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One week in iceland any help on plans would be really appreciated

One week in iceland any help on plans would be really appreciated

Old Jan 18th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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One week in iceland any help on plans would be really appreciated

we will be going late july and early august this year. we love to really experience the country- culture,dining,history, architecture and local natural sights. any suggestions would greatly be appreciated. specifically need info on where you would recommend staying and wheter to go it alone with rental car or take a tour.(my husband is not a group kind of person and would need individual guide if that is the better route)
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 07:41 AM
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ttt
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Missy:

We went for a long weekend last July and had a ball. Iceland is amazing. As we were there for such a short period of time, we did not travel the ring road. However, if you post "Ring Road advice needed" I am sure you will get some info. Also, the tripadvisor board seems much more active on Iceland than Fodors so try there as well.

We did do some day trips through Iceland Excursions...the Super Jeep tours which were long days but so worth it. There was another couple with us so it wasn't a big group tour but we weren't alone, either. We tried to go snowmobiling but the ice was unstable so that got cancelled. We did go whale watching (one of the outfits right down on the marina...bought tickets that morning) which was fun but I thought the whale watching in Hawaii was better. The Blue Lagoon is a must do...we did it on the airport leaving Iceland...there is a bus service that will take you from Reykavik to the Blue Lagoon and then on to the airport.

In terms of places to stay, we rented a cottage and it was one of the best lodging decisions we have ever made on any trip. It was the Holl Guest Cottage and couldn't have been more perfect. It is located on the top of a cobblestone street right off the main square in Old Town. It had a terrific kitchen (the owners have a kitchenware store in town), bedrooms, wireless internet, two bathrooms, a cute little greenhouse, a porch on which you could have breakfast...really everything. The owners stocked it with cheeses, meat, juice, muesli, skyr (you will LOVE skyr), breads, etc. Really, a terrific find. The web site is www.simnet.is/holl --- check it out.

If you have done any planning at all, you know that Iceland is just crazy expensive. At some point the first couple of hours in the country you just stop doing the math. It is too painful to do currency conversions after awhile...the numbers are so high. The visa bill that greeted us when we returned indicated that all of our dinners were in the $250 range for the two of us...that tended to include a bottle of wine, split appetizer, two entrees and maybe a cocktail. However, we did balance that by getting fish and chips or falafal or going to the famous hot dog place by the waterfront for lunch and eating breakfast in our house so it all evened out more or less.

I hope that gives you a start. Iceland was so much fun...I hope you enjoy it as well.

Taitai
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 09:50 PM
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After 4 pretty extensive visits to Iceland I agree that Iceland is amazing. You can see quite a lot in a week but 10 days would really be better... It makes a big difference if you decide to rent a car. Driving is very easy. Please let me know how you intend to move around and I will advise you accordingly.
I disagree with 2 of taitai's recommendations: I don't think that the Blue Lagoon is a must. It is an artificial very commercialized, and most of the time very crowded pool set in lovely nature. Iceland's nature has so much more to offer! Why waiste precious time on this commercial venture? I would go there ONLY if I had a lot of time and want to fill a free day. If you only have a week in Iceland - you absolutely don't have a lot of time! The other think I am not sure of is paying so much for accomodations. True, the cottage is lovely. But you can find simple and clean places in good locations for less.
My recommendation is to put your money on car rental and save on accomodations.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:50 PM
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May I jump into this thread?

We are a family of six and have the chance to visit iceland in the first week of July. However, we will arrive on Saturday and have to depart the next Sunday. So will have just six full days in Iceland.

What are your recommendations for these six days? Better going east to Höfe or better going north?

