Iceland Road Trip – Tips on Planning

Comments 4 Standard

20121172_10155556167678799_5572033903990689001_o

What is Iceland for us? Iceland is for us is like entering to into another planet. It is far by the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and I am sure it will always remain no1 on my favourites list. The beautiful landscapes, magnificent mountains, amazing waterfalls and so much more. If you love being around nature, believe me you will not find a perfect setting like this.

So in this post I am going to delve into a bit of tips on planning your trip. If you are coming to Iceland just to visit Reykjavik, then planning is quite straight forward but if you are planning to drive around island then there are few things which you might want to consider or plan well ahead.

When to Visit Iceland

I have visited Iceland in Summers and Winters, and frankly I will not be able to pick my favourite time. It displays a different landscape in both the seasons, and some options for you to choose. Summers will give you the opportunity to see midnight sun as it never really gets dark and winters will show you the amazing Northern Lights. So if you have a bucket list with both of these items, I will suggest to make two trips to Iceland to see the beauty it offers.

12244733_10153781262838799_1924870340715227074_o

Iceland in Winters

talknafjordur

Iceland in Summers

To give you an idea on weather, here is what I read and saw for myself.

May to June – It is spring time, it will be cold, less crowd, snow still at some places and might be inaccessible as well.

July to August – Summers time, tourist season, pleasant weather and almost all of the country accessible.

September to October – Autumn time, a shoulder time with still pleasant weather and winters coming up. Few parts of the country might start to get accessible only by mountain vehicles and 4wd cars.

November to April – Winters time, snow snow snow and chance to see Northern Lights.

IMG_9216

What Must/Should go in a Packing List

When in Iceland, you could see a lot of variation in weather in a single day. When you went out it might be sunny, but within few hours its heavy rains, strong winds and by evening it could be again calm. So be prepared and bring layers with you to dress up accordingly.

Clothes – You must bring a a thermal vest, rain jacket & water proof trousers, along with a cap and gloves. Rest of the list I will leave for you to decide 🙂

Navigation – It is always helpful to have a Sat-Nav or Tom-Tom with you. Driving in Iceland is easy as there is no complicated road network. But it always added an advantage to your journey, for an instance to look for the nearest gas station or a grocery shop.

Road Map – If possible, get an Iceland road map. Sometimes Sat Nav will try to take you to the shortest route or fastest route via a impassable route or a route fit for only large vehicle. At those times, basic knowledge of ideas will come to great help.

Phones – Download a couple of useful apps on your phone to get to know the weather and road conditions while you are driving across Iceland.

  1. 112 – This is the official app for emergency service in Iceland. With this app, you can send an SMS to Icelandic emergency services while using the GPS location before dialing 112.
  2. Vedur – Best Icelandic weather app. It helped us a lot in planning our day in both of our visits.
  3. Iceland Road Guide – Gives you a very good ideas on the roads in Iceland.

 

Money/Credit Cards – Get some Icelandic currency as well as enable your cards for foreign transactions. If you are out of cash, one can always use a credit card even in remote parts of this island.

Camera Equipment – I am sure you will not forget it, but should go in the list anyways. Carry all your favourite lenses as well as tripod to capture the beauty of the place and bring it with you back home. A pack of extra battery may be 🙂

Where to Stay in Iceland

If you are touring around the island then you will be driving every other day to a new place. Around Reyjkavik , you will not fall short of options. But as you start moving away from the capital, options are a little lesser. But locations of most of the places is awesome. During our stay, we stayed in hotel, hostels as well as Air BnB in some of the awestruck settings.  If you want to stay close to the nature, I will advise you to book well in advance, as accommodations like the ones below does really get booked fast.

  1. Foss Hotel, Nupar Near Skaftafell
  2. Berunes Hostel
  3. Mjonaes Accomodation, Egilsstadir
  4. Akureryi Air BnB options
  5. Hvammstangi Seaside Cottage
  6. Bryggjukafi Hostel or Sima Hostel, Flateryi
  7. A seaside cottage, Talknafjordur

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Food/Grocery Shopping & Fuel

Like any other country, Iceland does not fall in the options of restaurants and grocery shop. But eating out everyday on a long trip might burn a hole in your pocket.If you are travelling on budget ( like us ) and having a self catered stay, I have listed out few super market names for your grocery shopping.

  1. Bonus – Cheapest Option
  2. Netto
  3. Kronan

Fuel – No problem in finding a fuel station in Iceland, they accept foreign cards as well as cash. When you are driving away from Reykjavik, be vary of the fact that sometimes the distance between fuel stations can go upto 100KM, so just keep an eye on the fuel tank and keep tanking it up.

