[preparation] a detailed self driving tour around Iceland for Thanksgiving

Days: 7 days

Time: November

Per capita: 12000 yuan

With whom: parents and children

Play: self driving, saving money, free travel, photography, poor travel

The author went to these places



Glacial lake

Published at 08:10, April 12, 2015

[foreword] Iceland at the end of November is quite different from what we imagined, and even quite different from many online strategies. The expected scene of the journey is in the snowstorm, a small station wagon on the dangerous gravel road, shuttling in the bad weather. When we really arrived in Iceland, we found that although it can't be called sunny, we had a smooth journey. We almost finished this unforgettable journey without any accident. Maybe it's the warm winter. Is it really affected by the moistening of September? The lunar calendar will be a whole month later than usual, I thought I could see all kinds of gorgeous snow scenery and ice falls, but I saw the colorful Iceland in the late autumn, which was really a surprise.

This article is original for little girl, only partial modification

It was still in the late summer of 2014, because there were holidays left at the end of the year, so I wanted to go out to play, so I began to discuss with my parents where to play.

----"Learn to dive in Southeast Asia."

----"No, there has been too much negative news recently."

----"Go to Mauritius?"

----"No, it's too hot, in case of Ebola in Africa."

----"To Palau?"

----"No, learn to dive before you go."

----"To Maldives?"


----"... then go to Iceland."

----"Well, I heard there are no trees there!"

Huh? What the hell is the answer.

Determine the goal, is the ticket!

My father and I made a quick inquiry and bought a round-trip ticket of RMB 6227 / person for Zurich / Beijing / Basel (Swiss air rail combined transport) and RMB 400 / person for Basel / kevlavik (easyJet). It was so simple that a trip abroad was such a pleasant and strange decision.

In particular, easyJet has flights from Basel to Iceland on Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning every week. Due to the limited time of annual leave, we chose to go on Friday and return on Friday. In Iceland, you can stay seven days and seven nights. Although it's not long, there's plenty of self driving time.

Iceland, a land like God, is the Holy Land in our hearts. We are going to see the dusky day, the glaciers on the sea level, the barren wasteland, and the place most unlike the earth.

It's interesting to think about it. In Iceland at the end of November, it's 9:00 a.m. and the sun rises at 10:00 a.m. The sun sets at 4:30, and you can't see your fingers at 6:00.

Pre trip preparation:

Before going to Iceland, people thought they would wrap their own polar bear like a shovel and shovel snow every day. When I arrived, I found that I was the only one dressed like a polar bear, and the car wiper was on every day. Walking in Iceland, I often think: cheat paper, the Northeast has snowed, how is it still raining here!


Wear on the body: down jacket, down trousers, sweater, scarf, hat, swimsuit, pajamas, mountaineering shoes *.

Daily necessities series: simple food (it is said that the customs does not allow raw meat, but we enter from Switzerland without going through the customs channel), bed sheets (not provided or charged by many hotels), water bottles, sunglasses, bath products, soap, shampoo, conditioner and paper towel.

No: driver's license and copy, camera, charger, passport, mobile phone (pre installed navigation software), transfer plug (double round socket). In particular, we call it Iceland's three treasures: slippers, swimsuits and towels.

Icing on the cake: tripod, CD.

I brought some heavy but useless ones: climbing sticks (the package was not removed), medicine, rain gear (self driving is the best umbrella, and when I left, we all stayed in Iceland).

Fortunately did not bring: hair dryer (toilet are provided), electric kettle (kitchen have hot kettle).

*About shoes: it's hard to buy suitable snow hiking boots in Beijing, either too expensive or too thin. But I saw the shoes in line with my expectation at the Swiss airport. The cheap shoes are only more than 60 euro, and the expensive ones are 120 euro. They are good-looking and thick, suitable for hiking.

[car rental]

Four wheel drive is still needed in Iceland. It is not only because of the off-road performance of two wheel drive, but also because the law prohibits non 4WD on the road in many places. For example, the dirt road near Vik leading to the wreckage of the McDonnell Douglas plane is smooth, but the clear sign at the entrance is limited to 4 × 4 to enter.

In fact, when driving in Iceland, the road shoulder is generally high. On such a road, once you don't pay attention to rush out of the road and fall into the mud or volcanic rocks on both sides, you can't drive up for a few times. We see tourists who can't drive down on the road more than once.

When we left Beijing, we were also worried that the car rental company would not assemble winter tires. Later, we found that worry was superfluous. All Icelandic winter taxis would be replaced with winter tires.

Compared the information of domestic and foreign car rental websites in advance on the Internet, the price of foreign websites is generally cheaper, but we finally chose the domestic car rental website, a zero quota super supplementary all risks insurance, 441 yuan for 7 days. The starting quota of other car rental networks is relatively high, but it only includes basic collision insurance and theft rescue, and the cost of purchasing additional insurance is also relatively high.

