"Iceland: small wonder!" Iceland by marielexoteria

Iceland Travel Guide: 6,412 reviews and 20,111 photos

Welcome to my Iceland page

What's the first thing you think of when you hear "Iceland"? My first thought was "cold". My second "geysers", my third "expensive"... Iceland is definitely a country that must be experienced.

Our 3-day trip was spent in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes peninsula. Reykjavik reminded me a lot of Stockholm, in the proximity to water, their hipness (is this a word?) and the "green" (trees and parks). Should the weather have been better, we would've had a picnic there.

Reykjanes peninsula is great for a day trip and a popular destination, based on how many guides feature this part of the country and the amount of tourists we encountered. Well, we encountered a lot of tourists at the Blue Lagoon and then one more car with 2-4 people at the other sites, but still. Normally people drive from Reykjavik towards Hafnarfjördur and Krýsuvik area and go clockwise to the sights. We, as the rebels we are, did it the other way around (mouhahahahaha). Either direction you take this route, it's amazing!!!

Iceland is also the place where I've met the first VT member. Hopefully I'll be able to return the favor when she visits us.

50 fun facts about Iceland

1) Iceland is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun because there are almost 24 hours of daylight during June, July and August. Non-stop fun under the midnight sun occurs when Reykjavik nightlife explodes into a carnival-like atmosphere in the perpetual daylight of summer.

2) Leif Eriksson (Leif the Lucky), an Icelandic Viking, was the first European to set foot on the American continent around the year 1000 AD, 500 years before Columbus. Sorry, Chris. (And let me just say woohoo! about that mouhahahahaha.)

3) We’re closer than you think! Iceland is the closest European country to the US and Canada with less than five hours flying time from the East Coast.

4) Iceland is essentially pollution-free because it is almost totally powered with geothermal and hydroelectric energy. Clean energy provides resources to grow all sorts of organic fruits and vegetables in greenhouses. Seafood is caught fresh daily from the glistening, pollution free waters. Very often the halibut swimming in a sauce on your dinner plate was carelessly swimming in the ocean during breakfast!

5) Winters in Reykjavik are actually warmer than in New York! Although Iceland borders the Arctic Circle, warm waters from the Gulf Stream travel around the island providing surprisingly mild climates all year round.

6) Reykjavik, Iceland is the northernmost capital city in the world.

7) Almost all Icelanders speak English from the age of 12 - some even earlier. (I didn't post the phrases because I'm building a tip about it.)

8) One of the most unusual sites in Iceland is the unique Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. The smoky blue-green waters and white silica mud help revitalize and nourish the skin and are known to cure skin diseases such as psoriasis. Lava caves, steam baths and modern facilities assist in the relaxing yet invigorating experience.

9) Surprisingly, the most popular sport in Iceland is outdoor swimming in geothermally heated pools - in any weather!

10) In November 2007 Iceland was named by the UN as the best country to live in, based on life expectancy, education levels and average household income.

For facts 11-50, visit Iceland Tourist Board .

Public thanks

I want to publicly thank the following people for helping me with this trip (in no particular order):

- Regina (VT name Regina1965)
- Bragi (VT name Dassi)
- VT members Putns and Sigurgestur
- All other Icelanders who gave me input since November 2007 (sorry, forgot your VT names and the e-mails we've exchanged are deleted :()

PALS' art

This is an image Fred (VT name PALS) sent me and I took it to Iceland. The picture was taken by Lake Tjörnin...unfortunately I didn't have a good grip on the image and a little wind blew it away :( Sorry Fred, I'll do better next time.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Rugged nature
  • Cons:Expensive, temperamental weather
  • In a nutshell:Small wonder, big nature experience!
  • Last visit to Iceland: May 2008
  • Intro Updated Oct 12, 2009
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Reviews (47)

Comments (23)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Lots of good information here for those wanting to visit. Thanks!

  • nani80's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Hi Mariel, your Iceland tips are a joy to read, thanks for sharing!
    Regards, Natasa

  • Manara's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2010 at 5:45 AM

    Beautiful travel page indeed!

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2010 at 3:23 AM

    I have only flown over Iceland...never been there Marg

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Very interesting page, was hoping to read something about the volcano's that just erupted too ;-)

  • patagoniapaul's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    I believe that icelanders are mostly Lutherans and in the Protestant tradition churches are not adorned with pictures or statues.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    Nice photos of Iceland, I particularly liked the stained glass Church window, stunning!

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Viking warning signs, good Mexican food and clear skies for your photos. Iam impressed!

  • halfdeaf's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Your Iceland page is excellent. I like the photography and your little andecdotes about the random things like th fire hydrants.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Excellent Iceland page! Reykjavik seems to be a great tourist destination. Lake Tjörnin with ducks and colourful houses look amazing. Thanks for sharing. We hope to visit Iceland one day. ~ho & pang

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