Category Archives: Reykjavik Iceland

LAUGAVEGUR

In 2003 Reykjavík’s down town and especially Laugavegur, its main shopping street, seemed more like a ghost town than bustling centre. Many shops and boutiques had moved up town to malls where the weather is more stable and parking space in plenty. Icelanders like to do their shopping in their cars. But, Laugavegur had seen its worst day and fortunately bounced back. A FILM BY Kristinn Petursson. MUSIC: Rainbirds by Tom Waits. MORE AT www.romarvefurinn.is

“Reykjavik City Tour” Wareameye’s photos around Reykjavík, Iceland

A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to Reykjavík, Iceland by TravelPod blogger Wareameye titled “Reykjavik City Tour”. TravelPod is a company of TripAdvisor™. Wareameye’s travel blog entry: “Tuesday, August 5, 2008 Reykjavik City Tour Dear Readers: The rest of the group arrives on time this morning, with no luggage hassles, and make it to the hotel by 8am for breakfast before our city tour. We have a woman guide who was born and raised here in Reykjavik, and takes us to the most interesting parts of the city. One of our first stops is close to the hotel. It is the home/studio of one of Iceland’s most famous sculptors, Asmundur Sveinsson, who lived from 1893 – 1982. An unusual structure, it is surrounded by many of his works which were inspired by Iceland’s fantastic sagas and folklore. Down by the waterfront, we grab a group photo by the Viking ship sculpture several of us visited at sunset last night. Another stop is at the house where Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev met in 1986. That meeting is regarded by historians as the beginning of the end of the Cold War. The iconic symbol of Reykjavik, the Lutheran Church with the tall spire, is undergoing renovation, but we go to the top for good views over the city. Even better views are available from the “Pearl,” which is a domed restaurant sitting on top of the city’s huge tanks of water heated by geothermal activity. Our brief orientation tour also includes visits to the harbor to see the whaling ships which

Landmarks For a Reykjavik Holiday

Landmarks For a Reykjavik Holiday

Article by Vikki Beale

On a city break to Reykjavik you are sure to enjoy the city’s unique architecture and landmarks that reflect the distinctive landscape that you’ll explore on your Iceland holidays. Reykjavik has historic and modern buildings to visit, all of which have a style that is uniquely Icelandic.

hallgrimskirkja-2Hallgrimskirkja Church

One landmark that you will always be aware of on your city break to Reykjavik is the striking tower of Hallgrimskirkja Church. As one of the tallest buildings you’ll see on your Reykjavik holiday, reaching a height of 73 metres, it is an unmistakeable presence. The church, which is mostly white, has an unusual design with a skirt that cascades down from the spire merging into the ribbed walls. This has the effect of making the church resemble a space shuttle about to launch, although the intent of the designer was to emulate the texture of the basalt lava fields that you can see throughout the country. Whatever you make of it, the views of the city from the top are unrivalled, and you may be lucky enough to catch one of the classical concerts that are occasionally held here. If you like the sound of the Hallgrimskirkja, one of Reykjavik’s hotels called ‘Adam’ is just next door.

HöfðiHofdi House

A less assuming building, but just as important, is the Hofdi House. The house is a hundred years old, with white wooden facia, and distinctive gables, a look that strikes a balance between respectability and quaintness. This was the venue for the historic summit of Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev where in 1986 they set about ending the Cold War, and it is not open to the public because it is still used for the municipal business of Reykjavik. Holidaymakers should still take a look, however; a millionaire from Japan thought it so pretty that he had a copy of it made for his own use.

RáðhúsiðCity Hall

If you enjoy the atmosphere of official buildings, the City Hall is worth a visit too. You can access this building all week and make use of the cafe and see the art exhibitions. The City Hall, where the Mayor of Reykjavik does his nine to five, is set on the edge of Lake Tjornin, and is another example of interesting architecture. The water seems to rise up to meet the glass walls, as do the swans and ducks, which you can see paddling around the walkways and the curved modern building. One of the halls contains a map worth looking at as you begin your holidays: Iceland and Reykjavik modelled in large scale so you can walk around it and give yourself a sense of the island’s shape.If you like the City Hall’s glassy and shiny design, you might do well to choose the 4th Floor Hotel from the Reykjavik hotels available. It has a similar contemporary feel with modern styled interior.

