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20th March from Edinburgh, looking for advice/help

Dundee, United...
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20th March from Edinburgh, looking for advice/help

Hi,

My girlfriend and I are going to Reykjavik on Thursday, flying from Edinburgh, and returning on Monday night. I have a few questions and would greatly appreciate people on here’s opinions/advice.

My Itinerary is as Follows:

Thursday 20th: Arrive late into Keflavik Airport, around 20:25. Catch the next bus from Airport to Bus Terminal, which is only a few minutes walk from our hotel. Dump bags in hotel and head out for some food and a walk around the town.

Friday 21st: Walk around the city during the day and visit the Hallgrimskirkja, Perlan, the harbour and the famous Bæjarins Beztu. Possibly take the city tour bus as well. Northern lights tour booked for 8:30.

Saturday 22nd: Golden Circle tour booked, which takes all day. Think we will try the Runtur at night.

Sunday 23rd: South Coast and Glacier Walk tour booked, which takes all day. Possibly use the night for our free second attempt at Northern Lights, if we are unsuccessful on Friday night.

Monday 24th: Blue Lagoon afternoon then Airport.

My questions are as follows:

1. Have we missed anything that we should definitely do/see?

2. What to do on the Monday morning?

3. Our flight is not till 9pm on Monday night and last bus leaves Blue Lagoon at 3pm, which gets us to the airport far too early, so does anyone have any suggestions? Taxi? If so, how much would it roughly be for a taxi from Blue Lagoon to Airport?

4. Money - I’ve read on this forum that it’s best to take your debit card over there and withdraw money direct from the ATM, is this true?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Blackpool, United...
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1. Re: 20th March from Edinburgh, looking for advice/help

Hi,

1. Your itinerary sounds pretty good for a long weekend. If you found a spare evening you could go across to Videy for a Peace Tower tour (it will be lit during your visit so you should still be able to see the light from Reykjavik if you dont do the tour).

2. Another walk? - out to Grotta Lighthouse maybe? Or you could do an activity e.g. whale watching or vein caving - some combined tours then offer transfers to the Blue Lagoon (have a look at Elding.is or Extremeiceland.is)

3. 7000 ISK according to this recent thread: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g189970-i594-k72…

4. Can't help with the ATM q as I've never done it but lots of threads for you to research on here and work out the maths. Our first visit we took a small amount of ISK (when it was easy to get hold of in the uk!) but mainly used a credit card (Halifax Clarity which is load free).

Have a great time, hope you get lucky with the NL.

Edited: 17 March 2014, 20:08
Dundee, United...
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2. Re: 20th March from Edinburgh, looking for advice/help

Many thanks for the response.

Ye, I forgot that the Peace tower would be lit for the start of the Equinox, we will try and get across there possibly on the Thursday night if we have time, or maybe the Sunday night.

United Kingdom
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3. Re: 20th March from Edinburgh, looking for advice/help

Davey, on the ATM question it might depend on your credit / debit card, if you're thinking about cost.

We found when we went recently that the Visa exchange rate was around 185 - 187 ISK to the pound. Buying money here in the UK would have got us around 170 ISK to the pound which is considerably worse, and we'd have had to buy £300+ worth and carry it. Buying money in the airport on arrival would have got us 181 ISK to the pound at the time we arrived, while buying it from a Landsbankinn in town would have got a little more, say 183 - 185 ISK at the time. Whatever you do, getting money there, whether it's buying ISK or using ATMs, will be cheaper than getting it in the UK.

We have a Halifax Clarity card which has no exchange loading, so you just pay the interest on the cash you withdraw. Pay the card off immediately you get back and it's insignificant. However different cards do different things - some charge up to 3% loading plus a fixed fee - so you should check with your bank what the terms on yours are and do the sums.

We also found all the ATMs we used charged a 150 ISK fee for withdrawal (say 80p); I don't know if that's standard or just a reflection of the ATMs we used.

Shops etc. in Iceland will take a credit card even for small purchases. We ended up getting 20,000 ISK (around £100) for odds & ends and emergencies from an ATM when we arrived, and then bought most stuff on the credit card. The cash lasted us all week more than comfortably.

You should also bear in mind that carrying plastic may be easier than carrying significant amounts of cash. Iceland's very low crime so I don't think you'll get cash stolen, but you can still lose it; you might think it's worth a few pounds to the card company to make life easier.

http://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/ will help calculate costs of various ways of getting foreign money, though it doesn't cover getting cash there, while moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-mo… will tell you how expensive your cards are for foreign money.

If you're just thinking of practicality, we found there are plenty of ATMs and nearly everywhere takes plastic for purchases, so unless you're well off the beaten track (which it doesn't sound as though you will be) you shouldn't have a problem using your cards.

4. Re: 20th March from Edinburgh, looking for advice/help

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