Iceland isn’t cheap, but we know how not to overpay when travelling. These are the ways of the editor-in-chief of Traveler

Iceland is beautiful and expensive – this is what people say about the land of ice and fire. It is true that Icelandic prices are difficult to compare with Polish ones. Fortunately, we know how not to spend a fortune while traveling. Agnieszka Franus, editor-in-chief of National Grographic Traveler magazine, shares her ways.

Agnieszka Franus says Iceland is “one of the most beautiful places on Earth”. He doesn’t know anyone who wouldn’t like the island. No wonder Iceland is on many people’s dream list. Dreams are there to make them come true, so we advise you how to fly to Iceland and have an amazing adventure

Airline tickets consume a large part of the budget for a trip to Iceland. An old, well-known rule applies here: the sooner, the cheaper. Travelera’s editor-in-chief paid about 800 PLN without luggage (WizzAir) for a return ticket from Warsaw to Reykjavik (the airport is about 50 km from the capital Keflavík), but bought the ticket six months in advance, prices are now several times higher. Another unavoidable expense is housing.

– There are about 25,000 people in Iceland. Poland. It pays to get in touch with someone. Maybe we have friends ourselves or friends of our friends? We should pay less for a night in a private apartment than in a hotel. And we don’t need to see the owners at all. Our friends shared their house and went on holiday themselves – says Agnieszka Franus.

We can also offer Icelandic landlords an exchange for their apartment in Poland. It also works. It’s worth being creative and open. But if such solutions are not for us and we plan the trip in advance, we can just book a room with the host in the interior, for example via Airbnb, from about 100 euros per night, and even cheaper.

Gullfoss Waterfall – a golden waterfall, is one of the natural wonders of Iceland. It is also one of the attractions of the so-called Golden Circle. / photo: Agnieszka Franus

Traveling with a larger group not only saves us on accommodation, but also on car rental. When planning a tour of the island, the best solution is a car (www.carrenters.is) or a motorhome. We pay more for renting a camper, but we don’t have to worry about a place to sleep.

This is the most popular way to visit Iceland, but it’s also not worth putting off a motorhome rental until the last minute as the prices are astronomical. Remember that Iceland has white nights in the summer, so we can visit it virtually 24 hours a day. And that the weather can change several times a day, so it’s worth being prepared for any eventuality – advises Travelera in chief.

Traveling in a motorhome, we will probably visit the restaurant anyway. Prices for lunch/dinner are usually between PLN 150 and PLN 200, excluding drinks. However, we are sure that we will come out full. Even when we order soup. Locations often offer a free refill. Agnieszka Franus especially recommends trying the lobster soup, an Icelandic specialty, at the harbor restaurant/bar Saegreifiinn in Reykjavik.

Drinks, especially alcoholic ones, are not cheap, as is coffee – on average you will pay CZK 500 for an espresso, ie around PLN 17, a latte, cappuccino, CZK 650 (PLN 22), and a glass of wine or beer in a restaurant or bar is more than PLN 40.

– When planning a day trip, keep in mind that you won’t find out of town shops, restaurants in bigger towns. It is therefore good to have a thermos and snacks ready in advance. You can have lunch outside, with a beautiful view all around. In Iceland we can find many specially designated places for a picnic or barbecue. Prices in stores in Iceland are 30 to 100% higher than in Poland – it depends on the product. However, it is worth using them and looking for local products. Fish are especially good – says Agnieszka Franus.

Speaking of prices, the issue of payments is natural. We fill up the car at most stations and only pay with a payment card. They are self service.

The cheapest gasoline is at Orkan stations, among otherswhere we refueled – it is about PLN 12 per liter. However, it is worth exchanging some zlotys for crowns before coming to Iceland. The maps may not work everywhere – says Travelera’s editor-in-chief.

Most of the popular attractions in Iceland, such as waterfalls, glaciers, beaches, volcanoes, are free. We only pay for parking. The rates vary depending on the quality of the parking lot and the location – usually from a dozen zlotys. We often have to deal with parking meters.

The Reykjadalur Valley is located near the town of Selfoss. It is known for its hot springs. It is the perfect place to relax. / photo: Agnieszka Franus

Many tourists want to take a bath in the hot springs, for which this country is famous, opting for example for the Blue Lagoon which is close to the airport, where the cheapest package starts from PLN 300 and must be booked well in advance, because there are often no places, and it is enough to drive to the nearby Reykjadalur valley where after a 40 minute walk through beautiful landscapes we will reach a river with warm water and special pools – for free.

However, some attractions require you to buy tickets, such as: Raufarhólshellir lava tunnel, which is located near the capital, the ticket costs about PLN 250 for a one-hour walking tour with a guide. A whale watching boat trip, in turn, costs about PLN 500. Each of these attractions is worth the money. Unique experiences guaranteed.

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