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Things to know before planning your trip to Iceland


Iceland. WoW. It is definitely my favorite trip so far. Such a magical place. You feel like you are in another world. I loved everything about it. The landscapes, the people, the empty roads, the sea even the smelly geothermal areas! Everything. It made me feel like an elf will pop out of the moss or a fairy from the waterfall, heck it even made me feel like an elf. 

Anyway here is some info about Iceland. Hope it helps.

Language

Icelandic but everyone speaks English.

Currency

ISK (Icelandic Krona)
You can check the rates here

Capital

Reykjavik

When to visit 

Summer is supposed to be the best time to visit. Between June and August. It is the warmest time plus end of June - early July there is almost 24hrs of sun where you can see the famous "midnight sun". On the down side its double the price since its high season.

September I believe is a good month to visit. We were there 1 - 13th September. The weather is slowly getting colder but its not that bad. The prices are considered winter prices so its more affordable. There is sun for at least 8hrs plus even when he sun sets, there is still light so you can do things. Also there are less tourists during September even though lately more and more tourists visit during this month. Hopefully the prices won't go up!

Weather

The weather is very unpredictable in Iceland. So check the weather often.
You can check it here

Food

The food is expensive (like everything in Iceland) so come prepared. The lamb and the cod is very good. Probably the salmon too but we did not try it. Also try the hotdogs with all the toppings! They are very very good and cheap compared to everything else!

Internet

Almost all places have internet and its usually free.

On arrival

The International airport is Keflavik so be careful where you rent your car from so you don't get mixed up. If you don't rent a car or rent one later on (like we did) you can take the bus from Keflavik to Reykjavik. There is also the option where you get dropped off to your hotel. It costs 2500ISK (with the hotel drop off). You can pre-book it or get your ticket at the airport (thats what we did). We took the flybus, it takes 45mins and it has free wifi in case you need it.

Driving in Iceland

Driving is easy in Iceland especially if you the take the ring road. Most of the time (at least when we visited) you are alone on the road. Be carful though to not get distracted with all the amazingness around you. Check where you stop for pictures since most roads are narrow.

There are many one way bridges you have to cross. Usually the car that first arrives at the bridge has the right of way.  

The speed limits generally are: 30-50 km/hr for residential areas, 90 km/hr for the highway and 80 km/hr for gravel roads. Beware of the gravel roads because stones do pop out of nowhere and can crack your windshield, which did happen to us.

F-roads on the other hand are not easy to drive on. A 4x4 car is needed and checking the road condition before going there is wise. Off road driving is prohibited because it can damage the land and it can result in fines and claims for compensation. Watch out for animals, the sheep are everywhere!

Information on road conditions can be found here.

Although having a GPS helps, with a map and the road signs you can drive around easily. Everything is properly marked and wherever you see the following sign it means there is something to see. Do your homework before hand and you will be all set.


Renting a car

Do your research before hand because while trying to book our car I read so many horror stories of customers having to pay crazy amounts of money for "damages". 

We rented a Dacia Duster Diesel from blue car rental. We were very happy with their service. They dropped of the car at the hotel we were staying in Reykjavik in time and were very helpful in general even before booking it they were very quick in answering emails. We got all the insurances. Broken windshield is not included in the insurance but when we returned it because the crack was very small the guy told us we will not be charged!!! Lucky day!!! They better not charge us later (in the contract it says they can charge your credit card for damages till 6 months after you returned the car)!! 

Tip: Before returning the car stop by the a gas station and wash it. There are gas stations that have a broom and water you can use for free. The people before us returned their car covered in dirt so they were charged extra. 

Gas 

Do put gas wherever you find a gas station because you never know when you are going to find a gas station next! Most gas stations have automated pumps where it is required to use a credit/debit card or there are pre-paid cards you can buy. In some N1 gas stations you can pay inside during working hours. 

What to bring 

Your camera of course. And extra memory cards!!! Don't forget to bring layers, a waterproof jacket and waterproof pants. I didn't have waterproof pants and I got soaked!!!! Hiking shoes are recommended if you are planning to go on tours or hiking of course. :p 

Random fact about Iceland 

There are no mosquitos or reptiles.



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Seti Yeti