Walking and Trekking in Iceland – a Cicerone Guide Review

Cicerone

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I’ve always dreamed of trekking around Iceland and the opportunity to review this guide was just too good to miss.  I’ve been convinced that there must be some great rock and ice climbing so a trip is definitely on the cards.

This new guide by Paddy Dillon is the most up to date, English guide to the island and covers all the main hiking and trekking areas, from day walks around Reykjavik to multi day treks around all the main walking areas.

The introductions were very comprehensive and offered all the detail you would need to plan your trip, I was great to know that credit cards can be used on buses, you can phone hut wardens pay over the phone and get door codes, that buses are the best and cheapest way of getting around and the tip about needing a 4×4 and not a normal car is going to save you a lot of what would be very expensive grief. There is a comprehensive list of travel options at the back of the guide.

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All the details you would need to plan your trip in detail were supplied, including website details and downloads. There is much detail on the fascinating geology, which is probably one of the main reasons for visiting the island. It was good to know that you can, with some careful planning, have a budget trip as Iceland is very expensive. The wild camping looked very appealing, although there are plenty of huts and campsites mentioned in the routes. The author has even created a short trek that on ly needs a day pack – ingenious! There was a good route summary for each walk at the back of the book but I would have liked to have seen a graded list of difficulty, this would help plan for al levels of ability.

The route descriptions are very detailed and there are plenty of maps to help you plan your trip as well as using on the trail, the book is fairly heavy so I wouldn’t want to be carrying it on a multi-day trek. I also felt that GPS reference points would be useful in some areas, although most treks and walks seem to be marked. But GPS devices are very much a part of a modern trekking and digital mapping was mentioned at all. I would never advocate using a GPS instead of a map and compass (I am mountain instructor after all), but a GPS system is useful and most of all, fun and can be a lifesaver.

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All in all this is a great guide and a must for anyone planning that trip of a lifetime, Iceland is very accessible and a great trip can be had with a 2 week summer holiday, just a word of warning though, the weather can similar to that of the UK so be prepared!

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