Hey, this is a really specific question - I don't know if you've hitch-hiked around Iceland before, but I was wondering if it was possible to hitch between Reykjavik and Hofn in a single day? Is this being unrealistic?
Sorry if this is too random an ask for you to answer.
I have not hitchhiked around Iceland before, but I have picked up dozens of hitchhikers in Iceland. There are 458km between Höfn í Hornafirði and Reykjavík. I would not count on being able to hitchhike all that distance in one day. Very few cars will be going the whole distance in one go, so you would probably need multiple rides. Much of the traffic will be travel related and they are probably going to stop over in Vík, Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Skaftafell.
However if you start at Höfn and aim for Reykjavík i recon you would have greater luck. It’s still a stretch, but finding people, locals or tourists in Höfn going to Reykjavík should be a lot easier than the other way around.
Hi! I just wanted to say that I like your blog a lot. I've never been to Iceland, but I've always been fascinating by your country. And I have a question: what music shops would you recommend to visit in Reykjavík? You know, the small ones, full of old LPs. Do you have something like that? Thank you! :) Irene
I don’t frequent them much, but Smekkleysa (Bad Taste) is a classic. Smekkleysa is both a record label and a store on Laugavegur, downtown Reykjavík. They were founded around the Sugarcubes and have stayed involved with Björk ever since as well as taking part in the early days of Sigur Rós.
There are some more stores, which are newer and come and go. However you will all find them in the same area of downtown Reykjavík.
what is the weather in iceland like during the summer? also what are the months where it stays light out all day? thanks :)
The weather in Iceland is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get.
The average temperature in Reykjavík is roughly between 0-10°C. During the coldest months, December and January, the average is just below freezing, while the warmest months, July and August average just over 10°C. The hottest summer days we get are somewhere between 20-25°C. Today is an excellent summer day with 17°C, minimal wind and lots of sunshine. That said anything can happen. This year it snowed in both May and June in Reykjavík. It gets very windy and you can expect plenty of wind driven rain. If you plan to do some proper outdoor stuff (what Iceland is all about), then be prepared for everything.
It is more or less light outside all night all summer. The 21. of June is the longest day of the year and then you’ll see no difference between day and night. About a month before and a month after you’ll experience short periods of half dark which increases as you move further away from the 21. of June. The opposite occurs on the 21. of December with 24 hours of darkness.
Since the weather today is so great, I’m out of here and going skydiving.
Hi, my last post about communicating with Icelanders might interest you! If you want to check it, it is my last entry. I really feel lost in Iceland right now and my icelandic friends suggest me to party and get drunk. What do you do if you're more interested in hearing about other people's lives and talk philosophy, where the world is going, the meaning of life, the importance of art and such un-beer related topics?
Interesting post. From my Icelandic point of view, those are precisely the most beer related topics. Icelanders are kind of shy and don’t want to impose on anyone. Even if two Icelanders have lived next to each other for decades, know each other’s names and of their entire families, they may not greet each other when meeting coincidentally downtown. They’ll rather both pretend not to notice the other because it would be really awkward if by some crazy coincidence the other wouldn’t recognize the one who greets first.
The best occasions to break through these shells generally involve alcohol. Parties or campsite bonfires are prime examples. Without alcohol, the swimming pools are the best choice. The public swimming pools are like a sacred place where anybody can join in on any conversation.
I'm in luuurve with an awesome Icelandic guy. We both live in the same country, which is not our homeland. Any tips on how to conquer and KEEP him?
First of all you’ll need to discover which type of guy he is, and then you can act.
Is he the kind of guy who has colored his hair and loves fast cars? Then you’ll have to spend a week in a tanning salon, color your hair blond and say that you would love to get to know the town of Selfoss.
Is he from a farm? Show him how good you are at baking, get to know his mother, ask her how to make slátur and have him show you how to sheer a sheep. Find out which is his favorite brand of tractor and agree with him.
Is he the outdoors type? Wear outdoorsy clothes and have him guide you around Iceland. Tell him you’d really want to bathe in a remote hot spring one day.
Fisherman? Acquire a taste for hákarl (if he really is worth it).
Hope he fits into one of those descriptions. Also keep in mind that nearly all Icelanders living abroad eventually end up back in Iceland. You’ll be able to keep him abroad for a while but sooner or later Iceland calls home.
I will be going to Reyklavik the last week of August and am TOTALLY STOKED. Can you recommend some awesome restaurants and shopping around the city (yes, shopping!!)?
Also, I rented a car and have every intention on getting lost-where should I drive to get "lost"? Obviously looking for somewhere to take awesome photos.
