Saturday, 6 December 2014

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

You would be forgiven for believing that lighthouse were the dominant species in the Reykjanes peninsula, but there is a lot more to see there besides the many protectors of the coastline. The whole area is a geothermal wonder, conveniently close to Keflavik International Airport and the stunning Blue Lagoon.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

A number of the higher temperature geothermal spots in the peninsula have been used to provide electricity to the surrounding area. If you are interested in geology and its history in the area, you need to take a tour of the geothermal energy exhibition at the Hellisheiði Power Station.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

This is the part of the world where the earth’s crust that sites between the European and American tectonic plates is at its thinnest and most visible. Pardon the pun, but the caves, volcanic craters, and geothermal waters in the area are a veritable hotbed for fun activities of all kinds. You will also find plenty of things to see and do in the area, from churches and museums, to restaurants and fun festivals.

Reykjanes attractions

In the southwestern part of the Reykjanes Peninsula you will find what will soon be a geothermal park. This is a natural wonder created by the rising of the North Atlantic ridge out of the ocean. Dotted throughout this area are more than 100 craters, caves, and lava fields, as well as a great collection of different birds. It is a rugged area that has to be seen to be believed, and there are certainly plenty of great attractions to be found, including:

-Reykjanesviti – This lighthouse dates back to the early 1900’s and has the distinction of being home to some of Iceland’s most active geothermal activity.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

-Gunnuhver – A massive hot mud spring that is housed in a crater that is an awe inspiring 20 metres in circumference. A pair of different ramps offer great views of Gunnhuver and the other natural wonders that surround it.

-Karlinn (The Old Man) – It’s a sad story, as this 50m high rock stands alone to spend his days grieving the loss of Kerlingin (The Old Woman) who used to stand by his side, but who was washed away by the elements.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

-Brennisteinfjöll (The Sulphur Mountains) – If you want to do a little exploring, there are numerous caves, craters, and lava fields to see here, all of which were formed by active volcanoes over the years.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

-Brimketill, (The surf kettle) – A unique rock formation that was sculpted over time by the ebb and flow of the ocean.

-HafnabergBird enthusiasts will get a will get a real kick out of this low vertical cliff that is home to a wide variety of plant life.

-Eldey (Fire Island) – Another spot for bird lovers, as the 77m sheer rock reef is home to the largest breeding colonies of gannets in the world. It is just one of a chain of reefs located in this area.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

All of the interesting locations in and around Reykjanes are a mere 5-20 minutes by car from the airport. A perfect example of that is something you might not expect to see in Iceland, which is a pyramid named, Keilir.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

We mentioned the vast number of lighthouses in the area already. If you want to know more about them, you must visit the village of Gardur, where you will find Gardskagi, the home to a museum and a pair of historical lighthouses. If nature is your thing, pay a visit to the Sudrunes Science and Learning Center on Sandgerdi. There you will learn about all kinds of organisms, and will also be able to see living creatures kept in large seawater tanks.

More information about geothermal power and energy harvesting can be found at the Kvikan House of Culture and Natural Resources in Grindavik. The Earth Energy exhibit tells you all you need to know about the subject through films and presentations gathered from years of research on the subject.

What To Do in Reykjanes Peninsula

Kolla, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, December 2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

Enjoy Reykjavík’s Kolaportið Weekend Market

Lopapeysa is a souvenir that perfectly represents Iceland. It is a traditional sweater made out of intricate and distinct pattern. These handmade sweaters were created using sheep’s wool, which explains why they are amazingly warm. However, these sweaters may be quite expensive, reaching even more than 30,000 ISK in local stores along Laugavegur Street, the main shopping destination in Reykjavík.

Enjoy Reykjavík’s Kolaportið Weekend Market

In order to get a cheaper, yet same high-quality option, try visiting the Kolaportið weekend market. What is very interesting about this place is that it gives off the traditional feel of Iceland. The people that gather here come from all sorts of backgrounds, buying and selling things. Everybody who visits this market is in for a good deal. It is very charming, with a twist of a little weirdness as well.

