To whet your appetite, here’s a primer on this island nation — one of the world’s hottest travel destination’s right now.
Located in northwestern Europe, Iceland sits in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Greenland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland and the Faroe Islands. Iceland’s glassy glaciers, hot thermal springs, spectacular geysers, active volcanoes, lava fields, stunning waterfalls and snow-capped mountains makes it the original “land of fire and ice.”
There are so many things to do and see here, from watching whales to chic fine dining, hiking, seeing Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajokull, fishing in rivers, horse riding, rafting, exploring the landscape on a snow scooter, enjoying the Summer Solstice Festival and visiting island of Grimsey to cross the Arctic Circle. And the list goes on!
The population of Iceland is 299,388, and nearly half of Iceland’s population lives around Reykjavik, the country’s capital city. The official language is Icelandic. English, Nordic languages, German are also widely spoken.
Iceland is temperate with damp and cool summers and mild and windy winters. The highest temperature recorded was 86.9 F on June 22, 1939 at Teigarhorn, on the island’s east coast. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -36.4 F on January 22, 1918 at Grímsstaðir, along the northeast of the country’s famous ring road.
Service charges are included in the total on bills most of the time and tips are not expected.
Iceland’s unique landscape is rugged and colorful with black lava, red sulfur, hot blue geysers, rivers, waterfalls, bays, fjords and green valley. The most famous attraction is Gullfoss, a double-tiered waterfall set off with the outstanding hot springs of Geysir.
Other Reykjavik Attractions include the famed Hallgrimskirkja Church, National Museum of Iceland, Botanical Gardens and the Einar Jonsson Museum, dedicated to the work of the country’s first sculptor.
The national airline of Iceland is Icelandair, which operates from many international destinations such as Amsterdam, Baltimore, Boston, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Halifax, London, Minneapolis, Orlando, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm and Washington. Wow Air, a discount airline, flies to Reykjavik from several major U.S. cities, including Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other, predominantly Scandinavian, carriers also operate services. Iceland’s major airport is Keflavik International Airport (KEF), located at 31 miles south of Reykjavik.