Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

We have already told you about the Icelandic capital, activities to do, museums to visit and restaurants to eat at. But the Icelandic capital is a changing city, and the tourist influx in recent years has transformed its image. Here, we guide you through the streets of Reykjavik in 2017 to find the bars and restaurants that have either been here forever, or who aspire to ...

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur

Since 1937, the company Bæjarins beztu pylsur has been offering its specialties in the Icelandic capital. Their famous hot dogs are known around the world (or almost!) It is very popular and it can sometimes be possible to have to wait a long time for this Icelandic specialty. Even Bill Clinton grabbed one of its famous sandwiches! The small stand is located opposite the Harpa concert hall. You can also "rent" one of their booths with the services of one of their employees for your private parties and events.

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

Sandholt

The oldest bakery in Reykjavik opened its doors in 1920, and has remained in the same location since. Located on the main street Laugavegur, it expanded in 2016 and you can have breakfast, lunch or a snack there. Ásgeir Sandholt is waiting for you to taste delicious chocolate, pastries and other delicacies – or even a full meal.

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

Grái Kötturinn

This little cafe is best known for its American breakfasts and its delicious pancakes. Located in the basement of a house in Hverfisgata, this little gem that doesn't cost a fortune offers a simple and friendly menu for breakfast or lunch. Since 1997, Grái kötturinn has delighted the taste buds of the Icelandic capital.

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

Mokka-Kaffi

Located on Skólavörðurstígur Street, this small café opened its doors in 1958 and has not changed much since. One of the few (the only?) places where Wi-Fi is not available, it is a favorite place for locals and those who want to log out for a while. There is always an exhibition of an Icelandic artist, which you can admire on the walls of Mokka-Kaffi.

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

Saegreifinn (The Sea Baron)

The "Sea Baron" refers to Kristján Halldórsson, who after a sailor's career opened this small restaurant in the port of Reykjavík in 2003. His lobster soup is often described as "the best in the world" -you can go there to decide for yourself but you may have to stand in line at this busy eatery. In 2011, Kristján sold his restaurant to one of his employees, and he died in 2015 - but his mind, as well as a statue of wax, are still on site!

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

Kaffibarinn

Since 1993, Kaffibarinn has been an atmospheric coffee house during the day, and an intense party place at night! On weekend nights, after midnight, you can queue for quite a while before you can get in. A rumor has circulated that Damon Albarn, the singer of Blur, is the co-owner of the bar, but it seems (still a rumor! ) that it may have been more a matter of marketing than anything else.

Eat cheap in Reykjavík! - Best bars and cafes

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Work in Iceland! Jobs for foreigners in Iceland

To find a job in Iceland, check out our previous article on the subject, and learn more about wages and working conditions in the country.

Here are some addresses to look for a job in Iceland: talent.is, job.is or vinna.is are three sites that lists job opportunities in Iceland.

Work in Iceland! Jobs for foreigners in Iceland

The EURES website identifies jobs available across the country and puts the ads in English first, which means jobs are open to foreigners.

Icelandic dailies publish a list of jobs to be filled each week. For the online version, visir.is and Morgunblaðið, both of which have a classified ads section. The first is the site of the daily Frettablaðið, which every Saturday devotes tens of pages to employment.


Work in Iceland! Jobs for foreigners in Iceland

Reykjavik.is and akureyri.is will give you access to advertisements from Icelandic municipalities; Examples of jobs listed there would include; assistant cook in a school, assistant in a nursing home or ski lift operator in winter.

Work in Iceland! Jobs for foreigners in Iceland

If you have a particular degree, whether you are a doctor or a university lecturer, check the websites of hospitals and universities directly or contact their administration by email. "Störf í bóði" means that a list of advertisements for vacancies is available. You can also go through a recruitment agency like Capacent or Island Recruiting if you are looking for a long term job in Iceland.

Work in Iceland! Jobs for foreigners in Iceland

For jobs in tourism, you do not necessarily need to have experience or a diploma in this field. It is mainly your motivation and your skills that are important - in particular, language skills are very welcome. English, French, German and Spanish are great assets to working in Iceland. Guesthouses and farms easily hire in the summer, and it is also possible to work at picking or producing fruit and vegetables in one of the many greenhouses of the country. Contact guesthouses, hotels and tourist offices directly or check the EURES website for jobs available.

Work in Iceland! Jobs for foreigners in Iceland

Your motivation and your will are your greatest assets - your CV and experience are often relegated to second place. Finding a job by going “door-to-door" will give you the greatest chance of success.

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

It is difficult to choose the right time to go to Iceland because each month and each season has its charm. The month of February will plunge you into the heart of the Icelandic winter. Sometimes rough, sometimes clement, always beautiful, the special atmosphere of the month of February will help you experience the "real" Icelandic winter.

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

Temperatures in the month of February average between -2 ° C and 2 ° C. It can be manageable, unless the wind gets going! Snow storms can be frequent at this time of year but they can have a special charm - read our article on how to deal with a stormy day in Iceland. The sun rises around 10 o'clock and goes down around 5 pm, which leaves you time to enjoy the sights of Iceland.

