Iceland photo safari, anyone?

KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
edited January 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Having just spent a few days in Iceland, having seen the magnificent photos posted in this forum, as well as the ones from a friend of mine who went to Iceland on several occasions, I wonder if anyone would be interested in meeting up in Iceland?

I would love to organise a spring/early summer trip using jeeps starting out in Reykjavik, staying at B&Bs, basically hitting a bunch of very photogenic points along the way. It won't be cheap, but if I can get 4/8/12 people together (4 to a jeep), it wouldn't be too bad. Airfare to Iceland is pretty decent, IcelandAir has some good deals from pretty much anywhere, and there are certainly plenty of B&Bs around...

Let me know?
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Comments

  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,081Member
    Thanks for the offer. Would love to go to Iceland ... someday ... someday ... For the time being, schedule and budget prohibits.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
    I've got one or two friends here in Greenland who would join, but it's real easy to get to Iceland from the US... IcelandAir has direct connections from 9 US cities.
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    My wife was all in for us til she saw your posting handle.

    Question: how expensive is it really? My friends have gone (Icelandair flies seasonally from my city) and the vast majority come back with budget horror stories--even after the bank collapse as the tourist stuff is priced in EUR. $400/day to rent a 4WD ($200 for a 3cyl putt-putt), $25 for McDonalds, $15 for a beer, right down the line. Icelanders fly over here to shop, and even though Canada nets out at 15-25% higher than the US, they can't get over how "cheap" stuff is here.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Iceland is on my bucket list. I am half Icelandic but have never been. However, I am sure that 1,000 per day for one person or 1,200 per day for 2 people is a guideline that I would be comfortable with.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 467Member
    However, I am sure that 1,000 per day for one person or 1,200 per day for 2 people is a guideline that I would be comfortable with.

    You can do Antarctica with that budget :-) . And if you are lucky like those stuck on the Akademik Shokalsky for an extra few weeks, you can double/triple the value ( per day ) :-*
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Let's assume, as quoted by Shawnino, $400 per day for a 4wd with 2 people and then $400 for good bed and breakfasts and $200 per day for food. Add airfare and incidentals. Hopefully, it will be less.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    My wife was all in for us til she saw your posting handle.

    Question: how expensive is it really? My friends have gone (Icelandair flies seasonally from my city) and the vast majority come back with budget horror stories--even after the bank collapse as the tourist stuff is priced in EUR. $400/day to rent a 4WD ($200 for a 3cyl putt-putt), $25 for McDonalds, $15 for a beer, right down the line. Icelanders fly over here to shop, and even though Canada nets out at 15-25% higher than the US, they can't get over how "cheap" stuff is here.
    My buddy and his GF stopped by Iceland as part of their "around the world" RTW trip.

    In Reykjavik one can rent an older 4WD (Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar) for around $160/day in peak season (summer). Or get a small SUV (Toyota RAV-4) from Hertz or competitors for around $200/day, less with discounts.

    Fuel in Iceland is expensive like everywhere else in Europe, around $8 / gallon right now. Suppose you average 200 miles each and every day, assuming 25 mpg that's an additional $64 / day in gas.

    So total $160 + 64 = $224/day for 4WD rental. Split among two people that's $112/day for the cheap Jeep, or $132/day for the Toyota RAV-4.

    $25 for McDonalds? There are no McDonalds in Iceland, after they pulled out in 2009. But budget around $10 for a fast food combo and around $40 for a good meal at a restaurant (alcohol excluded). Alcohol in restaurants is very expensive in Iceland due to special taxes to deter consumption.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    the price of the fuel is quite true, that's an average for Europe. $10 for a fast food combo is also not surprising amount of cash for a european consumer.
    so considering you have 2 pax in the car and eating 2/day it's gonna cost around: $112+$30 (2xfood + some water + small breakfast) + $25 (sleeping cost, based on recommended guest-house from booking.com) = $167 per day (around $1200 per week - based on 2pax). I would say it's acceptable.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
    Costwise there are several ways to "do Iceland"... I'll try to outline two, without having done too much research:

    a) The quick, dirty and expensive way;

    You sort out your own travel into Iceland, and we meet up in Reykjavik. We have sorted out a photo tour from a professional outfit, who drives us around the sights on a 3/5/7 day trip. Accommodation and meals are included on this tour. On the last day we are dropped of in Reykjavik, and we go back home.

    The photo tours tend to be expensive, but are all-inclusive, and a 5-day tour run about EUR 2000. Guestrooms in Reyjkavik are easily found at EUR100/night, and a typical meal is EUR15 (non alcoholic).

    b) The "do-it-yourself" method:

    You sort out your own travel into Iceland, and we meet up in Reykjavik. We have rented SUVs, which run EUR 60/day for a small one, and EUR 85/day for the bigger ones. Petrol is of course not included, and we can easily fit 4 to a jeep. Guestrooms in Reyjkavik are easily found at EUR100/night, and a typical meal is EUR15 (non alcoholic). B&Bs around Iceland are EUR 60-100/day, all depending on season.

