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Gilbert Watchmaker Workshop: Laugavegur 62, 101 Reykjavik Tel: 551-4100 /



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FAST, FREQUENT & ON SCHEDULE EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. The Flybus operates in connection with all arriving and departing flights at Reykjavík KEF International Airport and your seat is always guaranteed.



Free WiFi Hotspot on board our coaches.

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For our flexible schedule scan the QR code


BSÍ Bus Terminal • 101 Reykjavík

Relax at the Blue Lagoon

Facts about the Blue Lagoon: The lagoon holds 6 million liters of geothermal seawater which is renewed every 40 hours. It is rich in minerals, silica and algae. The water´s temperature is 37-39°C/98-102°F.

There is no better way to start or end your Iceland adventure than by bathing in the famous Blue Lagoon.



Reykjavik Excursions offer great flexibility in Blue Lagoon tours. After having enjoyed all that the Blue Lagoon has to offer you can either return to Keflavík Airport or be brought onwards to Reykjavík. For our very flexible schedule please consult our brochures.

BSÍ Bus Terminal 101 Reykjavík 580 5400 •

580 5400 • •

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Discover all the magical places not to be missed when in Iceland: Beautiful nature, multicoloured mountains, fertile farmlands, stunning views, plummeting waterfalls, natural wonders and geological phenomena. Book now on

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Book now by calling 580 5450

BSÍ Bus Terminal 101 Reykjavík 580 5400

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Authorised by Icelandic Tourist Board


REYKJAVÍK living 3



Akranes Reykjavík

Garður Sandgerði Reykjanesbær




6 12 16 30 34 36 58 96 112

Hafnarfjörður Hveragerði Þorlákshöfn Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri



Credits 2012 FULLT HÚS PUBLISHING Ei›ism‡ri 14a 170, Seltjarnarnes, Iceland Tel: +354 692 1400 e-mail:

Editor Auður Harpa Andrésdóttir Design and Art Direction Hugverkasmi›jan - Helgi Sig Tel: +354 551 9424 e-mail:

Cover photos Front cover image: 66°North Iceland Ingolfur Arnarsson: Printing Oddi ehf.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Neither this publication nor any part of it may reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior of Fullt hús publishing. Fullt hús publishing takes no responsibility for errors and changes.

ÍSLENSKA SIA.IS CIN 59998 06.2012





REYKJAVÍK living 5

Reykjavík Living 2012

Katrín Júlíusdóttir

Icelandic Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism

ICELAND lies midways between Europe and North-America, between the old and the new world. In fact Iceland bridges the continental plates. This explains the great amount of clean geothermal energy and diverse landscape of this relatively young country. The extraorinary geographical location of Iceland can also provide explainations on volcanic activity in the last year. It has been said that Iceland is not only a continental bridge geographically, but also in a cultural sense. In the Icelandic society we see a mixture of the European emphasis on welfare and social compassion and the American emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Throughout history, Icelanders have sought education from both sides of the Atlantic and brought knowledge and experience back home. This way, the most recent trends and ideas in science and culture meet the local arts and history of Iceland, and the experience of living in the tumultuous yet beautiful nature of fire, ice, ocean and mountain. A visit to Iceland will reveal to the traveller these apparent contradictions. From the heart of the modern city of Reykjavik, which offers comfort and culture, there is but a stones throw into the unspoiled and beautiful wilderness. The economy and industries of Iceland grows from this soil. Here comes together experience and the utility of natural resources, whether it be fish, hydro-electricity, geothermal energy or the latest science and technology. There is also a powerful artistic desire as well as

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an innovative mindset. Icelandic culture such as music, cinema and design has received international attention and in the recent years inventive and innovative companies have been successful. A clean nature, wholesome natural products and the utilization of geothermal energy for pools, baths and spa’s, produce companies involved in lifestyle tourism.Innovation comes together with history and top quality Icelandic raw material as well as ingenious service. All over the world, arrangements have been made to protect the nature and culture of popular tourist attractions. The same is true for Iceland. A few companies have already received international conservation awards and there are more to come. This is good news for the tourist industry and will without doubt strengthen its position in the international competition. The news is best nonetheless for the country, its nature and culture. All of the above has helped this young and well educated nation to work its way through the current economical crisis. This we have done, with innovation based on our comparative advantages as well as hospitality towards tourists who visit us to enjoy all the diverse attractions which Iceland has to offer.

