?? Flight is to London for those wondering where I'm flying on a Friday morning.


I'd appreciate the input. 

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on March 17, 2019, 09:51:56 PM
First off, I hope you have an awesome trip! Iceland is a very special place.

Have you read my TR yet? (See link in wiki if you haven't.) As I mention there, the volcano is very cool, but I only justified it because I paid with A+ points; I would not spend $400 cash pp on it. I landed on Sunday morning and left Friday (flew back to NYC on a Friday morning :P), so my itinerary should help you understand what is doable in that time frame and give you ideas for what else you can consider such as snorkeling, rafting or going to the Westman Islands. I would also recommend looking into the free hot pool on the southern road, Seljavallalaug, (or any of the many other free ones) or Secret Lagoon in the Golden Circle as opposed to the touristy Blue Lagoon. I didn't do BL for a fair comparison, but these are much cheaper and likely won't have tour buses pulling up to them.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on March 17, 2019, 10:19:41 PM
First off, I hope you have an awesome trip! Iceland is a very special place.

Have you read my TR yet? (See link in wiki if you haven't.) As I mention there, the volcano is very cool, but I only justified it because I paid with A+ points; I would not spend $400 cash pp on it.

Except you essentially did regardless of it your mental pocketbook felt it.

here we go again  ;D :-X :P
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on March 17, 2019, 11:57:00 PM
First off, I hope you have an awesome trip! Iceland is a very special place.

Have you read my TR yet? (See link in wiki if you haven't.) As I mention there, the volcano is very cool, but I only justified it because I paid with A+ points; I would not spend $400 cash pp on it. I landed on Sunday morning and left Friday (flew back to NYC on a Friday morning :P), so my itinerary should help you understand what is doable in that time frame and give you ideas for what else you can consider such as snorkeling, rafting or going to the Westman Islands. I would also recommend looking into the free hot pool on the southern road, Seljavallalaug, (or any of the many other free ones) or Secret Lagoon in the Golden Circle as opposed to the touristy Blue Lagoon. I didn't do BL for a fair comparison, but these are much cheaper and likely won't have tour buses pulling up to them.

Mustve missed your TR somehow.  I'll look it over and see what's what. At first glance it looks like you knocked it out of the park on that trip. I'll get back to you once I read up. Thanks for the feedback.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on April 04, 2019, 01:51:44 PM
Alright, I've updated my itinerary and want to throw it out there for all you Iceland experts. If I'm missing something or have a logistics issue  please let me know. I appreciate it.

Day 1- landing 7am renting car and heading out to Golden circle. This includes Kerid, Gulfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir. I was planning on running counterclockwise as I think  most tourists run it clockwise so maybe i can get through it with itr being  slightly less crowded. I was going to include bruarfoss in this but it seems like a LOT of walking (2 hours) through muddy and unpaved paths just to get to and from the waterfalls. Bear in mind my wife will be 6+months pregnant so I have to be realistic as to what can/cant be done. Although i had wanted to, we cannot do the rafting on Hvita nor snorkeling at Silfra due to pregnancy. I asked. This is also why we wont do a snowmobile ride.
After this head back to Reykjavik and hang out there for remainder of day. I know Im leaving some time on the table but we will be exhausted.

Day 2- Sejalandfoss and Gljubfrabui. Skogafoss, and black beaches including: Dyrholaey, Reynisfjara mountain, Reynisdrangar, and Reynisfjara. They are all basically right next to eachother. And then stay in that area, near Vik, for the night.

Day 3- Svartifoss,  Jokulsarlon and a zodiac boat tour there. Drive back to Hvolsvollur stopping at Seljavallalaug. Staying in this area for the night.

Day 4- Glacier walk on solheimjokull. Head to Blue lagoon and stay there overnight. Leaving early on Day 5.

I'm giving myself ample time to drive, plenty of time to hang out at each location so as not feel rushed, and assuming my very pregnant wife will not want to get out very early in the morning.

FYI- I dont think I am  interested in Westman Island.
Was thinking about Fjadrargljufur canyon on Day 3 on way back from Jokulsarlon. If anyone has done this- does this require taking an F-road (seeing mixed answers online) and how far is it from the parking lot to the canyon?Lastly, Is it worth it?

If you have any suggestions for additional sights or activities, I would appreciate it.Thanks.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 04, 2019, 02:41:52 PM
Looks good overall.

