city guides & travel

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

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{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

The poetry of Iceland lies, in part, with the ferocious fires, volcanic landscapes, and its counter: brisk ice.  And through its dramatic lands — its rustic and magnificent mountain ranges and vibrant fields, and in them, we discover a breeze of life that soars throughout the island — a mythical, otherworldly breeze of life well lived and thoroughly enjoyed . . .

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

Take inspiration from the honesty and authenticity of the lands, from the merriment of the people, who joyfully swim in the brisk waters along the coast; take inspiration from a place brimming with natural splendour and unspoiled destinations.  For today, we set off to Iceland to uncover some of the greatest treasures to see, things to do, and of course, many little surprises along the way . . .

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

For those who long for adventure, Iceland will certainly not disappoint.  Though its population is rather small compared with many other parts of the world — with just 320.000 residences — its culture is not bound by numbers.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

Whether you enjoy spa treatments, and plan a day at the famous Blue Lagoon, immersed in the geothermal spa set amongst nature [alongside many offered beauty treatments], or wish to soar above the land, by helicopter, for a private tour alongside the birds . . .

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

And don’t forget to look up! Many look forward to enjoying not only  the earth, but the skies as well — particularly the Northern  Lights.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

We suggest a day or spent within the capital city of Reykjavik, with its unique architecture, music scene, and of course, many different shops and delights throughout.  Stop by Skolavordustigur street, with its many galleries, independent shops and designers, coffee shops, and homes to take in. Additionally, while in this city, do pick up a copy of Grapevine magazine, which highlights different events that take place around the city.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

Not so far away from the capital, one can take a tour out on the waters, and go whale watching, enjoying views of the city and landscape from afar . . .

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

For here in Iceland, mountain ranges are topped with glistening alabaster snow, met by foggy mist, and rolling hills blanketed in soft, vibrant green moss, and valleys untamed.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

We highly recommend a custom-guided tour, highlighting some of the greatest sites to see, including national, historical, and of course, the famous Gulfloss waterfall.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

To enjoy Iceland at the utmost, we suggest planning a trip during the Spring or Summer months — bird watching is at its best, as are the wildflowers, and of course, hiking.  Many activities can be enjoyed during the daytime, so be sure to bring along your camera, your bathing suit, and many cozy  layers [as the weather is constantly changing] and prepare for an  experience unpararrelled, for Iceland is a place unlike any  other . . .

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

{puffin watching in iceland}

For those who find these charming birds as adorable as we do, you will be happy to learn that while visiting Iceland, you are likely to see many of them!  Puffins, scientifically named : “Fratercula arctica“, means “little brother” or “little priest”.  Their bold colouring and upright stance often remind people of penguins, though in fact, the two birds aren’t at all related.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

Additionally, it is said that about 60% of the world’s Atlantic Puffins breed within Iceland, and remain on the island from the beginning of April until September.  They are also every bit as sweet as they appear, being very social, yet loyal birds, generally remaining with just one mate for life.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

SPOT THEM >> be sure to look for these sweet creatures while visiting : Skrúður, Papey, Seley, Andey, Hafnarhólmi, Hólmar in Reyðarfjörður [Stórhólmi], Bjarnarey, Gerpi and also, at Hestur on the southern side of Barðsnes.

{take me away № 43 | travel guide № 8 : iceland}

{a few fun facts about the city}

* An international study done in ’06 claimed Iceland as the “4th Happiest Nation” in the world
* Iceland is said to be the most sparsely populated country in all of Europe
* in January, the sun does not rise until 11:00 a.m. and sets at roughly 4:00 p.m.
* Iceland’s life expectancy is one of the world’s highest : 81.3 years for women and 76.4 for men
* Greater than 13% of Iceland is covered by snowfields and glaciers
* For the past 1000 years, the Icelandic language has been unchanged
* And of course, interestingly enough, pop star Bjork was born in Iceland and calls it home


>>> Click here for where to stay, eat, shop & what to do in Iceland.


Sarah


View more of this series here.

[image sources & credits : ana carrera // _rebekka via krisatomic // berta... via kristatomic // hlaus // hlaus // iceland poppies // vulture labs // ystenes // brynjar ágústsson // dalla* via kristatomic // andri elfarsson // stephen waterfall // kevin cooley via krisatomic // luke shadbolt // luke shadbolt // luke shadbolt]

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Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curled up in her home library, exploring enchanting tales, lands to be discovered and explored, intriguing stories, and timeless beauty. What resulted is a lifelong passion for love and authenticity, delightful simplicity and beautiful moments. Educated in design, marketing and English, Sarah’s keen eye and aesthetic allow her to immerse beauty and heartfelt passion into both her personal and professional projects.
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