Expenses for four

Description RM SGD
Groceries 950 317
Restaurant 880 293
Campervan* 11,200 3,733
Petrol 900 300
Capital Inn Hostel 332 111
Campsite 520 173
Ice Cave Package 3,280 1,093
Miscellaneous 605 202
Total expense 18,667 6,222

*We rented for 7 days 6 nights, the price included car insurance and the WiFi. We used Waze and Google Map as our navigation apps.
**Miscellaneous: Public Transport / Car Parking / Hallgrímskirkja entrance Fees

Therefore, the total expense for 8 days per pax costed RM 4666.75 excluding flight ticket.

Last year, we decided to go to Iceland to celebrate our New year. Therefore, we planned and booked the accommodation, car and other stuffs within a period of half year. As expected, the prices for accommodation and car rental were higher than usual and it exceeded our budget. Hence, if you would love to go travel in Iceland, I suggest you to plan it one year ahead!

Conversion Rate (ISK / Icelandic Krono)

ISK 100 = RM 4.00

Apparel🧥

What to wear in Iceland during winter?

I believe some of you might wonder what to wear to keep yourself warm when traveling in winter. Look at below:

  • 🧣Accessories: Beanie, Long John, Scarf , Hiking Shoes /Sport Shoes / Boots
  • 🧥Dress code: Heat Tech – Thick Sweater – Winter Fur Jacket
  • Winter Essential: Hot Pad (Daiso)

Most of these apparels can be purchased in Uniqlo, Pull&Bear, H&M, Zara, Monki, Bershka and etc. Of course, you can also get the heat tech from Taobao.

🚐 Car rental and Road Trip

Malaysian Driving License is recognized in Iceland so you don’t need to apply for International passport. Due to the fact that we’re kind of late to book for the camper van, we eventually only managed to get a smaller but more expensive one. But at least, it still had enough space for four of us as well as our baggages. Before you depart, make sure that the camper van tyres are anti-skidding and able to drive on the snow. Besides, you must buy the car insurance with the rental car company. When driving in winter, drive safely!

Other than that, the camper van has gas stove, kitchenware, plates, kettle, sleeping bag, GPS, WIFI, pillows, and most importantly, the heating system.

⛽Petrol: The petrol price in Iceland is very expensive. We spent most of our budget on filling petrol. Basically, you can find a petrol station in every town but most of them only accept card payment.

🏠Campsite

Many friends of mine wondered how or where we took our bath in the 6 days. The answer is: Go to the Campsite. Iceland has many campsites specially for those travellers on road trip to rest, take a bath or cook. Some of them are free while some of them are not. The free campsites are generally more simple and located at the remote area. We usually searched for the campsites location on Google on the spot. Normally, the price is RM 50 – 80 per pax for a night at campsite. Other than that, when we need to go to the toilet, we settle it at the petrol station nearby.

🍝Food

Eating in Restaurant in Iceland is a luxury experience. I’m saying so simply because it’s very expensive. In fact, many food ingredients in Iceland are imported. A set of Fish & Chips for one could cost RM 120. Therefore, we only spent the last two nights on treating ourselves good to have meals in the most famous local restaurant. The other five days, we cooked ourselves. By the way, every town has supermarket so you could buy some grocery or food ingredient. Bonus supermarket is the most economic supermarket in Iceland but go there early because it closes at 6.30 pm.

Other than that, we actually brought along with many instant noodles, canned food and sauce for the trip. We’re glad we had the Maggie Curry and Tomyam there. Having these delicious maggie noodles in the winter is a blessing!

Itinerary

So, here comes my itinerary. During winter, the daylight is only for about 4 to 5 hours so our trip is a bit packed.

Day 1: Arrived Keflavik Airport – Jetstar

The car rental company staff picked us up at the Airport to their office to collect the car. We spent some time to inspect the camper van and understand the user-manual of the camper van. After that, we went to the Bonus supermarket to get some food for upcoming days. At night, we spent our night at a free campsite. Due to the strong wind at the first night and the defective of the gas stove, we only had few slices of bread before we went to sleep.

