What’s Happening in Iceland in 2014
The Icelandair Horse Festival 2004
Will be held at The Icelandair Horse Festivals – called Landsmot – are the climax and celebration for the Icelandic horse. This year’s event will be held at Hella in the Rangarvellir region of South Iceland, June 28 – July 4. You’ll be caught up in the moment, as superb horses and riders demonstrate their capabilities during a wide variety of competition and show events.
Getting into the Swim of Things
In terms of must-sees, it’s not exactly like kissing the Blarney stone. But adventurous travelers looking for bragging rights, are joining Icelanders in the new sport of ocean swimming. It’s becoming so popular, in fact, that in some areas, changing rooms are being built to accommodate the large numbers of swimmers. The most popular location is in Seltjarnarnes, West Reykjavik. “It’s one of the most healthy sports there is,” says Bjorn Ruriksson, who’s been ocean swimming for six years. “It’s great. It’s cleared up my asthma.” While the water temperature in Iceland can dip down to -2°C (28.4°F) in winter, it can rise to an average of 13° (55.4°F) during the summer.
Iceland Lands on the Hot List
Iceland just scored big in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2004 Hot List of the hottest tables, bars and hotels in the world. Hotel Budir in Snaefellsnes and 101 Hotel in Reykjavik were judged to be two of the best in the world. The bar at 101 Hotel also received an award as one of the global hotbeds of nightlife. Iceland is not just for late-night action though – Sjavarkjallarinn (The Seafood Cellar) in Reykjavik was rated as one of the world’s Hot Tables by the magazine for its Viking history and Asian-influenced food. The restaurant is also gaining recognition in other areas – last February, the head chef at Sjavarkjallarinn, Larus Gunnar Jonasson, won the title “Iceland’s Chef of the year 2004.”
You Get Some Serious Fries With That…
…43.54 pounds, to be exact. Those 43-plus pounds were served with 34.21 pounds of battered cod fillets to give Icelandic USA the Guinness World Record for the Largest Serving of Fish ´N Chips ever. The record-setting buffet took place on March 15, 2004, at the Black Rose in Boston. Over 100 people showed up to partake of the Icelandic cod. There was nary a fin left when the crowd got through with it.
Spring is here and so are some great travel deals from Icelandair.
Glaciers, Geysers and Waterfalls
Take a seven-day jaunt to some of the natural wonders of Iceland. Come see colorful mountains ringed by geysers, natural arches carved by the pounding surf, majestic waterfalls and Europe’s largest glacier.
Love is in the Icelandair
Spring is a time of new beginnings and if you are just beginning your married life come check out our romantic driving package. Jump off your plane upon arrival and into a rental car that we secure for you and drive through West Iceland towards the Eldborg volcanic crater and the famous Snaefellsjokull Glacier. Just underneath the glacier you will find Brekkubaer, your accommodations for the next few nights. For your first night, enjoy a delicious home-cooked 3-course dinner. This is just the first day of a six-day tour, but you get the picture. We also offer a similar travel deal that includes horseback riding.
Horsing Around – A Week of Riding in South Iceland
Experience the world-famous Icelandic horse up close and personal with this week-long horse trekking adventure. South Iceland is delightful to explore on horseback, an artist’s palette of volcano-carved valleys, mountains, and hidden lakes. In the evenings, stay at a friendly farmhouse with geothermal hot tubs and delicious farm-cooked meals. It’s an ideal family tour.
For more details, you can also call 1-800-779-2899 ext. 2.
Iceland’s parliament has agreed to plans to build a state-of-the-art aquarium in downtown Reykjavik. The aquarium will showcase the biology of the North Atlantic Ocean, which has so long been central to the Icelandic way of life. The aquarium, which opens in 2005, will also cover scientific research being conducted in the area, the technology used and protection of the marine environment.