Things To Do

Iceland is like Santa’s Christmas Sack which never falls short of options 🙂 There is something for everyone, whether you choose organised tours or self planned trip. And if you love hiking/walking, it will be a paradise for you. Nevertheless, I have mentioned few activites below:

  1. Hiking/Walking
  2. River Rafting
  3. Helicopter Tours
  4. Glacier Hike
  5. Rock Climbing
  6. Cave Tours
  7. Ice Climbing
  8. Horseback Riding
  9. ATV Tours
  10. Northern Lights in Winters

20157363_10155556169838799_8047464880984067663_o20023974_10155556161173799_515819899787587350_o20024132_10155556161178799_8797057431472345608_o20017810_10155556149718799_9131889940661611743_o

Advertisements

Beautiful Inveraray, Argyll

Comments 7 Standard
Source- Internet

Source- Internet

During our trip to Scotland, we took an unexpected turn on to the Inveraray, on the way to Oban. On my google search on what to do in Oban- I found a link to Live Inveraray Jail and thought it might be interesting. I told Asho, let’s take a little diversion and check out this place.

It was an accidental visit, and I am glad that happened. As soon as we reached Inverary, my first reaction was “Wow”. Am In a wonderland 🙂 The castle, the loch front, cottages, bridges, everything looked beautiful.

Inveraray is a small town in Argyll and Bute, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Duke of Argyll founded this town, alongside his Inveraray Castle. The town was designed and built by the Edinburgh-born architect Robert Mylne between 1772 and 1800.

Whether you are looking for a day picnic, adventures or just a sun soaked afternoon (rare are such days 🙂 ) near the Loch, it is definitely a place to be. Quaint and quiet in its own way. Breath-taking views sweeping across a wide landscapes & seascapes, it is a treat to eyes.

Few pictures from the trip, taken on my iPhone so might come dark at few places. We had a good day, a mixture of thick clouds and few sunny intervals. I am glad it did not rain 🙂

Looking_to_Inveraray_from_the_Pier_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1123588

The_pier_at_Inveraray_-_geograph.org.uk_-_983213

inveraray

argyll1

IMG_6532

 

Koh Samui,Thailand- Guest Post

Comments 3 Standard

This is a post from my friend- Kimberly, who does not blog, but she chose my blog to share her travel tale of Bangkok-Thailand visit.

My Visit To Koh Samui, Thailand

My first impression of Thailand was a stop-over at Bangkok Airport and Thai food… The first was a bit frightening and the second one was overwhelming… I must say the saying ‘a straight path to men’s heart is through his stomach’ in this case proved to be right, Thai food is still my favourite food. Then I decided to have a proper holiday in Thailand, and it was a holiday of my dreams, I booked a villa and flew to Koh Samui for a week. It was a like living in a Paradiseor as close to it as it can be.

I flew to Bangkok International Airport for like 13 hours, and arrived at a busy Terminal fool of shops and bright colors, especially yellow, red and green. Lots of Buddhist souvenirs and really gentle, smiling people and that could be a main epithet I would use for Thailand and Thai people: smiling and friendly. Today when we are a lot more familiar with their spiritual tradition we know why, Buddhism is proving to be a ‘way of life’ for a modern inhabitant of this planet. Further hour or so I spent on a plane flying to Koh Samui and felt like going to the oasis that will help me recharge my ‘batteries’. You may find this funny but it really did so.

The taxi ride to my hotel didn’t last long, 20 minutes or so, but when I got out and went to the reception I felt ‘at home’. It was made all out of wood with lots of plants and incense sticks burning giving the place such relaxing atmosphere. The receptionist was a beautiful Thai girl with the flower in her hair and the most welcoming smile on her face, I bet she is going to live until she is 100 year old! And then the path to my bungalow surrounded by palm trees and shrubbery the greenest of the specter. Finally my room with a beautiful big, again wooden bed and ‘white chocolate’ linen with matching thick towels, I refreshed at that point.

It was still light at 8pm so I decided to go to the pool which was quiet and illuminated at the bottom. Around the pool were scattered cushy and comfortable chairs with small mahogany wood tables and scented candles burning inside the burners. The whole ambience was enriched with the sound of water falling, there was an artificial waterfall built within the pool. I know it might sound like a cliché but “living in a paradise” really described the scene, at that point I made a decision to move to Koh Samui. All I needed to do is find a place like this simply coz I couldn’t live in a hotel permanently.

For the rest of my stay I read about 4 books I brought with me, one of them was Dalai Lama’s interview, I ate only Thai food prepared ‘wok style’ with lots and lots of seafood, I drank lots of mango juice and spent most of my time on the beach. Well must admit I did a bit of shopping went to the local market where the local produce and souvenirs can be purchased, and hand dyed batik fabric garments were really beautiful so I bought quite a few of those as presents for my friends.

The trip back home was somewhat sad but plans for another trip to Koh Samui were in their embryonic stage at that flight back to Europe

Koh Samui - an exotic beach

The colorful Bangkok

The amazing nature of Koh Samui