Iceland is a country full of fascinating and beautiful landscapes and lively, artistic cities and towns with an interesting mix of places to visit and different architectural styles.
Iceland Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Iceland, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Icelandic Arts and Architecture
Reykjavik, the capital, is a very interesting city, with plenty to see and do. In the city there is a mixture of different architecture that includes Neo-classical and modern, and there are lots of houses with attractive bright colours that are part of the character of the city. Hallgrimskirkja is a huge church built in a unique style in white concrete and is an impressive modern landmark in the city. You can see the big pipe organ inside and take the lift in the tower where you can have stunning views over the city. Near the church is a statue of Leif Eriksson, the Viking who discovered America. Reykjavik City Hall was built in the 1990’s and is an example of superb modern architecture. You can look around the ground floor enjoying views of Lake Tjornin and see regular exhibitions in the gallery there.
The Imagine Peace Tower, which is dedicated to John Lennon from Yoko Ono, is switched on several times a year to throw brilliant beams of light into the sky to show that the quest for world peace continues. The Pearl is an impressive glass building with a large dome, inside which is a revolving restaurant where you can have great views of the city. The Pearl houses the Saga Museum where you can see realistic figures in scenes from the Viking Sagas, along with other exhibitions. There are other interesting museums you can visit in Reykjavik, such as the National Museum of Iceland which displays the history of Iceland from Viking History to present. The National Art Gallery of Iceland houses collections by 19th and 20th century Icelandic painters along with international artists such as Picasso. Culture House is an elegant building which houses both temporary and permanent exhibitions.
In the main street of the city, the Laugavegur, there are many shops, craft studios and restaurants. Around Reykjavik there are many good cafes and restaurants where you can eat and drink and there is a very lively nightlife in the city, with plenty of trendy bars and clubs.
Akureyri is an attractive city situated in lovely surroundings with mountains and a fjord, and there is an emphasis on the arts, with many galleries and art studios. There are lots of different architectural styles in the city and interesting buildings to see, such as the Akureyri Church which is a superb building with impressive unique architecture and situated on a hill in Akureyi. The Church has lovely stained glass windows and a large pipe organ. The Botanical Garden in Akureyri is an attractive place where you will see many beautiful flowers and plants and trees in a relaxed and quiet place.
A great place to visit would be the Christmas garden which is open all year round, with an abundance of Christmas decorations and traditional Icelandic crafts. There is a big bright Christmas red house and a tower that you can climb to see a huge Christmas calendar. Akureyri Museum has displays showing Akureyri from the Viking times and through history, and the Akureyri Art Museum has many interesting art exhibits. The Hof Cultural and Conference centre is an impressive modern building where you can see a range of different performances. Akureyri has many good cafes and restaurants and there is also a busy nightlife in the city with lots of bars.
The Icelandic Landscape
The Vatnajokull National Park is a huge area of outstanding natural beauty consisting of the Vatnajokull glacier and its wonderful scenery. Many of the features of the region are below the ice, but there is still an abundance of lovely landscapes to see and enjoy. Among the natural features in the region are high plateaus and glacial rivers, along with volcanoes, mountains, ravines, ridges, canyons, streams and thundering waterfalls. There are also wide areas of wetlands with rich wildlife, along with interesting caves and rock formations. There are many marked trails in the region for visitors to take hikes, enjoying the wonderful and fascinating natural sights and fresh air.
Lake Myvatn in north Iceland is a shallow lake located near Krafla volcano and an interesting and popular area with locals and visitors.There are areas of wetlands around the lake which are abundant in birds, particularly ducks, and the area is a nature reserve. The reserve is a great place to observe the birds which include tufted ducks, Barrow’s goldeneye, widgeon, teal, grebe and swan. You can see many craters around the Lake and they are very popular with visitors, being interesting natural features of active volcanic activity, along with rock pillars. Other captivating features of this place are geothermal caves, hot springs, along with lava fields. You can enjoy the fascinating natural features of the area and see the interesting rock formations and volcanic pillars.
Some traditional foods eaten in Iceland include lamb, which is a very popular meat and is especially enjoyed smoked, in soup or as lamb hot dogs. Reindeer is sometimes eaten but not on a regular basis, and fish is prominent in Iceland and the favourites are plaice, haddock, herring, shrimp, salmon and trout. Shark is also enjoyed there, along with minke whale. Different sorts of sausages are popular in Iceland, including smoked sausage and blood pudding, and certain birds are commonly eaten, such as puffin, cormorant, mallard and goose. Dark rye bread is a common food, along with skonsur which is a type of pancake.
Favourite desserts include cinnamon rolls, which can be covered with chocolate, skuffukaka which is a chocolate cake with coconut and chocolate in the top, and also layered cake with rhubarb. Skyr is a common food in Iceland, being a type of sour yoghurt, and can be eaten in a number of ways, such as with milk and sugar, with porridge, or with fruit or jam. Alcoholic drinks popular in Iceland include beer and brennivin, a type of spirit with a caraway flavour, and non-alcoholic beverages include coffee and tea.
Visitors to Iceland are bound to have a very enjoyable time. Whether exploring the natural volcanic features and bathing in hot springs, admiring the impressive modern architecture, or visiting a Christmas museum any time of the year, your trip will be a great experience.
Currency: Icelandic krona (ISK)
Emergency Services: 112
Drives On: Right
Time Zones: UTC +0