    The pro for a) is of course that this is a professional tour, with drivers who knows how to go "where no man has gone before". The con is cost cost cost. The pro for b) is cost, and that we can go where we want to:) We can make our own lunches, buying groceries in the shops.

    It is expensive to buy wine and beer, and going to fancy restaurants, and of course buying the fabled Icelandic sweaters. And, do not plan on buying ANY photo equipment...
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Those rates are much more reasonable than the old Icelandair Holidays brochure I have. I'm staring at it right now. This might be on...
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 536Member
    I was in Iceland last summer. I wanted to rent a 4x4 for a week and a half (5 person car) - peak season price: $4000. I got buy with a shitty Kia - $1500. They will map out every little scratch on the car and make you pay for every one you bring back :-)

    I want to get up there again. But I will buy an old 4x4 PU and ship it up there. If you buy your food in a supermarket it is not crazy expensive.

    If you decide to go you will love it
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    I live in a winter land, yeah a very cold place, that has a short summer, the rest of the calendar is fall~winter and often a chilled spring.

    So quite honestly, trudging around a volcanic island that is covered in ice and snow really has no appeal to me, to visit.

    Greenland sounds much more lovely, all that rock,,, hahaha, no thanks, Canada will have to suffice.

    If you truly want to go there, here's a trip planner to help you out.
    http://www.tour.is/tours/excursion_planner.php

    Have fun...
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
    @henrik1963, either you were ripped of majorly, or you wrote something wrong...

    I can easily rent a full-size 4x4, Dodge Durango / Ford Explorer, at ISK10,000/EUR63/USD86 pr. day, and if you want luxury, Ford Expedition - Eddie Bauer, at ISK13,000/EUR82/USD112 pr. day. These will both fit 6 people easily. Those prices are for a May rental, and sure there are plenty of extras;

    220V / USB Power Supply ISK 500 per day
    Additional driver(s) [?] ISK 500 per day each
    GPS navigation system ISK 1,000 per day
    Refrigerator box ISK 1,000 per day
    Roof Box ISK 1,700 per day
    Spare fuel ISK 500 per day
    Super Collision Damage Waiver [?] ISK 1,200 per day
    Theft insurance ISK 300 per day
    Tow rope ISK 500 per day

    But as for the important stuff, like CDW and Theft insurance, a decent credit card will cover that. And as for the check-in/out state, any place where they rent vehicles that are used for possible off-roading will do that - of course...
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
    As for http://www.tour.is/tours/excursion_planner.php#sthash.qAvUpzJF.dpuf, that is the expensive option a) I mentioned above... With a proper GPS there are none of these places that we cannot get to ourselves:)
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    Please be careful driving near the volcanoes, as there are huge hidden crevices or crevasses below the snow,
    that will swallow your vehicles whole...

    Crevasses vs. Crevices

    When do we use the term crevice? Properly, it should only be used when referring to cracks found in rock. Glaciers have their own special kind of crack, the crevasse.

    Glacial ice is constantly moving, but although the deepest ice is acting like a thick liquid, the ice on the surface of the glacier remains brittle. Since it isn’t under the immense pressure of ice buried in the glacier, it doesn’t take on the distinctive fluid-like character of glacial ice. As the glacier flows over obstacles like large rocks or small cliff bands, the ice surface will reflect this change in topography. While the deeper ice is able to flow smoothly over the obstacle, the ice on the surface will crack into long linear crevasses. The term crevasse is applied only to cracks in ice, and these crevasses can be up to 50 m. deep. For glacier travelers, crevasses form one of the major hazards. Often hidden by deep snow, an unwary explorer can quickly disappear.

    Higher on the glacier, where it meets the mountain face at the head of its valley, is a very special crevasse known as a Bergschrund. As the sun warms the rock face faster than the ice, the ice melts away from the rock forming a deep fissure right at the headwall of the ice.

    Be careful anyway...
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Prices I've seen are always in line with Henrik's. Iceland is doing itself a great disservice by not correcting my mistaken impression that it is unaffordable as everybody I talk to labours under the same illusion. I don't want to turn this into an America-is-better rant (being Canadian, I'd likely lose my citizenship) but if one plans a trip to Vegas, Disney, NYC, the "deals" are always front and centre. If I need to bump into a guy named "Killerbob" online to have my eyes opened, Iceland's tourism department isn't doing its job.

