Iceland: Untamed and Tourist-Friendly

Iceland: Untamed and Tourist-Friendly

Article by Vicki Landes

Oozing volcanoes, thousands of earthquakes, and countless exploding geysers you can set your watch by – it doesn’t sound like a coveted vacation destination. However, Iceland is quickly becoming the newest hot spot for travelers. Just a hop from the U.S.’s East Coast or Western Europe, this little island country is easier to visit than one would think.

Iceland’s attraction is its untamed countryside. Considering that most of this rugged island is uninhabitable, this leaves much open space and fresh air to the brave adventurer for exploring. The landscape is forever changing as the shifting continental plates refuse to give this country a moment of rest. Stand in awed before raging waterfalls and frozen glaciers, hike deep volcanic craters and rocky lava fields, even enjoy ice fishing, whale watching, puffin and other sea bird watching, kayaking and jet-boating. Iceland can be easily discovered with the help of local tour companies – the only question the tourist must answer is if they prefer to go by bus, snowmobile, or gentle Icelandic horse.

Not into roughing it? Iceland will still satisfy – the country is rich in cultural treasures, indulgences, and a serious patron of the arts. Savor a gourmet meal at a world-class restaurant, take in the unique artistic styles at a museum, learn about the tectonic plates and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at a geological center, enjoy one of many musical concerts by local, national, or international talent, or soak your cares away in the steamy Blue Lagoon. The lagoon is probably Iceland’s most famous destination as an oasis of heat amid its chilly surroundings. Heated by geothermal energy, the intense cloudy blue waters feel almost scalding at times and are chock-full of healthy minerals. Troughs of soft white silica mud sit warm in the water for visitors to slather on – all while enjoying the balmy sunbeams and the crystal clear sky.

Despite its seemingly cold and uninviting name, Iceland boasts a mixture of friendly people, fascinating traditions, and an unsurpassed landscape. Need to get out?

See pictures of Iceland and more of Europe’s hidden treasures in “Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal” by Vicki Landes. Available at Amazon.com and other major bookseller sites.

www.EuropeForTheSenses.com

About the Author

Vicki Landes has been soaking up Europe for almost seven years. Although educated in music and holding a day job in the humanitarian assistance field, her free time is spent supporting her travel and photography addictions. With a current list of 45 countries under her belt, Landes strives to find the overlooked details that make each place distinctive and unique. She currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany with her military husband and their son.

Exploring the west of Iceland

Exploring the west of Iceland

Article by Asberg Jonsson

Set on the edge of Arctic Circle and lying in the one of the world’s most active hotspots of volcanoes, Iceland is growing in its popularity day by day in terms of tourism because of mixture of glaciers, hot springs and rugged fjords. Tourism in Iceland is also getting flourished by activities like hiking in midnight sun and taking bath in splendid blue lagoons. Let us see what WEST ICELAND has got in its store.

Travelers towards west Iceland will not feel the scarcity of sights, relaxations, entertainment and outdoor activities. Outdoor activities includes events like swimming, golf, hiking, touring on horseback, watching nature and some unseen species of birds are some from the endless list. It is said about west Iceland that beauty is everywhere and peace of nature is a complimentary gift with that peace. Every village and town of west Iceland has its own special mention in travel brochures in Iceland.

An area called Hvalfjordur is very famous here in west Iceland because it contains some scenes from the dreadful saga of the Helga Haraldsdottir. Every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors which includes Glymur waterfall is available. Mountains are present to challenge the hikers. The Second World War has left some ruins of British and American naval stations in this part of Iceland. The shoreline here has quite a big quantity of birdlife. Some reefs here provide resting and mating place for seals. There is no doubt the nature fanatics will enjoy roaming here in hvalfjorour.

