How to travel Iceland: 14 Iceland Travel Tips (Circling Iceland Ep.05)

How to travel Iceland: 14 Iceland Travel Tips (Circling Iceland Ep.05)

– Hello, guys! Our road
trip in Iceland just ended and we thought we’d make
a little video to tell you more about how to travel
Iceland with the most common questions which come
up when you prepare for a trip which we also had before we
were prepared for our trip. (upbeat music) (relaxing electronic music) – [Gareth] We just spent the last two weeks traveling around Iceland. We started here in
Reykjavik, we went up the what is it, the West
coast, through the North, down the East coast, and
then back to Reykjavik. That took us how many days? – I’d say we did it in 10
days with a little bit more, we factored a little bit more
time in because we also do photography and video as
you’ve seen in the series. So let’s start from the beginning. – Yes.
– Getting in. Getting Around. (upbeat electronic music) In terms of visa situation, it’s pretty fast forward for basically for us two, like for North America. – Yeah, you have 30 days
on just your regular passport, valid passport,
all that kind of stuff. That has to be applied, but yeah 30 days with a valid U.S. passport. I believe Europe is the same. – Yeah, it’s the same. Iceland is basically part of
Europe so not a big problem. Yeah, just buy a ticket, come
when you’re from this area. It’s a little bit different
for other countries so I recommend making sure with
your country checking out the visa requirements before
you go, but in general it’s the same as in other
countries in Europe. (upbeat electronic music) And when you’re in, how do you
get around from the airport to get into the city center
of Reykjavik ’cause it will probably be your first stop. There are two major
companies, two bus companies, Flybus and Gray Line and
you can book online transfer ticket which takes you actually
either to the bus terminal or if you pay a little
bit more, also to the hostel or hotel you’re staying at. And the same goes for the way back. So you can buy a return
ticket which is cheaper than buying two one way tickets. So you could think about doing that beforehand and save some money on that. (upbeat electronic music) – I think the best thing for
us and what we talk about a lot is we made a really good
decision in renting a car. For us especially, for
videography and photography we were on our own schedule all the time. We could go off the beaten
path whenever we needed to. (upbeat electronic music) – So in general, you have three options. You have a normal rental car, you have a 4×4, and you have a camper van. Camper van is cool because you can sleep in a camper van, you can cook. Yeah, and you basically have
everything in one place. – It’s definitely the most
economic choice as far as your accommodations are
built in that you can stay. There’s a lot of campsites
around the country that you can find beforehand, and stay in those. And there’s some nice setups,
we even passed one that had a large dining area and kitchen setup and public bathrooms and things like that. So again, if you’re on a very tight budget but you do have time, I would
highly recommend, you know, the camper van option
is a really good option. – Exactly. We went with the 4×4 because we went a little bit off the beaten path. We went on the gravel roads which you can mostly find in the Highlands but also in the East and in the North. If you want to go certain
waterfalls, they are so called “F-roads” which you can only
drive on if you have a 4×4. Otherwise you’re not
allowed to drive on them. So if you want to truly
explore, get a 4×4. And then if you are staying
maybe a little bit shorter, you want to do some day
trips from Reykjavik then a normal rental car to go to
the South, to Vík for example. (upbeat electronic music) – Yeah, the roads close by
Reykjavik are very good. Everything is paved, it’s really nice. It’s only up until you get out
of the city, out of the main areas that the roads start
getting a little rough. There was a few times
we had road closures. But for the most part we got
lucky also with the weather. The weather can turn like this
in Iceland very very quickly. So having that 4×4 gave
us a little bit of comfort knowing that we could
get through these spots. – And what you can do beforehand
is each day you should check, there is a certain
website which tells you where road closures, how are
the road conditions, there’s a very good
system here in Iceland. (upbeat electronic music) There are basically two big options you can do depending
on the time you bring. You have the Ring Road,
this is the one we did. – Yep.
– This takes you through all of Iceland, it’s
basically road number 1. And you start at Reykjavik
and end up in Reykjavik. And the same goes for
the Golden Circle road. You also start in Reykjavik
and end up in Reykjavik but this is a roundtrip,
doable in one day which takes you to some
waterfalls, to some springs, Blue Lagoon, geysers, and a crater. Golden Circle is obviously
very, very popular and it’s hard to escape the tourists. (upbeat electronic music) It is always a good time
to travel to Iceland. It just depends on what
you are searching for. If you want to see the
Northern Lights, for example, you need to come more in
the darker times because in summer the sun doesn’t really set. So summer is also the most popular time. If you want to avoid the
tourists, you shouldn’t come in summer but of course
in summer it’s warmer. – Yes.
– So which makes up for opportunities to go to
the central Highlands and go hiking there, which
is not really possible in winter because it’s harder to access. So I would say, yeah, I would
say like spring time is a great season to have a little
bit of everything, as is Fall. – Right now, yeah I think we
got a good taste of everything. The road were still good,
conditions were good. We still got to see a little
bit of the changing of the colors when we were
hiking around the canyon. – [Steve] That’s true, yeah. – So I think right now is
actually the perfect time to go. I mean, we were lucky enough to choose. – But yeah, for us the
shoulder season because we’re not tied to holidays,
shoulder season is great. So we were traveling end of October and a few days in November. Perfect. (upbeat electronic music) We were here for like
two weeks altogether. – Yeah.
– So that we have 10 days for the Ring Road, a little
bit more than a week is a good choice for the Ring Road. – Yeah, if you have the chance,
I mean I know a lot of the people that we’ve met along
the road said they only had about four or five days
and so they were going up to certain aspects of the
Ring Road and then coming back down especially on the
South and the East coast. But if you have the opportunity, the West and the North is just incredible. So a few extra days, I
would say go up there. We felt, I don’t know
if you would say rushed, but we had things to do every single day. We were ticking them off
the list and obviously we spent more time, like
