Category Archives: Iceland Sightseeing

“Hot rocks and puffins” Ahartry’s photos around Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

Preview of Ahartry’s blog at TravelPod. Read the full blog here: www.travelpod.com This blog preview was made by TravelPod using the TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow creator. Entry from: Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland Entry Title: “Hot rocks and puffins” Entry: “Slept in a bit. Spent morning doing email — I keep not sleeping well because I’m worried about work and everything I’ve been neglecting with projects there. But it’s too nice of a day to worry about it. So, we departed the hotel and headed for the ferry to the Westerman Islands — which are noted for their golf, their birdlife, and for the 1973 volcanic eruption that nearly eliminated the town and closed off the harbor. Since the town is now the biggest fishing port (and producer of a large proportion of Iceland’s exports), the end of the harbor would have spelled disaster for its inhabitants. Since we don’t golf and have only a passing interest in bird-watching, we intended to focus on the eruption remains. We had no difficulty getting ferry (or “Trebeck”) tickets, or seats in the lounge upstairs … but after the ferry departed, we decided to go outside to watch our approach to the islands. (It was, I should note, a short half-hour and very easy trip over. No seas at all…). As we neared the islands, we started to scare up the sealife. Most amusing were the puffins: they shot out the water looking very much like penguins … except that the puffins would then begin to fly. Pulling into the harbor, we could see where
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Majestic lakes of Iceland

Majestic lakes of Iceland

Article by Bjorn Olav Jonsson

Iceland has got the advantage or we can the windfall of numerous natural and man-made lakes. All lakes here are absolutely clean and glaciers fed. This is the reason why lakes of Iceland have become one of the most important tourist destinations here. Following is the report of two biggest lakes of Iceland.

LAKE THINGVALLAVATN

This is the largest natural lake of Iceland with an area of mammoth 83.7 square kilometers. Its depth is different at different places. At the deepest point it can be as deep  as 114 meters and at some places it is only 13 meters deep. The greatest length of this lake is 14.5 kilometers and width is 9.5 kilometers. Only river generating from this lake is the sogid river. It is a nineteen kilometer long river famous for its rich salmon content. Olfusa is a tributary which connects this lake to Iceland’s biggest glacier. The average flow going to river sog from this lake is about 108 m3/second. The amazing thing about this lake is the catchment area of this lake is 90 % underground and the temperature of the water is somewhere around three to four degrees Celsius entire year. Fishermen coming here for angling on boats are advised to check for the forecast of the weather before coming as the weather of Iceland changes very fast. It is said that on a windy day, it is impossible to stay in this lake as the water becomes so fierce and stern. This lake is about fifty kilometers far from the capital city of Reykjavik and is open for fishing for public for more than four months i.e. from may 1st to September 15th.

LAKE THORISVATN

This was the second largest natural lake of Iceland until it was refurbished into one of the two biggest basins for the power stations on the river Tungnaa and Thjorsa. Its natural cover area was 70 square kilometers but sometimes it can extend up to 86 square kilometers. The water level of this very beautiful lake is 561 and 578 meters above the sea level. Because of the extension of the water area, the vegetation around this lake has disappeared making the surroundings look very barren and infertile. The water of this lake is crystal clear because the water formed from melting of glaciers is directed to this lake. Its first discharge was named Thorisos but it was dammed and a new discharge channel was made all the way down to the first of the two power stations working here at Sigalda. The place where this discharge channel ends, a new man-made lake was formed and it’s very famous throughout Iceland for its big brown trouts. However, the count of fishermen coming here has dropped dramatically after the changes made by natural movements of the earth.

MývatnOther than these two lakes, Lake Myvatn is also very famous as a tourist attraction and as a fishing area in Iceland. The number of fishes caught in this lake is more than any other lake in the whole country and fish can be as much as 20 pounds heavy in weight. Its distance from capital city is around 488 kilometers when covered by a whale bay tunnel.

About the Author

Bjorn Olav Jonsson is a freelance writer. For further information visit the website, 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

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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.

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.