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Ten Exciting Things To Do When Visiting Iceland

Ten Exciting Things To Do When Visiting Iceland

Article by Jonathan Williams

Should you happen to contemplate vacationing in Europe, you could give Iceland a try where nature that means more than beaches and resorts. Best of all, majority of the tourist spots the country can offer will require no entrance fees unlike in most other countries. Summer would be the best time to go there.

1.) Bláa Lónið

This is a famous health center with pool known as Blue Lagoon located in southwest Iceland. This happens to be a spa located in the center of lava filled with stunningly blue waters. One will find this place one of the warm spots in the country as opposed to the impression of a primarily snow-filled place that the country’s name implies.

2.) Gullfoss

One can try going east of the capital Reykjavik to be able to get to the Golden Falls. The breathtaking waterfall is fed by river known as Hvítá. This goes down a two-fold cascade to create one of the best waterfalls you could visit.

3.) Geysir and Strokkur

As mentioned earlier, Iceland is also home to several geothermal spots, and two of them are Geysir and Strokkur, which happens to be a few kilometers on the west of the Golden Falls. Between the two, it would be safer to go to Geysir since it hardly erupts, and Strokkur would do so every few minutes. But what a sight it would be and a picture worth taking only if you keep a safe distance.

4.) Skagafjordur

It is one of the cities in Iceland which offers several fun activities to tourists. One of the parks you will find here is the Historical Nature Park Island Drangey then you can go on to visit the Glaumbær, which happens to be a folk museum. And you will need to wonder no more what an icelandic horse looks like because this place is where they are bred. And yes, it’s also time to take the challenge of river rafting.

5.) Kerið

Here lies the sight of a lake within a volcano. Many times, what you will find in countries are both active and inactive volcanoes which would spew lava from time to time. This time, you get a lake instead of lava right inside the crater of a volcano.

6.) Þingvellir National Park

UNESCO has made this national park one of the world’s heritage sites for good reasons. This happens to be the place where you will find the movement of European and North American shelf plates while serving as the longest running parliamentary field there is. Again, this, too, is just about 35 miles off the capita’s east.

7.) Mývatn

On this spot, you will get to visit the desert Smajfall which gives out sulfuric steam coming from the ground. Here, you will also see Dimmuborgir which is also known as Gates of Hell or The Black City. But the name Mývatn actually refers to the lake which looks nothing like other lakes due to presence of special volcanic craters around it.

8.) Dettifoss

If you just came off the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, you might want to check this place out afterwards. A powerful waterfall awaits you at Dettifoss. This happens to be one of the best all over Europe.

9.) Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights

Textbooks have talked about the midnight sun. It was even discussed in school. Iceland is the place to be to get to view this sight where the sun does not set at midnight, and you will not be able to find this occurrence in other countries.

10.) Vestmannaeyjar

When translated, the name means Westman Islands. It is actually a volcanic island with a wonderful collection of bird species and the biggest puffin colony you could find in Europe. That’s definitely something not to miss.

About the Author

Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV – the place to share travel videos. Visit http://www.destinationguide.tv/iceland to view or share Iceland travel videos.

Beyond the Guidebooks: Five Tips for Visiting Iceland

Beyond the Guidebooks: Five Tips for Visiting Iceland

Article by David Davies

With its strange, barren lunar landscape and extraordinarily civilised and cosmopolitan city culture, Iceland is one of the most fascinating and alluring countries in Europe.

Most people who visit here find themselves drawn back by the people, the culture and even the changeable weather.

Five Tips For an Enjoyable Visit

Before you take the plunge and book your holiday here are five tips that should make your time more enjoyable:

Icebreakers

Iceland’s very own low-cost airline ‘Iceland Express’ offers flights from both London Stansted and Gatwick, and from many other European cities.

If you’re flying from the UK and you’re planning on parking at Gatwick it pays to book in advance through a company such as Essential Travel – they offer up to 60% discount on the list price of Gatwick Airport Parking.

Danger: Hot Water!

Iceland is situated on a geothermal hotspot and the islanders use this very much to their advantage with Geothermal power plants supplying much of the island’s electricity and hot water pumped straight into the home already pre-heated.