The Love Boat, Icelandic Style
Cruise ship visits to Iceland reached record numbers in 2003 as thousands of cruise ship passengers were attracted to the island nation’s spectacular fjords, mountain vistas, shopping, and historical attractions. Over the past 10 years, cruise traffic to Iceland has increased substantially. Cruising is becoming an important segment of the tourism industry in Iceland. Ask your travel agent about booking a cruise for yourself this summer or fall. We’ll meet you on the Lido deck.
Tourists Say, “Par-Tay!” as Cost of Alcohol Drops
Twelve members of Iceland’s Parliament have introduced a bill aimed at lowering the cost of alcohol in Iceland. The bill, which would privatize the liquor industry and was sponsored by members of three different political parties. The bill would lead to a 50% reduction in taxes on alcohol over three years and make beer and wine available through private shops and leave hard liquor under the jurisdiction of the government. On a related note, the price of aspirin is likely to spike sharply should this bill pass.
Golfers Gather Fore Midnight Golf. Better Bring Your Sunglasses!
Picture yourself walking out of the clubhouse at midnight into bright sunshine and stepping up to the first tee on a golf course at the top of the world! Golf doesn’t get any more extreme than the Amstel Light Iceland Open, an international event open to golfers of all abilities, June 24-25. The tournament will be played on two of Iceland’s finest championship courses, Reykjavik G.C. and Keilir G.C. It’s open to anyone with a USGA handicap or it’s equivalent of 36 or less. Non handicap cardholders are welcome as well and will have their own category of play. The golf is competitive, but always fun. The tournament will consist of one optional practice round and one tournament round on each course.
The Arctic Open
Not to be outdone, the Akureyri Golf Club hosts its own midnight golf tournament on June 23-26, just a few days after the longest night of the year. This place is up there – the Royal Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews golfers Handbook confirms that “the most northerly 18-hole golf course is the Akureyri Golf Club in Iceland, which is situated 65 degrees 49 minutes north of the Equator.” The Arctic Open is a 36-hole tournament, played under the Stableford point system over two days (nights), 18 holes each day. The former day groups are chosen randomly but the second day by score. This championship tournament is open to professional and amateur golfers alike.
National Museum Reopens in Fall
One of the most popular attractions in the country, the National Museum, will reopen this September. The museum has been closed for refurbishment for several years. The first artifact to have been taken into the museum for display is the boat Ingjaldur which was used to stop British fishermen fishing illegally in 1899.
Movies, Monsters and Mayhem
Iceland is becoming a popular place with filmmakers these days, as those of you who have seen the latest James Bond movie already know. Two more movies – the Norse epic Beowulf and the black comedy Guy X – will begin filming in the land of fire and ice this spring. Beowulf, for those of you not forced to read it in high school, is the story of the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior in the sixth-century A.D. Audiences can expect lots of action.
The producers of Guy X have not released many details other than it stars Jason Biggs (American Pie) and is directed by Saul Metzstein who worked on Trainspotting and Shallow Grave. The movie is based on the book “No One Thinks of Greenland” by John Griesemer.
They Said It
National Geographic to Iceland: “It Matters”
In the April issue of National Geographic you will find a section called “Who Knew?” Check out the side of the page for a column called “It Matters” where geothermal energy is credited with being a mainstay of Iceland’s well being. Adding a Did You Know? factor is this tidbit: “Geothermal energy heats 88% of Icelandic housing and meets over half of the country’s total energy needs.” We’d say perfectly clean and renewable energy matters indeed.
If You’re in the Neighborhood, Take a Break in Iceland
Next time you want to go to Europe, Take-A-Break in Iceland. There is no additional airfare to worry about with Icelandair’s popular Take-A-Break program that allows you to stay up to seven nights on your way to or from Europe. Up to seven nights in one direction may be added to your travel itinerary, providing an ideal anecdote to jet lag and the opportunity to experience Iceland’s unique blend of outdoor adventure and cosmopolitan sophistication.
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