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Chasing the Northern Lights - Iceland

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Old 28-01-2020, 08:53 AM   #1291
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I'll be heading to Iceland for 2 weeks stay in early March 2020. Its still winter and I heard tons of horror stories with winter driving.

I have made a reservation on a 4x4, can anyone share if driving in winter is really that daunting? I have zero experience driving in snow.
U can refer to road.is and safe.is for road condition. The information given from the website is very useful.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:33 PM   #1292
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Hi all,

Planning to travel to Iceland from 14th mar till 24th mar 2020

Anyone gng during the period?

Wanted to try dog sledding in Iceland.

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:37 PM   #1293
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I’ll be in Iceland from 10-21 March. Do you plan to drive on the whole ring road?

Hi all,

Planning to travel to Iceland from 14th mar till 24th mar 2020

Anyone gng during the period?

Wanted to try dog sledding in Iceland.

Thanks
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:20 AM   #1294
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I’ll be in Iceland from 10-21 March. Do you plan to drive on the whole ring road?
Yes. Planning to drive the whole ring if possible. Need to drive frm clockwise since the dog sledding I’m planning to go at north Iceland. Tat one must do!!

Can share your drive route and stay over in campsite or just by the side of the road?

Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:53 AM   #1295
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Yes. Planning to drive the whole ring if possible. Need to drive frm clockwise since the dog sledding I’m planning to go at north Iceland. Tat one must do!!

Can share your drive route and stay over in campsite or just by the side of the road?

Thanks.
I'll be doing anti-clockwise as the roads and weather conditions are better at the South... take 1-2 days to get used to the driving conditions. I'm pretty sure both my wife and me will get bored with waterfalls as our main focus is really to chase NL.

Day 0:
- Collect rental car from airport, drive to Reykjavik

Day 1:
- Cover golden circle (geysir, gullfoss, seljalandsfoss)
- Stay at Vik

Day 2:
- Skaftafell, Svartifoss, Jokulsarlon
- Stay at Hofn

Day 3:
- Eastern Iceland
- Stay at Reyðarfjörður

Day 4:
- Reyðarfjörður to Akureyri
- Stay Akureyri (Akureyri as base for the next 5 days)

Day 5 - 10:
- Dettifoss, Hverir, Myvatn
- Stay Akureyri camp for NL

Day 11:
- Explore western Iceland

Day 12:
- Back to Reyjavik, spend time in town relax
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Old 04-02-2020, 11:13 AM   #1296
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Yes. Planning to drive the whole ring if possible. Need to drive frm clockwise since the dog sledding I’m planning to go at north Iceland. Tat one must do!!

Can share your drive route and stay over in campsite or just by the side of the road?

Thanks.
The Northern area of Iceland are more prone to ice and snowy conditions during the winter . U should consider going anti clock direction 1st so that u explore North area in the late march rather the mid march period.
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Old 04-02-2020, 11:32 AM   #1297
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I'll be doing anti-clockwise as the roads and weather conditions are better at the South... take 1-2 days to get used to the driving conditions. I'm pretty sure both my wife and me will get bored with waterfalls as our main focus is really to chase NL.

Day 0:
- Collect rental car from airport, drive to Reykjavik

Day 1:
- Cover golden circle (geysir, gullfoss, seljalandsfoss)
- Stay at Vik

Day 2:
- Skaftafell, Svartifoss, Jokulsarlon
- Stay at Hofn

Day 3:
- Eastern Iceland
- Stay at Reyðarfjörður

Day 4:
- Reyðarfjörður to Akureyri
- Stay Akureyri (Akureyri as base for the next 5 days)

Day 5 - 10:
- Dettifoss, Hverir, Myvatn
- Stay Akureyri camp for NL

Day 11:
- Explore western Iceland

Day 12:
- Back to Reyjavik, spend time in town relax
I feel Iceland offer much more than Northern lights.

Probably u can consider allocate 1 or 2 days more to explore the south western area to visit Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, black sand beach and dyrholaey and another 1 day on the western area.
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Old 04-02-2020, 12:00 PM   #1298
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I feel Iceland offer much more than Northern lights.

Probably u can consider allocate 1 or 2 days more to explore the south western area to visit Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, black sand beach and dyrholaey and another 1 day on the western area.
What are the interesting stuff at western area? We dont want to get bored with waterfalls for the whole trip
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:09 PM   #1299
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What are the interesting stuff at western area? We dont want to get bored with waterfalls for the whole trip
Western area such as kirjufell or West fjords? Unless u have more than 12 days there and If u have limited time and wanted to do whole ring road in 10 days. U can consider skiping both.

U don't have to stay all 5 days in akureyri. When there is a northern light sighting with strong KP. Half of the Iceland should able to view it. For example seen in the North but not in the south or seen in the west but not on the east etc..

After golden circle. U can visit seljalandsfoss and skógafoss which is along the way toward vik. I find this 2 waterfalls are a " must see" . While in vik, dyrholaey and black sand beach are nearby. While leaving vik.
fjaðrárgljúfur canyon are also worth a visit. Those are not waterfalls.
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Old 04-02-2020, 02:11 PM   #1300
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Thanks! I read in forums saying Akureyri has the highest chance of seeing NL, even weather forecast usually indicates Akureyri has less clouds compared to other places.

