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Nature and Travel

Feature of the Week: Puffin Problems

The great puffin colonies on the South Coast of Iceland are in peril. The puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) is a very sociable bird which likes nothing better than to sunbathe with other puffin friends near its home. However it prefers to build its nest in total darkness and digs out a long burrow,...

Feature of the Week: Dead End

It does not have the grandest scenery in Iceland, but it has low key nature, peace, tranquility and history. Fewer than one hundred people live there and the school has only two pupils. The road is a dead end, Route 643 which stretches 100 kilometers from Hólmavík north towards Ingólfsfjördur. I am...

Feature of the Week: Of Monsters and Men

There is something supernatural about Arnarfjördur fjord. Stories of encounters and sightings of sea monsters which have come ashore to terrify, sometimes attack and even kill the remote farmers in this fjord are abundant. This inspired filmmaker and museum curator Kári Schram to establish the Sea...

Feature of the Week: Under the Volcano

On the third day of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption we drove from Skógar to Hvolsvöllur in total darkness, a distance of 18 kilometers. It was frightening, the darkness being so impenetrable that we could hardly see out the windows of the car. We could see faint lights from the farm standing right...

Feature of the Week: Down on the Farm

The putting up of visitors in rural Iceland has a long history and is arguably derived from a number of traditions. For an insight into the origins of Icelandic hospitality, Atlantica freelancer John Boyce picked the brain of Katrín Gudmundsdóttir, an anthropology graduate from the University of...

Feature of the Week: Cooling Down

Ocean swimming in the North Atlantic is becoming increasingly popular in Iceland. Devoted swimmers describe this affair as a refreshing bliss. Visit Nauthólsvík beach, take a dip and find out if they are telling the truth.

Feature of the Week: Night Vision

The Fimmvörduháls mountain ridge between Skógar and Thórsmörk is among the most stunning and popular hiking routes in Iceland. The rugged trail has been trekked by thousands of people who have enjoyed its spectacular beauty. Evan Spring joined fifty happy hikers on a solstice ritual night trek over...

Feature of the Week: Lumpsucker Spring

Borgarfjördur eystri is a tiny village in the East Fjords which thrives on fish, farming and lumpsuckers in the spring. “Here is the pair of them, the lady and her husband,” says Captain Jón Sigmarsson with a smile and points with his shiny gutting knife at a big, grey and fat looking lumpsucker...

Feature of the Week: Night Vision – Hiking Fimmvörduháls before the Eruption

The Fimmvörduháls mountain ridge between Skógar and Thórsmörk is among the most stunning and popular hiking routes in Iceland. The rugged trail has been trekked by thousands of people who have enjoyed its spectacular beauty. Evan Spring joined fifty happy hikers on a solstice ritual night trek over...

Feature of the Week: Diving Between Two Worlds

I’ll give most things a go. Skydiving, caving, eating chicken nuggets dunked in caramel sundae; there aren’t many challenges I back down from. Except for cold water. When it comes to cold water, I’m ashamed to admit, I’m too chicken to dunk more than a toe. Thus, the situation I’ve found myself in...

Feature of the Week: Wrestling with Frozen Waterfalls

In a country like Iceland, where the winters are cold, long and dark, it is a good idea to step out of your comfort zone. By going outdoors in the wintertime you get to know an entirely different side of the country—almost a complete opposite to the usual sunny, bright and summery one.

Feature of the Week: The Majesty of Esja

One feature that often takes visitors by surprise when they visit Reykjavík is its proximity to nature. Perhaps the jewel in the crown of the countryside surrounding Reykjavík is Esja, the extensive, monolithic mountain range that stretches itself out beyond the north of Reykjavík from the edges of...

Feature of the Week: Voluntourism – the socially conscious way to see Iceland

There’s a new breed of traveler roaming the globe these days. Set on doing more than going to location x, snapping a few memorable photographs of the tourist traps therein, and returning home with some knick-knacks for their mantle, voluntourists are spending longer periods of time in their...

Feature of the Week: Guiding Light

From its humble origins in the 1960s, Icelandic tourism has grown to become one of the leading sectors of the country’s economy. More competitive flight deals and increased interest in environmental and adventure tourism have seen the industry grow exponentially over the last fifteen years...

Feature of the Week: Winter Wonderland

In recent years Iceland has experienced an explosion in the number of tourists visiting the country. Many come for the unique sights, events and activities that only a winter trip can afford. And to help you make the most of your chilly trek to the near arctic, Atlantica has put together a...

Feature of the Week: Our Hearts Settled Here

Farmers, academics and artists Edward and Joyce Hill have been visiting Iceland annually for over thirty years. They have experienced all seasons in this country and their preferred time to visit is in the fall. Editor Bjarni Brynjólfsson met the couple in Reykjavík on their 30th anniversary.

Feature of the Week: Wild at Heart

Fall is the time when sheep are herded in from the highlands of Iceland. Every district and valley has its own sheep pen where people gather to have a great day out. The farmers have a strong drink or two and sing songs after finding their sheep in the communal pen. In the larger farming...

Feature of the Week: Hands on the Earth, Eyes to the Future to the Future

This year marks the 30th anniversary for the present farm at Vallanes, under the stewardship of farmer Eymundur Magnússon. The farm is also known as Módir Jörd or Mother Earth. What began as a conventional dairy farm, has transformed into an organic vegetable and grain farm; a forest of over one...

Feature of the Week: On the Cusp of Change

Drip, crack, splash and clack are the sounds of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, melting, breaking into pieces and plunging into its underlying lagoon, Jökulsárlón. The busloads of tourists that pose in front of the lagoon’s pristine waters may not realize that they are watching a glacial...

Feature of the Week: Tales of the Earth Doctor

In his extraordinary 40-year career he has discovered a lost city, led research on legendary sites such as Pompeii and found the link between meteorites and the extinction of the dinosaurs. Living in tents, braving snakes, rainstorms and active volcanoes for many months a year, volcanologist and...

Feature of the Week: The Man Who Collected Birds

A new and extraordinary museum featuring stuffed birds and their eggs opened last year on the shores of Lake Mývatn. Uniquely located and cleverly designed, with a stunning view over the bird paradise that is Lake Mývatn, the museum is one of a kind. Behind it lies the tragic story of a man whose...

Feature of the Week: The Timid Man’s Guide to Iceland

‘This should not,’ I thought as the snowmobile started to topple, ‘be happening to someone like me.’ Is Iceland the perfect place for adventure? Writer John Dean certainly thinks so after sticking his timid man’s nose into some real-deal activities on the island where anything can happen.

Feature of the Week: Running Silver

Salmon fishing in Iceland in the summer season of 2008 exceeded all records with 88,000 fish being caught on rods in the numerous magnificent, crystal clear rivers. The Atlantic salmon is a remarkable specimen of a fish sought after by anglers from all over the world. It is so remarkable that the...

Feature of the Week: The Two Worlds of Thóra

Although Cochin in South India and Seydisfjördur in East Iceland are worlds apart, they have a lot in common. Icelandic architect and Secret Garden manager Thóra Gudmundsdóttir makes her dreams come true in both of those magical places. Photographer Áslaug Snorradóttir traveled to meet her.

Feature of the Week: Eyes on Ice – Part 2

The slopes seem untouched from the valley floor all the way to the summits. Clouds playfully negotiate their way around the landscape, high and low, lingering on summits and drifting down into the valley. Soon, we arrive at yet another summit. The turns we can make are earned by hard labor. Very...

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