Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Getting from Reykjavík to Akureyri in summertime

And with summertime, we mean from the beginning of June to the middle of September. Just like for wintertime tips, it was rather challenging to figure all possible up-to-date bus connections and their costs via internet. The thing is that there´s no simple overview yet to be found under 1 umbrella, so here is our first try. 

But please, double check the info that you find here by checking the relevant companies, as these things can change rather fast in Iceland, and sometimes the updated info on the web comes in quite late :(

Well, so for those, who are clear on travelling up north at some point during the summer of 2014, the transport options are as follows:

During the summer season, there´re a few bus companies operating the route and one of them - STRAETO - is basically the same company that operates the public transport in Reykjavík. The easiest way to get an overview on how often they depart is by clicking here. The page that opens, however, is not available in English, and what you see is a schedule of the route 57 (RVK-AKU and AKU-RVK) for:

working days (Mánudaga-Föstudaga),
Saturdays (Laugardaga) and
Sundays and public holidays (Sunnudaga og helgidaga)

One can say that most often the buses depart according to the list below:
From Reykjavík to Akureyri:
9.00 (arriving 15.29) and at 17.30 (arriving 23.59)
From Akureyri to Reykjavík:
10.15 (arriving 16.44) and at 16.20 (arriving 22.49)

Somewhat better overview can be found here in the table called 'Route 57: Akureyri - Reykjavík - Akureyri'.

Departure from Reykjavík is from the bus terminal at Mjódd in Reykjavík (and also from Ártún and Háholt in Mosfellsbær).
Departure from Akureyri is outside the Cultural house Hof by Strandgata 12 (the busstop is marked).
The journey takes about 6 hrs and it should cost 7.700 isk. I say should, and recommend you to contact the company directly either by phone (+354) 540 2700 or by their online question form.
Tickets can be bought on board of the bus (you can also pay by card) or at the following places: click here. The company has also their own web , but unless you´re really patient and understand some Icelandic, I do not recommend spending much time there. It can be rather challenging to find the relevant information there, especially when you want to use their engine for connections (out of Reykjavík :(. I can imagine that it works well for RVK itself, though.

I recommend you to check directly with the company whether it´s better to buy a ticket in advance, especially for the trip between RVK-AKU, since summers in Iceland get more and more filled up with tourists.

Last but not least, bear in mind that STRAETO would take you to Akureyri via ringroad number 1, meaning that you would not see/ nor have a stop in highlands. However, there´re 2 other companies that operate their bus connections via highlands (literally crossing the island), which has very different dimension than the route described above and here are the details:

The company STERNA operates the route Reykjavík-Kjölur (highlands) - Akureyri in the period of 20.06.2014-05.09.2014 and it costs 13.900 isk and takes 13 hours (including the stops for your to explore tourist spots).
You can find their detailed schedule here from which it´s easy to see that you´re going to pass a few of the most promoted and also most visited tourist places in Iceland such as the oldest parliament spot þingvellir, Geysir and also hot springs in the highlands (each stop having some time for you to enjoy and explore). If you want to try out the hot pots in the hot spring area, I do recommend to keep your towel and a swimsuit at hand.
The very same company offers the route RVK-AKU via ringroad number 1 at a competitive price in comparison to STRAETO: 6.900 isk. 
More details are to be found here.

The company SBA operates the route Reykjavík-Kjölur (highlands) - Akureyri in the period of 18.06.2014-07.09.2014 and it costs 15.000 isk and takes 10 hours and a half (including the stops for your to explore tourist spots).
Their good and detailed description is to be found here. Basically very similar to what STERNA offers with small variations. The same applies when it comes to swimsuit at hand as described above for STERNA, as SBA stops for a while at Hveravellir hot springs area too.

Well, now that you have some basic overview of the bus connections options,  there´s also a flight to be considered and the details are as follows:

Air Iceland offers scheduled flights between Reykjavík and Akureyri (and vice versa). The flight takes about 45 minutes. For information and bookings visit their webpage directly Air Iceland and bear in mind that prices can be as low as 6.800 isk (limited Net offer) - thus even cheaper than the bus, but it can get as high as around 21.600 isk for one leg. The webpage is very friendly and bookings really straightforward, and you pay as you book.
If you´re lucky and the visibility is good, you get to see highlands with most of its magnificient glaciers.

So good luck, go ahead, make up your mind and book. Should you need more explanations, do contact us.