One of the most overlooked countries in the world, Iceland has a lot to offer when it comes to awesome sights and sounds. It's also not as cold as many people deem it to be, even though its name implies it to be so. In fact, Iceland can be aptly called the 'Land of Ice and Fire.' It has a temperate climate due to the presence of volcanoes in the country. The Gulf Stream sends continuous warm pockets of air to it, making it ice free even in winter. Ice incursions are also rare, due to the unusually high temperatures.
Another interesting fact about Iceland is that its heating and electricity costs are more affordable compared to other countries. This is due to the rich energy sources and the environmentally-friendly measures of the island, which are taken from geothermal and hydroelectric power sources. These make energy rates low among residential and commercial users, making Iceland a sustainable economy.
Iceland is a place where travellers can experience the unexpected. The country offers a wide range of activities to try, from hiking and nature appreciation to relaxing by a spa and watching the Northern Lights. Visitors newly arrived from the airport can start on cultural sights. The Akranes Museum Centre is a good place to start as it provides exhibitions of various artefacts such as the ketch Sigurfari. Made of oak, this well-preserved ship is used for fishing until the 1970s. There's also the Mineral Kingdom on display where there's a large collection of rocks and fossils found on Iceland's unique lava formations.
Other than the museums, travellers can enjoy some hiking on various trails such as the Laugavegur. Tourists will be treated to different landscapes, glaciers, and other natural sceneries. Follow up a long walking tour with a relaxation retreat. There are numerous hot springs ready to provide comfortable accommodations. Warm up after touring and then watch out for the Northern Lights. This can serve as a truly memorable experience to share with fellow travellers.
A visit to the Vatnajökull National Park should also be part of the itinerary. Tourists can view the interplay of geothermal forces in glacial ice and rivers. There are many high and astounding mountain ridges with the southern part covering Öræfajökull, a volcano, and Hvannadalshnúkur, Iceland's tallest mountain. Explorers also shouldn't miss the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. Icebergs float in this area, which can remind one of a winterland fantasy.
How to get around within Iceland
Travellers would be delighted to know that Iceland has domestic flights ready to transport tourists from one end of the island to another. This makes it convenient to travel by air during winter. Travellers can get flights via Air Iceland and Eagle Air. Buses and trams also make it convenient to go around. There are four bus companies available such as Reykjavik Excursions, SBA-Norðurleið, Stjörnubílar, and TREX.
Car rental services also abound, which lets tourists have the freedom to explore various places. Drivers, however, need to be at least 20 years old with a valid driver's licence. It is also advisable to check and enquire about additional fees to keep the rental within budget.
Ferry services additionally make it convenient to travel around Iceland. Travellers can check which cruises are available during their trip to maximise the Iceland experience.
How to get there
When flying to Iceland, the landing point will most likely be in Keflavik International Airport. Many airlines in Europe bring passengers here on a summer seasonal basis. These carriers are Adria Airways, Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Primera Air, and Vueling. Delta Air Lines from North America also performs passenger flights on summer trips.
For the rest of the year, tourists can catch flights from Atlantic Airways, easyJet, Flybe, Greenland Express, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and Scandinavian Airlines.
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