Tips/Advice for Hitchhiking at Iceland and Places to Explore?

I’m going to be in traveling around Iceland in a couple of months. I’m now planning my adventures a little and I’ve got some questions for those of you who are familiar with the country. I’ll be there in the month of August and September.

Could you share your experiences with hitchhiking to places there? I’m not expecting it to be a challenge, but it’ll certainly be limiting in terms of freedom of movement once I reach a remote destination (I’ll be independent with camping gear and all, but would rather not risk being stuck somewhere for a long time). Some advice on the areas where it works best would be great. For instance, would I have trouble getting rides in the East/Highlands?

I’d also like to ask about experiences you had of particularly cozy, isolated towns and villages, farms, people with stories to tell you’ve met on your way. I’m going to do some photography and interview work for an illustration project and I’m interested in getting to know the people of Iceland as much as its natural wonders. Best things are usually met by accident, so I’d like to know of those you found before drawing my itinerary.

Question Geography | Country: Iceland
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Answers ( 4 )

    4

    I’m from Iceland, hitchhiking is very easy, if you stick to the ring road then you shouldn’t really have a problem. I wouldn’t go to the highlands that late due to the weather and if you walk on ice it might not be strong enough and there can be cracks underneath which are very dangerous!

    Small places that are a must would be Vík, Höfn, Seydisfjordur (east), Mývatn, Stykkishólmur (and the area around)! We’ve got a pretty okay bus system too but its a bit pricey but I guess if you have to use it, you could.

    Be prepared for food to be expensive, especially in tourist places. A waffle and coffee can easily go to 2000 ISK ???? which is crazy.

    If you want to shower easily during the trip then you should visit our swimming pools – they’re a must! There’s one in Hofsós which is love, they’re usually not too expensive and you can stay and relax for a while (hot tubs, saunas, heated pool, etc).

    If you can shop in local supermarkets then try going to Bónus, Nettó or Krónan (Bónus is usually the cheapest though).

    Best answer
    • Sveiney Fránnsson
      0

      Everything above Mikkel said plus there’s also some good dumpster diving in Reykjavik and Akureyri. You can hitch to Þórsmörk (a beautiful area south of the highlands) in late September if the weather allows it but ask some locals when you’re there on their thoughts and if they consider it safe 🙂

      • Fjóla Hvítfeld
        1

        I’d ask at tourist information offices (located also at major tourist attractions) about weather conditions, road closing, etc. And if you have internet, these websites are useful: http://www.vedur.is/ http://www.road.is/ There is also a great website showing the intensity of traffic on all roads, does anyone know the address?

        • Mikkel Sæisdóttir
          1

          Its also pretty cheap-ish to get a sim card, you can get one at duty-free when you land (you go downstairs, where you collect your bags). You get 3G/4G coverage pretty much everywhere ???? just make sure your phone is unlocked, otherwise, the sim won’t work.

          That website is http://www.vegagerdin.is/, as they are the ones who maintain the roads.

          • Halina Oswald
            0

            Ahh, thank you all, all of this is really helpful!

    1

    End of September the highlands close. Just so you know 🙂 it gets quite windy in autumn so make sure you have good gear and enough food and water to keep you warm and safe. Hitchhiking is super easy here, it may take some more time in more remote parts but I’ve never been stuck anywhere for long. The weather might be your only problem because it’s so unpredictable so it’s advisable to check the forecast every day. We got some bad storms in September/October with high winds and gales that can easily take you off your feet.

    • Halina Oswald
      0

      Thank you Sóla! I’ll keep it in mind:)

    3

    I’ve hitchhiked a lot in Iceland and it seems very easy and feels much safer than in other countries. I agree totally with what a few people before me have said – concerning the weather and the interior. Also, it may be obvious, but take it into account that on non-tarmac roads you will travel slowly – for example, you need to allow at least a day to get from Myvatn to Landmannalaugar. With some drivers/cars on such roads, you may not exceed 30 kilometers per hour.

    You need to be prepared to end up in the middle of nowhere with strong wind and heavy rain, with no shelter in sight. In August you can expect to get lifts from both locals and tourists and the latter will be invaluable to get you to more remote places where a bus would not get – the tourists want to see the spots you want to see and it may be a wonderful experience to share with them. Snow may come as early as at the beginning of September and not only in the mountain areas.

    To find out more about young Icelanders you should stop at a few festivals. And you can’t miss the Fiskudagar in Dalvík in August – where you’ll find fresh fish dishes served free, free camping and general partying. I’m sure you will have an amazing trip! 😀

    • Mikkel Sæisdóttir
      0

      The first weekend of August is also a HUGE camping weekend for everyone in Iceland, so expect a lot of traffic around that. Might be fun to go to the main camping areas for then (if you arrive that early) cause then there will be something going on (campfire, singing, drinking) ????????

      • Halina Oswald
        0

        Thank you both! hadn’t really thought of festivals to be honest, but it sounds great, I’ll look into it 🙂

    2

    I’ve hitchhiked in Iceland and had no problem! But of course, it depends on where you want to go. If you want to do the Ring Road, you will be just fine! But I wouldn’t hitchhike to the inland for example, coz you might get stuck somewhere.
    Anyway, I would also recommend workaway if you want to get in touch with locals 😉

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