Hi! I saw a mention of buses around Iceland in a recent question,
I'll be in Reykjavík for 2 weeks, without a car, but would like to travel to Vík, and other areas too. I've heard that the buses run to most places.
How reliable would you say they are, and could you give me any other information about them? (literally anything would be helpful)
Hope it answers your questions. And yes the buses in Iceland are reliable. The main reason they occasionally are delayed is both a blessing and a problem. Since they don’t count the seats on the bus before they sell tickets, it can be full. What they then do is find another bus. This sometimes causes delays of 30m or so. But the plus side is that you can buy a ticket right up to the departure.
To get to Vík, just go down to the BSÍ bus terminal in downtown Reykjavík and buy your ticket there. There are also all sorts of daytours from Reykjavík that go to Vík fx.
Traveling in Iceland - bus, bike, rental car, plane, hitchhiking
How do people travel around an island out in the middle of the Atlantic? By yak, jet, sheep or foot? When travelling in Iceland you have a few options depending on your style, number of friends and budget. Here’s a quick summary:
Car rental in Iceland
Renting a car is probably the most comfortable way to travel around Iceland. It gives you complete freedom to stop wherever and whenever. Even though you should take at least a couple of weeks to circle Iceland, technically you can do it in a day. So with the freedom of a car you can chase weather, events and people. Renting a car is somewhat expensive but compared to a bus it can be cheaper with a few people. A big downside to renting cars is that they don’t allow you to drive on “F-roads”, the mountain roads. Many of these (some definitely not) are fine for small cars but you will be uninsured on them. The Ring Road is all perfectly fine for rental cars. An interesting option to keep in mind is to rent an RV. Check out the Icelandic Search and Rescue association’s driving tips.
You can bring your own car if you live in Europe. The Smyril Line ferry sails between Hirtshals in Denmark, Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands and Seyðisfjörður in east Iceland. This is an interesting way to travel and you can visit the Faroe Islands as a bonus.
Bus travel in Iceland
To travel on your own on a tight budget you can travel by bus. Buses go frequently between all towns and major tourist attractions all summer. They allow you to have considerable baggage and often have an audio guide for tourists. A great advantage of buses is that they go well into the highlands to places where rental cars should not go, such as Þórsmörk, Landmannalaugar and Askja. For hikers buses are best since you can take a bus to one place and hike to another, fx. on the Laugavegur trail. You can normally buy tickets straight on the bus as they usually do not fill. For schedules check out BSÍ, the main bus station in Reykjavík. There are a few companies running the bus lines, usually with a monopoly on each route. Bus tickets are not that cheap and if you will travel a lot and have a few friends, then a rental car might be cheaper or comparable.
Hitchhiking in Iceland
If it is safe to hitchhike anywhere in the world, then it is in Iceland. Hitchhiking along the ring road between popular stops in summer is quite manageable. I’ve picked up a lot of hitchhikers and they are generally quite happy about the experience. Keep your baggage to an absolute minimum as nobody wants to give a lift to somebody with a dirty 100L backpack. Be prepared to spend quite some time waiting for a ride and keep the buses in mind as a backup. Don’t forget to bring a good permanent marker to make your destination signs. If you want to plan ahead a little bit, then check out samferda.is, an Icelandic car pooling site. People post their trips there if they are in search of somebody to chat with or split the fuel costs.
Biking in Iceland
There are quite a few people that bike around Iceland. This is of course the ultimate freedom, most environmentally friendly and a good way to connect to nature. I have seen quite few cyclists waiting for the next bus because after connecting a little bit too much with nature. I’ve seen them soaking wet, covered in volcanic ash and frozen stiff. Still there are people that come back again and again to cycle. Just keep in mind that if you have been cycling around Europe or something don’t expect to cover as many kilometers as you are used to. The land will not be flat, the wind will be against you and the roads are a lot more curvy than you might have guessed from the map. Often you can take your bike with you on a bus. To be safe its a good idea to call the bus company ahead of time to let them know you have bikes. Then they will take along a bike rack or trailer.
Domestic flights in Iceland
If you want to spend a couple of days in Ísafjörður, Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Vestmannaeyjar or a few others the quickest way is by air. The domestic airport in downtown Reykjavík has flights to lots of places in Iceland and Greenland. Air Iceland (Flugfélag Íslands) flies between all of the larger destinations and a few smaller companies offer flights to smaller places and sightseeing, sometimes by helicopter. Examples: Ernir, Norðurflug (helicopters), The Helicopter Service, Mýflug (Mývatn area).
Hey! How are you?
Well, Next June I'll be on Iceland for a two weeks and I'm trying to know if you know a cheap hostel or hotel near Reykjavik that you can suggest me, and tell me about places where I must visit. Thank you!
There are of course plenty of different ways to visit Iceland, but I’d say two weeks was a long time to hang around in Reykjavík. Two weeks would be perfect to do the whole circle around Iceland or take the south to east extensively or the west coast and Vestfirðir (West fjords).
Since you ask for a cheap hostel, I’ll assume you are on a tight budget. The best choice then would be travelling by bus and perhaps hitchhiking or catching rides with people you meet. This way you can travel around freely without the burden of a strict schedule. By booking hostels only a few days in advance or camping you can cover as much ground as you feel like and follow the weather. Buses virtually never fill, so you can buy bus tickets on the bus. Hostels and other accommodation can fill though. Camping allows the ultimate freedom. If you are 3-5 people together, renting a car might be comparable in price to the bus.
If you are travelling around the whole country, then there is little point in recommending points of interest, since you can’t really miss them. However key areas you might want to spend a few days in would be Skaftafell (National Park, glaciers), Ásbyrgi (National Park), Mývatn (big lake and geothermal activity), Reykjavík (capital) and perhaps Akureyri (second largest “city”).
Hostels all around Iceland you can find in on www.hostel.is. Take note that in Reykjavík there are two. One is in Laugardalur, a nice park area but ca. 40min walk from downtown. The other is on Vesturgata in down-downtown Reykjavík. So to enjoy the downtown you might prefer Vesturgata. There is also a hostel not run by Hostelling International. That is Reykjavík Backpackers, excellently located downtown on the main shopping street. I think they compete in price with the normal hostels but although I don’t know their facilities, I’d pay good money for the location.
Hi there! I'm going to Iceland in June to study abroad in Holar. What do you love most about Iceland, and where is your favorite spot to visit?
Hólar, interesting. Some sort of tourism studies or agriculture?
What I love most about Iceland is that it is unspoiled and you easily avoid people. This relates to your second question. There are many wonderful places, but the Vatnajökull glacier and particularly the Öræfajökull part of it is a special place for me. This is untouched by man, you usually can’t see civilization even in the far distances and your marks disappear in the snow behind you. The idea of being on top of the highest mountain of Iceland and having one of the world’s most powerful volcanoes under your feet is also appealing. Here’s a video I made of short trip to Öræfajökull last year.
When someone blogs an image and list no source, does it annoy you?
For example, (http://rerereview.tumblr.com/post/3831284174)
where as (http://haw-lin.com/) at least gave you a link through.
Wow I had not realized how widespread this pic was. One of the things I really like about tumblr is how it creates a chain of reblogs and likes. It’s always a pity when somebody breaks the chain. However what I feel is always most important is that the original source, not the original poster stays intact.
I see though that I’ve messed up myself with that on this pic and forgotten to list the original post from outside tumblr.