Tuesday, 26 September 2017

December in Iceland. What to do?

It is difficult to choose the right time to go to Iceland, because each month and each season has its charm. The month of December is one of the most obscure in Iceland. There are very few "daytime" hours but there is a warm feeling with Icelanders busy preparing for the Christmas holidays. December oscillates between two atmospheres, both dark and luminous at the same time.

December in Iceland. What to do?

Temperatures for the month of December average around 0 ° C. It is the lack of brightness that seems to thwart Icelanders and travelers! In winter, roads and trails that lead to the highlands are inaccessible, and only road number one is always open – only in principle however, because sometimes a section of this road closes for a few hours if there is too much snow or a storm.

December in Iceland. What to do?

Don't worry though, the activities in winter remain numerous, and the landscape covered with white gives Icelandic towns and villages a charming air. 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 choices at this time of year. If you like skiing, it is also a very good time to come to Iceland!

December in Iceland. What to do?

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 we imagine a better life 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 idea to have a good time while bathing.

December in Iceland. What to do?

Christmas preparations are in full swing in December; Decorations are everywhere (including cemeteries), Christmas markets, Christmas concerts, special events - Icelandic cities are bustling with festive activities for the whole family. From the 15th of December, all the shops remain open until 10pm, and sometimes 11pm on 23rd December – go through the streets of the Icelandic capital that evening if you want to see the crowds! In Dimmuborgir, in the north of Iceland, you can visit the Icelandic Christmas Fathers (there are thirteen), every weekend in December.

December in Iceland. What to do?

Starting from December 1st in Reykjavík, ice-skating is possible in Ingólfstorg in the city centre. Visit the Christmas wonderland at the town hall, or discover the Icelandic traditions at the Árbær Museum, the Botanical Gardens or the Zoo. This year, Sigur Rós will perform four exceptional concerts in Harpa, and will organize other events for six days between Christmas and New Year.

December in Iceland. What to do?

Whether you are in town or in the country, New Year's Eve is a real show! Icelanders buy dozens of fireworks that they fire from their garden or from the street all night until about midnight. To prepare for this crazy evening, you can run the ten-kilometre run of New Year's Eve during the day.

December is also an ideal month to discover the Northern Lights, which can be admired in Iceland from September to April. Check out our article on the Northern Lights to familiarize yourself with the best conditions for observing and photographing them.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Iceland with children. Travel tips!

Iceland is a very child-friendly country, and your little munchkins will no doubt be welcomed everywhere in Iceland. Whether in cafés, museums or the hairdressers, there is often a play area for children. Here are some ideas and tips to take care of your children during your holiday in Iceland.

Iceland with children. Travel tips!

The swimming pools are real institutions in Iceland, and this is a must for your trip. There are hundreds of pools of all shapes and sizes, all outdoors, and the water temperature varies between 28 and 42 degrees depending on the pools. It is an activity that will delight the youngest and the oldest - it is not uncommon, in summer, to see babies of only a few months bobbing in the water. Bathtubs, changing rooms and high chairs are provided to make your life easier in the showers and changing rooms.

Iceland with children. Travel tips!

It is better to stick to the municipal swimming pools with your young children as there are no activities or games at the blue lagoon and other natural baths like Jarðböðin við Mývatn or Laugarvatn Fontana so they are better for teenagers or young adults.

"Paying" activities such as visiting museums are generally suitable for children, and there are often interactive activities during visits that can easily keep them occupied. Whale watching is a fun activity for older children - The excursions are rather long and will seem endless for the younger ones. If you are not sure if your children will have the patience you can try a one and a half hour express tour, but this is only possible from the capital, Reykjavik.

Iceland with children. Travel tips!

In Iceland, your children are unlikely to be abducted - babies are often seen sleeping outside the cafes in their prams. The big danger in Iceland comes from nature, and you have to be careful during your wanderings. The "nature" activities must be adapted to the age and interests of your children.

Some places require a lot of walking or are not very safe for young children. Geysir is an exciting place for children, but you have to be careful that they do not pass the barriers or have fun dipping their hands in the boiling waters of the site.

Iceland with children. Travel tips!

