Iceland View

Flying into a place that looks like Mars, I expected it to be pretty difficult to get around from place to place without the help of aliens. Even on a map, it really only looks like there is one road that travels in a circle around the country, but we thought we’d put our trust in the internet and do what everyone else seems to do- at least at first.

I figure we can’t start talking about getting around Iceland without mentioning how we got TO Iceland for such a good price (in my opinion)!  A huge reason we chose Iceland as our first destination was because it was one of the cheapest options for us to leave the States that we could find, and it a pretty common layover location as it is, so why not utilize that and make Iceland our first destination?

I’ll be posting a video later about all of the useful travel apps I have on my phone for this trip, but the one I ended up finding our tickets on is Skyscanner- THE BEST. If you don’t have it, you’re missing out on travel gold. We booked our ticket from Baltimore, MD as soon as we found out this trip was real life which was two months from our departure*

*I have found that booking tickets between two and three months in advance usually deliver the best deals.

Speed Round:

  1. Flight to Iceland
  2. Airport to Hostel + Blue Lagoon
    • Reykjavik Excursions
    • Getting from KEF > Blue Lagoon > Downtown Reykjavik
  3. Daily [Short Distance]
    • Walking
    • Smart Bikes
  4.  Around the Country [Long Distance]
    • Reykjavik Excursions
    • Car rental
  5. Downtown to Airport

For my people that love details as much as I do… I got you covered.

Details:

  1. Reykjavik Excursions
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    Our walk to the BSÍ Bus Station (Reykjavik Excursions station)

    • This is one of the main companies that provides transportation and tours/adventures around Iceland. In fact, the main bus station in Reykjavik has the company name stuck right on the front.
    • The prices range depending on what you can afford.
    • The tours range depending on how adventurous you feel that day, from soaking in the Blue Lagoon, to riding ATV’s and snowmobiling through glaciers.
    • There is slight flexibility on the pace you want to go and how much control you want to have of the tour- such as choosing to take the Golden Circle Tour by bus [preset pace] to driving a car around the Golden Circle [at your own pace] which was our choice considering we stop every five minutes to take pictures and vlog. Guilty! Plus, you get the car for 24 hours and can go where you wish with it!
    • This is who we booked our bus through to get back to KEF Airport, as well as the bus from KEF to our hostel.
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The busses waiting outside of the Keflavik Airport to take us to the Blue Lagoon.

2. Blue Lagoon

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The bus took us to the front of the Blue Lagoon.

  • You can book your admission into the Blue Lagoon directly from their website with a few selections of packages. This is only a better deal if you have found a cheap or free form of transportation (you’re lucky enough to know someone who lives in Iceland.. if so, lets be friends ASAP).
  • Make sure to go up to the Reykjavik Excursions counter to get a paper copy of the bus ticket printed, they don’t take the digital version at the bus door.
  • The transportation package from RE that included the Blue Lagoon admission was the most cost effective and user-friendly. We were able to hop on the first bus (or second if you miss the first one… ahem.) once you arrive to the airport, which takes you through Mars right to the front door of the Lagoon.
  • Take as much time as you want at the lagoon, and the bus to go downtown comes 15 minutes after every hour.
  • You can check each [big] bag in storage for about 4 USD and fit your smaller items in the lagoon lockers.
  • Your hands will get prune-y.
  • Once you get to the BWI bus station, individual vans take you to the front door of your hostel/hotel. Fancy.

3. Getting Around Town 

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Riding our Smart Bikes on the bike paths when we wanted to go longer distances.

  • Reykjavik is a lot smaller than we thought, so it really was easy to walk around the town. It is such a colorful town as well, and we feel that we get to know the city a little better by walking it’s streets.
  • The most thrilling and fun transportation we used was a $16.43 “Smart Bike” rental from Galaxy Pod Hostel. It is basically a mini-moped that you ride in the bike lane and can hit a whoppin’ 25 mph. We got these when we knew we wanted to make a longer trip over to a secret hot spring which we spilled our secret on our Iceland Overview blog post!
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Took our Smart Bikes all the way to the Lighthouse Grotta at sunset.

