In Airlines: A Guide to WOW Air

WOW air is relatively new airline. Established in 2011, it is a low cost airline that connects Iceland with Europe and the USA. In June 2015 the connection between Iceland and Ireland was established and I am very thankful it did.PhoebeGill150915010

Before WOW air the only way people travelling from Ireland could get to Iceland was catching a flight to London or Copenhagen and then on to Reykjavik. It was annoying having to go an hour or two further afield when Iceland is straight above Ireland.

Firstly:

They brought in Online Check in! Woo, thanks WOW Air! 

Baggage:

One carry on at 5kg (Free). You can buy two extra kilograms online if you wish.

One check in bag at 20kg (Best paid for online as it is cheaper) The rates for extra kilograms are really expensive once you reach the airport so make sure you have everything in order. Here are all of the extra fees and charges. 

From Dublin:

You will be flying from Terminal 1. This information is not on booking confirmation so just take note. When you are flying with WOW air, it is pretty simple. You check the board in departures for where WOW air’s check in desk is located, both times I have been, it has been row 9. You check on the screen above the desk what country you are flying to and you stand in line. Simple.

In busy Summer months, this queue will be crazy busy (Now that they have online check in it will be a bit quicker). At any time of the year make sure you allow yourself plenty of time. Two to three hours. With the addition of a very busy Dublin security and the walk to the gate (Or the walk to Siberia as I like to call it) you need plenty of time!

From Keflavik:

In Keflavik it is a little different. When you arrive in departures there will be a wow section with lots of desks. On one side is the flights to main land Europe and on the other side are the flights to Dublin and London. So you are lumped in all together and just because there are lots of desks doesn’t mean they are open. No no. There has been two people on the Dublin/London side, both times I have flown with them. This is not enough people at all for the amount of passengers. And this is 4:30am!

Again I would be in Keflavik about two to three hours before your flight as once you check in you have to go through security, which has slowed down even more with the addition of a new tray dispenser system they have installed. Then once you get through security, you have to go through passport control and then you have to walk to the last gate in Keflavik airport. So two hours minimum!

When On Board:

On board, you have to pay for all of the food and drinks. I don’t think there are any complimentary items at all. They have a selection of food and Icelandic snacks, they also have duty free if you feel like buying something.

Flight Time:

The flight is around the two hour mark. A really easy flight to take and the flight path is almost all over the sea. There may be some turbulence, so just be aware of that before you fly.

I will definitely be flying WOW air again! Although a slower process and a little stressful to figure out how much your baggage weighs, it is worth it!

If you have any questions about WOW air leave them below and I will gladly reply! 

Happy Travels!

Advertisements

In Reykjavik: Food and Where to Eat (Part II)

So in my three days in Iceland I didn’t actually eat that much, I ate Coco Pops a lot. I did try two new places I wanted to tell you about. In complete contrast to last time I visited Iceland I actually found these two places reasonably priced when compared to Ireland.

Reykjavik Chips

PhoebeGill150813054I was walking down the street and I suddenly thought I really want some chips right now and there it was. Reykjavik Chips! It was a beacon of light in the pouring of rain. PhoebeGill150813082

You can get small, large or family size chips with a sauce of your choosing. You can also get your chips with a fizzy drink/soda for 950kr (€6.50) or with a beer for 1490kr (€10) Here is their website.

Lebowski Bar

PhoebeGill150814012Lebowski bar is a fun place for a drink and a burger. They have an entire menu of The Dude’s favourite drink, The White Russian and a menu of burgers names after the iconic characters. You can get a burger on it’s own or you can get fries and a drink. I got the Donny burger and fries and it was delicious! Really quick service and a great vibe. Check out the full menu here.

Dunkin Donuts

PhoebeGill150815053Now I didn’t venture into this newly opened establishment because the line was so long every day I passed it. There was even a bouncer on the door to stop the madness. I don’t this you can get how long the line was in this photo but it was all the way down to The Viking gift shop. It’s only a donut lads!