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

In winter, roads and trails that lead to the Highlands are inaccessible, and only road number one is open (most of the time, sometimes a section of this road closes for a few hours, if there is a lot of snow or a storm). If you are staying on the main road, a 4×4 is not mandatory, but a sizeable car is recommended.

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

The snowy landscapes are really something to see and if you are travelling in February you will certainly enjoy it! Do not just stay in the capital if possible, explore the country! If you are not comfortable driving on the snow, you can enjoy day trips that will take you to the north or west of Iceland. If you want a truly special experience, you can join an excursion to visit Landmannalaugar in the winter - it is absolutely magical!

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

The month of February is perfect to have the chance to observe the aurora borealis, provided the sky is clear. February's weather is unpredictable and there are usually more clouds and rain / snow than other months, but when the sky is clear you can fully enjoy the wonders of winter. There is no shortage of activities: snow scooters, sled dogs, excursions to the northern lights, walks in the city or in the countryside and discovery of the cultural life are all possible options at this time of year. If you like skiing, it is also a very good time to come to Iceland!

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

We can not repeat it enough - go to the pool! It is a wonderful way to experience the joys of bathing and to get acquainted with the Icelandic way of life. Can you imagine a better activity than basking in a bath at 40 ° C, surrounded by snow and darkness? If you prefer a more luxurious experience, the Blue Lagoon or the Mývatn baths are a good option for bathing.

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

If you spend a little time in the capital, the Winter Lights Festival is perfect for enjoying the Icelandic winter evenings. Created to celebrate winter, all sorts of events, concerts and exhibitions take place for a few days, everywhere in Reykjavik. For movie lovers, the Stockfish Film Festival will delight those who love independent cinema. If you prefer music, the Reykjavik Blues festival can be of interest to you, and if you are a fan of electro, the SONAR Festival is for you!

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

During February the Festival of Þorrablót is taking place across the country; These are meetings between families, friends and communities during which Icelanders dance, sing and eat traditional dishes (including head of mutton and sour whale). If you are lucky enough to be invited, do not miss the opportunity to celebrate this Icelandic festival!

February in Iceland? Yes! - What to do in Iceland

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Grund

This church located in the heart of the Eyjafjörður fjord seems to belong more to an Eastern Orthodox country than to Iceland, but it is worth a look. Built in 1905, the interior is reminiscent of an opera house. It is the largest church in Iceland that has been financed by a single patron.

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Kirjkubær

When Stöðvarfjörður church ceased its religious activities, an Icelandic couple decided to buy it back and transform it into a second home; They did a magnificent job, and the beautiful blue-roofed church is one of the stars of this small village in eastern Iceland. After their divorce, the former couple decided to turn the church into a youth hostel, and up to ten people can stay there. It is actually forbidden to use churches as a place to put your sleeping bag for the night – Kirjkubær is an exception, and in exchange for a payment you will be offered a bed!

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Akureyrarkirkja

The church of Akureyri is located in the heart of the city centre and dominates the neighbourhood. It was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson (most well known for designing Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík) and was completed in 1940. This Protestant church has an organ of 3200 pipes and one of the main windows was given by Church of Coventry, England.

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Stykkishólmskirkja

The new church of Stykkishólmur is a cement building that was built in 1990. It stands on a promontory that overlooks the city and can accommodate nearly 300 people. It is the fruit of the architect Jón Haraldsson and the altar was painted by Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir. The church has excellent acoustics and is known for hosting many concerts.

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Bláa Kirkjan from Seyðisfjörður

Anyone visiting the city can not miss Bláa Kirkjan, the small blue church of Seyðisfjörður. In addition to being picturesque and charming, the church is known for its Blue Church Summer Concert Series. Every year since 1998, from the 1st of July to the 12th of August, the city organises a concert in the church every Wednesday evening. Blues, folk, jazz and classical music meet in a relaxed and warm atmosphere.

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Búðir Kirkja

This small church is certainly as well known as its colleague of the Icelandic capital, Hallgrimskirkja. Located in the Peninsula of Snæfellsnes, it is easily recognizable as it is a black building with distinctive white door and windows and faces the mountains of the peninsula. An eighteenth century church was erected on the site, then destroyed and rebuilt a hundred years later. The church was renovated in 1951 and again in 1984-1986, then slightly moved, but remains faithful to the original church of the seventeenth century.

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

Hallgrímskirkja

Finally, we could not finish this list without mentioning Hallgrímskirkja, the famous church of Reykjavík. It is the tallest church in Iceland, standing at 73 meters in height. Located in the heart of Reykjavík, the imposing building designed by Guðjón Samúelsson was built from 1945 to 1986. The view from the top of the church gives a magnificent panorama of the Icelandic capital. The church is also known for its organ, of the famous German brand Orgelbau Klais, which owns 5275 pipes.

The 7 best churches to see in Iceland!

