Airport, Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon
We booked our trips with a local operator called Netbus and I'd highly recommend them for transport and tours. They were always on time for picking up and for they use smaller mini-buses which were great on the Golden Circle day tour, for a more personal feel to the trip.
The benefit of them on for the airport transfer is we were away within minutes of leaving the airport terminal - fellow passengers using the big bus services were in long queues and waiting for all passengers. Netbus offer a special offer 'bundle' of trips including airport transers, Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon with entrance fee included which worked out very good value or they do a 'stand alone' trips.
- National/State Park
- Budget Travel
Parking in Reykjavik
We drove to Reykjavik from our hotel in Keflavik, and had checked our route carefully beforehand. We decided to park near the university, which was convenient for the direction from which we would be coming, and where Regina1965 had advised me that we should find space. She was right; arriving at about 10.30 on a weekday morning we found plenty of space. It cost us a reasonable 80 krona (about 45p) per hour, which we were able to pay on our VISA debit card – useful as we had not yet amassed much small change.
As it happened, we also saw quite a lot of free parking spaces available on the road beside the Tjörnin Pond, a little nearer to the centre, and some in the centre itself. But it was better to have the security of a near-certain spot, and to avoid having to drive into the very centre, so we were pleased to have had the good advice.
After lunch we drove up to the Hallgrimskikja. This was another place where Regina had suggested we might find parking spaces, and again she was right, although by this time in the day (around 1.30 pm) it was much busier and we had to hunt for the empty places. Parking here was free of charge.
Domestic flight - Reykjavík Municipal airport.
Reykjavíkurflugvöllur - Reykjavík Municipal airport is mainly used for domestic flights, such as Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ísafjörður and The Vestman islands (Vestmannaeyjar). But you can also get international flights from there to Greenland (the flights to Nuuk are from Keflavík airport) and the Faroe islands. It has got two terminals and three airlines (I add the website of Air Iceland).
The airport is literally in the middle of the city, a 10 minutes' walk from Lækjartorg and the pond, and controversial as such, and you sometimes feel like the airplanes are going to land on your head. When it was built in 1940 in WW2 by the British military Reykjavík was a much smaller city, but now there are constant talks about moving the airport outside of the city. There have been talks about this for many years but no decision has been made nor will be made in the near future, I think.
Taxis in Reykjavík.
There are a lot of taxis in Reykjavík which can take you all over, even to and from Keflavík airport. You can either call them, the two agencies are Hreyfill-Bæjarleiðir 354 5533500 354 5885522 and BSR 354 5610000 or find them down-town by Bankastræti f.ex. where they line up or just wave at one on the street.
Tipping is not a custom here.
we decided to rent a car for the 7 hour layover, I could not believe how expensive it was $220 bucks plus gas for the 7 hours, I know your thinking I did not shop around but I am the king of getting a good deal and there were none to be had. There is a rental counter right in the main airport (hertz). But when you drop the car off you have to walk about 300-400 yards back to the airport.
- Budget Travel
BSI station (bus)
The BSI Station is a great place to make arrangements for various bus excursions throughout Iceland. It's located just outside of the Old Town within easy walking distance of most centrally located hotels. This is where the FlyBus from the airport will come and inside the terminal, you'll find an office for Reykjavik Excursions, the most popular tour company in the country.
Taking a bus just to get to another town outside of Reykjavik, seems a little odd to me in Iceland. The second largest town in Iceland has 16,000 people, so there are no other cities that hold a real tourist interest. That being said, the bus terminal is used more as a travel planning center. Most buses that leave from here are filled with tourists going on day tours. If you're just wanting to go off and explore the barren wilderness, I'd suggest extensive research for safety's sake and renting a car.
Renting vs. buying a car in Iceland.
I was reading on the news yesterday (19.07.2010) that if you are staying in Iceland for 3 weeks and thinking of renting a car, then it would be more advisable just buying a car. Since our króna fell drastically during the crisis which hit us in October 2008, this could be an option you should look into.
