And now for some serious savings in Iceland

A January view from Perlan viewing platform in Reykjavik city. PIC Adam Horne

A January view from Perlan viewing platform in Reykjavik city. PIC Adam Horne

Team Total Iceland is not much for shouting out or blowing horns to get noticed. We have never, ever advertised; never, ever compromised and never, ever given a bad advice.

 

Perhaps this is why some folks in Iceland will have a horrible year

Such is the view over whole of Reykjavik city as well as in other towns and villages in Iceland on New Years Eve. PIC Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Such is the view over whole of Reykjavik city as well as in other towns and villages in Iceland on New Years Eve. PIC Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Tens of thousands of visitors spend Christmas and New Years in Iceland these days and witness what is perhaps the greatest fireworks show on earth on New Years Eve.

 

The heck is “lopapeysa” and are they really made in Iceland

Warm in spite of cold. A visitor wearing the traditional Iceland "lopapeysa" sweater. PIC Ben Husmann

Warm in spite of cold. A visitor wearing the traditional Iceland “lopapeysa” sweater. PIC Ben Husmann

Chances are you´ll not walk far after landing in Iceland without coming across souvenir shops advertising the Icelandic “Lopapeysa” which is simply the traditional Icelandic wool sweater.

 

The place of the last execution in Iceland

The exact spot of the last execution in Iceland is marked by a small monument in Vatnsdalsholar in the North of Iceland. PIC Carolyn Whipple

The exact spot of the last execution in Iceland is marked by a small monument in Vatnsdalsholar in the North of Iceland. PIC Carolyn Whipple

It´s been almost two hundred years since the last person was publicly executed in Iceland. Yet the matter has seldom been as much in the spotlight as now.

 

Missing out on nature in deep winter Iceland

Just one of thousands of beautiful spots off limits in wintertime Iceland. PIC eirasi

Just one of thousands of beautiful spots off limits in wintertime Iceland. PIC eirasi

There is a famous old Viking saying that roughly translated means that a good poem is never too often told. Which is why we want yet again to tell you about things you miss out on here when visiting in deep winter.

 

So you think nothing has happened since Björk in Iceland

A burst of energy is once again flowing through music artists in Iceland. PIC Oliver.Wolf

A burst of energy is once again flowing through music artists in Iceland. PIC Oliver.Wolf

The foreign music press has more often than once written about the tremendous energy coming from the tiny island of Iceland in the form of good music.  

 

Six amazing Iceland videos

Fascinating grab of a typical Icelandic fjord. PIC Dylan Toh/Everlook

Fascinating grab of a typical Icelandic fjord. PIC Dylan Toh/Everlook

Nowadays anyone with a smartphone can make a very decent video. To say nothing of folks still bringing serious equipment to countries far away. Iceland has been fortunate enough to entice some masters of video-making to spend time here taking it all in.

 

Iceland movie map

Thingvellir National Park. A number of scenes from the popular Game of Thrones have been shot here. PIC Axel Kristinsson

Thingvellir National Park. A number of scenes from the popular Game of Thrones have been shot here. PIC Axel Kristinsson

Just ten years ago nobody came to Iceland to make movies. This place was far away, expensive and local know-how was limited to the extreme.

 

Five islands in Iceland you should make every effort to see

Any traveler looking for out-of-the-box experience in Iceland should take time out on these islands. PIC Chris Zielecki

Any traveler looking for out-of-the-box experience in Iceland should take time out on these islands. PIC Chris Zielecki

As has often been mentioned here it is terribly sad how many of tourists visiting Iceland stay only long enough to visit the well publicized places and then leave none the wiser.

 

Is the Blue lagoon totally safe?

The only victim of a soak in the Blue lagoon will be your hair. PIC The Crew

The only victim of a soak in the Blue lagoon will be your hair. PIC The Crew

It horrifies some people to know that the water in the famous Blue lagoon in Iceland is actually waste water from a nearby power plant.

 

So why is the Blue lagoon blue?

Fancy blue but the beautiful color does seem to be unnatural. PIC Jonathan Percy

Fancy blue but the beautiful color does seem to be unnatural. PIC Jonathan Percy

A key part of the attractiveness of the Blue lagoon and Myvatn Nature Baths in Iceland is the tremendously attractive but rather unnatural blue color of the water in both lagoons.

