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Thread: Iceland

  1. #1
    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    Iceland

    Wife just booked us tickets to Iceland for the last week of March 2019. Never been before and we're super excited! We're planning on only bringing carry one so packing space will be limited.

    Anybody been before and have any recommendations on what clothes to pack? We're pretty well stocked as far as cold weather/hiking/snowshoe type clothes go, but wondering what to wear around town during the day/night.

    We'll mostly be staying in the capitol and doing tours/venturing out from there, maybe a night or two up north to hit the beer baths, weather permitting.
    Last edited by Nandyn; August 5th, 2018 at 06:31 PM.

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    I went last year in June...awesome country! I would highly recommend getting out of Reykjavik for at least a couple nights if you can...ideally heading over towards Vik or Hofn (heading east along the south coast). Do not leave without seeing the glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach. As far as what to wear, I would just take layers of flannel/sweaters/button downs/henleys with dark indigo or black denim (obviously a jacket as well, but check the weather as, despite the name, it's a more temperate climate than you would expect...probably very similar to Seattle). You know, it's northern Europe, so when in doubt just wear black/grey! If you google Iceland streetwear, you will see it's a pretty trendy/hipstery place. You will want to have a rain jacket handy. If you have some good looking versatile hiking boots they can pull double duty, or just pack some fresh trainers if you want to change it up for going out in town (I ended up taking a pair of Docs and they were fine). Don't worry about dressing up, it's a pretty casual place (but, again, in a trendy way). Reykjavik is VERY small, like 300k people...good night life, though with some cool bars (make sure you check out Lebowski Bar and their white russian menu, haha).

    A couple of general Iceland pointers - 1) stock up on alcohol at the duty free at the airport when you land...it's surprisingly challenging to buy it otherwise. They only sell it at gov't run vinbuden stores that have very limited hours of operation! 2) take advantage of AirBnBs there...way cheaper and cooler properties than any of the hotels (which cost a fortune); 3) just be prepared for everything to cost a mint...it's insane...it makes London look like a budget location; 4) I'm not an organized tour guy, and Iceland is very easy to drive in...consider scrapping the tours and renting a car for your stay and driving around. It's got gorgeous landscapes and it would be better to be able to pull over for some cool photos. 5) the thing I love about Iceland is it's very easy to "hike" for all the sights...in other words, all the waterfalls and other things are generally pretty close to the Ring Road, so don't worry about investing a whole day to see one thing, you will knock out many things a day...however, because of this, something that looks like 3 hours drive on Google maps can easily turn into 10 hours! 6) When going to the Blue Lagoon (which is the #1 tourist thing to do, but I would say it's still worth it despite there also being tours of lower key options across the island), I would book way in advance and plan to knock it out right after you land or prior to your departure back home...it's very close to the airport (which is 45 min. from Reykjavik). Enjoy - it will be a great trip!

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    We did Iceland as a family two years ago. Definitely agree on AirBnB vs hotel. Rent early and book car early. Iceland is hot spot for tourism and their infrastructure hasn't caught up. After two nights in town and the most common tourist golden circle stuff, we went west and north from Reykjavik. Views are indescribable. around every corner, something new. Bring that rain coat, it will get lots of use no matter the season.

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    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    Awesome tips @Starbreaker @mrage! Thanks! We'll definitely be hitting up Blue Lagoon right after landing. Still deciding on whether we want to drive ourselves or not, as winter would've just ended when we get there (3/23/19) so not sure how much snow/ice/wind will still be around.

    We'll definitely stay using AirBnB, looks like at least half the price of hotels and whatnot.

    I figure I'll bring a couple of selvedge denim (blue and gray), softshell pants that look like regular 5-pocket pants for heavy rain/hiking, a more casual rain jacket and my OR Helium II, top & bottom merino base layers, merino henleys, some sweaters, flannel shirts, and my Barbour quilted jacket/sportcoat. Also one of my down or synthetic puffies from my hiking/backpacking kit.
    I think the only shoes I'll bring/need will be my Chippewa/J.Crew burgundy captoe boots that I had resoled with Vibram mini-lugs and maybe some microspikes.

    That Lebowski bar sounds pretty cool. The dude abides/imbibes! Any other cool restaurants/bars/breweries worth checking out? Being from Seattle, the wife and I love our beers and visit the local breweries pretty much weekly.
    Last edited by Nandyn; August 12th, 2018 at 03:07 PM.

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    No problem...just like most countries, they've got the craft beer bug. The one I liked most is sort of challenging to get to, as it's on the Westman Islands (a ferry ride away) after our boat tour got canned there we parked and drank some beers, it's called The Brothers Brewery. Very good offerings, specifically a very good western US IPA I recall (but not the name). There is also a beer called Einstock which is probably the most well known of their craft beers (I mean, it's even served in Epcot, which I found out when we went to Disney this year) but it is legit good and I picked it up at one of the vinbudins for some in-house drinking a night or two.

    The wardrobe sounds solid and the Chippewa/JCrew captoes will be perfect.

    You will have a great time...we took our (at the time) 7 and 5 year olds, which I use as a perfect barometer for how truly good a place is, and they loved it. As mrage mentions, you will need to book things way in advance...tourism has really exploded there and many airlines are offering deals to get there. You will see tons of massive tour buses rolling along the Ring Road, but like I said, rent a car if you can swing it and do your own thing.

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    We went in March and the weather was quite cold. I brought merino henleys, flannel and a jacket. i brought 2 of these pants for a 8 day trip[URL="https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1053135&pcid=1053133&vid=1&pid=4350 81062"] and wore them over a base-layer. I brought Red Wings with a mini-lug sole and those worked just fine. I too recommend renting a car and driving around the Ring Road. plenty to see around the island. We signed up for a organized tour. I can p.m you the itinerary that the tour company had set up for us if you like.
    Reyjavik is a nice city with plenty of options for food and beer. As others have mentioned, most restaurants are casual and we didn't see any that had a dress code.
    I highly recommend a camera and a tripod.I brought a Sony alpha 6300. my friends who used an Iphone didn't get great pictures of the Northern Lights.
    have fun on your trip.

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