I am going to add a list of the cheapest rental cars available at the car rentals and you can judge for yourself. This is a weekly rent from 20.07-27.07 in 2010:
Avis-Ísland .................................. Opel Corsa ..................................... 103.796
Hertz-Ísland ................................ Toyota Yaris ................................... 115.200
Bílaleiga Akureyrar (Europcar)...... VW Polo ......................................... 128.000
Route 1.is .................................... Toyota Yaris ................................... 105.800
Renting a car in Iceland is almost double the price of renting a car in Denmark. That is due to the fact that the high-season is only 3 months here and during 9 months hundreds of cars stand untouched. Off season you can rent a car much cheaper.
Renting an Opel Corsa for 3 weeks costs ca ISK 292.600, but buying an Opel Corsa 2001, driven 215.000 km costs ca ISK 320.000 at the car dealership. So it is well worth looking into buying a car if staying for a couple of weeks here in Iceland.
I add the links to two car rentals and a link to all our car dealerships.
Bus Station is called BSI where only 2 agencies are placed.The main one is Reykjavik Excursions.If you are going to spend only a few days in Iceland the best solution is to book a 3 days-passport at Reykjavik Excursions.Beginning at 8,30 every day in Summer you can come back to Reykjavik betwen 5 and 9 PM.
On the other hand there is a day card for the city buses at 600 Kr.The web page is straeto.is.This is interesting if you are going to use 3 or more buses.One trip is 280 Kr.
Flybus - most convenient way to/from airport
After arriving in Keflavik International (KEF), I did go straight to Blue Lagoon using the bus from Reykjavik Excursions. But if I had not gone straight to Blue lagoon, I could have just purchased a roundtrip ticket for FlyBus for transit between the airport and the city center.
So, going from my hotel, I just told my concierge to have Fly Bus know that I wanted to be picked up next morning. The Fly Bus van picked me up and then brought me to the Fly Bus terminal where I just bought my ticket going to the airport for ISK 2200…there are other tour for this bus company so make sure you get on the correct bus outside the big terminal.
The great thing about this bus company is that bus rides are linked to flights and they have about 12 departures daily…and a bus leaves the bus terminal (BSI) 2 hours prior to departure. They even have pick-ups at major camping sites, other than the hotels. You can even book on-line before going, but it is easy to just buy the tickets when you get there at the airport.
Now this is an interesting site, this is an alternative choice in getting around. Log on to this site and find out more. Here you can accompany people from all over Iceland on their way to or from Reykjavík to places all over Iceland. Or just people going from one part of Iceland to the other. You share the cost of petrol and get to meet new people. I recommend this site.
Ferry to Videy
It's just a five minutes ferry to Videy Island.
Ferries depart in summer (May to September) from the new harbour of Sundahöfn in the northeastern part of the city, located close to the Cruise Ship Visitor Center, every hour, from 11:15 to 19:15.
Last ride from Videy at 20:30.
There is also one ride per day from the Old Harbour, at 12:00
Flying to Reykjavik
Reykjavik does have its own airport but this really only serves light aircraft on domestic flights. Most international flights arrive at Keflavik Airport, around an hours drive fromReykjavik.
There aren't many options for people wishing to fly to Iceland from Europe, at least not cheaply. Iceland Air, Iceland Express all have direct flights to Keflavik Airport (about an hour from Reykjavik) but fares can be quite expensive.
Iceland Air fly from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Paris.
Iceland Express fly from London, Warsaw, Friedrichshafen, Copenhagen, Berlin and Alicante to Keflavik.
From Ireland there are no scheduled direct flights to Iceland but Wallace Travel in Dublin arrange package trips to Iceland including flights (charter), transfers and hotel. (Prices around €550.)
The most important reason to visit Reykjavík is for the country itself, and many of us (myself included), prefer to go on our own, so, we hire a car.
Here is a selection of car hire companies in Reykjavík in particular and Iceland in general:
Rás Car Rental
Before you book, take into account where you want to collect/return the car, not all the companies have offices at the airport or Reykjavík.
There are some ways to go to/from the airport:
- By Car
- By Taxi
- By Bus
The link gives info about the possibilities plus parking and Car Hire.
The best option for me, unless you are lucky enough to know people there who take you in their own car or you rent a car, is by a bus called Flybus (see the next tip).
Keflavík International Airport
This is the main airport in Iceland. It's some 50 kms. southwest of Reykjavík, the capital of the country, and it takes about 40-50 minutes to drive to the city.
- Fax: (+354) 425 60 10
For the information about how to get there, visit the next tip.
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