The Diamond Circle

Diamond Circle in Iceland
The Diamond Circle includes many interesting and popular stops. It’s off the beaten path at the same time.

The Diamond Circle is ideal for those that want to go off the beaten path but still see some of the pearls in Iceland. When doing the Diamond Circle we are driving close to 250km or 155 miles. The circle includes some of the main attractions in north Iceland; waterfall Goðafoss, lake Mývatn, waterfall Dettifoss, unique canyon Ásbyrgi and town Húsavík. Great for first time visitors and people who have been to Iceland before.

More information through email.

5 Dressing Mistakes for Iceland

Dear foreign guests. The weather is bad in Iceland these January days so there are certain clothes that you need to avoid taking with you. Here are some examples:

1 Jeans. No, please. Jeans are cold and don’t dry so easily. It’s much better to bring hiking pants. They are convenient and dry easily.

2 High heals or sneakers. No, please. It’s winter. You need winter boots.

3 T-shirts. No. Sorry. Unless you are going to stay indoors all the time. And you need layers if you go outside.

4 Light jacket. No, please bring parka and or perhaps a thick jacket. Outdoor clothing works well and of course you could buy high quality outdoor 66North, IceWear, Cintamani or ZoOn in Iceland if you like.

5 Umbrella. No please. It rains sideways in Iceland. You’ll only destroy your umbrella. Please bring solid rain gear.

Souvenir from your Iceland Trip?

Islenskt brennivin
Icelandic brennivin is the national drink of Iceland (besides water of course)

Sometimes people like to bring home some nice souvenir to remember the great trip to Iceland. Or sometimes they like to bring a gift to friends or family at home. What to bring? I recommend buying a bottle of the national drink brennivin.

Brennivin has a long history. It’s made of potatoes and caraway seeds and the farmers used to drink it in the olden days. When prohibition was lifted in Iceland during the 1930s then brennivin was the first alcohol to be distilled and sold in the country.

You drink brennivin in shots. It can be cold but some people say it’s even better to keep it at room temperature.

Brennivin is great to bring home from Iceland. The price is on 2299 kronur at the Duty Free Store at the airport.

#flights #souvenirs #icelandtrip #brennivin

Earthquake Frequency in Iceland

Earthquake frequency in Iceland
This photo shows how frequent earthquakes can be in Iceland.

Are there any earthquakes in Iceland? This is a question that I get a lot. The answer is yes, Iceland has a lot of earthquakes.

Iceland has on average 60 earthquakes a day. That’s on average which means that some days there is a lot more and some days a lot less. But 60 it is and most of them are below 3 on richter. Most of them are so weak that we don’t feel them when they happen. That’s a good thing.

Sometimes Iceland has stronger earthquakes but usually not more than 5 on richter. The thumbrule is that there is supposed to be one strong earthquake (6-7 on richter) every 100 years on the south coast. Iceland has had 3 earthquakes like that for the last 20 years.

The photo above shows recent earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula. It’s geologically a very interesting area with a lot of lava, volcanic systems, tectonic plates, earthquakes etc etc. The Moon-Like Nature tour is ideal to do if you want to see and know more about that. 

Please click here for more information. 

#earthquakes #geology #iceland #privatetours

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss falls.
You can walk behind the waterfall in Seljalandsfoss in summer.

Iceland is rich with waterfalls and you see a lot of them when doing the tour along the south coast.

One of the most popular waterfalls is Seljalandsfoss. It is close to 60m high or 180 feet. The water falls of the beautiful mountain shelf into a pool below. The water level used to be higher and that’s why it’s possible to walk behind the waterfall nowadays.

Nobody wants to be wet for the whole day so the walk behind the waterfall is great to do at the end of the day, just before heading back to Reykjavik. There are some restrooms in Seljalandsfoss and a coffee stand if you need some refreshments.

 

PS: Great to bring rain gear and wear waterproof shoes. Please bring extra socks and towel just in case.

Famous landmark in Reykjavik

Landmark Hallgrimskirkja
Church Hallgrimskirkja is the famous landmark in Reykjavik city.

