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A Backpacking Guide to Iceland

A Backpacking Guide to Iceland

Article by Paul scottyn

Iceland is a destination of stunning natural beauty and offers a range of activities for travelers. The Nordic country, situated just south of the Arctic Circle, can provide a great alternative experience for backpackers on a budget.

SightsIceland has many things to see and do across the country. The Pearl monument is a landmark found on the top of Oskjuhlid and has a viewing platform affording stunning views across the city.

Art galleries, museums and monuments are plentiful throughout the capital Reykjavik and are worth visiting to understand its rich nautical history.

Despite its many cultural attractions, it is Iceland’s landscape and natural beauty that are the main reasons travelers are drawn to the country in such droves.

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and a hugely popular attraction among travelers staying in Reykjavik hostels. Backpackers may find it useful to know that before and after entering the spa everyone must use the communal showers, so shy people beware!

Whale-watching is a uniquely Icelandic pursuit and can be done in Reykjavik, Husavik and Akureyri. Backpackers can catch one of the many tours to the world’s largest puffin colonies and marvel at the scene of nature at work.

Eating

The center of Reykjavik is the best place to eat out and all types of cuisine from all corners of the world are available here at reasonable prices.

Those seeking a traditional dining experience will be met with a choice of fish, lamb and dairy produce, which are staples in the Icelandic diet.

The more adventurous backpacker can try traditional Viking-inspired Icelandic food such as Thorramatur, which is a range of local dishes comprising cured meat and fish.

A trip to the supermarket is also a cheap way to conjure up an authentic Icelandic meal using the kitchen facilities available at most hostels in iceland .

Going Out

Reykjavik is the place to go for the best nightlife in Iceland and travelers should get hold of the Iceland Travel Discount Card to take advantage of savings opportunities.

Clubs, bars and cafes are multi-functional and travelers could be in a laid-back bar one minute and find that it has turned into a club the next.

Clubs and bars tend to get started late and backpackers can find themselves partying until 5am. Travelers unfamiliar with the area should be sure they do not overdo it to the extent that they are unable to find their way back to their Reykjavik hostels .

Austurstraeti has a particularly buzzing scene and, as is the case throughout Reykjavik, admission to nightspots is generally free.

About the Author

Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for Hostelbookers. Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of Iceland, he checked out a variety of the country’s budget accommodation, including a number of most reykjavik hostels.

Iceland Tourist Guide – Volume 1 – General Information

Iceland Tourist Guide – Volume 1 – General Information

Article by Dagur Jonsson

With the rise of Iceland as a premier tourist destination of the world, there is more and more interest amongst travelers from all over the globe to learn more about this enchanting North Atlantic country situated in the western most part of Europe. Most search engines report a rising number of search queries asking for more information about Iceland – from general facts about Iceland, to its history, culture and of course places of tourist interest.

As an ongoing feature in providing more information for tourists who are interested in Iceland, we shall first look at the general information of Iceland.

Independence

Iceland officially gained independence on 17th June 1944 from Denmark with the repealing of the December 1918 Act of Union. During the 2nd world war since the German troops occupied Denmark, the British troops landed in Iceland in order to stop the Germans from taking over the country. At around the same time people of Iceland demanded more control over their country and thus got official independence on 17th June 1944.

Government

The President of Iceland is Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimson (since 1 August 1996) and the Prime Minister is Mr. Geir H. Haarde (since 7 June 2006)

Capital

The capital of Iceland is the charming city of Reykjavík which has all the qualities of a great city but at the same time has an abundance of unspoiled natural beauty.

Population

Iceland has an estimated population of three hundred thousand (300,000) with almost about two hundred thousand people (200,000) living in or near the capital city of Reykjavík. Population density is one of the least in Iceland with only 2 people per square kilometer – 1.2 persons per square mile. 91 percent of the population live in urban areas whereas 9 percent live in the rural areas.

Religion

About 86% of the people in Iceland follow the Evangelical Lutheran church.

Landscape

Iceland has a total area of about 103,000 km² or 39,756 sq. mi. Most of the island is covered by a large plateau. The coastal areas are quite grassy lowlands allowing the people to live, grow crops and graze sheeps etc. The inland plateau is rugged and barren and about 2500 feet above sea level. A fault line runs across Iceland which gives rise to volcanoes, hot springs, steaming geysers, glaciers, and radiant lava fields.

Weather

The weather in Iceland, contrary to popular belief is quite moderate. The Gulf Stream keeps the ports warm and free of ice throughout the year. Average temperatures range from 12 degrees centigrade in July at Reykjavík and are a bit warmer in the north and east of Iceland. There is not much snow in Reykjavík even during the winters but the north and east sides along with the West Fjords receive a heavier snowfall.

Language

Official language of Iceland is Icelandic but most of the population especially those in their teenage years through to people in their fifties speak fluent English

Currency

The Icelandic monetary unit is the krona (plural kronur) (ISK). The coins come in 5 denominations of 100kr, 50kr, 10kr, 5kr and 1kr. The bank notes come in 4 denominations of 5000kr, 2000kr, 1000kr and 500kr.
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

The Best Guide to Your Iceland Tour

The Best Guide to Your Iceland Tour

Article by David H. Urmann

Iceland is a wonderful island vacation destination in the mid-Atlantic. A typical Iceland tour offers many fascinating sites and a memorable Iceland vacation experience.