The Akrafjall Mountain situated in akranes, not only provides attractive scenery but also the shelter for the tourists. It’s very easily accessible and the view from the top is simply unforgettable. This area has everything to give, whether tourist wants to enjoy indoor or outdoor. The museum at garoar is a must visit place here. It contains some ancient samples of fishing boat of the akranes. The cluster of five museums makes it a very important place for those who want to learn about history, culture and nature of Iceland.

Borgarfjordur region is Iceland’s most prosperous region and is situated here in west Iceland. The village called Borgarnes has some very good attractions for tourists. Some very good swimming and outdoor activity options are present here. The valley in which this region lies is the main center of culture, horses and geothermal energy. Deildartunguhver is a hot spring with the most powerful flow in Europe and it is situated here in west Iceland. One can appreciate the beauty and magical power of nature in Snaefallsnes peninsula. No visitor can ever forget the ravishing colors and the geological formations in the national ark of Snaefellsnes. Amarstapi offers huge attractions for tourists sea cliffs, bird life and the very special, glacier capped volcano and it is considered as the earth’s most powerful place in terms of spiritual energy. The beaches of Longufjorur are considered the best place for horse-riding in whole Iceland.

These are west Iceland’s some of the most famous tourist attraction and the list are endless with some powerful destinations waiting to be explored and mentioned. No doubt there are many like these.

About the Author

Asberg Jonsson is the manager of Iceland Visitor, a company specializing in packages for Vacation in Iceland and day tours in Iceland. For more information visit www.icelandvisitor.com

Search Engine Marketing in Iceland

Search Engine Marketing in Iceland

Article by David Brooks

Iceland is most likely not on your radar screen when it comes to search engine marketing, but don’t overlook this growing, prosperous country when it comes to client development.

I lived in Iceland for 2 years from 2004-2006 and during my time there I was quite surprised by the Icelandic economy. I was employed by a large engineering firm that was involved with large, multinational construction projects in the development and expansion of aluminum smelting plants as well as hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. I was hired to do business communications and marketing for this firm and along the way, once word got out that I specialized in Internet Marketing, I was approached by several companies interested in promoting their respective goods and services to the larger world.

Iceland is a very small country with a population of roughly 300,000 people. It is so small that it makes you wonder how they have such a strong economy. But what few people know is that Iceland has a very educated workforce, unique natural resources, deep involvement in high tech and genetic research and a growing tourism trade. What I discovered, in short, was that Iceland has a lot going for it.

One of the items that I was closely aligned with is the knowledge transfer of Iceland’s years developing geothermal power schemes. These power plants are a major part of what is fueling the economy. This source of cheap electricity has brought extensive development of power intensive industries like aluminum smelting. And, in a world of rising global energy costs, many countries are looking to exploit their geothermal power potential and they are tapping Icelandic engineering and power companies for their experience.

Software development is also strong in Iceland and I had the pleasure of working for a well-known game developer. They were hungry to market their online game to the larger world and I helped them develop an Internet Marketing strategy using natural and paid search. I worked with this company until they were large enough to contract with a large advertising agency. Now this company has combined with a large US game publisher and their collective futures are bright.

I also had, and continue to have, the pleasure of working for several companies in the tourism industry. Iceland, with its unique and beautiful nature, is fast becoming a popular tourist destination. These companies offer everything from hiking and trekking tours to jeep tours and overnight tours into the beautiful outback.

One of the great pleasures of working with companies in this far-off land is the personal nature in which business is conducted. Business is done face-to-face and personal networking is everything. And, Icelanders are so willing to help you make business connections. I have been in many meetings where, the person would say, “I know someone who could really use this service, let’s call him right now.” Meetings were very informal and top executives were available, responsive and approachable. And, due to the small size of this country, your reputation and name can spread fast. An additional bonus for is that pay rates in Iceland are quite high. I have even been told that I needed to raise my rates because Icelanders are used to paying top dollar for professional consulting, low hourly rates are almost seen as a sign of inexperience. That is not to say that I am advocating overcharging people or companies. But this was, at least to me, a valuable lesson in knowing the value of your experience. All-in-all, my time in Iceland was some of the most professionally rewarding years of my life.