4. Renting a Car

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Our rental car with a beautiful green view when we pulled off the main roads.

  • I know I previously mentioned in when I spoke about Reykjavik Excursions, but this is such a perfect way to travel at your own pace!
  • Many travellers we have met mention that long periods of time in the small town of Reykjavik can make them feel trapped. Renting a car even for just 24 hours allowed us to get out of the town and into the wild side of Iceland!
  • Our car had a GPS with the Golden Circle Tour built-in, and there is an option for a Wifi hotspot if you’re a backpacker who relies on Wifi to survive (guilty!).
  • As bloggers, we had the freedom to stop every five minutes to vlog with wild Icelandic horses, stayed at Gullfoss as long as we wanted, pull off to set up our drone to get some footage, anything we wanted-because we could!
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Our car’s GPS taking us around the Golden Circle.

Overall, it was so much easier to get around Iceland than we imagined, and we tried so many different forms of transportation! They varied so much, and they all came with their own memories and adventures!

9 Comments
  1. Lucia Pereira 2 years ago

    HI Shae,

    I’m Lucia……not sure if you remember me. We met in Berlin, Germany in August….I’m Giselle’s Mom. I trust you are well and suppose you are back in your hometown living your life….
    I am traveling to Iceland for 1 week leaving Toronto mid-June. You headed out to the Blue Lagoon straight from the airport. I arrive very early morning on June 17th at 4:30am and am considering taking the Reykjavik Excursion bus to The Blue Lagoon and hang-out for the day. Is it recommended to book the bus ahead of time or can I simply buy a ticket at the airport for the Blue Lagoon?

    Also, how easy is it to take a local or travel bus to get to the attractions such as The Golden Circle, Gullfoss water falls, etc….is it easy enough to do some adventure traveling on my own OR is it recommended to take tours throughout Iceland? I enjoy traveling on my own and staying as long as I like in different locations….just not sure how easy it is to do this in Iceland……That mini-spring looks wonderful…..I’d love to get over there…how easy is it to find and what town or area is it in…?

    Thanks so much for your time and I truly appreciate your feed back…. lucia

    • Author
      Shaedyn Mann 2 years ago

      Hey! Of course I remember you! Yep, back in the States, but still hopping around a little bit.

      That is so exciting! Iceland was one of my favorite places on the whole trip. We did the blue lagoon directly from the airport as well and I strongly believe that is the best time to do it. Personally, I was very glad to already have the tickets booked for both the bus and the lagoon. It is just so early in the morning by the time you arrive that it is easiest to follow the people who already purchased ahead. There also may be a wait at the lagoon if you don’t book it ahead of time.

      I’m not sure about public transportation at all, actually! I had only heard of people who took the Reykjavik Excursions bus or rented a car. We considered renting a car to be doing the adventures on our own, but thats the extent to which we did our own thing. Iceland is one of the trickier places to wander around on your own, at least it seemed like it.

      The mini spring is hidden near the windmill on the east side of Reykjavik! We just rode our scooter bike things there and it was a straight shot if you knew how to spot it.

  2. Saundra 2 years ago

    The Smart Bikes seem like so much fun to ride.

  3. Jenn 2 years ago

    Also, if you stay in a hotel, some of them have free tourist passes for the bus system… Or the Reykjavik city card includes bus travel as well as a great deal on admission to museums and thermal pools (complete with water slides)! And a free trip to Videy island!

    • Author
      Shaedyn Mann 2 years ago

      Great information! We stumbled upon a free waterslide too, that must be an Iceland thing! I had no idea!

  4. Jenn 2 years ago

    Next time, if you’re there for longer, do the ring road around the island…. It’s amazing!!!

    • Author
      Shaedyn Mann 2 years ago

      We definitely didn’t have enough time to do that, but I know I want to return in the winter at some point, so I’ll totally go!

  5. Michelle 2 years ago

    Great post!! I’ve also noticed that if you talk to some of the people at the hostels, they may be looking for other people to share the car rental with, since it’s much cheaper that way.

    • Author
      Shaedyn Mann 2 years ago

      Very true!! Not everyone likes being bombarded by our camera equipment though Takes a special person to not think we’re crazies 😀

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