Photos: Two destinations in South Iceland on CNN's Ultimate List of Scenic Splendor
Many Icelanders seem to have given up on waiting for summer to begin, as local travel agents have noticed a dramatic increase in interest in visits to Mediterranean beach resorts.
An unusually rainy summer
June in Iceland has been unusually rainy. The weather has been particularly poor in the capital region. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office May and June were above average.
According to a count of "summer days" by Trausti Jónsson, the most trusted and best known weatherman in Iceland, Reykjavík only had eight days of proper summer weather in May and June. Trausti's criteria for a "summer day weather" includes mostly dry weather, mostly clear skies, and at least 13.1°C (55.6°F) during the day. The long therm forecast is not looking much better, with rain and overcast skies well into July.
Rainy days drive Icelanders South
This poor weather is reflected in a dramatic increase in booking of flights to more southerly destinations. The Icelandic booking website DoHop has seen a 50% increase in bookings by Icelanders abroad this summer, compared to last year. A spokesman for the site told the local radio station Bylgjan that the main reason was undoubtedly the poor weather.
Managers for other local travel agencies who spoke with Bylgjan told a similar story, noting that three or four days of rain, coupled with a poor long term weather forecast, always resulted in an uptick in the number of bookings for beach resorts.
Among the destinations Icelanders are flocking to are Crete and Spanish resorts. Tenerife, the largest of the Spanish Canary Islands, off the coast of West Africa, is also extremely popular among Icelanders.
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