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My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

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Sep 23rd, 2018, 08:31 AM
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My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

I had a 7-day round trip in Iceland last July. Our final total budget (excluding air flight) was $1,100 CAD per person (there were 3 people in our group).

What was included in our budget:
- Car rental;
- Gas;
- Hostel reservations;
- Food from supermarkets.
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Sep 23rd, 2018, 08:33 AM
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Re: My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

Total trip length was 2500 km.
My method of payment everywhere in Iceland - credit card only and everywhere. We did not change even a single dollar.
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Sep 23rd, 2018, 11:53 AM
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great start, bassarisk - looking forward to reading more about your trip.
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Sep 24th, 2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

Gas price in Iceland - around $2.6 Can/Liter (end of July 2018).
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Sep 24th, 2018, 10:59 AM
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Re: My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

Everyone in Iceland speak English. English is mandatory to learn at high school in Iceland.
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Sep 25th, 2018, 03:37 PM
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Re: My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

Few details about the budget of the trip (quite moderate), in Canadian dollars

Car rental for 7 days:
Reservation - 663.49
Insurance - 105
2nd driver - 72.14
GPS - 108.22
Totally: $948.85 Can for three people.

Food: $450.45 Can in total for three of us. We bought food in supermarkets only and cooked in the hostels.
There is no any McDonald, Burger King, Second Cup or anything like this in Iceland.
In local restaurant you can get a hamburger for approximately $30 Can. We saw this price in menu on the door, but never tried.
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Sep 25th, 2018, 03:55 PM
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Re: My round trip in Iceland in 7 days, July 2018

More details:

We spent $452.43 for gas (Skoda Fabia) in 7 days, and made in total 2,500 km.
Google shows about 1,500 km for the full circle around Iceland, but it is just in case of a direct drive. Going here and there on our way added another thousand km.

Accommodation budget: $1,295.74 Can for three persons, 5 hostels, 6 nights.
In our first hostel we bought hostel network cards (included in the total price above). Their prices approximately balanced the discount. For the number of nights in hostels less than 6 - no need to buy the card, you will waste money. For more than 6-7 nights worthy to buy it, you will save some. In our case, we did not lose and did not gain.

What did we see in those 7 days?
Instead of writing a long story, I made a slideshow (indicating in it the names of major places which we visited).
It is better to see once than to read three times:


Enjoy, and may be it will help you to plan a trip!
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Sep 29th, 2018, 04:19 PM
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<<There is no any McDonald, Burger King, Second Cup or anything like this in Iceland.>>

But there is KFC, Duncan Donuts, Subway and Dominos...unfortunately. We were surprised to see a Costco too.

There's a whole slew of Icelandic fast food as well, although I have no first hand experience with it (other than a pretty average hot dog). I'm sure you saved a bundle by self-catering - good choice. I hope you tried the Skyr (IME you didn't miss a thing by not eating out!)

Thanks for posting your slide show - off to view it now.

Last edited by Melnq8; Sep 29th, 2018 at 04:25 PM.
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Sep 29th, 2018, 06:46 PM
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<<But there is KFC, Duncan Donuts, Subway and Dominos...unfortunately. >>

You are right, but all what you listed are located in a greater Reykjavik area. Honestly, I planned to be in Reykjavik for about half of a day, but our schedule was so tight that we managed to visit it for half of an hour in the evening on the eve of our leave. In the entire east of the island there is only one Subway and two in the north, one Dominos in the north (this is what Google says). With this number I would not really say that they are "present' in Iceland.
In any way, I don't regret at all that we missed them.

Of course we tried skyr, you can buy it in all supermarkets.
Also I tried (don't remember local name) the sausage "made of sheep blood". When a guy in the supermarket explained what it is exactly in these words, I first thought he was exaggerating, but he appeared to be absolutely right. My fellow travelers refused to eat it, but I tried - well, it is possible to eat if you used to do this, or if you are not too demanding.
Another interesting thing was marinated pieces of herring in glass jars. We all liked it, it was much better than similar product here in Canada.

In all supermarkets we saw big pieces of lamb for quite affordable price. I regretted a lot that we did not have time to cook it in our hostels, I would love to try Icelandic lamb, since there are thousands of sheep around. Can you imagine my shock when in one of the supermarkets I found again the pieces of lamb labelled with the country of origin: ... New Zealand!
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Sep 30th, 2018, 07:56 AM
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An interesting article about imported NZ lamb:

https://grapevine.is/news/2012/09/06...ed-to-iceland/

Don't know if you noticed or not, but lamb soup in Iceland is as ubiquitous as pumpkin soup in NZ and Australia.

