Iceland Customs – What You Should Know Before Your Trip to Iceland

Iceland Customs – What You Should Know Before Your Trip to Iceland

Article by Isabella Olsen

The Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is littered with majestic volcanoes and glaciers. It is also a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, especially bird-watchers and whale-watchers. It is a dream come true for those who love outdoor adventure, as well, since it offers various activities such as horseback riding, skiing and whitewater rafting. Indeed, Iceland is a popular European tourist destination. Before you go on a trip there, though, it is good to learn some of the basic Iceland customs first.

Just like other countries in Europe, it is one of the customs in Iceland to shake hands and say ‘hello’. Kissing each other’s cheeks is acceptable, too, along with wishing each other happiness by saying ‘Sael’ (to a man) or ‘Saell’ (to a woman).

Another Iceland custom is to take off your shoes in the hallway when you enter someone’s home. Also, don’t be surprised if someone asks you to be a guest in his or her house since Icelanders love to have guests. Just make sure you bring a bouquet of flowers or a similar token of appreciation when you show up.

If you have been invited to dine, keep in mind that you don’t need to say grace or express gratitude before meals like the French or the Japanese. Rather, follow customs in Iceland by eating heartily then thanking your host afterwards by shaking his hand.

Keep in mind, too, that believing in mysterious or ‘hidden’ beings such as elves and trolls is part of the traditions in Iceland, so don’t bring up the subject about them casually. Indeed, most of the unique and sometimes bizarre rock formations in Iceland is attributed to elves or trolls, Elf ‘habitats’ are protected, as well.

Tipping, on the other hand, is not one of the Iceland customs, whether you’re in a hotel or a restaurant. This is something you’ll be happy to know since prices are relatively steep in Iceland compared to the countries in mainland Europe.

Are you planning on spending Christmas in Iceland? If so, make sure to practice saying ‘Gleileg jol gott og fars!’ first, which is the local Christmas greeting. Keep in mind, too, that it is part of the traditions in Iceland to have long Christmas holidays – 26 days, to be specific. There are 13 Santa Clauses, too!

These are just some of the most common Iceland customs. True, there may be no law requiring you to follow them, but there is no harm in doing so. In fact, you might just be rewarded with a rich cultural experience and a more meaningful trip to Iceland.

About the Author

Isabella Olsen is a writer for various travel magazines who has toured global tourist destinations, including Iceland, by car. To book your Iceland car hire or learn more about car rental worldwide, visit www.zencarhire.com.

Things to Do on Holidays in Iceland

Things to Do on Holidays in Iceland

Article by Suzel taber shaw

Europe has always been a favourite holiday spot for people from across the world. There are many areas in Europe that are hotspots for tourism and one such place that is growing in popularity year on year is Iceland. With its many Fjords, majestic mountains, blue lagoons and beautifully clean cities Iceland is an amazing place to spend your holiday.

Finding a perfect location to stay in Iceland is not that difficult, but making sure that you get to all the places you want to see in comfort can be a much trickier task. Exotic Iceland really makes the perfect destination for any holiday, and good planning is essential. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterized by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many big glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands.

Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is home to many volcanic mountains and glaciers which provide magnificent scenery for tourists. You can even get away from the city noise and chill out on one of the luxury beaches of Iceland. It is an island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean between mainland Europe and Greenland. There are ample opportunities for the budding photographer to snap rare birds, wildlife in its natural environment or the beautiful rolling landscapes that make Iceland a favourite holiday choice to the many visitors that return there every year. If you have never spent a holiday in Iceland then you are truly missing out on a wonderful experience and a most relaxing time. There are many choices of luxury hotel accommodation with the very best amenities. Whatever you decide make sure that you investigate the many opportunities that Iceland has to offer for holidaymakers. Beautiful scenic views and fresh sea air will revive even the most tired traveller and help recharge the batteries.

There are many Things to Do on Holidays in Iceland like whale-watching, kayaking and horseback riding. You can indulge in exciting activities or you can just relax and enjoy the surroundings and have a peaceful holiday. You can also explore the Island and see all the wildlife or take a boat trip and indulge in some fishing or a cruise through some of the fjords. Taberhols.co.uk is a website that specialises in holidays to Iceland and the surrounding countries, and is full of information regarding each location as well as having friendly staff more than willing to share their own experiences and knowledge of the area.

