We had a great time in this unique country, seeing sights you may not see anywhere else. 3 adults traveled together, rented a Kia Sportage (great driving SUV). Took all the insurances so we didn't worry about a thing, & had no problems along the way. Learned that if driver keeps speed to 99 KPH no one will stop them. Go over that, especially on a holiday, & you may pay a high fine on the spot!
Hotels: Best due to roominess for 3 adults. Hotel Edda Akureyi. When university not in session this fronts as a hotel. Very comfortable, clean, roomy, fine breakfast buffet included.
Guesthouse Hamer on Heimaey Island, Guesthouse Galtafell in Reykjavik. At Galtafell we had an apt. that slept 4 with 2 bedrooms, which was great. The breakfast was 1950 ISK extra/person. We tried it one morning, & found it to be rather meagre, so we went out to breakfast after that. Hotel requested/received an evaluation regarding our stay.
Hotels: Would not return to: Dimmuborgir Guesthouse We rented a 1 bedroom cottage which had bunk beds that could sleep 5 people. There was a kitchen with many supplies, which we never used, but that feature took up a lot of space. 5 people could not have sat around the table to eat, nor would they have had any place to put 5 suitcases, shower spray slider was not secure to the wall, bathroom so small. Hanging wet towels, clothes a real problem. The sulphur smell in the water made one of our traveling party almost ill, to the point he thought he would never be able to eat eggs again. We found this problem no where else in Iceland! Resident dogs on the property friendly, breakfast buffet fine. Hotel requested & received an evaluation regarding our stay.
Fosshotel Nupar had a great bar & restaurant, but I noticed black mold in the bottom corner of the shower, & along the water pipes that feed the wall heater. This place is rather new, but built so cheaply it may not be standing in 10 yrs. We noticed less tourists than we anticipated, & spoke with hotel personnel who said tourism was down. One man said "we need another eruption like we had in 2010 to bring in tourists again." Hotel requested & received an evaluation regarding our stay.
We drove the Ring Rd. & decided Myvatn & Reyjkavik were our least favorite places.
Best things/most surprising were:
Botanical Garden in Akureyri...such a beautiful place. Myvatn Nature Baths, a real treat, but what can be done about that slime on the benches in the pool? Nevertheless, I drank my wine & enjoyed the whole experience. Diamond Beach, Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon boat trip, trip by ferry to Vestmannaeyjar & 2 nights spent there. One place Rick wrote about that I might have skipped, but for my son, was Fjadrargljufur Gorge near Kirkjubaejarklaustur. We hiked up here one evening, & I thought it was a fabulous experience. Little spits of land go out over the gorge, & you can see where folks have made a path, probably to take a selfie, but they took their lives in hand. Is this all the result of phone cameras/selfie phenomenon?
Do not miss: In Reykjavik: Tales from Iceland, a news & nature video exhibition.Maybe just a yr. old, but great.
A great restaurant not mentioned in book: Durum in Reykjavik for breakfast when Sandholt has a big line. Also Eldstocafe in Hvolsvollur, about 100 meters before the Lava Center. This is a small Italian place with great food. Lunch cost about $73., but we had wine & beer also. Family owned.
We had a great time, planned well, kept to our schedule without a problem. As always were ready to come home. In Reyjkavik, in August, the wind made us wear coats, scarves, hats, gloves. BRRR!