Iceland is a dream destination for many but it can come at a cost. If you plan right, this dream can become a reality.
Let’s face it. A Spartan Race in Iceland is a pretty epic adventure! If you are on the fence about whether or not this race is for you here are some quick tips to know before embarking on this journey. I am not going to tell you how to prepare for the race, but I will tell you how to travel in Iceland.
Depending on how you plan on traveling, one thing I know is, Spartans like to travel in packs. This helps save money and this trip should be planned with others as well because it can get pricey. If you do plan on going solo and can brave the cold weather, there is a Tough Spartan option for you. Bike it.
Option 1: Two Wheeled Adventure
Iceland Bike rents bikes for approximately $38.00 per day for up to three days. This is probably the absolute cheapest way to see Iceland. Now, if you are planning for the winter you need to contact them now and set up an appointment because they are not open for regular hours in the winter time. If you need the bike for a week or more, make an appointment.
Given the fact that obstacle races are usually far from the city, expect about a 2-4 hour drive from the airport to reach the venue. Then calculate the miles for a bike and start planning your trip. This could make for the most epic OCR adventure, ever. After the race, you might want to see if you can hitch a ride back to town with friends, just in case.
Option 2: Rent a Camper Van with friends
Happy Camper, which is the cheapest camper rental available on the island, is already sold out for the weekend of the race. But, there is a slightly more expensive company that does have vehicles available!
I completely 100% believe this is the absolute best option for this race. Why? Car rentals are really expensive and hard to sleep in. A camper can comfortably sleep 4 or 5 with the same price as a hotel. Downside? Well, George rented a car in Iceland a tank of gas for a small SUV cost $90. Ouch!
For a four day camper van that sleeps 2 will cost about $603. I am sure you can squeeze in a third person to help keep the costs down a little, just expect tight quarters. For two people that’s about $100 a night, which is the normal cost for a hotel. Not too shabby. Just remember to calculate in the cost for gas.
Option 3: Stay in a hostel or guest house.
The hostels have a 24 hour cancellation policy, so book something now. I booked my hostels a few months out and still shopped around, when I found something a little nicer and a little cheaper I just canceled my reservation with no penalty.
Hostels are a great option because they have warm showers and shared kitchens. You buy your groceries and cook your own meals. Not only that, but they have dorms. Book a 6 person dorm with your friends and you are looking at a cost of approximately $25 a night. Not sure how many hostels are available out by the venue, but there should be something. If you want a private room you will be looking at a cost of about $125 a night. I used the website Hostelworld.com and it was very helpful.
The only issue I ran into at The Base Hostel was the kitchen not being clean and the leftover food from other travelers was expired. Great part about hostels is that travelers will leave behind goods that other travelers might need to help them out. Except when it’s expired, yuck!
Guest homes. George (my boyfriend) and I stayed in a guest house by the airport, Guesthouse Gardur. It was so cute!! Loved it! It sleeps about 4 and had a kitchen. It’s probably not even remotely close to the venue since it is located by the airport and it’s a 4 hour drive to other side of the island from that location. Once the venue is known then, book a guest room. This option is a little more pricey, but you will have a warm shower waiting for you after the race. Nothing beats that!!
Top tips for food and excursions while you are in Iceland:
- Blue Lagoon is way cool, but there is a cheaper option. Blue Lagoon costs about $100 per person and you better book it today. Or, you can visit Secret Lagoon for $22 per person and it is not man-made. You won’t get a facial or a white robe, but there won’t be busloads of tourists going in and out of the pools.
- Grocery shopping. Make sure to check the store times because they close early during the week some as early as 6 p.m. It’s cheaper than eating in a restaurant, but you are still going to pay. Eggs will cost you $10 for a package of 8. I bought lots of oatmeal, yogurt and fruit. That saved me some money. Here’s a plus! Water will cost you $2 for a small bottle. Not bad.
- Restaurants in Iceland. Be prepared to pay!! A breakfast for two at The Grey Kitten was $52, it was so good. We did go out for pad thai at Thai Keflavik and it was moderately priced.
- Fast food. Is it cheaper? Nope. A six inch Subway sandwich is $14. Serrano is their version of Chipotle and same cost for a burrito. They have tons of KFC all around the island and I think it’s $8 for a chicken sandwich. If you don’t want to pay $52 for a hearty healthy breakfast, hit up Dunkin Donuts.
- If you have time, go waterfall chasing. You won’t regret it. And guess what? It’s free!!!!
Obstacle racer since 2012. Mother of two beautiful daughters in Peoria, AZ. WOR Pro Team athlete for 3 years strong. FitVine Wine, ORAL I.V. and Zensah ambassador.