12 full days in Iceland
We depart from Singapore Changi Airport on 20th Feb 2019, transiting via Finland (Helsinki) to Iceland.
We returned via transit to Finland again and landed in Singapore on 6th Mar 2019.
We love travelling with FinAir because there is ample of legroom space and their in-flight meal is tasty! Overall flying experience with FinAir have been satisfying.
Total days inclusive of transit: 15 days.
4 Wheel Drive
We booked a Mitsubitshi Outlander 4-wheel-drive but was given a Subaru Outback instead. 4-wheel-drive is absolutely necessary else the muddy or snowy road may cause your car wheel to be stucked. Passing the tunnels will require a toll payment of 1500 ISK via online st www.veggjald.is within 3 hours of tunnel usage. Do make sure you make your payment diligently else you will be slapped with a 3000 ISK service charge by the car rental company. Online review mentioned that diesel is cheaper than petrol, hence we rent a diesel car. We use credit card for payment of our diesel and we topped up 7 times within 12 days in Iceland. Car insurance will not cover door damage due strong wind so do take note when you open your car door.
Weather & Road Condition
Rainy, misty, foggy, snowy and windy is a norm
Do visit www.road.is to check their road condition as there might be road closure due to bad weather. You do not want to drive a long way just for disappointment. Weather can be unpredictable especially winter. Do also check out Icelandic Met Office n the weather status before leaving your accomodation. Take extra caution if there is any yellow / orange alert. Once, we were hiding in our car from strong wind and having sandwich as didn't know orange alert was issued. One local knocked on our car window and informed us stong winds are building up and we have to evacuate asap. Do not under estimate these warnings for your own safety. Even though some areas did not issue alert can make you feel as light as a feather. Do walk in caution under such conditions.
Download app and do your homework
It is everyone's dream to be able to catch the dancing Aurora Borealis. Download "My Aurora Forecast" on your mobile phone and check the KPI index on your travels. It gives you notification on the chances of spotting it. To be able to spot Aurora, your location have to be clear of clouds and area have to be dark. The night we saw it at Akureyri was a KPI Index 4 and even it's not completely dark, it's still visible! Do your homework and don't burn your nights unnecessarily.
Euro, Icelandic Krona
In Singapore, there isn't money changer with Icelandic Krona. Hence, we brought Euro to Iceland for exchange. Payment in Iceland is pretty simple. Most of the stores can take credit cards for payment so it's extremely convenient. However, do get you PIN ready. There are times you need to do a diesel/petrol topup in unmanned petrol kiosk and credit card comes in handy! You are able to do your currency exchange at the Airport and even at supermarket / petrol kiosk stores. They do take in Euro payemnt as well. Some properties owner from AirBnB / Bookings.com require on-site cash payment. Make sure you have some Krona with you because toilet entry at certain attraction requires cash payment of 100-200 krona per pax.
Clear your bladder once you spot a washroom
It is not easy to find washroom along the roads of Iceland. Some attractions do not have toilets. Make sure you clear your bladder everytime you spot a washroom or before you leave the town. The cold in winter season can shink your bladder, making the need of your toilet break for frequent. No joke.
AirBnB & Bookings.com
We booked the accomodation using AIrBnB and Booking.com. Some of the propertise requires payment on cash. Hence, do get your Euros / Icelandic Krona ready. Exact payment is appreciated. We stayed in hostels and apartment. Either we booked an entire cottage for ourselves or just a 2 bedroom for 5 pax. Some accomodation stated in their listings that washers / dryers are provided but on actual site they say they don't. So once you have the opportunity to wash your dirty laundry, do so. Some property owners do provide washing services for free, while some at a price. Plan your washing well!
Ice Cave Tour, blue lagoon, and many others
Some attractions do have entrance fee requirement, while some have parking requirement. Some need you to pay for washroom entries. We paid for a Ice Cave half day tour for S$376 per pax and a Blue Lagoon entrance fee for about S$110 per pax. The rest of the attraction entrance fess / parking fees / toilet entries cost S$85.22 in total, so that's about S$8.52 per pax.
Crampons, Waterproof & windproof clothings, extra pair of hiking shoes / boots, SIM card
We visited Iceland near the end of winter. That's the point where some snow starts to melt and become Ice. Walking on ice is extremely challenging. That's where crampons is here to save your walks! Do bring a pair over which you can get it at ralatively cheap price like S$7 a pair from TaoBao, else the cheapest we saw in souvenir shop and supermarket cost approximately 3,000 ISK and 5,000 ISK respectively. Which is quite expensive. Don't fall and break your bones even before you started. It's not worth it.
Because we visit Iceland close to end winter, weather can be very drastic. Rain, strong wind and snowing can happen anytime. We suggest you bring waterproof plus windproof clothings so that your hikes will not be affected.
If you do not have waterproof shoes, we suggest you bring an extra pair of shoe just in case your shoe got wet and you can wear it the following day. Walking in wet shoes will bring chills to your body in winter.
SIM card can be bought right after you exit the Arrivals at the airport, at a convenient store called Tíu ellefu. You can choose from either a 10GB data plan, or a 5GB data + local call plan at the price of 2,900 ISK (S$33) each.