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gonnabuildabuggy

Iceland

We're starting to think our Summer Holiday this year will be Iceland.

Anyone been? Any recommendations on what to see, where to go, where to stay?

Also, how long? Is a week enough or 2 weeks too long?

EDIT- and yes, the country, not the shop formerly known as Bejam before the jokes start.
BeN

I've been there for work but it is a spectacular country. If you have time take a drive around the ring road that circles the island and you'll enjoy some truly amazing sights.
Twelfth Monkey

Some friends just came back.  You'll need to hire a car, and they reckoned that a week could have been usefully stretched to ten days.  They loved it.
Boxer6

Our O.T. is there right now as part of her 30th birthday celebration!

My neighbour was there with his wife and 2 kids (11 and 7) last September? October? and they loved it, especially the geyser "trip". He did say everything is very expensive though, e.g. a single beer was c.£11-12!!

Take plenty of spending money seems to be the hint here!
Twelfth Monkey

I'm guessing the prices are because everything has to be imported.  My friends were doing dry January, so didn't register the price of drinks.
gonnabuildabuggy

Boxer6 wrote:
Our O.T. is there right now as part of her 30th birthday celebration!

My neighbour was there with his wife and 2 kids (11 and 7) last September? October? and they loved it, especially the geyser "trip". He did say everything is very expensive though, e.g. a single beer was c.£11-12!!

Take plenty of spending money seems to be the hint here!


We know it's going to be expensive!

I've concluded it's still likely to be cheaper than going to Alaska or Canada which are the alternatives, and we'll "save" by going for 7-10 days rather than 2-3 weeks.
PG

Iceland is on our "want to visit" list. Spring or Autumn are said to be the best times to go, unless you want to try and see the Northern Lights, in which case January and expect to never see the sun.

Have also heard that it can be outrageously expensive.
Bob Sacamano

We went 10 years ago for 5 days and had a really good time, meeting a very nice Icelandic couple who we've kept in touch with since. I found 5 days about right, not sure I'd want to do as many as 10 though.

Like all Scandinavian countries it's expensive - beer and food especially. You can save a bit by visiting the Duty Free when you arrive at the airport (they open it for you) and taking extra fruit and snacks from the hotel breakfast buffet to see you through the day.

You don't need a car, we used public transport and found it easy to get around, and you can easily book coach trips to get you out round the Grand Circle, Gullfoss and to see the geysers. Depending on when you go you can also book day trips out in those huge wheeled off-roaders with a picnic and you'll have a lot better time than pootling about in your little hire car.

You also have to visit and swim in the Blue Lagoon, it's at its most atmospheric at night, there's also a restaurant there so you can get a bite to eat. It looks natural but it's really the outflow from the power station that pumps superheated hot water from deep inside the earth to generate electricity.

I've got a couple of good books that Svavar sent to me about Iceland, if you PM me I'd be happy to post them down.
Racing Teatray

I've been to Iceland but only to Reykjavik for meetings when we were advising the government there on the restructuring of their delinquent banking sector about 5 years ago.

Reykjavik is pleasant and you can eat very well, but it's unremarkable. I was particularly disappointed by something called "The Quarrel House".

On all our conference calls, the Icelandic contingent had been calling from said building: "this is the Quarrel House joining"...and my colleagues and I had collectively somewhat whimsically imagined it as something out of the Sagas, perhaps with open walls, heavy rustic furniture, perhaps some straw and definitely a lot of drinking horns...

The pastel coloured room that resembled somewhere that a parent-teacher group might meet in a building that resembled a particularly undistinguished municipal library came as a severe disappointment!!

Sadly, whilst some of my colleagues did get to go on jollies to the Blue Lagoon and Žingvellir, I didn't, so am also interested in this topic. Especially as Mrs RT has a long-held desire to see the Aurora Borealis. Apparently March is a good time for that.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I've concluded it's still likely to be cheaper than going to Alaska or Canada which are the alternatives, and we'll "save" by going for 7-10 days rather than 2-3 weeks.

Dpends where abouts in Canada, plus the Canadians do tea almost as well as the Brits, if you like your cuppa.

If you go to Iceland, don't forget to take suitable outdoor clothing on the plane (ie wear as much of it as you can) rather than stuffing it into your luggage allowanced suitcases.
TreVoR

If it all goes in the case then I would rather be comfortable on the plane or pay excess baggage. I travel very light these days.  

I love the idea of visiting Iceland.
Bob Sacamano

So, to ask the obvious question; has anyone's mum gone?
Stuntman

My mum hasn't but she'd love to go.

One of my friends went there last year for a week.  He's an outdoorsy type and did a lot of walking out there.  He also ate Puffin.  That's as good a reason to go as any!
PhilD

Bob Sacamano wrote:
So, to ask the obvious question; has anyone's mum gone?


Looks like that might be fake news.
Nice Guy Eddie

I went for a 3 nighter and covered a lot so not sure you'd need more than a week. Most fun, was a quad bike tour that went into some amazing countryside. I went in December and it was chuffing cold.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Can't recommend it highly enough - I went in 2013 and totally fell for it. Spend as long there as you can, and look for an apartment in Reykjavik, as there are plenty of nice ones to rent for much less than you'd pay for a hotel, if you're travelling as a family. The one I stayed in was called Ocean Comfort, down by the harbour, and very well equipped and clean. However, do not - whatever you do - have anything to do with a bunch of charlatans calling themselves Room With A View ...

You can certainly hire a car, but it's also worth taking some guided tours. I used a company called Volcano Tours (http://www.volcanotours.is/), who drive you around in a Land Cruiser in small groups - you could probably get your own private tour with them.

And if you go in summer, it doesn't get dark. I took an Icelandair flight from Amsterdam, that took off at 10.30 pm, and as we crossed northern Scotland, the sun rose again (in the west!), and it was daylight by the time we landed (still before midnight, thanks to time zones). Or there's a new budget airline called Wow! (I know), who do cheap flights there.
canadian bacon

Went last year in June, It is bloody expensive, but was worth it, we went for 4 days and managed two trips south and some mooching around Reykjavik:


They have a fairly dry sense of humour...






but also some stunning scenery



Some impressive buildings



And some good restaurants, this one was just by the cathedral



some good photo ops...




And a less than impressive Navy...





This restaurant was not cheap, but was pretty name good...

http://fiskmarkadurinn.is/english/

I chose the 'cheap' beer at 1900k, or about 18c$.....each, for 330ml.

We flew with WOW, and they were ar$eholes, one of our bags was overweight, so rather than just charge us for the excess, they insisted we re pack the bags to lessen the weight of one of them , we then discovered we could have avoided getting our bags weighed altogether, if we had simply turned up at the gate and not not checked in at the desk

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