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Thread: Iceland in October

  1. #1
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Iceland in October

    Tentatively planning a trip to Iceland for early/mid-October. Any tips on what to bring, what to wear, what to see, what to do, or what to eat?

  2. #2
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Bring a camera as photographic opportunities are stunning! If you are taking an iPad you can easily buy a microsim. Wear layers and preferably wool. Buy an Icelandic handknit sweater a soon as you get to downtown Reykjavik from the handknitting association store. Unless you are a person who freezes in the middle of summer buy a lighter weight one as they are incredibly warm and would be great for rainy cold Seattle days.

    I rented a car because i wanted to be able to go where i please when i please. There are a number of excellent bus day trips out of Reykjavik. It would be easier to suggest what to do/see if i knew your interests.

    Fish, seafood and lamb are all wonderful in Iceland. Even if you don't particularly like lamb in North America give it a try in Iceland all organic, free range and unlike any you have ever tasted. Beef was not good and was very expensive - $18 for a not very good hamburger. Also try skyr -a cross between greek yogurt and cream cheese. It comes in a variety of flavors. I wish i were going!!

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    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Agree with everything that jannilee said above. Layer, layer, layer. I was there last May and the weather changes frequently, so bring fleece, touque (winter hat) and mitts or gloves. A good rain coat is a must. Bring good hiking shoes. I can't stress this enough. If you plan on hiking lava fields, common shoes will be destroyed.

    About food, Rugbraud was my bread love, aside from all the foods mentioned above.

    We rented an SUV and drove on our own, and hiked alone. The only hike where we paid for a guide was on an glacier. Plenty of guide information in Reykjavik. Nightlife is great in the capital, as well.

    It's super safe to go around. Stick to the speed limits if you drive. If there's a sign that says that the road is impassable, they mean it! Unless you have a professional truck, don't think you can go through.

    About what to see, Iceland is raw, amazing, beautiful nature everywhere you go. If you want to get a good sense of its history, visit the museums in the capital and the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes. Don't forget to visit the small information centre for the Eyjafjallajökull in the south of the island.

    There are awe inspiring waterfalls all over, amazing volcanoes, hot springs, beautiful horses, fjords, imposing mountains. Of all the places I have visited, Iceland is on my top five of most memorable. There is no way to get enough of this magical land. Oh, and if you like Tolkien, you will love it even more.

    Check out this site and some book guides in your library.

    Iceland travel guide, accommodation, iceland hotel, guesthouse, vacation, holiday

    I am jealous! If I could, I would jump on a plane and go now!
    Last edited by yohopee; 07-28-2013 at 04:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Also, if you have enough time, do not miss these small islands. We took the ferry there and stayed overnight. We saw hundreds of puffins! And more amazing hiking! Also the windiest (allegedly) spot in Europe!

    Vestmannaeyjar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I could list all the amazing places, but go to the link in my previous post instead. Too much to see! <3

  5. #5
    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    How well can one get by being solely an English-speaker? We always try to learn some words in the native tongue, but I can guarantee that it's almost always fairly butchered. It's the thought/effort that counts, right?
    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

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    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    I only encountered one older lady who did not speak English. This was in a gas station/convenience store going towards Hekla. Other than that, everyone could speak English. Icelandic people are highly literate, and multilingual. You will have no problem whatsoever.

  7. #7
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    As with anything, don't forget your manners. Icelandic is a wonderful language, do learn the essentials:

    Common Phrases in Icelandic Language : How to Say Thank You in Icelandic Language - YouTube

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    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips! I'm getting super excited about this trip. We didn't have much of a plan since we kind of randomly decided to go to Iceland in the first place ("Let's go to the UK this Fall" -> "Oooh look, the cheapest flight to the UK routes through Iceland" -> "We've never been to Iceland, why not stay for a day?" -> "Why not a week?")...

    My wardrobe is like 90% wool since I wear merino year-round (I love wool) so I'll have plenty of good layers to choose from, but it looks like I'm going to have to shop for a raincoat. And wear my hiking boots. And check out some hot springs, museums, amazing scenery, and volcanoes (and hopefully puffins because OMG PUFFINS). And buy more sweaters in Reykjavik (did I mention that I love wool?).

    Food -- thanks for the warning re: beef. I'm looking forward to trying the lamb, skyr, and Rugbraud. Mr. Ferret is really interested in trying some kind of "fermented shark" dish -- has anyone had this?
    yohopee likes this.

  9. #9
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Have fun! You will love the country! We're going back in 2015 (my son's adventure list is quite long in the meantime). I did not try the shark dish. Let me know how you like it.

    My avatar and profile pics are from Iceland. My avatar is my exploring boy and my profile pic is in Stórhöfši. I may change them some day, but my love is so recent. Ahhh... Iceland!

  10. #10
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    My avatar is Iceland too - Thingvellir. I did not try the fermented/rotted shark meat. Apparently that variety of shark is poisonous unless "aged". I would also recommend the smoked mutton/lamb. I can pronounce it but have no idea how to spell it. Houngakyeut would be a vague phonetic approximation.

    Renting a car is VERY expensive but is really the only way to have the freedom to see the country so worth it for at least a few days.
    There are two handknitting association stores. Go to the big one which is in a semibasement on the main road leading up to hallskirk. They have literally hundreds of handknit sweaters ( maybe thousands!)There is also a yarn store on that street that sells wool from the faeroes that i still wish i had bought.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersump View Post
    You need to bring 'winter clothes' like puffy coat and waterproof pants.
    You can read Ms. Ferret's 2 weeks in Iceland/UK thread to see what she packed.
    yohopee likes this.


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