Travel cheap in Iceland

Home / Posts tagged 'north iceland'
Manu | 7 September 2015 | no comments

 

Hitch-hiking in Iceland

Hitch-hiking on the cloudy and wet road to Siglufjordur

Considering the high prices of hotels, tours, buses and car rentals in Iceland in general and more specifically from May until September when the high tourist season kicks off, it is not a big surprise that many more budget traveler decide to take some risks and travel around hitch-hiking.

The oldest fashioned adventuring way to travel on the road hitch-hiking is not very difficult and not very dangerous in Iceland. Both locals and foreign people traveling around are pretty used to tourists and travelers on the side of the road asking for a lift and and many of them are very comfortable in offering a free lift.

However, hitch-hiking is always a bet and before you even start to consider traveling around like that you have to consider the possibility that not everything can go as planned.

In Iceland as long as you stay on the Ring road, the circle road that goes around the island, everything is pretty easy. Especially in summer the Ring Road is pretty busy with cars and tourist and it won’t be particularly difficult to catch a ride. Things can get more difficult when you decide to reach destinations a bit out of the tourist paths and outside of the Ring Road.

Empty spaces are normal in Iceland

Empty spaces are normal in Iceland

 

Internal roads in Iceland are less trafficked. There are not a lot of cars passing through and you may have to be very patient in order to get a lift. The struggle is not only with the emptiness though, but with the weather too. Winter is a constant on the Icelandic roads. Open fields allow wind to be strong and cold. It often happens that if you start walking against wind, in order just not to stand there waiting for a miracle happening while no cars appear at the horizon, the wind will blow so strong in your face that you will barely hear a car approaching. This may lead to you missing a lot of chances to catch a lift, and at getting your head and ears frozen as well.

It can be though but when you make it it becomes memorable

It can be though but when you make it it becomes memorable

If evening is coming and you are near a small village, consider the fact that locals go home early and the more you wait t start hitchhiking the more you may have to wait or be lucky to get a lift. Do it always during the day, when possibilities, weather and visibility are better.

Rain is even worse and you should consider the possibility of rain or of weather changing anytime.

And don’t despair if noone is stopping. First rule. Main rule. There is written nowhere they must stop and pick you up so be patient and be gentle, to you and to yourself. Do not despair. Someone,a t a certain point will take you.

 

Hitch-hiking in Iceland let you enjoy the amazing surroundings

Hitch-hiking in Iceland let you enjoy the amazing surroundings

Hitchhiking is a great way to enjoy this amazing country. There is no better place to do it than in Iceland, because it is safe and because it is beautiful. You will find yourself waiting for a car to stop in some of the most beautiful and often remote places of Planet Earth. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty surrounding you like nowhere else in the world, and the kindness of people stopping by will just make you love this country more.

I did this hitch-hiking adventure few weeks ago with Tyr, an old friend and the first Icelander I have ever met in life, few years ago through CouchSurfing.

On the road to Siglufjordur with Tyr

On the road to Siglufjordur with Tyr

First I hitch-hiked alone from Myvatn to Akureyri and that was pretty easy. Then from there to Dalvik first and all the way up North to Siglufjordur. It took us almost no time to get a lift and in less than an hour we were there. We went there for a beer. And it was great. The adventure began on the way back though, as the beer and the second beer kept us in Siglufjordur a bit too long and when we started to head back we got stacked in a small village called Olavsfjordur. It was pouring rain and it was getting late, nobody was going back to Akureyri and after few more pints in a local bar, we decided to stay there for the night. It was a lot of fun, beer and laugh and the day after Iceland gifted us with some stunning sunny views of the blue fjord the village is laying on.

Husavik in all its glory.

Husavik in all its glory.

 

Stacked in the middle of nowhere for 5 hours

Stacked in the middle of nowhere for 5 hours

That day we went to Husavik then and the day after we thought it would have been easy to find a lift for the 55 kilometers that separate Husavik from Myvatn. We were wrong though. It took us 5 hours. After the first lift, from a truck driver to half way, the neverending wait started. Almost no cars for hours and hours, strong wind, lots of sun and the middle of nowhere.

Company is another very important factor in those situation. You rather have a great friend to do these adventures with else it can become a nightmare. I was super lucky to have Tyr with me. We were laughing and talking and joking a lot. Nothing else you can do when you are in such a situation and you start thinking it is not your lucky day. Luckily traveling teach you also to be optimistic all the time and to believe in good energies, and both I and Tyr knew that, so it all went well at the end and the laugh of that day will be remembered for a long time.

Hitch-hiking in Iceland is a windy and adventure way to have a good story worth to tell.

Hitch-hiking in Iceland is a windy and adventure way to have a good story worth to tell.

So, get ready to start your cheap adventure in Iceland! 

PS: Do not do this in winter.

 

Click HERE to see the full album