Home of American XC Skiers

Iceland 2018 Trip

This page was last updated on April 25, 2018 (3:00pm IST -- Iceland Time).


Event Website Links

Event Website (not updated as much)

Event Facebook (best resource for last second updates)

Event e-Magazine (all the info posted at hotels plus additional notes)

List of Handy Apps for Travel in Iceland

Tour Operator partner for AXCS on this trip


Iceland Weather Forecast Links

Race Organizer recommendation



Isafjordur 14 Day Forecast

Reykjavik 10 Day Forecast


USA Group PDF Files

USA Group Shared Waxing Gear Chart (please fill out if you are bringing something) Iceland emergency plan.pdf


General Travel Planning Links

KEF Airport Arrivals

Natura Hotel Reykjavik




How To Transfer From Airport to Hotels

Here are some instructions from Diana Lynn Rau for everyone arriving prior to Tuesday, 24 April and needing transport to Natura Hotel or the recommended B&B.

These instructions also work in reverse for skiers that need transport back to the airport from Natura or the B&B any time or day after Sunday, 29 April.

NOTE: You will need to make these arrangements on your own or via Diana.

Airport Direct is an option for passengers arriving to the Keflavik international airport. The price is ISK 5.490 per person. No changing of bus required - they do not stop at a bus terminal to change buses. Nature Hotel is located approx. 45 minutes from the airport by car. Duration of the hotel drop off can vary, it depends on how many passenger are in each trip. If you want to book that you can do that here:

The Flybus is another option for passengers arriving to the Keflavik international airport. The Flybus departs from Keflavík Airport 35-40 minutes after each flight arrival. Price for one way is ISK 3.300 per person. Round ticket is ISK 5.900 per person. Nature Hotel is located approx. 45 minutes from the airport by car. When the buses arrives in Reykjavik, they have a quick stop by BSI Bus Terminal to change buses and then start to operate the drop off. The duration of the hotel drop off can as well vary, it depends how many passenger are in each trip. You can book flybus here:



Diana Lynn Rau suggests people arrive prepared to walk around or enjoy the pool facilities. Since check in is 2pm and check out noon, lots can be done in that time. For those insistent on keeping the room, the front desk advises...

Regarding early/late check in/out, we unfortunately cannot guarantee this, however can provide it based on availability on the day of arrival/departure. The cost is 3000isk per room for the early check in and 2000isk per hour, per room for the late check out (untill 15:00 max.) We can store bags if the room is not ready in our storage room (see the bellman), however these would not be able to be kept in there for the duration of the guests stay, just while they wait for check in or after they have checked out (reference to ski bags).


Tuesday, April 24 two-part plan for how we'll embark on our journey north to Isafjordur and the ski region.


Part One Group: Everyone flying into KEF morning of Tuesday, April 24.

--> Our flights all arrive between 6:15-6:45am (JD on the 6:45am JFK Delta arrival).

--> Should be 17 of us arriving that morning, so roughly half our total group.

--> We will collect bags, go through passport control, grab any duty free (note below), get grab-and-go food, and meet as a group outside security.

--> The bus driver will meet us outside customs (first public area for arrivals) at 8:15am. We will load the bus with our gear and plan on driving away at 8:30am assuming all flights are on time. (see worst case plans next section below)


Part Two Group: Everyone already in Reykjavik (mostly at Natura Hotel).

--> You folks can get breakfast at the hotel. It would be wise to buy additional grab-and-go food for the bus ride at local shops either the night prior or morning prior to bus pick-up.

--> The estimate is the bus from the airport with "part one group" will arrive at Natura Hotel by 9:20am, load immediately, and then depart for ski region by 9:30am. P

--> Please everyone at the hotel be ready on-time so this process goes quick!


Team USA heads north!

--> The drive north will take 7-8 hours. It should be incredibly scenic regardless of weather. There will be some restroom and short food pitstops, but the actual "touring" part will be saved for Sunday, April 29.

--> Our anticipated arrival to Isafjordur is 5:30pm. Our group dinner reservation (see reminder below) is at 6:30pm.


Tuesday, 24th Arrival Worst Case Plans For Substantially Delayed Flights

For those scheduled to arrive in Reykjavik before Tuesday, 24th -- you already have a "safety margin" built in for delayed flights. So we will anticipate you folks are all good.

Hopefully it will not happen, but if any of us flying in on Tuesday, 24th are delayed -- here's the official AXCS "worst case" plan....

a. If delayed flights will arrive before 8:45am (2 hours later than our planned last USA flight arrival) and we can confirm USA skiers are on that arrival, we will do our best to delay the bus north departure. There is no guarantee we can delay the bus, but we will try. We are at the mercy of the bus company as to how long we can delay. If there are added costs to delaying the bus, those costs have to be paid by those delayed. IMPORTANT: If your inbound flight is looking delayed by anything substantial, YOU MUST email jd at xcskiworld dot com before you get on your flight to Reykjavik so we know your status, your flight, and the guesstimated delay time!

b. If delayed flights will be substantially after 8:45am arrival with USA skiers on them -- but we have 25+ of our skiers in Reykjavik -- the USA bus will depart as scheduled. The 6:45am JFK Delta flight is the latest flight from a USA gateway every morning into KEF airport so

c. In a worst case scenario that you literally "miss the bus" due to flight delays -- you have two options for getting up to Isafjordur.
Option #1 is to rent a car and drive up.
Option #2 is to arrange a domestic one-way flight up. Note that you do have to taxi over to the domestic airport for domestic flights.

