Tapas Bar
Apr 29

Gourmet Restaurants in Iceland

By Editor | Food

In order to fully experience the place, one must not just use one’s eyes but as well all other senses including the sense of taste. Traveling in Europe may be expensive but there are some things worth splurging on at least once in a while. Here’s a list of some of the best gourmet restaurants in Iceland that are worth checking out:

Dill

Dill Restaurant

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Opened in 2009, Dill has been one of the gourmet restaurants in the country. It only allows 30 people to dine at a time so make sure to reserve a table before you visit this cozy place. One of the owners is a member of the national chefs and is constantly changing the menu depending on the availability of the ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes in the restaurant include the reindeer with blueberry sauce and their haddock with blue mussels.

Cafe Maria

Cafe Maria

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Looking for a place to dine with the family? Cafe Maria is a great place to dine with your loved ones. Its menu consists of a variety of lamb, fish, pizza, and even crepes (those with sweet tooth will definitely love it!).

Fjöruborðið​

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Just a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik, Fjöruborðið​ os the place to be if you’re craving for lobsters. Do not judge the restaurant from its exterior as what’s inside (and their menu) will take you by surprise. Its romantic vibe plus its fresh lobster dishes will definitely win your heart!

Fish Market

Fish Market

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Another notable restaurant in Iceland that you shouldn’t miss is the Fish Market. To say that their dishes are palatable is an understatement. Using only Iceland’s fresh and finest ingredients, dining here will definitely be a treat.

Tapas Bar

Tapas Bar

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For chilling out with friends, go and check out the Tapas Bar. Its combination of festive vibe, Latin music on the background, and mouthwatering dishes, eating in this bar-restaurant will never be counted as your typical night out.

The increasing number of world-class Icelandic chefs has paved way for more exciting dishes to try in Iceland. The best thing about dining in these restaurants is that there’s still the taste of authentic Icelandic food yet they never fail to surprise you with something new in their menu.

Apr 27

Festival of the Sea: What to Expect

By Editor | Travel Guide

For many Icelanders, the sea plays an important role in their history and economy. This gratefulness is expressed in Iceland’s annual Festival of the Sea. Also known as Sjómannadagur or Seaman’s Day, the festival is a weekend celebration of seafaring culture. It is a weekend of merry making celebrated every first Sunday of June.

festival of the sea in Iceland

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During the festival, every ship in Iceland stays in the harbour and the sailors take a day off for a weekend of fun activities with family, friends, and other sailors. Attendees of the festival will definitely enjoy it especially with the following activities:

  • Funny Fish on display
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Ferry Trips (heading to Videy Island)
  • The Maritime Museum
  • Delicious Herring
  • Bottled-message factory
  • Speed rowing
  • Fun activities for kids
  • Ocean rescue demonstration
  • Music and more

Have fun!

Apr 24

Off-the-Beat Destinations in Iceland Worth Checking Out

By Editor | Travel Guide

If you’re the type of person who’d rather explore the less explored places than go with the crowd on the known tourist destinations, then you’d love the off-beaten paths in Iceland. Compared to other European countries, Iceland is not as populated as the rest. However, it’s one of the most beautiful countries blessed with natural wonders. Here’s a list of the top off-the-beat destinations in Iceland that are worth checking out:

Fjord Hvalfjordur

Fjord Hvalfjordur waterfalls

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Found at the northern part of Reykjavik, Fjord Hvalfjordur is a destination often missed by travelers. Getting into this off-beaten destination is worth it as you’ll get to see more of Iceland’s natural beauty. Aside from the rivers, waterfalls, and lakes, you’ll get to see here the unspoiled landscape of the fjord which used to be  of the British army during the World War II.

Quad Bike Tours (Reykjavik)

Quad Bikes Tour in Reykjavik

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If you’re up for fun and adventure, then head to Reykjavik not for the usual sight-seeing but for its quad bike tours. Available all-year round, the quad bike tours will take you to Hagafell Mountains, the black sand beaches, and to the peak which you can have an amazing view of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon and Eldey Islands.

Vík í Mýrdal (Black Sand Beach)

Black Sand Beach in Iceland

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A 180 km away from the city of Reykjavik, Vík í Mýrdal is voted as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. It may be located directly under a glacier-covered volcano but this didn’t stop adventure-seekers from exploring the black sand beach.

