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Reykjavik Iceland

Iceland Fast Facts

Capital :Reykjavik (reck-ya-vik)

Time Zone : GMT/UTC +0

Language(s) : Icelandic, English

Currency : Icelandic Krona info

Electricity : 220V 50HzHz

Country Dialing Code : 354

Whether you think of Iceland as the land of Dark Age Vikings (who discovered the place in the 9th century) or the progressive, cutting edge rock music of Bjork - a trip to Iceland will take your breath away.

Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream, thermal heat from underground hot springs and by the people who call this Northern land home. Get ready for a warm welcome when you visit this land of sagas and surprises.

There are just a little more than a quarter of a million people who call this place their home. You'll find many Icelandic names ending in -dottir or -son which means -daughter or son. The phone book lists people by first name and you'll find a home listing for the president - by first name as well! Imagine a family gathering where you introduce yourself as Louise, Richard's daughter or Joseph, Matthew's son and you'll have a good idea of the friendly way visitors are treated in Iceland.

For natives of Iceland, the entire country is a large extended family. Last names are based on the father's, and recently the mother's, first name. That helps to explain why, when you travel to Iceland, you are treated as a guest of the family!

Some imagine Iceland as a northern relative of Ireland. You'll find very changeable weather, occasional gales, with coastal waters warmed by the Gulf Stream, but the same island charm that brightens a vacation in Ireland warms the visitor to Iceland. You'll also be astounded at the greens of the land in the spring and summer. With brightly colored homes, multicolored Icelandic horses, showers of steam and geysers rising from thermal pools -- and the amazing Icelandic summer sunlight -- you won't think of Iceland as a frigid countryside.

Despite the name, Iceland is not all that cold and forbidding, especially in July and August when temperature averages climb to a balmy 11C or 50F with almost continuous daylight 24/7.

Iceland is just a few hours away from the east coast of North America and even closer to Western Europe. The short travel time makes it an ideal destination for a long weekend getaway. From the warm thermal pools of its southern capital, Reykjavik, to its pristine waters and pollution-free atmosphere - Iceland is the "cool" inexpensive place to be travel for those seeking a quick and very interesting holiday.

Heading north, tours are offered to the island of Grímsey on the Arctic Circle, where visitors can experience the magic of the midnight sun. To experience the thrill of the Northern Lights, late autumn or early spring is the best time to plan a trip to one of nature's most awesome spectacles. Once the seasons begin to move away from sunless days, the Northern Lights can be difficult to find.

The night life in Rekjavik is legendary, the shopping is excellent, restaurants throughout the country offer food so fresh it's almost worth the trip just to sample the lamb, fish and lobster. Icelandic birding, skiing, hiking and horseback riding become a new experience when you do them in Iceland...

also see -> Christmas in Iceland

More about Iceland travel & tourism around the Web:

Inspired by Iceland - How to get there and get around, plus practical travel info, seasonal highlights, available tours and activities, hotels & restaurants, photo gallery, maps, downloadable brochures.

Iceland A Photographer's Paradise - This virtual tour of the scenery, animals and often other worldly landscape of Iceland was shot by Michael Reichmann in two separate trips. Links to the second trip and other Iceland photos are well worth following.

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