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Archive for iceland

A Whale of a Time in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

If you’ve dreamed of getting up-close and personal with a whale without risk, then Reykjavik’s whale museum is the place for you. Appropriately named Whales of Iceland, it showcases life-size replicas of 23 whale species found in Icelandic waters. Painstakingly reproduced, the exhibition includes an 82-foot-long blue whale, a full-size sperm whale and even an endangered North Atlantic right whale. You can download an audio tour to your phone or tablet or take advantage of the guided tour offered at 1:30 p.m. to all ticket holders.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Heating Up in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

Though not faithful like Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, the Great Geysir in southwestern Iceland is the stuff of legend. The first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans, its name provides the origin for the English word “geyser.” Mostly dormant now, it’s aided by an otherwise active geothermal field starring Strokkur, which propels hot water as high as 100 feet into the air every 10 minutes or so. A peculiar offering in the area is the ability to assist a chef in the making of “hot spring bread,” which involves boiling eggs outside in a hot spring and digging up rye bread that has been “baking” underground for 24 hours. Located about 62 miles from Reykjavik, the geothermal field is part of Iceland’s famous “Golden Circle” tour.

Full Circle in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

Looking for a convenient way to conquer Iceland’s 40,000 square miles? Try a bus tour. With Iceland by Bus, you can take a hop-on, hop-off excursion either clockwise or counterclockwise from Reykjavík. That means you get to spend more time at the locales of most interest to you, like long valleys and peninsulas in the north or volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls along the south coast. Depending on the bus route, the operations period generally runs from June to August.

Iceland in Miniature

By Linda Tancs

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is often referred to as Iceland in miniature. True enough, considering its 56 miles cover everything the country has to offer, from volcanoes and lava fields to glaciers, cliffs and beaches. At the westernmost part of the peninsula is Snæfellsjökull National Park, the only Icelandic national park that stretches to the sea. The area takes its name from the saga of Bárður Snæfellsás, the half-man, half-troll protector of the region whose colossal stone statue is in Arnarstapi.

Lava and Lights

By Linda Tancs

Where everything meets nothing. That’s the way ION Luxury Adventure Hotel pitches its peaceful respite less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavík. The “everything” is the luxury experience that awaits you at this eco-conscious hotel sporting prefab panelized construction that melds with a backdrop of lava fields. Enjoy the pampering, which includes options like a relaxation massage with Icelandic herbs, a warm soak in the sauna and the tranquility of a silent relaxation room. The “nothing” may be a bit of a misnomer, considering the property’s location at the footsteps of the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, site of a dramatic landscape formed as a result of its locale along the border between the North American and European tectonic plates. That’s part of where the “adventure” in “adventure hotel” comes in. Or you can just relax at the hotel bar, where floor-to-ceiling glass windows will give you spectacular views of the Northern Lights on clear nights.

A Capital Experience in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

Iceland is a little island jewel in the North Atlantic, a geological nexus between America and Europe featuring natural wonders like the midnight sun, aurora borealis, thermal baths, glaciers and endless lava fields.   Hear all about it on Travelrific® Radio.

Trip the Light Fantastic

By Linda Tancs

Iceland may seem like a no-brainer as a winter new year’s destination, but not for the reasons you may think.  Did you know that the average temperature in January is actually a bit higher than that of New York?  What makes Iceland appealing to ring in a new year is the fireworks celebration.  Their law places no limits on fireworks, so the lights will be flashing well into the night.  Happy New Year!

A Ray of Light in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

Memorials to John Lennon abound throughout the world, but perhaps none is as spectacular as the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland.  Located on Viðey island near the capital of Reykjavík, a beam of light radiates from a white stone monument bearing the words “imagine peace” in 24 languages.  You can view it year round except for 8 December, the day he died.

Iceland’s Tallest Church

By Linda Tancs

You’ll get about 10 hours of daylight this time of year in Iceland.  That’s enough time to soak in the stunning views of Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, a church resembling a giant ice carving.  At 244 feet, it is the nation’s tallest building.  Located in the city center, its bell tower (accessible via an elevator) provides the best views in the city.

A Cool Trip

By Linda Tancs

As record breaking heat grips the northeastern U.S. this late spring (spring!), it’s time for our collective mindset to turn to cooler climes.  How about Iceland?  Coming in this time of year at a delightfully cool 56 degrees fahrenheit in Reykjavik, you can run, hike, swim, bike, kayak or glacier hop without breaking a sweat.  And it shouldn’t hurt that Budget Travel cites Iceland as one of few places where the U.S. dollar goes further.  Of course, budget is a relative term.  If fuel costs, airline downsizings and surcharges have you staying closer to home, then you can always enjoy Icelandic culture vicariously through the Puffin cam on the tourist board’s website.

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