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how do we do Iceland??

47 replies

Jessie40 · 28/11/2021 13:13

Hi Ive been researching Iceland for an eternity with the intention of going jan/feb2022 but can't quite work out how to plan it. Any tips if you've been and where to stay.

So we don't want to drive whilst there but does that mean we can't do all the tourist things so easily if were staying in Reykjavik. Or should we do a 2 part holiday but then how do we get around?

Also with this new variant am I being ridiculous still thinking we can do this?

Thank you

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NinaDefoe · 28/11/2021 13:16

Why don’t you want to drive?
You will see a lot more and have so much choice if you hire a car.

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coodawoodashooda · 28/11/2021 13:28

There are trains.

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Nanasueathome · 28/11/2021 13:32

My son is going for 5 days next weekend
He’s got all of the trips organised
I’ll report back once I’ve got more info how he gets on
I don’t think he’s hiring a car

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Nanasueathome · 28/11/2021 13:36

He’s flying from Paris via Icelandair
He doesn’t live in the UK

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horseymum · 28/11/2021 13:46

We went years ago and just used normal buses. The golden circle things are easy to get to I think. We then took a scheduled bus through the middle of the country to visit up north. It was actually a jeep type people carrier. Fantastic trip with amazing scenery, herds of wild horses, hot pools. I would make sure if you hire a car it's a decent one as I think the roads might be quite bad in winter. Also it is hardly daylight much at all. We went in the summer and loved it but would also like to try winter time. Don't forget to go horse riding, icelandic horses are amazing! Natural saunas were great too. Everything was really expensive, especially eating out but I'd definitely go back. The swimming pools are fab, ( and cheap!) with graded hot pools, all outside.

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NinaDefoe · 28/11/2021 14:15

@coodawoodashooda

There are trains.

Obviously. Buses too.

Hiring a car gives you freedom to go where you want, when you want but if that isn’t a priority for the OP and she doesn’t mind sticking to timetables, that’s up to her.
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Chemenger · 28/11/2021 14:18

I don’t think there are trains in Iceland. The buses are good, however, and there are tours which will take you to the main tourist sights. I’ve only been in Summer so I’m not sure how things work in the short winter days.

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NinaDefoe · 28/11/2021 14:32

@Chemenger

I don’t think there are trains in Iceland. The buses are good, however, and there are tours which will take you to the main tourist sights. I’ve only been in Summer so I’m not sure how things work in the short winter days.

I know they don’t have a network but I read there were light railways?
Maybe not...
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NinaDefoe · 28/11/2021 14:34

Just looked and it was a proposal!

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ginislife · 28/11/2021 16:02

Have you watched the Alexander Armstrong series on Iceland on channel 5 ?

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SexyNeckbeard · 28/11/2021 16:08

Avoid blue lagoon it's a massive tourist trap and man made, very underwhelming. There's one calmed the secret lagoon which is meant to be much better.

Definitely recommend the horse riding, you can do it even if you've never sat on a horse before

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astrowars · 28/11/2021 16:14

We booked excursions before we went, they were all brilliantly organised and well worth the money. Second pp about the secret lagoon, rather than blue lagoon, you can make it part of the golden circle excursion so you have 1 long day to include lots of sights then a swim. The south coast and glacier trip is also a worthwhile day excursion from Reykjavik. The city is interesting too, worth a trip to the Perlan museum, great views across the city from the cafe there too.
If you do want to drive, the roads are quiet, my cousin has travelled this way.
It's a wonderful, beautiful country, and the people are friendly, welcoming and funny.

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Jessie40 · 28/11/2021 16:59

Astrowars did you stay in Reykjavik?

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TizerorFizz · 28/11/2021 17:06

For those of you saying driving is ok in January or February - it might be very challenging!

