Iceland has always been on my top ten bucket list. This country absolutely stunning and perfect for nature lovers and adventurers alike. In 2017, I had a chance to visit this amazing country during winter with two of my friends. This 8 days 7 nights’ trip is definitely one of the best trip I have ever had. Not only a lot of beautiful landscapes and breath-taking scenery, but also a lot of first time experience.
Travel in Iceland is indeed more expensive than travel in other country, but it can be done on a budget as well. Preparation play an important role in order to travel less cost and stress free. With booming of tourist from all around the world, there are tourist everywhere every day, and I feel like there is no low travel season in Iceland.
Having booked our accommodation at least three to four months ago, we managed to stay in the homestay and hostel with good location and cheaper price. The level of comfortable also worth mentions it. Those places are always fully booked in a quick rate, so definitely grab it as early as you can.
As for the food, cooking your own is a must if you want travel on budget. We survive the whole trip with lot of bread, spaghetti and Pesto sauce. But we also get a chance to taste some of the Icelandic cuisine.
We decided to drive around the country instead of using local tour. The cost of car rental plus fuel are around 1300 SGD, there were three of us, so it cost around 420 SGD per person. Of course, it will be lower with more person sharing the car and fuel. Although it was a bit pricey, but it totally worth every single penny.
Advantage of driving yourself
One of the advantage of driving yourself is that you can decide how much time you want spend in a place. As for us, we spend some time in taking photos and videos instead of just visit the place, having a car is pretty good for us. You will be the one to manage your daily itinerary, go wherever and whenever you want.
I must say this was my first time driving car in foreign country, it was fun and not that hard as I expected. The car is driving on the right side instead of left side in Singapore or Malaysia, so it took time to adapt in the beginning, but after several drives, I started used to it and drive like a pro. But, I would say it is much challenging to drive during winter time because of the icy road condition and weather, but as long as you drive carefully, it is not that scary.
We drive counter-clockwise along the ring road (Route 1), traveling around the whole country. It is the prime Icelandic road and it can take you to almost every essential spot you want to visit. During winter season, some of the road that access to remote places will be closed due to the weather.
Iceland is a place full with many stunning waterfall, this is one of reason why we visit. The beauty of Iceland are not only the waterfall and mountain; it is everywhere waiting for us to discover as we drive along the road.
We never feel bored as we are on the road, because the scene always captures out eyes and cameras are always in the place of using. With the indie music playing on the radio, I can see why the movie “The secret life of Walter Mitty” using this country as a place of seeing the real beautiful world.
We literally can experience four different season on this 8 days 7 nights trip, although it was winter season, some of the place in Iceland is not covered with snow, tree and grass are still growing . Some are covered with thick snow, like a winter wonderland. The weather can be bright and sunny or cold and windy.
If you are sick of natural landscape, which I don’t think you will, you can visit the airplane crash site. We visited the Sólheimasandur plane crash in a pretty bad weather. The plane has sat vacant on the beach since 1973. It was a United States Navy DC plane that ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach. We literally walked 5km to the site with cold wind and rain constantly smashing on our face, I wouldn’t say it is not worth it but it was truly a unique experience. This is also a good place for shooting photos.
Northern light also known as Aurora Borealis, how difficult to see northern light?
We were told by three friends of us that it was pretty difficult to see northern during their visit. So, we didn’t expect that much, we even decided not to spend out night time go out and hunt Northern light. According to the Aurora forecast, the weather on our first 7 days trip was not good for us to see Aurora. On our last night in Reykjavik, after dinner, we decided to give It a try although the forecast is still not favourable. We drove 30 minutes away from the town, in a place with no light, in the end, amazing thing happened, I got Goosebumps the moment I saw Aurora, stunningly beautiful.
This mark the end of our trip, truly unforgettable experience and memories. Having travel to many countries, Iceland always has place in my heart. I will definitely travel back to this country in another season and see what else this country can offer me!