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  • This is Holiday ExtrasTravel Guides and were here in Iceland.

  • Well be giving you all the essential information you need to Travel Better.

  • Well be covering money, language, tips on where to go and even how to see the Northern Lights.

  • But first, here’s a bit about the country itself.

  • Iceland is between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, about a three hour flight north

  • from London.

  • Iceland is unlike anywhere weve been before, its volcanic landscapes and picturesque backdrops

  • create this almost untouched feeling and itll make you fall in love with the country.

  • Most international flights will arrive at Keflavik (KEF) airport, which is 40 minutes

  • outside the capital city of Reykjavik and it’s here, where well start.

  • Greyline and Flybus run transfer buses 35 minutes after each landing.

  • Both services offer a hotel drop off at selected hotels for an additional fee.

  • They cover most hotels but if yours isn’t on there, you can find out which stop is closest

  • and just walk the rest of the way.

  • An airport taxi will set you back around 12,000 Krona for the 45 minute journey.

  • However, self-drive holidays are really popular here and, if this is what youre planning,

  • then it makes sense to pick up your hire car at the airport, before you head into Reykjavik.

  • Reykjavik is the base for most holidays in Iceland.

  • It’s the world’s most northernly capital city and it’s a hub for Icelandic culture.

  • Reykjavik is the embodiment of the Icelandic culture of proud self-sufficiency and fierce

  • interest in the arts.

  • There’s no McDonald’s or Starbucks here; instead, its streets are lined with independent

  • coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques.

  • There’s always something going on and the nightlife is legendary.

  • Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the Reykjavik Grapevine for what’s going

  • on while youre here.

  • It’s worth trying to stay in the centre as a room in the middle puts everything within

  • walking distance.

  • AirBnBs and hotels and plentiful but if youre coming in the summer, book in advance because

  • it can get super busy.

  • If you want to book a tour out of the city, then head to Laugavegur.

  • There are loads of tourist information outlets here that can help you with anything you want to do.

  • After spending some time in Reykjavik, we recommend jumping in your car and taking a

  • day to explore the Golden Circle.

  • It’s one of Iceland’s most popular tours, taking in the Geysir, Thingvellir National

  • Park and Gulfoss.

  • If youre staying a bit longer, then the south coast is a must.

  • Follow the Ring Road all the way to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, stopping off at sites like

  • Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and some of the world’s most beautiful black sand beaches.

  • And of course, don’t forget to stop by the Blue Lagoon on your way back.

  • It’s only 20 minutes outside Keflavik airport and it’s the perfect way to end your Icelandic adventure.

  • Getting around Iceland on your own is surprisingly straight-forward.

  • The main Ring Road connects all the major towns and if you stick to it, you can’t

  • really go wrong.

  • Now bear in mind that driving here is nothing like driving at home so there are a few things

  • you need to know

  • Summer is the time to do a driving holiday, as the roads will be open and the conditions

  • will be good with lots of daylight.

  • The weather in Winter can make driving difficult and once you leave Reykjavik it can get quite

  • dangerous.

  • It’s not recommended unless you really know what youre doing; getting stuck in a white-out

  • isn’t fun.

  • If you plan on straying off the Ring Road, then hire a four wheel drive car.

  • the roads can be uneven and pot-holes are common.

  • Do not go on F Roads, as hire cars are not allowed on them.

  • Off-road driving is forbidden as it damages the environment.

  • Youll get fined around 350,000 Krona if caught.

  • Speed limits: 50km in populated areas, 80km on gravel roads and 90km on paved roads.

  • Youre required to have your headlights on at all times when driving, even during

  • daylight.

  • Some bridges are single lane only; the driver closest to the bridge has priority.

  • Petrol stations are few and far between and often unmanned.

  • Fill up when you can and use a credit or cash card for payment.

  • The Icelandic website road.is has lots of detailed information on driving in Iceland,

  • so make sure to give it a read before you hire a car.

  • And remember - you drive on the right!

  • Were here in November and it’s been fairly cold.