Please be welcome, Katrín Júlíusdóttir Icelandic Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism

ENNEMM / SÍA / NM52750

Honest Icelandic Food

Satt Restaurant posesses its own Icelandic culinary style, sense of place and a talented executive chef in charge of the kitchen. Fresh and organic ingredients, local flavours and warm, thoughtful service is our passion. REYKJAVÍK living 7 Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natura Nauthólsvegur 52 101 Reykjavík Tel. (+354) 444 4050






















































































































































8 REYKJAVÍK living | Tel.: 595 8500 |

• 456 5552 w w w. t h e v i k i n g . i s





ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF UNTAMED NATURE Few volcanic eruptions in Iceland have made as many headlines as the one that started in the Eyjafjalla­ jökull volcano in March 2010. The volcano’s stark beauty contrasts strikingly with the sheer havoc it has wreaked all around the world. Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson’s stunning photos and the accompanying text (also in English) by Ari Trausti Guðmundsson give an insightful and imposing view of the eruption as it unfolds. Ragnar has won international acclaim for his work, including three CLIO awards, while Ari Trausti is held in high regard for his many books and TV programs on geology and volcanism.









Day tours from Reykjavík, Sólheimajökull glacier & Skaftafell

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MOUNTAINGUIDES.IS - - - Tel: +354 587 9999 REYKJAVÍK living 11 or visit the ITM INFORMATION AND BOOKING CENTER, Bankastræti 2 - Downtown, Reykjavík

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Laugar Health Spa and Swimming Oasis LAUG­AR is a high quality luxury health and spa resort. There you will find a European-style spa where the accent is on the relaxing and healing properties of natural geothermal water. In soothing surroundings body and soul can be restored in oasis of peach and warmth. In Laugar you can find; the most state of the art fitness centre in Iceland, a spa called Badstofa, Laugar Spa beauty and massage salon, Laugar café a restaurant and hair salon.

Fitness center The bright and spacious fitness center contains the best in state of the art fitness equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers, Life Fitness and Hammer Strength. The accent is on variety and quality: here there is something for all in the family. All the employees are professionally qualified.

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The six-metre-wide waterfall shows the unique design features of Sigurdur Gudmundsson, one of Iceland’s most prominent artists. His artwork and sculptures in smooth granite make the whole spa experience aesthetically perfect.

Massa­ge and Body treatments at Laug­ar-Spa Laug­ar Spa Beauty and Massa­ge Clinic is attached to Laugar

Laugar Spa is a 5 star beauty and massage salon attached to Laugar where the best professionals ensure that our guests get good service and excellent relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Laugar Spa uses products from Guerlain and Comfort Zone which are well known throughout the world.

Hotsto­ne Massa­ge

Laug­ar Café-Restaurant Laugar Café serves lunch and dinner along with a variety of light healthy courses, sandwiches and drinks throughout the day. Amongst other, Laugar Café offers the Boozt and protein bar, with a large selection of skyr and proteindrinks, as well as freshly made fruit and vegetable juices. Laugar Café has a café bar with a view over the Laugardalur Swimming Pools. Our guests can enjoy delicious drinks while having a look at a selection of magazines or reading a good book. Above all, Laugar Café is an accessible café, open to everyone, and a great place to rest your bones after a nice walk in Laugardalur, a refreshing swim, sweating it out in the gym or having had a nice relaxing time in Laugar Spa.

Children’s Para­d­ise A playroom, junior gym and cinema for the children.

