Iceland has a reputation of being an expensive travel destination, but there is plenty to explore without going overboard. With Marco Polo’s tips you are sure to have a great time on a dime! From puffins to geothermics, see what Iceland has to offer for the budget-conscious traveller:
DOWN ON THE FARM
The ruins of the 11th-century longhouse Stöng, which can be visited for free, give a vivid impression of the size and layout of farms back then. Route 32 is worth a detour on the way to the highlands.
ICELAND IN BLOOM
The Botanical Garden in Akureyri is a freely accessible, rambling site and home to all of Iceland’s native plants – plus a great many more from elsewhere. From Greenland to the Mediterranean, if it’s green and/or bears flowers, it’s here.
Einar Jónsson was the country’s first sculptor of note, and consequently many of his works are to be found all over Iceland. You can also admire an interesting selection of them in the garden adjoining his studio, which is permanently open to visitors.
GET PALLY WITH THE PUFFINS
To see puffins really close up, you usually have to take an organised boat trip. On the steep coast at Látrabjarg the comical cliff-dwellers come up close enough for you to count the rings on their bills – for free.
WHAT’S GEOTHERMICS ALL ABOUT?
Get an answer to this question during a free visit to the geothermal power plant Hellisheiðarvirkjun. At the visitor centre, various information points with touch screens take you through the energy-generating process, and you can learn a lot about the region at the same time.
ROMANTIC SPOT FOR A DIP
The little pool at Selárdalur, which you can visit for free, has a charm all of its own. It lies on an idyllic river, and in autumn is lit up by the Northern Lights as well as candles.
Buy the Iceland Marco Polo Pocket Guide.