I really like the caramel donut filled with custard in the Kornid bakery on Lækjargata street. They also do nice bread rolls. It’s a lot quieter and still as donuty.

Food Shopping

So this trip I ventured into more supermarket shops! I do love a good supermarket! So the shop I went to most was the 10/11. This shop is like a Centra (if you are in Ireland), it’s more expensive then say Tesco, it’s good for picking up the odd thing but probably not good to do the full shop there. 10/11s are everywhere and are open late so it’s really easy to go in and busy snacks.

Bónus is your best bet for cheaper food and a good selection of fresh food. I can’t wait to do my shop for my camper trip very soon!

One thing I really should have tried was coffee but I was too warm to drink hot drinks! Is there any more places that I should eat in? 

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: Reykjavik in August

Last time I was in Reykjavik I didn’t walk around much, there was ice on the paths and it was freezing, I also had a car so I was driving everywhere like a lazy person but this time I walked most places. I stayed in this apartment just outside the city centre right next to Hlemmur station. I definitely recommend this apartment if you want to use the bus system a lot.

The Sun Voyager

PhoebeGill150814015The Sun Voyager statue was really close to the apartment and because the first day of my trip was gloomy and low clouds I couldn’t see Mt. Esja so when the cloud lifted it was the first thing to go and see. I love Mt. Esja and I will one day hike up it.

Harpa

PhoebeGill150814076Harpa is a really cool building, the glass panels shimmer blue and purple. It was nice to walk closer to it this time.

Hallgrímskirkja

PhoebeGill150814439Going to this church is always nice to get a view of the city. Looking down one of the main streets, seeing all the colourful houses, last time I was here the snow was covering most of the city it was great to see it in full colour.

PhoebeGill150814543Grótta Lighthouse

PhoebeGill150815035

I took the bus to Seltjarnarnes to see Grótta Lighthouse. Strætó buses are really really easy to understand and use. All the information you need can be found here. I definitely recommend you download the app. Although you can’t buy tickets you can plan your journey and figure out when a bus is coming. It’s such a nice area for a walk and to see a more residential side of Reykjavik. Definitely recommend you go!  PhoebeGill150815087Reykjavik in August is still quite touristy but around the end of august is the time when a lot of the tourists go home for school or college. The weather is cooler at 11-14 degrees but I was walking around with a hoodie on. In January everyone was bundled up and you couldn’t get a sense of what Icelandic people even looked like. It was nice to see their style and faces this time.

Although seeing Reykjavik in snow is amazing and magical, travelling in August gives you a better sense of the city. So if that is important to you August is great but I recommend both times of year!

Happy Travels!

In Reykjavik: Puffin Watching with Special Tours

Before I left for Iceland I wanted to do a tour of some kind that wasn’t too long but also was a great experience. Now I have written before how I love boats! So I instantly wanted to see what kind of boat tours I could do. There are loads of tour companies that offer similar tours and experiences so it can be tough to choose just one. I decided to go Puffin Watching with Special Tours.  PhoebeGill150814225I have wanted to see puffins for years and years! They are such lovely birds. The boat docks at Reykjavik Old Harbour which is where you will find the Special Tours booth where you check in. The tour takes about an hour and costs 5700kr (€48). Take Note: This tour runs from the 1st of May to the 20th of August.PhoebeGill150814116The species that are on the island are Atlantic Puffin. Puffins come to land for the breeding season. During the summer months Iceland has around 60% of the population of puffins on it’s coasts.  PhoebeGill150814424Puffins are very fast, they beat their wings up to 400 times a minute. Capturing these speedy birds is quite a challenge. Along with the waves getting pictures of these birds is pretty hard to do.   PhoebeGill150814462These waters can get a little choppy so definitely take a look at the weather and the sea the day of your tour. Our trip was really good on the way out but it started to rain and because we were going against the current the waves crash over the boat so you will get soaked.

