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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 77608 times)

Offline ushdadude

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #150 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
If you see something that is 50% off but don't need it, walk away and save yourself 100%

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #151 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.
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Offline Martyb

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #152 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?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #153 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.
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Offline ushdadude

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #154 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.
If you see something that is 50% off but don't need it, walk away and save yourself 100%

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #155 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.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #156 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.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 12:02:39 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline Martyb

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #157 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?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #158 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.
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Offline ushdadude

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #159 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.
If you see something that is 50% off but don't need it, walk away and save yourself 100%

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #160 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.


Is that an F road?
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Offline ushdadude

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #161 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
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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #162 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.
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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #164 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