Much Thanks \^_^/
Shopping trip to Iceland? That’s out of the ordinary. But ok. Reykjavík has two malls, Smáralind and Kringlan. Smáralind is the newer and larger one, but Kringlan is closer to downtown and almost as large. However the malls are malls and don’t have very much that is unique to Iceland. The downtown shopping along the Laugavegur and adjacent street, Skólavörðustígur is much more interesting. They have loads of small stores selling their own clothing designs, art or whatever. Also check out Kolaportið, down by the harbor. It’s a big indoor streetmarket that sells all sorts of used things and useless stuff. Lot’s of fun, plus it’s a great place to buy cheap “harðfiskur” (E. dried fish).
Travelling by rental car is an excellent choice in Iceland and affords you lots of freedom to get lost. Anywhere along the ring road, highway 1, is interesting. You’ll see loads of stuff and driving around with plenty of time to make stops is lots of fun. Going off the ring road, I would recommend getting lost on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. That’s the long pointy peninsula that sticks out of the west coast of Iceland. Pretty difficult to get lost on it, since the road simply follows the coast, but you can try. There are lots of interesting things there, the Snæfellsjökull glacier being the crown jewel. That’s the place where Jules Verne began his journey to the center of the earth. Stop by in Stykkishólmur, a beautiful little town, and take one of the boat rides that they offer out into the Breiðafjörður fjord. Also close to Stykkishólmur, check out the farm of Bjarnarhöfn where you can meet the shark guy. To take some awesome photos you might stop near the town of Grundarfjörður and try capture a photo of the very picturesque mountain Kirkjufell.
On 24 June I was driving north on Hwy 1 from Reykjavik to Húsavik. I saw a lamb painted all green! It was somewhere between Borgarnes & Blönduós. Probably about 1/3 to midway. What's the story? I continued around the island and never saw another green sheep. If I had I would have pulled over to take a photo.
We camouflage sheep so they don’t get eaten by polar bears.
No actually I’ve never seen a green sheep. But my best guess is that it was for similar reasons as the blue painted sheep I posted recently.
Hallo! I'm going to be an exchange student in Reykjavik for ten months this August and was wondering if there were any tips you could give me about being there and trying to blend in, anything I should avoid or try? Takk!
Blend in you say… From your tumblr pic you stand a good chance at blending in. Clothing wise anything other than outdoors clothes will help. When I go downtown wearing a goretex jacket, people talk to me in English… (Still bring your outdoors stuff. Iceland is an outdoors country) An exception is actually if you are wearing the Icelandic outdoor brands, 66°N or Cintamani. When speaking with Icelanders remember to talk a lot about the weather. If it goes above 10°C and it’s not raining very much or too windy, don’t forget to mention how wonderful that is. Try learning about Icelandic bands other than Sigur Rós and don’t talk too much about Björk, unless you know her personally. When you get here, try to focus on Icelandic as much as you can. You might set yourself a goal such as pronouncing “Góðan daginn” (E. Good day) well enough to get a response in Icelandic in stores.
Good luck with your exchange. Also don’t give up if it’s hard to get to know Icelanders at school. Icelanders may seem a bit cold to begin with and you have to work your way through their shell. Passive exchange students never manage to break through.
Are rental cars expensive?
Where is best place to see crashing waterfalls?
Rental cars are pretty expensive I think. Prices are comparable to Northern Europe, but much higher than in the US for example. There is a company that is stirring up the market a bit. It’s called Cheap Jeep and rents out old cars at lower prices.
Awesome waterfalls can be found all over the country. Many of them can be found on the South Coast of Iceland, including the three most famous, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Glymur, just north of Reykjavík, has always been considered the highest waterfall in Iceland (198m) and is an amazing sight. However another waterfall (219m) just became the highest last month. It still doesn’t have a name, but is located by Skaftafell.
What times of the year are the best to visit, and which months are the cheapest to fly there? And lastly...when are you most likely to see the aurora?
Sorry for the late response I’ve been travelling.
When is it best to visit? This of course depends on what you are after. The vast majority of travelers visit Iceland during the summer, June, July and August. However tourism is increasing during the rest of the year as well. If you are travelling cheaply, then a tent or sleeping bag accommodation will be your best bet. Comfortable roadside camping only makes sense in the warmest months mentioned before. However if you are staying in farm guesthouses or hotels, then all year is a possibility. Travelling on your own around the country in midwinter is perhaps not for anyone. There will be snow and serious winter conditions on the roads. For some this can be a great part of the adventure. If you are planning on being based in Reykjavík, then anytime of the year is a good choice. A trip in the middle of the winter will show you the Icelanders in their natural environment. Regarding the northern lights (aurora), then winter is your only option. The darkest and coldest months, January and February are best, but anytime of the year in which it becomes completely dark offers a chance.
I’m not sure about the flights. Winter should allow lower prices due to less demand. However fewer airlines fly to fewer locations in the winter. I know that for Iceland-Stockholm, the route is cheaper in the summer when both Icelandair and Iceland Express are competing than in the winter when Icelandair is the only airline.