“In a nutshell: Iceland is a very expensive, but when you consider the fabulous sights and experiences that are to be had in the Land of Ice and Fire, it isn’t a bad-value destination at all.
1. The Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis. That alone was worth the cost of the trip!
2. Wild, untamed nature. My favorite landscapes were at Vik, Myrdal and Dyrhólaey.
3. Perfect public safety, and a society virtually free from violence, theft, burglary and corruption
4. Modern technology allows them to grow bananas, strawberries, tomatoes and basil locally.
5. Standing by the Stokkur geyser and waiting for the next eruption
6. The ‘typical’ landscape as you cross the island: moss-covered volcanic rock, mountains disappearing into the low clouds, a herd of robust Icelandic horses grazing, smoke drifting from an active volcano, the roar of the North Atlantic and a thousand shades of green
7. The atmosphere on a whale watching trip, as several competing companies work together to try to locate a pod
8. What we think of as winter coat weather is t-shirt weather for the locals
9. The works of nature: fjords, glaciers, fumaroles, solfataras, bubbling pools of mud, pahoehoe lava, geysers, basalt organs and volcanic sand
1. High prices (everyone knows this already, but who likes high prices?)
2. We didn’t see any trolls or fairies, but they definitely exist
3. All the public bathrooms at beauty spots are closed from October
4. Horizontal rain, and wind that blows the drizzle into our faces
5. A lot of buildings are painted black (but at least this makes them efficient absorbers of sunlight)
6. Dangerous one-lane bridges, where you have to wait for things coming the other way before you can cross
7. Modern construction is erasing the traditional Scandinavian face of Reykjavik
8. The whale watching excursion from Reykjavik wasn’t as much of an experience as it would have been if we’d gone from Húsavík – at least if the pictures are to be believed
9. Not much of a choice when it comes to souvenirs. It’s enough to visit one or two shops because the others are all the same.
,, It's funny that America doesn’t seem to have so many Elves Fairies and so on while in Iceland you can’t move without falling over them, or even falling foul of them. In Iceland, they are called the Huldufólk (hidden people). The elves of Iceland live in enchanted rocks and cliffs even I think old trees though finding a tree in Iceland must be tricky, but what better place to live. They lead lives that are very similar to those lead by humans; they keep livestock, cut hay, row fishing boats, pick berries and occasionally steal you away to other realms.
The Elves don’t like to be disturbed and the “Icelanders take this very seriously. A local defender of the elves trying to halt a road project through their homes said the elves contacted me in 2012 and pleaded with me to protect their chapel,” says the self-proclaimed seer, who runs The Elf Garden, a fairytale park of lava rocks near Reykjavík. “They told me the Ófeigskirkja had been used as a beacon to guide people through the lava field for centuries, so they asked me to write to the mayor to halt the road.’” (Guardian)
The planned road ended up being adapted to suit the elves. Hidden people are known to be extremely protective of their homes and will cause great harm to those who disturb them. Icelanders firmly believe in the existence of elves and recent polls have shown that more than 55% of the nation subscribes to such a belief.
Often described as big, stupid, and greedy, no not conservative politicians but trolls. Like elves, trolls become enraged when one does them harm, but one can expect to be richly rewarded when helping a troll in need. You should always be kind to your neighborhood Troll as they can do magic. They have a tendency to lure people into caves and places you would be better off not being and they might eat you. Most trolls can only travel by night and will turn to stone as soon as they are hit by sunlight.
“Many magnificent Icelandic rock formations are said to be the petrified remnants of trolls who suffered the harsh fate of the sun and derive their names directly from such accounts, for example, West Iceland's Skessuhorn (Troll Woman's Peak) and Tröllaskarð (Troll's Pass) in North Iceland.” (ITB)
Don’t forget when climbing that interesting-looking rock it might have been a Troll. (Alan Durant, 2021)
The thing that always comes up about Iceland is the cost. When you are there it is expensive. An imported beer will cost you about 1200 Kr about 7 UK Pounds. An inexpensive meal fo one will cost about 2500 3000 Kr and entrance fees and tour costs tend to be high.
My advice is that if you think you might not be able to afford it you can’t. Save up and put off your trip or go somewhere cheaper, perhaps even warmer. Do s If you are going to be driving “make sure you read up on how to drive in Iceland safely and inform yourself about the Icelandic search and rescue teams.” (ITB) Make sure you are wearing the right gear. You can get all four seasons in the space of half an hour.
There is an old saying, “there is no such thing as the wrong weather only the wrong clothing.” (Alan Durant, 2021)
Don’t buy beer in regular stores. “In Iceland, alcoholic beer is only sold in the stores of the state alcohol monopoly ÁTVR and at licensed restaurants and bars. Any drink sold at grocery stores must therefore have lower alcohol content than 2.25%. This means that the cans which look like beer cans, labeled Pilsner are not beer.” (Icelandic Magazine)
If you are going hiking independently make sure to inform people that will check where and when you expect to arrive. Too many people wonder of happily into the mists only to be brought later, still happy but not aware of it. Of course, the Trolls get the blame. Leave your travel plan with the search and rescue teams
The most popular hiking route in Iceland is 'Laugavegurinn', named after Reykjavík's busiest shopping street. Even though it's a busy route, you can still feel like you’re the only one on it. So don’t rely on the kindness of passing strangers. They may be kind but they might not pass. Try and spend more than a flying three-day visit. Iceland definitely puts the fan into fantastic, enjoy. (Alan, Durant, 2021)