Sunday, 17 December 2017

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

It was in February 2016 when the Ministry of Industries and Innovation took the initiative to compile a list of the most dangerous 24 sites in Iceland. At that time there was an incident on the beach Reynisfjara, in which a man died. Some other accidents have happen in the same spot since then. Here you are some safety measures you can't miss in order to have a fully successful experience in the nordic country!

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Reykjadalur

Reykjadalur, “The Valley Of Smoke", is a beautiful valley in southern Iceland, characterised by its intense geothermal activity and known for its hot river in which it is possible to bask. Located 40 kilometers from the capital Reykjavík, near the small town of Hveragerdi, Reykjadalur is a favorite place for hikers and nature lovers. Be careful, though, because some parts of the hot river have extremely high temperatures, and not suitable for swimming.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Reynisfjara

The beautiful beach of Reynisfjara became infamous when a man was killed there in February 2016 when he took advantage of the beautiful location. In 2007, a woman from the United States also lost her life there, when she was swept away by a wave. The winds and waves of the beach can be very violent and dangerous; we will repeat ourselves again by advising that you can enjoy the wonders of Icelandic nature, but, at a respectful distance.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui are beautiful waterfalls in southern Iceland, thirty kilometres from Skógar. Seljalandsfoss is 60 meters high and is especially popular because you can walk behind the waterfall, we recommend only in summertime. In winter the ice on the path can be very slippery and dangerous, and gigantic stalactites can fall at any time and cause injury.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Seltun

Seltun is a geothermal area located on Route 42 on the Reykjanes peninsula in the south of Iceland; the temperature is high there because the area is home to dozens of fumaroles and hot pots. You can wander around the landscape using marked paths provided, but don't go off the trail because hot mud and smoke explosions can severely burn.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Skógafoss

Near the small village of Skógar on the number one road, is a beautiful waterfall named Skógafoss. Very popular among the sights to see in Iceland with many steps leading to the top of the waterfall, 60 meters high. In winter, these steps are slippery and dangerous -prudence!

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Sólheimajökull

The glacier tongue of the glacier Sólheimajökull is an extension of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, a little after Skogar, on the number one road in southern Iceland. If you venture without a guide on the glacier tongue, even just a few meters, it will be the last thing you'll do, since cracks are not visible the glacier can swallow you up.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Svínafellsjökull

The same recommendations apply to the Svínafellsjökull glacier, a glacier forming the glacier tongue of Vatnajökull. It is easily reached by a short walk on a trail not far from Skaftafell.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Víti / Askja / Drekagil

Askja is a popular destination for travellers; it ’s a set of calderas most recently erupted in 1961. Askja is best known for one of its caldera, Öskuvatn. It is possible to swim in some parts of the crater Víti 20 - 60 ° C depending on the location. The road to Askja is located in the highlands and is only open during summer; the road is only accessible by 4x4 (smaller vehicles will not pass the Fords), and the journey may seem long and tortuous. You will cross several rivers, and we strongly recommend traveling with several cars when crossing fords.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

The driver on the road must have experience; drive slowly and be aware of the obstacles that may arise on the way. If you decide to get there without going through a tourism company, make sure to be sufficiently informed and well equipped. An alternative is to use a professional travel services in the region, i.e. the team http://www.visitaskja.com.

If you intend (or by opportunity) to bask in Víti, know that its centre water depth is up to eight meters deep. The path to the swimming area may be slippery, muddy and on the way down can be a little hot. Also, look out for occasional rocks sliding down the crater.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

Latest tips

Always check road conditions on the website of the Icelandic Road Administration, www.road.is and the http://en.vedur.is weather.

Respect barriers, instructions and listen to the advice of locals.

If you are traveling in winter, in remote locations, or if you go to the Highlands (in any season), be prepared, do your research before departure and use common sense when on your journey.

Is Iceland dangerous? Top places that can be dangerous for tourists

In an emergency, call for help by dialing 112.

As this is the part 3/3 of the list compiled by the Government, you can go over the previous sites here: Top dangerous places in iceland (Part 1/3). 8 Most dangerous sites in Iceland. Tips to stay safe in Iceland! (Part 2/3)

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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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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

Christmas in Iceland is a very special and atmospheric time of year. Most the island is covered in snow, houses and shops are decorated with many beautiful lights and Icelanders spend a lot of time in their kitchens baking and cooking for the festive season!

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

If you visit Iceland in December, you will have the chance to enjoy this very special atmosphere. Most restaurants offer Christmas menus or buffets, which is a very good way to sample traditional Icelandic cuisine. Hangikjöt (smoked meat), Hamborgarhryggur (marinated pork), Laufabrauð (crusty bread) or the more sophisticated dishes of Hreindır (reindeer meat) or Rjúpa (snowy partridge) are all on the menu.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

In the lead-up to Christmas, in Reykjavik and throughout Iceland, you can find Christmas markets, outdoor ice-skating, exhibitions, concerts and many other festive activities to enjoy.

Christmas

From the 12th of December until the 24th, the thirteen "Yule Lads" arrive one by one to drop a small gift in the shoe of well-behaved children, children that have been misbehaving will get a potato. The yule lads are thirteen brothers that live in the mountains with their mother Grýla. During the month of December, it is possible to meet them in Dimmuborgir, in the Myvatn area in northern Iceland.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

Þórlaksmessa is the 23rd of December; on this day Icelanders eat Skata, a type of rotten fish or hangikjöt , which is a boiled smoked ham. Most stores remain open until 11 pm to accommodate the last-minute shoppers. The main shopping street of Reykjavík, Laugavegur, is crowded with people until the shops are closed, and thousands of people go there to shop or walk and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

Aðfangadagur is Christmas Eve and this is the most important day of the holidays in Iceland. In the evening families meet, have dinner, attend mass or listen to the mass on the radio and exchange and open gifts. The evening is spent reading the new books, playing new games and eating chocolates. It is said that the Christmas cat, Jólakötturinn, takes the children who are not dressed in new clothes with him to the mountain.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

On the table, there is probably smoked meat, Hangikjöt, the laufabrauð (bread like a cracker that has patterns decorated on it with a small knife). The meat is usually pork, Hamborgaryggur, but some people eat ptarmigan (Rjúpa) they have caught themselves. For dessert, homemade cookies called Smákökur, are often served.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

Christmas Day, Jóladagur, and the 26th of December, annar í jólum are usually spent with family, eating and relaxing.

What to do during Christmas in Iceland

Almost everything is closed in Iceland from noon on the 24th of December to the 27th of December, but with the growth in tourism, this has slightly changed things. However, there is no public transport or domestic flights during this time.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

The websites of the two largest cities of Iceland ( www.visitreykjavik.is and www.visitakureyri.is ) annually publish a list of restaurants, pools and museums that remain open during the holidays. It is important to book a restaurant, to be sure to have somewhere to eat! In other parts of Iceland, most hotels and restaurants are closed, with some exceptions – be well prepared if you plan to visit at this time of year. Some tourist agencies offer excursions during the holidays, and you will find more information in the links above.

Christmas in Iceland. The best winter holidays!

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