Iceland, Europe - JiveHippo.travel

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Welcome to Iceland

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

According to an academic study, the nation of Iceland is comprised of the happiest people in the world. When you take a holiday in this most unique of countries, it becomes clear as to why this should be. The prevailing image that many people have of Iceland is of a cold, desolate place with little to do. However, this could not be further from the truth. Despite its name, Iceland enjoys a generally mild climate and boasts some of the most stunning natural landscapes to be found anywhere on the planet. Indeed, upon viewing the amazing scenic vistas here, you almost get a sense that the land is still evolving, with volcanoes, geysers, mudpots and geothermal pools all combining to create an unforgettable visual treat. 
If the rugged and beautiful landscape of Iceland is the country’s backbone, then the people are undoubtedly its beating heart. Although the population of Iceland is relatively sparse, the locals make up for their lack of numbers with an abundance of warmth, charm and hospitality. Don’t be surprised if, after a visit to Iceland, you find your circle of friends has expanded dramatically.
The capital and largest city in Iceland, Reykjavik, also happens to be the epicentre of life and culture here. A curious yet beguiling mix of big-city hustle and small town charm, Reykjavik is a destination of great contrast. The city’s colourful buildings create a charming cityscape and house a plethora of cosy street cafes, high-end restaurants and world-class museums and art galleries. During the evenings, the buzzing music scene in Reykjavik takes over with the many stylish clubs and bars becoming engorged with the sound of fun and laughter. 
Despite being classed as Iceland’s second city, Akureyri is home to just 17, 000 residents. The compact nature of the city adds to its undoubted warmth and charm, with effortlessly cool cafes and gourmet restaurants being the order of the day. Located at the foot of one of the country’s most famous fjords, Akureyri benefits from some of the most stunning natural scenery in the country and also offers a world-class skiing experience during the winter months. 
There are so many things to look forward to when you use JiveHippo to book your Iceland holiday. Here are some of the top choices of things to do and see when you visit this amazing country.
Whale Watching is a must. Anyone who witnesses these magnificent creatures cavorting in their natural habitat cannot fail to be moved by the experience. There are a number of excursions which leave from various destinations throughout the country, including the capital of Reykjavik and the fishing village of Husavik, perhaps the most famous location for enjoying this activity. In addition to the likes of Orca, Humpback and Blue Whales, other inhabitants such as white-beaked dolphins, seals and porpoises can also often be spotted. 
Iceland is home to three National Parks with Vatnajokull being not just the largest in the country but also the most expansive in Europe. Covering 13% of the total land area of Iceland, Vatnajokull plays host to the dramatic interplay between volcanic activity and the steadfast presence of mighty glaciers. The result is a landscape of majestic wonder and searing beauty. 
In addition to its natural scenic splendour, Iceland is renowned for its strong Norse heritage and association with Vikings. Located in Njarovik, this fascinating Norse exhibition centre is home to a wealth of ancient relics and has, as its magnificent centrepiece, a huge and exact reconstruction of the Viking Age Gokstad longship, the Islendingur. 
Arguably the most famous tradition in Iceland concerns bathing in the relaxing waters of the country’s many naturally-heated geothermal pools. Public bathing is deeply ingrained in local culture and, as such, there is a wealth of spas to choose from across the country. The most well-known of these is the Blue Lagoon, an outdoor pool and health centre located in the middle of a lava field, just outside the capital city of Reykjavik.

Climate

Iceland enjoys a relatively mild climate, although the weather can be wildly unpredictable and has the capacity to change dramatically in a short space of time. The amount of sunlight each day varies substantially throughout the seasons, with the sun remaining in the sky almost constantly during the summer months but only being visible for about five hours each day in the depths of winter.

Getting Around

Connecting to all of the suburb areas, the main cities have an extensive network of local buses. 

Taxis are generally expensive and work mainly in the larger towns and cities. 

Health

Iceland accept the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is an entitlement to state provided medical treatment.

If you do not have an EHIC, then make sure that you are able to show your travel insurance and have the accessible funds in case undergoing any treatment while on your trip.

Language

The official language of Iceland is Icelandic. Most of the population speak both English and Danish to a fairly high standard also, as these languages are compulsory in Icelandic schools. 

Money

The currency used in Iceland is the Icelandic krona (ISK). Service charges are always included on restaurant and cafe bills, so tipping is not required.

Safety

Crime is rare in Iceland, but petty theft and anti-social behaviour can occur, mainly around bars and at late night gatherings.

Time

Iceland is under Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0:00).

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