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Trip Report October 2017

Pittsburgh, PA
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Trip Report October 2017

My husband and I just returned from an early October five days and nights in Iceland. A few thoughts from our trip to share:

HOME BASE REYKJAVIK: We had concerns about road conditions, driving in a foreign country and navigation, so we decided to stay in Reykjavik without renting a car. Through Air BNB, we found a wonderful apartment in the Harbor area. This was a great location for us, there were about six restaurants directly across the street from us and City Center was about a five minute walk. I would highly recommend staying in the Harbor Area. We took a day and rented bikes and rode around part of the coast and through the city. There was not a point where we regretted not renting our own car.

TOURS: Without a car, we depended on tours to show us the sights. We took the South Coast and Gold Circle tours through GeoIceland and a Northern Lights tour through Time Tours (we saw the lights!!). All three lived up to their TA reviews and I would recommend each one. It is said the Gold Circle is the most popular tour, but we enjoyed the South Coast more. It provided a more diverse lineup of sites (waterfalls, black sand beach and a glacier). The tours made a long days, but enabled us to see so much in a short span.

THE BLUE LAGOON: I booked tickets (via Reykjavik Excursions) a month before we left and they only had 8:00 am tickets available (book early!!). Although not thrilled with the early morning, this turned out to be a positive. We literally were the first people in the Lagoon. It was pretty crowded and chaotic (especially the locker room) when we left at 10:30, but at 8:00 am, was virtually empty. It was worth getting up early.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS: Iceland was beautiful. We lucked out with mostly good weather (45 degrees, little rain). We wore layers, including waterproof pants and Northface coats, during our tours. Although not completely necessary, there were stops and places other people on our tours did not go because they did not want to get wet. We paid for everything via credit card, which made everything easier. The food was better than I expected, with a lot of lamb and seafood. Yes, everything is expensive, but know that going in and it’s not shocking.

Thanks to everyone for their input on these forums. Let me know if anyone has questions that I might be able to help with.

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25 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Thank you for a fine trip report, a pleasure to read. Sounds like you did your homework. We have never eaten a meal out in Iceland that was not delicious, from pub, to fancy restaurant, to fish and chip wagon. The issue was only the price, and that's why the air bnb efficiency unit was such a good idea. We could eat home cooking sometimes, and enjoy the meals out as we could afford them.

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Reykjavik, Iceland
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2. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Thanks for posting it, it's wonderful to get these impressions from those who have visited recently. Thanks for taking the time to write it down :)

Albury, Australia
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3. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Thanks for sharing... great to read.

I loved the South Coast too...and was thankful for my waterproof pants and jacket!

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Thanks for this report!...I am just starting to go crazy trying to figure out what to do...your tours...were they bus or private...ie smaller parties??...thanks again...I was hoping the harbour was a good place to stay!!!

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5. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Great report, we’re following a similar itinerary so you’re is making me excited for our trip in three weeks!

I have also booked an 8am blue lagoon slot, it’s on our way back to the airport and I was hoping to watch the sunrise from the lagoon, but was wondering if you got the 7am transport or the 8am transport? We’re booked to travel at 8am and arrive just before the end of our 8-9am timeslot, and now I’m a bit concerned that we might be late and miss our entrance. Don’t really fancy getting to the bus stop at 6.30am though!

Pittsburgh, PA
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6. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Kerriny - Our tours were not private, but we booked through companies that offered smaller tour groups on 18 person Sprinter vans, opposed to coach buses. Our largest group was 10 people, which gave the tours a personal feel.

You'll like staying in the Harbor. We were across the street from the Icelandair Marina Hotel and had all our tour pickups there. There is a small cafe near the pickup spot at the hotel and where you can get a cup of coffee and pastries and wait inside until the buses came. We found it much better than standing at the bus stop.

Pittsburgh, PA
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7. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Cerys - We booked the 7:00 am transport and arrived around 7:45. The idea of being ready at 6:30 was dreaded, but it worked out for the best. The Lagoon before the 10:00 wasn't crowded. I would recommend the earlier bus.

Reykjavik, Iceland
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8. Re: Trip Report October 2017

And it's also cheaper to book the less-popular timings at the BL.

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9. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Thanks for getting back to me! I’ll have to brave the early start I think. The last thing I want is to arrive to queues and end up missing our time slot. I did email them, but got quite a vague reply back saying I would arrive at 8.45 so would be fine, but they didn’t acknowledge what would happen in the case of long queues delaying our check-in.

Orlando, Florida
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10. Re: Trip Report October 2017

Do you remember the airBNB name?

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