EsjanMount Esja

But you shouldn’t spend too much time inside on your holiday in Reykjavik, indeed a city break to Reykjavik need not be restricted to the urban areas. Mount Esja hangs in the distance across the water, and since the city has relatively few tall buildings, the mountain imposes itself on the horizon. Mount Esja is a popular place to walk and the routes are forgiving in terms of difficulty, rewarding hikers with amazing views of the countryside.

grasagardurThe Laugardalur Valley

The Laugardalur Valley, where the city keeps its sports fields and stadium, zoo and botanical gardens is another place to take in nature while on your city break to Reykjavik. A popular feature is the outdoor hot spring pool where you can swim throughout the seasons in the comfort of naturally heated water. The Reykjavik Art Museum is located here, another idiosyncratic construction of minimalist white domes, blocks and sloped walls.

No matter which of the quality Reykjavik hotels you choose, there will be dramatic landmarks to see nearby. Be sure to take a walk in the city to soak up the local character and culture on your Reykjavik and Iceland holidays.

About the Author

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

Endless Days of Summer

Endless Days of Summer

Article by Black Tomato

‘Iceland’ is pretty hot right now. (And we don’t just mean its natural springs). Sick of cloudy days and dismal evenings? How about some late summer days with 20hrs of straight daylight and a non-stop party atmosphere to go with it? Yep, this is a city break with a big difference. Not many capital cities just a stones throw away can boast bubbling thermal pools and dramatic frozen glaciers, and this is just the tip of the iceberg…

Quad bike across the rugged landscape, scuba dive between tectonic plates, or head into the wild on a snowmobile (ok maybe wait for the snow to return first). And if that isn’t your thing how about a more laid back weekend break spent immersing yourself in the nightlife, art galleries and designer boutiques of achingly cool Reykjavik?

As night falls, another type of adventure begins – Icelanders are experts in the cutting edge nightlife. Staying in the fashionable Hotel 101 you’ll be very well placed to make the most of this city’s hotspots. And to make sure you track down the best restaurants, bars and clubs get a helping hand from Black Tomato and their local knowledge service. After all, what better way to clear your head after a sampling some of the city’s stylish bars than with a ski session or a dip in the beautiful blue lagoon?If you’re still thirsty for action we reckon there’s a lot more to this mysterious island that you’ll love…Feed your spiritual side as you gaze at the majestic northern lights or spend late summer days hiking the rugged landscapes of Thingvellir National Park, where the neon sunsets are so extraordinary you’ll probably start to think you’re on the moon.

For enviable Kodak moments get snap happy at Hallgrimskirkja Church, Reykjavik’s highest and most imposing structure, or climb the Vatnajökull Glacier. The landscape here is some of the most beautiful in the world.

Make this beautiful country the spot for your chic weekend break any time of the year. Find out more at Black Tomato

About the Author

Luxury bespoke travel company Black Tomato

Towns and attractions of Iceland

Famous cities and attractions of Iceland

Article by Dagur Jonsson

Iceland is approximately 1O3.1OO square miles big. That makes it 2.5 times, the size of Denmark. Iceland has the reputation to be the most sparsely populated country of the European continent with only around 3 persons per square kilometer. The overall population of Iceland is more or less 295,OOO. Most of Iceland is vacant and more than sixty percent of total population lives in and around its capital city of Reykjavik. But this particular stat does not mean that tourism in Iceland is only limited to in and around Reykjavik. The beauty lies in every city and every place of this absolutely breathtaking country.

Iceland offers every attraction that a tourist dreams of seeing. Whether they are active volcanoes, biggest glaciers or hot springs, Iceland has everything for everyone. As told earlier, every city of Iceland deserves to be seen at least once; following are some known and unknown cities and destinations of Iceland.

Reykjavik- no doubt that Reykjavík is an important tourist destination of Iceland. Being the capital city of Iceland, this city of Reykjavík has always been a centre of attraction for tourists and it has got everything for every tourist. Reykjavik is full of surprises which start from beautiful nature, museums, and exhibitions to great viewpoints, awesome nightlife, first class restaurants and international fast food chains, shopping in shopping malls and small boutiques.

Keflavík-this city has its importance because it is called the entrance of Iceland. It is about one hour away from Reykjavik. Most visitors and tourists see it because it is the closest city to the international airport of Iceland.

