Nature Explorer

Nature Explorer was founded by experienced Icelandic wilderness experts who after years
of using all their free time to go out and play in the wilderness, finally took the step and quit
their day jobs to follow their dream. Together the guides of Nature Explorer have decades
of experience in almost every field. Our team consists of mountain search and rescue
volunteers, experienced hiking guides, bird enthusiasts, photographers, ice climbers,
super-jeep experts and responsible adventurers. Before joining our team, our guides have been guiding for trekking associations, driver guiding for other tour operators, leading private expeditions and even making adventure-documentary films. We only invite real experts with passion for nature adventures to join our team. That way, we can insure that you and other fun-loving nature enthusiasts will be satisfied with our services.
Read hera about our team of driver-guides and travel planners about our fleet of super-jeeps and super-trucks.

 

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Around Iceland

What do you need to know about Around Iceland? Around Iceland is our Travel Office and is located right downtown in the main shopping street at Laugavegur 18b, where we welcome you and provide you with all the information and services you need.

Around Iceland are open 7 days a week, weekdays from 08:00 to 20:00, weekends from 10:00 to 20:00 and we will be delighted to help you plan your dream trip in a friendly and very inviting atmosphere. We share our local at Laugavegur 18b with Kraum, an Icelandic design boutique which offers a great variety of cool designs.

Iceland is a rugged land. We at Around Iceland know that for sure. For centuries Icelanders walked or rode through rocky landscape, across glacial rivers, glaciers to meet family and friends. In such an environment hospitality was not only a noble gesture it was a necessity, an important part of safe traveling.

At AROUND ICELAND we offer our guests a safe and happy traveling experience. We love our island and we want to share our knowledge, experience and inspiration with our guests.

The DNA of AROUND ICELAND is hospitality. Tourists have walked in from the street and the staff of AROUND ICELAND has created a unique experience for them.

We focus on safety and to care about our guests. We use our experience to create unique tours to make our guests’ travels in Iceland memorable.

 

Hospitality is in our DNA

 

 

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Plan Iceland

Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is famous for its magnificent nature, geothermal energy and the idiosyncratic nature of its inhabitants.

Its landscape is marked by glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and absolutely no trees. It has become a popular destination for adventurers and seekers of the unusual, offering white water rafting, glacial snowmobiling and hot-spring bathing, as well as phenomena such as the midnight sun and The Northern Lights.

Icelanders have never been known to go the beaten path. Descendants of the ancient vikings (but these days relatively civilized), the nation of Iceland has elected the first woman president, the first openly lesbian prime minister, and was the first country in the world to acknowledge the sovereign state of Estonia. Jón Gnarr, the mayor of Reykjavík, the capital city, was a comedian who ran for office as a joke.

Despite its meager population, it has birthed such famous musicians as Björk, SigurRós, and Of Monsters And Men. Other accomplished Icelanders include 3 different winners of the Miss World competition and two strongmen who each won the World’s Strongest Man competition four times over.

Icelandic, the language of Iceland, is considered the closes living relative of ancient Norse, and is as such related to most of the Scandinavian languages. Here are some fun words to try to learn in Icelandic:

Eyjafjallajökull (AY-yah-fyad-layer-kuh-tel) – The name of the volcano that erupted in 2010. A great word to say to impress your friends, and better yet, almost nobody will be able to correct you if you’re saying it wrong.
“Einn bjór takk” (aydn byor tack) – “One beer please”. The double “n” is pronounced as a sneeze.
“Jæja” (yaya) – an all-round conversation filler. Use it to fill an uncomfortable silence, to signal that you have to go, or just to entertain yourself when you’re bored.
“Gerðu það” (gerthu thath) – the closest icelandic equivalent of “please”. Literally means “do it”
“Ógeðslega gott!” (Oh!-gethslega got) – normal way to say “very good”. Literally means “disgustingly good!”

 

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How Do You Like Iceland

How Do You Like Iceland is a fully licensed tour operator and a travel company based in Reykjavik, Iceland. We specialize in adventure, sightseeing and hiking tours. We aim to provide the best service possible to make your vacation the unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
In addition to our scheduled day tours, we can also arrange custom private tours for our clients.

