If I have to think about the only reason why I stalled a bit (a few years hahaha) before going to Iceland is its cost of living ... very high compared to ours! Like Norway and the other Nordic countries, too a lot is spent in Iceland, but there are some tricks that allow you to save a lot!
Low cost Iceland: 10 tips to save
1. Buy your flight well in advance
..taking advantage of low cost airlines (such as Easyjet, Wizzair and Transavia for example). If you monitor flights well (for example with Google Flights, as I explained to you in this article) you will be able to spend even less than 300 euros for a return flight. However, avoid going there in July and August representing the high tourist season and prices practically double for everything (flights, car rentals, beds, etc).
2.Sleep in campsites, hostels or guesthouses
Campsites are undoubtedly the cheapest option, especially if you decide to buy one Camping Card (159 euros - 2020 price) which is valid for 28 days and can be used for 2 adults (and up to 4 children). With this card (which is a kind of prepaid card) you can camp freely in 38 partner campsites scattered throughout Iceland. Obviously it is not a very comfortable solution, especially when you consider the Icelandic weather… with wind and rain a go-go. A less extreme but still economical solution is to choose hostels or guesthouse. These are always equipped with a kitchen and you can cook your own dishes while saving further. The cheapest option ever is actually to use Couchsurfing, the famous free hospitality exchange service and social networking service through which you will pay nothing to sleep and can really get in touch with the local community.
3. Travel by bus
The network is very extensive and covers all tourist areas. There are 3 main companies: the Straeto (the public one), which operates all year round and has the largest network, the Sterna and SBA-Norouleid which operate at full capacity from May to mid-October (and only from the end of June to the end of August along the slopes inside). All places of tourist interest are covered, except the North-West fjords (where practically all roads are unpaved). Some companies sell a passport (a flat-rate ticket) which covers certain areas and is often cheaper than buying single tickets so ... ask first!
4. If you want instead rent a car...
..to have complete freedom of movement, book it well in advance, perhaps taking advantage of offers or relying on national companies such as Geysir, Atak Car Rental, or Lotus Car Rental. These companies have much cheaper prices than international companies with Avis, Hertz, etc. In any case, to get an idea of the rental prices, I recommend that you always use the Rentalcars website.
5.Bring your own food from Spain!!
Well yes, I brought it vacuum-packed cold cuts, vacuum-packed cheeses and various cans and I broke all the lunches like this, buying only the bread and some fruit or vegetables. When you travel to Iceland, among other things, you practically always have packed lunches, in the midst of nature, in front of waterfalls, canyons or glaciers .. magnificent places around which there is nothing. Even if you wanted to, you wouldn't always be able to find places to eat a hot meal (and when you find it, you don't want the prices!). Gas stations almost always sell bread and a few other things, but that's enough and you have leftover if you have your supplies. I already know you are thinking .. but food doesn't spoil? No, because the temperatures are always low, even in summer! At the most, bring a foldable thermal bag (the one from the supermarket to be clear) and you will be on horseback !!
6.Buy food at discount supermarkets
The most popular discount supermarket chains are BONUS, KRONAN and NETTO. These supermarkets (which are found almost everywhere) have humane prices, I would say almost Spanish for many things. Search for them on Google Maps and stock up when you find them.
7.Use the bottle and never buy bottled water!
In Iceland, water is always free and delicious in restaurants and bars! Iceland is full of water and is one of the cleanest environments on the planet, so you can fill your water bottles anywhere. Furthermore, in many bars, when you buy coffee (like Nescafè, not Espresso which costs 3 euros!) You can often refill your cup, indefinitely or almost.
8.Bring your own alcohol
If you are not a teetotaler and especially if you like to end the meal with a spirit. In Iceland, alcohol is not found in normal supermarkets, there is only beer and it has 2,25% alcohol maximum! Everything else can be found in the supermarket chain Vinbudin which only sells beverages and has decidedly high costs.
9.download the happy hour app in Reykjavik
Also for non-abstainers, download the app " Reykjavik happy hour”And you will also find the places where they do the 2 × 1 on drinks. Not bad for saving something!
10. Avoid the Blue Lagoon
La Blue Lagoon it is very expensive and is simply the most famous but not necessarily the most beautiful! Natural swimming pools in Iceland are everywhere, there are many both free and paid that still cost much less than the Blue Lagoon and should not be booked well in advance. Among the latter there is the brand new GeoSea in Husavik, with infinity pool overlooking the fjord, i Myvatn Nature Bath in Myvatn, very similar to the Blue Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon in the Golden Circuit, the Fontana Spa always in the Golden Circuit or, finally, the floating pools of the Vok Baths near Egilsstadir inaugurated in 2019. By the way, remember to never get your hair wet in the sulphurous waters (such as those of the Blue Lagoon or the Myvatn Nature Bath) because they will ruin you !!! Ditto the costume, do not wear a costume you care a lot about because a minimum will be ruined.