Camping to self-catering – cut costs on a trip to Iceland this summer


IT has made it on to the Government’s green list and is welcoming vaccinated British tourists.

But while Iceland’s astonishing scenery and incredible geological attractions are a huge draw, it can be expensive.

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Iceland offers astonishing scenery and incredible geological attractions, but it can be expensive

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Iceland offers astonishing scenery and incredible geological attractions, but it can be expensive

There is plenty to explore, from puffins in the east to the black beaches and active volcanoes of the south and whale watching in the north.

Don’t miss the Museum of Nonsense in the Westfjords either.

But the price of food, drink and accommodation in its capital Reykjavik and other towns can be steep.

Sun Travel editor Lisa Minot explores ways to enjoy Iceland on a budget this summer.

There's plenty to explore - from puffins to active volcanoes

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There’s plenty to explore – from puffins to active volcanoes
Only 12 countries are currently on the green list
Only 12 countries are currently on the green list

Go all-in hiking in the hills

A TOUR of Iceland’s lesser-visited eastern side that features stays in local guesthouses with all meals included is a great way to get over the problem of pricey food.

G Adventures has a six-day group hiking break that promises great value, while giving you the chance to live like a local and explore some of the country’s more remote areas on foot.

Hiking breaks promise great value and give you the chance to explore some of Iceland's more remote areas

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Hiking breaks promise great value and give you the chance to explore some of Iceland’s more remote areas

Staying in a guesthouse in a small Icelandic fishing village, the group will enjoy farm-to-table meals to refuel after daily hikes along the Vatnsskaro pass, across the rocky terrain of Stóruro, past the smoking lava fields of Leirhnjukur and to mighty Dettifoss waterfall.

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On the coast, days will be spent walking the black-sand beaches and, in season, visiting nesting puffins and taking a cultural tour of the famous fishing village of Seyoisfjorour.

The trekking Eastern Iceland tour is from £1,164pp in September or £1,232 in July and August. The trip includes all meals as well as transport, guiding and hikes. Excludes flights.

Go camping to cut costs

WHILE hotel accommodation can be expensive, a great way to cut costs is to go camping.

There is the added bonus of getting even closer to those dramatic landscapes and natural wonders.

Get to grips with nature and give camping a try during a one-week group tour

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Get to grips with nature and give camping a try during a one-week group tour

Intrepid has a great guided group tour that takes all the hassle out of organising a camping trip.

Its one-week break this summer is aimed at 18 to 29-year-olds and sees the group clamber aboard a ­private minibus for a tour of the Golden Circle of spectacular sites in the south of Iceland.

There are trips included to a secret lagoon for a dip in a hot spring, as well as the chance to join a tree-planting project in Hvolsvollur.

The group will enjoy a traditional Icelandic barbecue in the Thorsmork Valley with hotdogs and meat cooked over an open fire pit. Guests will also get the chance to taste some hakarl, a dish made from fermented shark.

The seven-day break costs from £1,022pp and departs on July 11. The price includes ground transport, camping and guesthouse accommodation and all activities. Flights extra.

Go self-catering to save

WITH hotels and meals a significant expense, the chance to self-cater will lead to great savings.

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Discover the World has a varied selection of options in stunning locations.

You'll save a bunch if you go self-catering, plus you'll have access to home-from-home essentials

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You’ll save a bunch if you go self-catering, plus you’ll have access to home-from-home essentials

Many of the properties are based on two people sharing but actually sleep at least four, meaning two others can join to cut the cost or go free in the case of children.

The prices include car hire and accommodation and each property has been hand-picked to have all the home-from-home essentials such as high-speed wifi, kitchen and laundry facilities.

With a car on hand, you’ll be able to explore at your own pace and pick up essentials including food and drink from local stores or supermarkets. The self-catering properties are also being marketed at those who want to work from away, with trips on offer from one to eight weeks or more.

Take your pick from city apartments in Akureyri to wilderness retreats on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Post-work activities might include wandering down to the local beach café, hiking the coast path from Glacier Lodge in west Iceland, or hitting the hot tub for views of the northern lights at Grund Cabin in the south west.

As an example, seven nights’ self-catering at Glacier Lodge in Hellnar is from £828pp, based on two sharing but with space for two more. It works out at just £414pp for four including car hire. Flights are extra.

Go on a tour and get more

A TOUR is a great way to make sure everything you want to see and do is not only organised for you but included in the price.

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Omega Breaks’ Iceland and Northern Lights five-day tour, departing this November, features expert guides to bring the whole experience to life – including an astronomer.

The highlight for anyone venturing to Iceland will be seeing the northern lights

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The highlight for anyone venturing to Iceland will be seeing the northern lightsCredit: Getty

The tour kicks off in the capital Reykjavík before heading into the remoteness of natural Iceland.

Excursions include a chance to see where the European and American tectonic plates are slowly moving apart, the Gullfoss waterfall and bubbling muds and spectacle of the exploding geyser.

The highlight for many will be the chance to spot the northern lights. The tour makes sure you are in the right place with the right people. Lights spotting is from your hotel on the riverbank in Hella.

On hand to explain and help capture great images will be Pete Lawrence, from the BBC’s The Sky At Night.

The seven-night tour starts from £699pp and includes return flights from Gatwick, Luton or Manchester on November 7.

Also included is one night B&B in Reykjavik, two nights’ half board in Hella, one night at Keflavik airport before the flight home, a full-day Golden Circle tour, full-day South Iceland tour and visits to the Urrioafoss waterfall and Krysuvík – all with an English-speaking guide as well as the chance to pick up tips from Pete Lawrence while northern lights hunting in Hella.

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