Enjoy Reykjavík’s Kolaportið Weekend Market

Even though there are a lot of things that are worth buying in this market, such as used books, knick knacks, vintage shoes and clothes, local delicacies and even DVDs, the best offers are the ones on Iopapeysas. In this market, you can find a good deal for half the price, at 15,000 ISK. You may also decide to purchase other items such as mittens, woollen hats, and scarves.

Visit all the stalls and try on different options until you eventually find your fit. You may also attempt to negotiate, but most of the prices are fixed and are already hugely discounted, compared to the bigger stores.

Enjoy Reykjavík’s Kolaportið Weekend Market

The Kolaportið weekend market is an indoor location which is usually open during the weekend. The store hours are between 11:00 – 17:00, and they are occasionally open during public holidays. Most of the vendors do not receive cash. However, there is an ATM inside the market. You may not get a tax on your purchase, but because of the savings that you got, the tax does not really matter. Plus, you can also go and get yourself a good lunch at the fish stalls in the area.

Enjoy Reykjavík’s Kolaportið Weekend Market

Therefore, if you are searching for an activity to do on a boring weekend afternoon, head to Kolaportið weekend market and enjoy a shopping spree.

Kolla, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, November 2014

Friday, 14 November 2014

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

You don’t tend to think of Scandinavian countries as being the most romantic in the world, usually because you have layer on clothing as opposed to taking it off. Iceland falls into that category, and seems even less romantic when you take the local cuisine into account, not to mention the weird accent and fashion choices of the locals.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

You need to be able to look beyond all that, though, to see that the stunning vistas carved by Mother Nature’s loving hand are indeed the perfect setting for a romantic holiday. There are plenty of things for young, and the not so young, lovers to do, and a great selection of honeymoon hotels in Iceland. Here are just a few perfect hotel destinations.

Elf Guesthouse - North Iceland

This is a great little guesthouse that is owned and operated by an elderly couple. It is only a couple of km from the town center of Akureyri, but you feel as though you are in an enchanted place, as the guesthouse is located in a small forest and right beside a large stone that is the home of a friendly Elf.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

You really do feel as though you are away from it all, as the only other house nearby is that of the couple that owns the Elf Guesthouse. Karl, the owner of the property, says that he was told by the previous owner that if he bought the land, he could do whatever he wanted, as long as the stone belonging to the elf remained undisturbed.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

Karl promised that would be the case, and he has made good on said promise. The stone is highlighted by the beautiful garden that surrounds it, helping create a romantic paradise for all who visit. If you want to stay at the guesthouse, you will only be able to do so as a couple. You can book your spot by contacting Karl.

Hotel Ranga – South Iceland

Hotel Ranga is considered to be one of the “Great Hotels of the World,” and a quick glimpse into any of their 51 rooms and suites make it obvious why it has that label. The laundry list of amenities in each of the rooms is amazing enough, but the views outside the window are even more breathtaking. It doesn’t matter whether you get a view of the riverside or Mt. Helka, both are awesome.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

You can also choose to feel as though you are in another part of the world by choosing one of the suites in the “World Pavilion” that are themed to be like other nations. Lay back in your Jacuzzi and imagine that you are doing so in Antarctica, and all without leaving Iceland.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

Mjóeyri – East Iceland

When you visit Mjóeyri, you can choose to stay in the guesthouse or go for a cottage, which is a little more private and romantic. Situated on the Mjóeyri peninsula and a little ways outside the village of Eskijordur, this hotel offers views and a level of tranquility that is simply impossible to find anywhere else in the world.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Iceland

If you are looking to do a little Icelandic exploring, Mjóeyri is the perfect place to rest up between the many outdoor adventures that await just outside the front doors of this beautiful location.

Kolla, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

Borgarfjörður Eystri is one of the best places to begin a hike in the country of "Víknaslóðir", also known as "The trails of the Inlets". This is a broad trail yet you will have no problem knowing which trail is which.

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

We recommend that you spend ten days on the hike. However, if you are just interested in a five-day hike you can always explore the Northern or Southern area. When starting Bakkagerði in Borgarfjörður you will have preparatory assistance to insure that you have a wonderful hike to Víknaslóðir.

Víknaslóðir, allows you to see some amazing natural monuments such as Stórurð, while you trek through colorful mountains and see the most magical coastlines.