Kerid is skippable IMO, and only worth it if you're driving past anyway.
Good call on Bruarfoss, don't make sense while pregnant.
You're not leaving any time on the table IMO, everything in Iceland takes longer than you expect. Keep in mind that you'll never just be driving from one location to the next, as you'll be wanting to constantly on the side of the road.
Fjadrargljufur is not on an F road. As long as it's not snowing you'll be fine. It's an easy 5-minute or so walk from the parking lot, and then you can choose to see the main views or hike along the top or down to the water based on your mood and your wife's abilities.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on April 04, 2019, 02:59:41 PM
Looks good overall.

Kerid is skippable IMO, and only worth it if you're driving past anyway.
Good call on Bruarfoss, don't make sense while pregnant.
You're not leaving any time on the table IMO, everything in Iceland takes longer than you expect. Keep in mind that you'll never just be driving from one location to the next, as you'll be wanting to constantly on the side of the road.
Fjadrargljufur is not on an F road. As long as it's not snowing you'll be fine. It's an easy 5-minute or so walk from the parking lot, and then you can choose to see the main views or hike along the top or down to the water based on your mood and your wife's abilities.

Perfect. Trip is planned for July so snow isn't an issue. I know you've mentioned elsewhere that google drive times in iceland are 20-30% less than reality.Is that seasonal or even in the summer?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 04, 2019, 03:02:40 PM
Perfect. Trip is planned for July so snow isn't an issue. I know you've mentioned elsewhere that google drive times in iceland are 20-30% less than reality.Is that seasonal or even in the summer?

Summer too. Always give yourself extra time.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on April 04, 2019, 03:49:12 PM
Summer too. Always give yourself extra time.

Thanks. You're the fishiest!
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on April 05, 2019, 10:43:25 AM
Looks awesome! You day 3 is your busiest because there is still a decent drive from Vik to Svartifoss. If you can pull off the late night drive to Svartifoss at the end of day 2, you'll be able to start the morning already with the hike to the waterfall. Fjal%$%&asn Canyon is not to be missed! We went down to water level for the view, then back up and along the ridge for about 10 minutes, which I'm sure you know from reading my TR. :P
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on April 05, 2019, 11:09:01 AM
Looks awesome! You day 3 is your busiest because there is still a decent drive from Vik to Svartifoss. If you can pull off the late night drive to Svartifoss at the end of day 2, you'll be able to start the morning already with the hike to the waterfall. Fjal%$%&asn Canyon is not to be missed! We went down to water level for the view, then back up and along the ridge for about 10 minutes, which I'm sure you know from reading my TR. :P
good suggestion. I'll keep that option open for svartifoss. How long is the hike from parking to the falls? Think It's about 45 mins walk each way,  correct?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on April 05, 2019, 11:36:00 AM
good suggestion. I'll keep that option open for svartifoss. How long is the hike from parking to the falls? Think It's about 45 mins walk each way,  correct?
45 min up, about 20 min down.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on April 09, 2019, 11:09:19 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-02/iceland-off-the-beaten-path-where-to-stay-what-to-see-do-eat
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2019, 03:26:09 PM
https://www.icelandreview.com/news/fjadrargljufur-to-remain-closed-until-june/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on April 14, 2019, 04:01:56 PM
https://www.icelandreview.com/news/fjadrargljufur-to-remain-closed-until-june/
So basically Justin Bieber is ruining Iceland?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 14, 2019, 04:05:11 PM
So basically Justin Bieber is ruining Iceland?

LOL, looks like it.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 04, 2019, 12:35:02 PM
What a moron. This is why we can't have nice things.

https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/nature_and_travel/2019/06/03/major_off_road_damage_near_myvatn/

https://grapevine.is/news/2019/06/03/tourist-ploughs-car-into-protected-geothermal-area-brags-about-it-on-instagram/
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on June 04, 2019, 12:52:55 PM
Throw him in jail. fines wont help here
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on June 04, 2019, 01:06:08 PM
Wait, we're throwing people in jail now for taking their cars where they really shouldn't go in Iceland? uh oh (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji85.png)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on June 04, 2019, 02:21:48 PM
Wait, we're throwing people in jail now for taking their cars where they really shouldn't go? uh oh (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji85.png)

Its about intent
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on June 04, 2019, 02:40:35 PM
Its about intent
It was supposed to be a joke but apparently it wasn't quite as funny as I thought...
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on June 04, 2019, 02:42:06 PM
It was supposed to be a joke but apparently it wasn't quite as funny as I thought...

