Reykjavik Central

Ranargata 11, Reykjavik, 101, Iceland
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Icelanders.Icelanders.

The Pentecost church.The Pentecost church.

A cat in Reykjavík.A cat in Reykjavík.

A statue of Skúli Magnússon fógeti.A statue of Skúli Magnússon fógeti.

Forum Posts

R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by Eilatu

Hi, we are coming to Reykjavik/Akureyri on a cruise , middle July.We were offered several excerssions, which we need help with. 1.we were told that its a waste of money to go on those trips( very expensive) as you see everything from the ship.It doesn't look right to me ,as those trips going INLAND , INto the fjords, onto the glaciers,to gesirs etc.Any suggestion or view about this?
If to take part in those outings. 1.is the Golden Circle( Thingvellir NP( looks only history ajoint to it, nothing else( or may be I am mistaken?),Gullfoss Wf,Gesir area (Gesir Strokkur).2)Through hafnarfjordur to kleifarvatn Lake, to Krysuvik( is this the same as the one with the strokkur gesire ?). And ending with the icelander ( Viking ship).
Which one is more interesting?
In AKUREYRI- we are taken to GODAFOSS WF, Lake Mvatn,Dimmuborgir, Namafjall Mt.
Are the scenes very similar in the 2 areas? shall we do both?
Many thanks EILAT

Re: R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by marielexoteria

We did Hafnarfjördur/Kleifarvatn/Krýsuvik/Icelander by ourselves in one day. It's very easy and probably better if renting a car, due to the freedom of stopping wherever you want.

However, since you're visiting in a cruise, an organized tour *might* be a good idea.

Krýsuvik isn't the same as Strokkur.

Re: R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by Eilatu

Thanks Mariel. Can I ask- why did you choose this side ( and DIDN"T see the Blue Lagoon), and not the Golden Circle? Thats excatly what I need- the differences, so I can decide which one we'll take, as we have only 10H Many Anybody else that did the Golden Circle, and gave up the Blue Lagoon ? HOw can I get in touch with other passangers on "my" ship, in order to maybe-do the excursions with them?

Thanks again EILAT

Re: R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by marielexoteria

We were going to do both, but in the end we wanted to take the road less taken, of the 2.

Re: R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by GrumpyDiver

The Golden Circle is very popular and you can do it in 1/2 day or less. þingvellir is interesting - it's where the European and North American tectonic plates are moving apart - the only place in the world where you can stand in North America and see Europe. A short walk past the Law Rock and you can see the water filled fissures of where North America and Europe are moving apart.

Gullfoss and Strokkur are very close together. Both are definitely worth it. Kerio (water filled volcanic crater) is also in the area.

The Blue Lagoon is not far from Keflavik Airport, so it is worth stopping there for a few hours.

Krysuvik is not too far from the Blue Lagoon. Geothermal yes, but not as impressive as Strokkur - mostly mud pots and bubbling pools and that nice sulphur smell.

I suppose you could probably do both areas in a package tour. Check into the price of a car rental - might be a more cost effective solution.

We haven't been to the other places, but are heading to Iceland in a few weeks and will be seeing Godafoss and Lake Myvatn and area then.

Re: R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by Eilatu

Thanks for the detailed reply. Are you going also on a cruise or on your own?
If on cruise- which one? may be we can do it together? If not- Enjoy. Hope the weather will be nice to us ( us=all of you + Us)
regards Eilat

Re: R EYKJAVIK/ AKUREYARI cruise excerssions

by GrumpyDiver

No cruise for us. 11 days on the ground in a 4x4 exploring the interior and the north coast this time. Planning to do a lot of walking / take videos / take photos.

Good weather is something we are hoping for, but not counting on - a full set of rain gear / cool weather gear will be packed. If you look at my home page, I have some videos of some of the key sites taken during some unusually nice weather.

Travel Tips for Reykjavík

Best guidebook

by acemj

I used Lonely Planet's "Best of Reykjavik" title which was published in June of 2006, but there were a few things in the book that were already a little outdated. It's not a bad book, but when I was browsing through other books at the airport in Keflavik, I found the guidebook, "Inside Reykjavik, The Grapevine Guide" and it was much better. It's written by locals as has a more knowledgeable, insider's voice. It's a great read and I wish I would have had it. The Grapevine is a good quality English language newspaper in Reykjavik that can be found all over town.

