Iceland Short Travel Guide
Write a good guidebook is very difficult, especially when it was in the country itself only 1 time. In this post, I, on the basis of my experience, wrote advice for those who want to plan their journey to Iceland on their own. But it is very difficult to describe everything, so ask questions if not clear. Also ready to help plan the route and give advice on attractions.
Iceland is among the countries of the Schengen Treaty. Documents for registration of an Icelandic visa must be submitted to Visa Centers Denmark and Iceland in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Rostov-on-Don. To obtain a tourist visa, the Denmark Embassy in the Russian Federation has established the following requirements:
– The tour must be organized through the Russian travel agency, collaborating with the travel agency of one of the countries of the Northern Region accredited under the Immigration Service of Denmark (Iceland);
– The Russian travel agency must be accredited at the Denmark Embassy in Moscow in accordance with the special permission of the Denmark Immigration Service (Iceland);
– Applications for a tourist visa from Russian citizens who turn to a visa not through accredited travel agencies will be accepted and sent directly to the Immigration Service of Denmark (Iceland), which will increase their term of consideration to 3-8 weeks.
And if you see the list of documents necessary for a visa, go away immediately. Russian travel agencies help to receive a visa, services are 100 euros for a visa, but you need to book hotels through them. Real independent travelers never go to travel agencies, they all do themselves. You can get Schengen another country. For example, Spain, in a few days easily gives multivatize for 6 months, and when reversing a year! All just, book, but do not pay for tickets and a hotel in Spain, go to the embassy, where you put a multivitz for 4 days, and in it calmly flies in Iceland. Many people think that it is necessary to enter the first time in the country, which gave a visa – this is not true. I flew to Iceland in a Belgian visa, which I opened in Germany in general. There are no direct flights to Iceland, so you will open a visa in some transit European country. Remember that if you get Schengen another country, and you will not go to it later, then you may have problems next time you get a visa. Check out the rules.
As I said, there are no direct flights from Russia to Iceland. I bought tickets to Eirberlin for sale in just 12,000 rubles. This is probably the minimum price, and such tickets are quickly off. Tickets I’m looking for usually on the site www.Anywayanyday.COM – You can immediately see all the offers, very convenient. But buying sometimes cheaper on the site itself airlines. If you can’t find any one company tickets, you can take inexpensive tickets to Europe, and from there fly on the Icelandic airline WWW.Icelandair.Com.
Keep in mind that the international airport is not in Reykjavik, but in Keflavik, it is about 50 km from the capital. Taxis to the capital will cost you $ 60-80, so if you can, it is better to rent a car at once at the airport. There is also no need to book the first hotel in Reykjavik, if you just need to spend the night, it is better to get a hotel near the airport. And if you want to relax after the flight, you can stay in the Blue Lagoon, it is located very close to the airport.
When to go?
Everything is simple here. In winter – day day just a few hours, it is cold, but there are few tourists, inexpensive hotels and northern lights! In the summer – white nights, flowering meadows, sunshine, many tourists and expensive hotels. Season’s season – June-August. Choose yourself. If there is a little money, it is better to go to April-May, many hotels from June 1 prices rise almost 2 times.
What is the price
It all depends on how you are used to relax. You can consider 3 extreme options, and everything is very individual. One thing I can say that less than 30,000 per person will not work for sure, it is not Egypt and not Turkey. Imagine that 2 people go to Iceland for 10 days.
Option 1: 30 000 rubles per person.
You buy tickets in advance, behind the backpack with a tent. You move in hitchhiking or buses, live in campsites, maybe a couple of times in hostels, if bad weather is needed, you buy food in stores and prepare yourself on the grill. From expenses only food and transport, as well as housing sometimes.
Option 2: 170 000 rubles per person.
You take the car and go around the island. Dinner and dinner in restaurants, live in 3-4 star hotels, take a few excursions.
Option 3: 500 000 rubles per person.
You take a good car, live in the best hotels and eat in good restaurants. Excursions on helicopters and aircraft, rent of all-terrain vehicles, guides.