I probably need to pay more attention to JS
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on June 04, 2019, 02:44:34 PM
I probably need to pay more attention to JS
Nah, in this case there are only a couple of people who would've gotten it
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: chff on June 05, 2019, 02:17:27 PM
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on June 28, 2019, 11:38:39 AM
Has anybody spent Shabbos with Chabad in Reykjavik? If so, could you please post a brief TR about your Shabbos experience there, or at least mention where you stayed and how everything worked with davening, meals, etc.?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 28, 2019, 12:25:43 PM
Has anybody spent Shabbos with Chabad in Reykjavik? If so, could you please post a brief TR about your Shabbos experience there, or at least mention where you stayed and how everything worked with davening, meals, etc.?

@Jolu @CheskyGold
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Jolu on June 30, 2019, 09:42:52 PM
Has anybody spent Shabbos with Chabad in Reykjavik? If so, could you please post a brief TR about your Shabbos experience there, or at least mention where you stayed and how everything worked with davening, meals, etc.?
I did, a couple of months ago. Nothing much to report. Very warm and accommodating couple. Need to RSVP for meals in advance. We stayed at a local abnb. The rabbi is available for any zemanim related questions. Shabbos is usually taken in early during summer months. You can lookup Chabad Iceland and email him any questions you have. I believe they even have connections for accomodations and they also have a full list of kosher food that can be found nearby.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on June 30, 2019, 10:03:39 PM
Is it realistic to drive the Ring Road in 5-5.5 days? We would be spending Shabbos in Reykjavik and setting out early Sunday morning, with the goal of driving the entire loop and getting back to KEF for a flight home late Friday morning - doable (and still enjoyable)?

If so, how would you divide up the drive, and where would you aim to sleep each night from S-Th?

Assuming we do this, we would have already spent a few days before Shabbos in the Reykjavik area, seeing the town proper and doing the Golden Circle, so the full week could be used just for the Ring Road.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 30, 2019, 10:59:49 PM
Definitely possible, but it'll involve an absolute ton of driving. If you have any activities you want to do, I wouldn't recommend it at all as those take a lot of time. If you just want to see the main sights, that's more doable.

In either case, you would only really have time for things that are just off the main road. So no Selfoss, no Borgarfjörđur Eystri, no Westman Islands, no Snćfellsnes Peninsula... you get the drift.

You would need to choose a direction (I'd suggest counterclockwise) and plot the places you're interested in on a map. Take Google's timing, add 30%, add time for sights, and see where you'll end up. There aren't a ton of towns out there, so you won't have too many choices for overnighting. Ideally you'd have a campervan, but I imagine it's too late for that now.

I say rather than running around like a maniac, pick the north or south (recommended if it's your first time) sides and explore it properly.

Reykjavik area, seeing the town proper

This should take all of fourteen minutes, sixteen if you hit traffic. Reykjavik has got to be the most boring capital city on Earth.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on July 02, 2019, 08:58:13 PM
What are your 5 (or more) top activities to do in Iceland, meaning in addition to the waterfalls and other natural beauty, what activities and tours would you rank highest - rafting, glaciers, volcanoes, caves, etc.?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 02, 2019, 09:10:37 PM
What are your 5 (or more) top activities to do in Iceland, meaning in addition to the waterfalls and other natural beauty, what activities and tours would you rank highest - rafting, glaciers, volcanoes, caves, etc.?

The thing is that many of the top activities in Iceland are somewhat meh after Antarctica. For instance zodiacing in Jokulsarlon is awesome, but it's basically a kiddie version of zodiacing in Antarctica... So probably not worth the money.

Glacier trekking is amazing, but again, you may find it slightly redundant. The big difference is that your on the glacier here.

Two things I would absolutely recommend is snorkeling Silfra and exploring a glacial ice cave. Both are unique to Iceland and absolutely amazing. (Technically I've explored ice caves in Svalbard too, but that was a bit hairier than the safe operations they have in Iceland.) I also highly suggest doing a day trip to the Westman Islands by ferry.

If you want to spend a ton, look at "Into the Volcano". Personally I think it's a waste of money, but I know a few people who've gone (@PBaruch for instance, see his TR) and said it was worth every penny. So look it up and draw your own conclusions.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on July 02, 2019, 09:22:08 PM
Thanks for the quick reply and recommendations. You hit the nail on the head with my concern that as my travel portfolio has expanded, certain places and activities that would be no-brainers suddenly lose a bit of their luster. I will likely still do boating in Jokulsarlon for my kids, but as for the glacier walk, how does it compare to Matanuska in Alaska, which we did 5 summers ago?

