WHY TO VISIT ICELAND
This island at the end of the world bordering the Arctic Circle is unspoilt with natural contrasts and gorgeous landscape, a wild richness that you cannot ignore.
Reykjavik, the northernmost capital of the world, is a modern city that has some interesting places: Old neighbourhoods with wooden houses, the National Museum, the Hallgrimskirkja church built in 1974 where you can see the city by climbing to the top of the tower, and the Volcano Show, dedicated to volcanic eruptions, where you will discover their wonders.
Gullfoss is a popular tourist place, famous for its beautiful waterfall.
Not far away, Geysir boasts several spectacular geysers in a lunar landscape.
Other beautiful stopovers: Myvatn with its beautiful lake inhabited by many birds, Helgafell with its hill of magical powers that appears in all the Icelandic legends, Grimsey, a small island with steep cliffs, Kerlingarskard or Witch Pass which is at the origin of a rumour about a sea monster, also the lake of Askja with its hot spring crater, or Jökulsargljufur National Park, a recently created nature reserve with shallow gorges and waterfalls, beautiful landscapes and caves.
WHAT TO SEE IN ICELAND
Top destinations in Iceland are:
- Pingvellir National Park
- Vík í Mýrdal
WHEN TO GO TO ICELAND
Weather in Iceland
Best period to visit Iceland is from June to September.
Icelandic weather is notoriously unpredictable. In summer there’s a fair chance of bright and sunny days, and temperatures can reach 17°C, but good weather is interspersed with wet and misty spells when the temperature can plummet to a chilly 10°C. When thinking about the best time to visit Iceland, it’s worth bearing in mind that most museums and attractions are only open from late May to early September, and it’s at these times, too, that buses run their fullest schedules. Although almost all of Iceland lies south of the Arctic Circle and therefore doesn’t experience a true Midnight Sun, nights are light from mid-May to early August across the country; in the north, the sun never fully sets during June. Between September and January the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights can often be seen throughout the country. In winter temperatures fluctuate at 7–8°C either side of freezing point and daylight is limited to a few hours – in Reykjavík, sunrise isn’t until almost 11am in December; the sun is already sinking slowly back towards the horizon after 1pm.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Iceland
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH ICELAND
To travel within the country, buses and ferries are the only effective means of transport available, unless you take a taxi. In winter, there is only the airplane because the roads are generally blocked by snow or ice.
by plane, main airports are:
- Þórshöfn (Thorshofn)
by train, Iceland does not a public railway system.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON ICELAND
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: Icelandic krona
local time zone: GMT+0
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN ICELAND
typical food in Iceland
- Pylsur: Hot dogs made from lamb, beef and pork with optional accompaniments of onions, mustard and tomato ketchup.
- Harðfiskur: A dried fish snack, often cod, haddock or ocean catfish, is usually dipped in salted butter.
- Kjötsúpa: A lamb soup made with cabbage, root vegetables and occasionally a handful of oats or rice.
- Skyr: A smooth and creamy kind of yoghurt made from pasteurized skimmed milk.
- Hangikjöt: Smoked lamb typically served with béchamel sauce at Christmas.
- Svið: A sheep’s head cut in half, singed (to remove the hair), de-brained and boiled.
- Pönnukökur: Thin pancakes rolled up with jam, powdered sugar and/or cream.
- Rúgbrauð: A moist and slightly sweet rye bread.
- Brennivin: A potent variation of aquavit made from potatoes.
- Ein með öllu: a pylsa (lamb hot dog) dressed with ketchup, a sweet brown mustard, raw onions, fried onions, and remoulade (a sauce made with mayonnaise and relish).
- Skata: skate fish, a delicacy with a sweet taste but a strong, putrified smell, usually served with boiled potatoes and brown rye bread.
- Þorramatur: is a selection of traditional Icelandic food, consisting mainly of meat and fish products cured in a traditional manner, cut into slices or pieces and served with rúgbrauð (dense and dark rye bread), butter and brennivín (an Icelandic akvavit). It consists of:
- Kæstur hákarl, fermented Greenland shark.
- Súrsaðir hrútspungar, the testicles of rams pressed in blocks, boiled and cured in lactic acid.
- Svið, singed and boiled sheep heads, sometimes cured in lactic acid.
- Sviðasulta, head cheese or brawn made from svið, sometimes cured in lactic acid.
- Lifrarpylsa (liver sausage), a pudding made from liver and suet of sheep kneaded with rye flour and oats.
- Blóðmör (blood-suet; also known as slátur lit. 'slaughter'), a type of blood pudding made from lamb's blood and suet kneaded with rye flour and oats.
- Harðfiskur, wind-dried fish (often cod, haddock or seawolf), served with butter.
- Rúgbrauð (rye bread), traditional Icelandic rye bread.
- Hangikjöt, (hung meat), smoked and boiled lamb or mutton, sometimes also eaten raw.
- Lundabaggi, sheep's loins wrapped in the meat from the sides, pressed and cured in lactic acid.
- Selshreifar, seal's flippers cured in lactic acid.
souvenirs from Iceland
- Volcano ash or lava jewelry
- Blue lagoon mineral skin care products
- Woolen goods
- Fish leather goods
- Wooden spoons
- Troll figurine
- Viking beer glass
- Liquirice, salt, seeweed
- Reyka Vodka, snaps or beer
How are you?: Hvernig hefurðu það?
Thank you: Þakka þér
What is your name?: Hvað heitir þú?
How much is it?: Hversu mikið er það?
Sorry: Því miður