Alternative Reykjavik, Iceland – Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Icelandair flies direct to Reykjavik from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The flight time is about three hours and normally costs less than £200 return. If you are flying on to one of 16 destinations in North America that they cover you can stopover in Iceland for up to seven days at no extra cost. If you are stopping on your outbound flight then you get a big bonus because you will not have to pay the ADP tax, which gives you a saving about £50 per person.
The cheapest way of getting to the city is to take the airport bus. This is called Flybus and always has seats available and is timed to connect with all arriving flights. It also has free Wi-Fi on board and takes 45 minutes. The prices are from ISK2, 500 (£20) one way. Taxis are of course available but are VERY expensive and you should expect to pay around ISK13, 000 (£100) one way.
The population is around 125, 000 and the official language is Icelandic, however English is widely spoken and understood. Strangely they use GMT for their Timezone. Visas are not required for UK citizens for stays of up to three months. The currency is the Icelandic Krona (ISK), which is currently around the ISK150 to UK£1 area. ATMs are widely available in the capital and beyond. If you are looking for the best viewpoints then the classics are found strolling along the harbour or checking out the view from the top of hilltop Hallgrimskirkja.
However, for something a little different, head into Harpa Concert Hall and go to the highest floor for views of Reykjavik harbour through its diamond-shaped glass walls. There are no outstanding health issues and Iceland is considered very safe. When bathing in natural hot springs always test the water’s temperature before plunging in, and heed the warnings of any signs or local people. Health insurance is always a wise option in case of illness or an accident. You can find guidebooks from Bradt, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet all of which offer good guidebooks to Iceland. If you want more specialist hiking advice then you should check out Cicerone’s Walking and Trekking in Iceland by Paddy Dillon.
The weather is changeable, so expect rain and cloud at any time, particularly so in the mountains. However, in general, the summers which are from June to August are mild, while the winters are cold. If you want to see the ‘Midnight Sun’ then go at the end of June; for the aurora borealis then Oct–Feb is best, while the latter part of this period is normally better for the display.
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