Before I begin with all the information, I would like to share how I came with the thought of visiting this beautiful country.
Iceland trip was always a dream for me. I have been thinking to do this trip for past 2.5 year, but initially I was not so confident about, how to go about this trip. For me, it was not possible to do solo trip because, Iceland is one the most expensive country in the world, so I spoke to friends and family to tag along if it was possible. As the country is unique and less talked about there were more excuses rather than takers. Hence I started researching more as I was passionate and determined to take up this journey.
Around Apr-2019, I started working on this trip and posted about my travel plan on Facebook groups associated to travelling. This included Solo Traveler, Tourist Helpline, BATI and many more groups where people are on a look out for travel buddies. Initially I did not get any response but after few days the post got some attention from travelers across India. After a long discussion with people on itinerary and dates only five people agreed on to be part of Iceland expedition. Every week a con call was held, so that our dates visas accommodations and expenses matched, this also ensured that we all had correct information to make our journey hassle free.
Below is a brief on our journey :
Date: We selected our dates in such a way that we could save money on our flight tickets and that the probability of seeing “NORTHERN LIGHTS” was higher during that period. So dates were decided as 26-09-19 to 10-10-19.
Flight Route: New Delhi- Helsinki ( First Port of Entry , Immigration took place) - Bergen (Norway , layover of around 19 hrs) - Keflavik ( Iceland)
Keflavik - Helsinki (Exit Port, layover around 20 hrs) - New Delhi .
Visa : Schengen Visa , applied at Denmark Embassy. I faced the telephonic interview from Denmark Embassy.
Stay : Hostels and AirBnB
Food: We had carried necessary food items like Rice, Pulses, Maggi. We also got instant food packets like Pasta, MTR Poha, Upma, Saffola Oats, Haldiram Chole , Chana Masala, Paneer , Instant Coffee , Instant Tea, Milk Powder , Tea Bags etc from India. As Iceland is expensive in terms of food, it is better to carry your own food rather than spending money on restaurant. Also there are fewer choices for vegetarians. Though we did buy few stuff from Bonous store in case of any emergency but a mere multigrain Packet costed us Rs 650. It is best to carry Bread , Cheese, Nutella , Mayo etc as during the day you might not find restaurants or grocery store as you move away from the main city.
There were days when we wanted to try local cuisine, so we had lunch and Dinner at Restaurant not more than 4-5 times (we were in no mood of cooking food and those were our cheat days)!
We roamed around Iceland through the Ring Road (Route-1) in anticlockwise direction.
We started our journey from Keflavik - Reyjkavik - Golden Triangle - Selfoss - Hella - Hofn - Egilsstadir- Seydisfjordur - Akureyri- Myvatn - Husavik - Borðeyri - Hvammstangi - Olafsvik - Reyjkavik - Keflavik .
Places visited: Below are some of the places that we could visit through the Ring Road Route.
Tingvellir National Park ,Geyser, Kerid, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, ,DC Plane Wreck ,Black Sand Beach ,Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon ,Jökulsárlón , Diamond Beach , Beautiful Town Hofn, Myvatn , Myvatn Geothermal Area , Seydisfjordur , Akureyri ,Kirkujfell Mountain , Arnarstapi ,Snæfellsnes peninsula , etc.
Northern Lights: We were very excited to have an encounter with “NORTHERN LIGHTS”. In the entire trip, we saw the lights thrice as it had clear weather. Our welcome moment happened on the day one itself and it was one memorable moment as our car moved so did the Aurora.
Transportation: We rented a Car (Dacia Duster from Blue Car Rental Company) which was situated right next to the airport in Reykjavik. The best part about Car Rentals was that it had unlimited kilometers and if you got Indian driving license, you are good to go!
Also on our way to Iceland, we had a stop in Bergen and Helsinki (returning from Iceland to India), where we only used local transport (couldn’t explore much).
Wildlife: Icelandic Horses and Sheep are very common to see as most of the highway pass through huge farms. One should be careful on the roads as people say, that the sheep jump out of nowhere. We also spotted seals when we are at Beach and in Jokulsarlon .
We took a whale watching Tour at Husavik Town along with other tourists in the North Atlantic Ocean ( some of us had sea sickness and would suggest to take a jet boat, which is faster and gives a better whale view).
Currency: Iceland is completely cashless country, for us GoNiyo Global card worked wonders as it was accepted all across Iceland and also in Europe.
Cost of flight: Round Trip Flight cost (New Delhi to Delhi) : Rs 53600.00 per person ( Finnair )
Visa Cost: Rs 6600.00
Hostels and AirBnb : Rs 23500.00 per person
Car Rental ( Dacia Duster): 50226.00 ( for five person including all the insurance ) = 10045.00 per person .
Fuel Cost : 16705.00
Whale Watching : Rs 6044.00 per person .
Entry Fees and Parking : Rs 1982.00
Toll : Rs 866.00
Total amount paid for Groceries : Rs 17500.00
Restaurants and coffee Shops : Rs 26169
Drinks : Rs 3980.74
Fine : 5900.00 ( Due to Wrong Parking )
Shopping : Rs 3000
Total Distance Covered : Around 1600 km
Total Duration at Iceland : 10 days
Total duration of the trip : 15 ( including stays at Bergen , Helsinki ) .
Total cost ( Per Person ) : Rs .104265.00 ( excluding shopping ) approx.
Thanks for your patience to reading this and thanks to all who helped me to plan this trip.