Talk to Taber Holidays and let them help you plan your perfect holiday to Iceland.

About the Author

Suzel taber shaw is the author of the article. Suzel company provides holidays & vacations in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Scandinavia & Sweden at best pricesMailing Address:Taber Holidays, PO Box 176, Tofts House, Tofts Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, BD19 3WX, UKEmail: info@taberhols.co.ukwebsite: http://www.taberhols.co.uk

The strong culture and heritage of Iceland

The strong culture and heritage of Iceland

Article by Dagur Jonsson

Iceland is a country located in the north of Europe. The surprising thing about Iceland is that although entire Europe is connected with a very good network of railways, this is a country which can be accessed only by air transport or sea transport. The culture of this country is full of amazing colors. Infact it was because of the culture and somewhere the expectation of freedom and adventure that motivated early Vikings to settle here way back in ninth century.

Basically, it is believed that Icelanders are of Scandinavian origin with a small mixture of Celtic blood. Even now also, for every individual in Iceland, their freedom and self-respect is the thing the matters the most. The political stability is displayed in the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy. Tourists going to Iceland will notice a fact that most of Icelanders are of a classless society and that they still have a very strong literary tradition. Interest for cultural heritage of Iceland is inbuilt in every child that takes birth there and probably, this is the reason why the cultures and traditions of Iceland look very fresh. People of Iceland consider cultures and traditions as the identity of their older generations and a treasure for the generations to come. This statement is very strongly supported by the writings in Icelandic sagas and literary writing works of medieval period. Remember that these works are regarded as the classics of the world literature. Creative arts and performing arts are thriving very successfully in Iceland and it’s very heartening and motivating to see this in a land which has total population of just around three hundred thousand.

It is believed there, that the culture of Iceland is as broad as its landscape. Let me tell you that Iceland has much more than raw and unspoiled nature. Icelandic Writers, composers, actors, artists and musicians, all are very famous in the world. Some of these famous names are the names of Halldor Laxness, Jon Leifs, Kristjan Johansson, Sigur Ros and Bjork. The first class attractions of Iceland include the very famous Reykjavik art festival, the museums and the restaurants made in ancient arts. In addition to these, there are various art galleries and museums in and around Reykjavik area. The good thing about Iceland is that every region there have its own museum [urban and rural] to display the local history and facts about the atmosphere of that region. No doubt, museum of every region is worth a visit which can give you a closer view of Icelandic life and culture of both past age and present age. There are more than 15 public and private libraries in the capital area of Reykjavik. The most famous are the National and University Library of Iceland and Headquarters of Municipal Library. Every book and document related to Iceland’s past, present and future are available here.

In the past few years, music of Iceland has broken its shackles and spread all around the world and this is all because of huge success and fame gained throughout the world by some superstar musicians of Iceland like Sigur Ros, Mum, Mugison, Bjorg and The Sugar cubes. However, Iceland is not short of artists of classical, jazz, folk, experimental, dance, pop and rock music. There are many music stores in the shopping malls in Reykjavik which can provide you the huge variety of Icelandic music right from sixties to present date.

Although Iceland is considered a much unknown country to the world but the culture and the art is not unknown, Infact it is creating waves and the world of arts and cultures.

About the Author

Dagur Jonsson is the editor of Iceland Guest, a website specializing in tourist information for travelers to Iceland. For more information visit www.icelandguest.com

Iceland Tours to See Natural Wonders

Iceland Tours to See Natural Wonders

Article by Vikki Beale

Escorted tours to Iceland’s unusual countryside are a great way to discover this wonderful landscape. You can take tours of Iceland’s valleys, fjords, lava fields, mountains, waterfalls and geysers, as well as its cultural sites. Iceland guided tours provide a perfect introduction to this interesting destination.

Iceland’s countryside seems always to be changing. A field of ice one day could be a lake the next; a waterfall may be an icy trickle one day and a roaring stream another. Depending on the season, fjords may be dotted with islands among serene waters or jammed with strange sculptures of floating ice. With a landscape in flux, escorted tours to Iceland’s landmarks and geographical features are one of the best ways to learn about the interesting things you will see in this amazing country.