We rent a famous Herz car (629.62usd / 7days). There is no way to specify the model when booking, so you can only choose the 5-person automatic SUV station wagon, which includes 2-drive and 4-drive from different manufacturers. When we picked up the car at the airport, we asked if we could get the 4WD. The other party looked at the pre order and gave it to Suzuki directly.

Suzuki 4WD is rare in China. Although winter tires are added, the fuel consumption is only about 11L / 100km,

When driving in Iceland, you must remember to refuel half a tank of oil, because you don't know what you will encounter in the future. On the third day, we ran into the danger of running out of ammunition and food because the gas station was lazy and didn't refuel. Generally, the larger gas stations have 227.9kr of fuel per liter (N1 gas stations), which provide self-service car washing equipment and self-service tire inflation (Loft) equipment at the same time. If you need to drive in, just do it yourself. Self service car washing will also be closed in winter.

When you rent a car, you have to pay more for the GPS. But when you get the car, you find that Suzuki comes with the GPS, which is very easy to use. Many paths that are not drawn on general maps are also very accurate. On the first day, without this map, we couldn't find the way to the hotel.

Finally, I recommend Icelandic mobile navigation software. I spent a lot of effort to find suitable software, such as tomtom, but I ignored the Icelandic map. Finally, I downloaded osmand + navigation software and downloaded offline map. Practice has proved that this software is very easy to use in Iceland, you can choose Chinese navigation, it is best to adapt in advance in China (there are domestic maps to download). Osmand + navigation software is more accurate for Icelandic roads with numbers, but there will be detailed errors for roads without numbers. Don't underestimate that Iceland has only one ring road. In the dark, without navigation software, hotels can't be found at all, and you don't know where to turn into the branch road. It is highly recommended to enter the driving coordinates along the road in advance in China. Otherwise, you will be in a hurry at least at the beginning of the first day when you just arrive in Iceland and it is stormy and rainy.

From November 21 to 25, the road conditions in Iceland were very good. There was no ice and no snow. You could drive an asphalt road casually. From November 26, it began to snow and the roads were frozen. Even the temperature in Reykjavik, the capital, dropped to about 0 degrees.

Remember, when driving in Iceland, you should pay attention to: first, turn on the headlights all day, second, refuel frequently, never wait for no fuel to refuel.

[board and lodging]

Accommodation and food are written together because almost all our meals are settled in hotels. Because the day time is too short, time is precious, in addition to supermarket procurement (super recommended bones supermarket), there is basically no time to go out. For example, I wanted to go to hofn for a lobster dinner, but I didn't get it because of the tire problem.

Iceland is an off-season for tourism in winter. To what extent? Several times, we stayed in the whole hotel. If you make a reservation on booking, you can make a reservation on the same day, which is helpful to modify the itinerary at any time according to the weather. Remember to input the coordinate points given by booking into GPS after setting.

Only dad can drive at home, which makes the daily journey not too long. Finally, it was determined that it would take about 300 kilometers a day to circle the island in six days. There are hotels all over Iceland, especially on Highway 1. In winter, there is no place to stay. A family of three go out to play, no matter when and where, accommodation is a trouble, Iceland is the same. Most of the rooms are double standard rooms. Extra beds are very expensive. Later, I found that I didn't have to stick to three people at all. The unique Icelandic cotage is a good choice. Depending on the location, some are cheap and some are expensive (600-1200 RMB). Generally, 4-5 people can live with their own bathroom and kitchen. In the kitchen of each cabin, there are pots and pans, bakers, ovens, microwave ovens, refrigerators, oil and salt plastic bags, and preservative films. The salt and oil we bought for cooking didn't work until we left Iceland. On the last night, I lived in a cabin beside kevlavik airport. There were several packages of spaghetti in it. At first glance, we left the rest here before we left Iceland.

As for those hotels without kitchen, they all offer free buffet breakfast.

Raw Icelandic food, especially fish, is not expensive at all. We bought a 300g piece of raw whale meat in bonus, and the cost was only 1300kr. But vegetables and fruits are very expensive. Tap water can be drunk directly, and it's very delicious. This is the real snow mountain melt water. It's a little sweet. In Reykjavik and Northern Iceland, the hot water is geothermal hot spring water (not drinkable). It has a slight sulfur odor, so it is not suitable at first, and it is good to get used to it. If you do not add cold water, pure hot water, water temperature can reach more than 80 degrees, careful scald! Due to the abundant geothermal energy, the price of water and electricity in Iceland is low, and every household keeps the hall lights on all day long. In the hotel, the open-air hot spring, no matter whether there are guests or not, circulates hot spring water for 24 hours. I don't worry about wasting water at all. I'm used to saving water, and I'm surprised.

[cash and credit card]

Credit cards are widely used in Iceland. You can pay by credit card for anything you buy. It's not recommended to change too much cash. 50 euro is enough. The only place to use cash for the whole trip was to repair the car in hofn. The other side said that they could swipe the card, but the credit card charged 1000kr more, so they paid in cash. In November 2014, about RMB 1 is equivalent to 20 kronor. Therefore, the Icelandic price tag is the price of RMB by moving the decimal point to the left on the basis of half price.

