Solo trip to Iceland, Route advice
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Aug 31, 2012 12:39 AM Last Post By: iviehoff
Aug 23, 2012 2:20 AM
Solo trip to Iceland, Route adviceHello,
I'm heading solo for Iceland 2nd-12th Sepetmber and looking to visit Snaefellsness, The Westfjords, and Jokulsarlon.
I was wondering what is the optimal way of seeing those places, should i rent a car and head West first then east (and stay in Reykjavik through the weekend), or should I just rely on day tours out of Reykjavik. I'm also running a tight budget so I would pretty much rather sleep at campsites (is it allowed to camp out off road or do i have to stick to campsites?)
I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on this route and destinations (I'm going mainly for landscape photography).
Aug 25, 2012 6:27 AM
1Iceland is so huge and vast (and beautiful) to make the best of the country and travel these distances you need to hire a car. Routes are not direct for getting around because most roads are inaccessible to everyday cars except the main roads. If you want to drive around in the interior you need an ATV or something. That said, I'm sure you can get to the places you mentioned with a rented car.
I'm not sure when you're going but I have been in winter and most roads are very accessible and kept in good condition, and rental cars have snow tyres with metal studs so you should be fine.
My article about Iceland in the winter may be helpful about what to see and so etc...
Aug 25, 2012 8:18 AM
Aug 25, 2012 3:07 PM
3Hi, and greetings from Holmavik, Iceland!! I'm on an 11-day trip in Iceland, and it is the most amazing country. It is relentlessly beautiful, and you will love every minute!! The people are wonderful as well.
One quick thing on the Lonely Planet book. It is a good resource, but not an outstanding resource. Some of the commentary is, as my wife says, "snarky", meaning that it tends to have a pretty dark attitude. A lot of things are described as "brooding". Nothing is brooding about this country that we have seen thus far. We just came from Snaefellsness which is BREATHTAKING!! To see things in a way that allows you to go at your own pace, do rent a car. it is well worth the money without a doubt!! When you are in Snaefellsness, be sure to look for the tiny area called Helnar. It is close to the far west end on the south side of the peninsula, just south of Snaefellsjokull volcano and glacier. There is a tiny building there that is a truly scrumptious restaurant. The book says that it is "well worth the walk along a rickety stone path." Rickety?? Hardly. it's a nice dirt path that takes 2 mintues to walk down from the parking lot. Try the fish soup. It is beyond delicious!!
We're exploring Westfjords for the next 3 days (which does not seem like anywhere near long enough).
Reykjavik is a bit far from all of this to do day trips. Look for hostels, such as the Grundasfjordur hostel in Grundasfjordur on the north side of the peninsula. It's really spotlessly clean, and relatively inexpensive. Have fabulous trip!!
Oh, in Grundasfjordur, be sure to check out the tourist information center that is also home to the Cafe Emil, both of which are run by a brilliant woman who is very friendly. They make awesome coffee, and the Icelandic "marriage bliss" cake which is delicious. They have an interesting heritage museum there as well.
Aug 25, 2012 4:56 PM
4Rent a car for sure - the day trips from Reykjavik are pretty steep, and you won't see nearly as much as you would on your own, anyways.Have you ever though of just doing a loop around the island? I think so many people stick to the south coast, which is a shame - it's really beautiful (I'm living here now!) but there is plenty to hold your interest up north, and you plan to go to the west fjords anyways (though I've spent about 12 months in Iceland and have never crammed so much into a 10 day period - others can chime in on what's feasible there).
Aug 29, 2012 4:01 PM
"2nd-12th Sepetmber and looking to visit Snaefellsness, The Westfjords, and Jokulsarlon"
Nice places you are going to visit!
However to travel to Snæfellsnes- Vestfjords(Vestfirðir) and Jokularlon(Jökulsárlón) is long journey.
You will be driving ring road http://www.iceland-information.com/great-wonders-of-highway-iceland/ring-road/ and more then that
You will need to rent a car but you say you are low budget right ? Expect to spend at least 300 usd for gasoline.
I think you should drive less and cut out Jokulsarlon.
There is many good article and information here http://www.iceland-information.com and please try the hotel search on this website. You can find hotel, guesthouse on low price there
Edited by: Kristinsson
Aug 30, 2012 7:08 AM
Hofn (nearest town to J) to Isafjordur is about 900km. So to have a round trip including both of those, you have to travel, as a very minimum, double that. Plus airport and back. That's 1900km already. So realistically you are looking at something like 2500km. You really want to do that in 10 days?
I think Snaefellsnes, Westfjords, plus a few things relatively near to Reykjavik are plenty for a 10 day trip. Do the rest of the island when you come back next time. Or do the rest of the island this time, and come back for Sn and Wf.
Aug 30, 2012 8:41 PM
7Hello, great choice in visiting Iceland. I was there July last year for 3 weeks. I would advise not to take any day tours from Reykjavik...the places are too far, and can get quite expensive. Also, hiring a car is quite expensive, and I see that you mentioned you're on a budget.
You can fly to the Westfjords (Isafjordur) from Rekjavik for around 60 euros one-way with Air Iceland. From there you can join a day tour with West Tours (www.vesturferdir.is). I spent a day's hiking in the nature reserve which was absolutely stunning! The guy who was running the trip was really friendly and helpful.
As you mentioned you'd like to visit the Snaefellnes peninsula, I highly recommend taking the bus from Isafjordur down to Stykkisholmur, where the scenery is amazing. From there you can do a day tour around Snaefellsnes peninsula. Whilst around the area, do the Hellnar-Arnstapi coastal walk. There is a hostel in Stykkisholmur for a cheap bed.
From there, you can get the bus back to Reykjavik...it's about 2.5 hours trip.
Jokulsarlon is a must....a little piece of the north pole for a quarter of the price!
Head to Landmannalauger from there...there's a campsite site and a beautiful place for hiking.
Coming back to Reykjavik, take the inland route, via the Fjallabak nature reserve, as it was by far the most scenic trip I took in Iceland....jaw-dropping stuff!
And don't forget whilst in Reykjavik, visit the Blue Lagoon for a day, and try the puffin.
Hope this helps and good luck with your travels..
Aug 31, 2012 12:39 AM
I'm not convinced that #8's suggestions would save you very much money in comparison to hiring a car, even if the buses were running, and would be very much less flexible than having a car. Though an option for you would be to fly to Isafjordur, hire a car locally, fly back to Reykjavik after a few days, and then visit South Iceland from there. You'd miss Snaefellsnes, but you could visit that when you come again, as most do, if they like it.
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