Hello, guys! Our road trip in Iceland just ended and we thought we’d make a little post to tell you more about how to travel Iceland with the most common questions which come up when you prepare for a trip which we also had before we were prepared for our trip. (relaxing electronic music) We just spent the last two weeks traveling around Iceland. We started here in Reykjavik, we went up the what is it, the West coast, through the North, down the East coast, and then back to Reykjavik. That took us how many days? I’d say we did it in days with a little bit more, we factored a little bit more time in because we also do photography and post as you’ve seen in the series. So let’s start from the beginning. Yes. Getting in. Getting Around. In terms of visa situation, it’s pretty fast forward for basically for us two, like for North America. Yeah, you have days on just your regular passport, valid passport, all that kind of stuff. That has to be applied, but yeah days with a valid U. S. passport.
How to Travel Iceland 14 Iceland Travel Tips Circling Iceland Photo Gallery
I believe Europe is the same. Yeah, it’s the same. Iceland is basically part of Europe so not a big problem. Yeah, just buy a ticket, come when you’re from this area. It’s a little bit different for other countries so I recommend making sure with your country checking out the visa requirements before you go, but in general it’s the same as in other countries in Europe. And when you’re in, how do you get around from the airport to get into the city center of Reykjavik ’cause it will probably be your first stop. There are two major companies, two bus companies, Flybus and Gray Line and you can book online transfer ticket which takes you actually either to the bus terminal or if you pay a little bit more, also to the hostel or hotel you’re staying at. And the same goes for the way back. So you can buy a return ticket which is cheaper than buying two one way tickets. So you could think about doing that beforehand and save some money on that.
I think the best thing for us and what we talk about a lot is we made a really good decision in renting a car. For us especially, for postgraphy and photography we were on our own schedule all the time. We could go off the beaten path whenever we needed to. So in general, you have three options. You have a normal rental car, you have a x, and you have a camper van. Camper van is cool because you can sleep in a camper van, you can cook. Yeah, and you basically have everything in one place. It’s definitely the most economic choice as far as your accommodations are built in that you can stay. There’s a lot of campsites around the country that you can find beforehand, and stay in those. And there’s some nice setups, we even passed one that had a large dining area and kitchen setup and public bathrooms and things like that. So again, if you’re on a very tight budget but you do have time, I would highly recommend, you know, the camper van option is a really good option. Exactly. We went with the x because we went a little bit off the beaten path. We went on the gravel roads which you can mostly find in the Highlands but also in the East and in the North. If you want to go certain waterfalls, they are so called “F-roads” which you can only drive on if you have a x. Otherwise you’re not allowed to drive on them. So if you want to truly explore, get a x. And then if you are staying maybe a little bit shorter, you want to do some day trips from Reykjavik then a normal rental car to go to the South, to Vík for example.
Yeah, the roads close by Reykjavik are very good. Everything is paved, it’s really nice. It’s only up until you get out of the city, out of the main areas that the roads start getting a little rough. There was a few times we had road closures. But for the most part we got lucky also with the weather. The weather can turn like this in Iceland very very quickly. So having that x gave us a little bit of comfort knowing that we could get through these spots. And what you can do beforehand is each day you should check, there is a certain website which tells you where road closures, how are the road conditions, there’s a very good system here in Iceland. There are basically two big options you can do depending on the time you bring. You have the Ring Road, this is the one we did. Yep. This takes you through all of Iceland, it’s basically road number. And you start at Reykjavik and end up in Reykjavik. And the same goes for the Golden Circle road. You also start in Reykjavik and end up in Reykjavik but this is a roundtrip, doable in one day which takes you to some waterfalls, to some springs, Blue Lagoon, geysers, and a crater. Golden Circle is obviously very, very popular and it’s hard to escape the tourists. It is always a good time to travel to Iceland. It just depends on what you are searching for. If you want to see the Northern Lights, for example, you need to come more in the darker times because in summer the sun doesn’t really set. So summer is also the most popular time. If you want to avoid the tourists, you shouldn’t come in summer but of course in summer it’s warmer. Yes. So which makes up for opportunities to go to the central Highlands and go hiking there, which is not really possible in winter because it’s harder to access. So I would say, yeah, I would say like spring time is a great season to have a little bit of everything, as is Fall. Right now, yeah I think we got a good taste of everything. The road were still good, conditions were good. We still got to see a little bit of the changing of the colors when we were hiking around the canyon. That’s true, yeah. So I think right now is actually the perfect time to go. I mean, we were lucky enough to choose. But yeah, for us the shoulder season because we’re not tied to holidays, shoulder season is great. So we were traveling end of October and a few days in November. Perfect. We were here for like two weeks altogether. Yeah. So that we have days for the Ring Road, a little bit more than a week is a good choice for the Ring Road. Yeah, if you have the chance, I mean I know a lot of the people that we’ve met along the road said they only had about four or five days and so they were going up to certain aspects of the Ring Road and then coming back down especially on the South and the East coast. But if you have the opportunity, the West and the North is just incredible. So a few extra days, I would say go up there. We felt, I don’t know if you would say rushed, but we had things to do every single day. We were ticking them off the list and obviously we spent more time, like Steve says, in each location posting and photography and things like that. But yeah, the more time you have here, I’d say two weeks for the Ring Road and you will not get bored. The more, the better when it comes down to real adventure.
