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.

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 Sķminn 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 68247 times)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #480 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/

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #481 on: May 26, 2017, 08:25:23 AM »
I love Fishy's Iceland updates.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #482 on: May 29, 2017, 12:51:44 PM »
I love Fishy's Iceland updates.

Now if only we can get some @yehuda Iceland updates too please ...

Offline Dawie

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #483 on: May 29, 2017, 12:54:43 PM »
Now if only we can get some @yehuda Iceland updates too please ...
he must be waiting for your norway ones

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #484 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

Offline blue eyes

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #485 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.)
Reykjavķk, Iceland walk around the city just to strech. Anything in particular to check out?
Golden Circle  Žingvellir 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?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #486 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.)
Reykjavķk, Iceland walk around the city just to strech. Anything in particular to check out?
Golden Circle  Žingvellir 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. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #487 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.)
Reykjavķk, Iceland walk around the city just to strech. Anything in particular to check out?
Golden Circle  Žingvellir 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.
AK,AZ,CA,CT,(DE),FL,HI,(IL),ME,MD,(MA),(MN),MT,NV,NH,NJ,NY,OR,PA,(RI),TX,UT,VT,VA,WA,WY

Offline blue eyes

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #488 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?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #489 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...

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #490 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. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline blue eyes

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #491 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?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #492 on: July 14, 2017, 02:02:46 AM »
The helicopter tour is only 2-2.5 hours.

https://insidethevolcano.com/the-tour/helicopter-tour/
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #493 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?

Offline moish

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Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #494 on: July 14, 2017, 05:29:28 AM »
Be prepared to be completely underwhelmed by the Golden Circle