Nature and Travel

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...

Feature of the Week: Eyes on Ice – Part 1

Fredrik “Frippe” Ericsson looks at me through his goggles. He’s cold. So am I. We’ve been here a long time—standing on the very summit of Snaefellsjökull glacier. Photographer Fredrik “Schenis” Schenholm is screaming out instructions, but most of his words are evaporating in the wind before they...

Feature of the Week: Chill Factor – Part 4

I dig my crampons into the ice one cautious step at a time. A large chunk of the glacier we’re traversing came thundering to the ground just half an hour earlier. An ice cave beneath where we now walk collapsed the week prior. The sunny conditions mean the ice is melting.

Feature of the Week: Chill Factor – Part 3

The rain was one of the best parts. It was Biblical, blowing horizontally across the plains of South Iceland and pummeling the windows with relentless force. It was incredibly cozy. Snug in our wood-paneled room, my husband and I listened and watched as the weather gods thrashed the countryside. It...

Feature of the Week: Chill Factor – Part 2

The first time I saw the Northern Lights I wasn’t even looking for them. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw a lone cloud, but it grew and danced. Suddenly the sky burst open with darting ribbons of color, alternating pink and green and in some places hot white streaks across the inky black.

Feature of the Week: Chill Factor – Part 1

Winter is a time to relish the dark and revel in Iceland’s frozen landscape. I’m floating in the milky-white waters of a geothermally heated lagoon in the middle of a lava field while getting rubbed like a fine Sunday ham. I could be in heaven, but I’m actually in the southwest corner of nowhere:...

Feature of the Week: When the Big One Struck

“He just came into the world with a big bang—just like the earthquake,” Ólafur Eyjólfsson told the local paper about his son, who was born at the national hospital in Reykjavík while an earthquake shook the southwest of Iceland on May 29. The earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter scale—a typical...

Feature of the Week: The Old Man and the Island

Only a handful of non-scientists each summer are permitted ashore Surtsey, one of the newest islands on earth—virtually untainted by human interference. Now 45 years since its appearance, IR’s Sara Blask was one of the lucky few chosen to accompany Sturla Fridriksson, the heralded Duke of Surtsey,...

Feature of the Week: A Play on Light

The opening scenes in James Bond films are always stunning and very exciting. The high-speed chase on the ice at Jökulsárlón at the beginning of Die Another Day has become a movie classic. The dramatic landscape is magical and you can experience it too, even though you are unlikely to meet villains...

Feature of the Week: Rock Out

If Doc Brown’s time machine made famous in the 1985 classic Back to the Future could ferry us back, say, five million years we would find the area now known as present-day Skaftafell National Park, in southeast Iceland, virtually flat, fully vegetated and, gasp, snow and glacier-free.

Feature of the Week: The Polar Bear Express

There are fewer things that can better wake you up in the morning than the smell of coffee, the warm sunshine streaming in through your window and the hungry polar bear growling outside your bedroom. But there are no polar bears in Iceland, right?

Feature of the Week: Three for One

When you travel over the mountain from the town of Eskifjördur to neighboring Neskaupstadur in the far eastern part of Iceland, the beautiful mountains and pretty view over Nordfjördur fjord may not come as a surprise. One thing that you might not expect, however, is the museum house, which houses...

Feature of the Week: Hveragerdi – Where Energy and Tranquility Meet

Hveragerdi is best known for its greenhouses, which are heated by geothermal water from volcanic hot springs in the area and in the town. Even exotic fruit is grown in the greenhouses. The area is part of the Hengill central volcano. In the town’s gardens you can see white or red earth that is...

Feature of the Week: Horse-Sensed Hot Shot

Known throughout equestria for its gentle demeanor, comfy ride and distinctive f ifth gait, the Icelandic horse becomes the belle of the ball at the 18th annual National Horse Show of Iceland this summer. Atlantica managed to f ind one of the show’s biggest names, National Team Trainer Siggi...

Feature of the Week: Mission Possible

As well as being an ice climber, Thórsson is the Icelandic record holder in the 400-meter hurdles and seems to relish making things difficult for himself: he originally accepted a challenge to climb 50 mountains to commemorate his 50th birthday, but ended up climbing all of Iceland’s hundred...

Feature of the Week: Icebound

Against my instinct, I take a few intrepid steps inside the cave towards darker shades of green and turquoise. I’d been inside an ice cave before, but always with rescue equipment, or at the very least, an avalanche beacon. The ice seems thin enough that it could calve off with a few taps from a...

Feature of the Week: In Overdrive

If you are seeking an adrenalin kick (and who isn’t?), river rafting might be just the thing for you. You could be floating down the river in apparent safety when you suddenly see rocks that you must avoid. Next you might be caught in the current, floating towards a waterfall.

Feature of the Week: The Epic Begins

Surtsey is one of the planet’s newest and best-preserved islands you’ll probably never get to see. So if you’re expecting a cruise ship – or even a dinghy – to drop you off anytime soon for a little Arctic vacation, you’d better keep dreaming: only scientists are allowed to step ashore.

Feature of the Week: Circling Iceland – The Ring Road

Every country has a road that you must drive before you can say that you have truly seen that country. In Russia it is the long railroad from Vladivostok to Moscow. In the United States it is Highway 66. Iceland has the Ring Road around the country.

Feature of the Week: A River Runs through Him

Sportfisherman, entrepreneur and vodka mogul Orri Vigfússon is obdurate in his crusade to save North Atlantic wild salmon from being wiped out by overfishing. This spring he won a Goldman Environmental Prize, the Nobel Prize - equivalent of grassroots environmentalism, for his efforts in brokering...

Feature of the Week: Surfing in Iceland - “World class, just colder”

Anyone who has spent time in Iceland will know that the weather up here isn’t exactly characterized by warm tropical nights – something that most of us probably associate with the beach. So you might be surprised to learn that a small group of hardcore riders have created a surfing community in...