The Spa Bad­stofa

In Laugar Spa you enter an aquatic haven where you can indulge both body and soul. Six different saunas and steam rooms are available, each one with a different theme, where you can experience sounds of nature, a starry night sky and enjoy different aromas. Soothe tired limbs in a Thalasso therapy Jacuzzi, rejuvenate tired feet in a special footbath, switch between hot and cold showers in special cubicles or enjoy delicious food and drink in one of the restaurants on the premises. In soothing surroundings, body and soul can be restored in an oasis of peach and warmth. Try jacuzzis with hot and cold subterranean seawater or enjoy tehe relaxation room, equipped with comfortable benches and a centrally located fireplace.

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This ancient massage method comes to us from the Amerindian peoples of North America. Massage is administered with the aid of stones, which are heated to about 50° C, and oil. The treatment promotes a deeper relaxation of muscles and ligaments than traditional massage, and is highly effective against myoses and rheumatic pain and combats stiffness and other complaints. The treatment takes about 50 or 90 minutes.

Epson Salt Massa­ge This is based on the use of special salt in which the grains are pearl-shaped, not the sharp angular crystals familiar to us in the form of table salt. It reduces oedema and is good for tired and tender muscles. Salt massage stimulates energy, combats lethargy, is effective against rheumatic pains and relieves asthma. An energy-balancing treatment, salt massage takes about 75 minutes.

Laugar Spa Chocolate Massage This is a signature treatment, specially designed for Laugar Spa guests, using Icelandic chocolate oil. Chocolate is uniquely rich of anti oxidants and is very good for the circulation. This treatment takes 60 minutes.

Detoxifying mud therapy (Purifying treatment) 60 minutes. A balancing and detoxifying treatment accelerate the body's metabolism, favouring profound purification as well as an effective slimming action. Results: Deep remineralization, firmed and smoothed tissues, elevated stimulation of circulation, metabolism and lymphatic flow. This treatment takes 60 minutes

Guerlain facial Guerlain´s most popular facial for the last decade. A specialised Guerlain Shitatsu, a specially selected treatment mask and head massage as well as hand and foot massage. The treatment is specially selected taking in to account each customer´s needs and wishes. The treatment maintains the skin´s youthful glow. Your Guerlain beautician will give you a star treatment for 90 minutes

Tur­ki­sh Bath This treatment is based on essential oils and mild soap. First the skin is scrubbed and then gone over with a soft textured bag and then rinsed. After the bath you have a massage. It is very relaxing, both mentally and physically, and leaves the skin silken-smooth, stimulating circulation and the lymph system, reducing cellulite formation and removing dead skin cells. This treatment takes 90 minutes and ends with a light meal.

Treatment for the Gentlemen Ideal skin treatment for all those gentlemen constantly on the move or who are under a lot of stress but still want to look good at all times. This treatments includes head massage and takes 60 minutes. ■

All guests at Laug­ar have free access to the Laug­ar­dal­ur Thermal Pools, inclu­ding the indoor pool.

Access to the spa is included in all Massage and Body treatment. For appointments please call 533 1177 or e-mail

Laug­ar in Laug­ar­dal­ur Sund­lauga­vegur 30a 104 Reykja­vík Tel: +354 553 0000 www.laug­ar­

Open­ing ho­urs at Laug­ar: Monday - Fri­day 06:00 - 23:30 Sat­ur­day - 08:00 - 22:00 Sunday 08:00 - 20:00

REYKJAVÍK living 15

Icelandic Craft & Design Shops ALL ROADS lead to downtown Reykjavik. While it’s true that many tourists visit Iceland to explore the country’s natural wonders, the vast majority of these travellers spend a few days stomping through the small but charming city centre.

Reykjavik’s main shopping street, Laugavegur, runs through the city centre the street from which all others branch out. The street holds a wealth of must-see stops along the way, also for those not intending to do much shopping. There are retail stores selling the latest designer clothes, phones, luxury goods, CDs, as well as special Icelandic design stores full of funky hats and garments that conjure up images of elves: make sure to browse the exotic little shops loaded down with trinkets that you’ll find no place else except for the northernmost capital in the world.

