Author Topic: Tips for travelling to Iceland  (Read 8205 times)

thesvenster

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2017, 03:23:15 PM »
Iceland has been my dream location for years, but my Wife is nervous about going.  Hopefully I can convince her some day.

Two major concerns, hopefully some of you can address:
1) My wife is Black, and worried about racism, since it's not a very diverse country.  Any possible issue here?
2) My wife doesn't like seafood.  Are there more traditional food options easily available? (Whether at groceries or restaurants)

Thanks for the comments!

It's true that Icelanders are very proud of their country and are somewhat cold to outsiders, even if they are very polite to foreigners. This is true whether or not you are white.

gaja

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2017, 03:43:08 PM »
Iceland has been my dream location for years, but my Wife is nervous about going.  Hopefully I can convince her some day.

Two major concerns, hopefully some of you can address:
1) My wife is Black, and worried about racism, since it's not a very diverse country.  Any possible issue here?
2) My wife doesn't like seafood.  Are there more traditional food options easily available? (Whether at groceries or restaurants)

Thanks for the comments!

It's true that Icelanders are very proud of their country and are somewhat cold to outsiders, even if they are very polite to foreigners. This is true whether or not you are white.

It is the same for all the Nordics. But we dislike being close to eachother too. This comic by a frech canadian describes it very well: https://thesocialguidebook.no/blogs/the-social-guidebook-to-norway/the-norwegian-bench

As for the food: try the lamb soup! Most smaller cafes and restaurants, especially in the rural region, have usually two soups on the menu: fish and lamb. Both are delicious.
Travelling southern Norway, Iceland and the Faroes in an electric car: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/

simulatedsanity

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2017, 05:56:08 PM »
Loved our trip, Iceland should be on everyone's bucket list. Reykjavik only needs a day or two max, we preferred the north Akureyri, Dalvik and Siglufjiord. Dalvik had the best whale watching, low key, lower prices and free hot chocolate.

The hot dogs and the lamb soup omg, don't know how they do it but it's beyond gooood! Also the dairy products there will blow your socks off.

We went in September and although the season was winding down, every place we were staying at was fully booked. Make some arrangements in advance especially if you are going the hostel/guesthouse route.

We found the people polite but cool, so if you're expecting service people to fawn over you the way they do in North America you're in for a shock. I much preferred it, more honest and straight forward. Speaking of honesty, my husband dropped his credit card on the street in Akyureyri and within 20 minutes someone had taken it to the police station. The attitude was "of course someone took it to the police, what else would they have done?" It's like it's the 1950s. I hope it never changes!


Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2017, 12:12:48 AM »
It is the same for all the Nordics. But we dislike being close to eachother too. This comic by a frech canadian describes it very well: https://thesocialguidebook.no/blogs/the-social-guidebook-to-norway/the-norwegian-bench

Thank you!!!!! This is excellent: funny, true and useful.

deborah

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2017, 09:45:36 PM »
I will be in Iceland too - going there slightly earlier and leaving at the same time.

Skills Barterer

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2017, 04:04:42 PM »
Speaking of honesty, my husband dropped his credit card on the street in Akyureyri and within 20 minutes someone had taken it to the police station. The attitude was "of course someone took it to the police, what else would they have done?" It's like it's the 1950s. I hope it never changes!

I witnessed a woman willingly leave her purse in a park to walk to a local store to buy something.  No crime whatsoever.

GreenSheep

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #56 on: June 18, 2017, 04:07:21 PM »
Speaking of honesty, my husband dropped his credit card on the street in Akyureyri and within 20 minutes someone had taken it to the police station. The attitude was "of course someone took it to the police, what else would they have done?" It's like it's the 1950s. I hope it never changes!

I witnessed a woman willingly leave her purse in a park to walk to a local store to buy something.  No crime whatsoever.

Yes, when I was with a small tour group the first time I went, we were driven around in a van, and when we stopped for gas, a scenic view, etc. and walked away from the van, they told us not to worry about leaving anything in the van if we wanted to. Not only was it never locked, most of the time at least one door was left wide open. No problems at all. I hope this doesn't begin to change due to the behavior of other tourists; I'd be more concerned about them than Icelanders.