Where to live
The first thing to get used to, in Iceland everything is very expensive. Hotel prices are no exception, on average, for food and accommodation you will give 2 times more expensive than in continental Europe. Another feature of Iceland, prices for hotels here in most cases are not set for the number, but for a person. That is, if you see that the cost of the number is 100 euros, then for two you can take already 200.
Hotels are better to book in advance. Tourists in Iceland a lot, but hotels are not very. In winter, many hotels are closed, but in the remaining prices fall several times. You can live in Iceland in hotels, hostels or on farms and in cottages.
Hotels We shot are shown on the map, reviews and details on them can be found on the turbine website.RU. Keep in mind that five-star hotels outside Reykjavik find almost impossible, and four-star do not always meet their status. On average, 3-4 star hotel for two will cost 160-200 euros per night.
There are interesting hotels. For example hotel Ranga in Icelandic town Sudurlandsvegur was named by the publication of Sunday Times the best location in the world to observe the northern shine. Northern Lights – the main attraction, with which the hotel lures guests. The best time to observe this natural phenomenon – from September to April. Here is www.Icelandairhotels.COM good hotel chain.
I reprinted information about some hostels, contacts and details can be found on the turbine. Also find and book a hostel can be found on the website www.Hostels.com / ieland. Price for place on average 25 euros.
Farms and cottages
In Iceland there is an Icelandic Farm Holiday Association (WWW.FarmiLidays.IS), it combines one and a half hundred farmers who offer tourists accommodation in their homes, in guest houses or specially equipped hotels. Most farms are located along the ring road, skewing Iceland. Farms are three categories. Category I category simple, and shower and toilet – shared; In the category II rooms installed washbasins; category III rooms are well equipped, all the amenities are in the room. Private rural hotels are indicated by category IV and offer cozy and well-equipped rooms. Regardless of the level of room comfort, tourists are offered breakfast. Depending on the specialization and location of the farm there you can ride horses or bikes, fish or swim by boats, make small hiking or play various games, including golf.
By the way, on the Association website you can purchase a voucher (WWW.FarmiLidays.IS / Open-Vouchers) on the selected number of days, which allows you to move in free graphics and on your own invented route and stop for overnight stays in any nearest farm included in the Association. However, in the summer in high season places it is better to book in advance. Prices for farms and cottages depend on the category and begin with 50 euros per room. A good farm is not cheaper than the hotel, but exotic.
In Iceland there are several local airlines, and almost in each large village there is a small airfield. If you are not afraid to fly on "corn" And you have a lot of money, then on airplanes you can very quickly get from one point of the island to another. Another problem that you need to somehow move on, so you will have to either take a car rental, or search on site bikes, which may not be easy. By the way, some airlines offer ready-made one-day tours.
For example, Eagle Air Airlines (WWW.Eagleair.IS) suggests one-day excursions to the ice lagoon from Reykjavik for 510 euros per person. Perhaps many interesting aircursions around the capital. Can fly to Greenland. Airline Air Iceland (WWW.AICELAND.IS) Makes flights from Reykbavik between major cities of the island, as well as flights to Greenland. There are ready tours for one or a few days. Tickets can be booked over the Internet or ask for it to do in the hotel.
Trains in Iceland no.
If you want to move on buses, then you are best to take a tour in one of the agencies in Moscow and do not steam. In principle, you can move on public transport. Between major cities, there are almost daily buses, the schedule can be clarified on the Internet. But this is a bad option. First, to most attractions you will not get on the bus, they are not often walking, and you will lose much time adjusting to the schedule.
By the way, from the airport to the city there is a special bus Flybas (WWW.Re.IS / Flybus). Tickets can be bought directly at the airport, but better in advance via the Internet. You can buy a VIP ticket, and then you are on a small bus that will take you straight to the hotel. Ticket price at 2nd, 30 dollars, one 17.
