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44

You could change without the rental firm knowing, but it's very risky. Suppose there is an accident while the other driver is driving. If there are any witnesses to the accident (drivers of other vehicles, for example), the company will find out. When considering this possibility, remember that endeavoring to drive very carefully doesn't help very much, ...


39

Yes, most Icelandic people speak very good English, you will be fine. Their language is indeed called Icelandic, and is fascinating in regards to its history. From wikipedia: The oldest preserved texts in Icelandic were written around 1100AD. The majority of these texts are poems or laws, preserved orally for generations before being written down. The ...


26

There are obviously a lot of gas stations along this road too, some of which have restrooms you can pay a little to use. See hours on the linked page as well. These are frequently treated as public facilities, rather than for paying customers only. You can also pay a little at hostels / guesthouses along the way to use their facilities.


22

Contact your credit card issuer, and ask for a second card on your account with your wife's name printed on it. Most credit card companies will happily do this.


21

This article is invaluable for that sort of decision. The growing season (summer) in Iceland is two months long. The tail ends of the summer are the low points, which means early June and late August. Things begin closing down in September. By Christmas, all sorts of things are closed, all though from time to time the industry tries to bring tourists to ...


18

I don't know if boarding a freighter by asking around in the port or approaching the ship's captain is still possible nowadays, many things I read suggest it is not. In a large port like Rotterdam, there is also no way to get anywhere near most ships without a car and some credential. On the other hand, there are many opportunities to travel on a freighter ...


18

My girlfriend and I did this drive about 3 years ago, and we went all the way through Vik and up to Egilsstaðir. We never struggled to find petrol stations, small coffee shops and guesthouses where we could stop on the drive. The longest distance we had to go was a couple of hours (say 3-4 at worst). From our experience, you should really not worry about ...


16

Below are the answers to your questions, respectively: 1) Reykjavík is a pretty nice and relaxing city. How much time you want to spend there, depends on what you like and what you want to do there. If you like going to the pubs and just relax for sometime, then I would recommend to stay for a couple of days in Reykjavík. 2) If you want to take the Route 1 ...


15

UPDATE: TomTom now have maps for Iceland. As of their latest update, this has been added to the 'Western Europe' collection for many devices. TomTom use "TeleAtlas" maps, and in fact they actually bought TeleAtlas several years ago. As with most mapping companies, TeleAtlas has varying levels of coverage for different countries. For countries like the US,...


15

According to the official Greenland tourism site there are two places you can use as your source. Rejkjavik and Copenhagen. There are 2 airlines servicing the island: Air Iceland and Air Greenland. The price Air Iceland is currently quoting for destinations in Greenland is 161 EUR (Kulusuk) and 193 EUR (Nuuk). I guess the further north the more expensive ...


15

Driving the road is 830 miles and not that hard except for the narrow roads, blind curves, etc. There are villages all around the coast of Iceland. Nytimes has a good article. Now driving in the unpopulated highlands (the desert part in the middle) means driving in areas where there are no gas stations, no farms, no towing and you may have to drive across ...


15

The "Visit Iceland" website has a page about your rights to camp in Iceland. Camping with no more than three tents is allowed on uncultivated ground for a single night, unless the landowner has posted a notice to the contrary. However, campers should always use designated campsites where they do exist. Do not camp close to farms without permission. If a ...


15

I guess it depends on what you want to do, and how long you're staying. Traveling around the country might be a little more difficult, but if you're just staying in the Reykjavik area you should be fine. I just got back from a short trip to Reykjavik, and had a great time. As another commenter said, more darkness means more time for the Northern Lights. ...


15

If you rent a car in March, the car will be fine for driving on the ring road in March. The question is, will you be? I used to live in northern Scandinavia, and have driven rental cars in winter in both Sweden and Norway. With good tyres and wide roads, driving is not really a problem, but you will have to be careful. Expect longer braking distances, ...


15

@phoog's answer is very good, but I'm posting this answer to place more emphasis. Do not even consider doing this. Only the people who are named drivers of the vehicle are insured to driving it. This isn't just a matter of you being liable to pay damages if you're in an accident (which could be a huge amount of money depending on what/who you damage/injure/...


