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Iceland Road Trip Do, 5th to 8th September 2019

Iceland Road Trip Do, 5th to 8th September 2019

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Old Jun 3, 19, 10:54 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: snaxmuppet
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Participants

Arriving on BA800, 5th September: Calchas, CaroFos +1, chris1979, jfallesen, Flexible preferences, Last20, snaxmuppet (+1), mtikky, JB7
Departing on BA801, 8th September: Calchas, CaroFos +1, chris1979, jfallesen, Flexible preferences, Last20, snaxmuppet (+1), mtikky, JB7


Hotels

Hotel Fljótshlið and Smáratún Farm – 5th–6th: Calchas, chris1979, Flexible preferences, Last20, snaxmuppet (+1), mtikky, JB7
Hotel Eyjafjallajokull – 5th–6th: jfallesen

Laxarbakki – 6th–7th: Calchas, chris1979, Flexible preferences, Last20, snaxmuppet (+1), mtikky, jfallesen, JB7

Radisson Blu Saga – 7th–8th: Calchas, chris1979, Flexible preferences, Last20, snaxmuppet (+1), mtikky
Hilton Nordica – 7th–8th: jfallesen
Icelandair Reykjavik Marina – 7th–8th: JB7

AirBnB 5-8th Reykjavik - CaroFos +1,

Activities

Road trip South Coast and inland: Calchas, chris1979, Flexible preferences, Last20, snaxmuppet (+1), jfallesen, mtikky, JB7

Car pooling

jfallesen (4×4): jfallesen, Last20, Flexible preferences, mtikky
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Old Apr 15, 19, 12:37 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 305
Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
Quizzed my AirBnB host today and she recommended a car so we can call our own shots... rather than the tours. . but will def be doing the Whale tour early on as you get a second go for free if you don't see any whales on your first trip.. .this is my OH's bucket list wish - nearly there except for the 'warm waters'! fingers crossed!! :-) OH would like to see WHALES ... any ideas?
Worth keeping an eye on the operators’ websites as they have “whale diaries” describing what they saw on each trip - have included the link to one below. Enjoy!
Whale diary
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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:03 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Surrey
Programs: BAEC - Silver
Posts: 425
I’m not normally an over-insurance type, but the rental car sand and ash cover is probably worthwhile if going round the south coast and across the outwash plains having experienced that type of weather... it can sandblast the paint right off. Also watch the car doors when it’s windy... we saw one get bent right round and last time I was there on a field trip, a panel of the coach blew off when parked and disappeared into the sea.

Yes, all your suggested route is on proper roads. Don’t take a Kia Rio on an F road unless you want punctures and a flooded engine. They are washboard gravel, covered in rocks and have deep rocky fords.

You really don’t need to join a day trip - it’s all very easy to find and there is 4G everywhere. Just stick to the tarmac roads.

If you do one thing - walk up to the Reykjadalur hot springs at Hveragerdi - once parked next to the cafe it’s about an hour walk up and a bit less back. All on made trails so very easy going, if a bit uphill initially. It’s a hot/warm river half way up a volcano with bubbles coming through the bed. It’s one of the most incredible places to sit in a river and admire the view - you must go. It’s not far from Reykjavík. You can change into trunks etc once there - wooden fencing provides modesty.

If you’re going round the south coast, on the way to/from Vik make sure you visit Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls as well as Solheimajokull glacier (these days you can park pretty much next to it). As you look at Seljalandsfoss from the car park, there is a hidden waterfall in a canyon about 750m to the left. It’s signed (I think) and is unmissable. At Skogafoss, make sure you walk up alongisde the waterfall and then keep going up the path - after about a mile you get to a series of incredible views into the gorge. Also the black sand beach and columnar rocks at Reynishverfi (or something like that... it’s right near Vik).

For the true Icelandic egg experience, stop
at Krysuvik on the way back to the airport. It absolutely stinks but is beautiful and unique.

