Iceland - general enquiry

Old Apr 5th, 2004, 10:59 PM
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Iceland - general enquiry

I have wanted to visit Iceland for as long as I can remember, but cost has always been an issue. I have just discovered that a budget airline now operates from London to Iceland and so my desire to visit has been given new vigour, although I am sure other costs will remain quite high.

If anyone has been and would like to share their experiences, good and bad, that would be great.

I presume Reykjavik is the best place to be based and day trips taken from there? Can anyone recommend a 3 or 4 star hotel, which won't break the bank? A room for up to £100 / $170 per night?

Any ideas what the food is like? Wine? Fab day trips etc

I know I am being a bit vague, but am at the very early stages of thinking/possibly planning this one.

Thanks if you can help.
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Old Apr 5th, 2004, 11:18 PM
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This might not be the most helpful, but a few months ago someone posted a *very* detailed report about her family trip to Iceland, including lots of details on prices, hotels, and restaurants. Since she also mentioned Winnipeg in the report, maybe try searching on both Iceland AND Winnipeg.
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Old Apr 5th, 2004, 11:22 PM
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Thanks WillTravel - I will do that.
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Old Apr 6th, 2004, 02:25 AM
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Reykjavik is not the best place, but the only place where you want to be based.
There are nice day trips, the most popular are Blue Lagoon and Geisyr (the geiser site).
I don't think you should explore by your own outside Reykjavik, but there are several organized tours. Please notice that the nature is tough, the country is huge and very sparsely populated, with the interesting spots many miles apart from each other and that's easy to get lost. IMHO it's better to be escorted by a professional guide.
Make sure you made some research on the Sagas (descriptions of early settlers from European continent, about 1000 years ago). I'm sure you will find funny to recognize some of the places and the environment descripted in the Sagas.
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Old Apr 6th, 2004, 03:09 AM
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It's a great place to visit and while daily expenses can be a bit high, you are correct to look for your savings in the area of air and hotel because that will give you the opportunity to balance things out to be reasonable on an overall basis.

A couple of websites to give you an idea about what you might want to do and see in Iceland:

http://www.re.is/

and:

http://www.icelandair.com/

(Icelandair frequently offers packages that include accommodations and activities, so it's a good site to include in your research.)

Just caught the Northern Lights again while flying transatlantic over the weekend and saw the mountains of Iceland sticking through the clouds on the way back. It's a great and interesting place with wonderful people!
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Old Apr 6th, 2004, 03:52 AM
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I assume you're referring to Iceland Express that fly from Stansted. Icelandair have a lot of flights for £135 incuding taxes from Heathrow which you may want to look into. I think Icelandair made their prices more competetive from London after the arrival of Iceland Express.

Iceland is a tremendous place to visit. I was there for a long weekend in May 2003. How long do you plan to go for? That will determine how far away from Reykjavik you can travel. However Reykjavik is an ideal base for day trips.

My only initial comment is that I would disagree with the idea that taking a tour bus is better than driving yourself. We hired a car and it's very easy to find your way around and the roads to the main sites aren't in bad condition. Obviously the time of year will impact on what you choose to do (from 22 hours darkness in the winter to 22 hours of light per day in the summer). Someone that went on an organised tour was complaning they spent longer in a cafe and souvenir shop than they did at either Gulfoss (amazing waterfall) or Geysir/Strokkur! Doing it yourself by car means you can pick and choose how long you want to stay at the various places. Obviously if you are travelling along, you would prefer to take the organised tour but a car works out quite cheaply sharing the cost between a few people.
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Old Apr 6th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies and helpful info.

Flyboy - when is the best time of year for northern lights - or is that a dumb question as you saw them recently? How cool, would love to see them...

Dave, I plan on 4 nights / 5 days, if money will allow.
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