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Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

Iceland Guide May 9-16

By Staff

  • Do you want to walk through the Continental Drift, one of Game of Throne's filming locations in Iceland? See below. Photo/Vilheilm Gunnarsson

This is a guide for those who are curious about what's going on across Iceland and want local recommendations about events, activities and places of interest. This is the only Icelandic guide of its kind. New every week.


Lambing season in the capital Petting Zoo
The only type of sheep in Iceland is the native northern European short-tailed sheep brought there by the settlers, the Vikings, 1100–1200 years ago. There are almost half a million sheep in Iceland outnumbering the human population (325.000) by a good margin.
In May the margin grows even larger when the lambing season starts. The Reykjavík Petting Zoo in Laugardalur valley has a small flock of sheep. This coming weekend is a great time to stop by to witness the newborn lambs taking their first tiny step into the outside world. There are two newborns already around and more are expected in the next few days.

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West Iceland

A museum dedicated to volcanos
The wonderful Volcano Museum in the town of Stykkishólmur in west Iceland is open again after being closed during the winter.  This great museum is curated and owned by world-renowned volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson. Diverse aspects of volcanoes are examined, from the science, geology and their environmental effects to how they appear in the arts and literature. Talks are given daily in English and Icelandic. Open from until the end of September.

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North Iceland

The perfect Saturday night out in Akureyri town
“The perfect Saturday night out in Akureyri would begin with dinner at Rub 23, which serves mostly seafood. Then I’d go for a mojito at Strikið restaurant, which is on the fifth floor of a building located in the city center. It has a splendid view over Eyjafjörður fjord and Hof, the new Cultural and Conference Center. I’d end the night at Götubarinn, which translates to The Street Bar. It’s a charming little bar in the city center, and its interior is reminiscent of old Akureyri.”
Recommended by Margrét Helgadóttir, a lawyer living in Akureyri

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East Iceland

Watch puffins and other birds from a special hideout
The Borgarfjörður eystri fjord area provides a number of excellent facilities for bird-watching. More specifically, a special hideout viewing location near the harbour of the town allows visitors to view a wide variety of unique bird species native to the area. At Hafnarhólmi, a spot located by the small-boat harbour, visitors can enjoy amazing conditions for bird-watching, including close-up views of puffins and kittiwakes of the seagull family.

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Southeast Iceland

Glistening icebergs and curious seals
Glacier Lagoon offers boat tours on the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon between the months of April and November. You can sail between the massive floating icebergs and, if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of curious seals bobbing around in the water. The glacial lagoon is a sight that will render you speechless—every single time. The company has been operating boat tours on the lagoon for over 25 years. It offers two different tours: an hour-long tour on an amphibian boat and a slightly shorter tour on a small, inflatable Zodiac, where you get to experience the lagoon on an entirely different level.

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South Iceland

Walk through the Continental Drift, one of Game of Throne's filming locations
The landscape of Iceland features prominently in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. One of the filming settings is Þingvellir National Park which lies between the European and N. American tetonic plates. You can even see the rift in a vertical canyon at Þingvellir, called Almannagjá where more than one scene of Game of Thrones newest serie was filmed. If you are scuba-certified, you can scuba at Silfra fissure – perhaps your only chance to be able to touch Europe and North America at the same time. Keep in mind that every year, the plates drift about 2 cm (0.8 inch) apart.

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Reykjanes Peninsula

Museums dedicated to Rock 'N' Roll and Vikings
“Visit Rokksafn Íslands, the Icelandic museum of Rock 'N' Roll dedicated to local rock legend Rúnar Júlíusson. It’s located on Skólavegur 12 in Keflavík.  I’d also check out Víkingaheimar, a museum dedicated to Vikings and their ships. Both museum are in Reykjanes town.”
On display at Víkingaheimar (Viking World) is the viking ship Íslendingur (the Icelander) which was sailed to New York in the year 2000 as a part of the millennial celebration of Leifur Eiríksson's journey to the New World.
Recommended by Tómas Young, manager of All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland music festival

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