Having been to Antarctica and Alaska, I'm looking for as you termed it, activities/destinations that are unique to Iceland. The glacial ice cave sounds perfect. Snorkeling Silfra would also be unique; any idea what age kids could do it? I'll look into the volcano options as well. Any tips on whale-watching (that seems to be highly-rated) and/or white-water rafting options? And what are the main draw(s) in the Westman Islands?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 02, 2019, 09:34:18 PM
Forgot that you did Matanuska... I'd say that beats Iceland as far as glacier trekking.

No experience with whale watching, but it's mainly based out of Husavik in the north. There may be some out of the Reykjavik area, not sure. As with the zodiac, I doubt you'll top Antarctica - but obviously for the kids the equation is different.

I'm not aware of age limits in Silfra, best is to reach out to the operators directly.

The main draw of the Westmans is the natural beauty, the amazing birdlife (especially the puffins!), and the volcanic history. The museum may be interesting for the kids as well. See my TR as well as @yehuda's.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 02, 2019, 09:36:08 PM
Both @PBaruch and @yehuda did way more activities than me, look through their TRs.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: NoIdea on July 02, 2019, 09:49:57 PM


If you want to spend a ton, look at "Into the Volcano". Personally I think it's a waste of money, but I know a few people who've gone (@PBaruch for instance, see his TR) and said it was worth every penny. So look it up and draw your own conclusions.
Alternative might be https://thelavatunnel.is/    definitely cheaper and easier.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on July 03, 2019, 09:41:20 AM
I don't think Inside the Volcano was worth $400. I used Arrival points, which is why the sting didn't hurt. Was certainly cool, but not $400 cool.
Snorkeling was an interesting experience, but didn't blow me away.
If you make it to Westman Islands, stop by the tiny aquarium where they have a puffin that you can interact with (see my TR).
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 08, 2019, 03:10:05 PM
What would you say are the must-sees between Reykjavik and Jokulsarlon? And what are the next tier of places we should try to fit in if possible?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 08, 2019, 03:12:22 PM
I don't think Inside the Volcano was worth $400. I used Arrival points, which is why the sting didn't hurt. Was certainly cool, but not $400 cool.
Snorkeling was an interesting experience, but didn't blow me away.
If you make it to Westman Islands, stop by the tiny aquarium where they have a puffin that you can interact with (see my TR).

Sorry but I'd have to disagree with your statement about Inside the Volcano.  If you can tell me of another place in the universe where you can walk around inside a magma chamber of a dormant volcano, please let me know. 
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 08, 2019, 03:28:28 PM
Sorry but I'd have to disagree with your statement about Inside the Volcano.  If you can tell me of another place in the universe where you can walk around inside a magma chamber of a dormant volcano, please let me know.

At the end of the day you're walking around in a big hole in a rock. What makes it interesting is that said rock is a magma chamber of a dormant volcano, but I could absolutely see how some won't say it's worth the cost.

Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 08, 2019, 03:29:35 PM
At the end of the day you're walking around in a big hole in a rock. What makes it interesting is that said rock is a magma chamber of a dormant volcano, but I could absolutely see how some won't say it's worth the cost.

Kind of like walking on a giant ice cube in Antarctica?  ;D
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 08, 2019, 03:35:30 PM
What would you say are the must-sees between Reykjavik and Jokulsarlon? And what are the next tier of places we should try to fit in if possible?

Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi
Skogafoss
Vik area beaches: Reynisfjara, Dyrhólaey, and Vik. Climb Dyrhólaey for epic views and likely puffins. Sunset at Reynisfjara is magical.
Eyjafjallajökull (not particularly fascinating, but right on the road and it takes 2 minutes)
Svartifoss
Fjallsarlon

If you have time:
Fjađrárgljúfur
Vestmannaeyjar (if you have a day)
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on August 08, 2019, 03:52:20 PM
Scuba over snorkel if you're certified
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 09, 2019, 10:12:39 AM
I've read that it can be a problem using a US credit card at some of the more remote gas stations. Did anybody have that issue? If so, how did you work around it? Are there certain cards that are more likely to work than others? Somebody mentioned setting up a pin on the card. How does one go about doing this?