We hired a 4x4 in mid Sept this year for 10 days. Several days we had driving rain. On one day we had gale force winds and snow! We spent 3 hours waiting out the storm in an isolated car park with around 7 other vehicles. A couple of higher sided ones were rocking! This was on the Snaefellness peninsular which is not that far from Reykjavik. So be very careful about the winter when it’s icy too! met several couples who were not happy about driving around Iceland in standard hire cars. In bad weather, it’s challenging!

I would go later in the year: May or June. You will see so much more. No railways as far as I could see! Some roads are off limits for standard cars. Some trips stop running at the end of Sept. So what do you want to see?

There are coach trips out of Reykjavik but I would check where to in the winter. They probably still go around the golden circle, to volcanos and to Snaefellness. However, would this be enjoyable in winter? Not for me! You might get to see the northern lights but unless the skies are clear, you won’t see anything. If you are there in seriously bad weather it’s dire! In good weather it’s brilliant.

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TizerorFizz · 28/11/2021 17:13

Reykjavik has lots of hotels. Most other places have very few. We stayed at the Icelandair Reykjavik Marina. Decently positioned although Reykjavik is tiny! 2 days just about does it. More to see elsewhere we thought unless you want a bigger choice of bars and restaurants. Most towns we visited had limited choice. But the scenery was beautiful if wild and windy!

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SarahDippity · 28/11/2021 17:22

I would definitely look at April-October for brighter days and ambience and even at that weather can be unpredictable. Winter is brutal and unpredictable. It’s gloomy and ominous.

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astrowars · 28/11/2021 17:22

@Jessie40

Astrowars did you stay in Reykjavik?

Yes we did
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happytoday73 · 28/11/2021 17:27

I wouldn't want to drive in February... We went in Feb and the roads were treacherous... We took guided tours but on two of the three days walking was hard as very very slippy, some walking routes were closed, other roads you would need to be used to driving in snow on ice and in the right type of vehicle....

I'm planning to go back as loved it... And didn't see northern lights... But will go in summer

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MeanderingGently · 28/11/2021 17:27

Iceland does NOT have trains. None. There aren't any.
Plenty of buses though, they go everywhere. If you stay in Reykjavik and book tours, you will be taken to all the most important places by coach. You can even go on the ice in special vehicles, they are raised from the ground on huge wheels, 8 of them, and can drive over the glaciers....
Most places can be seen from Reykjavik, but if you were being really adventurous and wanted to go north or the the remote Westfjords you can fly domestic flights from the city airport. They are little planes, they fly low so fantastic for photo shots, and take about 45 mins. The city airport is just outside Reykjavik centre and you turn up about 20 mins before your flight (book online beforehand though).
If you had lots and lots of money you can also take a helicopter ride, they will go over remote areas such as the remote, black desert interior....depends on the weather conditions, of course. They will also do landings in front of glaciers etc. However, a morning on a helicopter will set you back the equivalent of about £1000 so it really depends on your budget!!

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TizerorFizz · 28/11/2021 18:22

All of that is great but doing flights and helicopters in winter isn’t necessarily going to happen. Very many tours are April to October.

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plixy · 28/11/2021 18:25

I've been in March and June. I hired a car and happily drove in June but wouldn't drive in march. The snow out of Reykjavik is very deep and the roads aren't all that great. If you aren't used to driving in snow I wouldn't consider it.
There are plenty of buses and tours that you can take to visit the main tourist attractions outside of Reykjavik, and the city itself is small enough to walk around.

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MerryMarigold · 28/11/2021 18:29

I thought this was about the shop. That's how I do Iceland.

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Frazzled2207 · 28/11/2021 18:48

@coodawoodashooda

There are trains.

Fairly sure there are not. Or weren’t when I went!
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Frazzled2207 · 28/11/2021 18:50

Anyway OP when we went although we did drive for a few days (easy) there were lots of one day bus trips available from reykyavik which were good.
Regardless of the covid situation I’m not sure I’d want to go in jan/feb though as it will be so dark

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TizerorFizz · 28/11/2021 19:00

Around 7 hours daylight at the end of January.

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