Steve says, in each location filming and photography
and things like that. But yeah, the more time you
have here, I’d say two weeks for the Ring Road and
you will not get bored. – The more, the better when it
comes down to real adventure. Also, if you want to do the
central Highlands you need to have, you need to bring some time. So if you want to do the Ring Road and the central Highlands, two weeks might be what you’re looking at. If you just want to go
for like a mini-adventure, if you have a stopover which is possible with certain airlines,
Iceland Air for example, they do that, you can
have a seven day stopover without additional costs
when you, for example, fly to the U.S. then it
makes sense maybe to just have like three or four days then do some day trips to the South. (upbeat electronic music) – What would you do if you
had three or four days? – I would definitely do the Golden Circle. – Uh huh.
– And I would head down South. I would head to Vík to
see some water, I mean on the Golden Circle you have
one big waterfall you see. – Okay.
– But down South you have the waterfalls.
– Yeah. – Also, glaciers is what you can’t see when you’re on the Golden Circle. – Okay.
– But if you’re here in summer and you rent a 4×4, you can go a little bit into the Highlands. This could be like another day
which you could spend there. (upbeat electronic music) You can basically have
everything in one day. – We did!
– You can have hail, rain, sun everything in one day. We got pretty lucky actually on our trip. But you should definitely come prepared. You should bring many layers, you should come like we call it in Germany the “onion principle” do you call it that? – [Gareth] Yeah, yeah. – So yeah, bring layers and
then of course depending on which season you’re traveling in. Summer, it’s less likely to go to get into a snowstorm than it is right now, which right now it’s a little bit tricky. So you should come prepared and maybe pack a little bit warmer but also
for this I have an extra packing guide where I show you
what I brought for this trip. But in general, I would
say a fleece jacket, a good windbreaker, that’s always good. – Yeah, so the wind, and
this is funny because the rental car company actually warned us. This is the first thing he said, he goes, “Make sure you close the
doors and hold onto the doors when you do,” because they’ve
been known to be ripped off by the wind and we definitely
felt that a few times. (upbeat electronic music) – We already talked about camper van as an option, as a very economic option. We decided not only because we wanted to stay comfy but
also because of the weather, it’s getting really
cold in like after Fall. – So we decided to do a
home stay, a site called HomeAway, and what that is is
basically you go and you can rent out cabins, you rent out houses, there’s even some hotels on there. And it gives you a different
perspective of the trip. Because we stayed in people’s homes. And we stayed in some beautiful
homes, a couple of cabins, one apartment right on
the water, a beautiful place here in Reykjavik,
and we just go to see a different perspective of the trip. There’s also hostels in most
of the major cities around the country and again, the
camper van is a good option. But for two grown male adult
friends sleeping side by side, we wanted a little bit more
space just so we wouldn’t kill each other on a two week road trip. – You mentioned hostels, we are now sitting recording here in this suite of the Oddsson Hostel,
another part of this trip. Just to show you also the other side of options you can choose from
when you travel in Iceland. This is the suite but
they also have dorms. You’re staying in a private room here, – It’s really good.
– Which is also pretty nice. Like a hotel, actually. – Yeah, it’s very good
and there’s live music. We’re actually here during
the Iceland Airwaves Festival and there’s music actually
going on right in the lobby. So it’s been a great
stay, a really good spot. (upbeat electronic music) – It’s an expensive place. – So we’re drinking beers here,
like we’re looking at beer prices here if you are out
in restaurant or if you are enjoying the night like in
Reykjavik, of about like $10 or even more, like $10 is like the average. If it comes down to snacks,
like if you want to do it on the cheap, hot dogs
are very popular here. But they start at like $5 and
then if you want to go for like bigger food you need
to calculate with at least like $10 to $15 per meal. – Yeah, for example, off
the beaten path, I mean up in the North and things
like that, we were seeing cheeseburger combos at the
local gas station for $25. – At a gas station!
– Yeah, for $25. So it gives you an idea,
it’s very very expensive. And we got around that in a few ways, so we’ll talk about food in a second. – Coming from a backpacker background, Iceland is a country
which I chose to go to in a stage of my life where I can afford it. Just to give it justice, just
to experience also the food, to experience it to the fullest. And it really deserves
it, so maybe save up and maybe have like one trip less a year and save up the money for Iceland
as it is totally worth it. (upbeat electronic music) – Gareth shot a little video
here about the food experiences in Reykjavik which pretty
much pictured the Icelandic food culture you can expect here. So what is your experience,
just a little bit shorter so that the people still can go over to your channel and watch the video. – Yeah, so I definitely just barely stuck my toes in the water
as far as the food goes. I mean, we’ve been in Reykjavik
for about five days now and traveling around the
country we did a lot of grocery shopping just ’cause we knew
we wanted to stay on a budget and there was good
grocery stores as a bonus. And then what was the other one? – We got our grocery bag right here. – Here we go! Here, that’s not sponsored. – Krónan. So there’s
some good grocery stores around the country so what
we did was we, at these HomeAways, we had kitchens in
most places that we were at. – Bonus. – Always. So what we did was we would shop and then cook and that saved
us a lot of money as far as going out to dinners but
lamb, seafood, those are two of the most coveted items on the menu and there’s burgers everywhere. As Steve mentioned, there’s hot dogs that are always a good option. But for the most part, really
good food and I would say the grocery shopping
helps you save some money but make sure you get out
and make sure you spend a little bit of time checking
out the local cuisine. – Alright guys, that’s it from us. If you want to see more, and I
hope you do want to see more, You should check out Gareth’s
channel where he features our daily adventures in Iceland. You see the rest of the
videos we shot down here. On my face, you can
subscribe to this channel for new travel videos every Thursday. – That’s it from Iceland.
– Thank you guys. And again, make sure you leave
a comment if you have any questions about Iceland, we’ll
be sure to respond directly. – Thanks guys.
– Bye!