Both worst case options obviously involve added expenses. But if you have travel insurance, you should be able to recover some or all of the cost.

Again, hopefully this will not be a problem and everyone will get to Reykjavik on time or very close so we have a smooth travel day.


Lodging List Res_List Iceland Apr16.pdf Isafjordur_hotels_map.pdf

The people with names shaded in yellow are slated to stay at Hotel Horn in Isafjordur. All of us without names shading will be at Hotel Menntaskolinn.

Breakfast on our first two days will likely be at Hotel Horn for our entire group. It is about an 800m walk between hotels and a bit less for those in the apartment (so consider that your morning warm-up routine).

Breakfast should be offered at both Hotel Menntaskolinn and Hotel Horn the last three mornings.

Breakfast on our first two days will likely be at Hotel Horn for our entire group. It is about an 800m walk between hotels and a bit less for those in the apartment (so consider that your morning warm-up routine).

Breakfast should be offered at both Hotel Menntaskolinn and Hotel Horn the last three mornings.

I have confirmed that both hotels and the apartment have WiFi.

If you want to leave an emergency phone number with family/friends...
Hotel Isafjordur and Menntaskolinn: +354-4564111
For the apartment (and as a backup number for the hotels) they can call our Westfolds office number: +354-4563300




AXCS has closed the trip to any new skiers, the info below is being saved for a future AXCS resource for members doing their own trips to Iceland......


The Fossavatnsgangan (also known as the Fossavatn Ski Marathon or Fossavatn Loppet) is the annual Icelandic Worldloppet event scheduled over the last week of April each year. The Fossavatn is notable as the very last major Nordic-only ski event on the Northern Hemisphere calendar every spring. Because of the relatively early MWC2018 event hosted in Minneapolis, this year only AXCS has a (very) rare chance to offer membership a special AXCS-organized trip to this bucket list event.

Official Fossavatnsgangan Event Website: http://www.fossavatn.com/en

AXCS Travel Package & Basic Trip Plan -- week of April 23-29, 2018
(Note: arrival & departure dates are very flexible).

Sign Up & Deposit Instructions Here: http://www.xcskiworld.com/iceland-2018-sign

For this particular trip, AXCS is partnering with local tour operator Wild West Fjords to arrange the required travel pieces. As with all Masters World Cup trips run by AXCS, National Director J.D. Downing << jd at xcskiworld dot com >> will be your primary contact for all trip arrangements and J.D. also plans to go on the trip to provide additional organizational support as needed. As always, AXCS aims to only cover necessary association expenses to keep your costs as low as possible.

Included in the AXCS Basic Travel Package:
— 5 nights lodging and breakfast in Isafjordur (arrival Tuesday, 24 April — departure Sunday, 29 April);
— bus transport on BOTH Tuesday, 24 April and Sunday, 29 April to/from Reykjavik and Isafjordur ;
— guided one-way tour as part of the April 29th Isafjordur-Reykjavik ground transport journey (7-8 hours);
COST: 170000 ISK per person in a twin/double hotel room or shared apartment -- OR -- 220000 ISK in a single hotel.

Cost Notes: Currency exchange would put these prices at roughly $1700 per person double and $2200 single. Prices are subject to small adjustments (up or down) so that AXCS can match fixed association costs to size of trip.

Added Nights In Reykjavik:
AXCS has researched pricing with both local tour operators and what you can find on-line. Generally we can save money by booking our own hotel rooms for any added nights in Reykjavik vs. going through a tour operator. HOWEVER, a very important item (also listed below under arrival and departure planning) is that we need USA skiers to stay in the same hotel (or at least very close by) so that ground or air shuttle transport on the 24th and 29th will be logistically sensible. AXCS recommends the Natura Reykjavik hotel and that is where most AXCS skiers are staying pre/post ski region travel. Generally on-line searches are showing roughly $190-220 per night for a single or double rate including breakfast at 3-star city hotels.

Tours You Can Add-On In Isafjordur:

Dynjandi Waterfall & The Westfjords Tour -- special 5-6 hour version....16000 ISK (roughly $150) per person.

Isafjordur Bay Kayak -- special 3-4 hour version including waffles at Litlibaer turfhouse....12000 ISK (roughly $115) per person.

Isafjordur Culture Walk -- 1.5-2 hour walking tour of town....6000 ISK (roughly $60) per person.

Tours You Can Add-On In Reykjavik:
There are multiple options for day tours and other adventures out of Reykjavik that are best researched via the various tour companies. https://www.wildwestfjords.com/day_tours/ is the outfit that AXCS will partner with for the ski region trip elements, but is only one of several outfits in Reykjavik. You can find more options doing a little on-line search.

