Iceland, this scenic country is located at almost an equal distance between mainland Europe and North America. As a result, it is an ideal stopover destination for tourists traveling on trans-Atlantic holidays. In fact, several different airline companies have recently started offering daily trans-Atlantic flights between various European and North American cities, which include several nights' layover in Iceland at a discounted rate.
The entire population of Iceland is only just above two hundred thousand, with half of that living in the capital city of Reykjavik. Outside of Reykjavik, there are only sparsely populated towns and villages dotted around the country. As a result, there is an enormous amount of undisturbed and beautiful landscape to be explored. Iceland is located on the junction of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and as a result, it experiences a lot of volcanic activity. There are many active volcanoes and geysers that can be visited in the country. Some of these are located close to Reykjavik and there are several tour companies located in the city that offer regular visits to these attractions.
Iceland is located immediately below the Arctic Circle, and so it experiences long days of sunlight during the summer months and very short days during the winter. However, despite its extremely high latitude, Iceland experiences relatively mild winters due to the moderating effect of the North Atlantic drift (average temperature of zero degrees). However, the summer months can be cool (about nine to thirteen degrees Celsius). One of the main attractions to see in Iceland during the winter is the Aurora Borealis; various tour companies offer visitors the chance to witness this unique and glorious spectacle by transporting them to ideal viewing locations. During the summer months, one of the main attractions to see is the midnight sun, which is visible in the north of the country.
There are also many things to see and do in and around the city of Reykjavik itself. One of the most popular attractions is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located thirty minutes drive from Reykjavik. It is made from the outflow of a nearby geothermal power plant. The water maintains an average temperature of thirty-eight degrees Celsius and contains minerals such as silica and sulfur. It is also believed to help treat people with skin disorders such as psoriasis. Whale-watching is another popular activity among tourists. Between the months of April and October, tours are available from the main harbour in Reykjavik. Several different species of whale, including minke and humpback, can be seen in their natural habitat.
Icelandic is the official language of the country, however the vast majority of Icelandic people speak
English and are well accustomed to tourists. In recent years, the government has pumped large amounts of money into its tourism industry, and as a result, the country has seen its numbers of tourists increase dramatically. Iceland has been voted as one of the safest countries in the world and is also one of the cleanest, with very minimal air pollution.
There are quite a few Iceland hostels located in Reykjavik, which offer both private and dorm-style accommodation at a reasonable rate. There also Iceland hostels available in other towns around the country such as in Akureyri and Seydisfjordur. In general, Iceland hostels and tourist activities are not too expensive. However, eating out can be very pricey, and tourists who are on a budget are recommended to buy food at grocery stores.
Hi, I'm Shannon Neuber,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Iceland hostels. Welcome.
Keflavik is very remote and if you do not plan what you're doing on a daily basis you could be confused as where to go because there is so much to do. I got back from Keflavik yesterday and had a brilliant time though.