When I started to make travel plans to visit Iceland my expectations about the country increased A LOT! I had seen so many amazing pictures of waterfalls, glaciers and beaches that I almost couldn’t believe they were real.
But it turned out, they were! Camera lenses can only show a part of the beauty of the place and even with almost non-stop rain, each of the 10 days in the island were awesome!
In case you ask: why Iceland? Here are some of my answers
Want to see more? Also check Iceland Photo Guie
What can you expect?
Iceland is a small country in terms of are and total inhabitants. Although is very close to Arctic Pole, temperatures usually don’t fall below -5°C.
From September to April it is possible to see the Northern Lights if the weather condiditons are good. You can check whether and Aurora forecast on http://www.vedur.is.
Aurora intensity may vary from 1 to 9, the higher the stronger the lights will be. Be prepared to take pictures if the forecast is above 4!!!
After making a big research I could finally finish my itinerary and I’m happy to share it on My Maps.
On the road
We decided to rent a car in Reykjavik – Iceland capital and biggest city – in the domestic airport which is closer to the city center than the international. Not all the vehicles have air conditioning so make sure to ask for that feature – in my opinion very important to avoid foggy windows.
GPS device is also important as well as having you phone connected to Google Maps to check your path. Road signs may be very sudden and it is a possibility to miss an exit without those devices.
We purchased a sim card from local company Síminn to keep connected on the road.
Big part of Icelandic roads are not paved but driving conditions are good on most of them.
Maximum driving speed on the roads is 90km/h and in urban areas, 50 km/h.
Bridges are one way, I mean, one vehicle at a time in each direction. You must stop to check if there is another car on the bridge coming in your direction and if so, just wait for your turn.
We were in Iceland in the beginning of fall and it was not snowing during the period we were there. That made the trip easier for those – like us – not used to drive on ice. Whenever you are traveling, check roads conditions on http://www.road.is before start your day trip.
Just enter a road which name begins with a F if you are driving a 4×4 car, otherwise you may have troubles and car insurance won’t cover any issue.
Always be aware of the sheep!!! They are everywhere and any time on your way! If by any chance you run over one, you have then a problem: rental car insurance usually don`t cover the car damage and in addition you may have to pay the animal owner \0/.
Go to a grocery store before leavign Reykjavik and take with you some snacks and drinks. In Iceland restaurants and grocery stores close early, specially in small towns so it is worth to have some food for dinner in case you don`t find a place opened in your next destination.
Also keep you fuel tank full and fill it once in a while during the day. You may face many kilometers without running into a gas station.
How much is it?
Cheap or expensive depends on your way of traveling. We are not exactly low cost travelers but far from having free budget.
For accommodation we chose guest houses with kitchen so we could prepare our breakfast and dinner. All over the country you can find groceries stores Nettó and Bónus to refill your “pantry” along the way.
The big advantage is that almost all of the country’s attractions are free of charge to visit and accessible by a regular vehicle.
Some of the costs of our trip:
- Round trip air ticket Copenhagen – Reykjavik: € 190
- Car rental per day : €65
- Fuel/liter: €1,50
- Accommodation: €50 per person on a private room for 3 people
- Meal in nice restaurant: €30 per person
- Expresso coffee: €2
It is pretty easy to communicate in Iceland as most of the people speaks english very well. On the other hand it is difficult to find a sign or a restaurant menu translated into english but, if you have doubts, just ask somebody: local people are very welcoming and always happy to help.
Enjoy as much as you can, it is an amazing country with so many different landscapes that will take your breath away. That’s what happened to us!