If you want to do the type of trip that will really take you to another world you should really visit Iceland. We decided to take a 4 day vacation to Iceland over Easter Weekend and what a trip it was.
How to get there:
If you`re leaving from the east coast Reykjavik is only a 4:30 – 5 hours flight away. Several airlines will go there but the most affordable one is WOW Air. Now your ticket will be affordable but you must take note that everything else is extra on this airline, luggage (you even pay for carry on), entertainment, snacks and refreshments.
How to get around:
Unless you are planning on strictly using organized tours you will need a vehicle to get around.
Most major car rental agencies are present and booking in advance you will get a pretty good rate depending on when you are planning your trip. One of the important fact One of the important fact you will need to know is that the part considered the Highland of the island where lots of National Parks are located will only allow you to enter those roads with a 4X4. All wheel drive cars are not sufficient since the ground can be very soft and your vehicle can get stuck. We rented a VW Polo from Enterprise not knowing this fact but got disappointed a couple of time having to turn around because we didn’t have the proper car.
Where to stay:
Depending on your budget and what you want to see on your trip there are several options. We decided to stay in Reykjavik and make it our hub and do daily trips and stayed at the Hilton Nordica. You obviously have a lot of other choice and can find some very good deal on most travel sites. If you are looking to visit a lot of the Island I would plan to sleep accordingly along the way of the sites you want to visit.
What to see:
There is a lot to see but again it depends what you plan to see and how you get around. I personally like to get a guide book before I leave on a trip to get some pointers of what is exciting to see. Falls, volcanoes, icebergs, geyser, lakes, ocean views, northern lights, hot springs there is so much nature to see in Iceland that you might get overwhelmed. As a photographer I could have walked the Island and snap a post card perfect shot every 10 steps. We obviously tried to see as much as we could in our 4 days but we couldn`t see it all. Also The Blue Lagoon is a very popular attraction but you will need to book in advance as when we showed up we were told they had been book for the past month. There are some bus tours that can take you to the different sites as well as boat tours and helicopter tours. A lot of those operators and located on the docks at the old harbor. All the sites we visited were free we just had to pay parking at a couple of places and it was not expensive at all. Make sure also to keep 200ISK handy as if you need to use the restrooms that`s what you will have to pay.
What to wear:
When we went we actually got a mix of sun, rain and snow. It was not very cold but you’ll still need to have gloves, hat and a good rain coat. Good hiking shoes or boots that are water proof is also a must as the different sites are not all paved or have proper walking paths.
Food and Drinks:
Dining and clubbing is very expensive is Iceland. I`m not the type of person to complain about prices but the food has to be worth it. I was told it was expensive but just given a price range which I thought was not bad but I didn’t know it was for what type of dishes. Here are some real examples so you can make up your own mind on the cost of dining and drinking.
Two 9″ Pizzas and 2 beers 7600ISK dollars or the equivalent of 95$ Canadian or 75$ USD
Two Grey Goose Sodas 4231ISK dollars or the equivalent of 54$ Canadian or 43$ USD
Lunch at a gas station restaurant burger, fries and soft drink 1880ISK dollars or the equivalent of 24$ Canadian or 19$ USD.
In Reykjavik most kitchens close at 10:30pm but some do close later. The bars and clubs close at 4:30 am on the weekend and earlier during the week.
Iceland is a beautiful country and I will probably have to go back to see what I had no time to see on this trip.