Iceland recommedations(12 Posts)
We're planning on trying to go to Iceland at some point in the future - it's been on my bucket list for ages and I can't wait to go. However we're probably only going to do it once, so I really want fo do it properly.
Does anyone have any recommendations of where to stay, what to do etc please? I'm looking at hotel ranga for at least part of our visit, but are there any others that people can vouch for? We won't be going until at least next March if not towards the end of next year, so we've got time to plan and save. I know it's going to be an expensive trip but tips on how to keep costs down would also be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
We drove a campervan with the DC (8 & 11 at the time) round the south half of the island a few summers ago and stayed at campsites near public pools (all geothermally heated). Must do's : -
Purchase Einstok Artic Berry Ale from the DF shop at the airport. You can't buy it here and I've tried!
Reykjavik, visit the fab Laugardalslaug public pool.
DIY tour of the Golden Circle - Pingvellir, Geysir/Strokkur and Gullfoss.
Enroute to Vik, stop off to visit some waterfalls just off the ringroad. Walk behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and climb one side of the Skogafoss waterfall.
At Vik, visit the black sand beach and climb the mountain for a good view of the Trolls.
At Skaftafell National Park - take a guided hike to the edge of the glacier and trek to the Svartifoss waterfall and its basalt lava columns.
Enroute to Hofn, stop at the glacial lagoon of Jokulsarlon to see iceburgs floating out to sea!
Hofn - Prebooked glacier hike (which you can also do at Vik & at Skaftafell but you need to be slightly organised and book in advance)and lobster meal.
Beautiful horse ride at Hella on Icelandic ponies before driving onto Reyjkavik for the last day/night of city sightseeing.
Visit the factory outlet of Icewear
In hindsight, a week wasn't enough - I reckon 10/14 nights would have been better. We didn't cover the north side of the island at all and it still felt rushed even though we could set our own pace. Food was expensive and I self catered most of our meals. The campervan was 'cosy' but ideal for a roadtrip adventure. Hth
Thank you so much for that Clerquin, that's really helpful.
I'm not sure about driving round Iceland myself, I think it would depend on the weather to be honest and only I can drive so all driving would fall to me.
DC are 9, 5 and 4 but I think we would just go on our own rather than take DC - looking at doing a family holiday somewhere else before we go here so that they've been away.
I think the max we would go for is four - five nights, though I'm aware we won't be able to fit everything in doing a shorter trip we wouldn't be able to afford to go for a longer stay I don't think. Thank you again
We went for a long weekend and stayed at the Hotel Klettur in Reykjavik which was basic and tiny but clean and new. It's probably not ideal for families though.
We did a northern lights tour and a golden circle tour. While these were great for taking us to the tourist spots, the next time we go back, I'd definitely hire a car and drive. We did hire a car for one day and drove around which was brilliant. We utterly loved Iceland and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Depending on what time of year you go, you don't need to worry about driving. We went in March, there was still snow on the ground, but the hire cars all have winter tyres so you will be fine.
In terms of places to visit:
Thingvellir (national park, boundary between the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian)
Friðheimar (tomato place and restaurant, actually surprisingly interesting)
Gullfoss (amazing waterfalls, a must-visit)
Akranes lighthouse (views, really interesting)
Höfði (where the1986 Summit meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev discussing the Cold War took place)
There are loads of other places to visit , you can descend into an extinct volcano (I haven't done this as it was out of season), see insidethevolcano.com/
Have a great time! I loved Iceland and am planning to go back next year.
The hotel ranga is beautiful.. we had the best time there! Excellent suggestions already.. would recommend a night or two in Reykjavik too.. maybe even the blue lagoon on way to/from airport? The second time we went, we went to the secret lagoon (near hotel ranga) and had it to ourselves! Now that was amazing! Whale watching in Reykjavik too... sigh I want to go again!
We stayed here, just outside Reykjavik. Kriunes
It was ideal for families but you would be best off having a car. Tours do pick up from there though, and you can get the bus in and out of the city. Being in the suburbs means you can be woken up for the northern lights.
All of the attractions mentioned are fab, I would add that food and drink are expensive, especially at the attractions, so take plenty of snacks etc. You can also get duty free at Keflavik airport before exiting.
We went in December so had snow, but would love to go again when the roads are clear to see more of the island.
Iceland is gorgeous! Thingvellir national park and gullfoss are definitely worth doing. You can snorkel between tectonic plates which i haven't done. Blue lagoon is massively overrated
We hired a car on our second visit after doing coach tours on our first visit. The car had winter tyres but getting caught in a blizzard on a mountain was still bloody scary, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to do it with kids in the car. It's also worth saying that the weather in Iceland can vary hugely. The first time we went it was relatively mild with just a small amount of snow on the ground and lots of very light misty drizzle. The second time was properly cold with insane winds and snow storms that closed roads even just outside Reykjavik. Both visits were in Feb half terms.
The golden circle is brilliant and a must see. I also really enjoyed our drive up to Snaefellsness on our second visit. Turnip soup and crusty bread at the black beach restaurant down on the beach at Dyrhólaey with a fantastic view was another highlight.
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