I plan to make Akureyri my base in the north for 5 days mainly to catch NL at night. During the day we will explore attractions at the north

Western area such as kirjufell or West fjords? Unless u have more than 12 days there and If u have limited time and wanted to do whole ring road in 10 days. U can consider skiping both.

U don't have to stay all 5 days in akureyri. When there is a northern light sighting with strong KP. Half of the Iceland should able to view it. For example seen in the North but not in the south or seen in the west but not on the east etc..

After golden circle. U can visit seljalandsfoss and skógafoss which is along the way toward vik. I find this 2 waterfalls are a " must see" . While in vik, dyrholaey and black sand beach are nearby. While leaving vik.
fjaðrárgljúfur canyon are also worth a visit. Those are not waterfalls.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:20 PM   #1301
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The Northern area of Iceland are more prone to ice and snowy conditions during the winter . U should consider going anti clock direction 1st so that u explore North area in the late march rather the mid march period.
Thanks for your advise. Will look into it. Cos the dog sledding is the main point to go northern area.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:44 PM   #1302
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I am travelling to Iceland as well, for 11days from 22mar-2apr

It's going to be a self drive, and we will be getting a medium SUV 4x4, an overkill, but I feel it's safer to have a heavier car given the strong wind

Still undecided on whether or not to do a full circle, since the north eastern part of Iceland has the least attractions, and there is a long stretch of road that seems to be closed frequently.

Deciding between:
-Full circle, clockwise direction so Golden Circle is at the back
-Drive north to Akureyri, head back to Reykjavik then Golden Circle and Vik

Also, how are you all planning your contingencies, in the unfortunate case of road closure or bad weather. Do you book hotels/bnb with free cancellation?
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:23 PM   #1303
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I did not book any of my accommodations at Iceland other than the first day; as a few of my friends warned me that weather may screw up my plan.

I plan to check the road conditions and weather forecast in the morning then book for the night.

I am travelling to Iceland as well, for 11days from 22mar-2apr

It's going to be a self drive, and we will be getting a medium SUV 4x4, an overkill, but I feel it's safer to have a heavier car given the strong wind

Still undecided on whether or not to do a full circle, since the north eastern part of Iceland has the least attractions, and there is a long stretch of road that seems to be closed frequently.

Deciding between:
-Full circle, clockwise direction so Golden Circle is at the back
-Drive north to Akureyri, head back to Reykjavik then Golden Circle and Vik

Also, how are you all planning your contingencies, in the unfortunate case of road closure or bad weather. Do you book hotels/bnb with free cancellation?
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:55 PM   #1304
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I am travelling to Iceland as well, for 11days from 22mar-2apr

It's going to be a self drive, and we will be getting a medium SUV 4x4, an overkill, but I feel it's safer to have a heavier car given the strong wind

Still undecided on whether or not to do a full circle, since the north eastern part of Iceland has the least attractions, and there is a long stretch of road that seems to be closed frequently.

Deciding between:
-Full circle, clockwise direction so Golden Circle is at the back
-Drive north to Akureyri, head back to Reykjavik then Golden Circle and Vik

Also, how are you all planning your contingencies, in the unfortunate case of road closure or bad weather. Do you book hotels/bnb with free cancellation?
4x4 is not overkill as late March is considered late winter period.
Since the Accommodation is cheaper during that period, alright to spend more on a better vehicle for safety.

The distance covered of going from Reykjavik to Akureyri, to golden circle, vik and back to Reykjavik is almost comparable to a whole ring road drive and u will also miss out on jokulsarlon and diamond beach that is on the south Eastern coast.

10 to 11 days are enough to do a whole ring road drive (excluding West fjords and kirkufell) although some 2 to 3 days might required a very long drive.

I always book accommodation early to avoid paying more on the last minute and always go for free cancellation. But if u planned to book day by day then no need to worry about road closure bad weather etc that will affect your plan. But u know weather is something that nobody can control. If want to visit Iceland in a calm weather, then July to august is the best but everything is very expensive. I did a whole ring road drive and the most "boring" route was from hofn to vik. Northern region has much prettier and nicer drive (Akureyri to Egilsstaðir)
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:46 PM   #1305
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4x4 is not overkill as late March is considered late winter period.
Since the Accommodation is cheaper during that period, alright to spend more on a better vehicle for safety.

The distance covered of going from Reykjavik to Akureyri, to golden circle, vik and back to Reykjavik is almost comparable to a whole ring road drive and u will also miss out on jokulsarlon and diamond beach that is on the south Eastern coast.

10 to 11 days are enough to do a whole ring road drive (excluding West fjords and kirkufell) although some 2 to 3 days might required a very long drive.

I always book accommodation early to avoid paying more on the last minute and always go for free cancellation. But if u planned to book day by day then no need to worry about road closure bad weather etc that will affect your plan. But u know weather is something that nobody can control. If want to visit Iceland in a calm weather, then July to august is the best but everything is very expensive. I did a whole ring road drive and the most "boring" route was from hofn to vik. Northern region has much prettier and nicer drive (Akureyri to Egilsstaðir)
I did not book any of my accommodations at Iceland other than the first day; as a few of my friends warned me that weather may screw up my plan.

I plan to check the road conditions and weather forecast in the morning then book for the night.
Ideally, would prefer to do the full Route 1 too, I guess I'll take the conservative approach to book hotels with free cancellation first, and as we start clockwise, hope the weather and road condition permits us to pass through the north eastern region
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