Taking the boat is a better option than driving there yourself or taking the bus if you want to see the multiple islands and the North-Western coast of Iceland from the sea. Iceland is located right under the Arctic Circle. Once you get out of the boat which leads you there , you can say that you have been North of the Arctic Circle limits. Note that it is always better to book in advance for car passage on any ferry.
Just like the buses, Iceland has a complete network of domestic flights. It is a common means of transport as many locals take the plane to travel around the country. During the wintertime, planes can be the only way to go from a point to another. Air Iceland Connect operates in the biggest cities and towns around Iceland but also has flights for Greenland and Faroe Islands; while Eagle Air Iceland has less destinations but is the one who offers flights to Westman Islands.
It is also possible to take airplane tours to see Iceland from above and blow your mind. The South shore is absolutely wonderful to see from up in the air as you will admire the magnificent Skaftafell National Park as well as the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon. Taking this kind of tour is also a great way to discover the Northern part of the country with its famous Myvatn region. There, you can fly above the lava fields and view the aftermath of a 6 month volcanic eruption which created the largest lava field in Iceland.
The landscapes from above look so much different than when you are on the ground! You can either go to a spot downtown where all the taxis arrive, or you can call and order one. The cabs come quickly but they can be a little bit pricey so if you are on a budget, you might want to take the bus instead. Note that tipping is not required in Iceland. However, taxis can be really useful if you go out at night and that the party went on and on, as there are not many night buses. There are several 24 hour taxi companies in the Icelandic capital. The taxis are usually located outside bus stations, airports and bars on weekend nights.
Unfortunately there is no Uber or Lyft in Iceland yet, even if the debate is open. They are not yellow like the ones in New York, or black and vintage like in London. They are all brands, all sizes and all colors.
However they do have the yellow taxi sign on top of the car except in October, when taxis trade the yellow sign for a pink one, related to breast cancer awareness month. This official Icelandic website of carpooling was established in and has been a free service from its first day. THey decided to launch this website when they realized that getting around Iceland without owning a car can be both difficult and expensive. Users are publishing requests either for passengers or for drivers.
It allows travelers to split the cost of transportation and gas. It is an funnier and cheaper way to share rides with other people while travelling around Iceland. Plus, it is so much better for the environment than everyone driving on their own!
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You have to know that in Iceland there are more cars than people, so there must be someone going to the same place as you. The website is in english so that everyone can understand. It is also available in German and Icelandic. The website design is very simple and submitting a request is easy. Then, people offer the trips, which usually are a lot cheaper than taxis. Drivers can also post on the group that they are offering rides and give their phone number for interested people to be able to contact them. At this day, the group counts with 41, users.
It was created by Icelanders with the purpose of linking people who want to pay a set price for a ride with people willing to offer rides in exchange for money, in order to split the gas price. Technically, this is illegal because the Icelandic law is very strict when it comes to services like Uber.
People who want to charge money for driving someone somewhere must have a professional permit to do so. However it does not stop amateur drivers from taking matters into their own hands, and the police are virtually powerless to stop it. So you can enjoy this means of transportation without worrying. As it is a Facebook group and not an official website, you should always pay attention to the person who offers a ride. Even if Iceland is a really safe country, it does not cost anything to contact the driver before and make sure he or she is well-intentioned.
But you have to keep in mind that Iceland is the safest country in the whole world, according to the Global Peace Index. Iceland has been number one since the Global Peace Index started to study statistics in In this big country of only about Looks like a perfect world right? Hitchhiking in Iceland is then a really safe means of transportation. You should try to go to a calmer road or at a gas station.
Once on the Ring Road, everything is much easier. The Ring Road is the easiest place to hitchhike in Iceland as it is the main road around the island. It is not possible to get lost on this road. Plus, you will be amazed by the wonderful landscapes around it. There are many towns with various accommodation possibilities along the Ring Road.
If you go this way it will be easier for you to be picked up. It is recommended to hitchhike from June to September due to the traffic peak and the weather conditions. Plus, at this time period, you will have more daylight to enjoy landscapes and not be forced to stop because of the night. About the duration of your trip, it is better to plan on staying at least 10 days in Iceland to be able to make the most out of your trip and avoid the stress of missing your return flight.
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In addition to being a really cheap means of transportation, hitchhiking will allow you to meet new people. You can be picked up by both locals or tourists. However you should never forget to bring proper, good quality clothing, so you can dress in layers. Always have some food supplies too, it can be really helpful. The most important thing you should always carry is a tent to be sure to have a shelter at any time.
Icelandic laws allow you to pitch your tent in the wilderness only if you find yourself miles away from any registered campsite. On the South Coast, you are now allowed to camp outside of a designated campsite.
Wild camping is also is forbidden in any nature reserve or national park, on cultivated land and private property. There are other areas with restrictions to protect sensitive nature and birdlife. If you are willing to wild camp in Iceland, you must do your research before heading out to the wilderness. Campsites open around May-June. Be sure to read the things to keep in mind while traveling in Iceland.
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Many people bike around Iceland every year to discover the country by themselves. It is going more and more popular as it is cheaper than renting a car. However, if you chose that option you should be prepared for harsh weather conditions. Between strong wind, heavy rain and sandstorms, Iceland is not the easiest country to travel by bike. You should plan to stay for a long period if you want to do the whole Ring Road and always keep your plans flexible depending on the weather.
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If the weather is too bad, you can always take a bus with your bike as big bus companies can carry them. Note that some companies will charge a fee to take your bike. Always be prepared when touring in Iceland. You should also know how to do your own basic repairs. It is always better to bring your own bike as you can train with it beforehand.
Most airlines will carry your bike in the hold if you pack it correctly in a bike box. Another way of coming to Iceland with a bike would be to take the ferry from Denmark. You can consult a free detailed map online, updated annually. It is also possible to join a biking and kayaking tour to discover the Westfjords with a professional guide who has so many things to tell you about this wonderful part of Iceland. Iceland has so many amazing and mind blowing hiking trails. Some of them are easy, but you have to remember that it is not a flat country at all! Plus, the weather can be challenging sometimes, going from rain to snow to hail to sun within 1 hour.
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Just be prepared for any type of weather! The best season to hike there is of course during the summertime, when the weather is most likely to be indulgent. Another good point for summer is that days are much longer than during winter. Indeed, if you are traveling in late June, you will have the opportunity to observe the midnight sun phenomenon and have 24 hours of daylight in a single day. Hiking during winter is not a really good idea as you will only experience the sun for 4 hours per day in December for example.
The best advice when hiking in Iceland for several days is to bring windproof, waterproof and warm clothes, regardless of the season you are coming.
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To know about the conditions of the trails, it is recommended to call mountain huts , especially if you are hiking in the Highlands. A GPS or a map is always a good idea to not get lost, even if, most of the time, paths are well-marked. About accommodation during a hike, many trails have small huts along the way.