Iceland – The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

July 8, 2020 | Lois Farley

Travel is not just about people going somewhere. It is about inspiration, opportunity, dreams, ambitions and about building lifelong connections. COVID-19 has not made any of these things disappear. In many ways the desire for real connectivity is being increased. Travel has changed forever. One major change may be seen …

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July 6, 2020 | Arnie Hydamaka

The more special your travel dream, the more we can help you get there! That was the motto of the Great Canadian Travel Company when it began in 1980 and was when I became associated with the company. I had a dream travel destination – Africa, and more specifically the …

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June 30, 2020 | GCT Bear

My hometown of Churchill, Manitoba is a Canadian town located on the edge of the Arctic. It still has a distinctive frontier town feel about it and comes to life whenever a new group of visitors arrive. The people that live here are friendly, proud of their hometown and the …

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Geothermal Spas in Iceland

May 19, 2020 | Sandra Jensen

When in Iceland of course I had to visit their world famous geothermal spa at The Blue Lagoon. It is a wonderful experience, and very handy to Keflavik airport so easy to visit even if you only have a stopover in Iceland. But, it can be very busy. “Why not try one of the many smaller facilities in Iceland?”, I thought, or even experience one of many public pools, which are also heated with geothermal waters.

 

 

 

 

If you are touring the Golden Circle area on your own on a self-drive, I suggest a visit to The Secret Lagoon near Fludir. It is a natural hot spring with a sandy bottom and constant feeding of fresh thermal waters keeping the pool at 38-40° Celsius year round. The pool’s natural surroundings and steam rising into the air gives the place a magical feeling. Read More >

Shauna’s Best Days Ever!

April 27, 2020 | Shauna Cook

My best day ever started as one of the final days of an Iceland Circumnavigation cruise.  We were set to arrive into Heimaey, Westman Islands for a full day port stop.  The crew made sure to tell us what time to be on deck as pulling into the harbor is one of the highlights of this stop.  They were not wrong.  On approach we see green and rock, and hundreds, possibly thousands of seabirds using the rock for nesting.  An overwhelming feeling of familiarity came over me, and I felt very calm.

      

Prior to this, I had never visited the Westman Islands, however I felt like I was being welcomed home.  Walking around the village felt comfortable and familiar, it was like my feet and my memory knew exactly where to take me. Read More >

Northern Lights in Iceland

January 09, 2020 | Shauna Cook

pc Arctic Adventures

I was recently in Iceland, and since I was only there for a few nights, I hadn’t planned on doing a northern lights tour.  However, when I arrived, I keep on hearing the buzz in Reykjavik that the lights were going to AMAZING that night, so I couldn’t resist! I booked onto a Northern Lights Superjeep tour with Arctic Adventures and I don’t regret it for a second!!

I have been lucky to see the northern lights before in Canada, Greenland and on previous trips to Iceland, however I have never seen them like this night! Read More >

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 | Archived Blogs

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 >

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