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

Currently, there is approximately 150km of trails, which allows your experience to be one of a kind. You can go for a long hike or a short one, the decision is up to you Hvítserkur, Brúnavík, Dyrfjöll, Urðarhólar, Breiðavík, Loðmundarfjörður are some of the places that we highly recommend that you visit throughout your journey.

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

Trekking through Víknaslóðir is a one of a kind experience. You will see colorful mountains that are unique. There are also the black sand beaches and the pinkish orange shades at the mountain ridges.

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

While trekking the trails you will find yourself being able to see the isolated coves, fjords, colorful hills, green valleys and more. You will even see the ancient farms and homes that were once busting with joy. Nature is a wonderful thing especially when the reindeer herds appear and exotic birds that are known to the artic.  Then of course, you have to stop and check out all of the colorful flowers.

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

If you want to see natural beauty that has not been affected by tourism and a great hiking route make sure you stop by Borgarfjörður. It is one of the isolated areas known as “the central province of elves”. Legend has it that in Álfaborg, the queen, resided here while guarding her realm.

Víknaslóðir Trail - The Land of the Hidden People - East Iceland

Another region to check out is Blábjörg, which is a giant wall that goes into the ocean.

Kolla, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, November 2014

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Caves in Iceland - Caving in Iceland - Lava Tubes & Ice Caves

Because of Iceland’s unique geographical position, it has been graced by some of the world’s most beautiful and exceptional rock formations. Located on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, home to an unrivaled level of volcanic activity, tube caves abound—a result of magma activity in the region. With a guide, these tube caves offer year-round tours and exploration.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

Due to Iceland’s climate, certain caves are only available at certain times of the year. The most popular summer cave is Gjábakkahellir Cave, while the most popular winter cave is Leiðarendi Cave. The first is located near Þingvellir, and the second in Bláfjöll.

Tours through these caves are often combined with other activities, the favorites being ATV riding or snorkeling in the area.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

One of the major draws of Iceland’s caves is the ability to actually go into a magma chamber. Few other places in the world provide this same opportunity. This chamber is called the Þríhnúkagígur crater and represents an erupted volcano. Now more than 4000 years old, it is dormant and massive, spanning the space of three basketball courts.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

The hike into the interior of the Þríhnúkagígur crater is about an hour and a 120 meter cable lift descent into the belly of the volcano, letting out into a chamber that could house the Statue of Liberty. What makes this area so special is that most volcanic eruptions cause magma chambers to collapse. This volcano’s eruption did not, preserving a unique natural formation that most find awe-inspiring.

Some of the most popular caves include:

1. Vatnshellir cave – Located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, this volcano can only be reached by guided tour. A staircase descends to the mouth of a tall, wide passage that lets out into the cave after a short walk. This cave gets very cold, even during the warm months, so coats, hats, and gloves are recommended. The tour itself is about an hour long.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

2. Lofthellir cave – One of the most popular caves in Northern Iceland, this lava cave is also fairly old. It is riddled with incredible ice sculptures and rock formations carved by ancient magma activity. Visit Askja offers guided cave tours at Cave Lofthellir in north Iceland.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

3. Búri cave – On the Reykjanes peninsula, this cave was only added to the list of known caves in 2005. It is, by far, the largest cave in Iceland, measuring ten meters high, ten meters at its widest, and over a kilometer long. The world’s deepest lava pit is housed here as well, descending seventeen meters deeper into the earth. Some explorers are put off by the narrow entrance, but once inside, marvel at the sheer size of the cave and the rock formations and ice sculptures. While the ice is at its best during the winter, this cave is open year round. There is a slight climb required to get to the pit, but it is worth the views.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

4. Thrihnukagigur cave – Another impressive crater, this time housed in Southwest Iceland, this cave is one of the most unique volcano exploring opportunities in the world. 4000 years of dormancy and no recent activity at all makes this a safe, but exhilarating exploration, descending right into the belly of the volcano. Some compare the incredible rock formations and colors to an elaborate palace. This cave also plays home to a giant magma chamber.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

5. Gjábakkahellir cave – This cave is one of the Iceland’s best examples of a magma tube, created as the magma on the surface solidifies as magma continues to travel beneath. The result is a series of beautiful formations and ice sculptures. This cave is about 9000 years old, and is in Thingvellir National Park.