The town of Hveragerdi- this town is about eight hours far from capital Reykjavik. This town has the overall population of 2100 people. It is also called the green and warm town. The specialty of this city is that the centre of the town is a geothermal area and this whole city is built around that. This is one most important tourist attraction of Hveragerdi

The village of Hnifsdalur- the main attraction of this small village situated in the valley of Skutulsfjordur is the mountain Bakkahyrna. The mountain leans over this tiny yet very beautiful place. This village is called by the name of the edge of that mountain that, if seen from the sea, has the shape as that of an edge of a knife.

Fjord patreksfjordur- these are two different names of a same place. This small city is about 6 hours drive from the capital Reykjavik. This area is Iceland’s most isolated area. But tourists can enjoy some natural beauty in the form of landscapes of fjords, islands, mountains and valleys.

Dalir area- this area is famous for a village called Budardalur. It is one the few, very exceptional villages in Iceland. It is situated along the sea coast but has no harbor. It is not a fishing village also.

The golden circle- this is the mot famous route of Iceland. The golden circle is the name given to a route taken by almost 90 percent of tourists who are on their vehicles. In very less time, travelers can feel the beauty of Thingvellir, the famous geothermal area of Iceland and superb Gullfoss waterfalls.

These were some of the famous cities and attractions of Iceland. But still Iceland has much more to offer and to be told. One important thing is that citizens of Scandinavian countries do not need a passport to enter or visit Iceland. Plus, citizens of around sixty countries do not need to have visa for at least three months of stay in Iceland. These and more similar offers are making Iceland more and more popular on world tourism map.

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

Romantic Reykjavik

Romantic Reykjavik

Article by Vikki Beale

Romance is… strolling along wooded pathways in a setting of such stunning natural beauty it takes your breath way. Romance is… sharing a fine dining experience overlooking a twinkling city and a sparkling moonlit bay. Romance is… a luxury day for two in an isolated other-worldly natural thermal spa. Romance is – Reykjavik. Iceland holidays will inspire and delight you and as it is less than a four hour flight from the UK, it is a great option for a romantic mini-break.

For a city that is so modern and forward thinking in its approach to life, Reykjavik has retained a deep connection with nature. Its exotic location and unique geological characteristics make it an intriguing destination, and a wonderfully original romantic escape. A holiday in Reykjavik is the perfect idea for a cosy weekend (or week!) for two, with a huge range of activities and attractions to keep you entertained.

Whale watching tour

The stunning harbour around Reykjavik is habitat to many varieties of whales including, Humpback and Killer Whales, and the delightful Minke. There are also dolphins and seals to be spotted at certain times of the year in Reykjavik. Iceland holidays with romance in mind, may include a trip on one of the many boat tours operating out of the harbour. It is an exciting experience to see these wonderful gentle creatures in the wild, and even more memorable to share it with someone special.

A Romantic Pearl

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic restaurants on your holiday in Reykjavik, but there are few that are more picturesque than the lofty revolving restaurant on top of the famous Perlan Building. This incredible alien looking structure is actually built around the five massive thermal water tanks which supply the city’s hot water. The building’s name translates as “The Pearl”, and it truly is a gem. Inside the giant dome atop the tanks, the restaurant offers fine dining and panoramic views over Reykjavik. Holidays to Iceland are invariably about the wonderfully fresh seafood cuisine, and the Pearl will show you the finest.

Blue Lagoon

Treat yourself and your loved one to this invigorating yet relaxing spa experience while on your romantic holiday to Reykjavik. You are picked up from your hotel and whisked to the isolated lava fields outside the city. You can stroll hand in hand through these amazing fields that surround the lagoon and then slip luxuriously into the warm thermal mineral waters of this world renowned spa. As the steam rises slowly from the aqua waters, you will feel your cares and stress ebb away. Relax under a waterfall, or have a private massage and treatment – the lagoon’s unique geo-thermal seawater has wonderful skin restoring properties – and you will leave floating on air.

A Romantic walk in the Ellidaardalur Valley

Close to the city the enchanting Ellidaardalur Valley is the perfect setting for a romantic walk. There are a number of picturesque hiking trails and the wooded areas around them are extremely peaceful and seem a million miles away from the lively city of Reykjavik. Holidays to Iceland show you the unique geography of the country and close to civilization, as in the Ellidaardalur Valley, you can see how the landscape has moulded the inhabitants’ lives rather than the opposite.