Hraunfosser Waterfalls

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If you haven’t seen a waterfall that flows in and out of the lava, then you shouldn’t miss out the Hraunfosser Waterfalls. The intertwining effect of the waters create a stunning turquoise stream. For photography enthusiasts, there’s a platform in the area where they could take photos. Be sure to be there before the crowd to get a better view (and photo) of the amazing waterfalls.

There are still more that Iceland could offer. It just takes some guts and an open mind to discover them. So, go ahead and explore what else you could discover in the country.

Apr 21

Things You Need to Know About EVE Online Fest 2014

By Editor | Travel Guide

If you haven’t came across EVE Online Fest then you’re most likely not into the online gaming world. EVE Online is a popular game created by Iceland’s biggest game company, Iceland CCP. Every year, players all over the world gather in Iceland to celebrate the success of the game. For this year, the organizers are set to take the festival into a whole new level.

Iceland’s EVE Online Fest 2014

Compared to the previous celebration, this year’s EVE Online Fest no longer has the 18 years old age limit. Anyone could get into the general entry despite being under 18 years of age but they are restricted to enter the Party on Saturday and not allowed to participate in Pub Crawls. For this year, the event shall take place at Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center located at Reykjavik, Iceland.

EVE Online Festival 2014 Venue

EVE Online Festival 2014 Venue
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The best thing about EVE Online Fest is that this is a kind of festival where players set aside their differences and even forget about their allies or rivals to sit side by side to simply enjoy the festive moment. It is a celebration where drinks are shared and new friendships are formed. CCP developers take this this chance to talk to the players and just get to know them.

EVE Online Festival Attendees

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What to Expect in EVE Online Fest

The festival is more than just a merry-making event. Attendees are given the chance to join the discussion panels and even with the presentations with the EVE developers. There are also competitive tournaments to unleash the talents of the players. Other activities prepared by the organizers include the Poker tournament, shopping from the EVE store (it’s a commemorative shop), table discussions, unforgettable party, and many more.

party in the festival

Get ready to party!
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Players can bring along their wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, and even friends through the Sisters of EVE program. They will be taken in a guided tour and will also be given the chance to participate in the party (Party at the Top of the World).

Tickets are available starting at 175 USD.

Mar 27

What to Do in Beer Day

By Editor | Bar and Liqour

If you’re a huge beer enthusiast, then you would most likely look forward to Iceland’s Beer Day. The festival is being celebrated annually in commemoration of the uplifting of the prohibition on the selling and consumption of beer. Just like other Iceland’s festivities, this one is being celebrated in a cheerful and wild mood.

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This year is the 25th year of celebrating this festival so if you happen to be in Iceland, then please do not miss this (especially if you’re a huge fan of beers!). Attending this festival would not only let you enjoy the best-tasting local beers but as well enjoy Reykjavik’s festive ambiance.

 Here are some things that you can do during Beer Day (aside from enjoying the golden malt):

1. Explore Reykjavik by foot

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One of the distinguishing marks of Iceland is its jaw-dropping natural wonders. Its main city, the Reykjavik, has a number of natural parks that you can explore by foot. So, why not explore them just before the festival starts?

 2. Get to know the history

Check a local museum for historical facts about the Beer Day or better yet, ask locals too on how and why the Beer Day is being celebrated. Who knows, you might just get a tip or two on where to find the best beers in the city.

 3. Go on a Brewery Tour

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The festival is all about beer so why miss this tour? One of the popular brewery tours is the Taste of Saga Brewery held at Ölgerðin Brewery. Signing up in this tour is like going to a beer school where you will be having an educational tour about beers and where you can ask questions as well.

 4. Enjoy different kinds of beers

Drink beers (lots of it) and enjoy their distinct taste. This is certainly among the best ways to enjoy the festival!

 5. Sober on health spas

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If there’s one distinct mark of Iceland, that would be the presence of its health spas/pools. Complete your Beer Day experience by dipping into one of these spas/pools after a day of merry-making.

Enjoy Beer Day like it’s your birthday but never ever drink and drive in Iceland because just like any place in the world, it is very dangerous and is a serious offense.