Caves in Iceland - Vatnshellir cave - Lofthellir cave - Búri cave - Thrihnukagigur cave - Gjábakkahellir cave

Caves play an important role not just in geographical studies, but also in an understanding of history and biology. Over the years, caves have played home to both humans and animals, and they have strong ties to Icelandic history. With the range of caves in Iceland, there is no better place for a cave adventure or to see some of the most beautiful and unique natural formations in the world.

Mike, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, November 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ice Climbing in Iceland

If you are in Iceland for a trip, it is quite difficult not to notice the asset of the country that is, glacier that extends to 4,500 square miles.

Ice Climbing in Iceland

Every year, ice climbing on these magnificent glaciers is being observed, particularly on the Svínafellsjökull and Sólheimajökull, which are located in the southern part of Iceland. In these locations, day trips are being offered from Skaftafell and Reykjavík.

Ice Climbing in Iceland

If ice climbing is not your forte, you may choose a better alternative, that is, hiking trips which can be availed of at the Vatnajökull glaciers (East), as well as the Snæfellsjökull glaciers (West). In all cases, ice climbing and glacier walking should never be attempted without the guidance of a professional guide. Walking tours on the glacier are often combined with other types of tours such as glacier lagoon boating, as well as jeep safaris.

Ice Climbing in Iceland

In winter time, when the waterfalls freeze, the place just turns into an endless winter wonderland where the place for playing grows ever wider along with the possibilities that can be enjoyed in the area.

Ice Climbing in Iceland

By taking advantage of one of the guided tours offered, you will get a chance to see first-hand, some untamed nature of Iceland. These different tours may be availed of depending on difficulty and expertise. Ice axes, as well as crampons, are readily available; however it is still recommended that you bring along with you waterproof trousers, light sweater, quick dry trousers, gloves, a hat and jacket. Additionally, you may find hiking boots for rent in the area.

Ice Climbing in Iceland

Among the most popular tours are the ones in Sólheimajökull, Skaftafell, Snæfellsjökull, and Svínafellsjökull.

Ice Climbing in Iceland

Ice climbing is a type of outdoor activity that is readily available all throughout the year in Iceland. When availing of a tour, you will receive a brief explanation to what ice climbing is, and get the opportunity to master some stints in ice climbing. There is no doubt that in no time, you will become a very good climber.

Mike, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, October 2014

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Car Rental Iceland - Price Comparison Winter 2015

With public transportation being almost non-existent outside of the larger cities, like Reykjavik, renting a car gives you the freedom at a fraction of the cost when compared to the sightseeing tours sold at tourist information centers.

Car Rental Iceland

Despite being a big supporter of public transport I think the best way to travel around Iceland is by renting a car.

We recommend to pick up your rental vehicle at the airport to save money to and from the airport. For example, if you pick up your rental from the city of Reykjavik, you may incur an additional cost of about USD $25-35 / EUR €20-30 in shuttle bus fees each way to get to Keflavik International Airport. This is because the airport is about an hour from Reykjavik. However, planning to pick up your rental at the airport may save you from incurring the additional cost.

PRICE COMPARISON WINTER 2014-2015
November 30th - December 7th
Pick up: Keflavík International Airport / Drop off: Keflavík International Airport

Option A - New Cars:

CARS ICELAND *     BEST COMPANY WINTER 2014-2015
http://www.carsiceland.com 
Kia Rio diesel               314€
Dacia Duster 4x4         450€
*prices with all insurances included

HERTZ
http://www.hertz.com
Toyota Yaris                  416€
Toyota Rav4                 735€

REYKJAVÍK CARS *     BEST COMPANY WINTER 2014-2015
http://www.reykjavikcars.com
Hyundai i10                       333€
Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4   459€

EUROPCAR
http://www.holdur.is/en
Volkswagen Polo         493€            
Suzuki Grand Vitara     874€

AVIS
http://www.avis.is
Hyundai i10                 696€
Suzuki Jimny               942€

REYKJAVIK AUTO *     BEST COMPANY WINTER 2014-2015
https://www.reykjavikauto.com/
Renault Clio                310€
Dacia Duster 4x4         450€

