Whoa, it’s so cool. Whoa, it’s so amazing. Whoa, it’s so magnificent. Incredible. Breathtaking. Unbelievable.
I ran out of adjectives trying to describe the sights of Iceland. Sometimes when you travel, you become numb to the sights. Meh, another waterfall. I’ve seen plenty of those. But in Iceland, I was blown away every single day.
But whoa, it’s also so expensive.
I had this vision of me hitchhiking and camping around Iceland, living extremely cheaply. But then I came to the conclusion that I’m actually not that kind of person. I need human interaction and a certain level of comfort.
But what about going on a road trip with four strangers from around the world? Hell yeah, I’m that kind of person!
I got in contact with my travel companions through Couchsurfing. They had arrived in Reykjavik before me and were already waiting for me with the rental car when I arrived from the airport to the city centre. All I had to do was to rent a sleeping bag from Iceland Camping Equipment Rental and we were off!
There is only one highway in Iceland, Route 1. It’s also called the Ring Road as it travels around Iceland. Our route was counter clockwise along the Ring Road, occasionally taking smaller roads to see some sights.
I have to admit I was a bit worried how five strangers would get along in a cramped car and two tents. But these people were so easygoing, I felt I had made four new friends the moment I met them. Couldn’t have asked for better road trip companions!
We spent the night camping near Seljalandsfoss, one of the best known waterfalls of Iceland. The following morning we explored the waterfall and its surroundings.
Iceland easily became one of my favorite countries in Europe. Everything truly is like from a fairytale: the nature is diverse, the history is interesting and the culture is rich. Even their language sounds like something fairies might speak!
Iceland is a cold country, even in summer. It was between 10 and 15 degrees when I visited in June. Summer might be the best time to visit since the nature is more diverse (in winter you’ll only see snow) — unless you want to try your luck hunting the Northern Lights!
And yes, Iceland is expensive, but as with everything, budget travel is always possible.
A one way flight from Helsinki to Reykjavik with SAS cost me 116 €. And since we were five people traveling together, we could divide the cost of car rental, gas and food. Ultimately, the total cost of our road trip was approximately 40 € / day per person.
And I did end up hitchhiking. I had heard that Iceland is one of the best places to do it and if I can base my opinion on the sole experience I had, I agree. After Couchsurfing in Akureyri a couple of nights, I just walked from my accommodation to the edge of a large road. After four minutes I was picked up by another traveler who drove me all the way back to Reykjavik.
Of course you’ll use a lot of money in Iceland, compared to many other countries in the world, but it’s worth every penny. Travel always is.