 Just have fun, and that is all you ever need.

 

Mar 14

Celebrating Food and Fun in Iceland

By Editor | Food

Iceland is a beautiful country with scenic landscapes, marvelous natural gifts such as glaciers, waterfalls, Geysers, and so and so fort, the list is unending. Another popular tourist and local must-experience is the Food and Fun Festival. It is a unique Icelandic festival of food, set in the popular and beautiful Reykjavik. In this food fest, anyone can experience Iceland’s distinctive taste and food customs.

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 This year, the 13th Food & Fun Festival will be celebrated not only by world famous chefs but also food lovers from around the globe. The festival begins on the 26th of February and will last on 2nd of March 2014.

 In this week-long festival of food, everyone is welcome to observe and taste the food prepared by renowned chefs who team up with different Reykjavik’s best restaurants. Each of the entrant chef is assigned to a participating restaurant. They will cook their unique carte du jour or menu using the available Icelandic ingredients. The chef shall stay on their assigned restaurant for 3 nights during the celebration.

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 For this year, there will be 16 participating restaurants. Below is the list of participating restaurants and their corresponding chefs:

 Kopar – a first timer in the event, this restaurant has an exceptional interior and their famous “Kopar Adventure” meal is a must-try. The restaurant shall team up with Chef Ronny Kolvik who hails from Norway.

 Sushi samba – Japanese and South American cuisine is their specialty which uses very fresh ingredients and fishes, but there are definitely more to this restaurant than sushi, and the restaurant shall be collaborating with Chef Scott Hallsworth who hails from United Kingdom.

 Slippbarinn – known for its lovely Icelandic bar feel and an incredible assortment of wine and beer, the restaurant shall team up with Geoffrey Canilao of the USA/DK and Jonas Brandenborg Andersen from Denmark.

 Rub 23 – their array of Icelandic variety is excellent which uses ingredients from local fish, vegetable and fruit vendors and they give options for different rubs and spices on your barbeque, the restaurant collaborates with Chef Thomas Patrick Coohill from USA.

 Steikhúsið / The Steakhouse – known for their stunningly flavored steaks and meals cooked in perfection, the Streakhouse shall work with Chef John Mooney from USA.

 Vox – uses local produce and one of the largest selections of breakfast are served here and also has seasonal menu, the Vox shall collaborate withChef Sven Erik Renaa from Norway.

 Tjörnin / The Pond – excellent variety of seafood, the restaurant’s collaborating chef is Chris Parsons from USA.

 Kolabrautin – known for its customary, regionally sourced ingredients, prepared with a uniquely radical twist with influence from the Mediterranean, it collaborates with Chef Alessandro Gavagna from Italy.

 Höfnin / The Harbour – with a wonderful view overlooking the Reykjavik harbor, this long-established Icelandic restaurant has a homey feel and admirable menu, this shall work with Chef Alvaro Garrido from Spain.

 Grillmarkaðurinn / The Grillmarket – their blend of contemporary and customary Icelandic cuisine shall become more special with collaboration from Chef Jamie Bissonnette from USA.

 Grillið / The Grill – famous for their in-season menus inspired by modern European and Icelandic cuisine, the restaurant shall work with Chef Paul Cunningham from Denmark.

 Gallery Restaurant – Hótel Holt  – 2012 Best restaurant in Iceland, this French-inspired restaurant shall work with Chef Erik Mansikka from Finland.

 Fiskmarkaðurinn / Fishmarket – bringing an excellent selection of European and Asian cuisine, the restaurant for this year shall work hand-in-hand with Chef Jonah Kim from USA.

 Dill – using fine Nordic ingredients, the restaurant’s collaborative chef is Mats Refslund from Denmark/USA.

 and last but definitely not the least,

 Fiskfélagið / The Fish Company – their contemporary and traditional Icelandic cuisine shall be better with collaboration from Chef Thomas Laurentzen from Denmark.

 On the final day of the festivity, the weeks top 3 best chefs would be tested, where the chefs are expected to fashion 3 courses of meal using only Icelandic ingredients. The winner of such prestigious competition will be hailed as “Food and Fun Chef of the Year”.

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!