Category Archives for "Relax and Unwind"

Sep 17

Why Iceland is Perfect for Solo Travelers

By Editor | Food , Relax and Unwind , Travel Guide

Just like anything else in life, you wouldn’t know if solo travel is for you unless you give it a try. If your thinking of heading to Europe for your first solo trip, then you won’t go wrong with Iceland. Here are the top reasons why this country deserves a spot on a solo traveler’s list:

It’s generally safe and easy to travel.

 Safety is one of the prime considerations of people especially those who are on their first solo trip. Iceland fits the bill when it comes to safety. It has very low crime rate and it’s easy to ask for directions as people are proficient in English. You can also see English signs almost everywhere so it’s less likely that you’ll end up feeling lost and confused.

There are several day tours to choose from.

 

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Iceland is famous for its breath-taking natural wonders. You won’t run of activities and sites to see in this country as there are several day tours to choose from. You can go river rafting, visit popular destinations such as the Golden Circle, go hiking, or enjoy a dip in Iceland’s geothermal pools.

 Food is great.

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From local to international cuisines, your taste buds will definitely enjoy the flavors of Icelandic cooking. You would feel less lonely dining out as impressive food presentation and restaurant’s ambiance will catch your attention.

Iceland may be considered as an expensive country but those who have been here can attest that the money spent on Iceland vacation is worth it.

Mar 11

Things to Do in the Largest Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

One of the places that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Iceland is its largest lagoon, the Jökulsárlón. Located in the southeast part of the country, Jökulsárlón can be found at the head of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. The lagoon has become widely known for its appearance in four different Hollywood movies: Die Another Day, A View to a Kill, Batman Begins, and Tomb Raider.

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If you happen to be in Iceland, do not forget to include Jökulsárlón in your to-visit places in the country. The following are some of the things that you can do in this largest glacier lagoon in Iceland:

1. Marvel at its fauna

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The lagoon isn’t only famous for its presence in the international screen; it is also known for its rich fauna. Wide array of fish can be found in it including trout, salmon, and herring. Seals can also be found in groups especially during  winter as they gather in the mouth of the lake to catch fish. When you’re heading in the lagoon during summer, large numbers of skuas (big seagulls) can be found along the shores of the lake. Gannets, which are also huge birds, are also seen during summer time. This variety of birds is said to migrate from Spain and Africa.

 2. Go on a boat tour

There’s no any other way to marvel at the beauty of the lagoon other than going on a boat tour. Commercialized boat tours started in 1985 and has now become the main ‘to do’ of the people visiting the Jökulsárlón lagoon. These boat tours provide an amazing view of the site. Different tour operators in Iceland could assist you in getting into one of these tours.

3. Explore its nearby places

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The good thing about this lagoon is its proximity to other interesting sites which you could check out after your boat tour. These impressive sites include the Ingólfshöfði cape (an isolated island), Vatnajökull glacier (the highest elevation in Iceland), and the Fláajökull glacier (one of the glaciers flowing from Vatnajokull glacier).

Iceland is definitely a country filled with natural wonders. Its hospitable people, culture, and most of all, its lagoons are definitely worth a visit.

Mar 08

Design March: Appreciating Icelandic Art

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

Whether you are a renowned artist or simply an art enthusiast, you will definitely love the ambience and activities during the Design March celebration of Iceland. It’s one of the country’s most significant events that will be celebrated for the fifth time this year. A one-of-a-kind celebration, the festival provides a unique opportunity for gathering both local and internationally-acclaimed artists in different fields of creative pursuit – from architecture down to food design.

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Organized by Iceland Design Centre, it brings exciting activities both for guests and locals. Some of the activities included in Design March are Design Talk and Design Match. The Design Talk takes place on the first day of the festival, with both local and international artists come together to talk about issues affecting different creative industries. Participants of Design Talk often include architects, designers, and even leaders from different creative groups.

Design Talk

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For this year, the speakers of Design Talk shall include Calvin Klein (designer and founder of Calvin Klein Inc), Mikael Schiller (executive chairman of the Acne Studios), Robert Wong (chief creative officer of Google Creative Lab), Kathryn Firth (chief designer of London Legacy Corporation), and Marco Steinberg (managing director of Snowcone and Haystack). Some of the topics that will be discussed during the talk include design collaborations, strategies for rebuilding cities, and coming up with new technologies and their applications.