The best way to move is to rent a car. Many recommend to take a SUV, they are much more expensive than ordinary passenger cars, and expensive gasoline consumption will be more. For all the time of my journey, there was no situation when it was possible to drive only on an SUV. Around the island there is a beautiful asphalt road (Route No. 1), and a dirt road in Iceland Excellence. SUV you need, if you’re going to climb into the mountains, the glaciers, then immediately take a real all-terrain vehicle, because of the SUV sense there will not be enough. On the other hand, in major tourist cities, you can take a tour to the mountains in a jeep or snowmobile. You can go to the mountains on horseback, their rental is very common in Iceland. You can rent bikes on the spot and if health permits, to go to the mountains for them. Also, there are many tours on quads. Links to companies that offer rental of horses, quads, snowmobiles, etc.D. I will give in the end.
Iceland – a perfect place for lovers of campers. If you take a rental motorhome, the most picturesque places of the island will be prepared for parking. The camping is always very clean, gazonchiki, and most importantly stunning views. Change gas cylinder and can fill up with water in many gas stations. Next time I’ll be sure to rent a motorhome. And most importantly, traveling in a motor home you decide housing problem, you can not plan ahead expensive hotels, and go to the free schedule. Parking information can be found on the Internet, they are paid. You can buy a subscription, for example here – www.campingcard.IS.
With all the standard rental. To rent a car, you must have a driver’s license of international standard and be over 21 years old (to rent an SUV – older than 25 years). In Iceland work main international rental office (Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, etc.D.). There is a local big company with good prices – www.geysir.IS. Also there are many small local car rental companies, the prices are lower, but must be booked in advance and negotiate. Reviews of all the car rental companies you can easily find on the Internet. Incidentally, not many people know, but in the same Eurocar can order the car in any point of Iceland, even if there is no their office. In this case, you will have to pay for the span of the machine.
On the way, we periodically met brave cyclists, it means to drive around Iceland on a bicycle. On the other hand, there were so few them, but in the rain and wind, they thoroughly looked, which can be assumed – the journey around Iceland will be very complicated. If you still decide to go to bike, keep in mind that the weather on the island is very changed. The wind is sometimes so power that you can not get out of the car, and the rain can go all day. Brazier Cyclists Report – Velozapovednik.LiveJournal.COM / 1346.HTML.
Planning a trip
It seems to me that the perfect duration of traveling in Iceland is 10 days. During this time, you can see everything and do not rush. If you want to spend in the places you like for a few days, it is better to go for 2 weeks.
Best ride around the island. So you look almost all interesting places. If there is little time, you can stay in the central region and see the south of the island – the most beautiful and interesting places of the island are concentrated there. Mandatory to visit are Blue Laguna, Ice Lagoon, Geizers.
I usually plan a route to Google Earth. There you can turn on the layer with photos and choose the most interesting places. If not under the scolding of this program, the same pictures are able to find the same pictures on the Panaramio website.Com. Which is convenient, they allocate and offer the most beautiful pictures, so you can easily find the most picturesque corners of the island. Now photos are so much that you can immediately see how the road looks like to the place of interest to you and plan it in advance on what goes there.
Where to see geysers?
The first most importantly Geyser Field of Haudakalur is close to Reykjavik on the route Golden Ring. Here is the once the most large geyser of the country – a geserier (Big Geyser), but only Geyser Strokkur is erupted here. Around it lies many exits of underground hot waters in the form of bottomless wells, filled to the edges of surprisingly blue transparent water there usually go all tourists. The largest geothermal fields with boiling puddles and sera sera are located on the northeast of the island, near Lake Mabitan. But if you still decided not to go around the island, you can look at a small copy of geothermal fields near the blue lagoon. It’s only 40 minutes drive from Reykjavik. In total, in Iceland, more than 250 groups of geysers, including more than 7 thousand. Separate hot springs – this is the largest number of geysers per unit area in the world. Even the word itself "geyser" Icelandic origin and means "Baking a jet".
