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Iceland: tips for tourists

Flag of Iceland

Iceland’s landscapes are so unique that directors of many science fiction films choose them as a location for filming. Iceland has more than once been the Moon, Mars, and the mysterious wondrous…

Iceland climate

Subarctic marine. The average temperature in August is +10 ° C, in January -1 ° C. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the climate in the country is quite mild but very windy. In Reykjavik, the average January temperature is about 0 ° C, July + 11 ° C, in the mountains it is colder. Throughout the summer in Iceland there are “white nights”, but in December daylight hours last no more than 5 hours.

It is better to come here in the summer, before the end of August: since September, hotels begin to close for the winter, the number of public transport trips decreases, and nature itself is slowly beginning to hinder freedom of movement.

Shopping and shopping in Iceland

Shops in the Icelandic capital are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 18:00, on Saturdays from 10:00 to 16:00. Some supermarkets are open until 23:00 daily.

In addition to unreal photographs, you can bring a woolen sweater with deer, handmade ceramics, art glass, or silver things from Iceland.

Cuisine and restaurants

Icelandic national cuisine is, of course, all kinds of seafood dishes (scallops, shrimp, salmon, halibut, shark, cod, and others), as well as a lamb in different variations and traditional Icelandic soup.

Tipping is not accepted in Iceland: the cost of service is already included in the bill. However, you can be thankful for the service you especially liked – it will not offend anyone.

Some hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs have a paid wardrobe.

Iceland entertainment and attractions

The main attractions of Iceland are natural: the Hekla volcano, geysers, and glaciers, the Landmannalaugar valley, the Torsmerk valley, the Westman Islands. Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city, is a convenient base for exploring the surrounding area. From there it is close to Husavik, Godafoss waterfall, and Grimsey Island.

The rugged West Fjords coastline is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. There are very few tourists there – as well as residents: less than 3 thousand people live in the main city, Isafjordur.

Landmannalaugar is a must-see mountainous region in the southeast of the island. Hot springs are seething there, and many strange natural “artifacts” are scattered within a radius of 10 km: fields of solidified lava, deep canyons, unrealistically blue lakes, snowy slopes, smoking thawed patches with the smell of hydrogen sulfide.

Icelandic vodka Brennivin is the country’s main unofficial alcoholic beverage made from potatoes and caraway seeds. Its name translates as “burning wine”. The Icelanders themselves call this drink “Black Death”.

mountains near body of water

Active holidays in Iceland

Iceland is a land of vivid impressions. Where else can you find a land in which fantastic, lunar landscapes dotted with craters and solidified lava sit side by side with pacifying meadows, where horses and sheep graze? And on top of dormant volcanoes, forests rustle, streams murmur, waterfalls, and geysers soar upward.

People go to Iceland not only for vivid impressions but also to improve their health: one of the most popular tourist destinations is spa tours. Their feature is extremely simple: they not only relax and heal the body but also have a beneficial effect on the psyche. 

Beautiful views of Iceland, sea excursions where you can watch dolphins and whales, Icelandic fjords – all this helps to relax and restore peace of mind. Fans of outdoor activities will not be disappointed either – in Iceland, nature is so original and unique that even an ordinary hike for a couple of days will turn into a fabulous trip. And the abundance of rocks and mountains makes this region a real Mecca for climbers, rock climbers, and hang gliders.

Thingvellir National Park and the Valley of Geysers

The valley of the Thingvellir National Park is dotted with paths that you can wander all day. The park contains the fault of the continental plates of Eurasia and America, the largest lake in Iceland is Tingvalavaten, the fields of Tinga, where the Althing sat – the first parliament of the Vikings, a pool of witches in which unfaithful wives were drowned.

In the neighboring Valley of Geysers, there is the Geyser itself – the one after which all the hot fountains of the world are now called. Nearby is another fountain, Strokkur, which works almost on schedule: it hits the sky every 5-10 minutes. Well, Gullfoss is a 30-meter superstar waterfall, always densely covered with tourists.

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