Design Match

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Other than the Design Talk, the festival also features another activity, the Design Match. Taking place in the Nordic House, Design Match gathers designers, retailers, and art directors. It works similar to a speed dating game, only that it ends up into art deals. In this part of the event, every designer shall be asked to bring three (3) items and designs. Together with them shall be PDF outlining the information about the designer and the designs themselves. From these materials, representatives from various companies shall choose who they are going to meet at the Nordic House.

How to Join

The event is more than just a gathering of artists, it’s a way of celebrating art and its beauty. Guests won’t find themselves bored as various exhibits shall be held during the festival. Most of the activities in Design March are free except for the Design Talk and Fashion Festival. If you want a hassle-free celebration of the event, you can take advantage of an exclusive program provided by Pink Iceland. This package often includes admission tickets and survival kit for the entire duration of the festival.

 Unleash your inner creativity, sign up for Design March now!

 

Mar 03

Spending Your Summer in Iceland

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

Its natural wonders, well-preserved culture, interesting people, and adventure await those who are visiting Iceland this summer. The country is well-known for its geysers, mountains, and thermal baths which you can enjoyed the most during long daylight hours. Aside from these, there are many things that you can do and places to check out in Iceland during its summer months. Some of them include the following:

Hike and Soak in a Naturally Hot River

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If you’re a huge fan of trekking, then one of the best times to do it in Iceland is during summer. You can start it off by hiking to the naturally hot river of Reykjadalur Hot Springs then explore the rest of the day heading back to the city of Reykjavik and exploring it on your own. Other places that are worth exploring include Móði & Magni Volcanoes, the Blue Lagoon, and Snæfellsjökull Glacier. If you’re a first timer, you should pursue your trekking trips with precaution. Make sure that you’re with someone who knows well the trails and the places themselves; better yet, sign up for package tours that usually take care of everything – from transportation down to your accommodation.

Get an Adrenaline Rush

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A trip to Iceland is nothing without getting yourself an adrenaline rush. Some of the things that you must try in the country include sea kayaking, whale watching, snorkeling, caving, and glacial hiking. Again, if you haven’t tried any of these before, it will be wise to ask for information from the tourism office or for hassle-free trips, inquire from different tour agencies for their available package tours.

Go Camping

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Another way to experience summer in the country of Fire and Ice is to go camping. Go south and camp in the jaw-dropping place like Langisjór Highland lake. The best thing about camping in this kind of place is that there’s a variety of things that you can do here – you can simply enjoy the beautiful scenery, go paddling in the lake, or trek the nearest mountain. Boredom is indeed non-existing in the country.

Explore

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Iceland is filled with exciting places ready to be explored. The country is more than just a hub for adventure-seekers; it’s also the best place for naturally curious people. You can go out and explore historical places, fishing village like Stykkishólmur, and discover the beauty of alcoves and sea cliffs.

 So, if you can’t think of any place else to spend your summer, then head to Iceland and enjoy the place from sunrise to sun down. Whether you’re the adventure-seeker or the history lover, there’s always something in store for you in the country.

Feb 26

Safety Tips When Mountain Biking in Iceland

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

If you’ve always been in love with nature and outdoor activities, then you could most likely enjoy mountain biking in Iceland. The country is famous for its geysers, picturesque natural wonders, and cool weather. This becomes one of the top countries to visit both for adventure-seekers and nature lovers.

Before you get too excited to hit the road with a bike and enjoy the beautiful sceneries around, there are some safety tips that you must be aware of. You see, mountain biking is both a great form of exercise and adventure to try but if you’re not careful enough, this can lead to a fatal accident. Keep yourself safe as you bike around Iceland with these tips:

1. Know your bike

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This may not be your firs time to do mountain biking but it’s necessary to do some test drive first before you hit the rough road. Your mountain bike back home can be totally different with what you’ll be using in the country. So, before you start the adventure, test drive your bike even just for a few minutes.

2. Adjust your seat and handle bars appropriately

Mountain biking can be straining at both your back and knees. Sustain your energy level by making sure that your elbows, back, and knees are properly positioned. Adjust your seat and handle bars in a way that your back leans at 45 degrees and your knees to only exert minimal bending when you’re hitting the pedal at its lowest point.

