The further north we have ever been.
First info, Iceland, is not so cold. Proof, you will find ice hotels, in Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden. But it is not cold enough in Iceland to build such a hotel.
When you start driving up north, the landscape consists of a wonderful mixture of steep slopes, beautiful snowy mountain, and grassy plain. There so many possibilities to enjoy nature so close to the capitale, and the area can be regarded as the setting for most of the Islandic sagas.
But there is something to be carefull with, Icelandic Moss is one of the most delicate ecosystems in the country. It can tolerate almost no footsteps. A single footprint retains its shape for a whole summer. Justin Bieber didn’t really show a good example in his music video ” I’ll show you”. Icelandic moss is lovely, thick, and soft but takes decades to grow back.
Fun fact : The clip seems copied from an indie skateboard video, “Í Kring” from Gersin Livia Paya.
The best of Iceland isn’t found along its main “highway”. For info, the price of gas was around 186 ISK per litre (November 2016).
Speed limits in Iceland are as follow :
- 50 Km/h within cities
- 80 Km/h on dirt roads
- 90 Km/h on all other paved roads.
But, trust us, when you are not used to drive in weather conditions such as that encountered in Iceland (November, in our case). You will ease up on the gaz pedal.
Gravel, fog or reindeer are just some examples of what you can expect. Also be aware that there are speed cameras everywhere around the island.
In Summer : Landscape is amazing but be carefull not to get lost in the view, unexpecting turn can appear, and the road are often winding. Gravel roads can be loose
In Winter : Don’t forget to check the road conditions and weather. In the morning, even walking on the road will be tough, you do not see it but there is a fine ice crust all over it.
Check : www.road.is
And anytime you see a “Looped Square”, follow it ! As they leads to every landmark sites.
So, our Advice is : Dont focus only on the main roads and touristy places, if you see one of them, trust us, and go for it, you will probably end up with a breathtaking view.
Iceland is one of the easiest and safest countries in the world. For Hitchhikers as well, but beyond the peak season, it will be much more difficult, but not impossible. Just go ask the people you meet at any touristy places, or in the surrounding hotels. The M1 (circle road) is the most popular, and you would be unlucky, not to find someone ready to drop you on one side or the other.
For exemple, we took 3 russian hitchhiker, near Vik.
The bus is the second most economical way to travel, but still, a lot more expensive than what we usually pay.
Busfare inside capital city is 420isk (3.7 $) or 1 Strætó ticket.
To give you an idea, a one way ticket from Reykjavik to Vik, is 5880 Kr, which mean 14 (420 Kr) tickets, a little over 50 USD.
You can find all the info at the bottom of this page.
Lagoon Car Rental
What could be better than a hot tub on the first night ? Out of this wolrd view on Hvalfjorder (Whale Fjord).
A little advice that can be applied to the whole country, be careful to remove your silver jewelry before making a splash … Shower, hot tub, or anything. Or your jewelry might end up black because of the water containing sulfur that feeds basins and shower (as in all volcanic area).
Gently rub with a white toothpaste when this happens.
Brennivin, the Icelandic signature alcoholic beverage (37.5 %, they stopped producing the green one), translates literally into English as “burning spiritus” but many just call it “Black Death“. When tasting “Hakarl”, putrefied shark meat, you will be glad to have it, to hide the taste.
In a nutshell:
Car Rental : Lagoon Car Rental
Adress : Keflavík : Smiðjuvellir 3230 Reykjanesbaer Iceland Reykjavik : Sundagarðar 8104 ReykjavikIceland
Telephone : +354 515 2220
Website : www.lagooncarrental.is
Hotel : Glymur Hotel
Address : Hvalfjardarsveit, 301 Saurbaer, Iceland
Telephone : +354 430 3100
Website : www.hotelglymur.is
You can find all the info on this page : http://s.straeto.is/journeyplanner/enterJourneyPlan.do
Pricelist : www.straeto.is/english/buy-tickets/price-list/