First time to Europe in 2016 travel in winter and decided to catch aurora once in my lifetime. Iceland was shortlisted in the trip. Switzerland is about the alps, Paris over the Eiffel tower while London, the London eye, Big Ben, London bridge. Without further ado, let me share with my days in this trip.
I bought the three telco sim card for $40 sgd from ebay which has 12 GB data for 1 month. And i can use through out my whole trip. Network was slow in paris and london train.
Brief Introduction about Iceland
A beauty of nature place with waterfalls, volcanoes, geysir, glacier and the most iconic the northern lights. Reykjavik the capital and the largest city in Iceland holds almost two third population, while Iceland has a relatively small population against the size of the country. Winter are slightly cheaper than summers and the days are shorter during winters the chance of seeing northern light is higher. Winter period: Nov to Mar average temp at 0 to 3. Sunrises around 10am and set at 4pm for us in November it means shorter time to visit the scenery in the day.
Coming to Iceland recommended to rent a car and drive, basically other than blue lagoon, by visiting the nature are absolutely free. However, you will need to rent a car to travel otherwise join the tour group.
We chose the thrifty car rental overall experience was good though there was an indicating signal flashing during our rides, but it didn’t affect our journey. I took one of the OB discount card for pumping petrol that was available on their desk. Upon returning, no extra charges incurred.
Accommodation in Iceland - Reyjavik
Accommodation: Rey Apartment
Cost : SGD 180 per pax for 3 nights
Address: Grettisgata 2A (estimate 45 mins drive from Keflavik Airport via route 41)
Power Plug: 2 round pin
Currency rate: 77 ISK : 1 SGD
Check on the Exchange Rates at the Keflavik Airport
Places of Interest in Iceland - Day 1 19 Nov 2016
We booked our aurora tour with Gray line, at 7pm since we didnt catch on the first night, we book on our last night and there is no extra charges. They guarantee you 2 years you can book with them again if you didnt manage to catch the aurora.They drove us to Thingvellir which is 40mins drive to catch the northern lights.
The Aurora is really phenomenon! Download the aurora photo taking app. Maintain high exposure and bring tripod.
The dark sky came across the aurora and they are moving and dancing changing of colour. It is so mind blowing and the sky are filled with stars. It is really freezing but what caught in our eyes beats the cold. We try to snap as much as we could and it was really excited how it is to see aurora in my lifetime. I am fortunate enough that the trip is fruitful. The heat pack I brought along doesn’t help to keep me from the cold. The cold up there is extremely freezing. We had a good 1 hour to snap shot and get ready to go back it was rather early where the trip end at 11pm plus when the aurora start to fade and we bid good bye.
Places of Interest in Iceland - Day 2 20 Nov 2016
The black sand beach
Wild Icelandic horse
Places of Interest in Iceland - Day 3 21 Nov 2016
The blue lagoon
Thingvellir National Park
Places of Interest in Iceland - Optional
If time permit, suggest to go further to the following suggested place
Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
Ice Cave Tour
Famous Solheimasandur Plane Crash
These attractions are further down to the east of iceland. You will required to book with tour to bring you to the Ice Cave.
What to eat in Iceland
Pylsuhusid Hot Dog House
Pylsuhúsið, 101, Reykjavík, Iceland
Opens: 10am - 11pm
We didnt try, but you can choose either this or the one below.
Bæjarins Beztu hot dogs
Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavik
*Hot dog is 420 ISK
Dont look very appetiizng as they didnt take care of the presentation upon preparing. As for the taste, still alright as the hotdog is a mixture of different meat and with the crispy onions that added points to it.
Sveitagrill Miu -Mia’s Country Grill
Address: Skogar | Skogar, South Region, Hella 861, Iceland
Opens: 12pm - 4pm
*Fish & Chips 2,000 ISK, Vegetables soup 1,000 ISK
You will encounter the red wagon after visitng the skogass fall. The local fish & chip is a must try although it may cost almost 26 SGD for 1 set. The vetables soup is really tasty especially in cold weather.
Bónus Reykjavík, 1, Hallveigarstigur, Reykjavík, Iceland
Opens: 10am - 7pm
Or the one we visit after the fall about an hour drive, back towards Reyjavik, located on the left
Recommend to buy at Bonus supermart as it is 30% cheaper than other mart. Bonus hotdog bun and hotdog is a must buy. They sell anything that you need. However, you can always pre pack some rice , seasoning sauce where you can marinate some drumstick or porkchop that you can buy from Bonus. Or to stir fried vegetables.
They do sell rice in packets of box.
Eating out in Iceland is not going to be cheap.