Waterfalls are often easy to reach, but can also be dangerous; Gullfoss, Goðafoss, Dettifoss and other sites are slippery and unsafe. The same is true for the promontories like Dyrhólaey or Látrabjarg - small people (and big) should be wary and not approach too close to the edge. And for the volcanoes that can be visited -Kerið is quite dangerous and going around Krafla in northern Iceland is not suitable for young children.

Iceland with children. Travel tips!

Some beaches are calm and peaceful, and some Icelandic children even enjoy bathing in the summer; However, others are known to be extremely windy and dangerous, especially Reynisfjara in the south of the island. Never let your children get too close to the water.

As for the best places to sleep with your family and whether it is wiser to stay at a hotel or rent a campervan...we will come back to that topic again!

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Monday, 11 September 2017

5 Things to do before you die: Northern Lights in Iceland

During the long Icelandic winter nights, you can see in the sky the aurora borealis, a natural phenomenon that turns darkness into a spectacle of colors, and even if the Northern Lights are mostly green, you will be able to see red, violet or other colors.

5 Things to do before you die: Northern Lights in Iceland

First, to see the aurora borealis, it must be a dark night, with a clear sky and the solar activity intense. There is no chance to see the aurora from May to August, then, because the Icelandic nights are not dark at this time of the year. December is a good "season" for a chance to observe them, as there are very few daylight hours that month.

To find out if the sky is clear (and where) you can check out the Icelandic weather report on the website: http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/cloudcover/. To see if solar activity is enough to see the Northern Lights, the same site makes forecasts for the coming week, but we recommend you not to rely on the reports for more than a few hours before your trip: http: // en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/

5 Things to do before you die: Northern Lights in Iceland

There are no rules for the Northern Lights. They can occur anywhere, at any time, and last a few minutes or hours. There is no secret when observing the aurora borealis, but your chance in the countryside increases because it is darker there. I happened to see a strong green solar flare just above Tjörnin in the centre of Reykjavík. It is possible to see them over the city lights, but nothing beats the sight of the Northern Lights over a farm in the middle of nowhere. Jökulsárlón has become a very popular destination for photographers and aurora hunters who hope to take the perfect shot of the aurora and its reflection on the river ice and iceberg below.

5 Things to do before you die: Northern Lights in Iceland

Know that your photos of the aurora will surely look brighter than with the naked eye because a camera can capture more efficiently the light streaming from a solar flare. Do not forget your tripod if you want to photograph the northern lights because the exposure time should be several seconds.

You can choose to rent a car and go independently on a northern lights hunt at night, or book a tourist agency that can organize excursions for a few hours at a low cost, or for longer stays, especially for photographers. Both, Independence or guided tours have their advantages and disadvantages, but tourism professionals know the best places and offer tips to see the Northern Lights successfully. And if you did not get to see them on your trip, almost all companies offer you to join the second trip for free the next day.

5 Things to do before you die: Northern Lights in Iceland

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Tips for your winter trip to Iceland

Plan

Prepare your trip conscientiously. Inquire about Iceland, weather conditions, activities not to be missed in winter and learn as much as you can about your destination. A well-prepared trip will avoid unpleasant surprises upon arrival. If you are going during the holidays, be aware that business hours may be shorter around Christmas and New year’s.

Tips for your winter trip to Iceland

Flexibility

Despite all the care you have taken to prepare your trip and fine-tune your itinerary, Iceland, especially in the winter, is unpredictable! You must be ready, especially as the weather can be erratic. A snowstorm may prevent you from continuing your way, causing delays that can last hours or days. It is not uncommon for roads to be blocked due to hazardous weather. Ideally, your itinerary should be flexible with back up plans, if conditions warrant.

Tips for your winter trip to Iceland

Security

Always check road conditions on the website of the Icelandic Road Administration, www.road.is . Road conditions can change very quickly, and an open road can become closed in a matter of hours. If you are driving on a road that is becoming more heavy with snow and you don’t see any other traffic, it is possible that you are on a route that has been closed due to the weather conditions. Turn around and check the road conditions if you can. Some vehicles may display a sign that says "ófært" or unable, to inform others on the road of the situation.