Also, were you able to survive in Iceland just with cc's, or were there places that had to be paid for in cash? If you need cash, any tips about the best place to change money?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on August 09, 2019, 10:15:03 AM
What would you say are the must-sees between Reykjavik and Jokulsarlon? And what are the next tier of places we should try to fit in if possible?
Read my TR. Basically everything I did was something I consider a must see other than Westman Islands. My wife would say it's a must see because of the aquarium, but I'm personally medium to it. Had a nice time, but not a must see for me.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2019, 10:20:51 AM
I've read that it can be a problem using a US credit card at some of the more remote gas stations. Did anybody have that issue? If so, how did you work around it? Are there certain cards that are more likely to work than others? Somebody mentioned setting up a pin on the card. How does one go about doing this?

Also, were you able to survive in Iceland just with cc's, or were there places that had to be paid for in cash? If you need cash, any tips about the best place to change money?

No pin, no worky at unmanned gas stations. Full stop.

I spoke to both Amex and Chase and neither of them had a clue about adding a pin to a CC. Gave up after a couple of HUCAs. US debit cards work though.

CC workaround is to buy prepaid N1 cards at manned stations. I always buy a couple of 10k krona ones.

(If you come back with some significant balances I'll buy them off you if you want.)

Re. using cash, I don't think I've ever seen an Icelandic krona up close. CC all the way.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dawie on August 09, 2019, 10:28:53 AM
No pin, no worky at unmanned gas stations. Full stop.

I spoke to both Amex and Chase and neither of them had a clue about adding a pin to a CC. Gave up after a couple of HUCAs. US debit cards work though.

CC workaround is to buy prepaid N1 cards at manned stations. I always buy a couple of 10k krona ones.

(If you come back with some significant balances I'll buy them off you if you want.)

Re. using cash, I don't think I've ever seen an Icelandic krona up close. CC all the way.
Barclay Cards have pins
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 09, 2019, 10:33:30 AM
Barclay Cards have pins


Are there any Barclay cards that don't charge forex fees? And how do I find out the pin on any given Barclay card?

Otherwise, my Chase debit card should hopefully do the trick, though I imagine they will charge for forex.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2019, 10:34:16 AM
though I imagine they will charge for forex.

Correct
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on August 09, 2019, 10:38:16 AM
TD debit would work
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dawie on August 09, 2019, 10:49:32 AM
Are there any Barclay cards that don't charge forex fees? And how do I find out the pin on any given Barclay card?

Otherwise, my Chase debit card should hopefully do the trick, though I imagine they will charge for forex.
they claim AAdvantage https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/barclaycard-aadvantage-aviator-red-credit-card/

https://cards.barclaycardus.com/banking/cards/aadvantage-aviator-business-mastercard/
and a 75k signup... 8)
When you get it they ask you if you want a pin and you can set it up when you activate the card
haven;t tried it yet though
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 12, 2019, 09:19:37 AM
Correct

As a CPC, my debit card has no forex fees at foreign ATMs. Would the no forex also apply to using it for purchases?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 12, 2019, 09:21:27 AM
Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi
Skogafoss
Vik area beaches: Reynisfjara, Dyrhólaey, and Vik. Climb Dyrhólaey for epic views and likely puffins. Sunset at Reynisfjara is magical.
Eyjafjallajökull (not particularly fascinating, but right on the road and it takes 2 minutes)
Svartifoss
Fjallsarlon

If you have time:
Fjađrárgljúfur
Vestmannaeyjar (if you have a day)

Thanks for the list. Here are some other places along the route that I saw recommended. Any feedback on whether to include them or not:

Kvernufoss
Reynishverfi
Foss a Sidu
Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck
Svínafellsjökull Glacier
Stokksnes
Fjadrangljurfur
HALSANEFSHELLIR
Sólheimajökull glacier
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 12, 2019, 09:23:36 AM
I have 1 extra flexible day in my schedule - Westman Islands or Snaefellsness Peninsula?

If it's relevant, Rick Steves writes that the aquarium in Westman is closed in 2019 for renovations, and that the resident puffin there died last year. Further research shows that the aquarium closed permanently, and a new one opened instead, which is significantly more expensive. It is currently housing 2 Belugas to rehab them, though they will be released in the next few weeks, possibly before our arrival. I also see reports that the puffins often leave as early as mid-August.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 12, 2019, 07:54:28 PM
Also, once we're asking questions, where would you recommend doing the glacial boat ride: Fjallsarlon or Jokulsarlon, and why?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 12, 2019, 07:59:16 PM
Also, once we're asking questions, where would you recommend doing the glacial boat ride: Fjallsarlon or Jokulsarlon, and why?

