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How expensive Scandinavia and Iceland could be and other questions...

Hi !
we are slowly making plans for ou 2019 summer family trip. We are now studying the idea of goin to Scanadinavia with a stop In Iceland for 5-6 nights.

We are leaving from Montreal and Icelandair and WOW allows to make a stopover in Iceland befor heading to final destination. That plan would suit us well.
We are 2 adults and 2 kids (7 ans 11 years old), We have 50 days of vacation in july and august but would have budget for 25-30 days (more or less) of traveling.

Now questions:

1) How many nights we need to visit Reykjavik, rent a ar and go around Iceland for a Quick look ? Remember is not our main goal but a bonus.

2) i know Iceland is expensive, but what would be the mid-budget price for car rental, acoomodations and food (mix of resturants and grocery)

3) Our idea to scandinavia was to make a circle road trip. maybe flight to Copenhagen and go see Norway and Sweden from there. What would be the best place to flight to and from ?

4) What would be the highligts to see ? We would have something between 17-23 nights for that trip.

5) once again what is the budget we should have ? We like to get airbnb or basice clean hotel (when doing one or 32 nights), we love good food and beer. We can ddo grocery and eat at the airbnb if needed, but most of time it's just more practical to eat in restaurtant. We dont have limitations or allergies and are very open minded about food.

Thanks a lot !

Posted by
148 posts

I wish I had 50 days of vacation!

As for Iceland, I would take at least 3 full days to see the highlights, especially if you choose to do any walking/hiking/thermal pooling. You don't have to go to the Blue Lagoon to enjoy the hot springs. There are low cost public ones throughout and even some hike in free ones (but they don't have facilities). The 3 days will only get you to Reykjavik and the southwest. You won't see the interior, north or east.

As for average cost and what other countries to visit and in what order, I would suggest you check out from the library tour guides for the various countries you are considering. If you get the most recent books you'll get a good idea of cost, the areas you find most interesting and how much time you want to spend in each place.

Have fun, I'm jealous.

Posted by
232 posts

Hi again !

Thanks for those answers. Yea we are lucky to have such vacations and money to travel. We are not big earners,i'm a teacher (be reassure i'm teaching in french, not english) and my wife is a school psychologist but travelling is a family priority. We do make 160k (cdn !) gross by year. We are, let says, upper middle class.

4-5 nights could be enough to get a quick view of what Iceland has to offer. We have three ideas

1) Airbnb in Reyjavik and stay ther whole time. Do a daytrip (golden circle) by bus.
2) Do the same but with a one day car rental
3) Stay outside reykjavik with free parking and get a car for the 4 days and do daytrip in Reykjavik.

Posted by
148 posts

I would take option 3, stay outside Reykjavik and rent a car for the whole time. The beauty and wonder of Iceland is outside and you can easily walk around and enjoy Reykjavik in 1/2 to 1 day. I'm not saying you couldn't spend more time there. Just that if you are prioritizing your time, I would prioritize with nature. I would also do the Golden Circle myself, not by bus. Mostly because you will be on your own schedule, not on the bus schedule. Driving is easy in Iceland in the summer. Although probably not so much in the winter, even if you're from Montreal :-)

Posted by
293 posts

My husband, 18 year old son, and I went to Reykjavik this past August. This was our second trip there.

First trip, 3 nights in Reykjavik, stayed at a hotel, and rented a car for 2 of the days. Explored Reykjavik the first day. Then picked up the rental car. We went around the golden circle. The next day we went south to see some of the waterfalls and a black sand beach. Returned back to Reykjavik. Made a stop at the Blue Lagoon and then headed to the airport.

Second trip, we stayed in Airbnb’s for a total of 4 nights. We drove from Reykjavik to the south and went to the Heimaey Island. First night was about 30 minutes from the ferry terminal. Second day and night was on the island. Third day was spent taking the ferry back and exploring a few new black sand beaches and basalt caves and heading to the iceberg lagoon. We had found and Airbnb about 15 minutes further than the lagoon, but that was a great advantage the next morning. We woke up early and drove to the lagoon and had only a few people there. We also had the “Diamond” beach to ourselves. Visited a few other spots (glacier areas) and then stopped for the night 30 minutes past the ferry terminal. Next morning, woke early and went to Reykjavik and spent about 4 hours around the town and then headed for the airport.

We would love to go again and head north next time. I would also like to go and see an ice cave. Thinking of not renting a car and going with a tour company.

Here’s a tour company that I am thinking of using for a day trip to the ice caves:

Enjoy your Adventure!

Posted by
22 posts

My husband and I and our two twenty-something sons just got back from a 5day/4night trip to Iceland. We loved it very much. We arrived early in the morning and went to the Blue Lagoon (pre-booked thru Reykjavik Excursions which included onward transfer to Reykjavik at our leisure). We stayed at the Kvosin Hotel in a “social suite” that could accommodate all four of us nicely. We took a tour of the Golden Circle with Reykjavik Excursions and a 2-day tour of the South Coast and Southeast Iceland that included a glacier hike with a company called Hidden Iceland. Excellent tour although your kids may be a little too young for the glacier hike. We loved that this tour went beyond Vik (almost all the way to Hofn) and we were able to see a fabulous canyon, the glacier lagoon and an additional black sand beach. We spent one afternoon/evening, one evening and one morning in Reykjavik and enjoyed our time there. We came home feeling like we had seen/done a lot. I believe there are companies that offer similar 2-day trips without the glacier hike. Besides Rick’s book (we ate at several of his recommended restaurants and they were all spot on) we found very helpful in planning our trip. Have fun on your vacation!