Tips for your winter trip to Iceland

Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers and sites to know. Check the websites and social networks often to keep you informed of any weather alerts, avalanches or other:

112
http://safetravel.is created by the Icelandic Lifeguard Association
Http://en.vedur.is
Http://www.road.is
@safeiniceland

Dress up!

This seems likely to be obvious, but make sure you are adequately equipped when traveling in winter. Warm, waterproof but breathable clothing is essential. Hats and gloves are absolutely essential, as well as good shoes.

Tips for your winter trip to Iceland

Enjoy!

After considering all our tips, enjoy your stay! Winter is a season full of wonders. Lounging in a hot spring, joining an excursion to admire the Northern Lights, skiing in one of the many Icelandic ski resorts, there is plenty to do.

Tips for your winter trip to Iceland

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

Hallgrímskirkja (73 meters high) is the tallest church in Iceland and is located in central Reykjavik. The architect Guðjón Samuelsson was commissioned in 1937 to design Hallgrímskirkja, but the construction work didn’t begin until 1945 and ended 36 years later in 1986. It was designed to resemble the basalt lava flows in the Icelandic landscape. The church tower gives a magnificent view over Reykjavik city. Hallgrímskirkja is also well-known for its 5275 piped organ of the famous German brand, Orgelbau Klais.

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

The Water Library (Vatnasafn) displays a permanent installation that was designed by the American artist, Roni Horn in the old library in the coastal town, Stykkishólmur. On the main floor, a large room offers breathtaking views overlooking the sea and town and holds 24 glass columns containing water collected from some major glaciers around Iceland.

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

The new church of Stykkishólmur is a concrete building that was built in 1990. It stands on a promontory overlooking the town and can hold nearly 300 people. It was designed by the architect Jón Haraldsson and the church altar was painted by Kristín Gunnlaugsdottir. The church has excellent acoustics and hosts many concerts annually.

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

The gigantic sculpture Tvísöngur in Seyðisfjörður, east Iceland, was sculpted by the German artist, Lukas Kühne. Tvísöngur consists of five interconnected cement domes that resonate sound when the wind blows through them, creating a five-tone harmony (a musical tradition unique to Iceland).

Perlan is situated on the hill Öskjuhlíð, and serves as a hot water reserve to Reykjavík city, and is also a building that houses exhibitions, concerts, shops and restaurants. Perlan (25 meters high) is clearly recognisable on the Reykjavik skyline for its glass dome-shaped roof that offers stunning views of the Icelandic capital.

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

Skriðuklaustur is an old manor farm in the valley Fljótsdalur, in the east of Iceland, which was once a monastery from 1493 to 1552. In 1939, the writer Gunnar Gunnarsson bought the property and asked the German architect Fritz Höger to build a large house near the ruins of the cloister. When the writer moved to Reykjavík in 1948, he donated the house and land to the Icelandic nation. In 2000, the building became a cultural and historical centre open to visitors every summer.

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

The bizarre house of Icelandic film director, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson (located at Laugarnestangi 65, Reykjavík) is open for guided tours. With thirteen gates, this property is an array of strange works of art and sculptures made from metal, stones, rocks and recycled materials.

Strange architecture in Iceland! - What to see in Iceland

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Ugly Food Festival. Try icelandic food in Þorrablót!

Þorri is the Icelandic pagan name given to the fourth month (thirteenth week) of winter on the old Norse calendar. Þorrablót begins on a Friday between January 19th to February 25 and is a winter celebration in honour of Þór, the god of thunder in Norse mythology. The tradition faded when Iceland converted to Christianity around the year 1000, but then years later in 1873, Icelandic students living in Denmark revived this tradition, celebrating Þorri on January 24 in the Danish capital. The following year, Þorri was celebrated in Akureyri, North Iceland, then the rest of Iceland followed suit and ever since Þorri (Þorrablót) is celebrated annually all over Iceland.

Ugly Food Festival. Try icelandic food in Þorrablót!