Thank you for your tips!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:57 PM
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It depends on how much driving you want or wish to do. The distances aren't the problem, moving almost everyday might be. I don't mind it at all. I would do both: drive to the north. You can easily do it in the time you have.
Sat - Reykjavik
Sun - self drive the Golden Circle
(Thinvellir, Geysir, Gulfoss)
overnight in Reykjavik
Mon - drive to Vik
Tue - drive to Hofn
Wed - drive to Egilsstadir
Thu - drive to Myvan area
Fri - Myvatn area
Sat - drive to Akureyri,
fly to Reykjavik,
overnight in Reykjavik
Sun - fly home
The driving in Iceland is very easy. There is a lot to see on the routes. That is the reason it takes so much time.
You absolutely have to plan and book all the accomodations in advance.
When out of Reykjavik try to stay in farms. They are very nice and a lot of fun.
Notice that I don't recommend waisting your precious time on the Blue Lagoon. It is commercialized, expensive, artificial and crowded. Not my cup of tea!

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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:30 AM
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Stock up on alcohol at the duty free store at the airport when you arrive if you drink, because alcohol is very expensive in Iceland.

For a cheap day, visit one of the outside swimming pools. I was walking up the slide, and thought I felt ice on my foot. The water is very warm and it is a great experience. I had a little ice on the back of my head, tho. This was in March.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Our 2 cents worth: We stopped over for 3 or 4 days enroute to Europe. We rented a car (not a 4-wheel drive) and had a blast. We drove the "Golden Circle" and did many side trips up dirt roads to hidden waterfalls. (They are everywhere). Most schools serve as hostels in the summer months and they were quite nice, if not small. One night we stopped at a house that had a sign which read: Zimmer---which means room 4 rent in German. That was fantastic and again much cheaper than a hotel. We also bought food at grocery stores to cut down on expenses. Personally, we loved the whole crazy experience of the Blue Lagoon from late afternoon through early evening. It's hot and misty and a bit space age w/ that large thermal plant hissing away. Do it once.
It sounds like you are more into culture than hiking. Go to the large church downtown during lunchtime and listen to the pipe organ being played. Incredible! (FREE too). Even in July it will snow/rain and be sunny all in the same day! We're going back w/ our teenagers.
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Hi! I traveled to Iceland in September two different years. We stayed in hostels and had very good experiences. We packed our own set of twin sheets and pillowcase to avoid the extra charge for bedding.

The kitchens are very well equipped with more utensils then we would've ever used, nice refers, microwaves, and most had laundry facilities.

The places we stayed, clockwise around the island:

OSAR - very nice host, charming old farmhouse, seal colony in front

AKURERYI - modern, more like a hotel, host helpful with travel questions

SEYDISFJORDUR - nice library/tv room/dining area...don't miss this gorgeous town!

BERUNES - beautifully restored old farmhouse, nice waterfall in the back

HVOLL - very modern, hotel-like, least charming concrete building, close to Skaftafell N.P.

LAUGARVATN - friendly host, we were upgraded to a private apartment with our own hot-tub!

As far as food goes: we carried in the max. weight we were allowed. (I think 6.5 lbs. pp) Could've taken more...nobody ever checked. We packed a box of dried milk, instant oatmeal, boxed rice meals, fig newtons, dried plums (the horses you meet in the road love them!), dried soups.

We also shopped in the grocery stores. The prices are probably high, but you have to get over that. It's much, much more reasonable than eating out. Make sure you buy & try some "SKYR" the first day. It's sold in grocery stores & gas/convenience stores. IT IS AWESOME and became our main breakfast, snack and midnight dessert treat. You'll find it in the dairy section.

I was dying for VEGETABLES about half-way thru the trip. I couldn't force myself to buy them in the store, the price was ridiculous and they looked so pathetic. I won't go back without packing little cans of V-8 juice for my vegetable fix!

The stores & gas stations also sell little balls of cheese (like a mild swiss) that are coated with different toppings: pizza, pepper, mexican, tomato. We ate a lot of these with Wasa Bread & packaged salami for lunches.

I would have gotten very bored with our meals if we hadn't carried so many of them on our hiking trips. The breathtaking scenery will make you feel so priviledged to be where you are, you'll forget that you're eating salami for the 12th day!

We had no problem finding grocery stores on the ring road. The gas stations have a pretty good selection, too if you get too far away from a store.

HAVE A GREAT TIME! Iceland is awesome!
Kay in Michigan


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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 04:43 PM
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