Iceland | The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

August 1, 2019 | Lois Farley

I’ve been lucky enough in my lifetime to see the Northern Lights in my home province of Manitoba, Canada as well as while visiting Greenland and Iceland. They really are spectacular! Have you ever wondered how those bright dancing lights are created? They are actually collisions between electrically charged particles …

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July 31, 2019 | John Lelis

Picking up where I left off in my previous blog (I was talking about food), if you ever go to Porto, it’s a must to have a “Francesinha”, (meaning Little Frenchie or simply Frenchie in Portuguese) originally from Porto, made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak …

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July 17, 2019 | John Lelis

Our latest newsletter has Portugal as the featured destination. When asked to write a blog to feature in it, I thought it would be easy! After all, I am Portuguese and lived there until I was 39 before moving to Canada. But in fact, it isn’t that easy! There is so …

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Which Yule Lad Are You?

December 12, 2018 | Allison Silvaggio

Iceland has a fantastic tradition of the 13 Yule Lads which lead up to Christmas Day.  The Yule Lad will come down from the mountains to bring children gifts and candy, and sometimes play pranks.  Take the quiz on the below link to find out which Yule Lad you are? Read More >

How Much Can You See & Do in 24 Hours?

November 22, 2018 | Allison Silvaggio

Normally when we travel for work, it can make for some long days in order to see and do as much as possible.  However, last month I experience one of the longest, busiest days yet!

It started with a departure from Winnipeg, and connection in Toronto.  I departed Toronto at 9pm, which would have been 1am in Iceland.  During my international flight, I watched a movie and napped for a few hours. Read More >

Iceland Summerhouse

November 16, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Summerhouses are a great way for a couple, a family or a group of people to enjoy a unique experience in Iceland.  They are fully equipped houses with anywhere from 1 – 4 or even 5 bedrooms.  Bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens with everything you need and lots of your own space!  Towels and bed linen are also included or can be for a small fee. All you need to do is show up, bring your own food, and the space is yours to enjoy! Read More >

Attending Sporting Events While Travelling

October 25, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Attending a sporting event can be an exciting time. Especially when you get to see a team or athlete you really like, in their home country while you are there.  This happened to me when I was in Iceland recently.  I really enjoy watching the Icelandic Football team play and following their careers.  I had a trip to Iceland planned for several months, and about 2 weeks before I was set to leave, it was announced that the Icelandic team would be playing in Reykjavik on the only night I was booked to stay in Reykjavik!  It couldn’t have worked out better! Read More >

Day two Iceland: Avian Cliffs to Black Sand Beaches

September 21, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Blog written by Martyn Cook with the assistance and photography skills of Shauna Cook

Traffic is amassing already; with our hiking boots donned, backpacks loaded with provisions, the day begins. All roads lead to adventure; terra incognito awaits. Driving down the south coast’s single-lane highway reveals a different side to the country; one of a lifestyle of working people living off the land that tried once to reject them. Now communally they thrive, working with nature. Sheep farms line the sides of the road. Icelandic horses, barely tamed, roam the pastures of this wild country. The sub-tundra foliage now gives way to grasses. Read More >

Iceland Sucks… by Exceeding Expectations

September 17, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Written by Martyn Cook on his adventures with Shauna

Iceland sucks in so many ways. First, it sucks at meeting your expectations; it exceeds them. Iceland also sucks at embracing your idea of beauty, for it shatters it, instantly replacing it with a new meaning for the word. It also sucks at allowing you to maintain your own self image; the blossoming idea of beauty makes you examine what is important to you.

The instant you break through the clouds it’s almost like entering the wardrobe to Narnia. You are about to enter a beautiful new world. You are to be born again, as you will leave the old person you once knew and meet a new version of yourself. The runway rushes up to meet you; the journey begins. Tires hit tarmac. Smoke rises up cleansing you for the experience that awaits. You are filled with a sense of adventure. Leaving that sense of longing to find what you miss in your day-to-day life, having it fill your spirit with that missing piece. Like the last puzzle piece, it will fit right in. Iceland takes the familiar and replaces it with a sort of ‘through the looking glass’ idea of a world. The volcanic rock looks like giants took a roll of moss and sub-tundra plants and covered the landscape. Clouds play hide and go seek amongst the peaks as the rain washes away your misconception of a world you once knew and replaces them with a raw truth. Contrast dominates the landscape, everyday. It really is the land of fire and ice. Black sand beaches, lined with white caps riding upon waves crashing amongst the beaches. The world changes from moment to moment in an intoxicating wonderful way. Our senses are alive. Read More >

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 >

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