The first day of Þorri is called "Bóndadagur" or "the day of the peasant" dedicated to men. That day, women do something special for their husbands/boyfriends like offering gifts or bringing them out for a delicious breakfast. Þorri ends with Konudagur, "women's day", about a month after the start of Þorri when it's the men's turn to do something special for the ladies.

Ugly Food Festival. Try icelandic food in Þorrablót!

The main celebration, known as the Þorrablót, "the Þorri festival" mostly involves eating traditional Icelandic food. On the dinner table during the festival, you can find everyday Icelandic food such as smoked or salted mutton, herring, rye bread and dried fish (harðfískur). But, there are also other foods served during Þorrablót that you'd rarely see on the typical Icelandic dinner table; once I ate at a farm where I was served sheep's head for lunch.

Ugly Food Festival. Try icelandic food in Þorrablót!

At the Þorri festival, you'll find sheep head (SVID), block sheep's head (svíðasulta), shark gamy, stomach of mutton filled with blood (blóðmör), ram's testicles (hrútspungar) - or if you're extremely lucky, sour rams testicles (sour hrútspungar) yum yum!. The food is hearty and rich in protein! However, if nothing seems appetising, there are usually accompanying mashed turnips, and alcohol flows freely, including the famous "Black Death", Brennivín.

Ugly Food Festival. Try icelandic food in Þorrablót!

If you get an invite to a Þorrablót party, and you don't speak Icelandic, no worries, one sentence will suffice: nei, takk ;) And if you feel adventurous about tasting Þorrablót and didn't get a Þorrablót party invitation, Icelandic traditional restaurants offer þorramatur. Besides, rumour has it this celebration was revived primarily through a greedy restaurateur.

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

The best festival in Iceland? Iceland Airwaves!

The first Iceland Airwaves festival was held on October 16th, 1999, in an aircraft hangar at Reykjavík Airport. Originally suppose to be a one-off event, the festival has since become one of the biggest and most exciting music festivals in Iceland for showcasing new bands. Seven groups played that first night back in 99’, three International bands and four Icelandic bands. Iceland Airwaves (sponsored by City of Reykjavík and Icelandair) will take place in a variety of venues in downtown Reykjavík, including Harpa, Nasa, the Art Museum and Iðno.

¿The best festival in Iceland? Iceland Airwaves!

For four days, downtown Reykjavík will be buzzing and alive with musicians performing gigs everywhere! RollingStone magazine described Iceland Airwaves as ‘the hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar’. The festival will take place in Akureyri as well for the first time in its history (November 2nd and 3th).

This year 217, Iceland Airwaves will take place from November 1th-5th, with more than 230 bands expected to perform. According to Grímur Atlason (manager of Iceland Airwaves), altogether, 9000 people are expected at this year’s festival and a majority of people (6,000) will arrive from overseas especially to attend Iceland Airwaves.

¿The best festival in Iceland? Iceland Airwaves!

For anyone without a ticket for the main Iceland Airwaves Festival, you can still attend the festival’s “off-venues”. These are good quality gigs, free of charge, and can be found in hostels and cafes in downtown Reykjavík. Some big names may show up to play the off-venues. In 2011, Of Monsters And Men played off-venue gigs at Reykjavík Downtown Hostel and Kex before becoming world famous. The festival is known for helping to kick-start many bands, including Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Architecture in Helsinki, who had never played outside their hometown (New York) before playing the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2004.

¿The best festival in Iceland? Iceland Airwaves!

In previous years, the Blue Lagoon near Keflavik International Airport, hosted the “Blue Lagoon Chill” concert for Iceland Airwaves, unfortunately, this year the concert is not on.

Some names not to be missed at this year's festival: Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Billy Bragg, Childhood, Mammút o JFDR -the complete list of artists can be found on the site http://icelandairwaves.is

¿The best festival in Iceland? Iceland Airwaves!

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

3 small museums in the North of Iceland

Folk Music Center Siglufjörður

N66 ° 8 '57,108 "W18 ° 54' 52,986”

The Folk Music Center is in a charming little house called the house where Reverend Bjarni Þorsteinsson lived from 1888 to 1898. Reverend Bjarni Þorsteinsson (1861-1938) was primarily a folk music collector. He was also a talented musician and composed many songs that are still sung in Iceland today.