The demand for Iceland search engine marketing is growing and DSB Internet Marketing is dedicated to offering professional SEO Consulting to this unique nation. – David Brooks

About the Author

David Brooks is a San Diego-based SEO consultant.

Southern Iceland, shaped forces of nature

Southern Iceland, shaped forces of nature

Article by Dagur Jonsson

Iceland, in current scenario, is more connected to fun and adventure rather than dark and chilly days and nothing to do. It is a far better place for tourists now than it was two decades back. This mid-Atlantic European island is the closest neighbor to North America with flight duration of only four and a half hours. One thing can be said for sure. There are more than expected adventures and activities waiting for everyone. The most electrifying thing about Iceland is the weather. In January the temperature will very easily go below 0 degrees but still the Icelander’s welcome for every visitor is very warm in every season.

EggiðRugged and raw lava fields which are just few centuries old, gives a very warm welcome for visitors who arrive at Keflavík airport which is located in southern part of Iceland. These lava fields spread till the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula area. All in all it can be said that right from getting out of the airport, spectacular and amazing sights can be seen. Southern Iceland is full of surprises and new revelations on every step. Let us reveal some of those surprises.

Geothermal activities are very frequently visible in south Iceland in hot springs and especially the blue lagoons. Í bl.lóninu2Blue lagoon is probably the most illustrious bathing spot situated in the lava field. It is said that its water is full of minerals and that water is famous for health related qualities. South Iceland is the perfect destination for a day tour from Reykjavik and for those tourists who are short of time to explore the country in depth as it provides all opportunities for birdlife watching and whale watching along with some very well known sea shores.

Þingvallabærinn

South Iceland has variety of day tours to offer and that too from the capital Reykjavik. The tourist destination called “golden circle” is a must visit place for all the tourists coming to this part of Iceland. The main attraction is Thingvellir where it is believed that the earliest arrivers set an assembly way back in 930 A.D. this assembly is now called the oldest parliament of the world. This city of Thingvellir is also very famous for its natural beauty with a lake and numerous rifts that shows the signs of continental plates of America and Eurasia. Golden circle’s other two main attractions are the Gullfoss, “the golden falls” and the geothermal fields of Geysir. Gullfoss is a two tier waterfall in the gulch of the river Hvita and the hot springs are famous as it vomits boiling water and steam after every five minutes. Another geyser called “the old faithful” has started erupting again after sleeping for many years.

Landmannalaugar_poolLandmannalaugar is also very famous tourist destination as it is a hotbed of geothermal activities. It is also very famous for its springs and for colors of its landscapes and mountains. Situated in interiors in south Iceland is the Lakagigar crater series inland form Kirkjubaejerklaustur. It is famous as it produced the biggest lava flow in the historical times anywhere around the world. This event happened during the Skaftar eruptions in 1783.

All these forces of nature are responsible not only for shaping southern Iceland but also the life of the people living here. In earlier times, people here believed that the peak part of mount Hekla is the gate of hell.

Út í EyjarIn the southern most part, the Vestman Island is the home for continuous earthquakes. The history of southern Iceland is very rich and it is seen everywhere. Starting from range of Sage period farm houses at Stong it goes to the old bishop seat of Skalholt and also to the very popular regional museum at Skogar. All these are considered very unique in their respective fields.

Iceland is the perfect place for relieving yourself and taking a step on the European settlement and that too with a very electrifying, vigorous and a very ancient but a very personal living culture. You will feel as if you are in your home or your city as you are free to walk around, go shopping and exploring for new things.

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

Seven interesting attractions of Iceland for a quick trip

Seven interesting attractions of Iceland for a quick trip

Article by Asberg Jonsson

Iceland is not too far from the eastern coast of North America and even more closer to Western Europe. Hence, its position between North America and Europe makes it a perfect weekend destination. In all, it can be said without any doubt that Iceland is a cool and an inexpensive place for an interesting holiday time. Following are some important and top tourist attractions in Iceland.

