Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To rent or not to rent a car while in Iceland...what a question

Quite a few of you have written to us wondering whether to rent a car or not and if yes what company, once travelling to Iceland. So, we´ve figured that it´s the right time for sharing our experience and offering some small summary of what we know. First a few useful questions, you should ask yourself: 1, What kind of traveller am I? - Do I prefer, going with a flow, taking it easy, leaving it up to a destiny and hitchhiking and simply going where my rides take me? - Do I prefer being in charge of my travels fully and having my freedom to go whereever I feel like within my timeframe? - Am I somewhere in the middle of those too extrems above? 2, How much money am I willing to spend on renting a vehicle in Iceland? 3, When I buy service (such as car rental) - am I looking at quality and guarantee in relation to price? Nice, we hope that you have your answers clear and now having them in mind, read on... For those who are not interested in car rentals and can go with a flow, we would like to point out a great carpooling site that has been working really well in Iceland. We have personal experience with it and have only good things to say about it. If you prefer going with the flow completely, then hitchhiking is a good choice. If you happen to arrive by ferry, then it´s recommended to hitchhike southwest first towards Reykjavík and then head north and east, as it´s more likelyhood that you get rides in the North, thus no stress about catching a ferry back to Europe on time. For those who want to hire a car, BEWARE. There are many car rentals on the Icelandic market these days. Hm, you probably figured yourself by googling 'rent a car in Iceland'...but, there are only a few that have been on the market considerably long. We have a personal experience with Iceland largest car rental (connected to Europecar) and we´ve been very satisfied each and every time we used their service. When writing this post, I´ve discovered a site that helps you find good deals on car rentals within leading car rental brands. We have no personal experience with it, but at least you have a quick price comparison before you decide to search on webs of different car rentals. There are companies like BUDGET, THRIFTY, AVIS to name a few and many more that have been founded recently. Your comments and feedback related to your experience with car rental service is warmly welcome here as it will help others. Should you have any questions, related to this topic, do get in touch:

Fishing village worth exploring

We have big news for those who love exploring places "off the beaten track" and far away from crowds. Today, we want to let you know that a big step in tourism of Dalvík - a small fishing village in the longest fjord of North Iceland - has happened recently. Local whale-watching company has just opened a small and very comfortable center for tourists which we encourage you to check out, even if you don´t necessarily fancy booking a whale watching tour. WHY? - because, you can check out old black and white photos taken around half a century ago that takes you back to the atmosphere around the Dalvík harbour and on boats back then, - because, you can enjoy looking at localy made handicraft and eventually buying it if you wish so, - because you can get a ticket for a ferry that takes passengers 3 times a week all the way above the Arctic circle, - because, you can just chill out and have some snack a chat with staff advising you on what is there to do and explore once in Dalvík. We´ve been watching tourism development in Dalvík closely for the past few years and must admit that we see this brave move of a local whale-watching company as a huge step, helping you - local travellers - find local handicraft, enjoy local horse-back riding, get advise on what is there to explore and stay away from the big crowd. Now, a few words about the whale-watching in Dalvík. In opposition to well promoted whale-watching destinations of Húsavík and Reykjavík, whale-watching in Dalvík stays more personal and is still less crowded. Freyr, the captain of this all, is very clear on his uniqueness when it comes to personal service and we hope and keep the fingers crossed that his visions of authentic tourism will stay that way in years to come. I would like to share my personal experience here, when I was invited to the tour 2 years ago. Before saying yes, I was cautiously double checking with Freyr (the captain) sea conditions. Having been sea sick a few times before, I really didn't feel like vomitting over the whales... The answer I got was: 'Don´t worry, the sea is like a mirror today, you´re really lucky', and yes, lucky I was, both with the calm sea and with playful whales who didn´t hesitate a minute to show off and splash their tales in all its glory. And last but not least, Freyr has a surprise ready for his customers, which I won´t tell you more about, as it would not be a surprise anymore. OK, that´s it for today. More about Dalvík and tips on what to explore here, in the upcoming posts, so stay tuned. For now, I just say that Dalvík is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and hiking is one of very enjoyable activities to do here to feel the area and get to know it better. last but not least, worthwhile article about how to buy icelandair miles cheaply and travel to Alaska for example.