- Iceland... We had been waiting a long time for this trip, so we were very exited when we finally arrived in Reykjavík! Well, Keflavik airport
So let's start with the video Amélie made of these first 2 days! The video is in french... sorry for that. The video is longer than the usual ones but there is so much to show and you will have a good idea of the ambiance in this surreal country!
Watch on D.tube
Before we start, we wanted to share sad news : A blogger, Julie, that inspired us for this road trip passed away a few days ago... Her blog was amazing, beautiful, witch a lot of information... Her blog made our trip better, and our blog as well... Lots of love to her family! You can find her blog here
- From the airport, we caught the flybus - you can purchase tickets in the plane if you are flying with Iceland Air or dirrectly at the airport it's the same price (20€)- and got of at the Rekjavik bus station, from which we took a cab to our first destination: The Kex Hostel If you purchase Flybus + tickets, you will have to catch another bus that will take you to your hotel in the city.
So the Kex hostel is one of the best we have tried (and we have tried a lot of them during our different trips). The decoration is very nice and hand-crafted, it is a peaceful place to chill. But we aren't going to lie to you, this first day was quite a shock for us, price wise... 70€ pp for a night in a hostel, in a 6 person bedroom ^^
On the bar's blackboard we read "Beer 1200kr" So we are talking about a 10+€ beer... In a place supposably cheap haha... So again, Big Shock! Then we started to wonder in the city center... And we understood that we had to make our peace with the fact that in Island... We are poor ;-) We new that the prices where higher than what we are use to in France but 20€ for a menuless hamburger... ouch. We probably had only been reading the blogs of people for whom it is not a problem.
So the good news is: if you ever have the chance to go to Iceland, just follow our tips and you might be able to keep it in a (fairly) low budget!
Kex Hostel - Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík Iceland - +354 561 6060
- The other address we got to try in the capital was on our last day... and no need to say that after 10 days of camping and hiking, a nice bed is aprecated. We booked it on AirBnB and it's a 7 min walk from the center. The apartment is very nice, modern and cosy. Amazing Italian shower... and oh my god the beds!!! Our host was reactive and seemed nice even if we only interacted via a phone or the internet. here is the link.
Our first experience wasn't really one to remember, we just had a common Subway.. A bad idea. My advice if you have one day in Reykjavík as we did is to have a nice meal... it will be the last one!!
On our last day we had the Grillmarkadurinn in mind. It seemed like a nice place with good burgers but we didn't book so we weren't able to have a table...
Instead, we went to the Chuck Norris burger bar... We did not like it! so much pepper in this sauce... Just thinking about it is awful! And you can imagine how disappointed we were after 10 days of tightening the belt... Most of us were not able to finish it :-(
- If you want to be happy about what you are eating and you don't want to waste your traveling money on food we recommend a simple hot dog snack there:
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur - Tryggvagotu 1, Reykjavik
- Our favorite was the Dillon (just upstears from the Chuck Norris), you can have your drink outside in the sun. (yes, we had the chance to have a little bit od sun)
Happy hour from 3 to 7 pm if I remember right. We recommend this bar!
- Laugavegur 30, 101 Reykjavik
The Kaffibarinn is also pretty nice, and at night it transforms into a crazy nightclub. You will find manny Bars in Reykjavík, but I think this one is one of the more appreciated.
Bergstadastraeti 1, Reykjavik 101 - +354 551 1588
- As you might know (Probably not) we usually try to do an escape game everwhere we go... We had to make an exception here ;-) we didn't have the budget for it but we still found one for those of you who would like to try it:
Reykjavík escape And don't forget to tell us about it!
- We did get to go to an Arcade game room with the classic Pacman and others. And the price was suprisingly correct 10€/hour. There is also a room up stears with PlayStation and your usual "home" video games.
Let's tour the city
- On the first day, the city was empty, and we didn't really get a chance to appreciate it. When we came back, we had a wonderful weather and got to see a whole different face of Reykjavík.
- The city center is very cute, with the main street Laugavegur, colourfull houses, some nice street art, welcoming bars (lots of happy hours), atracting shops ad of course, the church, quite different from the ones we have in France.
