Friday, April 10, 2015

The Aurora Dream

I do not want to keep this to myself anymore. It has been like a couple of years since I made my mind to save up to chase the Northern Lights but failed to do so due to spontaneous trips that kept coming in. Until 2 years ago Walter Mitty came along to remind me. Not forgetting Tomb Raider, James Bond, Prometheus, Oblivion, Interstellar, Thor, Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and many more.


So no excuse now...I will put a halt on all travels for 2 years to concentrate on my "project". There are a number of countries you can view the dancing lights; Alaska (USA), Canada, Finland, Norway, Iceland and even New Zealand. Initially I chose Tromsø , Norway but for no apparent reason Iceland caught my eye. Many travelers advise that you can't only emphasize on the lights or else your dreams will be shattered coz these beauties are very unpredictable. So you should focus more on exploring the nature that surrounds Iceland like geysers, countless waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains and more. I need free flow of tips and suggestions in the comment section below coz people rarely go to Iceland.



Source: http://translageek.trworkshop.net/

Here are some questions that comes to mind but couldn't find the answer online:

  • When do you think is the best time to see the Northern Lights? I know it's between September to March but hope Icelanders can clarify more.
  • How many days should I spend?
  • Where is the best place to have whale watching? Is it available during winters coz aurora hunting requires winter time.
  • How is the fuel rates in Iceland?
  • Flight: I will fly out from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Which airline and route would you recommend? I want the cheapest possible. If you flew with WOW Air before what do you think about it?
Etihad: KL - London(spend a few days)
WOW Air: London - Reykjavik
OR
KLM: KL - Amsterdam - Reykjavik

  • Accommodation: Hostels will do for this trip. But I want super cheap hostels that are close enough to places of attraction or towns.
  • Attractions: What places should I add or remove and how can I arrange this? Where should I start, continue and end?
Blue Lagoon, Hallgrímskirkja, Harpa
Þingvellir, Gullfoss, Geysir
Snæfellsnes, Kirkjufell
Seljalandsfoss
Vatnajökull
Svartifoss
Vík, Reynisfjara
Jökulsárlón
Seyðisfjörður
Mývatn
Grjótagjá (optional)
Húsavík (optional)
Skjálfandafljót River, Goðafoss,
 Sellfoss, Dettifoss (optional), Hverfjall
Westfjord (optional)

Hope kind readers and backpackers out there will be able to help...pretty please... 


Whoa! This is quite a challenge.

Out of excitement, I (technically my husband) did splurge on something for Blue lagoon. Thanks to hubby for swapping his credit card.


UPDATE July 2016: All my flights and hotels are finally booked coz whatever I said I mean it. My dear Iceland, I am so looking forward to meet you on Feb 2017. Eventually I didn't book any hostels because I still prefer a little luxury. I also did not book any of the mentioned airlines instead I fly with British Airways and Icelandair. And I will not be wearing the above bikini coz I wore it in Bali. I have a new sexier monokini for Blue Lagoon.

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Fine Art,
      Thanks for dropping by and do leave some tips if any

      Delete
  2. Hello, Icelander here. :)

    As you previously mentioned, September to March is the best time to see the Northern Lights, and there isn't really a month which is "the best".... mostly because weather can be pretty bad and there are chances you might not see any for days and then suddenly see very strong activity for a couple of days. November to February I find are the highest chances of seeing the lights, mostly because it's so dark here then. However, January (and February, March even) has very bad weather so if you're coming then best be prepared for storms and snow, etc. ;)

    Whilst Iceland doesn't really go -20°C in the winter, the wind chill is the biggest problem (because we get REALLY strong winds sometimes, hurricane like), so it's good to be prepared! My Japanese friend was dying from cold, so if you are from a warm place, it's best to be prepared for the cold. :D

    I'm not sure about the flight, however if you go to London, you get to enjoy London as well (one of my favourite cities <3), so it all depends on what you'd like.

    Accommodation in Iceland is never cheap.... so be prepared for that. :/ Food isn't cheap either. Restaurant prices are around 2000-3000 ISK for one meal (or higher), the cheapest you can get is around 2000 ISK. Guesthouses would be the cheapest places, I feel (1 night is around 9000 ISK for 2). Or staying at farm houses. http://www.farmholidays.is/

    Depending on what you want to do, I recommend staying for at least a week (likelihood of bad weather, no aurora, etc), but I think a good time would be 10-14 days, which would give you a good possibility to see the Northern lights, and well as days of... nothing if there is a storm.

    Now attractions... are you planning to drive the circle road (road 1) around Iceland? Your first two options are close together, so most of it could be done in a single day if you get up early, etc. (also depends on your mode of transport, if you will be driving, please be careful!! Roads could be terribly icy, even transparent.) If you take the southside first you could easily do Seljalandsfoss, (Skógafoss,) Reynisfjara / Vík, Svartifoss and Jökulsárlón/Vatnajökull in one day if you leave really early in the morning (in January it'll be dark until 11 so before then). The drive from Reykjavík to Jökulsárlón is around 4 hrs 30 min nonstop. Seyðisfjörður is in the east fjords of Iceland, and you could drop by there if you'd like on your way to Mývatn. (Jökulsárlón to Seyðisfjörður is around 4 hr drive) Now, the drive from Seyðisfjörður to Húsavík is around 3 hrs 50 min, but you could also stop by Goðafoss, Grjótagjá (by lake Mývatn), Dettifoss and Selfoss (although sometimes the road to Dettifoss is closed in the winter if its been bad weather), as well as Skjálfandafljót on your way there.
    Iceland's second biggest town Akureyri is close by Húsavík (1 hr 20 ish minutes) and its the "capital of the North". :) From Akureyri back to Reykjavík it can take around 5 hours to drive, but the road can sometimes be closed in the winter if... there is a storm, so you should always be prepared and follow the news/ask locals about the weather (everyone speaks English so don't be afraid!). The Snæfellsnes peninsula you could take on your way back (single day trip) and there you'd see Snæfellsnesjökull (the glacier), Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg thank you thank you so much, Jóna. Finally there's an Icelander so helpful to spend some time to help me. I would like to treat you a pylsur. I forgot to ammend this post coz I have added myvatn and akureyri to the schedule and will be staying those places for a night as it is impossible to not stopover. I'm kinda worried about the icy roads too.

      Delete
  3. (part 2)

    Therefore, if you are planning a trip around Iceland, I would be here for longer than 10 days, just in case the weather's bad and you'd be trapped for a day (or two) somewhere. :) Vestfirðir (the westfjords) are very beautiful, but the roads are not good so I would be careful going there in the winter! It all depends on your mode of transport.

    As an "in advance" bit, I'd like to leave a couple of web pages with you that are important to look at during your stay here in the winter.

    http://en.vedur.is/ are the weather forecasts for Iceland. Weather changes very fast here, so I'd recommend looking at least once a day (even twice).

    http://www.vegagerdin.is/english is the road condition map, which will show you which roads are closed, current temp and wind, and conditions. You can click on a specific part of Iceland and it'll show you if there are any complications, etc. I recommend always checking it out, at least twice a day when you are here (and driving)!!

    If you have any more questions, don't be afraid to ask! (I have a fb too if you'd like to ask me through there)

    Good luck and have fun planning :P

    Jóna

    ReplyDelete

No advertisement and links allowed in comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.