David von Oheimb's Photo Gallery: Iceland in a week

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I arrived with my wife Sabine in the evening of Oct 25th, 2015, and spent three full days in and around Reykjavik based on a travel package. Then I continued by myself driving around Iceland in a rental car clock-wise within five days and left in the morning of Nov 3rd. The photos presented here are mostly of a fantastic sunny early winter day on Oct 26th, where we did the famous Golden Circle, and of my circular trip, where the only clear day was Oct 31th, most of which I spent in the area around Myvatn, a lake with much volcanism around in the north. The things we have seen in the first three days could have been condensed into two days, and this is why I wrote 'a week'. Mostly for season and time reasons, I did not touch the highlands and Westfjord, which is the northwestern sub-island, and of course could only scratch the other areas. Driving around the ring road #1 would have been around 1300 km, yet due to various detours I drove 2070 km.

Weather in Iceland is more or less cloudy year-round, in particular in the south, so if you want to have sunshine in all places, as most touristic photos wrongly suggest, you need a lot of time to catch enough clear days. On the other side, sunny holes in the clouds are frequent and produce a special mood. Also the ability to see the northern lights (aurora borealis) is confined to clear skies in places with not much artificial light (nor moonlight), and of course solar activity, which can vary a lot and can be predicted only for maybe a day in advance. So, chances for seeing them on a short visit are low. People are relaxed, friendly and helpful, so don't be shy and get in touch.

After the financial crisis in 2008, Iceland has become pretty expensive again, also from a local perspective (except for energy, which comes for free from volcanic heat and water power). Yet if you are are fine with staying in youth hostels (book well in advance for a visit in the summer) and living on Skyr (yoghurt) and fruits from large supermarkets and rent a car before arriving, you can get around fairly cheap. I recommend choosing an economy-size car, since 4WDs are not needed for most of the gravel roads and on the other hand with a tiny car you cannot go fast in particular when facing strong winds. BTW, most roads are pretty straight and in good shape, and since speed radar is clearly visible and confined to the Reykjavik area and a few tunnels elsewhere, one can easily drive some 120 km/h rather than just the official 90. The Reykjavik City Walk by Marteinn, a young humorous historian, was much fun and very informative, not only about the city, but of the whole country.

Some further hints, not to be taken too serious:

Gullfoss (in the southwest)

Husey (in the northeast)

URL: http://David.von-Oheimb.de/gallery/Iceland/index.html, Last modified: Mon Dec 28 23:03:43 CET 2015