Also, if you want to do the central Highlands you need to have, you need to bring some time. So if you want to do the Ring Road and the central Highlands, two weeks might be what you’re looking at. If you just want to go for like a mini-adventure, if you have a stopover which is possible with certain airlines, Iceland Air for example, they do that, you can have a seven day stopover without additional costs when you, for example, fly to the U. S. then it makes sense maybe to just have like three or four days then do some day trips to the South. What would you do if you had three or four days? I would definitely do the Golden Circle. Uh huh. And I would head down South. I would head to Vík to see some water, I mean on the Golden Circle you have one big waterfall you see. Okay. But down South you have the waterfalls. Yeah. Also, glaciers is what you can’t see when you’re on the Golden Circle. Okay. But if you’re here in summer and you rent a x, you can go a little bit into the Highlands. This could be like another day which you could spend there. You can basically have everything in one day. We did! You can have hail, rain, sun everything in one day. We got pretty lucky actually on our trip. But you should definitely come prepared. You should bring many layers, you should come like we call it in Germany the “onion principle” do you call it that? Yeah, yeah. So yeah, bring layers and then of course depending on which season you’re traveling in. Summer, it’s less likely to go to get into a snowstorm than it is right now, which right now it’s a little bit tricky. So you should come prepared and maybe pack a little bit warmer but also for this I have an extra packing guide where I show you what I brought for this trip. But in general, I would say a fleece jacket, a good windbreaker, that’s always good. Yeah, so the wind, and this is funny because the rental car company actually warned us. This is the first thing he said, he goes, “Make sure you close the doors and hold onto the doors when you do,” because they’ve been known to be ripped off by the wind and we definitely felt that a few times. We already talked about camper van as an option, as a very economic option. We decided not only because we wanted to stay comfy but also because of the weather, it’s getting really cold in like after Fall. So we decided to do a home stay, a site called HomeAway, and what that is is basically you go and you can rent out cabins, you rent out houses, there’s even some hotels on there. And it gives you a different perspective of the trip. Because we stayed in people’s homes. And we stayed in some beautiful homes, a couple of cabins, one apartment right on the water, a beautiful place here in Reykjavik, and we just go to see a different perspective of the trip.
There’s also hostels in most of the major cities around the country and again, the camper van is a good option. But for two grown male adult friends sleeping side by side, we wanted a little bit more space just so we wouldn’t kill each other on a two week road trip. You mentioned hostels, we are now sitting recording here in this suite of the Oddsson Hostel, another part of this trip. Just to show you also the other side of options you can choose from when you travel in Iceland. This is the suite but they also have dorms. You’re staying in a private room here, It’s really good. Which is also pretty nice. Like a hotel, actually. Yeah, it’s very good and there’s live music. We’re actually here during the Iceland Airwaves Festival and there’s music actually going on right in the lobby. So it’s been a great stay, a really good spot. It’s an expensive place. So we’re drinking beers here, like we’re looking at beer prices here if you are out in restaurant or if you are enjoying the night like in Reykjavik, of about like $ or even more, like $ is like the average. If it comes down to snacks, like if you want to do it on the cheap, hot dogs are very popular here. But they start at like $ and then if you want to go for like bigger food you need to calculate with at least like $ to $ per meal. Yeah, for example, off the beaten path, I mean up in the North and things like that, we were seeing cheeseburger combos at the local gas station for $. At a gas station! Yeah, for $. So it gives you an idea, it’s very very expensive. And we got around that in a few ways, so we’ll talk about food in a second. Coming from a backpacker background, Iceland is a country which I chose to go to in a stage of my life where I can afford it. Just to give it justice, just to experience also the food, to experience it to the fullest. And it really deserves it, so maybe save up and maybe have like one trip less a year and save up the money for Iceland as it is totally worth it. Gareth shot a little post here about the food experiences in Reykjavik which pretty much pictured the Icelandic food culture you can expect here. So what is your experience, just a little bit shorter so that the people still can go over to your blog and watch the post. Yeah, so I definitely just barely stuck my toes in the water as far as the food goes. I mean, we’ve been in Reykjavik for about five days now and traveling around the country we did a lot of grocery shopping just ’cause we knew we wanted to stay on a budget and there was good grocery stores as a bonus. And then what was the other one? We got our grocery bag right here. Here we go! Here, that’s not sponsored. Krónan. So there’s some good grocery stores around the country so what we did was we, at these HomeAways, we had kitchens in most places that we were at. Bonus. Always. So what we did was we would shop and then cook and that saved us a lot of money as far as going out to dinners but lamb, seafood, those are two of the most coveted items on the menu and there’s burgers everywhere. As Steve mentioned, there’s hot dogs that are always a good option. But for the most part, really good food and I would say the grocery shopping helps you save some money but make sure you get out and make sure you spend a little bit of time checking out the local cuisine. Alright guys, that’s it from us. If you want to see more, and I hope you do want to see more, You should check out Gareth’s blog where he features our daily adventures in Iceland. You see the rest of the posts we shot down here. On my face, you can comment to this blog for new travel posts every Thursday. That’s it from Iceland. Thank you guys. And again, make sure you leave a comment if you have any questions about Iceland, we’ll be sure to respond directly. Thanks guys. Bye!