Lake Myvatn Conservation Area – this area was declared a special conservation area in 1974. Now it has become a major tourist attraction of Iceland because of some rare natural sights available in this area. This area is Iceland’s most active area in terms of geology. Bubbly mud flats, volcanic craters, newly formed lava fields, crowded bird life, blue lake, everything is present here. One of Europe’s fiercest and tallest waterfalls “the waterfall of god” is also in this park. This waterfall falls from the elevation of 163 meters.

The Vestmann islands – this area of Iceland is also known as the “paradise at the end of the world”. This place is worth watching because the youngest island of this world, “surtsey” is located here. This island appeared as in 1963, a volcano busted from the waves. Special tours are arranged for this particular part of Iceland.

Snaefellsnes peninsula/ Snaefellsjokull glacier – this glacier is around 60 kilometers far from the capital city. The notable thing is that still it is visible from Reykjavik. The peninsula of snaefellsnes is an eye-catching and supernatural landscape full of lava caves, waterfalls and hot springs. It is also a source of some very beautiful towns and farms. One can enjoy spectacular and extraordinary coastal views in this part of Iceland.

Thingvellir – this is Iceland’s most important place. This is the place where Iceland’s parliament was formed. One of the spectacular sites here is the cliff which is overlooking the parliament. Lake Thingvallavtn is another place to look for here. It is the world’s biggest supernatural lake and you can enjoy fishing there. Hiking through the wonderful landscapes of thingvellir is one of the major tourist attractions.

Blue lagoon – this destination has the honor to be the most clicked destination of Iceland. It is a man made lagoon and has a temperature of around 40 degree Celsius. It is believed there that its water has a blessing from god and can cure many diseases especially psoriasis. Whether it is summer or the winter, bathing in this lagoon is a breath taking experience. Geysers – this very famous natural tourist destination is located close to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. It is overall a three square kilometer area. “Geyser spouting spring” the world’s largest geyser is situated here. Another small spring called ‘strokkur’ is the centre of attraction in this area. This small geyser erupts continuously at the intervals of five to ten minutes. This whole area is full of many small pools.

Skogar folk museum – This is a very famous museum and is another major landmark of Iceland. This museum has a collection of over six thousand articles connected to ancient Icelandic history.

These are seven most famous places one should go while on a tour to Iceland. Of course Iceland is full of amazing sites and sounds with breath taking natural beauty and ideally you should spend a much longer time in Iceland to truly feel the rich experience that this country gives out to its visitors.

About the Author

Asberg Jonsson is the manager of Iceland Visitor, a company specializing in packages for Vacation in Iceland and day tours in Iceland. For more information visit www.icelandvisitor.com

FAQ’s on Iceland’s Northern Lights

FAQ’s on Iceland’s Northern Lights

Article by Vikki Beale

nordurljos-kaldarsel-snaevarr-gudmundsson

 

If you’re thinking of taking a northern lights tour then there really is nowhere better than Iceland to see the mythical Aurora Borealis. Iceland is placed in the most active part of the Aurora Ovals, which means that the Northern Lights can almost always be seen during the winter months just as long as the skies are clear. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions on Iceland’s Northern Lights.

What are the Northern Lights?

Iceland’s Northern Lights are naturally occurring phenomena which happen as a result of gas produced by solar activity on the surface of the sun. When this gas hits earth it reacts with the earth’s magnetic field causing the frissons of colour which we call the Aurora Borealis.

When is the best time to see Iceland’s Northern Lights?

If you thinking of taking a Northern Lights tour in Iceland, then the best time to see these natural phenomena is during the colder periods of September through to March. Iceland’s long daylight hours make it almost impossible to view the Aurora during the summer months.

