Tag Archives: Wonders

Discover the Ancient Wonders of Iceland

Discover the Ancient Wonders of Iceland

Article by Roy Witman

Viking ships and frigid ice expanses. Snowcapped mountains and rolling hillsides. Water, water and more water. You might imagine all these when someone mentions Iceland. While they are part of what you’ll find, the wonders of Iceland reach much farther. According to the Iceland Tourist Board website, Iceland is closer than you think, but far different than you ever imagined. Nothing could be truer!

Mystery, Myths and Mountains

Ancient legends of Leif Eriksson and other Vikings along with the Midnight Sun shroud Iceland in mystery. Stunning mountain ranges offer scenery similar to that found in the movie The Sound of Music during spring and majestic, jagged peaks during winter. All of these are true depictions of Iceland. However, over the years several myths about this gorgeous slice of nature have also developed. Let’s clear a few of those up.

Did you know:

  • Wintertime temperatures in several areas of Iceland are higher than those in New York City and other eastern seaboard towns.
  • Iceland is only a 5-hour flight from the east coast of the United States. That’s 1 hour shorter than flying from Boston to Seattle!
  • June, July and August offer nonstop fun because Iceland has daylight round the clock.
  • Iceland is virtually a pollution-free country being almost completely powered with geothermal and hydroelectric energy.
  • Iceland has the capability to grow delicious organic fruits and vegetables in greenhouses year round.

Celebrities Rave

Did you also know that celebrities including Saturday Night Live’s Will Forte and mega-star Jodie Foster rave about what fun they had in Iceland? Foster, in her interview with late-night host David Letterman, called Iceland “fantastic” and specifically named the lava fields, glaciers, whales, puffins, thermal pools and neon-blue water as some of her favorites.

While not considered a “celebrity,” the United Nations named Iceland the best country in the world to live. Quite impressive!

Nature At Her Best

If the outdoors is your thing, Iceland won’t disappoint! As Jodie Foster mentioned, glaciers and lava fields are very popular sights in Iceland. In addition, you’ll encounter spewing geysers and steaming solfataras, volcanoes, raging rivers and breathtaking waterfalls. Then there are the animals.

With the largest razorbill colony in the world, Iceland boasts a healthy and diverse bird population. Puffins, skua, eiders, Arctic terns, waders and other unique species are found all throughout the country. Add to that an excellent selection of whales, dolphins and porpoises and you’ve got a show sure to entertain your entire family.

From seasonal festivals to the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa (known to cure skin diseases such as psoriasis!) to whitewater rafting, Iceland is a unique playground offering plenty for all to do and see. Since it’s closer (and warmer!) than you previously thought, why not make plans to cruise to Iceland for your next vacation?

About the Author

Roy Witman is Vice-President of Cruise Vacation Center at http://www.cruisevacationcenter.com offering the best deals including Mediterranean cruises. You’ll find their service exceptional! © 2008, All Rights Reserved

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.