I was able to spend five unforgettable days exploring Iceland’s wonders in a tiny red rental car, and documented it in a series of previous posts.
Curious how you, too, can visit this magical land? It’s easy –
Here’s How You Can Visit Iceland in 5 Steps:
Fly – Wow or Iceland Air. From my experience, fights are particularly cheap from SFO (San Francisco), East Coast USA, and Belfast.
Spend a day and night in Reykjavik.
Recommended hostel: B47 Hostel, running from $40usd per night, linens included (A rare find in Iceland!) http://www.hostelb47.is
Rent a car or camper van.
I rented from Sixt and received superior service.
Another option for even cheaper, old cars is the hilariously (appropriately) named Sad Cars: the oldest, cheapest cars on the island: http://sadcars.com
For camper vans, check out Go Campers http://www.gocampers.is or Happy Campers https://www.happycampers.is. Many camper vans include wifi, cooking gear and linens. They can be pretty pricey, but can accommodate several travelers, and are transportation and tent in one.
To park, look for signs around Iceland that either have picnic table and pine tree or tent.
For viewpoints and places of interest, keep an eye out for the square knot-looking figure.
To better understand driving and camping rules and signs, check out this detailed PDF by Camper Iceland: http://www.campericeland.is/wpcontent/uploads/2011/08/Traffic_signs.pdf
Get out there!
Here are Iceland’s must-sees, seen by driving clockwise beginning at the capital city:
Reykjavik – see the colorful homes and Harpa. Maybe even try puffin or reindeer at one of several restaurants if you’re feeling adventurous.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula – keeping a lookout for puffins and the great glacier (hope for no fog!). Try a hot dog at Meistarinn Hot Dog Stand.
Kirkjufell Mountian – Walter Mitty’s famous mountain with a nearby waterfall.
Akureyri – Iceland’s Second City (with a population of 18,000 on a good day!) with heart-shaped stop lights.
Godafoss Falls – What I call “The Niagara Falls of Iceland”
Lake Mývatn – Walk around the pseudo craters – a short walk will take you 40 minutes, a longer walk could last a couple hours.
Dettifoss Waterfall – Said to be Europe’s most powerful waterfall (be careful of closed roads on your way there!)
Hofn – Stop for a shower at the local camp sight at 50ISK (roughly $0.50) for two minutes. Have exact change ready and pay for additional services made available by an ‘honors system’. Drive around for a glimpse at the famous eggs – just ask.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – Wow. Really, wow. Take some time to stop and stare, you’re going to want it.
The Blue Lagoon – Save some time for a dip in these cool (colored) warm (temperature) waters, complete with a swim-up bar.
Cry silently as you fly away home. Then smile brightly at the self-reminder that you will be returning one day.
Do you have any tips or questions of your own? Leave them in the comments section below!