No less colorful in Iceland areas of the peat glacier east of Volcano Gekla, Vulcan Cverfylel, the area of the Green Lakes at the Watn Glacier, the area of Nama, Kerlyharny and Protix Mountains, Church Gulf, Geothermal Fields Kyosyur, Landmannaljigigar, Nevaveyllir, Oncevelsnes, Reikir and others, and Also hot springs and fields "Multicolored land" Near the city of Chutegerdi. Some sources threw water to the surface, overheated in underground "boilers" to the temperature about +750 s. For example, the largest hot spring in Iceland – Dealdartunguchver, gives a month more than 150 liters of boiling water. Locals use underground boiling water for heating dwellings and evaporation of seawater salts, as well as to create numerous hot water pools, so popular in the local cold climate.
No less interesting and waterfalls of Iceland. The most beautiful of them – "Waterfall of the Gods" Goudafoss, Gullfoss ("Golden waterfall") on the Khvitau River, not far from the Big Geist, Skegarfoss and "Discounting waterfall" Dettifoss in the north of Iceland Island. Hawifoss is considered the highest in Iceland, located on the Fossead River (height 130 m.). Beautiful waterfalls of Iceland – Khrinfossar ("Lava waterfalls") are located next to the rakeholt and got their name because they follow with cascades from under the lava field and rushed into the river surprisingly blue (from mineral salts dissolved in water) colors. In general, there are so many waterfalls that it is no longer necessary to go anywhere, they are everywhere!
Animals and birds
To observe birds it is better to go to the north, although almost all over the island you will find a huge number of lakes and fields, where the most diverse species of birds nest. You can go to the sea to look for whales from Reykjavika, but the main whale place is located in the north, in the city . Also, on North-Mapad, you can find sea lions, and the deer runs in the east.
gold ring – The popular tourist route in Southern Iceland, begins in Reykjavik, passes through Central Iceland (where most of the attractions are located) and returns back to Reykjavik. Approximate duration – about 8 hours.
Three main stops on the route is Tingvelir (Isl. ?Ingvellir), Waterfall Gulfoss (Isl. Gullfoss) and Valley Geyser Hyunadalur (ISL. Haukadalur). TINGWELL – National Park, listed in 2004 on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here in 930, the first parliament of Iceland was founded – the oldest parliament in the world. Gulfoss, literally, Golden waterfall, is considered to be Icelanders the most beautiful waterfall of the country. Ice water of the River Khvitau breaks up into a narrow canyon from a height of 32 meters. In the valley of Geysers, Hyyjadalur is the famous Geysier (Isl. Geysir) who has given the name to all other hot springs of the planet. Currently, the Geysier has lost its former power and breaks into the surface irregularly. There is a much more active geyser – Strokkur (Isl. Strokkur) ejecting a pair and hot water post 20-30 meters every 5-10 minutes.
Slightly less visited route points "gold ring" are: Crater Vulcan Keriz (ISL. Keri?), at the bottom of which the lake was formed, the village of Kvershelli (Isl. Hverager?i), in which, thanks to thermal sources in greenhouses, Icelanders grow exotic fruits and vegetables for this northern country, Ska’lholt Church and Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station.
I did not go along this route, as it just did not have enough time.
There is nothing to do in Reykjavik, tourists are looking mainly to museums: the National Gallery of Iceland, the National Museum of Iceland with a unique historical collections and the City Art Museum of Reykjavik. Immediately at the National Museum of Iceland, the Institute of Arni Magnusson is located, where unique ancient books with traditional legends sague are contained, as well as extensive collections of historical works. The Arbera People’s Museum exhibits a number of old Reykjavik homes, reconstructed in the original manner, – the church in the traditional Icelandic style with a roof covered with a row, as well as farm houses from all Iceland XIX and early XX centuries. One of the main attractions of the capital of Iceland is considered to be the Central Church of Reykjavik – Hallgrimskirkia, in which, besides its original architectural form, an unique model in modern style is interesting. Before the church is a monument to Vikings – the discovers of America. Among the other attractions of Reykjavik are attractive to a small botanical garden, a recreation park, as well as a number of museums devoted to the activities of leading Icelandic artists.