Reykjavík Center Map This interactive web site features a detailed and accurate pen and ink drawing of the oldest part of Reykjavík. Explore the city centre and enjoy great art in a fantastic map produced by Borgarmynd architects. Check it out at

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Then there’s Skolavordustigur, where you will find plenty of original arts and crafts. This scenic street leads up to Reykjavik’s most conspicuous landmark, the hilltop church, Hallgrimskirkja. Not to be missed on the streets are the numerous cafés and restaurants offering a variety of refreshments for hungry or thirsty shoppers. ■


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Bistro & Bar Aðalstræti 101REYKJAVÍK Reykjavík Tel: +354 517 TEL 4300 562 SHOP / WORKSHOPGeysir SKÓLAVÖRÐUSTÍGUR 6A 2 101 ICELAND 6999 / 698 3413 MARIALOVISA.COM

MADE IN ICELAND JS Watch co. Reykjavik is a small Icelandic watch manufacturer whose exceptional timepieces promise to put the country on the map for something other than hot springs, Bjork and disruptive volcanoes.

Icelandic Ingenuity

The collaboration of a watchmaker, collector and designer has produced the JS Watch co. Reykjavik, one of the world’s smallest manufacturers of stylish, quality watches. Is JS Watch co. Reykjavik, from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, one of the watch industries best kept secret? All the watches are designed and assembled by hand in Iceland. Only highest quality movements and materials are used to produce the watches and every single detail has been given the time needed for perfection. The quantity of watches produced is limited, giving them an exclusive and truly personal feel. Currently the watches are being worn on many celebrity wrists such as Viggo Mortensen, Quentin Tarantino and his holiness 14th Dalai Lama to name just a few.

Meet the watchmaker

The JS Watch co. Watch factory and exclusive retail shop located at Laugavegur 62, in the trendy “101” area of Reykjavik provides customers with unique opportunity to meet the watchmakers who assemble and test their timepiece. Quality control is administrated by Master Watchmaker Gilbert O. Gudjonsson who is one of Iceland’s best known watchmakers and has more than 40 years of experience. If you are interested in unique Icelandic design stop by and have a look at the JS Watch co. Reykjavik collection of quality mechanical timepieces. Gilbert ‘O Guðjónsson Master watchmaker, Laugvegur 62 tel + (354) 551 4100, or

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Our Master Watchmaker never loses his concentration With his legendary concentration and 45 years of experience our Master Watchmaker ensures that we take our waterproofing rather seriously. Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, our Master Watchmaker and renowned craftsman, inspects every single timepiece before it leaves our workshop. As a privately owned and operated company, we have the opportunity and duty to give all our timepieces the personal attention they deserve.

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Gljúfrasteinn Where the fish can sing HALLDÓR LAXNESS (1902-1998) was the undisputed giant of Icelandic literature in the twentieth century and won the Nobel Prize in 1955 "for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland". His life spanned almost the entire century and his writing is like a mirror of the turbulent literary and political trends and movements that shaped it.

Atom Station and the The Fish Can Sing reflect a magical literary world, with tender stories of ordinary lives and Iceland´s distinctive, sometimes surreal environment. But above all he will be remembered for the great characters in his novels, the wit and compassion with which he captured the essence of the Icelandic identity.

He was prolific during his long career, writing 13 major novels, five plays and a dramatisation of one of his novels, not to mention his collections of short stories, essays and memoirs. His books have been translated into 43 languages and published in more than 500 editions.

Gljúfrasteinn was home to the Nobel Prize winning author and his family for more than half a century. The house is now open to the public as a museum, unchanged from when Laxness lived and worked there. Tucked away in the green valley of Mosfellsdalur, it is only 20 minutes from Reykjavík en route to Þingvellir national park. The ideal place to take a break from the city or stop and enjoy a picnic in nature.