Last edited by TheFlyingCyclist; Apr 15, 19 at 2:15 am
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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:22 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The North
Posts: 967
This looks like an excellent short trip, and I’d love to come along, but unfortunately can’t commit to anything at present. Will keep an eye on the thread though, and if anything changes will see whether I can make it!

I did a week in roughly these areas a few years back, albeit in winter, and can thoroughly recommend Iceland as an incredible place to visit.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 12:53 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Leeds
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 23
Looks like a top weekend and I'd love to join in. I'll have to see if I can re-jig a few work commitments but I think it should be ok. Is there any space in any of the cars? I'm a truly dreadful driver so probably better as navigator than driver.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 5:35 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Brighton UK
Programs: BAEC-Silver, AMEX-BA Prem' Plus & Standard, Accor Gold, HH-Silver, IHG,IBIS On Business
Posts: 563

Gullfoss Waterfalls

Coach Trips, Icelandic style

partial menu for Tapas Barinn
Alas wont be able to make it as touring Thailand at that time however I was there in December. If you're doing the Golden Circle you need to make sure you include Gulfoss it's stunning if a little windy when we visited( See pic). Also the Blue Lagoon makes for a great day/ half day out( top tip: go out the side of the building that way you're in the water before you go outside).

Gulf' can be something of a long drive so if you want to leave the cars behind for a day then can highly recommend Reykjavik Excursions who operate from the city's main bus terminal but do drop offs around the city at most hotels and for a small fee sometimes pick up from there as well ( dependent on direction). They dont mess around over there. Most the coaches are 3 axle, 6 wheel drive raised up off the ground and they all have pretty high speed wifi that works even in the middle of nowhere in a white out.

Plenty of nice places to eat. Highly recommend Tapas Barinn ( https://www.facebook.com/tapasbarinn/ ) if you can handle the fact that both puffin and whale are on the menu ( you can of course avoid both) where we had one of the best meals we've had in years. Far from cheap, even for Iceland and it's definitely an Icelandic take on the Tapas concept. For pure cheese then there's a Big Lebowski bar which is hilarious coz they really go all in on the theme( bar foods actually surprisingly. good as well tbh).

Rather than prattle on even more then if you'd like any advice, ideas etc etc then feel free to drop me a PM or post a question and i'm more than happy to advise if I can
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:53 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The North
Posts: 967
Originally Posted by TWCLAM View Post
it's stunning if a little windy
I think that is the pithiest summary of Iceland Good post with some interesting tips though, thank you.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:17 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
I have tried to start a wiki entry. Not a lot of information in there yet, basically just what seems to be confirmed here. Hopefully, it will start growing. :-)

So far, I only have flights and car sorted and not really decided what exactly I will be doing.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:34 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Bronze
Posts: 5,115
This sounds like a very interesting trip, and I've always been curious about Iceland so decided to take the plunge. Booked as suggested, except no car so I'd be very interested in a car pool. Thank you Calchas for the open invite
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:11 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Leeds
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 23
I've booked flights and hotels and will worry about the work later. So count me in :-)
Thanks guys for planning the trip and inviting us all to join in. It's something that I've often thought of, but probably would never have got around to.
I can see that there are a few of us up for car pooling, which is great. I can't edit the wiki - would somebody mind adding me in? I'm on the BA800 on the 5th and the BA801 on the 8th. And I'd like to throw my cap in for car pooling.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 3:06 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: BA - Gold, EK - Gold
Posts: 83
Let someone said before get the extra car insurance that covers rock damage as well.

You will be surprised at the number of flying rocks that can smash your windscreen!

We went in the summer and got a 4x4 and drive into the centre and across lava fields.

It was stunning. One of the best places I have ever been to. Enjoy it!
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:08 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
Originally Posted by thatflyer View Post
Let someone said before get the extra car insurance that covers rock damage as well.
Would this be covered by the insurance on the Amex Platinum and similar?

