Best of Iceland May 23-30
Best of Iceland This Week is a guide for those who are curious about what's going on across Iceland and want local recommendations about events, activities and places of interest. This is the only Icelandic guide of its kind. New every week.
The Nature and People of the North
Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson has for the past three decades documented the way of life of hunters in Greenland, and farmers and fishermen in Iceland and the Faeroes. The exhibition at the Reykjavík Museum of Photography comprises a selection of Ragnar’s best-known photo-series from the west Nordic countries. It also includes images from Siberia and a selection of Ragnar’s news photography, including photos from the Baltic States at the dawn of a new era, and of shipwrecks and natural disasters – and arresting pictures of the impact that man is having on the nature of the North. From May 24.
A Notorious Treat
When visiting the small but wonderful shark museum at Bjarnarhöfn farm, you can taste one of Iceland’s most infamous treats: cured shark meat, prepared by the museum owners. It is sometimes compared to a stinky French cheese. We say that rings true, if the cheese is properly ripened and matured.
Scorcery and Witchcraft
Once you've made the decision to jump on board Strætó and ride all the way to Hólmavík village, it's only logical to visit the Museum of Icelandic Scorcery and Witchcraft in Hólmavík village. A new exhibition was opened in the museum on May 18th showcasing scripts, books, and photographs from before 1900. The books and scripts have been carefully kept all these years and include collections of rhymes and jokes from the past. At the museum you can also find a replica of 'Necropants' that will bring, whoever wears them, an endless supply of money. However making one pair is the tricky part as you have to skin a dead man below the waist and then sow the hyde together. For those interested the pair at the museum can not be tried on.
It’s Christmas All Year Round
The Christmas Garden just outside Akureyri town is a magical place to visit. The little, red house looks like something out of a fairy-tale, with gigantic sweets decorating the roof and icicles hanging from the eaves. And as if that were not enough, a charming little wishing well for unborn children is to be found in a small hollow in the garden. Sounds enchanting, right? Inside the Christmas spirit rules every day, all year round. Hand-made Christmas ornaments, little titbits of traditional Icelandic Christmas food and the Yule Lads are among just some of the things to be found in the Christmas House.
Tunnel of snow
The road leading to Mjóifjörður fjord and its tiny village is finally open. It is one of the last mountain roads to be cleared of snow in Iceland every year. The steep gravel mountain road in East Iceland is closed for up to nine months. Connections between the few inhabitants and the outside world is by sea throughout the winter. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration had to digg through the enormous amount of snow leaving snow walls up to 6 metres (19 f) lining part of the road. This makes for and adventerous drive.When you are through then you should visit Klifbrekkufossar waterfall or keep on and visit the lighthouse and weather station in Dalatangi, on Iceland's easternmost point.
As descendants of Vikings, it comes as no surprise that Icelanders like their sports a little on the risky side. Formula Off-Road is a form of off-road racing 4x4 motorsport, created in Iceland, by Icelanders. There are competitions scheduled during the summer months, and it just so happens that there's one this coming Sunday, May 25th. Just outside of Reykjavik, en-route to Selfoss, is a valley called Jósepsdalur. Engines will be roaring at 1pm GMT this Sunday. Tickets are 1500ISK and all profits go to support children with cancer.
Beware of the Great Skua
The world’s largest great skua population in Iceland is found in the region of glacial outwash plains of Skeiðarársandur and Breiðamerkursandur close to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in the Austur-Skaftafell district. The skua is an very impressive animal, one of our favourite ones, but beware of getting to close. It is an aggressive scavenger that will attack humans to protect their nests and other birds to steal their prey.
The Orginal Mountain Marathon (OMM)
The Original Mountain Marathon is in Iceland this weekend. It was founded in 1968 by Gerry Charnley. It is a two day mountain marathon for teams of two that are willing to navigating one’s own route as well as stay overnight and camp. The race changes location every year and is still the largest and most prestigious Mountain Marathon event globally. Starting point is in the fishing town of Grindavík. May 24-25
The 2014-15 Holuhraun eruption produced more sulfuric dioxide than any eruption since 1978
Today is Bóndadagur, the first day of Þorri, when Icelanders celebrate mid-winters feasts
Price gouging at a tourist mini market: Charged 750 ISK for bottled Icelandic water
Former mayor of Reykjavík jumps into tourism boom: offers visitors private guided tours
See the breathtaking hidden waterfalls of the remote Strandir region in beautiful video
Do Icelanders really believe in a giant evil child-eating Christmas Cat?
Travellers advised to use cleats at Golden Circle destinations, icy paths at Gullfoss and Geysir
Ask the Expert
The story of the wild reindeer herds in the Eastfjords
More than a fifth of Iceland is now included in protected areas and nature monuments
Snæfellsnes peninsula picked as the best winter destination in Europe
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