About the Author

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

Eating Out in Reykjavik

Eating Out in Reykjavik

Article by Vikki Beale

If you’re planning a foodie’s holiday, Reykjavik is not necessarily the first place that springs to mind – but it’s time to think again! Hot springs and Northern Lights are not all Iceland has to offer, and Reykjavik’s restaurants are fast becoming renowned for their innovative take on cutting edge, international cuisine. The city has no shortage of eateries and restaurants, and even a two day city break to Reykjavik will give you a fantastic taste of what’s on offer, and leave you wanting more.

Iceland’s economy may be wobbly, but the country is fighting back by looking inwards. Eighty per cent of the economy is based on the specialised food market, and right now it’s all about going local. Iceland’s famously clean environment means that locally sourced seafood, meats and poultry are of a world-class organic standard, and Iceland’s young chefs are starting to make a noise to the rest of the world. In the restaurants, cafes or in any one of a hundred Reykjavik hotels, you will find a quiet revolution in cookery beginning to emerge.

Traditional favouritesThe mainstay of Icelandic cuisine is seafood. Fished from the pristine waters of the North Atlantic, haddock, cod, plaice, halibut, herring and shrimp are served up on every menu, and anyone on a holiday to Reykjavik will want to sample the traditional methods of preservation that give Icelandic food its distinctive flavour. Salting pickling and smoking meats and seafood form the basis of the traditional “thorramatur” enjoyed particularly between the months of January to March. One of the more unusual things to try is hakarl, (cured shark) which has a flavour you’ll either love or hate! The eating of whale has become a sensitive subject, but there are still some restaurants that will buy and serve up the steaks and blubber in Reykjavik. Iceland holidays are full of adventure, but that may well be one you don’t want to try!

In addition to seafood, Iceland’s dairy industry is world famous. They produce over eighty different types of cheese including skyr, a yogurt-like concoction, which is a local favourite. If you can, visit a cheese factory on your city break to Reykjavik, and see firsthand the centuries old production methods. The tastes and smells will make your mouth water all the way home!

For those who like meat rather than fish, the tender taste of locally reared lamb from the Icelandic highlands is renowned around the world, not least because of Iceland’s strict hormone free policy and regulated meat industry. Game such as reindeer and goose are popular as well as some sea birds – puffin is an unusual delicacy you could only ever try on a holiday to Reykjavik!

Modern CuisineWith most of Reykjavik’s chefs under the age of thirty, all over the city, restaurants are embracing a vibrant edgy feel. Using fresh local meats and seafood such as scallops and langoustine, the young guns are creating a unique fusion of food and theatre. Seemingly, with every night a holiday, Reykjavik city restaurants look to be competing for the carnival crown of most outrageous ways to present their food!

The locals love a display and you could find your dinner served with some unusual accompaniments, like dry ice and helium balloons! The young and hip of the city queue up at popular restaurant “Orange”, to be served their “ice cream popcorn” by waiters in lab coats and fake moustaches, cooking at their tables in a cauldron of nitrogen!

There is no better time than now to enjoy a city break to Reykjavik, and this fresh and funky city will open your eyes to a whole new world of tastes!

About the Author

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

Environmental Conscious Printing Company in Iceland Awarded Ecolabel Certificate

Environmental Conscious Printing Company in Iceland Awarded Ecolabel Certificate

Top Icelandic printing company Oddi Printing, has recently been awarded a certificate from the Nordic Ecolabel for its leading environmental consciousness within the Icelandic printing industry.

The Environmental Minister for Iceland awarded the CEO at Oddi Printing, Mr. Jon Erlingsson, a certificate at the beginning of the year from Nordic Ecolabel for its conscious environmental practices within the Icelandic printing industry.

The presentation of the certification proved to be a merry occasion, marking the end of a year process of mapping out the various environmental practices already in place at the plant, alongside developing different practices.

Oddi Printing has always been concerned with environmental issues throughout the decades. The printing company has been presented with a number of awards for its healthy environmental practices and standards. To name just a few, the plant was awarded with the Reykjavik Environmental award in 1997 and the Ministry of the Environment Award in 2004.

Oddi Printing’s certification by the Nordic Ecolabel is particularly important for customer awareness on how the printing plant is working on a level of environmental consciousness. Pending the customers wishes, the Nordic Ecolabel logo, the Swan, can now be placed on all books, catalogues, magazines and other printed material from Oddi Printing’s plant in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Unmatched printing quality and bookbinding creativity sets this printer, located in exciting Reykjavik Iceland, apart from the competition. Oddi Printing Corporation, the USA subsidiary has a reputation for going the extra mile to guarantee that no shipping or customs issues will ever land on your desk.

