Exploring Iceland

Imagine a stark, alien landscape carved by glaciers, dotted with volcanoes and impressive ice-blue waterfalls. Waves crash against jagged cliffs, populated with colourful seabirds. Iceland is a nation straight out of a fantasy novel. Geologically, the “land of fire and ice” is also the youngest country in the world. Exploring Iceland offers a wealth of highlights for any bucket list: Stand beneath an exploding geyser, whale watch in Reykjavik, hike to geothermal hot spots, sample unusual cuisine, and relax in the fabled healing waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Length of Trip : 7 days +, depending on your itinerary

Cost :
Iceland is one of the world's most expensive countries.  Budget extra for accommodation, dining and especially drinking (alcohol is notoriously expensive!)  A taxi from the airport to downtown Reykjavik costs over $US100!   That being said, you can be frugal by self catering through supermarkets or camping in excellent facilities found throughout the country.

Best time to go : June to September

Wheelchair friendly : Consult with a tour operator to make arrangements

Family friendly : Yes

Where to eat :
It's not all pickled lamb brain and fermented shark (although tasting either is an impressive addition to your culinary bucket list!) In Reykjavik, you'll find the best fish and chips in the country at the aptly named Icelandic Fish and Chips.  Load up on those skyr dipping sauces! Kex is a popular hostel and watering hole that serves up local dishes. Near the Rocket Ship Church (well I call it that, the real name is Hallgrímskirkja, but it doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily) is Reykjavik Roasters, known as the best coffeeshop in all of Iceland.

Official Site :
For ideas and info, visit Iceland Tourism 
Explore on foot Iceland's impressive lava fields, glaciers and volcanoes with Utracks

Where to Stay :
On a budget?  Get started at the popular http://www.hostel.is/Hostels/Reykjavikcity/
Looking for something a bit more luxurious? Start your trip at the illustrious Hotel Borg. In summer, many school dorms convert into modest but well-priced accommodation. For more info, visit Tourism Iceland.

Getting There :
Icelandair connects North America and Europe through multiple gateways, with 7-day stopover packages in Iceland offering terrific value. There are budget flights to Reykjavik from most European hubs.

Note from Robin :
Quite frankly,  there's no other country with as many jaw-dropping landscapes packed into such a short distance. The basalt columns and archways on the coast, the looming volcanoes, the magnificent waterfalls - it's creates a solemn, reflective atmosphere best personified in the moody music of Iceland's rock stars (Sigur Ros, Bjork).  This is a place for long walks.  As for the Blue Lagoon, the country's most popular attraction, it is close the airport so most visitors tick it off on the way in or way out.  It's a soak of a lifetime.

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The Blue Lagoon

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The crater of Eyjafjallajökull

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Gullfoss waterfalls

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Exploring an alien landscape

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Hiking near Snaefellsjökull

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The Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik

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Standing at the base of Skogarfoss

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The Geysir that named them all

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Whale watching in Rejkavik

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On the coast at Hellnar

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