3 small museums in the North of Iceland

Bjarni began collecting folk songs from 1880 and then published the Icelandic song book "Folk Songs" (Íslensk Þjóðlög) with support from the Carlsberg Foundation in Denmark. The book has hundreds of folk songs from various regions of the Iceland. In July 2006, for the 100th anniversary of the folk songs book by Bjarni, the center of folk music was officially opened. Bjarni worked in Siglufjörður all his life. Besides being the priest of the town, he was also an active politician and is still considered by many as the "father of Siglufjörður.”

3 small museums in the North of Iceland

At the center, visitors can see video recordings of people of all ages chanting, singing or playing the tvísöngur folk instrument called the langspil. The Folk Music Center: a very nice little museum.

Smámunasafnið, Museum of small things

N65 ° 26 '49,886 "W18 ° 12' 30,527”

Sverrir Hermannsson was an Icelandic carpenter born in Akureyri in 1928, who grew up in the countryside in the fjord of Eyjafjörður. He helped restore most of the oldest historical buildings in Akureyri. Sveirir was also involved in the maintenance and reconstruction of several churches in the fjord Eyjafjörður: Grund, and Grenivík Möðruvellir, among others. Sverrir was a collector of small objects and never discarded any of his tools since becoming a carpenter. He was always on the lookout for things to collect i.e. pieces of wood, nails, door handles, boxes of matches, pens, boxes. You can admire Sverir's beautiful collection of bric-a-brac at Sólgarður in Eyjafjarðarsveit (opened since 2003).

3 small museums in the North of Iceland

Museum of Birds Sigurgeir (Myvatn)

N65 ° 38 '36,370 "W17 ° 0' 22696 ‘

The Bird Museum on the Ytri-Neslönd farm at Lake Myvatn was established following the pioneering work of Sigurgeir Stefansson, who lived at the farm. The bird collection presents an interactive way that is both entertaining and educational. The museum contains a copy of all Icelandic breeding birds, except for one. There is also a record of recent observations on birds; telescopes are set up to observe birds on the lake and a remote camera can see wildlife away from the lake. You can watch the birds on the lake while enjoying some local refreshments.

3 small museums in the North of Iceland

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Thursday, 20 July 2017

3 days in Iceland! What to do? Weekend in Iceland

Arrival - Friday noon

Departure - Monday morning

Friday: Reykjanes Peninsula

On arrival, the wonders of Iceland are already waiting for you near Keflavík International Airport. The Reykjanes Peninsula is a secial place, and it is often referred to as a condensed version of Iceland. The rugged and dramatic landscape is filled with volcanic craters, lava fields, geothermal water and hot springs, as well as countless restaurants, museums, churches, lighthouses and festivals.

3 days in Iceland! What to do? Weekend in Iceland

Among the sites not to be missed are Gunnuhver, Iceland's widest bubbling hot spring, Brennisteinfjöll sulphide mountains, Brimketill lava formation and the bridge that connects the Eurasian and American tectonic plates. Stay in the peninsula overnight, then head to the capital, Reykjavík.

Saturday: Reykjavík

There is a lot to see in the Icelandic capital. The famous Hallgrímskirkja church is at the top of the exclusive street Skolavordustigur. Its organ is beautiful and an absolute must-see - you can also go to the top of the church for a breath-taking view of the city. You can continue your walk to Perlan and Oskjuhlid and if you feel like it, go for a swim in the sea, followed by a hot bath at the geothermal beach Nauthólsvík. Back in the city centre, a visit to the beautiful Harpa is necessary; This building that houses concert halls and events is an architectural gem. Then head to the little lake by the town hall Tjörnin, and meet the local ducks.

3 days in Iceland! What to do? Weekend in Iceland

The weekend flea market, Kolaportið, is fun to browse, with or without buying anything. You can taste the famous Icelandic delicacies, such as shark-fish or dried fish, and walk in the alleys filled with clothes, books and handicrafts. The beautiful peninsula Seltjarnarnes, to the west of the centre of Reykjavík, is worth exploring. The neighbourhood has a very nice swimming pool, including a large pool for swimmers, a small one for children, four Jacuzzis, a sauna, a pool with seawater and a beautiful view of the Icelandic capital and surrounding area, awaits you there.

