4 independent reviews for Iceland Aurora self drive vacation

Reviews for Iceland Aurora self drive vacation

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review 16 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The landscape and sea life.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Travel early on the touristy places to miss tour buses. Try not to fit too much in, give your selves time to look and go for hikes etc.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The hotels out in countryside. But, Iceland is building so many huge hotels in Reykjavik to cater for tourists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Good experience, would go again to different areas.

review 28 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Wow this is really hard to answer because honestly (and I do not tend to exagerate) this was the most amazing vacation we ever had. We were blown away every single day by the beauty of Iceland, the raw nature, constant changing scenery and wildlife. Our most memorable, exciting and beautiful moment would have to be the spectacular display of the Northern Lights. It was by far the most beautiful thing I've ever seen with glowing greens and even a little red dancing across the sky. Then watching the Geysir, the seals in the Ice Lagoon and the Humpback whales in Husavik. I could go on and on. It was truly magical!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Rent a good car with GPS especially for some of those gravel roads which can be quite bumpy. If you go after September and during winter, try to stay at a hotel which has 24 hour receptionists and they have a Northern Lights wake up call (if you're interested in seeing them). We got our amazing view of them because of such a wake up call and otherwise would have slept through it. Definitely budget in for expensive food anywhere you go.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Tourism is very beneficial to Iceland and supports their economy. As long as people respect and take care of the environment there should be no negative impact on it. If you go whale watching book a silent, nature friendly boat for example with North Sailing.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Incredibly awesome and amazing vacation!!!

review 22 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The outstanding scenery and unique landscapes which greet you at every turn. Whale watching was possibly the most exciting especially as it was on the last but one day of their season. The Humpbacks, Minkes and white nosed dolphins put on quite an active display for us. We were 100% pleased with the travel company's choice of accommodation and route chosen. The night stops were excellent and varied which definitely added to the vacation. Also, one of the memorable facts about this trip was the exceedingly high cost of food and drink and even postcards with stamps ( yes I do still send these!) were almost beyond purchase. Petrol prices were marginally higher but we decided that was the case, so we " boxed clever" and were selective about our purchases. It certainly didn't spoil our wonderful adventure.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take a box of Pinot Grigio in with you from the duty free area at the airport For peace of mind add additional insurances for hire car when offered.especially the ash and grit cover! Take your own satnav. Bring snacks for the journey....we took a fruitcake and it certainly saved us money. Take a thermos flask and tea/ coffee! We did have the occasional coffee and sticky out cut it cost in the region of 10 each even in roadside cafes! Make use of the hotels offer to wake you up if the Aurora Borealis is active! Photographers, do take a tripod for the waterfalls and the Aurora ....might mean buying another travel sized one! Avoid establishments who offer Minke whale on their menu....meet the whales don't eat them!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

This is a hard Q to answer as there is always a compromise to be had when courting tourism and providing for them whilst desperately clinging on to preserving traditional ways and conserving the land. I visited the three main Golden Circle venues in 1999 and was astonished how "organized " each had become. No more muddy paths to the base of the falls but pleasant wooden walkways to provide for the huge coach loads of tourists. These coaches were indeed huge....for the rather narrow roads I was somewhat surprised but realized it was economics! There are millions of acres of unspoiled landscape to be marveled at it's just a bit clogged at the popular sightseeing spots. One farm we stayed at had indeed embraced the opportunities to serve the increasing tourist trade and had done it very well.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Exceptional, and I want to return and do the northern area but I won't wait 18 years to come back!

review 9 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula was particularly lovely as was the prolific bird life generally. Food, though expensive, was almost universally superb, especially fish.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

With hindsight I would have booked a proper 4 wheel drive vehicle as on the normal roads stopping is only generally possible at specific tourist spots. Because of the number of coach parties these get very busy and much of the surrounding area is roped off for conservation meaning that you cannot venture from the paths. From a photographer's point of view this was very restrictive and made photographs without people taking selfies in the frame difficult. It pays to get up very early to visit attractions wherever possible for the reason above. Carry only the minimum amount of cash as cards are used everywhere and are preferred by businesses.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local business certainly benefitted from expenditure and hopefully contributed to the cost of maintaining and preserving the countryside.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent and very enjoyable but with the proviso of the point raised in question 2. All the travel and accommodation went very smoothly with the sole exception of the very, very long wait to collect the hire car. Avis had a massive queue, all the other rental firms had no more than a handful of customers.

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