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Nature and Travel

Feature of the Week: Of Mountains and Men

For twenty-five years, photographer RAX traveled across Iceland’s rugged highlands, rounding up sheep with local farmers. Thankfully, he brought his camera.

Feature of the Week: Lava, Coming To Town

Three out of four Icelanders live in the capital region. The world-renowned volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson writes about the danger of eruption and a lava flow that might just be coming to town.

Feature of the Week: Living Daylights

In Iceland, the night is the best part of the day to take photographs. At least according to IR editor Páll Stefánsson.

Feature of the Week: Dam It

Two more gigantic aluminum smelters using green and clean energy produced in Iceland. Is that the best choice we have to secure the future economy of the Republic of Iceland? Or shall we protect the valuable and venerable Icelandic nature for future generations?

Feature of the Week: The Cute, the Cruel and the Tourists

Everyone likes the puffins, but the cruel skua is indeed a rare bird, as Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir and Benedikt Jóhannesson found out during their respective trips to the Ingólfshöfdi bird reserve.

Feature of the Week: Dancing With the Stars

The first account of Norðurljós , Northern Lights, is found in ancient Nordic literature, in the chronicle Konungs Skuggsjá dating back to the year 1230.

Feature of the Week: Society of Zest

In Neskaupstaður (pop. 1,437), fish and, since 2007, aluminum keep the wheels of the local economy turning, and skiing and volleyball keep spirits high in the darkest hours of winter. Nestled in Norðfjörður in the narrow East Fjords, the mountains block out the winter sun completely for about one...

Feature of the Week: EYESland

Does an image say more than a thousand words? Sometimes it does. It is interesting to see Iceland through travelers’ eyes. Some visiting for the twentieth time, others for the first time, but almost all of them focus their lenses on nature; the tiniest details or the greatest panorama of lava...

Feature of the Week: How I Came to Love a Girl Called Windy

Last Spring, I traveled to Germany to meet with my German publisher. He began inquiring about my summer and I told him about the island of Hrísey; that I spent more or less my entire summer there. This made no sense to him whatsoever. Internationally renowned author and artist Hallgrímur Helgason...

Feature of the Week: A Perfect Day in the Capital

If you want to get to know the locals, start your day by soaking in the many hot pots of the city’s largest swimming pool. There, you can listen to locals argue about politics and other current affairs. After the swim you have surely worked up quite an appetite. Head to cozy café Grái kötturinn and...

Feature of the Week: Soaking in Style

After a long day of exploring and experiencing spectacular landscapes or urban culture, nothing beats a sumptuous soak in one of Iceland’s natural spas. Fontana is the newest kid on the block. Located right on the beach of Laugarvatn Lake, an hour’s drive from Reykjavík, its heart and soul is the...

Feature of the Week: Volcano for a Week

On May 21st, at 7:25 p.m., an eruption started in Grímsvötn. The ash cloud rose to 20 kilometers (12 miles), making it ten times larger than the last one, in 2004. The eruption released 2,000 tons of ash per second, more in the first 24 hours than last year’s Eyjafjallajökull eruption did during...

Feature of the Week: Fishing on a Budget

Many anglers declare that after fishing in Iceland, they see salmon fishing in a different light, the experience forever changing their method. Here, fly-fishing guide Óskar Páll Sveinsson compiles all there is to know about salmon fishing in Iceland, including ways to practice this fascinating...

Feature of the Week: Crater in One

Waves crash against the rocks. North-Atlantic winds tear at trousers and sleeves. The view from the tee opens onto an 11,000-year-old volcanic crater. High up the hillside, little more than white dots, is the audience—a flock of daredevil sheep. Welcome to golf, the Westman Islands way.

Feature of the Week: Raw Riding in the North

At the beginning of May, the long Icelandic winter is coming to an end and spring is gradually showing up. The days are finally getting longer and the possibilities of riding are becoming magic. Here is a bunch of passionate people who have turned their home island into an endless playground of...

Feature of the Week: Colorful Nomads

The Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) is a nomadic bird that is commonly found in the Northern coniferous forests of Scandinavia, Russia and North America. But this winter, treetops in Reykjavík have been adorned by flocks of these colorful visitors. After a very warm summer the rowan trees...

Feature of the Week: Triumph and Tragedy

In the summer of 1879 Arthur Middleton Reeves and Professor Daniel Willard Fiske traveled to Iceland. For Reeves, the trip sparked a life-long interest in Icelandic literature and heritage. Thorgeir Gudlaugsson writes about the extraordinary scholar and adventurer whose life was cut short at an...

Feature of the Week: Surfing the North Atlantic

Iceland, as the name clearly implies, is the land of ice, of cold, and instantly evokes snow, mountains and possibilities for skiing and snowboarding of which there are plenty. But the island, with its favorable position in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, is also a secret den of numerous...

Feature of the Week: Wonderland – Europe’s Largest National Park

Vatnajökull Glacier is Europe’s largest icecap. In 2008 the huge glacier became part of a vast national park which encompasses the areas around it with numerous natural wonders which consist of volcanic and geothermal zones, breathtaking glacial rivers with giant waterfalls, majestic mountains,...

Feature of the Week: Lord of the Ring Road

You cannot travel around Iceland without driving the ring road, route no. 1. Many visitors do the whole circle in summer and Icelanders talk about “driving the ring”. Icelandic artist Svavar Jónatansson did that trip dozens of times over, traveling with anyone that would take him and snapping...

Feature of the Week: A Tunnel Festival

It was a remarkable festival and a historical moment. For a start it was held at the bottom of the deserted Hédinsfjördur fjord where a gathering of this kind has never been held before. The people of the towns of Fjallabyggd, Siglufjördur and Ólafsfjördur flocked to the inauguration ceremony of...

Feature of the Week: Ice Cycling

In winter months, the dark, cold weather can make even the healthiest person feel lethargic and keen to snuggle up with a hot chocolate in the corner of a cozy café, however getting out and about in the open air and making the most of the brief daylight hours is a real energy booster.

Feature of the Week: Horses on Lava

The Icelandic horse has been an important work friend for Icelanders since the 900s, when Viking settlers arrived with their horses. The Icelandic horse and Icelanders have been inseparable ever since. The surefooted horses brought in from Norway and the British Isles made it possible to transport...

Feature of the Week: A Pool of Ash

The pool sits in the rock like a bird’s nest. Built directly into the mountainside in the valley of Laugarárgil, under the Eyjafjöll Mountains in the south of Iceland, Seljavallalaug is a swimming pool that precariously yet openly basks in the dialectic of domesticating nature. Seljavallalaug was...

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