Topic Wiki

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.

Random tip of the day: if you are in the Reykjavik area and need to heat up a meal but don't have easy access to an oven, the Ikea food court has an oven for guest use. Right side, near the sandwich and pastry checkout.

Tons of great seating as well. (HT: SomethingFishy)

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 yelped on June 21, 2021, 11:36:59 AM »

Author Topic: Iceland Master Thread  (Read 242318 times)

Online Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #300 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.
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Online Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #301 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.
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Offline foseph

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #302 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?

Online Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #303 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
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Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #304 on: February 02, 2016, 09:24:26 AM »
Anyway to avoid the ~$150 taxes when departing KEF (assuming you book with miles)?

Offline foseph

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #305 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.

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #306 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.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline foseph

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #307 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"

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #308 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.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #309 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) 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...

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #310 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.
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Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #311 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?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #312 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.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #313 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.
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Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #314 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?

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #315 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. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #316 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."

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #317 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.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline myb821

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #318 on: February 17, 2016, 11:11:33 AM »
yehuda he means camping in tents instead of renting an RV

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #319 on: February 17, 2016, 11:14:34 AM »
Just - did you do activities on your trip or just the PhotoDO?

Just the DO.
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