Stroll down the shopping street Laugavegur, without a doubt this will occupy a substantial amount of your day. If you want to know a little more about the city and discover the best places to visit, according to the locals, you can join a guided tour of the city. There are a few to choose from, some have a fixed price and some are free with an option to donate (you give what you want). Take a walk around the harbour area, and why not join a whale watching tour?

3 days in Iceland! What to do? Weekend in Iceland

To learn more about Icelandic history and culture, many museums are at your disposal. The Árbær museum consists of over twenty buildings that form a central square, a village and farm, and aims to show the Icelandic way of life, throughout the ages. It is the only open-air museum in the capital, but there are dozens of other interesting places to visit.

Sunday: Golden circle

The Golden Circle is Iceland's most popular tourist destination, and includes Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is the National Park where the Althingi (parliament) was founded in 930 and continued until 1798. The next stop on the tour is the hot spring area of Geysir. this is the first geyser known to Europeans and first that has been written about in a printed source.

3 days in Iceland! What to do? Weekend in Iceland

Geysir does not erupt very often, but his companion Strokkur delights visitors with eruptions every ten minutes or so. Gullfoss, the golden waterfall is certainly the most popular waterfall in Iceland, and is a must see in the south of Iceland. The waterfall is 32 meters high, but the canyon in the vicinity can reach up to 70 meters high. The waterfall is located on the white river Hvítá, which is supplied by the second largest glacier in Iceland, Langjokull. After a busy day of sightseeing, spend the night in the capital or near the airport, if your flight is early the next morning.

3 days in Iceland! What to do? Weekend in Iceland

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

Kirkjufellsfoss
64 ° 55'33 "N 23 ° 18'44" W

Kirkjufellfoss (church mountain waterfall) is located just outside Grundarfjörður village on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Just across the road is Kirkjufell mountain ( 463 meters height), known for its particular church-like appearance it is easily recognizable, these sights are a must see, along with a series of waterfalls scattered around the area. There's a small carpark close by and a well-maintained path leading to the waterfall. The waterfalls are on private property, but the owner invites visitors to enjoy the scenery.

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

Glymur
64 ° 23'27 "N 21 ° 15'5" W

Glymur waterfall, at 196 meters high, is the second-highest waterfall in Iceland. Located at the bottom of Hvalfjörður in a spectacular region in Iceland that is both beautiful and quiet and is often bypassed by people since the tunnel opened under the fjord in 1998, leaving the possibility for travelers to cross the fjord in ten minutes instead of an hour.

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

Glymur waterfall is accessible from the carpark Botnsá and then on to a well-marked path. When hiking to the waterfall, it's best to walk along the east side of the river Botnsá. The journey includes crossing the river on a tree trunk if it's in place but not always easy to pass; travelers must be well-equipped for hiking. It takes a good half a day to hike the trail to Glymur.

Hraunfossar
N64 ° 42 '10,076 "W20 ° 58' 39.780"

The Hraunfossar in Borgarfjörður, western Iceland are a series of small waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 metres. Small underground sources of cold water seeped through the lava and created tiny waterfalls and rapids along the river Hvítá. There is a viewpoint that is located near the parking area, offering a beautiful view of Hraunfossar and Hvítá river. In the summer, there is a small cafe near the falls.

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

Barnafoss
N64 ° 42 '5.569 "W20 ° 58' 21,630"

Next door and upstream from Hraunfossar is Barnafoss, meaning "waterfall of the children." You will find there the explanation of the name, which comes from a passage from an Icelandic saga. The story goes that the children of the Hraunsás family stayed at home while their parents went to Christmas mass. When their parents returned home after mass, they discovered their children missing, and so, the parents traced their toddlers' footprints in the soil until they disappeared near a small stone bridge over the waterfall. The mother concluded that the children fell into the waterfall and drowned and, so had the stone bridge destroyed to prevent further misfortune to other kids.