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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

The western fjord region is sometimes referred to as "Iceland's most famous forgotten area". It has an extraordinary expanse of nature that attracts many travellers. It is unspoiled and almost uninhabited and is a real spectacle. The cliffs and valleys are full of birds, and the deserted fjords offer pure moments of silence and tranquility, with the arctic fox running through the mountains and coves. The waterfalls are impressive and the water is transparent. The roads run long distances and the fjords are deep. Some places do not even have access roads.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

Látrabjarg is a cliff in Western Iceland, home to millions of seabirds, and is known to house the largest puffin colony in the world. Its cliffs, which are 14 kilometers long and reach a height of 440 meters, are a place of life for tens of thousands of birds. 40% of the world's population of small penguins nest there, and there are also many guillemots and gannets. For passionate ornithologists, or for those who love birds or nature, Látrabjarg is a special place.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

The road to get there is not always easy - it is quite gravelly and has many potholes - but the show is well worth the detour if you have enough time. Route 612 to the site is 36 kilometers long and takes you to the lighthouse of Bjargtangar, the most western point of Iceland. From there, a path follows along the cliff of Látrabjarg - you can go through it in its entirety (14 kilometers), or retrace your steps whenever you want. It is the perfect place for bird lovers and for photographers. During the summer it is possible to reach Látrabjarg by bus, starting from the main cities of the Westfjords.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

The road leading to Látrabjarg usually remains snow covered until later in the year, and is often cleared in May according to snow and climatic conditions. If you want to see the puffins, you can only admire them between mid-May and mid-August, when they are nesting in Iceland. Near the cliff, the Icelandic authorities have drawn white lines to indicate that it is dangerous to venture beyond; The rocks are fragile and can collapse under your weight.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

Good to know:

• There is no petrol station in the vicinity of Látrabjarg, think of refueling before going there.

• There are no amenities on site.

• There are few options for eating and sleeping in the area, apart from the Hotel Látrabjarg, the hotel / guesthouse Breiðavík and the summer cottages of Hænuvík. Brunnar camp site, two kilometers from the site, can be a good alternative, but there is no running water. The village of Patreksfjörður is probably the nearest place to eat and stay in the area.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

• Be careful not to fall from the rocks when you look at the birds and the surrounding area and respect the white lines.

• Respect the place and its inhabitants - the birds.

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

The 4 best short films from Iceland! - Icelandic movies

The excellent "Icelandic Cinema Online" is the best place to watch Icelandic movies and short films on the internet. It offers a large selection of movies, big and small, for only a few euros and sometimes for nothing. You can also see a map of the films that were shot in Iceland here, learn more about the Icelandic film world and download the application. In the meantime, we present four Icelandic short films that are worth a look.

The 4 best short films from Iceland! - Icelandic movies

Hvalfjörður (Whale Valley)

If you are a fan of Iceland, you know of course the Hvalfjörður Fjord in southwestern Iceland, known for the Glımur waterfall and also for a whaling station. It is in this "whale fjord" that history unfolds and where one discovers the strong bond that unites two young brothers living in this isolated region. The director of the film Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson was recently acclaimed for his feature film Hjartasteinn in 2016, which paints, with delicacy, the portrait of young men who discover their sexuality. Check out the short film here.

The 4 best short films from Iceland! - Icelandic movies

Stanislaw

In 2010, Jón Már Gunnarsson, from the Icelandic Film School, decided to tackle some Icelandic clichés in this short film about Icelandic people having relationships with foreigners who come to settle in Iceland. The story takes us to meet Stanislaw, a young Polish man, invited for the first time to his Icelandic girlfriend's family. Surprises, more surprises and irony are on the agenda of this successful short film, which laughs at all possible and imaginable stereotypes of Icelandic society today. Link to the film here.

The 4 best short films from Iceland! - Icelandic movies

Siðasti Bærinn

"The last farm" tells the story of the life of an elderly couple on an Icelandic farm. Siðasti bærinn is a beautiful love story that shows the affection of an old man for his land, his loneliness and his independence. The film was shot in an abandoned farmhouse in the western fjords. The director of the film Rúnar Rúnarsson is also known for his more recent feature films, Eldfjall (Volcano) and Þrestir (Sparrows). The film earned a nomination in the 2005 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film. The music of Siðasti bærinn was composed by Kjartan Sveinsson, former member of the band Sigur Rós. You can also see other short films by the same director, such as Smáfuglar ("small birds"). Watch the movie in this link!

The 4 best short films from Iceland! - Icelandic movies

Sker

It is as beautiful as the reflection of a mountain on the water, as beautiful as a summer evening, like a journey in the western fjords, or like the small nose of a seal peeping out of the water ... This short film, a true story of a kayaker who sails through the fjords of Iceland was filmed just beside the magnificent waterfall of Dynjandi. It will fill you with awe at its landscapes. It's an incredibly successful film. The director Eyþór Jóvinsson is a native of the fjords of the west; He now runs a small coffee shop in Flateyri. He and four other young people from the region have created the Glamá film company. None of them have any education or experience in this field - only enthusiasm for making movies and a love for the region!

The 4 best short films from Iceland! - Icelandic movies

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