Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Winter 2014-2015 Getting from RVK to AKU

And with wintertime, we mean roughly from the middle of September to the end of May. 1 important thing to bear in mind when you want to travel from the south all the way to the north in winter time is the fact that weather IS indeed ERRATIC in Iceland. There´re roads being closed temporarily due to harsh weather conditions as well as avalanche dangers and there´s quite some likely-hood that you might end up being stuck somewhere even for 24-hours all of a sudden. So, the more flexible you´re the better, because it might be rather stressy, getting stuck in the north and realizing that you will be missing out on your flight out of Iceland  due to sudden weather change that you simply did not take into consideration.

There´re no trains in Iceland, and public transport not as developed as e.g. in Europe (we´re talking about roughly 300.000 Icelanders and around 2/3 of them squeezed in and close to capital area, so no wonder). All in all, you can take either bus or a car or fly when getting from Reykjavík to Akureyri.
Check out the overview below, but please, also 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 their winter stay, i.e. from the middle of September til the end of May, the transport options are as follows:

1, BUS CONNECTION RVK-AKU
For the winter season 2014-2015, there´s only one bus company (STRAETO) operating the route and it´s 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 15.20) and at 17.30 (arriving 23.45)
From Akureyri to Reykjavík:
10.15 (arriving 16.44) and at 16.20 (arriving 22.49)

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 costs around 7.000 isk.  I say around, 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 tourist info center in Hof in Akureyri. The company has also their own web www.straeto.is , 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 really for RVK itself, though.

2, FLIGHT CONNECTION RVK-AKU
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 21.000 isk for one leg. The webpage is very friendly and bookings really straightforward, and you pay as you book.

3, CAR CONNECTION RVK-AKU
Here you have 3 main options:
  • hitch-hiking,
    rather safe and popular in Iceland, but I can imagine that you don´t want to risk it in winter time. The weather conditions can get quite harsh :(
  • car sharing or carpooling (very popular also amongst Icelanders),
    you can read more about this option in my older article here and the cost between RVK-AKU is around 3.000 isk per person, but it all depends on your agreement with the driver
  • car rental,there are several car rentals available in Akureyri. Below you find a list of the companies with contact information and there are a few more available in Iceland so do give it a good search and ask for credentials.
Europcar car rental
Tryggvabraut 12
IS - 600 Akureyri
Tel: (+354) 461 6000
Email: holdur@holdur.is
Web: www.holdur.is/en

Hertz car rental
Opposite the Akureyri airport, Eyjafjarðarbraut
IS - 600 Akureyri
Tel: (+354) 522 44 40 / Fax: (+354) 522 44 41
Email: hertz@hertz.is
Web: www.hertz.is

Avis car rental
Akureyri airport
IS - 600 Akureyri
Tel: (+354) 461 2428
Email: lilja@avis.is
Web: www.avis.is

Dollar Thrifty Car Rental
Tryggvabraut 5
IS - 600 Akureyri
Tel: (+354) 515 7110
Email: booking@dti.is
Web: www.dollar.is and www.thrifty.is

Icelandcar.is Car Rental
Fjölnisgata 2b (Also loccated at the harbour close to the Cruise ships during the summer)
600 Akureyri
Tel: (354) 611 5666
Email: info@icelandcar.is and booking@icelandcar.is
Web: www.icelandcar.is

Hope you will enjoy your travel to the north, whichever option you choose and should you have some more queries, do not hesitate and contact me directly: lenka.uhrova@gmail.com - I might be able to assist :)

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