Travel to Iceland (and how NOT to die there!)
Up until recently, Iceland has been off the map for many tourists. Even still today to some degree, it is pushed into the shadows of tourism by many Americans in favor of nearby Europe. You may not realize how relatively close it is, just over 5 hours flight time from New York. You can fly IcelandAir, but Delta also now has nonstop flights from New York. While not exactly a weekend trip, it does provide an international experience if you are somewhat limited on travel time. Iceland has a natural beauty like few other places in the world. It kind of looks like a ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie in some places. While that movie was not filmed in Iceland, you’ll get that impression from Iceland’s beautiful landscapes.
Costs in Reykjavik
The capital city of Reykjavik is where you will most likely fly into. It is a modern European city, while somewhat expensive you can certainly do it smart. There are plenty of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and CouchSurfing members in and around the city so finding accommodation in your price range should not be too much of a challenge. Peak season is summer, so try to avoid that if you want the best price. As with most place in Europe, try to cook your own food as restaurants are not cheap! If you are on a budget and must eat out, go ethnic. If you are a drinker, BYOB! Not exactly sure why, but alcohol is super expensive in Reykjavik. Mostly this applies to bars, so if you must get drunk, down a couple 40s with some friends in your hostel before going out. Otherwise you’ll seriously eat into your budget. Also, avoid taxis as they are extremely expensive. When you fly into Reykjavik, expect a taxi to your city hotel to be over $100. Just take the bus.
What to do
Iceland is not a huge country, roughly the size of Ohio and much of it is desolate. It is not unrealistic to stay in Reykjavik the entire time and take day tours to the surrounding area. While you won’t need a tour to see Reykjavik, it is most economical to get on a day tour to the surrounding areas instead of renting a car. Here are some popular destinations that you may want to consider.
1.) Hallgrímskirkja Church
Largest church in Iceland, restored in 2009. Located within Reykjavik, so its easy to get to no matter where in the city you are staying.
2.) Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
Natural pool of geothermal mineral-rich water. Perfect to relax in and take care of your skin, ya know, spa stuff? Located just outside Reykjavik, but you can take a bus there from downtown Reykjavik. You might also get a better value if you ride netbus http://www.bustravel.is/en/bus-tours which will also include your entrance fee to the Blue Lagoon.
3.) South Shore Tours
Outside of the capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland’s charm is in her natural beauty. Any tour along this route should include some amazing waterfalls, small villages, black sand beaches, and possibly some glaciers. Be sure your tour stops at the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
4.) Golden Circle Tour
If you didn’t get enough mystical nature pictures on the South Shore tour (or you’re trying to make a Lord of the Rings fan film), check out a Golden Circle tour. This takes you into central Iceland where you’ll get to see the Gullfoss waterfall, Strokkur geyser, volcano craters, as well as some small villages. Be careful to not get too close to the geysers or you’ll end up like this guy who got sucked into a blowhole in Hawaii. TWiBT readers, respect the geysers.
5.) Reykjavik Nightlife
Reykjavik has a thriving nightlife scene. Whether you are there to go bar-hopping or to go dancing, there are many impressive options you’ll encounter along the way. Don’t expect the club scene to really take off until midnight, as Reykjavik nightclubs are real after hours kinda places. The most popular clubs in Reykjavik are probably NASA and Club Sólon (which is also a tapas bar). You’ll also have plenty of options of amazing restaurants. Take it from Chef Siggi Hall in this video “Iceland has always produce a great good foods”. What more do you want!?
Be sure to consider Iceland for your next trip, you’ll find it is easier to explore than many countries in Europe and you can have a great trip even if you are limited on time. Due to its small size, you don’t need a ton of time to experience the country. Whether you are there to admire the architecture, the geology, the nightlife, or just to escape the heat, it has something for everyone. Even Lord of the Rings fans.
-Jason of TWiBT
No related posts.