You're much braver than me - eating Icelandic blood sausage (Blmr I believe). How did it taste?
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Sep 30th, 2018, 08:33 AM
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When we were in Iceland about 10 years ago we struggled to find food we wanted to buy for self catering so I'm pleased that things have improved a bit, even if you had to eat blood sausage! [In fact we eat something called "black pudding" her in the UK which i suspect may be similar]. We did come across some lamb but when we cooked it we discovered it was salted, which came as bit of a shock.

Mel - lamb soup and oxtail soup were ubiquitous as you say, but not necessarily cheap.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Baasarisk.
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Sep 30th, 2018, 10:58 AM
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Mel - lamb soup and oxtail soup were ubiquitous as you say, but not necessarily cheap.

How true annhig - can't think of anything in Iceland that struck me as cheap, other than supermarket Skyr, which was cheap and delicious.
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Sep 30th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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To my impression, the taste of the sheep blood sausage (indeed, I recall something like Blmr as you indicated) was quite neutral. When I tried it "straight" I did not feel neither disappointment, nor desire for eating more. Just very simple taste with slight shade of meat. But the next day I decided to expand my experience and I fried it on a pan with a bit of butter and adding some spices. Well, the result was much better and I decided that I probably could eat it occasionally.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to try lamb soup. From the very beginning we decided that we would try some local dishes when we would have a chance. But the fact is that before the trip I spent a bit of time on planning it and making quite a dense list of what we had to see. As it happens with any plan, we were not able to complete it entirely, but I think we managed to do about 70-80% of it which was a very good result. Every day we had to cover 300-400 km (first day - close to 500 km) with multiple stops, trips and activities, both planned and spontaneous. And every day we managed to reach our next hostel 20 to 10 minutes before 10 pm (which was the deadline: after 10 pm all hostels are closed and you have to look for an attendant by calling a specified phone number which you find on a door). This schedule allowed us to stop only by supermarkets which we met on the road, and not a single chance to look for anything extra.
I wish I could repeat sometime the same trip, but in two weeks instead of only one.

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Oct 1st, 2018, 06:27 AM
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Bassarisk - the reason that we didn't try to get round the ring road when we did our trip is really what you just articulated - it would have given us so far to cover every day. However I think that in the 10 days we had we might have managed it at a more leisurely pace than you did; as it was we still did a lot of driving and quite a lot of backtracking which we would have avoided had we gone straight round. But we would have missed the Western bird cliffs which were one of the best things I have ever seen so on the whole I think we made the right choice.

But you are right - 2 weeks would be much better than one. At least in July it was still light when you reached your destination every night!

Last edited by annhig; Oct 1st, 2018 at 06:28 AM. Reason: second thoughts
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Oct 1st, 2018, 07:20 AM
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Yes, more time is always better. We spent 10 days on the Ring Road, driving a total of 4,180 km. It was entirely too much time spent in the car for us, but it did give us a good taste of Iceland.

We're flying Iceland Air through KEF in December on the way to/from Zurich. We have short connection, but I may have to see if I can squeeze in the quick purchase of some Skyr at the airport.
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Oct 1st, 2018, 06:44 PM
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annhig - Thanks for the hint! If I ever pull myself together to visit Iceland again (and I definitely would love to do this!), I probably will plan thorough combing the western part of the island, including the bird cliffs.
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Oct 2nd, 2018, 05:08 AM
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I enjoyed your slideshow. Thanks for sharing!

We were there a few weeks before you and visited some of the same places. We also only had a week and just stuck to the west and south. Even then, the driving distances are substantial.
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Oct 2nd, 2018, 07:17 AM
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We have short connection, but I may have to see if I can squeeze in the quick purchase of some Skyr at the airport.>>

I tried that, Mel, but made the mistake of buying it land side - they said it counted as a liquid and confiscated it so it never even made it through security. Whether you can buy it airside I can't remember.
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Oct 2nd, 2018, 08:49 AM
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annhig - Skyr confiscation - that's just wrong! We'll be air side as we're just connecting to another flight, but I don't recall what services they have air side, so we shall see.

Got a text from Iceland Air asking us to call this morning - this was the second time they've done this since we booked, so we knew it was bad news.

Sure enough...they've cancelled our flight from KEF to Zurich and offered no good alternate options, so we'll be leaving a day earlier than planned. I'm currently trying to juggle our previously booked accommodation.

This after their first call, just a week after we'd purchased our tickets, informing us they'd cancelled our flight from DEN-KEF, and necessitating us to leave two days earlier than planned. So, our visit to Switzerland has now been extended by three nights. Good thing we're retired. I hope we can make it until late November without another cancellation. I suspect they've lost our business for good though.
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Oct 2nd, 2018, 11:25 AM
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Mel - that's awful - much worse than confiscating my Skyr. On the plus side you get three more nights in Switzerland - better than three fewer.
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