Friday Feature: Iceland

Iceland

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Iceland is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice” and is easily one of the most diverse landscapes of any country in the world! For outdoor enthusiasts, spend your days exploring the numerous mountains, glaciers, rivers, caves, and lakes. But if the exploring the outdoors isn’t your cup of tea, there are still numerous seaside towns to explore and luxury spas to relax in - including the infamous Blue Lagoon! How do you get to this magical place? The main airport international travelers fly into is Keflavík International Airport in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland. This also makes an excellent home base!

Best Times to Visit: In summer, there's midnight sun and the temperature gets a little more warm! July and August are the best months for hiking. If you are wanting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, February, March, September and October are typically best.

Things to do:

Soak in the Blue Lagoon. There are over 100 naturally occuring hot springs and spas across Iceland, but arguably the most famous of all is the Blue Lagoon in the Reykjanes Peninsula. Enjoy the full experience by staying on property at one of the two nearby hotels. They also offer day passes (for about $56 per day) to visitors to explore and relax in the Blue Lagoon.

See the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are created when particles emitted by the sun interact with the atmosphere in the Earth's magnetic field. While it is never guaranteed that you will see the lights during your stay, you are more likely to see them outside of populated areas where there is less light pollution.

Go whale watching. The cool waters off the coast of Iceland is the perfect place to go whale watching and experience more diverse marine life! The most prolific time for whale watching in Iceland is during the summer months, from April through September, when over 20 species of whales can be seen on either side of the island.

Drive the Golden Circle. This is a 190 mile loop from the capital of Reykjavik. It includes Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir and Strokkur. You can also loop in the Kerið volcanic crater and the town of Hveragerði the hot springs capital of Iceland.

Take a helicopter tour. What is a better way to see this incredible landscape than through a bird’s eye view? Flying allows you to reach hard-to-access places and gives you an opportunity to experience the country’s beauty from a new perspective. For a list of sightseeing helicopter tours, click HERE.

For more travel information, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Retreat Hotel, Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, CenterHotel Thingholt, Hotel Odinsve

Things to know before you go…

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  • Credit Cards are king. Credit cards are accepted everywhere so we don’t recommend converting too much cash.

  • Know your public pool etiquette. You must shower before entering a public pool in Iceland.

  • Tourists outnumber the locals. Iceland has over 2 million visitors a year and is home to only about 300,000 natives.

  • Fuel is expensive. If you choose to rent a car to explore, be aware that gas prices are very steep - roughly $8/galloon. It is best to carefully plan your routes ahead of time to not waste any fuel.

    For more rules and traditions, click HERE.