The diversity of his works is almost without parallel and with every book he can be said to have approached his readers from a new and unexpected direction. Intriguing titles such as the

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Laxness was a personal friend of many of the great artists and thinkers of the twentieth century, and his home often served as an “unofficial cultural embassy”. Visiting heads of state and international cultural figures were entertained with soirées and concerts in the beautiful surroundings that can be seen in their original state on the tour of the house. As well as learning more about the man, visitors are encouraged to wander in the garden and surrounding countryside, a source of much inspiration in his later life. ■





Inspired by Icelandic nature As a year-round landscape the glaciers and the ice shape the Icelandic soul, same as the contradicting volcanoes and hot springs. Those are the contending forces that combine in the unique ICECOLD range. The ICECOLD founder and lead designer, Jón Sigurjónsson, draws his inspiration from the country’s diverse images, from those quiet peaceful winter mornings to the glaciers’ bellowing groans as they crack under the great forces of nature. Sigurjónsson brings out the beauty of the contradictions as the ICECOLD shapes and textures mimic the Icelandic nature, a bit rough but with a hint of softness here and there. One of the largest jewellery businesses in Iceland, Jón & Óskar has set the standard for fine Icelandic jewellery making since 1971 when its first store opened in downtown Reykjavik. As well as the famous ICECOLD range, the stores also offer a wide range of top branded watches and imported and Icelandic gift items.

Available in Jón & Óskar stores, Laugavegur 61, Kringlan mall, Smáralind mall. Tel. +354 552 4910 // //

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22 REYKJAVĂ?K Imagineliving Peace Tower on the island Videy in Reykjavik

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KRAUM ICELANDIC DESIGN If Skúli Magnússon were still alive, he would be a happy man indeed. A successful 18th-century entrepreneur and at one time the Governor of Iceland, Magnússon nurtured big plans for a craft centre in downtown Reykjavík. Today, the very building he had chosen for that purpose all those years ago has once more become a stylish centre for the very best of Icelandic design and crafts. Number 10 Aðalstræti, the home of Kraum Icelandic Design, simply oozes history. Dating back to 1752, it is the oldest building still standing in the city centre, a place very different from what it was in Magnússon’s day, when the capital consisted of only a few farms and a couple of hundred people. Paintings and early photographs of the area, part of a changing exhibition detailing Reykjavík’s history since the mid-1700s, can be seen in Kraum’s front rooms. The building also houses the Craft and Design Exhibition Centre, open on weekdays.

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ICELAND’S FINEST Natural light spills onto the wooden floors and fresh white walls of this gorgeous design hub and retail outlet, which is already attracting Iceland’s finest talents. More than 70 designers are contributing to a huge array of products that include children’s puzzles, woollen lamps and exquisite jewellery. Stationery, ceramic vases, clothing and wooden toys are among the other creatively designed items on sale, along with dining accessories, handbags, raincoats and knitwear. Kraum’s central and historical location, not to mention its often exclusive wares, makes it a must-see for tourists and locals alike. DESIGN EXCELLENCE Managing Director Halla Bogadóttir, a goldsmith by trade, has shaped the retail project with the help of over thirty investors, designers and architects, all passion­ate supporters of Kraum’s vision for a centre of design excellence. The aim was to free designers from the pressures of running and marketing individual stores and instead let them do more of what they do best. Judge the beautiful results for yourself!

Kraum Icelandic Design Aðalstræti 10 101 Reykjavík Tel: (+354) 517 7797 Open weekdays 09:00 - 21:00 Sat 10:00 -17:00 Sun 12:00 -17:00 REYKJAVÍK living 25

FOR A SMALL NATION, Iceland has given birth to an incredible array of artists. Their rich and continuing legacy is bursting with colour and form, frequently evocative of a wild and beautiful homeland. Reykjavik is a great place to drink in this inspirational aspect of Icelandic life. The Reykjavik Art Museum is made up of three distinctive gallery spaces, and free admission. More than just rainy-day places, these are a must for a taste of Iceland’s heritage, magic and inimitable style.

HAFNARHÚS The ‘harbour house’ is the newest forum, established in April 2000 in an old warehouse down by the harbour. A stunning conversion, it has six art exhibition rooms interconnected by a specially designed bridge, a multi-purpose space and a courtyard. The focus is on local and international contemporary art with a permanent collection of work by the eclectic Icelandic artist Erró. Hafnarhús hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. It’s unique atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for events which include the city’s food and art festivals and concerts during Iceland Airwaves. A stylish café offers impressive harbour views and the well-stocked shops is worth a browse.