The Glaciers, Geysers & Waterfalls Tour

An example of a six-day escorted tour to Iceland is the ‘Glaciers, Geysers and Waterfalls’ tour, which packs many natural wonders into your Iceland holiday. You’ll tour Iceland’s national parks on the southern shore, including the breathtaking Skaftafell.

Skaftafell is a vast protected area with large volcanic mountains, open plains and the giant Vatnajökull, which is the largest mass of ice you are ever likely to see (unless you make it to the Arctic or Antarctic). Being the largest icecap in Europe, Iceland tours are sure to take you to see the dramatic glacial spurs at its edge.

Iceland guided tours will take you to the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon in Skaftafell. On a sunny day, if you position yourself at the correct angle to the sun, the light will catch the sediments in the water and make the lagoon appear a spectacular turquoise. The icebergs can be many colours: sometimes they will appear dazzling white, or tainted with black volcanic dust, or glowing a bright blue. If the temperature is right you may see crystalline, clear ice shapes in the water.

In Hot Water

After all that ice, you may want your Iceland guided tour to warm you up a little. For this, you’ll visit a geothermal pool for an open air swim in waters heated by underground volcanic rock. This is a fun activity, and a common feature on many escorted tours to Iceland.

Waterfalls

The main waterfall you will see on Iceland guided tours is Gullfoss. Be amazed at the large volumes of water that fall over Gulfoss’s staggered steps and hammer into a deep crevice in the ground. As you can imagine, it is a popular site for visitors.

Planning an Iceland Tour

There’s no need to worry about organising accommodation since it will be arranged as part of the tours. Iceland’s tour guides speak English and are able to explain what you are seeing, describing the geological or cultural significance of the many landmarks you will come across.

Some operators of escorted tours to Iceland are able to adapt or modify their itineraries to suit what you would like to see, and have tour managers who will create an itinerary especially for you. This means you can put together tailor made Iceland tours based upon your choice of the destinations mentioned earlier, as well as many more.

About the Author

Vikki Beale is a holiday expert for iceland2go, a specialist operator providing a selection of itineraries for the best tours Iceland can provide. We arrange luxury holidays and tailor-made escorted tours to Iceland and Greenland, with sights including glaciers, geysers, fjords, and the Northern Lights.

Training Your Icelandic Horse to the Clippers

Training Your Icelandic Horse to the Clippers

Article by Judy Ryder

Training To The Clippers

Depending on where you live, and how much you ride your horse, your Icelandic Horse / Pony may need to be clipped.

It is advisable to train your pony to the clippers, and doing so with clicker training is very helpful, and done without stress.

It was so warm today, Christmas, at 80 degrees, and our young Icelandic Horse (Pony) filly was sweating!

The Icelandic Horse filly is two and a half years old, a palomino, named Charm, with a short thick dense coat.

I decided to take some time to clicker train her to the clippers and started with the small, light weight Vidal Sasson clippers that are much quieter than the large animal clippers.

We started with targeting (she touched the clippers with her nose, then she gets a click and treat); and the game of “can I touch you here?”, where she gets a click and treat if she allows the clippers to touch her neck, back, chest, stomach, etc. Of course, we started with the clippers in the off position.

In a short time, since she was calm and had no problems being touched and touching the clippers, I turned them on, and went thru the same routine with them on. Not clipping, but just letting her get the feel of the vibration of the clippers. Click and treat, and all is well.

Finally, even tho they are very light-weight clippers and they don’t cut well, I clipped some of the hair on her neck and chest as a prelude to using the bigger clippers at a later time.

She did very well; stood at liberty, and napped a little.

Subsequently, I brought out the A-5 Oster clippers and trimmed some of the long hairs in her top coat, but the A-5’s are not big enough to get through her thick undercoat. The big honkin’ clippers will come out at the next opportunity!

http://iceryder.net/trainclip.html

About the Author

Judy Ryder is a long-time gaited horse owner, student of natural horsemanship, gaited horses and gaits, and of human-horse relationships.