Office:
Einivellir 5
220 Hafnarfjörður

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Visit North Iceland

Visit North Iceland is responsible for marketing and promotion of North Iceland which is a friendly and tranquil area with a population of 36 thousand, including Akureyri, the largest town outside Reykjavík, and a number of historic coastal towns. Most visited attractions are Vatnajökull National Park, where you find Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall and lake Mývatn geothermal region with hot springs, volcanic areas, craters, geothermal nature baths and amazing lava formations. We have magical winters with Iceland‘s most popular ski area, energising off-piste skiing and 13 Yule Lads (Santas) on top of unique locations for Northern Lights observation.

Main projects:

To develop and strengthen the image of North Iceland as a tourist destination.

To work with tourism companies and tourist representatives in North Iceland.

To cooperate with tourist information centres and coordinate information provided to tourists.

To help stakeholders to assemble, coordinate and market innovation and events within the region, also research target groups and assist in marketing.

To encourage innovation in tourism in the region, providing assistance and advice.

Provide training and workshops for managers and staff in various areas of marketing and product development.

Marketing and promotion of North Iceland via the web and social media, by publications and participation in workshops, exhibitions and marketing projects domestically and abroad.

To participate in ongoing development projects for tourism in North Iceland.

North Iceland Marketing Office is supported by the Icelandic Ministry of Industry and Innovation, 19 municipalities in North Iceland and has around 160 member companies.

Office:
Hafnarstræti 91
600 Akureyri

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Visit Reykjavík

Visit Reykjavík is the marketing office for the greater Reykjavík area, working closely with all the surrounding municipalities in promoting the area as a destination.

Visit Reykjavík runs the Official Tourist Information Centre in downtown Reykjavík. Visit Reykjavík promotes the city area through channels such as visitreyjavik.is, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, Visit Reykjavík offers the Reykjavík City Card for visitors. Furthermore, Visit Reykjavík operates and runs 5 of the largest festivals in Reykjavík, such as Winter Lights Festival, Children’s Cultural Festival, Culture Night, Illumination of the Peace Tower and December in Reykjavík.

Visit Reykjavík’s focus in development is to strengthen the brand Reykjavík Loves, in collaboration with the Reykjavík area municipalities; as well as using the Reykjavík City Card as a tool of destination management. Furthermore, the development focus is to re-enforce the Official Tourist Information Centre with emphasis on the brand, Reykjavík loves. Visit Reykjavík is also focusing on strengthening the cooperation with the foreign embassies in Iceland and the European City Marketing collaboration.

 

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The bases of Icelandic Cuisine

celandic Food – Bases of Icelandic Cuisine

 

 

Icelandic cuisine, as you would experience it today on a holiday in Iceland, has changed dramatically from what it used to be. Throughout the ages the people of Iceland have had to deal with the elements and Icelands unpredictable natural forces all the while trying to produce enough food to last through an often very hard winter. Icelandic people no longer worry about the coming winter and preserving food is now a matter of popping it in the freezer.

However, the most important ingredients in Icelandic cuisine today are still those produced by the traditional cattle and sheep farmers and the fishermen of Iceland.

Icelandic lamb

Icelandic farmers mostly focus on producing the world renowned Icelandic lamb which forms the base ofIcelandic cuisine and many of the traditional Icelandic foods.

The Icelandic sheep is a special breed, agile, strong and sturdy they are capable of surviving in extremely difficult conditions for extended periods of time. Their hardiness was proved true in the fall of 2012 when a sudden snowstorm buried thousands of sheep in a matter of hours, when the storm passed the farmers began digging the sheep out but that would prove to take days. Several months later sheep were still found emerging from the snow alive, though weak and were consequently nursed back to health.

 

Icelandic cattle

The Icelandic farmers who farm the native breed of cattle not only provide the countries chefs with beef and calf meat for Icelandic cuisine as they have done for centuries but also produce high quality milk from their free range cows which is then used to make dairy products such as the famous Skyr.

Icelandic cows spend their summers outdoors, and can often be seen on fields along the countryside roads lounging in the sun. This is an especially cheerful sight on the first days of summer when the cows celebrate their annual release from the barns by jumping and kicking the air in joy.  Icelandic cattle are an especially colorful breed with predominantly brown colors mixed with white, black and red.