You have to check out the port as well with the magnificent Harpa concert place. It is a beauty of architecture, like nothing else I have seen.
I love the effect on the window in this picture Amélie took!
- You can also just wonder around the streets. You'll make some great discoveries. And everything is at walking distance, you will not need a car.
There is Plenty of great an unusual shops like this one in the center.
We rented our car via Gide to Iceland and it was perfect. The Guide to Iceland is a very good website, as well as renting your car, you will be able to discover pretty much everything there is in Iceland. There are a very reactive team, and they speak manny languages. If you have any questions about camping sites or any touristic attraction. Don't hesitate to contact them by e-mail.
So we rented this car . We were 4 travelers with 4 big bags, the tent, and all the growseries and we were comfortable.
- You will need to rent a 4 by 4 if you want to tour the country. You will not be able to go on F roads otherwise, which are the most interesting and the ones that will leed you to the best places to hike. For instance, to reach Landmannalaugar, we had to cross a river... And most of the secondary routes you don't want to try with a normal car.
Long story short: rent a 4 by 4 or hitch-hike!
- So when we realised restaurant was not an option, we decided to rent a stove and a pan for the ten days from Iceland Camping Equipment Rental - Barónsstígur 5, 101 Reykjavík. As I recall we paid 80 euros for 10 days. You can find gas bottles easily and campers usually leave the non-empty ones in the campings near Reykjavík before taking their plane.
Then direction the Bonus store! Remember that one, it will be your friend all along! It is the only affordable supermarket in Iceland.. you will find everything you need. For the Gas oil, we went to Orkan X which is the cheapest.
A list of link's you might need:
CAMPINGS Beware the list is of course not complete ;-)
Beginning of the road trip
Reykjavik -> Hveragerdi ( 30 mn)
After all these boring formalities, we were finally on the road for a wonderful journey.
We started with Hveragerði for our first hike.
- It is a short one (about 2 hours way and back) but worth it! You will walk next to the Icelandic sheeps, known for there particular fur.
- Once you will have climbed of an hour, you will be able so rest in a hot river !! Yess it is as good as it sounds! It's incredible to find yourself striping down by around 0-10°C to jump into a 40°C water!!
- The good thing about this place is that you will not find so manny tourist as you might think, it is fairly calm and the neture is well preserved. But that seems to be a constent in Iceland. A wonderfull experiance.
- The clouds you see on the pictures are actually vaporised water comming from the boilling spots
and this is me tring to be the lion king
- This is one of our best memories so you can blindly go there!! (and tell us all about it of course)
- This place was so amasing that we didn't see the time go by and it was 4pm ... So immpossible to go to all 3 places of the Golden circle as we had planed.
We only had time for one: Geysir
- As you can guess by the name of this town, it's all about geysers! In particular the is one that erupts every 4 minutes or so and I (Rémi) found it amazing but it wasn't the favourite place of Amélie. We don't have any pitures of it but you can see it on our video ! [D.tube(https://d.tube/#!/v/lpv/qp3hb3s9) or Youtube.
The giftshop in Geysir is an intersting one, against all odds, you will find manny products for a "reasonable" price, so if you want to by souvenirs, it's a good place.
So it's a place you must go to as it is the only one where you will find actives geysers. And the good thing is that all these places are free.
- Geysir -> Hvolsvöllur (1h10min)
- Back on the road to a camping we had in mind. We had a little troubble finding it but you probably wont if you can follow a GS :-)
- Once again, in retrospect, it was one of the best camping we got to try.
- You will find a concert place as well. and it's fairly cheap, you will pay 10€ person in the Langbrok camping and the showers are free, which is rare in Iceland. You also have a heated place where you can eat and charge your phone or other. Maybe even upload a vidéo on D.tube :-)
Langbrok - Fljótshlíð 861 Hvolsvöllur - +354 863 4662
So this article is getting quite long so I will keep some for later, keep tuned ;-) and thank you faor reading! Feel free to upvote or comment if you have any sugesstions.. You can also contact me on the PAL's discord.
All the pictures and video on our blog aur our own
Our other (favourite) travels, in english