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Leisure, Entertainment and Sports

Iceland - Leisure, Entertainment and Sports

It's a shame most visitors don't stray far from the capital as some of the most memorable sights of Iceland are further afield.

There are many excursions offered by tour companies and are readily available from any of the main centres such as Reykjavík and Akureyri. They will fly you around and take you on to the glaciers and to the big volcanos for a reasonable price. However, the cheapest option is to drive around with a rented car since none of these sites have entry fees.

- Blue Lagoon - (Icelandic: Bláa Lónið) Famous outdoor pool and health center.

The spa is located in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwestern Iceland. It is situated approximately 13 km from the Keflavík International Airport and 39 km from Reykjavík. This geothermal spa in the middle of a lava field and with its milky blue water, is very surreal.

- Þingvellir National Park (pronounced "THINK-vet-lihr") - National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

20 or 30 miles eastward of Reykjavík. Interesting for a number of reasons. This is not only the site of the longest running parliament in the world (the name literally means parliamentary fields), it's also where the North-American and European continental shelf plates are being torn apart.

- Gullfoss - The Golden Falls

On the edge of the inhospitable Interior of Iceland about 60 miles east of Reykjavík, the river Hvítá plunges down a double cascade to create what many people believe is the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland

- Geysir - Geothermal hot spot

Located 10km west of Gullfoss. Geysir itself (from which the English word "geyser" derives) rarely erupts, but fortunately Strokkur next door goes off every five to ten minutes.

- Kerið - Volcanic crater lake in Southwest Iceland

- Mývatn

A lake near Akureyri in the North of Iceland, Mývatn has an unearthly appearance owing to special types of volcanic craters throughout the lake. There are plenty of activites to do in this area: Smajfall (desert where sulfuric steam comes out of the ground) and Dimmuborgir (aka The Black City aka The Gates of Hell).

- Skaftafell National Park

Was founded on September 15, 1967, and enlarged twice afterwards. Today the park measures about 1700 km² (656 mi²), making it Iceland's second largest national park. There you can find for example the valley Morsárdalur, the mountain Kristínartindar and the glacier Skaftafellsjökull

- Jökulsárlón (The Jökulsár Lagoon)

The majestic glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland and is located near Höfn and on Route 1. Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier retreated very quickly from 1920 to 1965 leaving this breath taking lagoon which is up to 190m deep. Ice breaks off from the glacier keeping the lagoon stocked with icebergs all year round.

- Landmannalaugar

A region of outstanding natural beauty reachable by bus (or 4x4) from Reykjavík. Situated in the Interior, it gives a taster of the uninhabited highlands at Icelands core.

- West Fjords

Located in northwest Iceland, the West Fjords are somewhat isolated but beautiful to see.

- Dettifoss

Europe's most powerful waterfall located in southern end of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park.

A Golden Circle tour is available from Reykjavík which will take you round the Gulfoss waterfall, geysirs, the crater, the Garden of Eden and the Mid-atlantic rift/place of Iceland's first Parliament. Although you don't get much time at each stop the guide does tell you about Iceland's history and some general information.

Iceland offers many hiking opportunities. Hiking in Iceland is no easy business, strong walking boots which support your ankle are recommended as the terrain is usually craggy lava rock or springly moss with hidden holes!

Tour companies

- Bergmenn Mountain Guides, +354 698 9870, [bergmenn@gmail.com]. Iceland's only certified mountain guides. Specializing in ski touring, ice, rock and alpine climbing, private guiding in Iceland and Greenland.

- Iceland Travel, +354 585-4300.

The largest tour operator in Iceland. Offering all services for Individuals and groups. Selfdrive packages, overland excursions, daytours, vacation packages and more.

- Glacier jeeps, +354 478-1000. Amazing adventure tours on Vatnajokull, biggest glacier in Europe.

- Iceland Excursions - Gray Line Iceland, +354 540-1313, [14]. One of the largest day tour and sightseeing operators in Iceland. They offer wide varity of day tours all year around.

- Reykjavik Excursions, +354 562-1011. The largest day tour operator in Iceland offering a variety of day and bus tours from Reykjavik all year around.

- Dive.is, +354 663-2858. Offers scuba diving and snorkeling tours around Iceland.

- Highlanders Adventure in Iceland, +354 568-3030. Offers super jeep tours mainly but can arrange all your travel needs.

- Icelandic Mountain Guides, +354 587-9999. Offers a variety of hiking, ice climbing, and ski tours.

- Icelandic Travel Horses.

- West Tours +354 456-5111. Offers tours and excursions in the West Fjords of Iceland.

- Iceland Guest, +354 534-4141. Offers online information for tourist planning vacation in Iceland .

- Iceland Visitor, +354 511-2442. Offers vacation packages around the country and day tours from Reykjavik.

- Iceland Booking Center. Online booking of tours, accommodation and more.

- Iceland Experience. Escorted & independent tours to Iceland including airfare, car rental and hotel bookings.

- Velvet Adventure Sailing. offers the opportunity to combine exhilarating sailing aboard a comfortable yacht with the opportunity to explore,the wilderness of the Westfjords, inaccessible by road, Experience the peace and tranquillity of largely unpopulated areas.

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