October trip to Iceland worth it?

Old Aug 17th, 2018, 07:13 PM
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October trip to Iceland worth it?

My husband and I have 2 free tickets to anywhere AA flies that we need to use in mid-October due to schedules. I know it's random, but we are trying to decide between Iceland and Barbados. We want to go somewhere outside the US, but fairly easy to get to and not in a largely different time zone. I am normally a beach girl, but we are very interested in Iceland because it's somewhere we would not normally pick and we've heard it's absolutely beautiful.

Questions:
  • How likely is it that weather would be an impediment to our travel there in October? What is the weather like? Will it be miserable?
  • If you had a full 4 days to hit the highlights, how would you plan your 4 days? (I haven't done a lot of research yet, but glaciers, the blue lagoon, and the northern lights peaked my interest.)
  • Do tours to see things like Ring Road, glaciers, the blue lagoon, etc even operate in October, which I'm assuming is the off-season?
Bottom line: I'm look for opinions on whether it's even worth it to make a quick trip to Iceland in the off-season to hit the highlights, or are we much better off to plan a longer visit over the summer somewhere in the future? I appreciate your help!
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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 08:19 PM
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mms
 
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We went in amid October and loved it. Weather was a bit of everything. The Golden Circle runs year round, same with Blue Lagoon.
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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 09:07 PM
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It surely is. In October you still have a reasonable amount of daylight to see sights such as the Golden Circle. Depending on the time just when in October, figure on 10 hours of daylight plus or or minus, and you also have a decent chance of seeing the northern lights if you are lucky. As far as the weather, the only thing you can depend on in Iceland is that you can't depend on the weather. Of course October will not be as warm as July keeping in mind that warm is a relative term. I was once in Iceland doing the Golden Circle in July and we went through all 4 seasons in a single day- sun, snow, and rain. The key is to dress in layers, no matter when you go. We were there in early June a year ago and the most valuable thing we brought was a rain suit. We had some beautiful days and some days of heavy rain and strong winds. The trick is to be prepared for whatever the weather gods throw at you. At that time we based in the Snaefellsnes peninsula which is a few hours drive from Reykjavik on its north shore and it was beautiful, but I am not sure if that would be a good plan for your first trip there. Here is a link to my TR for that trip if you care to read it. Scroll down to June1 for the Iceland part.
This Pirate goes to Penzance, and then on to the land of Fire and Ice

BTW, I was not aware the AA went to Iceland.
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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 09:15 PM
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My sisters did a quick trip on our way back from London last October. They loved it and even saw the northern lights. I think your ring road tour idea is good. My favorite sight was the Gullfoss Waterford, just incredible!
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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 09:36 PM
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Iceland draws as many opinions as there are people on the planet.

It was our worst trip out of 60 odd countries. The weather is an issue, it will be anything, biblical is possible.

iceland was financially devasted by the 2008 was financially devasted by the credit crunch. Since then the government have achieved wonders by over marketing the country with visitor number we’ll in excess of the population. Unfortunately, they over market about six sites which means those places are swamped with visitors.

We have visited Norway, Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Singapore and Switzerland over the past 10 years. All in the top ten crazy price destinations of the world. Iceland’s comparative costs are well above anything else we have experienced.

it is very difficult for us to form a balanced view of Iceland as we live in Scotland with similar stunning scenery. For many who live in large cities and haven’t seen much of the natural world, I agree that could be a good destination. For other it could be a very expensive, large let down.
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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 12:25 PM
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Thanks, mms!
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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 12:26 PM
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Thank you, basingstoke2! Very helpful!
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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 12:27 PM
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Thank you, BritishCaicos. I really appreciate your honesty and opinions. Good information!
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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 05:09 PM
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You can’t do the ring road in 4 days but you could see some wonderful sights. It is a beautiful country.
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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 06:19 PM
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The Ring Road and 'four days' don't belong in the same sentence. It's an 800 mile journey.

Our Ring Road trip took 10 days... and that was in May, with 20 hours of daylight.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 04:10 PM
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I haven't been there but I believe AA flies there from both London and DFW. In fact, they have anonstop from DFW.