  • The weather today is about 4 degrees and since weve been here weve had every kind of

  • weather imaginable.

  • Weve had freak rain, ridiculous winds, it’s been freezing cold right near the sea

  • But as the traditional Icelandic saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”

  • and it’s certainly true here!

  • So no matter the season, be prepared.

  • Always bring wind-proof and water-proof clothing and a good pair of walking boots is essential.

  • In Winter the temperatures will plummet below freezing so layer up; thermal underwear, hats,

  • gloves and scarves are a must.

  • Now temperatures are more forgiving in the Summer, with averages of around 13 degrees

  • in the south.

  • Catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights is a big reason why people come to Iceland,

  • so here’s a few of out tips for the best possible chance to see them.

  • Winter is the best time to go, as the nights are longest at this time.

  • Itll be freezing cold but you can’t see the lights unless it’s dark.

  • Go for as long as possible.

  • Youll often have cloud cover in Iceland.

  • We were there for two weeks and only managed to see the Northern Lights twice.

  • Your best chance is to go somewhere where there’s no light pollution so get out of

  • the city and go somewhere dark.

  • We used the Icelandic weather website, belgingur.is.

  • We found it the most accurate for predicting cloud cover.

  • White areas show where the skies are clear and this gives you your best chance to see

  • the Northern Lights.

  • The second website we used was the Icelandic Met Office.

  • Now this gives you the aurora forecasts, the stronger the better, sunset times and moonrise

  • times.

  • This just means that you can plan for when it gets dark.

  • Now were in downtown Reykjavik and were in a restaurant called Laekjarbrekka, and

  • theyve given us this traditional Icelandic platter to try.

  • So I’m just going to talk you through a few things that are on there.

  • We have the smoked lamb on flatbread, wind-dried fish with seaweed, gravlax, which is like

  • a salmon, and this is fermented shark, which some of our crew have already tried and assured

  • me it’s disgusting.

  • I’m not even going to open it up because the smell is overwhelming.

  • But this is why, when you have fermented shark, you chase it with Brennivin, which is the

  • original Icelandic spirit.

  • Anyway, here’s a look back at all the food that weve had during our time here.

  • The currency here is the Icelandic Krona and, right now, £1 will get you roughly 130 to

  • 140 Krona but you can check this on xe.com and they have a handy app too.

  • Anyway, here’s a breakdown of our costs since weve been here.

  • Our flights were around £60 each way; Our three-bedroom AirBnB apartment in Reykjavik

  • was £414 for two nights; Our car was £850 for 8 days with two drivers.

  • This includes collision damage waiver, sand and ash cover and gravel damage cover;

  • Fuel was roughly £1.67 per litre; Iceland’s National Parks and landscapes

  • are all free to enjoy; An ice cave tour will set you back roughly

  • £130 per person; Our hotel rooms in Vik were £143 each per

  • night; Prices at the Blue Lagoon start from £33

  • in Winter to £42 in Summer.

  • And don’t forget, if you spend over 6,000 Krona on clothes and souvenirs, you can claim

  • 14% tax back.

  • Just keep your receipts and show them in the refund office at Keflavik airport.

  • Finni has been helping us with our filming in Iceland and he’s kindly agreed to teach

  • us some Icelandic, so let’s do it!

  • I love that one…”Já”

  • Talar thu ensku?” Yeah

  • That was pretty good!

  • Thanks!

  • This is my personal one:

  • How do you say the numbers? So, from 1 to 10?

  • And how do you say the big volcano?

  • So, as you can see, Icelandic isn’t the easiest language but massive thanks to Finni

  • or, Takk?

  • Verði þér að góðu!

  • So that’s our essential guide to Iceland.

  • For more travel content, subscribe to our channel and if you have any of your own tips

  • then comment below and let us know.

This is Holiday ExtrasTravel Guides and were here in Iceland.

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❄ICELAND❄ Travel Guide | Travel Better in... Iceland!

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    Nikki   posted on 2017/03/24
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