3. Don’t forget the safety gears

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You may consider yourself a pro-mountain biker but you should NEVER neglect wearing your safety gears such as your helmet. Remember, mountain biking is a great activity but can also be risky. Keep yourself safe especially your head by wearing your helmet all-throughout the activity.

4. Be conscious of your body

It’s typical for newbie mountain bikers to grip the handle bars too tightly, often leading to a tensed body. Keep yourself free from injury by allowing your elbows and knees to be soft enough to absorb the shock. Oftentimes, accident happens whenever your body’s too tensed when dealing with rough roads.

5. Shift your view

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If you’re just been into mountain biking, you’re most likely to focus on objects or areas that you’d most likely to hit. Focusing on these areas often increases your chances of falling or even hitting these objects. Stop this from happening by shifting your view to where you should be heading, not on the objects you’ll be hitting.

These are just some of the safety tips to bear in mind when mountain biking in Iceland. May these tips help you have a good time biking around the countryside.

 Keep yourself safe!

Feb 20

Scuba Diving in Stryta

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

Boredom is almost inexistent in Iceland. Whether you’re after land, air, or water adventure, you can always find something that can satisfy your thirst for adrenaline rush. Those who are fond of scuba diving would find satisfaction in Strýtan.

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Strýtan is considered to be a huge smectite cone that rise above the sea floor found at Eyjafjörður. Smectite cones are believed to be developed 10,000 years ago, during the Ice Age. These cones are made from the magnesium-silicate from the sea. They used to be unknown not until Erlendur Bogason and his friend Árni Halldósson discovered them in 1977.

The Strýtan in Iceland is not only a famous scuba diving spot in the country but is also the only geothermal cone in the world where diving is possible. Some geothermal cones are 3,000 m deeper or more. According to the professor, the water released by the cone is about 1,100 years old (it releases 100 liters of fresh water per second at 72 ˚C).

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Unlike other activities in Iceland, this water activity is not limited to summer or winter; it is available/can be done all-year round. Unfortunately, this activity may not for you if you haven’t experienced scuba diving before. In order to try this, you need to be an advanced diver, experienced dry-suit diver or a boat diver.

Diving in Strýtan could last 4-6 hours. Package tours available for this water activity are available. Most of these package tours can be either 3 days or 5 days, often involving more than just one diving spot. These packages include transport from Akureyri to the dive center located at Hjalteyri. Each tourist shall be provided with one guide.

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Scuba diving is a great adventure to try. It can open your eyes to the beauty of sea life. The experience in diving Strýtan is priceless considering its reputation as the only geothermal cone where scuba diving is possible. So, if you have tried diving before, why won’t you do it again in Iceland? Once you try it here, you will keep on coming back (that’s for sure).

 

Feb 14

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Iceland

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

Iceland has been known to many as a country blessed with so many natural wonders. Despite the change of time, the country was able to successfully preserve its jaw-dropping natural wonders together with its tradition. While Iceland’s celebrations of certain events have similarities with the way other countries celebrate them, the country never fail to do it their own way.

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Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated events among different countries. While its origin still remains as a mystery, lovers all over the globe never fail to celebrate it. Iceland also joins other countries in celebrating this day for lovers. However, unlike most countries, Valentine’s Day in Iceland is being celebrated simply.

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During Valentine’s Day, many young people in the country express their affection by giving bouquets of flowers. The most common flowers given away by young Icelandic people are red roses and tulips. Flower vendors in Iceland flaunt these flowers on streets during Valentine’s Day. Online shops are also offering these top-selling flower bouquets.

Other than flowers, another tradition that has been practiced by Icelandic people during the Valentine’s Day celebration is the exchange of greeting cards. These cards come in a variety of colors, design, and messages. Most of the gift shops in the country are selling these together with other gifts and flowers even days before the celebration. And with the advent of technology, there are some people in Iceland who are now opting for eCards.

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Another way on which Valentine’s Day is being celebrated in Iceland is through dinner and dance parties in the city of Reykjavik. Couples who want more privacy usually opt for private Champagne parties at homes or farm houses. Those who found themselves in nostalgic mood celebrate this day for lovers in turf houses. This kind of houses plays a huge part in Icelandic culture. Celebrating Valentine’s Day in these turf houses is celebrating both the Icelandic culture and the day for lovers.