To see in further detail information on Oddi Printing’s environmental practices visit www.oddi.com/content/view/67/91

Oddi Printing is the perfect choice for your quality printing. Time and again this Icelandic Printer’s clients have been recognized and rewarded within the publishing industry for creativity and innovation. For those who want their printing and bindery to be of higher standard, working with Oddi Printing is the perfect solution for books, calendars, catalogues or magazines.

Why You Need To Visit Reykjavik Iceland This Year…

Why You Need To Visit Reykjavik Iceland This Year…

Article by Jeffrey Ferris

Traveling has always been a passion of mine, and I prefer the unique or unusual destination, the kind of place that most people wouldn’t think of going to. Iceland is one of those countries, mainly because of its location halfway between Europe and North America close to the Arctic Circle. It has a long and interesting history, and started the oldest elected parliament in the world, originally called the Althing. The original inhabitants of Iceland came over on Viking ships around the year 874, and brought the traditional Norse mythology with them. Elves and Trolls are still part of popular myth in the country, which is quite interesting.

Getting to Iceland is actually quite easy today because of Iceland Airlines, which offers direct flights from several cities in the United States. They also offer special packages with established tours and accommodations for a short 3 night stay, or for much longer. Interested in a 4 night trip over Thanksgiving, they have a package specifically for that! You can actually plan your whole trip including any optional tours that you would like to take just by going to the IcelandAir website.Available tours include options such as snowmobile tours on a glacier, 4 wheel drive expeditions into the rugged and uninhabited interior, Icelandic Pony rides, Puffin sightseeing trips, waterfall tours, and a variety of other choices… Iceland is a very beautiful country, and I would go back in a second. Most people will visit in the summertime because that is the warmest time of year by far, and because of the country’s proximity to the Arctic Circle the hours of daylight drop to just a few hours a day in the other seasons. You will have more options open to you in the summer, including a short trip to Greenland if you’re interested. Legend has it that they switched the names for the two places, because they wanted to keep Iceland to themselves and everyone else would head to Greenland to settle. It could be just a legend, but you never know!

The fall and winter seasons also have their charm, and if you are there over the holidays for Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas they may have special packages and dinners to accommodate you. Be ready for very cold weather though, as the wind blows down from the north and it hits you like a brick wall if you don’t have the right clothing.

However, that is one of the charms of the country because of the warm geo-thermal springs and spas all over the country. Outdoor swimming in naturally heated pools is a big attraction here, and also naturally heated spas. One of these is located near Reykjavik and is called Blue Lagoon. It is a huge outdoor natural pool with steam rising all around you, and even though it’s only 10 degrees outside you are all warm and toasty because of the hot tub like water. It isn’t all uniform in temperature either, some places are definitely hotter than others and it is interesting to say the least as you make your way around the vast expanses. They have natural sand that is supposed to soothe your skin and make you younger looking if you rub it into your face and body, and that is a very popular attraction here. This is a must do when you come to Reykjavik, and you’ll come away feeling very refreshed.

Take at least one city tour of Reykjavik also, and try some of the local varieties of food. I found that I really love Icelandic food, and they use a lot of natural fowl and other unusual ingredients in their cooking. Ever tasted reindeer? How about aged and fermented shark that is allowed to rot over a few months? That one I wouldn’t advise! However, you really want to give the desserts a whirl, especially something called Skyr which is awesome! It is made with cream and sugar, and very tasty! Don’t be one of those people that goes to a different country and heads straight to the local McDonald’s, be adventurous and try everything that they have! Breakfast in Iceland is one of my favorites; they will usually have several plates of cold meats and cheeses, and of course cold, raw fish. It really is delicious, and I fell in love with pickled herring while I was there!

I crammed a lot of touring and options into my short trip, and at the end I was very disappointed to leave… I only got a taste of this wonderful country, but I can guarantee you that I’ll be back sometime later! I hope you’ll give Iceland a try also, take a walk on the wild side! Have fun!

About the Author

Jeffrey Ferris

I’ve been self-employed with internet marketing for several years now, and also into jet skiing, boating, travel, and adventure sports. To learn more about internet marketing please visit www.JeffreyFerrisBlog.com or for more great info about boating, catamarans, travel, and other topics visit www.GoodTimesAndRiches.com.