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 72484 times)

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9682
  • Total likes: 133
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #510 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.

Offline dovigz

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2017
  • Posts: 4
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #511 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 Žingvellir national park on the way hope to see northern lights. (I know its a small chance but i hope)
Daven shachris vasikin
Go to Keriš crater
Then Hveragerši
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

Offline Something Fishy

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 6083
  • Total likes: 916
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 41
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #512 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 Žingvellir national park on the way hope to see northern lights. (I know its a small chance but i hope)
Daven shachris vasikin
Go to Keriš crater
Then Hveragerši
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.

Keriš 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.)

Offline SSLPhD

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 309
  • Total likes: 26
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: My couch
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #513 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.

AK,AZ,CA,CT,(DE),FL,HI,(IL),ME,MD,(MA),MI,MN,MT,NV,NH,NJ,NY,OR,PA,(RI),TX,UT,VT,VA,WA,WI,WY

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9682
  • Total likes: 133
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #514 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 Žingvellir national park on the way hope to see northern lights. (I know its a small chance but i hope)
Daven shachris vasikin
Go to Keriš crater
Then Hveragerši
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. Hveragerši 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 Hveragerši 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.

Offline JudithAbenson

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2017
  • Posts: 2
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Montreal
13 hour stop over in Iceland
« Reply #515 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   

Offline Ergel

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 11385
  • Total likes: 76
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
Re: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
« Reply #516 on: September 28, 2017, 12:44:40 PM »
Yikes
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline davidd75

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Posts: 1747
  • Total likes: 19
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
  • Location: new jersey
Re: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
« Reply #517 on: September 28, 2017, 01:27:50 PM »
Yikes

maybe better to be more helpful

Offline Something Fishy

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 6083
  • Total likes: 916
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 41
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: 13 hour stop over in Iceland
« Reply #518 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.

Offline BrachaB

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2017
  • Posts: 21
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #519 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?

Offline ludmila

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 4902
  • Total likes: 253
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: IND
  • Programs: Hilton Diamond,Marriott Platinum,SPG Platinum.
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #520 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.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Offline SSLPhD

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 309
  • Total likes: 26
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: My couch
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #521 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.
AK,AZ,CA,CT,(DE),FL,HI,(IL),ME,MD,(MA),MI,MN,MT,NV,NH,NJ,NY,OR,PA,(RI),TX,UT,VT,VA,WA,WI,WY

Offline srap

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 2382
  • Total likes: 37
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #522 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!

Offline PBaruch

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Posts: 2079
  • Total likes: 61
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: HutzNPlutz
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #523 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.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline JudithAbenson

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2017
  • Posts: 2
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Montreal
Re: Iceland Master Thread
« Reply #524 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...