I was not offered this insurance when booking the car through Avis so I assume they are going to try and sell it at the airport. Any idea how much they would charge for it?
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:20 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA 1MM Premier Gold
Posts: 70
Having just returned from Iceland and pretty much traveled the itinerary that TheFlyingCyclist referenced, a couple of tidbits that
are hopefully of some help:

- the hidden waterfall to the left of Sejlalandsfoss is named Gljufrafoss. It is signed and there is a path to it. Even when you
get to it, much of it is still hidden and you have to get your feet wet to wade a few feet past the large rock that hides most of
the waterfall from view. Bring a towel or dry socks....

- at Hveragerdi, if you are a bit short of time and can't make it to Reykjadalur, the Sundlaugin (public swimming pool) in town
has a pool and 2 hot tubs of different temperatures, and is something like 900 ISK entrance fee. It's clean and well kept.

- there are quite a few attractions along the Ring Road from Reykjavik to Vik. After that, it's quite a way to the glacier lagoons,
which are indeed stunning, and the other major thing to see along the way is Svartifoss, which is at Skaftafell National Park.
But it's a ~2km hike up to the waterfall so not a quick stop like Skogafoss could be. It took me about 3 hours to go from
Jokulsarlon back to Hvolsvollur.

- as far as car insurance goes, not sure how it works in the UK, but the issue I came upon is, what insurance would be the
primary coverage in the event of damage to the car. My regular insurance is not effective outside the US, and the AMEX
insurance seemed it would only be in force if you declined the agency coverage (CDW). At the end of it, I added the Super
CDW and windscreen coverage since I couldn't decline CDW. Take pictures of the car before you leave the rental agency!
When I checked the car back in, they questioned some blemishes and door dents and I had to show them the pictures to
avoid additional issues.

- Lots of comments across the web from US travelers who had trouble purchasing gasoline. If you have a chip & PIN card,
it will be no problem. Since a full fillup can be as much as $125-$150 US, if you choose "fillup" on the self-service pump
terminal, a hold of about that much money will be put on your credit card. It eventually gets reconciled with how much you
actually put in, but I found it just as easy to estimate how much was required, pick that amount, and gas up. At the end of
the trip, on the way to the airport, you just overestimate by 1000-2000 ISK and fill up the tank.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 3:52 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SFOSJCOAK
Programs: AA-EXP & 1MM, AS MVPG 75K, MR-LT Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 5,618
TWCLAM,
​​​​​​​Thanks for sharing your experience. My plan is slated for late Sept for 2 weeks to do the ring road. Hoping to witness the Aurora Borealis.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 12:56 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Programs: BA Gold, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum, Senior Railcard & Bus Pass
Posts: 629
Do take care. Someone I know broke his ankle slipping on a glacier during a similar road trip.
(When I told a mutual friend that P had broken his ankle in Iceland she thought he had come a cropper on a frozen ready-meal in the local supermarket! )
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Old Apr 19, 19, 1:26 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Surrey
Programs: BAEC - Silver
Posts: 425
One further tip - if you get as far as Skaftafell, just before you arrive there you’ll pass a piece of the bridge which was destroyed in the outburst flood in 1996. A volcano erupted under the ice and melted it. It happens fairly often. For comparison, the Thames is about 300 cubic metres per second of water discharge. The Amazon is about 3000. This flood peaked at over 30,000...

Also, once you’ve been past the destroyed bridge parts, the road bears right in front of a glacier (don’t remember the name, sorry), then there’s a gravel road (short, fine in a car) up to it on the left signed for a glacier. Drive up and park - it’s well worth a wander up to see the glacier winding it’s way down from the top of Oraefajokull to the left and some immense moraines and proglacial lake to the right. One of my favourite views in Iceland. Just don’t go too far up as a few years ago a couple of chaps fell off and died. When they say keep to the trail they mean it...
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