This disadvantage of this to the uninitiated is that the water is very nearly boiling when it comes out of the tap – a scalding 80 degrees in fact. Exercise caution when turning on the shower – and don’t mind the faint whiff of rotten eggs, it’s just the natural sulphur in the water.

When Dining Out, Ignore the Guidebooks

Most of the guidebooks that cover eating out on the island list the famous “old school” restaurants like Tvier Fiskar or Einar Ben. These are good for experiencing Icelandic specialities like puffin or whale; however eating there midweek or off-season you can easily find yourself the only table in the restaurant.

If you want something a bit more lively, take to the streets and see where the locals go – the restaurants in downtown Reykjavik are funky and cosmopolitan with modern European bistro food taking center stage rather than rotten shark.

Don’t Faint When You Get the Bill!

Eating, drinking, shopping and pretty much everything in Iceland is more expensive – hardly surprising when you realise that most fresh produce has to be imported.

However, unless you choose to dine at the most expensive restaurants in the capital, you can expect to pay slightly more than New York prices – around meal for a three course with wine would be typical.

Pubs too are slightly more expensive with beer coming in at around a pint – not far off the typical -7 we’re getting used to paying in the US.

Nightclubs are a different story – you could easily pay around for a beer but it’s common for Icelanders to do their drinking at home before heading out.

They Grow Bananas in Iceland

Oh yes, despite being on the Arctic Circle, Icelanders have rather cleverly used geothermal springs to heat large greenhouses – and grow bananas!

Finally, one last tip that stands for pretty much any destination is: make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Specialists such as AA Travel Insurance can provide appropriate cover whether you’re planning on going bananas in Iceland or you’re just there to admire the scenery.

About the Author

David Davies is a travel advisor and recommends that you take out travel insurance or annual travel insurance policy depending on the nature of your travels.

Visiting the Unique Landscape of Iceland

Visiting the Unique Landscape of Iceland

Article by Paul Buchanan

If you’re the sort of person who shies away from sun, sea and sand holidays where the main activity of choice is laying on the beach and slowly cooking yourself, the chances are you’ll be looking for something a little more adventurous while searching for your next holiday away. Although beautiful in their own way, beach holidays can be boring  – they’re monotonous, tiresome and everything remains the same, day in, day out. What you’re probably after is something more exciting, something where your eyes can’t believe what they’re taking in every day – somewhere incredible that you’ll never forget!

Does this sound along the right lines for what you’re searching for? If so, you needn’t look any further for the perfect holiday destination – Iceland awaits! Perhaps considered the direct opposite of your average beach holiday, a visit to Iceland will show you the unique, dynamic landscape you’ve been craving to see. Packed with gigantic glaciers which loom threateningly on the horizon, breathtaking volcanoes which cover an extraordinary amount of land and awe-inspiring waterfalls that capture the imagination, Iceland truly is the adventurer’s holiday destination of choice.

Every day, you’ll be able to take in a new wonder of nature, whether you want to get up close and personal with a glacier as it shapes the land of the future or to take in the beauty of a tumbling waterfall as frosty sheets of water spill from high cliffs into deep, crystal clear plunge pools below. If you’re feeling a little more daring, Iceland has plenty of volcanoes for you to catch a glimpse of – from a safe distance, of course!

If taking in majestic views that will remain with you for a lifetime sounds like your holiday of dreams, it’s certainly worth considering this island gem. Iceland is growing in popularity as a holiday destination and, from the moment you step off your flight, it won’t be difficult to see why. Iceland’s landscape is truly one to be reckoned with and you’ll congratulate yourself for remembering to bring extra camera batteries and memory cards as the chances are you won’t be able to stop snapping!

Of course, such tremendous landscapes deserve equalled indoor accommodation – such as the luxury hotels in Reykjavik which await to ensure you get a great night’s rest before heading off in the morning to explore even more of this breath-taking country.

Bored of the beach? Try Iceland for your next holiday and enjoy a vacation like no other.