This breed of cattle, which through a millennia long period of isolation became the distinctly Icelandic cattle, originally came to Iceland with viking settlers around the year 1000 AD. but are most closely related to a breed in Norway called Blacksided Trender and Nordland Cattle. As with so many of the native species of animals in Iceland the Icelandic cattle continue to be protected by strict disease-prevention measures and are considered to be a large part of Iceland’s cultural heritage and Icelandic cuisine.

 Icelandic fish

Icelandic fisheries not only supply Iceland with a vast range of high quality fish used in various dishes inIcelandic cuisine today but ship their catch all over the world. The Icelandic fish has been at the very core of Icelandic cuisine for decades now but was, in ages past, widely considered a supplement to the basic cattle and lamb diet of Iceland.

It was hard and dangerous work to catch fish off the coast of Iceland with the weather constantly threatening to change and the waters dangerously cold. Modern technology makes fishing in Iceland safer but has presented Icelanders with other issues such as sustainability and environmental concerns which are constantly being monitored and regulated. Iceland has exceptionally rich fishing grounds which yield quality ingredients to Icelandic cuisine.

The main reason for these rich waters lie in the currents of ocean water which are laden with nutrients, when they get closer to Iceland they hit an obstacle in the form of sub-oceanic ridges forcing them up towards the sunlight which, in the summer months lasts often 20 hours a day. This enables algae to bloom in enormous quantities, and thus form nutrients upon which the whole ecosystem thrives, a multitude of species of zooplankton convert these to food for ever larger organisms such as the Icelandic fish.

History of Icelandic Cuisine

The roots of Icelandic cuisine can be found in the very oldest cooking traditions of Scandinavian cuisine, tracing its origins back to the Vikings and the first settlers of Iceland. Products made from the various Icelandic animals dominate Icelandic cuisine today as they have for centuries. Fresh lamb meat for example remains extremely popular in Icelandic cuisine. Popular taste has developed to become closer to the European norm with American influences with regards to fast food such as pizza and hamburgers. With innovations in geothermal heating and the harnessing of thermal energy consumption of Icelandic vegetables has greatly increased in recent decades while, sadly, consumption of fish has diminished.

Several events in the History of Iceland were of special significance for its cuisine. With the Christianization of Iceland in the year 1000 came the tradition of fasting through Lent, this increased the importance of fish as a source of protein and lead to the development of some fish dishes as well as the increased effort to preserve fish through the method of drying it. At the time of the acceptance of christianity in Iceland an exception was made to the overall ban on horse meat consumption which has throughout the christian world been considered a heathen practice. The ban was later put in place but did not have much effect on Icelandic cuisine as Icelandic people chose to ignore it and continue to eat horse meat to this day.

The event which probably had the greatest impact on farming, and hence, Icelandic food and Icelandic cuisine, was the onset of the so called little Ice Age in the 14th century. A cooler climate changed Icelands fields and limited farming options, farmers were no longer able to grow barley and had to rely on imports for any kind of cereal.

Important ingredients in Icelandic cuisine remain those produced by the farmers and fishermen of Iceland. Icelandic lamb, dairy products from free range cows, and fish caught off the coast of Iceland.

Modern Icelandic chefs usually place an emphasis on the high quality of the available ingredients rather than age-old cooking traditions and methods. Hence, there are a number of restaurants in Reykjavik and other places in Iceland that specialise in different types of cooking using Icelandic lamb and Icelandic seafood.

Icelandic cuisine has found a home in it’s capital Reykjavik, where the annual “Food and fun” chef’s competition has been held since 2004. The competition challenges its contestants to create innovative dishes with fresh ingredients produced in Iceland. Points of pride are the quality of the lamb meat, seafood and (more recently) skyr.

Other local ingredients that form part of the Icelandic chefs store include the seabirds, and waterfowl, including the eggs of said birds, the Icelandic salmon and trout as well as the many wonderful wild ingredients such as crowberry, blueberry, rhubarb, Icelandic moss, wild mushrooms, thyme, lovage, angelica and dried seaweed, not to mention the dairy products such as the cheeses, creams and skyr.