I'm not sure where to get the guide online, but if you can't find it, I'd wait and buy it in Reykjavik.

Grapevine's website

Icelandic Vehicles

by sue_stone

How silly did we feel in Iceland in our tiny hire car.....when the locals were driving scary looking 4WD's crossed with monster trucks!!

Take a look at the photo for the typical type of vehicle we saw in Iceland. HUGE tyres are a must, which makes sense due to the arctic conditions for most of the year, coupled with the fact that many of the roads are unsealed.

Some of the cars we saw were pretty funny - looked like they had taken a standard "city 4WD" and added the largest tyres available. Everywhere we went we saw troops of these cars, though I must say they did look a little out of place on the streets of Reykjavik!

Big trucks in the streets of Reykjavík.

by Regina1965

I remember reading a conversation on the forums here some time ago about the big trucks in the streets of Reykjavík.

Yes, there are many many jeep-owners here and some of them are driving big pickup vans making normal cars look like ants next to them. During the boom here in Iceland, which then led to a total crash in October 2008, then a lot of people bought themselves a big jeep. They were able to do this by getting a 100% car loan, mostly a foreign currency loan. Of course these loans backfired when our króna collapsed, but that is another story.

When the ISK króna was strong against the US-dollar then a lot of Icelanders imported jeeps from the USA, and many of them imported big pickup vans, which look stupid in the streets of Reykjavík, they are just way too big and having an accident with one of these trucks driving a normal car is not a fair game.

But living in Iceland and wanting to travel in the country a 4x4 is needed. I don't own a 4x4 so I have had to skip a lot of places when travelling around the country. And living in Reykjavík and travelling around the country, it goes without saying that you have to drive the truck in the streets of Reykjavík as well, as people cannot afford to own 2 cars, one for the city and another one for the countryside.

I remember back then when only directors owned jeeps, that was a big fad, every director had to own a jeep. And Icelanders, having the mentality of small kings and feeling like they are all small kings (I am not making this up) then every Dick and Harry had to buy a jeep as well as not to be inferior to the directors.

And then started the big boom when the banks got privatised and the bank directors started competing against each other - then the most luxurious jeeps were bought, the black Range Rovers. Nowhere else outside of England did Landrover export more jeeps per capita than to Iceland.

A lot of the jeeps are elevated, those are the jeeps that go on glacier tours, and when on the glacier they will let air off the tires so that they can float on the glacier. That is the best way to travel on glaciers. Arctic Trucks, an Icelandic company located in Norway, specialises in altering Toyota jeeps so that they can drive on glaciers and on sands without difficulty. That is a big business and they alter jeeps f.ex. for Dubai and the Norwegian and Swedish army.

The Festival of the Sea - Harbour day.

by Regina1965

Iceland's biggest industry is the fishing industry. The annual Festival of The Sea is divided into Hafnardagur (Harbour day) and Sjómannadagur (The National Seamen's day). It is held the first weekend in June and we celebrate and remind ourselves of how important the sea is and has been for the Icelandic nation.

This year (2008) Harbour day was held for the 10th time and National Seamen's day for the 70th time (see my next tip on The National Seamen's day). Most activities were centred at or near Reykjavík's old harbour. There was an outdoor "Bizarre sea creatures'" exhibition (see 2 of my tips), whale-watching tours, mini amusement park, sight-seeing cruises to Akranes, food and culture in a tent on the pier, where you could also arm-wrestle with the strongest men in Iceland (note that Iceland has owned 2 "Strongest men in the World", which held the title for many years), see my tip under local custom on my Iceland page. The Icelandic diving society sold samples of grilled shellfish, there was a sailing competition and a ship sailed to launch messages in a bottle from people ashore. There was a guided tour aboard one of the ships of the coast guard. And nearby seafood restaurants offered a special three-course seafood-menu during the festival. A lot of activities and if you are ever in Iceland during this weekend try not to miss it, it is a lot of fun.

Road trip

by jlynyc

If you don't have time to complete the Ring Road, consider renting a car and taking a short day trip to a small town outside Reykjavik. The landscape is stunning - you feel like you've landed on the moon and then all of a sudden you are surrounded by lush farmland, giant cascading waterfalls and Icelandic ponies.

Just be careful driving - while the roads are well maintained, there is little traffic and driving can become monotonous.

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