Iceland personal tips



Iceland personal tips

Iceland is place of great beauty and has been featured in many movies. 

It's not crowded and with a few friends it can be a place to spend a week. 

Most people speak English and are friendly. No French here ;)

My suggestions:

Spend about one week or a minimum of five nights if possible. 

Rent a car for moving around the island. The roads are easy, hardly any cars but get a GPS.  Signs are easy to follow and there's one main highway - Route 1 - that goes round the island (note: official speed limit is 90 km/h on the highway, and between 30-60 km/h when Rte 1 passes through cities and towns). 

For northern lights it's probably better to join a tour as they know where to go. We went with Gray Line which was about SGD 70 per head
Call ahead to ask if they have a tour departing that night, or you can check at the tourist info centre on weather conditions: http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/
You can choose from self drive or guided tours. 

Self drive gives you freedom, so you can go and leave whenever, bring lots of creature comforts and if you already have a car in daytime this works well.

However one needs to be familiar with night driving and navigation. Furthermore you will need to have an idea of where are the places to view the lights. 

It is also tiring especially if one has already driven in the daytime. 

That means probably not planning too much the following day. 

Guided tours can be by bus or in a boat out to the waters outside of Reykjavik. 

In a bus you can try different spots but there is traveling time. It is warmer in a bus though. 
Some companies will offer another ride if you don't see the lights the first time so check first. 

The nice thing about a boat is you can also take pics of the city at night, and if you can see the aurora from water it is amazing

As for driving

Beware of the speed traps - there are cameras every now and then, and if a cop catches you speeding, that's 22000 Kronas....about SGD 220 from current experience :( 

There are many books and sites for suggested sights but here are the ones I think will be good. 

The movie Walter Mitty actually showcased most of the good ones :


Volcanoes :
Bardarbunga 
Eyjafjallajökull 

The big one that blew in 2010. 
There's a burger place there that's not bad (Gamla Fjosid)


Waterfalls

There are three major ones close to the capital Reykjavik 

Gullfoss

Skógafoss


And if you want to go round the island to see the prettiest falls: https://guidetoiceland.is/best-of-iceland/top-10-most-beautiful-waterfalls-in-iceland
Glaciers

Glacier walking is nice. B

Myrdalsjokull is the place for it..

Tour options from different areas in Iceland: http://www.mountainguides.is/day-tours/glacier-tours/ 

Vik

Blue lagoon

Jokulsarlon - floating lagoon of icebergs, setting for at least 4 hollywood movies

The golden circle

This should be on your list but there's more to it than this place. 

Reykjavik 

Reykjavík is a small city so It's easy to get around in, and all the main things are generally within walking distance (1km block)
City Bus
Best to have cash for the bus or buy Bus Pass, 1 fare costs 350 is kr. , 1 day pass 900 is.kr for 1,  
3 days pass 2200 is kr. for 1,  you can find timetable, but there is a timetable on each Bus Stop  http://www.straeto.is/english
Restaurants
This website http://www.restaurants.is   is very good to find Restaurants' you can narrow the search                           
down to location, price and what type of food you like 
The Reykjavík Grapevine is also good http://grapevine.is/Home/
Iceland Guest is another good link to look at http://www.icelandguest.com/travel-guide/dining/
Local Food Guide is a NEW food guide for Iceland  http://icelandlocalfoodguide.is/
Old harbour
Old harbour, if you go down there you will find, great restaurants, and the best Hamburger place in Reykjavík there as well as fine Icelandic dining, very good fish restaurant ( in Tryggvagata ) not so expensive..  And you can't miss our famous Hot Dog stand ( close to nr 5 on the map) , o they are different J it is located inTryggvagata close to the Flea Market were you can buy Iceland food and bread, among quirky goods old and new (there you would need cash but AMT is  there ) http://www.visitreykjavik.is/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-176/392_read-1546
Viking museum
Things you might like to do,,,  a museum about Icelandic Vikings, http://sagamuseum.is/
Short tours
You should take the Blue Lagoon (you could take on your way to the airport, it is 5-10 minutes drive from the airport, and most  of our guests that flight is in the afternoon do that and give them self 2 hours in the Lagoon ) Glacier tours, Golden circle  these are must and Horseback riding tour is great as well, one of the best for that ishttp://www.ishestar.is/    and http://islenskihesturinn.is/?lang=en   they pick you up from the hotel
Reykjavík Excursions tours :   http://www.re.is/DayTours/ 
 AT Iceland Tours specialises in day trips:  Excellent cars, luxury coach and 4x4 super jeep http://daytrips.is/
Iceland Excursions tours:   http://www.grayline.is/
Whales, puffins http://www.specialtours.is/home/  people love it  www.whalewatching.is
Northern light tours:
When you book your transport please put in your apartment number and the same name you booked
the apartment in, the company sometime calls us if there is changes departure times for tours.
Snowmobil tour:
Super Jeep Day Trips
Dog sledding tours
Rent camping equipment
Fjallakofinn Laugarvegur 11  http://www.fjallakofinn.is
For the children
Hop on – Hop
Hop on – Hop off on a double-decker bus is a great way to see Reykjavík, every hour on the hour and its nr 5 on the map I put in the email  http://www.re.is/citysightseeing/ 
Here you can see the route they are taking http://www.re.is/media/PDF/Hop_On_Hop_Off_Flyer_2012_.pdf
Horse riding - depending on how adventurous, multiple options are available but check how long the ride is else you might be on galloping horseback for 2 hours or more!

