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Iceland - All-day car tour

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On our way back from Amsterdam to the States, we'll be stopping off in Iceland for two nights. On our one full day there, we will rent a car to get out into the countryside. Any recommendations for things to see within a distance that allows us to get back to Reykjavik by 19:00? We are interested in some light hiking, seeing the natural sights, and visiting some interesting villages.

- Bill

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    Last April we took a trip to Iceland. It was a nice place to say we had visited, and the people are very friendly.

    I am not sure when you’re going, but when we went it was still a little cold (needed gloves and hat sometimes). We didn’t rent a car, but took a few day trips. The day trips were purchased from the hotel, Iceland’s Golden tour (8 hrs $59.00), Blue Lagoon (6 hours $46.00). The blue lagoon was very interesting, it’s a mineral-rich pool of geothermal heated water in the middle of lava fields (see www.bluelagoon.is) don’t forget your swim suits. Someone we met on the trip took the Viking Feast (lunch) and horseback riding trip and loved it. Another site (www.ok.is/moa), this is listed in the brochure we got from the hotel.

    One thing don’t expect the countryside to be anything like Amsterdam. When we went everything seemed very baron, Iceland has no trees, and places that had grass were still brown and straw looking. They do have a golf course, which we couldn’t believe. It was very windy near the Gullfoss (golden falls), and the Great Geyser (Iceland’s “Old Faithful”). The drive to the different places was scenic and nice.

    We were able to walk around town until late at night, didn’t get dark until after 10:30pm. The food was very good, and a few friends’s tried the whale. I did take a taste; it does taste like steak when you first bit it, but goes down like liver.

    If you still have time you could get information from Icelandic Tourist Board in New York, #212-885-9747. They had sent info on day trips and tours.

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