SIXT
http://www.sixt.com/
Volkswagen Polo         555€
Dacia Duster 4x4         724€

Car Rental Iceland

Option B - OLD Cars:

REYKJAVÍK CARS 
http://www.reykjavikcars.com
Hyundai i10                 303€
Hyundai Tucson 4x4    449€

SADCARS
http://sadcars.com/en
Toyota Yaris                412€
Toyota RAV4              590€

AUTO ICELAND
http://www.autoiceland.com
Kia Picanto                  456€
Suzuki Grand Vitara    612€

ICELAND CAR RENTAL
http://www.icelandcarrental.is
Hyundai i10                 397€
Toyota RAV4               506€

ARTIC CAR RENTAL
http://www.arctic.is
Toyota Yaris                405€
Toyota RAV4               534€

SAGA CAR RENTAL
http://www.sagacarrental.is
Ford Fiesta                  435€
Ford Kuga                   560€

Car Rental Iceland

Tips for Driving Iceland’s Ring Road in Winter

1. Rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle and, if it’s an option, spring for studded tires. Studded tires help driving on the slippery, and often ice covered roads.
2. Bookmark the Vegagerdin.is website.
3. Download the 112 Iceland app. It sends a signal with your coordinates to Iceland’s search and fire rescue. Get the 112 Iceland app for Android and for iPhone.
4. Fill up when you see a gas station.
5. Maximize daylight hours.

Car Rental Iceland

What should I do if an accident occurs?

Don't move your car (unless it is in a dangerous position which might lead to another accident) and wait for the police to arrive. You can call them on 112. It is a legal requirement to carry a warning triangle and this should be used if necessary.

In the meantime swap insurance information and addresses with the other driver. If you have a camera handy take pictures of the accident for police and insurance purposes. You should give a copy of the police report to your insurance company.

Car Rental Iceland

What are the seat belt regulations in Iceland?

All passengers must wear seatbelts. Having your headlights on while driving is also mandatory while it is illegal to drive while talking on a mobile phone.

What are the motorway signs?

There is one main highway in Iceland which goes from Reykjavik all the way along the coast. It is called the Route 1 Ring Road and you can't miss it.

Car Rental Iceland

What is the alcohol limit?

The drinking limit is 0.05% and the minimum fine is ISK 70,000 or 386 Euros.

What documents do I need?

You need to have your driving licence, your passport, some proof of insurance (including third party fire and liability insurance) and your vehicle registration information.

Car Rental Iceland

What phrases might I find useful when driving?

- Motor oil - motor olia
- Entrance - inngangur
- Detour - krokaleid blylaust bensin
- Diesel - disiloliaHospital - spitali
- Police - logregla
- Police Station - logreglustod
- Parking - bilastaedi
- Highway – hradbraut
- Road goes from being paved to Gravel - malbik endar (change your speed down accordingly)
- Unleaded petrol - blylaust bensin
- Gas station - bensinstod
- Exit – otgangur
- One lane bridge – einbreio bru (you should give way to cars already on the bridge)

Car Rental Iceland

What are the speed limits?
  • 50 kilometres per hour in built up areas.
  • 80 kilometres per hour on open roads.
  • 90 kilometres per hour on highways. 90 kilometres per hour is the maximum speed limit and should never be exceeded in Iceland as the penalties are steep.

Car Rental Iceland

Berglind Rós, Iceland24
October 2014
© 2014 by Iceland24

Monday, 20 October 2014

Christmas in Iceland

Iceland is a special place with an array of holiday traditions that are as unique as the island its self.

Christmas in Iceland

In Iceland, the Christmas festivities start on December 24th and last for 12 nights until January the 6th. In many northern countries, Christmas has its roots in ancient traditions connected to the winter solstice. Former non-Christian cultures celebrated ‘Yule’ on the shortest day of the year, which is also very close to the traditional Christmas season. Many of the early traditions surrounding Yule are a mystery to us today, but what hasn’t changed much over the centuries is the food and drink! Feasting and ale were the order of the day with Icelandic Chieftains inciting scores Yule drinking fests.