Adram

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #57 on: June 18, 2017, 10:05:49 PM »
Following

Linda_Norway

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2017, 05:59:55 AM »
Speaking of honesty, my husband dropped his credit card on the street in Akyureyri and within 20 minutes someone had taken it to the police station. The attitude was "of course someone took it to the police, what else would they have done?" It's like it's the 1950s. I hope it never changes!

I witnessed a woman willingly leave her purse in a park to walk to a local store to buy something.  No crime whatsoever.

Yes, when I was with a small tour group the first time I went, we were driven around in a van, and when we stopped for gas, a scenic view, etc. and walked away from the van, they told us not to worry about leaving anything in the van if we wanted to. Not only was it never locked, most of the time at least one door was left wide open. No problems at all. I hope this doesn't begin to change due to the behavior of other tourists; I'd be more concerned about them than Icelanders.

Still, I think you should look after your own valuable things, anyway. IF something gets stolen (by a non-Icelandic foreign criminal) I think your travel insurance company won't be happy to hear that you left your purse in a parked van with the doors open. But for those of us who forget to look after our things sometimes, it is good to know that most of the time this is no problem.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2017, 10:17:12 PM »
I still have lustful dreams of the lamb I had in Vik...

In Reykjavik, The National Museum is decent and worth a few hours (though it gives one the impression Iceland's history is nothing but a series of famines and plagues), and it's near a very old cemetery that is absolutely amazing (Hólavallagarður) and very peaceful.

I will be in Iceland for about 9 hours in September which should be enough to do some damage at a restaurant or two (as others mentioned: the lamb soup!).

Timothymaxy

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2017, 12:53:42 AM »
Yes, following this too!!

DeanHedlund

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2017, 06:22:51 PM »
. Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, black beach / Vik, and many waterfalls, are geogeous.
Blue lagoon is also worth a visit.
Golden circle is nice too, especially the meeting point of America and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Reykjavik Art museum is expensive and awful. Avoid.
Fermented shark is not delicious.
After shower, you probably will smell like rotten eggs.


Sarah Saverdink

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2017, 07:14:39 PM »
We're headed to Iceland this September - can't wait! This is a great thread. On the MMM side, our direct-from-Boston R/T flights on Icelandair (free checked bag!) were $313/person.
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bop

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2017, 07:31:00 PM »
Is there a particular time of the year that you all would recommend going to Iceland? 

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #64 on: July 14, 2017, 08:24:28 PM »
I have been there in mid-March and mid-September and both were fine from a crowd perspective (outside of peak tourism in the summer and winter [northern lights]). I actually preferred it in March when there was snow cover outside of the city. If I went again beyond a half day layover, I'd probably go in November during Iceland Airwaves, or else in late February. I don't think it ever gets crazy cold there and would rather visit when it's not as heavily trafficked.

nickybecky1

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #65 on: July 17, 2017, 08:50:05 AM »
We went in January over MLK day weekend and it was lovely. There was snow everywhere and it was very cold, but not too cold to bundle up and walk 15 min to the nearest hot pool. It was not light much, but there were hours of twilight so it didn't feel like constant darkness. I don't think you can go wrong timing-wise.

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #66 on: October 05, 2017, 06:47:34 PM »
We just returned from a fantastic trip to Iceland. We drove the ring road on our 9 day trip and loved it, especially the East Fjords/Glacier Lagoon area. I'd love to go back to explore the West Fjords and do more hiking in the Southeast/East.

Total cost for two of us was $3,151 for everything (airfare, car rental, hotels, food, excursions, etc), which was pretty reasonable. Food at the restaurants was pricey, but we still tried some of the local favorites, like lamb stew and seafood chowder. We even scored a free gas station hot dog one evening!

Details on where our money went: https://www.saverdinks.com/blog/iceland-expense-report/
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lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #67 on: October 05, 2017, 07:14:05 PM »
^great write-up, that lamb sandwich looked amazing. I had a 7 hour layover in Reykjavik a couple of weeks ago and was surprised how much more noticeably crowded the streets were with tourists than in 2014. Probably didn't have too much of an issue with that on the remote areas of the ring road though.