Time-wise, the best time to see Iceland’s Aurora Borealis is around midnight when Iceland’s Aurora Oval is said to pass over the observer.

Where is the best place to take a Northern Lights holiday?

To be in with the best chance of viewing Iceland’s Northern Lights you need to ensure that you are staying in an area free from any light pollution. Therefore, you need to venture out of large cities and towns into Iceland’s natural wilderness. A popular location with both locals and tourists alike is the 4* Hotel Ranga, which is located just over an hour’s drive from the centre of Reykjavik. The hotel manager, Bjorn Erikkson, conducts daily tours of Iceland’s Northern lights and with his year’s of experience, is considered to be something of an expert on the subject. The 360 degree aerial views and mountain backdrops also help to provide the perfect setting for Iceland’s stunning Aurora Borealis.

How long do Iceland’s Aurora Borealis displays last?

Typically Iceland’s Northern Light displays last for just a couple of minutes and occur a few times a night. However, large displays that last up to three hours have also been observed, although they are far less frequent. The amount of energy that is produced during these larger displays is said to be the equivalent of a small nuclear explosion.

Are there any myths or folklore surrounding Iceland’s Northern Lights?

There are plenty and your guide will almost certainly regale you with many of them during your Northern lights tour. The Aurora feature prominently in Inuit and Norse mythology and are even mentioned in the Old Testament. In Iceland it was also once believed that if pregnant women gazed at the Aurora then their children would be born cross-eyed.

What colours are Iceland’s Northern Lights?

Iceland’s Aurora Borealis respond to the different gases in the ionosphere. Whilst oxygen atoms will produce red and green light, nitrogen molecules produce a violet light. The differing colours relate to how far up in the ionosphere the gases are produced. The most common colour seen in Iceland’s Northern lights is green.

 

About the Author

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

Private Guides and Private Tours in Iceland

Private Guides and Private Tours in Iceland

Article by Ingi Jon Sverrisson

Private Tours in Iceland

TOUR.IS arranges a range of comprehensive Iceland private tours for individuals or small groups. Our private tour guide can also arranges a pick-up at arrival at Keflavik Airport and drop-off at departure. We are prepared to make a tailor made proposals of how to spend your time in Iceland with the aim of getting the utmost out of your stay.

For a more comfortable private guided tours, we also operate vehicles, suitable for both the paved roads and for rough highland trails. We are experts at arranging unusual itineraries for your stay in Iceland. Let us plan your next private guided tour in Iceland.

Enjoy the Freedom – Book your Iceland private tours

Whether you are for an instance on a business trip or prefer to plan a part of your stay yourself, our private tour guide can also organize a day trips or part of your stay in Iceland.

TOUR.IS base is in Reykjavik but we operate in all of Iceland. We provide you an extensive collection of Iceland private tours with a professional guide so that you don’t miss anything.

Our proposed itineraries can be adjusted to your personal interests in order to get the most out of your stay in Iceland. The main attraction for most visitors is the beautiful and mostly unspoiled nature of Iceland.

While some visitors may have special interests, like Bird Watching, Hiking, Horse riding, the Viking Period, Icelandic Sagas or Geology, to name a few – and we will of course fit in your special interest when making your own special itinerary.

Our private guided tours for small groups or individuals are mostly based on the “Driver-Guide” concept, which means that our guides are also experienced professional drivers, with extensive knowledge of various subjects such as History, Geology, Fauna and Flora, Arts and contemporary Iceland.

All our private tours in Iceland are carefully selected in order to allow our clients to enjoy as much of Iceland’s unique landscape as possible. Detailed proposals and quotations for tailor made tours will be made upon request.

About the Author

Ingi Jon Sverrisson is the Manager of TOURIS. He is an seasoned tour guide with years of experience in touring Icelands highlands and lowlands. Ingi Jon Sverrisson has long experience in planning and organizing all kinds of tours and activities for individuals and groups in Iceland.