    All of a sudden, I'm excited about Iceland.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @shawino - same situation with Canada... why do you think I've never been there... it's the feeling that it's soooooooo expensive.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
    As for jeep rentals all I did was search on "jeep rental Iceland", and up came http://www.cheapjeep.is/. As for B&Bs and Hotels I usually use http://www.airbnb.com/ or http://www.hotels.co.uk/ Search engines and a bit of persistence have not failed me yet:)
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    edited January 2014
    @shawino - same situation with Canada... why do you think I've never been there... it's the feeling that it's soooooooo expensive.
    Well, since our population is around only Thirty million, and our country is bigger that the USA, so You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a reasonably priced place to stay... Or bring a tent and go camp... ;-) In summer for sure.

    Yeah, winter camping is fun too, if more for the hardy types of folk. Needing a good down filled all season sleeping bag.

    Plus a good stay here, and you'll nearly be ready for the big cold mountains even... Hahaha
    Kilimanjaro
    http://www.thomsontreks.com
    Fuji
    http://www.fujisafari.co.jp/english/index.html

    Well, come on in...
    Post edited by ChasCS on
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 536Member
    @Killerbob: I´m not trying to kill your idea. I have no regrets going there. And I will go back some day. I was there in july. And I am just reporting what I have found.

    It may very well be that prices change according to season - worth checking out. I will just say that in july it was not at all warm. I suspect that may will be even colder :-)

    My GF is 1/4 Icelandic and have family there. The place is absolutely stunning - best photo opportunity you can imagine. The price on the KIA was good when I booked it with my plane tickets. But the price on insurance is crazy high - that may have been the where I was robbed :-). But you need to know that sheep is running on the roads and a lot of people end up in costly accidents. When I returned the KIA there was a couple having a hard time as they had left their rental in a ditch - that was a very costly thing to do :-) I don't think they wanted to get robbed by the expensive insurance :-)

    I did not even buy the sandstorm insurance - as the price was out of this world expensive - more costly than renting the car. But a sandstorm can strip your car of paint I´m told.

    If I had the money I would gladly join the trip.

    All the best
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    @henrik1963, either you were ripped of majorly, or you wrote something wrong...

    I can easily rent a full-size 4x4, Dodge Durango / Ford Explorer, at ISK10,000/EUR63/USD86 pr. day, and if you want luxury, Ford Expedition - Eddie Bauer, at ISK13,000/EUR82/USD112 pr. day. These will both fit 6 people easily. Those prices are for a May rental, and sure there are plenty of extras;

    220V / USB Power Supply ISK 500 per day
    Additional driver(s) [?] ISK 500 per day each
    GPS navigation system ISK 1,000 per day
    Refrigerator box ISK 1,000 per day
    Roof Box ISK 1,700 per day
    Spare fuel ISK 500 per day
    Super Collision Damage Waiver [?] ISK 1,200 per day
    Theft insurance ISK 300 per day
    Tow rope ISK 500 per day

    But as for the important stuff, like CDW and Theft insurance, a decent credit card will cover that. And as for the check-in/out state, any place where they rent vehicles that are used for possible off-roading will do that - of course...
    Hmmm......so maybe my original pessimism was too high, but July vs May sounds like it could be a big price difference and what is the weather like in May?

    One gotcha to watch on insurance is that if you do something like drive on an unpaved road, insurance will not cover with many credit cards. This stuff needs to be looked at closely.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 536Member
    @jshickele: Many mainroads in Iceland are gravel roads. You start out driving 30 - 40 km/h as if the car was your own - But you are getting nowhere at that speed. Soon you do like the locals - going 80 km/h (speed limit). It is not very pleasant to get overtaken by a big bus on a road like that. Sheep on the road and holes in the road makes that speed very exiting driving :-) I can imagine that a rental has a very short life in Iceland :-) I would make sure that I was covered before I went.

    Again Iceland is a fantastic place. You will not regret going there.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 636Member
    It all depends on the rental company and your possible card coverage. There is no denying that this is something to look out for, but it shouldn't stop anyone from doing it on their own. Otherwise there is always option a).
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 536Member
    @Killerbob: I agree. I post to warn others. I did not do my homework and may have ended up paying more than needed. So do your homework and you may get a better deal. I would do it on my own - that is the cheapest way - and the best IMO.

    There should be no problem with snow along the coast even in the winther. But there may be roads closed due to snow if you want to go to inland. Check out if snow is a problem in may.

    I am looking forward to all the great pictures on PAD :-)

    But americans will get sticker shock - people from Europe - not so much - just a little :-)
  • framerframer Posts: 381Member
    I stayed three night coming back from Scotland in 1998. Food and tee shirts were crazy priced. We walked the whole city and had a grand time. The supermarket is in the mall.

    I remember my wife saying how all the women looked great when we walked the mall. My comment back was that they can't afford to eat.

    Have fun, take a backpack full of candy bars and nuts.

    framer
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