South of Iceland
Be sure to look at glaciers, ice lagoon, south waterfalls and beaches with black volcanic sand. All this beauty is in the south of the island. Every day, in these places from Reykjavik, you can go on an excursion. If you are by car, then book a few days in Vika (VIK) and from there for 2-3 days you can still see. Vic – the southernmost town on "Big land" Iceland. The main sights of Vika – standing in the privacy of the picturesque white church with the red roof and Rainisdrangar cliffs, towering 66 meters above sea level. On the Icelandic legend, these rocks are nothing more than frozen the trolls and their three-waist ship. Most of the southern coast are covered with sand, many ice rivers fall into the sea. Vestmannaeyjar is fifteen islands on the southern coast of Iceland . They were formed as a result of the eruption of volcanoes for the last 10 thousand. years.
West Coast of Iceland
It is mostly fjords, forests and mountains. Very reminds Norway. Here is the highest waterfall of the island – Glymur (198 m). SnaefellBaer – Territory located in the southwest Peninsula Snaefellsnes. Most of it is unanimous, on the west is the National Reserve "under the glacier". This glacier is considered the largest in Iceland, highly towering over the peninsula, it is called one of the seven Energy Energy Centers. Along the coast for 12 km stretched the ridges of the rocks of Laatrabiaarga. The height ranges from 40 to 400 m. Here is the most western point of Iceland and all of Europe – Barygantar Lighthouse. This place is perfect for birdwiciness observations, among which you can see the symbol of the country – Bird Tupik.
But with this there may be problems. Cafes and restaurants are a bit, and the prices in them are quite high. Dinner in the middle restaurant will cost 50 euros per person. Most hotels Buffet (buffet) for dinner costs 30 euros. Giving "tips" In Iceland, it is not accepted: the cost of service is already included in the account. However, you can thank you for especially the service – it will not be offended by anyone.
The fastfoot was noticed only in the metropolitan region, from networks eating KFC (Rostiks). In places of clusters of tourists, you can usually find soup, cakes and sandwiches. In general, the choice of desserts is very good, almost every cafe bake wonderful cakes.
In supermarkets, the choice is quite meager. Juices are very small, from fruits only apples and bananas, cookies tasteless. But in almost every supermarket and at refueling you can buy stunning pickled meat! In Iceland, I tried the most delicious meat! Nowhere and I have never met such a tasty and juicy lamb. To fry meat you need to buy a disposable grill. I told about him in the past post.
During the countryside travel, you can purchase dried fish (hardfiskur) on the nearest gas station to have a snack on the road. It will make a trip more pleasant, and you will feel a real Icelander. Many people love dried fish, but some frightens a specific smell – but it’s still worth trying. If you would like to experience the most harmless of these culinary pleasures, you do not have to go on the nearest supermarket. Try rye pancakes (Flatkaka) with smoked meat lamb (Hangikjot). To give taste Softness Softness Add some oil.
Smoked salmon (LAX) with rye bread (RugBraud). Other popular components for sandwiches – marinated herring, sausage rolls, lamb pate. In Iceland Beut "volcanic" bread. To do this, in areas of active volcanism, the dough is placed in a metal container and leave in the ground for a day, after which the ready-made loaf. Damn usually serves a dairy dish "skir" berries, jam, ice cream, fruit or whipped cream.
Drink in Iceland mostly coffee. In the coffee shops they pay only for the first cup, and all the others get free. Beer, wine and other spirits are expensive (large beer mug – about $ 8, small – about $ 5). Until 1989. In Iceland, beer was generally prohibited for 75 years. Icelandic vodka – "Brennivinn" – Potato drink, flavored by Tminom. There is a large selection of European alcohol and wines in the country.
When you are in Reykjavik, I advise you to look first in the tourist center, it is located in the city center. There you can find information on all regions of the island, take free maps, as well as dial the booklets of sightseeing companies, catalogs and reviews of restaurants, hotel directories and more. And so that you can plan your holiday in advance, I made a small review of companies providing tourist services.