Iceland is certainly a place full of enigmatic charm. A mountainous island with only one city, the capital Reykjavik, you’d be forgiven for thinking it a destination for nature lovers; the perfect place for soul searching some might say! Situated somewhere in the north Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America, it often surprises people to learn that it has been more closely aligned with Europe than Canada and the US. And this geographical dichotomy is one which is mirrored in the Icelandic landscape.
Such is the desolateness of much of the country’s landscape—most of Iceland is composed of Fjords and volcanic craters—that the majority of the island’s population is to be found in and around the capital. This makes it a concentrated tourist hub in comparison to the serene backdrop of the rest of the country, and as a result Reykjavik is fast becoming an alternative clubbing destination to those found on islands across the Mediterranean.
You’ll also find a sharp divide between the prices you pay for certain commodities back home opposed to their cost on the island—buying alcohol in Iceland, for example, proves extremely expensive compared to back in the UK or in the USA. It can also be a costly business in relation to your mobile phone bill, where some network providers regard the country as a separate entity, belonging neither to Europe nor North America. Iceland is, however, included on the Vodafone Passport deal, which allows you to make calls in over 35 European countries for a connection charge of 75p before normal UK rates apply. What’s more they’ve introduced a deal where customers can now pay for mobile internet by the day, which is convenient if you’re in some-out-of-the-way part of Iceland and need to check your emails or the likes—again Vodafone’s recognition of Iceland as European will save you up to £10 on the daily internet cost. Visit their online shop for more on roaming and mobile broadband.
As mentioned above, Reykjavik is becoming a bit of a rave haven but if it’s not your sole intention to go flat-out clubbing and you’d actually like to see a bit more of what Iceland has to offer outside of the capital, then your best bet would probably be to hire a car—maybe you’d fancy a spot of whale watching or perhaps a trip to Gullfos (‘The Golden Falls’), with a car you can get to these out of the way locations. Although renting a car in Iceland does appear quite expensive, you have to bear in mind that all of the sites of interest you’ll be visiting will be free—something which you rarely find in the majority of European countries. You also need to consider that fuel stations are very sparse on the island and can be hundreds of miles apart, another reason why mobile phones are crucial to take with you, so keep your petrol topped up carefully and don’t run the risk of running out of fuel.