 

Killing the polar bears in Iceland

Once in awhile a polar bear floats all the way to Iceland. That is a death sentence. PIC Valerie

Once in awhile a polar bear float all the way to Iceland. That is a death sentence. PIC Valerie

Things are tough all over for the polar bear. Its hunting grounds melting faster than a snowball in hell and like many other species their numbers dwindling fast.

 

Gambling in Iceland? You´re out of luck

Except for playing slot machines gambling of an kind is forbidden in Iceland. PIC Ian Murphy

Except for playing slot machines gambling of an kind is forbidden in Iceland. PIC Ian Murphy

As evidenced by growing numbers of casinos worldwide and massive profits of most of those it should follow that enterprising individuals should seize the opportunity to open one wherever there is none.

 

Which shopping mall in Iceland

The two shopping malls of greater Reykjavik area are Smaralind and Kringlan.

The two shopping malls of greater Reykjavik area are Smaralind and Kringlan.

Iceland will likely never get on the map of the greatest shopping destinations for tourists. Indeed, shopping here is considered very expensive and remarkably so considering the low wages within the country.

 

The favela of Iceland

The partly rebuilt Saenautasel farm is found in the most harsh and remote place imaginable. PIC Kevin Barnett

The partly rebuilt Saenautasel farm is found in the most harsh and remote place imaginable. PIC Kevin Barnett

You would be forgiven if even after reading all you can about Iceland travel and interesting places to visit in the country you still have no idea about a place called Saenautasel farm.

 

So how expensive is Iceland really?

Austurstraeti in central Reykjavik. High prices in shops here surprise many. PIC Jonathan

Austurstraeti in central Reykjavik. High prices in shops here surprise many. PIC Jonathan

Don´t say we didn´t warn you guys because we did. Again and again and the only guide to Iceland honest about how friggin´ expensive things are here. Trust us, shopping here is so expensive it will turn you off shopping.

 

Why this obsession with sex in Iceland?

Drawing conclusions when locals in Iceland speak about sex could get you in trouble. PIC Aapo Happonen

Drawing conclusions when locals in Iceland speak about sex could get you in trouble. PIC Aapo Happonen

As is often the case in Iceland as elsewhere it often takes foreign visitors to point out something so glaringly obvious that no local gives it a second thought.

 

In Iceland, the devil is most certainly in the details

Hidden charges are becoming a reality in Iceland. PIC Didier Jansen

Hidden charges are becoming a reality in Iceland. PIC Didier Jansen

This is every marketer´s wet dream. To witness a 180 degree reverse from a bad rep without so much as lifting a finger or paying a dime.

Which is exactly what happened right after the economic crash in Iceland in late 2008.…

 

The very best reason to drive carefully in Iceland

Look at that fantastic glacier tongue. Keeping eyes on the road in Iceland can be quite a challenge. PIC Jan A.

Look at that fantastic glacier tongue. Keeping eyes on the road in Iceland can be quite a challenge. PIC Jan A.

We all know the messages about driving carefully whenever we´re in charge of a vehicle. Most of us pay limited attention and drive as suits our needs even if a teeny-weeny bit unlawful at times.

 

Hitchhiker´s guide to Iceland

Impassable road in Iceland. Hitchhikers face much the same these days in Iceland. PIC Trey Ratliff

Impassable road in Iceland. Hitchhikers face much the same these days in Iceland. PIC Trey Ratliff

It is a truth universally known that all folks have not equally deep pockets. That does not mean those same folks do not harbor the same desires and hopes.

 

So you think Iceland offers nothing but rotten shark and horrible Brennivin

The place where the word „stunning“ was first defined. PIC Sara Bjork

The place where the word „stunning“ was first defined. PIC Sara Bjork

Let us take an inventory. Rotten shark meat? Check. Whale-hunting? Check. Acid potato liquid? Check. Dangerous volcanoes? Check. Expensive everything? Check. Bad banking? Check. Inbred peoples? Check.

Yup, that would sum up Iceland pretty well if need be.…

 

An ode to the Northern lights

Amazing picture of Northern lights dancing above the tectonic rift in Thingvellir Iceland. PIC Arnar Valdimarsson

Amazing picture of Northern lights dancing above the tectonic rift in Thingvellir Iceland. PIC Arnar Valdimarsson

There really is no shortage of competition regarding the Northern lights. Those flickering wavy flares of green and yellow thundering across the skies above the Nordic every winter is a sight so common no one except tourist agencies give them a second thought.