Iceland is now considered as one of the best places in the world to visit. In fact, it is deemed as one amongst the top 10 Best Value Destinations for 2010. Other top destinations are Thailand, Las Vegas and London among others. For the best time in this mid-Atlantic island, take advantage of an Iceland tour and package right in the hotel of your choice.

As a tourist destination, Icelandic airlines offer a flight time of no more than 5 hours from New York. Once you arrive, a wide array of relaxing indulgences and pampering can be achieved throughout your Iceland vacation. A nice place to consider in Iceland is Reykjavik. It is the vibrant capital city of Iceland located on the northernmost section of the island. Aside from the noted safe ambiance, it has an efficient and compact bus system.

If you want to have a grand time in your Iceland tour, try feeding the ducks and swans along City Hall’s Tjorin Pond; see great views of the city on top of Hallgrimskirkia Church; explore the colorful Vesturbaer as well as the Thingholt neighborhoods; and check out some of the artistic venues the city of Reykjavik can offer.

Of course, a Reykjavik, Iceland vacation isn’t complete without trying out one of the many outdoor geo-thermal pools of the city. Grown-ups will adore the whirlpools or “hot spots” while kids have water slides and inflatable toys to play with. If you want the real treat, go to Laugar Spa and treat yourself to a series of relaxing Spa treatments.

Aside from this world class city, another place to enjoy in your Iceland tour is Kopavogur Town. It has many cultural sites, sports venues and leisure facilities. This also goes for Hafnarfjordur and its lava field while Mosfellsbaer is known for its summer farmer’s market and horseback riding activities.

Iceland Accommodations

Iceland can offer various accommodation packages to suit all budgets and tastes. They even offer special discounts not only to senior citizens but also to kids and people with disabilities. Most of the hotels in Iceland represent that typical Scandinavian charm but still vary in location, size and personality. In this city and the countryside areas, there are family-owned accommodations and hotels of international chains. Aside from catering to your Iceland tour, most of these hotels can cater to large groups whether it’s for a conference, business convention or other special occasions.

However, make sure that you check with the hotel regarding their schedule of lodging because there are some hotels that are only open in the summer. You can also check with the hotel regarding other concerns like rooms that have views of the cliffs, rivers, mountains or sea.

Their double rooms are oftentimes featured as one room having 2 single beds so better specify during your booking if you want a room with a double bed. Although some hotels include a buffet breakfast in their package, most hotels don’t include this. Hence, most hotels offer parking facilities and can even assist you with your Iceland tour and excursion.

About the Author

Check out exciting Iceland tourideas. Make your Iceland vacation an experience that you will never forget. Check out how at http://www.icelandhotelsguide.com.

A Simple Guide To Traveling In Iceland

A Simple Guide To Traveling In Iceland

Article by Gen Wright

Iceland is a very small country, with slightly over three hundred thousand people living in it. But being small doesn’t stop thousands of tourists from flocking to this beautiful country for sight seeing purposes. That is because the country is naturally endowed with many natural attractions, such as beautiful lakes, beaches, and hiking trails. One can expect to see breath-taking scenes of wide open fields, with horses grazing or galloping around, and beautiful bodies of water such as lakes, valleys and waterfalls.

The name itself may come across as kind of strange, because the country itself isn’t cold all year round. In fact, only about ten percent of the country is icy. The rest of the country is in somewhat mild weather, and it’s the perfect weather for tourists seeking a cooling vacation.

The greatest attraction about Iceland is that the country is left mostly unpolluted by human. As such, large parts of the country still contains many natural attractions. The country itself is well known for its low crime rate, which makes it safe for travelers to visit these beautiful sites with little worry. More active travelers may attempt to take on something more ambitious, like hiking or mountain biking.

In Iceland, the primary mode of transport is still the personal automobile. Almost everyone owns a car in Iceland. And drivers as young as seventeen years of age can own and drive a car on the roads of this tiny country. For a foreign visitor, perhaps it’s best to arrange for a rented car when visiting Iceland. This will help save lots of time, especially when traveling between various destinations and hotels. The roads are simple enough to navigate, and go round the entire island. Given the relatively small land surface of the country, it’s not easy to get lost. Hence, it is indeed a good idea to drive while in Iceland.

Speaking of hotels, accommodation is very well catered for in Iceland. The hotels in Iceland are generally categorized into five categories. You can find Hotels in Reykjavik, Hotels in the East, Hotels in the West, Hotels in the North, and Hotels in the South. Which hotel you want to stay in depends very much on the destinations you want to visit and your budget. For the greatest convenience, you may want to book a hotel in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital, and it’s also where you can find the most number of hotels. There are different types of hotels that will suit your budget. If you are on a tight budget, you may wish to consider staying in a cabin hotel. A cabin hotel matches the natural environment of Iceland’s largely unpolluted environment. It will give you a more comfortable feeling overall.

If you wish to head further out to see other parts of the country, you may consider staying in one of the hotels located on North, South, East and West parts of the island. Despite the natural surroundings, hotels in Iceland comes equipped with modern facilities such as Internet access, parking facilities, and even conference facilities. So rest assured that you are not heading into the woods where you are cut off from the rest of this world!

About the Author

For more information on Hotels in Reykjavik, please visit our website.