Saturday, May 15, 2010

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Icelandic Travel Sampler

When one thinks of an exotic excursion, a relaxing interlude, a dream vacation, Iceland is most probably not at the top of the destination list.  But is should Be!

This small volcanic island is totally unknown to many in the USA and Canada.  However, to the open-minded person or family, this is an oasis of outdoor wonders.  Here is just some of what awaits the visitor…

One can enjoy multiple spectacles resulting from the vast subterranean geothermal energy so abundant in this region of the globe.  These include geysers, bubbling hot springs, volcanoes, black volcano sand beaches, and immense lava fields. As well as man-made pools, such as the Blue Lagoon.

Also available to sports-minded individuals and families are many glacier-fed rivers and streams, even in downtown Reykjavik.  The waters are loaded with sports fish, including the prized Atlantic Salmon.  Deep sea fishing and whale watching are also available to curious tourists.

For birdwatchers on the coast, or at Lake Myvatn, you’ll think you’re in heaven.  Thousands of species of birds live on or visit the islands of this North Atlantic nation.

The largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull, as well as many smaller glaciers, cover some ten to eleven percent of Iceland.  Glacier tours, skiing, and snowmobiling are a few more of Iceland’s many recreational activities.

Trekking (touring Iceland on horseback) is one of Iceland’s most popular and unique visitor options.  The Icelandic horse is a powerful, smooth-riding steed which will carry its rider to some of Iceland’s most spectacular sites.  Experience the volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, and geysers up close and personal.  Pony (hand horse) along an extra horse or two if you wish to trek for up to two weeks.

Take a short flight south to the Westman Islands to visit a quaint community surrounded by seals and puffin, Iceland’s national bird and a local emblem.  Or fly north to Akureyi or to the east coast of Iceland to experience the majesty of this Viking homeland.

Icelanders are friendly, to-the-point people who enjoy showing off their special area of Scandinavia.  Most speak English and will direct you to personal favorite areas to visit and explore.

The Icelandic Tourist Information Bureau will gladly send information on Trekking tours, bus tours, lodging, etc. throughout Iceland.

There are truly plenty of interesting places to visit in this world.  Iceland may be one of the most exciting and unique areas for individual or family outdoor recreation.

Dr. James G. Hood

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