Christmas in Iceland

After Christianity became the prevalent religion, the pagan Nordic traditions were replaced by celebrations of the birth of Christ. Christianity had long since been adopted in Rome, the prevailing power of the day. Celebrations of Christmas replaced pagan holidays in many places thanks to Rome’s influence. The 13 day celebrations began in the 4th and 5th Centuries. Most Christian nations celebrated Christ’s birth on Dec. 25th and his baptism on Jan. 6th along with the adoration of the Wise Men.

Christmas in Iceland

While the holiday many be 13 days long and includes many beloved and time-honored traditions, to some getting ready for the festivities is just as much of a tradition at that time of year. For hundreds of years people have been caught up in Christmas preparations the week before the holiday kicks-off. The Icelandic people would traditionally refer to this time as ‘Fast Advent’. This name arose because of the old Christian practice of fasting before Christmas.

Just as one would leading up to Easter, Icelanders would restrict their diet in the weeks before Christmas, often eating no meat during this time. The term Advent comes straight from the Latin word ‘adventus’, which means ‘to arrive’. In many Christian cultures, Advent is a time to prepare both your spirit and your home preparations for the arrival of Christmas. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas is a time for spiritual reflection and for hard work and everyone pitches in to make Christmas memorable. In modern times the popularity and love of Christmas has meant that people often start their Christmas preparations long before Advent arrives. However, Advent is still a special time, when we rush and plan and cook and decorate, all to get ready for a season of togetherness when we spend time with those we love.

Christmas in Iceland

Modern Icelandic Christmas may differ from the traditions of old, but the amount of time and preparation that is put into the festivities has certainly not decreased! In modern Iceland, before the bells ring in the Christmas celebrations, from cards and gifts to new Christmas clothes, a good Christmas cleaning and decorations for the house, everyone pitches into to make a festive holiday season. Thirteen days before Christmas children leave their shoes by their window to be filled by the Yule lads (the Icelandic version of Father Christmas/Santa Claus) on his visit. Like in the feast days of old, Christmas food is an essential part of any celebration. When Christmas Eve arrives and all the preparation is finally done, Icelanders settle in for 12 spectacular days and nights of parties and entertainment.

Christmas in Iceland

Food

There is no shortage of food to be found at the Laugarvegur shopping district. With a wide array of pubs, restaurants and clubs, you appetite for Christmas cuisine is sure to be satisfied along with your desire for a night on the town.  The center also provides for a relaxing setting after a day of shopping or sightseeing.

The aroma coming from Reykjavik on Dec. 23 is sure to be a strong attraction for all fish lovers. The traditional skate parties are held yearly the day before Christmas Eve, when the natives cook this special north Atlantic species of ray fish. Most restaurants in Reykjavik offer skate at this time of year, but skate is a particular specialty of Saegreifinn seafood restaurant, which we highly recommend. The smell might take some getting used to, but the party should not be missed.

Baked goods are a specialty of an Icelandic Christmas. Laufabrauð, a uniquely shaped deep-fried wheat bread, is an Icelandic delicacy that should not be missed at Christmas time and is best eaten with a little butter. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, why not try some of the traditional Icelandic Christmas cookies, baked with love by the locals.

Christmas in Iceland

Shopping

Perfect for some last minute or after-Christmas shopping, Reykjavik boasts Europe’s largest shopping mall! Smaralind is just a short bus or taxi ride from our hostel. Smaralind’s prices are competitive with European prices, and in many, if not most cases you can find a terrific deal.

Kringlan shopping center, like Smaralind, is located in relatively close our hostel. Kringlan is regarded as Iceland’s first modern shopping mall. Even though this indoor shopping center has been open for 25 years, it has modern amenities and trendy places to shop.

Christmas in Iceland

The closest and most convenient shopping is located in the Laugarvegur shopping district, less than five minute walk from our hostel. At Christmas time, this district lights up the dark northern days with twinkling lights and festive decorations, setting a romantic scene in late November and December. The snow is the final finishing touch to make this area into the perfect winter wonder land. Come and experience the magic of an Icelandic Christmas with your loved ones and have a holiday season that you’ll never forget.

Christmas in Iceland: a holiday season as unique as Iceland itself!

Rachel, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, October 2014