Before going to the N1 gas station, it was said on the Internet that the N1 gas station needed to pay with a credit card with a chip. After the actual test, it was found that both the magnetic stripe card and the chip card recognized each other. You can also go to the supermarket next to N1 gas station to buy a gas card, 1:1 purchase, no handling charge, also very convenient. All gas dispensers are self-service refueling, and the steps are: insert the card --- input the password --- input the pre refueling amount --- input the number of the gas dispenser --- pick up the card --- draw the gun to refuel --- return the oil gun --- insert the card --- print the voucher --- pick up the card. If the card cannot be recognized or inserted, it is most likely to be inserted in the wrong direction. There are other gas stations in Iceland, but I don't know why I don't recognize my credit card. In the end, we all look for N1.

Supermarkets, hotels and other POS machines can also use magnetic stripe credit cards. If they can't swipe, they can also input the credit card number and pay. There will be no case of non payment at all. However, in 2015, China also began to replace the chip credit card, there is no such problem.

*Pre refueling amount: This is the upper limit of this refueling. You don't need to add so much. You can input a larger value. When you have enough fuel, just draw the gun.


Watching the aurora is a matter of character. In Iceland, to see the aurora requires two old men. The big master is the weather, the second master is luck. Theoretically, the aurora index is divided into 1-4 levels. It is said that the aurora can be seen with naked eyes if the aurora index is above level 2, and it is gorgeous if the aurora index is above level 3. I don't understand it if it is too professional. Let's talk about my personal experience. Three days before the trip to Iceland, the aurora forecast is 3,4,3. It is reasonable to see a very bright Aurora, but the Lord does not give face, and it is cloudy every day.

Finally, on the fourth day, the night we arrived at Mihu in Northern Iceland, the sky suddenly became extremely clear and full of stars. The master was very angry and satisfied the first requirement of seeing the Aurora - sunny day. That night, the aurora index was 3. At night, the Polaris was really on our head. It was already 66 ° north latitude and entered the edge of the Arctic circle. The starry river is bright, and the starry sky makes us intoxicated. At 9 p.m., the character broke out. Thank you, second master. The Aurora was like a big play. At the climax, several Aurora crossed the sky and flew to the zenith. Finally, we saw the aurora we wanted.

On the fifth day after that, although the master was still looking forward to it, there were many sunny days, and the aurora index was always 2, but the second master didn't show up. We also observed that there was no aurora in the middle of the night. The next few days are overcast and the index is low, so I won't repeat them one by one.

With the naked eye, the aurora is very different from the photos taken. Many photos are colorful. In fact, the naked eye looks colorless or green (this varies from person to person. The three of us can see three colors). Most of the aurora look better. But what you see and feel with your own eyes is broader. A strong Aurora generally lasts only a few minutes, and we are moved and crazy by the splendor of the whole sky. It's impossible to take a picture.

About weather forecast: the weather in Iceland is changeable, so is the forecast. If the forecast says that a small place is sunny, that is, the white range on the map is very small, then the forecast accuracy is not high. If we forecast a wide range of sunny days, for example, on the day of our Mihu lake, almost half of the northeast of Iceland will be white, then the possibility of sunny days is very high.

Follow the aurora in the south, pay attention to the wind, and pay attention to the cold in the north. It's better to live in a cabin or sit in a car and find a place with less light. Wait for the aurora to appear., Go back when it's cold. As mentioned earlier, the night sky Polaris in Iceland is very close to the top of the head. It is located on the edge of the north pole and has excellent conditions to see the aurora. You can see the aurora in almost all directions of the night sky.

If you want to shoot Aurora, remember to bring a good quality tripod and plenty of camera batteries. Don't be like us.

Amateur simple shooting method is: unlimited distance, slightly high sensitivity (note not too high, 800 or so, otherwise there will be noise), shutter time more than 8 seconds.

You can take pictures with the aurora. The key point of shooting is: stand well in advance, don't move, and wait patiently for the camera to complete the program.

[supplement] look at two websites recommended by Aurora Borealis:

This website provides dynamic meteorological data every three hours to remind you to pay special attention to the temperature and sunshine curve. If necessary, it can be used as one of the reference factors for chasing the aurora. For example, the map on the right (released on December 11, 2014) reflects the cloud map of Iceland around 0:00 on December 12, 2014. It can be seen that the weather from Vik to glacier lake in southern Iceland was fine during this period, which was the best time for the northern lights.

Second, the aurora forecast website, such as www.swpc.noaa.gov, www.gi.alaska.edu, www.softservices.com, etc., has complex Aurora forecast classification, in which KP index is more commonly used, generally divided into 0-9 levels. The aurora forecast map released on December 10, 2014 by www.gi.alaska.edu is shown below. But the aurora forecast is still a problem. It's not easy for us to go to Iceland. In principle, we should not let it go as long as the weather is good.

[preparation] a detailed self driving tour around Iceland for Thanksgiving

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