Take a Closer Look – Iceland

August 01, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

Iceland, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, is the most peaceful country in the world. It is home to just under 350,000 people and is also the most sparsely populated country in Europe. For an island with an area of 103,000 sq. km (40,000 sq. mi), this country has everything from volcanoes to geysers to fields of green moss that takes hundreds of years to grow to majestic waterfalls.

Geologically, Iceland is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This ridge marks the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. What is especially amazing about this area is that you can scuba dive (or as a day tour) in between these plates to see some fascinating marine life, be in the spot that Iceland was created and, in some places, actually touch both continents at the same time. This rift, called the Silfra rift, has visibility that exceeds 100m, making it the some of the clearest water in the world.

Iceland is a world leader in renewable energy. Almost all electricity in Iceland is produced using renewable energy sources. According to Inspired by Iceland (the country’s tourism website), 90% of Icelandic households are heated with geothermal water. About 73% of electricity is provided by hydro power plants and 26% from geothermal energy, accounting for over 99% of all electricity consumption in Iceland. And although modes of transportation in Iceland still use conventional fuel, there is a growing number of electric vehicles in the country.

Tourism is Iceland’s largest export sector as it accounted for more than 10% of the country’s GDP in 2017. It is among the countries in the world who are most dependent on tourism. Read More >

Top Ten Common Questions about Planning a Trip to Iceland

May 30, 2018 | Shauna Cook

So you want to go to Iceland? Who wouldn’t? Iceland is one of the most beautiful destinations we travel to, full of incredible scenery, culture, food and more.  The big question is – how do you plan a trip to Iceland.  Shauna Cook is one of our Travel Consultants here at Great Canadian Travel Group who has been to Iceland four times, ate the fermented shark (yes, this is a real delicacy in Iceland!), and has answered hundreds of traveller questions about trip planning. Here are some of the more common questions and answers to help you plan your Icelandic adventures with us.

*Revised May 2018 to update prime booking times and photos to show the beauty of Iceland*

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Best times to visit Iceland

May 10, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Iceland is beautiful in all seasons, and each season has a standout reason why you should visit. It is the land of ice, fire and deserts. From glaciers to geothermal hot springs, Iceland has a vast array of activities in any temperature. The average temperature in Reykjavik in spring hovers around 8ºC, in summer it’s around 12ºC. The average high temperature in the fall is around 9ºC and winter, the temperature goes down to an average high of 3ºC. Here is a list of why I like to visit Iceland in every season: Read More >

Into the Belly of Iceland

April 03, 2018 | Ian Kalinowsky

On my most recent trip to Iceland I had the great experience of descending into the earth on three separate tours that involved ice, lava caves and a volcano. You could think of it as experiencing the hottest and coldest places on the planet all in one comfortable day.  Read More >

Heliskiing in Iceland

March 09, 2018 | Ian Kalinowsky

“Enormous playground of never skied colours, chutes and wide opened glaciers” is how National Geographic starts their article describing skiing in Iceland.

“Without a doubt Iceland offers some of the most mind blowing heliskiing on the planet,” says snow magazine’s “top 10 Heliskiing experiences in Europe.” Read More >

Iceland – Beer Spa

February 12, 2018 | Ian Kalinowsky

It is common knowledge that Scandinavians love to partake in the ritual of hot tubs and saunas. In Iceland, which is blessed with an unlimited amount of hot water, created geothermally, hot tubbing or “going to the pool” is a most common ritual. What is uncommon is the newly opened BEER spa! It opened in July 2017 in the northern part of the country, just outside of Akureyri in the Troll Peninsula, the spa is an amazing place. Hot tubs filled with beer that you sit in while simultaneously pouring yourself a craft beer to drink and enjoy. Read More >

Temperatures in Iceland

February 05, 2018 | Ian Kalinowsky

There is a standing comment in Iceland – “if you don’t like the weather – wait 5 minutes.” I spent 8 days in Iceland in January 2018 and I can verify that the statement is accurate. In the eight days there was a blizzard and 100 mph winds; rain; sleet; fog; ice and glorious sun. But one thing that it was not, was COLD. The mercury did drop to a low of about -5C.

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Birds of a Feather Stop Over Together

January 22, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

Stopping over in Iceland is a popular way to get a glimpse into what the country has to offer on your way to other destinations such as London or Amsterdam. It allows you to get that one extra stamp in your passport and although it’s not always enough time to explore as much as you want, it still allows you to say, yes! I’ve been to Iceland. But humans aren’t the only ones to use this North Atlantic island as a place to rest their weary feathers.

Even if you’re not a bird brain or a budding ornithologist, Iceland has some spectacular bird life that both live and stop over to eat, rest, and raise their brood. In no particular pecking order, here are some pretty amazing feathered friends you can find while visiting, or stopping over, in Iceland. Read More >

Into the Ice and Lava

January 16, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Where else in the world are you able to go into a glacier – other than Iceland!  I was lucky enough to visit one of Iceland’s newest attractions recently, and it is so incredibly unique!

We were picked up in Reykjavik from our hotel in a smaller sized mini-bus, and driven a few hours to the base camp at Husafell.  On arrival, we switched to another bus that took us a short distance to meet our modified glacier vehicle for the journey onto Langjokull (Long Glacier) – the second largest glacier in Iceland.  Read More >