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

Dynjandi
65.7328 ° N, 23.1998 ° W

Dynjandi is the best known of a series of Waterfalls in the Westfjords of Iceland and is a landscape that reveals the beauty of Icelandic nature. The waterfall series is composed of seven waterfalls, each with a name; the waterfalls flow on a total height of one hundred meters. To access the information board and washrooms that are near the waterfall, you have an easy walk for another ten or fifteen minutes. Several protective panels have been installed to ensure visitors do not trample on the delicate plant life in the region.

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

Word of advice for travelers in love Icelandic waterfalls

Because of growing tourism, 2015 marked an increase of accidents around waterfalls by visitors unaware of safety precautions. Icelandic nature is a wonder, but it is also powerful and sometimes fragile. The sites we listed above are lacking infrastructure. Few paths, few barriers and cascades of several tens of meters high, this means Caution! No barrier by a waterfall is not an invitation to get too near. Take in the fantastic view but don't let the view take you!

5 Amazing waterfalls in the West of Iceland!

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Iceland in World War II? Visit Reyðarfjörður, in Eastern Iceland

Eskifjörður is a small town and port in Eastern Iceland, with 1100 inhabitants and has been a place of trade and exchange since 1789. The locals take great pride in the two mountains overlooking Eskifjörður: Eskja and Hólmatindur; especially their 985 meters high Hólmatindur mountain, and often recommend visitors to hike to its top. To climb Hólmatindur mountain is quite difficult, but once you’ve reached the top you can leave a record of your climbing efforts by signing the guestbook provided. The local hiking association, Ferðafélag Ferðamanna, offer a competition stamp booklet for climbing mountains; after five stamps you’ll receive the title "Conqueror of the mountain.”

Iceland in World War II? Visit Reyðarfjörður, in Eastern Iceland

Eskifjörður is renowned for its rare collection of Icelandic pebbles and rocks in the thousands at Sören and Sigurborg. Take a visit to Randulfssjóhús and learn more about the local fishing trade; the building is still the same since 1890. Another interesting tour of the area is the old Spar mine Helgustaðanáma, one of the most famous Spar mines of its time, and it is a protected site today. To the east of the town, you can reach the mine through a marked path and once there you will learn how the minerals were produced in 17th century Iceland right up until the early twentieth century.

Iceland in World War II? Visit Reyðarfjörður, in Eastern Iceland

At the top of the hill Hólmaháls, one can find the gravesite of the “völva,” a female prophet in Icelandic mythology. The völva is said to have protected the villages Reyðarfjörður and Eskifjörður from outside attacks for centuries. Legend has it that as long as the prophetess’ bones remain intact, her protective role of the land will continue. In the main street of Eskifjörður, you will see a sculpture of Ragnar Kjartansson honouring the missing sailors at sea in the region.

Iceland in World War II? Visit Reyðarfjörður, in Eastern Iceland

Reyðarfjörður town situated in front of Eskifjörður has 1,300 inhabitants and is famous for its skiing and winter sports. The ski center named after the mountain pass Oddskarð is a unique place for skiing. Besides being a place of training for top athletes, Oddskarð remains the playground for the locals who like to spend the long winter skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. From December to April or May (depending on snow conditions) you can enjoy this paradise for skiers, commonly called the Alps of eastern Iceland. For more experienced skiers, a ski lift takes you to almost 900 meters above sea level, where you can take the opportunity to observe the magnificent view of the fjord of Reyðarfjörður. Children also have access to a small ski lift, and a cottage with coffee and hot chocolate will warm you up after an afternoon of skiing.

Iceland in World War II? Visit Reyðarfjörður, in Eastern Iceland

A path from the center of the city of Reyðarfjörður along the river will lead you to the Museum of War; the museum mainly offers information about the occupation of East Iceland during World War II, during which British and American soldiers have stayed in Iceland. If you continue your journey after the museum, you will come to the beautiful little waterfall Búðarárfoss and the lovely Svínadalur Valley. You can also explore the gorges of the Geithúsaá river, or climb the mountain

Iceland in World War II? Visit Reyðarfjörður, in Eastern Iceland

In the summertime, Grænafell is especially worth a visit (especially if you are a botanist) because the diversity of flowers and plant life there are amazing.

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