Zodiac, Fjallsarlon. Quieter (as of last time I was there, at least/, and you can get closer  the actual glacier.

All other types of boats (which I would recommend to you, having been in Antarctica and all), Jokulsarlon - simply because I don't think any of those are offered at Fjallsarlon.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 13, 2019, 09:36:56 PM
Thanks for the list. Here are some other places along the route that I saw recommended. Any feedback on whether to include them or not:

Kvernufoss Never heard of it, but looks really nice. Added to my own to-do list.
Reynishverfi That's Reynisfjara Beach, a must-do in my list above.
Foss a Sidu Very underwhelming IME, but it's right off the road so why not.
Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck Long hike to Cliche Central. I'd skip.
Svínafellsjökull Glacier Good option if you're doing a guided glacier trek.
Stokksnes Lovely place at sunrise and sunset, but out of the way. Been on my list forever, but haven't made it out there yet so far.
Fjadrangljurfur On my list above to do if you have the time.
HALSANEFSHELLIR That's just another spot on Reynisfjara Beach
Sólheimajökull glacier I'd rather do Svínafellsjökull.

See bolded.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 13, 2019, 10:18:44 PM
Kvernufoss Never heard of it, but looks really nice. Added to my own to-do list.
I'm guessing the orientation doesn't quite match up or it'd be an epic sunset spot. Like Seljalandsfoss but much better.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 13, 2019, 11:15:32 PM
I'm guessing the orenentation doesn't quite match up or it'd be an epic sunset spot. Like Seljalandsfoss but much better.

It actually lines up perfectly on the days right around the winter solstice. So provided the snow and ice cooperates, we could have something epic on our hands.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: ushdadude on August 14, 2019, 12:35:31 PM
Do you really remember all these names or do you have to google it each time? @Something Fishy
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 14, 2019, 12:37:10 PM
Do you really remember all these names or do you have to google it each time? @Something Fishy

Mostly remember, but needed to Google a couple.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on August 19, 2019, 06:23:46 PM
Is it worth an extra $200 to get a 4x4 for summer driving (full loop road + Snaefellsnes)? Also, if paying with a cc that gives primary coverage, are there any optional coverages you wold still recommend paying for?
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 20, 2019, 12:08:28 AM
Is it worth an extra $200 to get a 4x4 for summer driving (full loop road + Snaefellsnes)? Also, if paying with a cc that gives primary coverage, are there any optional coverages you wold still recommend paying for?

No point for 4x4 on the RR.

Since when are you doing the entire loop? I thought you were sticking to the south. At least it sounded that way based on your questions.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on September 09, 2019, 05:52:19 PM
When we realized that we weren't going to do several of the activities in the south, either because my daughter is too young (5) for the age limits or because we've already done similar activities elsewhere (e.g. glacier walk in Alaska), we decided to drive the full Ring Road, a decision which turned out to be great for us, as several of our favorite waterfalls were in the north (Detifoss and adjacent Selfoss, and Godafoss), as were the really cool geothermal stuff in Myvatin.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Traveler718 on September 09, 2019, 05:55:13 PM
If anybody is going to Iceland and wants to change USD to Icelandic Krona before you leave at a fair rate, feel free to PM me.

Although we intended to pay for everything with cc and not change money, one of the places where we reserved lodging insisted on refunding us in cash when our outdoor hot tub didn't work. We spent some of it, but returned home with more krona than we would otherwise keep as a souvenir, and would be happy to switch it back to dollars and help somebody out who's headed to Iceland and doesn't want to get gouged on the rate at the airport.
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 09, 2019, 05:56:06 PM
When we realized that we weren't going to do several of the activities in the south, either because my daughter is too young (5) for the age limits or because we've already done similar activities elsewhere (e.g. glacier walk in Alaska), we decided to drive the full Ring Road, a decision which turned out to be great for us, as several of our favorite waterfalls were in the north (Detifoss and adjacent Selfoss, and Godafoss), as were the really cool geothermal stuff in Myvatin.

TROIDH
Title: Re: Iceland Master Thread
Post by: Dan on September 09, 2019, 06:12:39 PM
TROIDH
+1