One of the most famous landmarks in Reykjavik city is the big church on the hill called Hallgrimskirkja. It’s a landmark that you will not miss when visiting Iceland. Hallgrimskirkja is the second tallest building in Reykjavik with a 77m high tower and it is the biggest church in Iceland. It’s built on a hill in the city centre.

Hallgrimskirkja is made of concrete. It took 41 years to build the church. The construction started in 1945 and it was finally over in 1986. The architect sought inspiration in the Icelandic nature so when and if you do the south coast tour you might see the nature that reminds you of the church.

Inside, the church has the biggest organ in Iceland. It is 15 metres high and has more than 5200 pipes.

I warmly recommend a break at the church, it’s well worth walking inside to see the interior, even to go up to the tower. And if you have some spare time and are so lucky that there are concerts being organized then that’s a great adventure since the church has great acoustics.

#daytours #privatetours #privateguideiniceland

Happy Independence Day Icelanders

The Icelandic flag.
Blue, white and red is the flag of Iceland.

Iceland got independence from Denmark in 1918 when Iceland got sovereignty through a deal with Denmark that stated that Iceland is an independent country. Iceland stayed a kingdom and made a deal with the Danish king that he be the king of Iceland. The Danes were to take care of the foreign policy of Iceland. The deal was signed on December 1st 1918.

In 1944 the Nazis had invaded Denmark. The Allies had ockupied Iceland already in 1940 and 1941. The king was in a house arrest and couldn’t take care of his job for Iceland. The deal with the king had expired so Iceland a vote to decide whether to stay in a personal union with the king or to found a republic with a president. Iceland became a republic in 1944.

The National Day of Iceland is June 17th because that’s when Iceland became a republic. But the Indepence Day is December 1st. Happy Independence Day!

Christmas Tour in Reykjavik

Pot Licker yule lad in Iceland
Licking the pots inside one of the homes in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Christmas Markets and Christmas villages open up in the Reykjavik area during Advent weekends. Free admission and live entertainment. You learn about the Icelandic Christmas traditions and how they are different from Christmas traditions at home. Ideal to shop Christmas gifts for family and friends at home.

The first weekend is Nov 30th to Dec 1st and then every weekend after that. You visit three Christmas markets, the Christmas village in Hafnarfjörður, a Christmas market in Reykjavik and then the Christmas market in Heidmork, just outside of Reykjavik.

Ideal to sit down with the locals in Heidmork for Icelandic Christmas refreshments before heading back.

Tour duration is close to 3 hours. Please PM for more information. 

Easy Exercise in Reykjavik

Burfellsgja is a lava channel in the great Reykjavik area, only 20-30 minutes drive from Reykjavik. The nature is extremely interesting with a lot of lava shapes, crevasses and caves until we reach the crater where the lava came from.

After parking the car we walk down some stairs to start the hike. We follow a path which takes us across some cracks and crevasses on the way. We are also passing a pen for sheep pen from the beginning of the 19th century etc.

After close to 1 hour’s walk the path gets tight and we start walking uphill. The crater Burfell is 180m or close to 600 feet high so it doesn’t take long to get up to the top. From the top we enjoy the view to Mt Helgafell and other hills and the area.

The Burfellsgja hike is easy if you want to add some exercise into your day tour, possibly as a part of a longer Reyjavik city sightseeing tour or Reykjanes peninsula tour. Please PM for more information. 

#daytour #privateguideiniceland #iceland #customtours #privatetours

Northern lights poem

Aurora borealis in Iceland.
Northern lights dancing on the sky.

Northern lights are beautiful to see, sometimes bright and dancing on the sky – sometimes weak and not moving so much but always very interesting to see. Icelandic poet Einar Benediktsson (1864-1940) wrote poem Northern lights, see the first verse below.

Does the son of the dust know anything more beautiful

than the palace of gods in electronic flames?
Seeing ground and bay underneath a golden bow!—
Who can now settle with cards and wine?
Even the soil is clean like a maiden on a sheet;
slumbering in the autumns dry flowers.
Each sand corn shines in the colours of the air
and the brooks kiss in silvery roses.
By the universe bosom everything is fire and decoration
of slithering northern lights.
Translation by Sveinbjörn Jónsson.
PS: Great northern lights forecast for the next days!