About the Author

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

What to See and Do When Visiting Iceland

What to See and Do When Visiting Iceland

A little background on myself: I am an American who, for work reasons, moved to Iceland and lived there for two years. It was a challenging but, overall, an experience that I treasure. In the time I was there I learned a lot about Iceland and experienced, first hand, all of what I write about in this article.

There’s only one international airport in Iceland so, you will be flying into Keflavik, a small city about 30 minutes south of Reykjavik, the capital. If you are just going to be in Iceland for a few hours due to a layover, you might want to consider going to the Blue Lagoon. It is about 15-20 minutes from the airport. The Blue Lagoon is a spa and its main attribute is a geothermal pond that you can bathe in. The water is emerald green and very relaxing. Icelanders believe that the mineral-rich water is healing. It certainly is soothing and the experience is unique.

If you are going to be staying in Iceland for a couple days, most likely you will be staying in Reykjavik. In this case, I would recommend seeing the downtown area, which can be done on foot, or by a tour bus. Reykjavik is a charming and beautiful city with bright colored roofs, narrow streets and bustling pedestrian activity. Next, I would highly recommend going to one of the city’s many pools. They are very affordable and one of the best things about living in Iceland. In fact, Reykjavik considers itself the spa capital of Europe. The pools are clean and numerous offering many hot pots, lap pools, steam baths, saunas and more. The cost is about , a bargain for such an expensive country.

The next thing I would highly recommend is taking a tour outside of the city to see Iceland’s unspoiled nature. You can take a bus or contract with one of the many jeep tour companies. The bus tours generally stick to the main roads and will take you to all the tourist hotspots: Gullfoss, Geysir, Thingvellir National Park and a few other well-known destinations. My feeling is that the bus tour option is not very interesting. It is like a glorified postcard. Instead, I would opt for the jeep tours which will take you off the beaten path, allowing you not only to see but to experience. These jeep tours range in length from 3 hours to overnight tours. You can choose a tour that fits you interests, for example you can go on a jeep tour that will take you to many of the more spectacular waterfalls. Or, you can opt to drive on a glacier and go snowmobiling. Or, you can take a tour that will allow you to explore lava fields and even climb into lava caves. I really believe that this is the best way to
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experience Iceland – firsthand, not seen through a bus window.

If you are going to be in Iceland for at least a week, I would recommend renting a car and driving the Ring Road. It is the only main highway in Iceland and it simply goes around the entire country. This trip will take you 2-3 days, depending on your pace. This kind of trip is an experience worth treasuring. Keep in mind that rentals cars are expensive and so is gas. When I was there, gas cost about .50/gallon. Food and lodging are also very expensive so consider staying in guesthouses and shopping for your food rather than eating-out for every meal.

In many ways, Iceland is like many Northern European countries. The capital city looks like other Scandinavian capitals, it has all the modern conveniences, the people speak English and, last but not least, it’s expensive. But, that’s where the similarities end. Iceland is unique in so many ways. First off, geologically, Iceland is very unique. It is a fairly young island that is still volcanically active. Due to this, Iceland is a hot bed (no pun intended) of geothermal activity. Icelanders use this hot water to produce electricity and heat their homes. Iceland is sparsely populated with a low overall population, approximately 300,000 people. Reykjavik is the capital city with approximately 120,000 people – not huge by any standards. Iceland has lots of glaciers; in fact it has the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull. Most of the interior is uninhabited and uninhabitable. So the cities, such as they are, have sprung up along the coastlines. Outside of Reykjavik, the next largest city is

Akueyri, which enjoys the distinction of the northernmost city in the world.

Iceland is clean and beautiful with amazing landscapes ranging from other-worldly lava fields to lush fields of moss, grasses and low-lying berry bushes to waterfalls, rivers and streams, mountains, glaciers and more. Trees are few and far between outside of the populated areas. Iceland has very clean air and water. You can safely drink water from many streams across the country – not something I would recommend in most of the world. Iceland is also a fun destination; Icelanders love to party and the club scene in Reykjavik is a must. Just don’t show up before 11:30 pm.

To recap, I recommend the Iceland day tour, the jeep tours not the bus tours, soaking in the hot pots, the Blue Lagoon and at least on night on the town, just bring your Alka-Seltzer. – David Brooks