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #68 on: October 05, 2017, 07:27:40 PM »
^great write-up, that lamb sandwich looked amazing. I had a 7 hour layover in Reykjavik a couple of weeks ago and was surprised how much more noticeably crowded the streets were with tourists than in 2014. Probably didn't have too much of an issue with that on the remote areas of the ring road though.

Lamb sandwich was amazing but it was so small for being $25! I could have eaten three of them it was so tasty, lol.

Yeah, the Golden Circle stops were far more crowded than our stops on the farther side of the island. And we visited during shoulder season...
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tralfamadorian

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #69 on: October 06, 2017, 10:18:56 AM »
I just got back from a two week trip to Iceland.  It was amazing!  We spent the whole time along the southern coast.  My personal favorite (and I don't think has been mentioned so far) was the Westman Islands.

albireo13

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2017, 06:54:29 AM »
When is the best time of year for visiting Iceland?
I am thinking of a brief getaway next year (3-5days?) for my wife and I.

Thx,
Rob



shelivesthedream

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #71 on: October 07, 2017, 11:15:22 AM »
Two essential things to eat: chocolate raisins and skyr (a kind of yoghurt). Seriously.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2017, 11:36:08 AM »
Two essential things to eat: chocolate raisins and skyr (a kind of yoghurt). Seriously.

I agree on Skyr. Luckily they sell it in Norway since a few years. I associate it with quark.

gaja

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2017, 12:32:26 PM »
Two essential things to eat: chocolate raisins and skyr (a kind of yoghurt). Seriously.

I agree on Skyr. Luckily they sell it in Norway since a few years. I associate it with quark.

The skyr you get here doesn't taste like the real thing at all.
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bortman

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2017, 09:02:25 PM »
The first time I had skyr I mixed it with granola. It quickly turned to a skyr ball and I had to add some milk to loosen it up. Fantastic breakfast.

Around Myvatn you'll sheep-shit-smoked trout. You'll see the shit drying on the side of the road, cut neatly into "loafs" and stacked for pickup.

Iceland's gas station hot dogs are legit good too. There are several good hot dog stands in Reykjavik.

I think that Opal candy is good .. super intense black licorice. There's also an Opal liqueur but, like all booze, it's super expensive.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2017, 07:00:45 AM »
Yeah, I've got Iceland on my bucket list, but everytime I seriously think about it, the prices make me take a step back...

Vindicated

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #76 on: October 27, 2017, 10:02:55 AM »
A group of friends and I are planning a trip to Iceland next June.  Flights from O'Hare are currently in the $460 range.  Pretty reasonable!

We've already got rooms booked at locations all around the Island.

Day 1 - Vikurbraut
Day 2 - Hofn
Day 3 - Egikstadir
Day 4 - Akureyri
Day 5 - Borgarnes

The circuit (according to Google Maps) will take 16.5 hrs of driving during our 6 days there.  The longest chunk is on day 5 from Akureyri to Borgarnes, at 3.5hrs.  Not bad at all!

*The total cost of the rooms for the 5 nights is just over $2000, so ~$300 per person for 7 people.  Flights will likely be $400-$500.  Van rental will be $700-$800, so $110 each.  I have no idea what we'll spend on food or fuel, $100-$200/ea.  So, the total cost per person will be $300+$450+$100+$150=$1000 on the low end.  Could be more, depending on variables.  Either way, that's not bad for 6 days 5 nights in Iceland!

I'm very lucky that one of my friends is a planner and has set all this up to make it stress-free for everyone else.  He also said he's got a list of places we're going to stop and see each day!

*Edited to add cost information.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 10:08:55 AM by Vindicated »
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Tips for travelling to Iceland
« Reply #77 on: October 27, 2017, 10:37:55 AM »
Yeah, I've got Iceland on my bucket list, but everytime I seriously think about it, the prices make me take a step back...

For Norwegians this is no problem. I found similar prices in Iceland as we have at home. ;-)