15

Restrooms appear with adequate frequency along the way. A few years ago, I drove around the whole island. While I was told the ring road was around 1400km, my car clocked in 3400km when I returned to to the rental place, since I kept taking detours and looping around to see the sights. Sometimes the sights were so beatuful that I decided not to stop the ...


14

Yes. You can leave the airport. As a British citizen you do not need a visa to visit Iceland. Just be back in time to get through security before your flight leaves. You'll need to be back at the airport at least one hour before departure. Update: When I originally wrote this answer, an hour was plenty of time for a passenger who already had a boarding pass ...


13

Well one good reason to go would be more darkness. And more darkness = more hours during which to see the Northern Lights! If you do go, make sure to go when it's a new moon for even more darkness, and have a look at our question on aurora sightings. Also check our question on the best time of year to visit Iceland.


13

There is nothing in the regulations that prevents an applicant from using a hospitality exchange or social networking for accommodation. They would treat these arrangements in the same way as if friends were offering you a place, but since they are not real friends, you will need to be a bit careful with how you present your evidence. It means you can't ...


12

I've gone to iceland by ferry a few years ago, It was an amazing journey and I'm still planning to go back! Here is my experience: We got on the ferry in Denmark. It would take a week to get there. You get a two day stop at the Faroe Islands. There the roads were still made of asphalt (we later discovered that aspahlt isn't that well known in iceland) The ...


12

The only ferry to Iceland is the weekly ferry from Denmark. It takes a while and you spend two nights aboard each way (and incidentally get the opportunity to visit the Faeroe Islands along the way). The ferry is not guaranteed to run during winter (it mostly carries cargo during the winter months, if there is cargo going to Iceland you can book a trip, but ...


12

In August most roads should be open. The condition of any given road can never be guaranteed though. You should consult the website of the Icelandic Road Administration for up to date information about what roads are closed. If you click on the Condition of Mountain tracks you'll see the current state. Most roads are open by now, but its been a cold summer ...


12

I was recently in Iceland (early March) and also rented a 4WD, with the intention of going off the main roads, but nothing too adventurous. I also visited Svartifoss. If you are just going to be sticking to the main attractions, you will not get anything worse than a gravel road and maybe a shallow water crossing. I had a bit of ice, but that was because it ...


11

Best weather is during summer time. What I call mild is what is the average summer in Iceland. The long days make it possible to do more in one day. That does stroke with #4 though. Also some roads (to the north) close after heavy snowfall around October/November, which makes it harder to get around the country. I estimate the tourist season to end at the ...


11

This one leaves from Boston and makes a couple of stops in Iceland, one of which is at Heimaey where they famously fought a volcano and won. It also stops in Greenland and Scotland. This cruise also visits Iceland. Both of those cruises only let you off the boat to explore for 8 hours at a time (there are no overnight on-land stays), which I have to say ...


11

This depends heavily on the weather and where in Iceland you are. If you are staying in Reykjavík, you'll need to drive some distance out of town to truly get a good view of the northern lights. In more remote destinations it may simply be a matter of stepping outside. Of course, it could be cloudy the entire week. There are no guarantees. Indeed, even ...


11

Yes, you can, but only via Iceland. There are no non-stop or direct flights from the US to Greenland. To Iceland: Icelandair serves several US destinations year-round from Reykjavik's Keflavik International Airport, including: Boston Denver New York-JFK Seattle Also, these destinations seasonally: Anchorage (summer) Minneapolis (summer) Washington D....


11

I think you are misreading the picture. There is a grate running across the road itself that cars can cross without problems but hoofed animals (e.g. sheep) can not. Next to the road there is a gate that can be opened when driving herds. But this gate is never used to close off the road. Generally, in Iceland, a closed gate means no entry. Unless there is ...


11

No. Any open fire requires a permit. A campsite might operate a communal campfire on special occasions, but guests are not allowed to light their own campfires. Reference: Icelandic Tourist Board, guidelines for campsites, section 5.7: http://www.ferdamalastofa.is/static/files/upload/files/Tjaldsvaedarit_2006.pdf Það er stranglega bannað að kveikja ...


11

Wikimedia Commons has a picture where the contents of the plate can be discerned. They are there to help you identify landmarks in the vicinity. These sorts of things are called “orientation tables” in several European languages (French, Dutch…). I have also come across the phrase “viewpoint indicator”.



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