Iceland is not only famous for its creative quilts and rich biodiversity but also offers many unique tourist attractions. Many people are interested in exploring the Icelandic Natural Phenomena, Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic Culture, and Traditions. But sometimes tourists are so concerned about cold weather, high expenses, communication, etc., that they sometimes miss the best places of Iceland to explore and understand Icelandic Culture and Traditions. There are few tips that people need to know before planning a trip to Iceland.
Tips to keep in mind while planning a trip to Iceland
· Iceland is not a costly affair
While planning a trip to any destination, the cost is an essential point of discussion. If one plans a trip to one of the countries in enigmatic Europe, the budget can quickly skyrocket. However, this doesn’t have to be the case when planning a trip to Iceland.
– AIRFARES to Iceland are relatively inexpensive. The roundtrip airfare from the US (economy) will cost you between $500 – $600, depending on departure city.
– FOOD is expensive but delicious in Iceland. Buying a package tour that includes all breakfasts and most dinners will save you money.
– ACCOMMODATIONS in Iceland are available in all categories. Again, a tour package, including clean and proper 3-star hotels, will be affordable.
– The best tip: There is no tipping in Iceland!
· Jaeja to find your way on the streets
Icelanders speak Icelandic, one of the more challenging languages to learn. Most Icelanders also speak English, so communicating in Iceland is not a problem. In preparation for your trip to Iceland, you might just learn one Icelandic word: “Jaeja” – pronounced as ya-ya, and you are on your way. Jaeja has multipurpose use and can mean different things when used under different contexts. Jaeja can mean yes, okay, maybe, well, all depending on its use.
· Iceland is not that cold
Iceland is not as cold as people think. It is a lot warmer. Iceland enjoys an oceanic climate, affected by the warm Gulf Stream, which flows along the southern and western coasts of the island. This causes the climate to be much milder than one would expect, considering the name and location of the country. The downside of the Gulf Stream is that it brings the milder Atlantic air mass in contact with colder Arctic air, making the weather in Iceland unstable and often windy. Even in the winter, the capital of Iceland’s temperature is close to Boston and not Chicago. Light woolens and waterproof coats are recommended attire for Iceland.
· Food in Iceland: Excellent
Depending on your budget, there are many ways to enjoy International and Icelandic cuisine in Iceland. Reykjavik, the capital, offers restaurants in any category and food from all corners of the world. Smaller towns, such as Heimaey on the Westman Islands (pop. 4500), prides themselves on excellent restaurants that serve up meals that satisfy the highest demands,
Breakfast in Iceland is included with your hotel stay in most cases. It is served buffet-style and includes various delicious cold cuts, such as smoked salmon, Icelandic cheeses, herring, and “skyr” – the Icelandic kind of yogurt.
– Lunch – particularly when you travel out in the country is often a tasty meat soup, while hamburgers and pizzas are also available. The Icelandic Hot Dog is touted as the world’s best, a secret combination of lamb and beef.
– Dinner can be something exceptional in Iceland. Icelandic lamb is outstanding and featured on any Icelandic restaurant’s menu. This is because the Icelandic sheep graze high in the mountains, where the grass is clean and green. This is also where you will enjoy various fish meals, fresh from the ocean.
The more adventurous visitors enjoy the traditional Icelandic specialties, such as “hangikjot” (smoked lamb), “hardfiskur” (dried fish), or fermented shark, and try a shot of “brennivin” for good measure, to wash it down.
Some must-visit places in Iceland
· Geyser geothermal area
The great geyser geothermal area of Iceland has a rich history. Its first-ever accounted description can be found in the books of the early 13th century. That is how the word “geyser” found its way into the English language. It is one of the best places to witness the Icelandic Natural Phenomena, which has wowed people worldwide.
Geysir is the main attraction when you visit the Geothermal area. It has a long history and has been active and inactive since the 12th century; an erratic and unpredictable natural geyser. Tourists often get confused between Geysir and Geyser geothermal areas. Strokkur geyser can always be relied on in case Geysir doesn’t spout. Strokkur erupts every 4-10 minutes. Other than Strokkur and Geysir, there are three smaller natural geysers in this geothermal area, Blesi, Fata, and Konungshver.
· Where mother nature is the artist
Iceland is known for its spectacular natural beauty. The country has many barren and desolate lava fields, where active volcanos have shaped the land. This is evident on the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the current volcano eruption makes its mark about 20 miles from Reykjavik, the capital. Visitors hike to this area to witness the force of nature; to see the spectacular lava flow at a safe distance.
· The World’s Oldest Parliament
The Alþingi (Parliament in Icelandic) is the national parliament of Iceland. It is the oldest surviving parliament in the world. The Alþing was founded in 930 at Þingvellir (“assembly fields”), situated approximately 28 miles east of the country’s capital, Reykjavik. It was moved to Reykjavik in 1844, where it has resided ever since.
The present parliament building, the Alþingishús, was built in 1881, made of hewn Icelandic stone. The unicameral parliament has 63 members and is elected every four years based on party-list proportional representation. The current speaker of the Alþing is Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
A trip to Iceland in summer is a rewarding experience for anyone. The spectacular nature and warm people of Iceland will capture your heart and soul. The tourist attractions in Iceland carry the essence of the Vikings’ bravery and the power of nature. Iceland is a paradise for those who wish to get away from pests and politics; the ideal destination for photographers, naturalists, horse lovers, whale enthusiasts, gourmands, hikers, geologists, historians, writers, AIRFARES, and, – Yes Quilters.