35 thoughts on “How to travel Iceland: 14 Iceland Travel Tips (Circling Iceland Ep.05)”

  • This video was very helpful! Thanks guys for sharing your tips! Iceland looks amazing and it's definitely on my bucket list! -Amelia

  • This was a really helpful video for me, thanks! I have a question for you! In a few months I have a 24 hour stay-over in Iceland and I am wanting to do some exploring. However, I am unable to rent a vehicle. Are there any tours or someother way I can explore on a budget?

  • Awesome!! I'll be there in July for 2 weeks. I was looking to get a full bus pass to explore the island but I'm not sure if it worth spending $400 for that pass since I'll be hiking the Laugavegur trail which should take me 5-7 days…Should I get it for the remaining 5-6 days? Will I have enough time to do the ring road? Thanks in advance!

  • Hi guys, great video. Where do you know where it's legal to park your campervan at night? Are there any designated places?

  • BackPacker Steve says:

    I finally managed to put all tips together in one article on my website including all mentioned links:

  • Please! I need a direct bus to that takes in one day from one end in iceland to the other, where can I book it

  • Michelle Phillip says:

    Hi Guys, so would you say that the cheapest way to explore Iceland would be to rent a vehicle and just explore on your own oppose to the costly tours being offered. And if yes are the attractions pretty easy to find on your own?


  • Amazing place and so much fun a wonderful sites to go see. You guys did amazing job here. Being so expensive to go yt? I have been watching these so much that I feel I have been there….😄 just beautiful place my kind of weather too. I do better in the cold and cool places. Thanks for sharing… April 😊

  • Im going to iceland for 5 nights on June 22 im solo traveller cause unfortunately my friend canceled his trip to be with me for personal reasons. My no. 1 question Do i need to book on line earlier for travel tour in order to have cheaper price or its better to decide when im there to have better options for a good company. I heard hitchhiker or else. I want to enjoy my precious time there so i need to see those places with enough time taking souvenir pictures abd video clips. Hoping for your honest advice. Thanks. By the way i book already in Kex Hostel for 5 nigjts.

  • Great video, pls need advice. I have 5 days at begining of may( 4 days with car like you had), I know that it is not enough for ring road, especially to film some drone shots. So what would be your recomendation for those 4 days! Thanks 🙂

  • Hey…i am planning to visit Iceland in August. May i ask where did u stay in Reykavik and other places? The apartment looks beautiful. looking for 3 adults. Thanks.

  • carolyn witmitz says:

    90 Days for Aussies and U.S citizens, EU/EEA to visit Schengen countries , either all in one hit or in shorter stays in one year ….

  • i watched both your videos. great job. we would like to do round the ring road too but not the f road or the tough hiking. in october, will a car be comfortable to drive?

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