If you’re in Iceland during Valentine’s Day, on what way would you celebrate it?

Jan 25

Iceland’s Top Geothermal Pools

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

Iceland is well known for its geothermal pools. In fact, a trip in this country wouldn’t be complete without taking a dip in one of these pools. If you’re in Iceland, you shouldn’t miss this experience that can be traced back to the Vikings time. You don’t have to fret even if you’re in the country during peak season as Iceland has a number of geothermal pools. Below are the country’s top hot pools:

LAUGARDALSLAUG, REYKJAVÍK

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This geothermal pool is one of the most famous in Iceland. In fact, the people in the country are spending so much time dipping in the pool. Aside from one of the biggest geothermal pools n Iceland, this one is also one of the best-equipped pools. It has both indoor and outdoor pools for everyone and water slides for kids.

BLUE LAGOON, REYKJANES

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If you’re looking for a geothermal pool with spa-like benefits, then you’d most likely enjoy the Blue Lagoon. The water, which flows from a geothermal power station, is said to provide relief to skin problems. Other than the pool itself, the Blue Lagoon also has steam rooms and on-site restaurant.

LANDMANNALAUGAR

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Landmannalaugar is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Iceland. Aside from providing a good place to trek, it also offers a quick relief for tired bodies. Also known as the farmer’s hot bathing pool, Landmannalauger is a place where you can actually find a spot to take a dip depending on your desired water temperature. Thanks to being the meeting point of cold and hot water.

LEIRUBAKKI, HEKLA

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Leirubakki is one of the few farms that can be found in the foothills of Hekla. Its crater was once believed to be the gateway to hell. Now, it is a sunken pool enjoyed by small groups (could only fit up to 4 people).

SNORRALAUG, REYKHOLT

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If you’re looking for a place to dip with a value in history, then you can check out the pool in Snorraluag in Reykholt. It is said that this is where Snorri Sturluson used to take a dip. Sturluson is a thirteenth century politician who was assassinated. Aside from being a politician, he was also known as writer, having authored the Eddas.

When you’re in Iceland, do not just go around and do sightseeing; experience the place. One way to do that is to do the activities that Icelandic people love and one of that is swimming in geothermal pools. Go ahead and dip in one.

Nov 05

How to Enjoy the Holidays in Iceland

By Editor | Relax and Unwind

Iceland is one of the best countries to spend your holidays. While Christmas and New Year celebration is similar to the celebration that most countries have, there’s something about this country that will definitely make this year’s celebration of the holidays a unique one. Here are some suggestions on how you can make the most of the holidays in Iceland:

Witness the Northern Lights

Northern Lights Iceland

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The Aurora Borealis, popularly known as the Northern Lights, are among the best wonders of nature. Their surreal combination of colors on the night sky is definitely worth the time and effort of your travel. Iceland has the ideal climate to witness the Northern Lights. In fact, the country is listed among one of the best countries to witness these natural wonders.

There are package tours available for those who wanted to witness these auroras. Some of these package tours include a dinner cruise, relaxing trip to the geothermal Blue Lagoon, and off-year festivities in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik City Break

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You haven’t been to Iceland if you don’t know where Reykjavik is. It’s one of the key cities of the country, popular for its festivities and is considered to be a center of trade. If you wanted to enjoy both the Icelandic culture without going too far from the country’s capital, then Reykjavik is the place to go. Some of the places to check out in the Reykjavik include the lake and bird sanctuary, the cathedral, and the Parliament. You may also want to sip a cup of coffee, the country’s national drink, in one of the country’s coffee shops (there are too many to choose from).

Killer Whale Watching

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Iceland is famous for its nature trips. If you’re keen on being one, you better include the killer whale watching as part of your Iceland activity. Some tour operators are offering a package tour which includes this famous activity at Grundarfjordur Harbour, one of the popular sites for watching the killer whales. What’s more, this package includes a trip to witness the Northern Lights and a Christmas dinner buffet.

These are just some of the ways on how you can spice up your holidays while in Iceland. With these different activities, who says you can’t do something new while on holiday vacation? With Iceland’s beauty and well-preserved culture, it’s very much possible.