Saturday, 29 June 2013

North Iceland named as Top 10 European Destination for 2013 by Lonely Planet

North Iceland has been named as a Top 10 European Destination for 2013 by the world’s leading travel publisher, Lonely Planet. The list, which was compiled by the team’s editors, local experts and wide-roaming authors from the U.S. and London, placed North Iceland in third place.

Iceland's waterfalls are a top european destination

According to the Lonely Planet, travellers should venture away from Reykjavik and the popular Golden Circle route to experience the charms of the North including Iceland’s second city Akureyri, as well as the region’s “dramatic geysers, lava fields and towering waterfalls.”

pools in Iceland as a touristic destination

Arnheiður Jóhannsdóttir, general manager of North Iceland Marketing Office, said, “We are proud to hear that Lonely Planet has seen the potential in North Iceland, which is an area that has been growing in popularity during the past years. We have many of Iceland’s most popular natural attractions such as Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall and on Grímsey island you can cross the Arctic Circle.”

Skiing in Iceland

Myvatn Nature Baths, an outdoor geothermal pool similar to the popular Blue Lagoon in Keflavik, was also noted by Lonely Planet as a great reason to visit the North. The chance of spotting the Northern Lights was also noted as being higher than ‘in even more northern parts of Scandinavia.’

Jóhannsdóttir continued, “The area is very versatile and attracts visitors all year round including the winter months when the magical Northern Lights dance in the sky and you can enjoy watching seals, whales, take on exciting jeep tours or simply enjoy the icy landscape. Additionally, visitors can now get direct connecting flights from Europe and the U.S. to Akureyri in North Iceland with Icelandair, making it even more accessible for those wanting to explore this part of the country.”

Geothermal area for Tourism in Iceland

Andy Murdock, a U.S. digital editor of Lonely Planet, commented, “Few destinations seem to be attracting as much word-of-mouth love as Iceland right now. With a small window of affordability, popular Icelandic bands, mystery writers, and a seeming worldwide need for a long soak in a hot spring, Iceland seems to be on every traveler’s mind this year.” 

Icelandic horses

To read the full Lonely Planet article, click here. In addition, for more information about North Iceland, visit

Iceland24, June 2013
Resource: Icenews

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Midnight Sun in Iceland

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon occurring in summer months at places north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Around the solstice (June 21 in the north and December 21 in the south) and given fair weather, the sun is visible for the full 24 hours.

The number of days per year with potential midnight sun increases the farther towards either pole one goes. Although approximately defined by the polar circles, in practice midnight sun can be seen as much as 90 km outside the polar circle, as described below, and the exact latitudes of the farthest reaches of midnight sun depend on topography and vary slightly year-to-year.

midnight sun Iceland

During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. There are even special excursions to the island of Grímsey on the Arctic Circle where you can experience the midnight sun. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater.

Sun hours per day in Iceland

11:19 / 15:44
12:01 / 15:11
11:32 / 15:00
10:08 / 17:15
10:29 / 17:04
08:25 / 16:47
08:36 / 18:46
08:46 / 18:45
08:25 / 18:26
06:46 / 20:1906:47 / 20:2806:28 / 20:07
05:00 / 21:52
04:50 / 22:12
04:33 / 21:49
03:23 / 23:3002:42 / 00:2302:34 / 23:50
03:05 / 23:57-01:57 / 00:32
04:33 / 22:5904:16 / 22:5904:01 / 22:34
06:09 / 20:4406:06 / 20:5605:48 / 20:35
07:36 / 18:5807:42 / 19:0007:22 / 18:41
09:10 / 17:1209:27 / 17:0409:04 / 16:47
10:45 / 15:4811:19 / 15:2310:52 / 15:10

The northernmost coast of Iceland is just kilometres below the circle, and during the months of June and July the sun barely disappears below the horizon. This period of ‘golden light’ is perfect for some creative photography and allows for longer days of exploration!

Many find it difficult to fall asleep during the night when the sun is shining. In general, visitors and newcomers are most affected. Some natives are also affected, but in general to a lesser degree. The effect of the midnight sun, that is, not experiencing night for long durations of time, is said to cause hypomania, which is characterized by persistent and pervasive elevated or irritable mood.

sun never setting as the midnight sun in Iceland

During the summer months of the midnight sun, Icelanders and tourists alike can enjoy special events and regular daytime activities such as golfing, swimming and running throughout the night. The 2013 Suzuki Midnight Sun Run will be held on June 24, 2013 in Reykjavik, and runners can participate in 5k, 10k or half marathon races. After the races, runners celebrate at the outdoor geothermal swimming pools at Laugardalslaug. Visitors can also experience midnight golfing at the Akureyri Golf Club's Arctic Open Golf Championship a few days later on June 27-29, 2013.

May 2013