Food
It's not cheap here and you get plenty of western fare but it's not cheap nor is it special. Plan for $20-40 a meal. 

Key food to try are the lobsters either grilled or in a sandwich or in soups, lamb stews, and fish


Hotdogs

There are a few stands in town and you get decent fare.

If you travel afar, there are some nice options:


http://www.lonelyplanet.com/iceland/the-west/snaefellsnes/restaurants/scandinavian/narfeyrarstofa/item-a-1177554-id

If we handed out prizes for the best fish soup and the top lamb stew, this charming restaurant would win both. Run by an award-winning chef (famous in Denmark for his superlative desserts – the caramel ice cream is for fainting), Narfeyrarstofa is the Snæfellsnes' darling dining destination and the undoubted favourite of visiting tour groups. Book a table on the 2nd floor and dine under gentle eaves and the romantic lighting of antique lamps. Don't forget to ask your waiter about the portraits on the wall – the building has quite an interesting history.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/iceland/the-west/stykkisholmur/restaurants/scandinavian/narfeyrarstofa#ixzz3DtgEMs8I

Location
Stykkishólmur , Iceland
Address
Aðalgata 3
Telephone
+354 438 1119
More information
www.narfeyrarstofa.is
Prices
mains Ikr1990-4250
Opening hours
11.30am-10pm Apr–mid-Oct, 6pm-10pm Sat & Sun mid-Oct–Mar

Lobster:

Fjorubordid Restaurant

http://www.fjorubordid.is/?page_id=340

This upmarket seafood restaurant on the shore has a reputation for serving the best lobster in Iceland. The legendary soup costs Ikr2050 and most people agree that it's worth every penny. Slurp your bisque amid old flagstones, glass fishing buoys and other marine memorabilia. Reservations recommended.


Location
Stokkseyri , Iceland
Address
Eyrabraut 3a
Telephone
+354 483 1550
More information
www.fjorubordid.is
Prices
mains Ikr2050-4850
Opening hours
noon-9pm Jun-mid-Sep, 5-9pm Mon-Fri, noon-9pm Sat-Sun mid-Sep–May

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/iceland/stokkseyri/restaurants/seafood/vid-fjorubordid#ixzz3DtgokFjO



Water is safe to drink from the tap, so no need to buy bottled water

For more info:
www.guidetoiceland.is   Award winning web page for information about Iceland
http://whatson.is/   NEW information page and monthly magazine  What's on in Reykjavik

Currency and Credit Cards
Most companies takes all credit cards, but American express cards are not so popular here, they charge the companies more than other credit cards companies.  If you have a Visa or MasterCard you are fine
At the moment the exchange rate for 1 £ is about 181 Icelandic kr.   There are ATMs all over the city center ( you are less than 5 minutes away from the center )   but I recommend that you change money at the airport.



What can you do in Reykjavik ?

www.guidetoiceland.is   Award winning web page for information about Iceland

http://www.inspiredbyiceland.com/home/?site_locale=en

Here is a new tourist map for Reykjavik, online:
http://www.reykjavikcentermap.com/

For guided tours in and around Reykjavik, click here

The walking guided tour of Reykjavik

http://www.sagamuseum.is/

The national museum is interesting:

The Blue lagoon should not be missed:

You can visit the Blue Lagoon on the way to or from the airport:

The outdoor swimming pools in Reykjavik are very popular:

There are also very good restaurants in the city center, such as Humarhúsið
http://humarhusid.is
and Lækjarbrekka
http://www.laekjarbrekka.is/index-en.php
Fiskifélagið
http://www.fiskfelagid.is 

There is a hot dog stand in the city centre that should be tried:

The burger joint is very popular:

In the next building to the joint there is the Sægreifinn
( fish restaurant )

http://www.gastroshark.com/   
( another fish restaurant and is opposite Sægreifinn )

The Grapevine has interesting articles on Reykjavik:


Renting a car?
There are several possibilities: (This is not a full list)
http://geysir.is
http://holdur.is

Route1 is car rental is pretty decent : good service and compatible prices
http://www.route1carrental.is/

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