International Air Tickets & Arrival Plans

All AXCS members will need to set up your own international flights. You want to fly in/out of Reykjavik (pretty much no other option). We are already into the time window where you can buy international tickets at any time to the end of April 2018. So if you are 100% sure about this trip and want to lock in air tickets -- feel free to book your flights. A quick web search shows that nationwide tickets from typical USA skier gateway airports to Reykjavik (KEF) are currently in the $600-900 range.

If you require help with air tickets, the AXCS recommended travel agent is Diana Lynn Rau (866.759.6867).

AXCS encourages everyone to fly into Reykjavik no later than the early morning of Tuesday, April 24. It's a shorter journey from the USA than flying to mainland Europe, but you'll still need to plan on leaving the USA the day prior to arrival. If you want to have time to explore Reykjavik before heading to the ski region or if you want a day (or more) time to break up the travel, you can easily add nights to stay in Reykjavik before and/or after our planned group travel to/from Isafjordur (event host town)

To get to the Fossavatnsgangan event area will require one of two domestic travel options.

Option A. -- AXCS is setting up group ground transportation to go from Reykjavik up to Isafjordur (event host town). The bus ride will take roughly 7 hours (assuming no stops on the way north), but reportedly offers a great sightseeing opportunity along the way in itself. Because this is a long bus ride, if you have the time available it is suggested that folks try and fly in to Reykjavik one day before the bus journey to give your body a bit of a travel break (but note you'll need to add one hotel night in Reykjavik).

Option B. -- You can also take a domestic flight (90mins or so) from Reykjavik up to Isafjordur. But AXCS has learned that the drawbacks on this option are that you have to literally change airports in Reykjavik to get on the domestic flight and also that there is substantial risk of domestic flights being cancelled due to bad weather. So if you really want to fly up vs. the bus ride, the smart move is to still have one full day in Reykjavik before you plan to take a domestic flight to the snow.

Important Note: For anyone adding-on nights in Reykjavik before the 24th, we will either need everyone to be in the same Reykjavik hotel (or nearly the same) OR you will need to arrange a shuttle back to the airport for the bus or flight up to Isafjordur. Logistically the tour operator can pick up skiers at a centralized Reykjavik hotel location, but will not be able to pick-up at multiple different Reykjavik hotels.


At The Event Area


-- AXCS has already set up tentative lodging in Isaijordur via a local tour operator for rooms in a variety of hotels and apartments. All lodging will include breakfast.
- 4 rooms at Hotel Horn, all with private bath and possible to upgrade any or all to deluxe.
- 10 rooms at Menntaskolinn Isafjordur, all with private bath (the same rooms used in summer by Hotel Edda Isafjordur).
- 12 rooms at Fisherman Hotel Westfjords, most with private bath and the rest with shared bath (note that this hotel is a 20 minute drive from Isafjordur (so additional transfer arrangements are required).
- Accommodation for up to 15 participants in private apartments in Isafjordur and/or Bolungarvik, with bathrooms shared by 4-8 persons (this is great for families, friend groups and/or a collection of single skiers who don't want to pay for a single room)

-- All lodging options will include breakfast. You'll need to plan on eating lunch either out on your own or getting supplies to eat in your rooms. Dinners will be out on your own, but we'll plan to communicate within the group about trying to do mini-group dinners so everyone has other AXCS members to eat with.

-- All lodging will have basic facilities for waxing on site or a few minutes walk away.

-- Local transportation during the event week is reportedly very easy with a ski bus offered to get folks to/from the short distance from the hotels to actual skiing.

-- Assuming arrival to Isafjordur on Tuesday, April 24 in the late afternoon/early evening, you would have at 1.5 days of skiing before the 25km FS on Thursday evening (you can do an easy ski that morning). The 50km CL is Saturday morning so you'd have 3 days (Weds, Thurs, Fri) of skiing before that event.

-- A big banquet and party is included with the 50km on Saturday so it makes sense to stay the night in Isafjordur. Thus our target departure day from the snow region would be Sunday, April 29.


Departure Plans

-- Currently AXCS plans to set up another charter bus (or vans) to take skiers on the return 7+ hour drive back to Reykjavik. This return trip would be more likely to include a few stops for specific sightseeing opportunities (since the ski events would be done). Those that take the return bus would be best off planning to fly out of Reykjavik no earlier than Monday morning (April 30).

-- Anyone that requires a small trip window can opt for domestic flights on any arrival day and then back to Reykjavik on Saturday PM or Sunday AM to try and catch international flights as early as Sunday AM. But note that you'll again have the complication of switching airports in Reykjavik, dealing with weather delays, etc.. Thus, the domestic flight instead of bus for the return is probably less stressful if you planned your international flight for Monday.

-- Important Note: For anyone adding-on nights in Reykjavik for Sunday the 29th or thereafter, we will either need everyone on the returning ground transport or domestic flight to be in the same Reykjavik hotel (or nearly the same) OR you will need to arrange local transport once we come down from Isafjordur. Logistically the tour operator needs to drop skiers at a centralized Reykjavik hotel location vs. multiple different Reykjavik hotels.