Day 2: Reykjavík – Jökulsárlón – Vatnajokull National Park – Ice Cave

Before the sun rose, we drove for 5 hours to reach the assembly point of Jökulsárlón – ice cave. We booked the Ice Cave tour package online. Be sure to book the ticket in advance because you can only come to the Ice cave from November to January. The whole trip lasted for about 3 hours.

Day 3: Jökulsárlón – Egilsstadir – Seydisfjordur

Our schedule was so tight yet we hoped to reach the magical Seydisfjordur in the morning. So, we drove our camper van at night to the campsite of Egilsstadir which is at the East part of Iceland. During the 3-hour journey, something happened to make us touched. It snowed! We longed to see the snow and finally we met it. The snowing scene was too amazing and romantic. The snow accumulated and became so thick on the road. Beside being happy for the snow, make sure to drive safely! The Seydisfjordur town was too unreal. It’s also a movie scene spot of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, my most favourite movie. It was bitterly cold and our hands and feet felt numb but we still play in the snow excitedly. This little town is one of the most unforgettable places I went to in Iceland.

Day 4: Egilsstadir – Jökulsárlón – Diamond Beach – Svinafellsjokull – Skatefell National Park

After leaving the magical town, we returned to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. The huge glacier and the blue sky made it look like a picture.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Afterwards, we headed to the Diamond Beach. It’s so cool to see those huge ice cubes on the black sand beach. But it was very cold that we couldn’t slowly admire the glaciers on the beach.

Svinafellsjokull is the place I have been wanting to go. Take in the stunning views of mountains and frosty landscapes may require a lil bit effort for the hiking. But it’s worth it! You need to be careful as well!

Day 5: Seljalansfoss – Seljavalalaug – Soheimasandur Plane Wreck

Seljalandsfoss waterfall: This is an unique waterfall because you can get the spectacular view of the waterfall at the behind of it. Unfortunately, the water and steam were too strong and the road surface was too slippery so the way to the behind of the waterfall was closed. All we can do was just take photo of the amazing waterfall from the outside. By the way, the parking fee here is extremely expensive. It costed us RM 28.

Seljavalalaug: It is an outdoor pool in the middle of the mountain. If you love adventure, this place is for you. Because it requires some tough hiking to reach.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck: It’s a walk journey for 10 km. It took about 2 hours.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck

Day 6: Reynisfjara Beach – Skogafoss – Reykjavík city – New Year Countdown 🎇/ Bonfires 🔥 Aurora 🌌

Reynisfjara Beach: When I was young, I saw a similar photo of the black sand beach and it made me wonder how it’d look in person. I couldn’t believe I could witness it in my eyes. The view made me speechless and feel unbelievable.

Skogafoss: Must go to there in the evening!

After visiting these attractions, we went back to the city area for our New Year’s Eve. We had a wonderful dinner at the best local restaurant. The fireworks in Iceland was amazing. We even went up to the hill to witness the fireworks at midnight. It’s so stunning because you’ll see every household launch their fireworks. After that, we also joined the Bonfires, the most important activity on New Year’s Eve in Iceland.

Before the fireworks finished, we drove our camper van and left the city. This is because the Aurora occurrence rate was very high on that night based on the Aurora Apps. Eventually, we really managed to witness the Aurora from our campsite. It’s Aurora! It made a perfect ending for our trip to Iceland! It was still so cold but worth it.

Day 7: Golden Circle Geysir – Reykjavík City

Geysir is one of the must-go attraction spots in Golden Circle Tour. It is famous for its erupting hot spring that sproats the water up to 60 – 70 metres high.

After that, we went back to the city and checked in at the backpacker hostel. The camper van was returned to the rental car company. Good thing was that there’s a bus station near our backpacker hostel so we’re able to take the bus to the city and enjoy our dinner.

Day 8: Hallgrímskirkja – Keflavik Airport

Hallgrímskirkja: You may go all the way upstairs to the top to get the 360 full view of the town area. But you need to pay. After visiting the church, we returned to our hostel and packed our luggages. The hotel helped us book the Airport bus to send us to the Airport.

Reykjavík City – The view from Hallgrímskirkja
  • Aurora
  • Snow
  • Campervan Self Drive
  • Winter Trip

What’s next?

Thank Stephyshuen for sharing her road trip experience in Iceland. Do follow her on Instagram and her personal blog for more travel info. 💖

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