Tips: 

  1. Bring waterproof clothing. It can get very wet, I wore jeans and they were drenched.
  2. Don’t eat right before you go. It can get choppy, although the boat ride isn’t long its never nice to feel sick on a boat. Also look at the horizon if you are feeling sick.
  3. Bring a long lens. I used an 80-400 mm lens and I feel like I was still too far away. Puffins fly away from the boat very quickly so it can be tricky with a standard lens.

I definitely recommend this tour. It’s amazing watching these birds, learning about their behaviour and habits. So if you have a spare hour and €34 euro I definitely suggest you go puffin watching!

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: My Experience in January

In Iceland: My Experience in January

I spent three days in this beautiful country and I am no where near done. This is what I have done so far. Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 11.21.23

Reykjavik: 

I love the city, no skyscrapers, colourful houses, beautiful street art makes this city a perfect place to wander around and relax. I loved shopping downtownwalking from Harpa to the lake. Going to Hallgrímskirkja and looking at the amazing view from the top. It’s also so close to the sea which is my favourite place to be! The entire sea front area is beautiful. I loved seeing the Sun Voyager sculpture

Exploring this city is a must and I can’t wait to find more places next time. Here is my post on the food I experienced in Iceland! PhoebeGill150109076 PhoebeGill150109144

The Golden Circle:

The Golden Circle is a great tour to do in winter, it runs all year round and is generally easy to do if you want to self drive. First stop is Þingvellir National Park it is a beautiful location which is steeped in geographical and historical information. I definitely want to go back in summer/autumn! Next up is Geysir and Strokkur beautiful location to see the amazing power of nature, Lastly but in no means least is the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall this place is so beautiful! A must see.

PhoebeGill150110208 PhoebeGill150110416South Iceland:

I had one day to get a glimpse of South Iceland and the short amount of time I spent there was amazing! I drove to Vik but the weather was so bad that I couldn’t see anything. I got to stop and take lots of photos of the amazing landscapes and I got to say hello to the cutest most lovely Icelandic Horses.

I did get to see two beautiful waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss

PhoebeGill150111094 PhoebeGill150111922

Tips:

  1. Save up your money! I know people say it’s expensive all the time but it really is!
  2. If you want to do a lot, go on tours. Iceland is amazing but in Winter bus tours and super jeep tours are the easier option. Icelandic people know how to get around their country in Winter.
  3. Here is my post on my self drive experience
  4. Get a good jacket! I got a insulated Regatta Jacket and it was perfect!
  5. Also get a good pair of boots, if you want to do any walking get ones with good traction and waterproof shoes.

Things to note!

  1. The hot water smells like sulphur, it’s geothermal water, it’s normal don’t worry.
  2. In January daylight is from 11am-4:30pm. It does mean you get beautiful light for photos but not a lot of time adventuring.
  3. Everything is accessible. All attractions mentioned above are all just off the road. Really easy to get to and they all have toilets.
  4. Parking is really good in Iceland, there are car parks and on street parking, you can pay by card on the meters which is also really handy.

So that’s it, I can’t think of anything else. I think 14 posts for three days travel is pretty good. Have I missed anything? What should I see next?

Happy Travels!

In Reykjavik: View From The Top

In Reykjavik: View From The Top

Something that you have to do in Reykjavik is go to the top of Hallgrímskirkja. It is absolutely beautiful!

There is an admission fee of 700isk (€7) that you buy in the shop just past the entrance.

There are four sides of the tower to get a panoramic view of the city. But three of them are the best.

1. The stunning view of Mt. Esja.PhoebeGill150112019

2. The straight view of downtown Reykjavik. With the colourful buildings and gorgeous view of the water.
PhoebeGill150112055

3. The view of where the sun rises and the expanse of the city.PhoebeGill150112058The views are so beautiful and well worth the 7 euro. Have you been up the tower?

Happy Travels!