Just an idea, Icelandair flies there of course, and has many cheap flights from the US to Europe that route through there. You might check their airfare as I would think that might not be the best destination to maximize the value of such a ticket. Personally, I'd go to South American as AA specializes in that, compared to other US airlines. Buenos Aires is only one hour time difference from the US east coast, also, much less than Reykavik which is about 4 hours difference. Of course, the flight is longer to Buenos Aires by several hours. But it's easy enough to get there on AA, they fly nonstop from DFW also, I think. OCtober is a great time to visit Buenos Aires as it's the beginning of Spring. Also, it's not peak tourist season so costs are reasonable for hotels.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 08:12 AM
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FWIW, we spend a LOT of time outside in the mountains. We are hikers/backpackers and DH and DS are serious mountain climbers and we still all absolutely loved Iceland.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 11:39 AM
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We went 2 years ago in October for 5 days and barely scratched the surface. I enjoyed the sights that I saw but I think we could've benefitted from going east to see more natural landscapes but that takes time (which we didn't have). As BritishCaicos said, it was incredibly expensive and I wasn't prepared for just how much until we got there. Food was mediocre and very pricey. We were fine once we got over that but I think it detracts from your overall enjoyment. The weather is also very unpredictable - 2 of our 3 tours were cancelled due to bad weather and volcanic activity. I still really enjoyed our Golden Circle tour though.

I wrote a trip report with our itinerary, photos, and cost breakdown:
http://fanofblank.blogspot.com/2017/...-and-more.html

Hope it helps!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 01:30 PM
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I was there last year from late August into September.

I was there for 12 days and did the whole Island, driving in and out of every Fjord on the east coast
I do not know how many days you are going for and if you plan to do any driving.

There are many tours doing the Golden Circle so there is no problem getting a tour .

There are many nice places to visit right in Reykjavik and the best way to see it is to walk... AND know where you are going .
I walked all over Reykjavik , and I mean all over, and saw everything I had on my list and more.

Yes it is expensive but not overly so , to some places I have been to in Europe.

You cannot predict the weather but rather dress like everyone has said ....in layers.

When I was on a boat ride on Lake Jokulsaron where 2 James Bond movies were filmed it was 72 F...... this is hot for Iceland, we were peeling layers off , I had zip-offs on ,so I was in shorts that day. ..go figure

Let me add that I would read lindygirl's BlogSpot above.

It has a lot of good information and I like her comments about "strike 1, 2 and 3 against the bus company".

I also ate in some of the places she mentioned and I also had a list of places I wanted to eat at.


You say you have always had an interest in Iceland ...then GO !!, it will be an eye opener from the beach.

Any question , we are all here to help.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 01:33 PM
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Oh yes lindygirl, I also had ice cream at Valdis on your advice.

I also ate at Sandholt Bakery and Loki Restaurant, fermented shark, I agree with you Ugh !!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 01:39 PM
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We just returned from a trip that included 3 nights in Iceland (August), and among the six people in our group it was unanimously the destination we least enjoyed. (The other two places were Edinburgh and London). Iceland was by far the most expensive of the destinations -- one good thing about Iceland was that it made London seem relatively inexpensive. The drive to and from the airport in Iceland, EACH WAY, was between $150 and $200.

We did the Blue Lagoon (actually a good morning-of-the-day-of-landing experience) and took private tours of the Golden Circle and South Coast. We didn't have rain, but lots of wind and the temps were in the 40s and 50s. The waterfalls were lovely, we saw a lot of rainbows, the black sand beach interesting, the park with geysers interesting (and reminded us a little of Yellowstone), and we walked around Reykjavik and enjoyed good restaurants -- if you go, I can recommend especially Rok, a local pizza place located at Hverfisgata 12, and a restaurant with Danish open-faced sandwiches (that are much better than that description) called Jomfruin.

The days were long and we had some glorious sunsets/red skies. We enjoyed our trip but no one said they wanted to return (except I do want to see the Northern Lights one day, but our tour guide -- who also drives for Northern Lights tours -- said typically people have about a 40% chance of getting to see those on a tour.) Given your post saying "fairly easy to get to and not in a largely different time zone. I am normally a beach girl," and question about the weather, although you don't say where you are (so I'm guessing about the time zone given your name "Okie"), my thought is that you'd be happier going to Barbados on this October trip! Good luck, whichever you decide.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Percy View Post
Oh yes lindygirl, I also had ice cream at Valdis on your advice.

I also ate at Sandholt Bakery and Loki Restaurant, fermented shark, I agree with you Ugh !!
Wonderful! I will eat ice cream in any weather condition.
Fermented shark is something I'm glad I tried but I'll never do it again!
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