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Trip Reports:
PBaruch: https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=60568.0
Aurora, Storms, and Snowpants: An Icelandic Saga by Something Fishy, whYME, and ChAiM'l
@Yehuda
BrachaB
Ponash123

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Waterfalls abound including Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

7. Dog sledding in Skallafell.

8. Icelandic Horses - Horse back riding is extremely popular in Iceland. Most residents actually own a horse. Iceland is the only place in the world where you will find the Icelandic horse. It has 5 Gaits oppose to the 3 that most other horses have. They are gentle animals and very comfortable to ride.
« Last edited by PBaruch on July 08, 2018, 11:56:07 AM »

Author Topic: Iceland Master Thread  (Read 77612 times)

Offline robbie

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #120 on: November 07, 2014, 04:04:40 PM »
ye nothing for now, i wanna go in next 3 weeks

Offline Mocha

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Re: Iceland & Greenland Master Thread
« Reply #121 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.

IMGP6310 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMGP6309 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMGP6297 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMGP6296 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMG_0614 by Photo taken at 11pm

[url=https://flic.kr/p/r36vvj]
IMG_0477 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMG_0468 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMG_0464 by mocha11281, on Flickr

IMG_0459 by mocha11281, on Flickr

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #122 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?
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #123 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.
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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #124 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.
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Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #125 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  ;))
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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #126 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. 
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #127 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.
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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #128 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
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #129 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.
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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #130 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
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #131 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....
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Offline Emkay

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #132 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."

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #133 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...
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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #134 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?
What do you do after your dreams come true?