HAFNARHÚS Tryggvagata 17 101 Reykjavik Tel: 590 1200 Open daily 10-17 Thursdays 10-22

KJARVALSSTAÐIR Miklatún park Flókagata 105 Reykjavik Tel: 517 1290 Open daily 10-17

KJARVALSSTAÐIR Named after one of Iceland’s most beloved artists, Jóhannes S Kjarval (1885-1972). Kjarval was a living legend, a romantic bohemian who captured the beauty and mystical quality of the landscape he knew so well. Kjarvalsstaðir always has works from its namesake’s collection on display and also has regular exhibitions of Icelandic and international art, architecture and design with a special emphasis on the 20th century art, as well as architecture and design. The recently renovated café boasts Icelandic-designed furniture and floor to ceiling glass walls. Kjarvalsstaðir is not far from the city center.

ÁSMUNDARSAFN Sigtún / Laugardalur 105 Reykjavik Tel: 553 2155 Open daily may-sep 10-16 oct-apr 13-16

ÁSMUNDARSAFN The Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum is dedicated to the sculpture and drawings of one of the pioneers of sculpture in Iceland, Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982). His works are on display both inside and outside the building, the former home of the artist. Sveinsson designed and constructed it largely by himself, incorporating Arabic and Mediterranean influences. Situated in the peaceful Laugar valley, a short bus ride from the city centre. 26 REYKJAVÍK living

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The National Museum of Iceland THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND was established on February 24th 1863. Up until that time Icelandic museum pieces had been kept in Danish collections. The museum was called the Antiquarian Collection up until 1911 when the name was changed to the National Museum of Iceland. During the first decades it was housed in several attics in Reykjavík - in the Cathedral, House of Corrections, Parliament and National Bank - and finally the attic of the National Library building on Hverfisgata (now the Culture House) for four decades. When the Republic was formed in 1944, Parliament decided to give the nation a museum at Suðurgata, into which the collections were moved in 1950. Six decades later it has been entirely refurbished to meet present standards and requirements. The role of the National Museum is varied, reflecting its legal obligation as national centre for the preservation and management of cultural heritage, cultural research programmes and promulgation of knowledge and information which relates to the cultural heritage of the nation. On display are objects that provide insight into Icelandic cultural history - displays that encourage visitors to dwell on the past, present and future. The museum aims to nurture knowledge and innovation while maintaining a wide perspective and sense of community.

Varied exhibitions The National Museum of Iceland’s permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland, is intended to provide insight into the history of the Icelandic nation from the Settlement to the present day. The aim is to cast light on the Icelanders’ past by placing the cultural heritage preserved 28 REYKJAVÍK living

by the National Museum in a historical context, guided by the question: What makes a nation? The exhibition is conceived as a journey through time: It begins with the ship in which medieval settlers crossed the ocean to their new home and it ends in a modern airport, the Icelanders’ gateway to the world. Special theme exhibitions with selections from the Museum‘s collections and archives are presented regularly in the Arc Hall and the Museum‘s Photo Gallery. They focus on particular subjects of cultural history in detail, often examining contemporary cultural issues in the context of the nation‘s past.

Museum Shop and Café The Museum Shop offers a range of unusual souvenirs inspired by the Museum‘s collections and temporary exhibitions, as well as a variety of books, including the Museum‘s own publications. The shop stocks a range of fine gifts for all occasions. The Museum‘s Café, Kaffitár, offers delicious refreshments and exceptional coffee. ■


F í t o n / S Í A

The country´s largest museum of cultural history featuring a permanent exhibition on Iceland´s extraordinary history from settlement to present day. Suðurgata Suðurgata 41 41 // 101 101 Reykjavík Reykjavík Tel. +354 530 2200 Tel. +354 530 2200

OPENING HOURS Summer (May-August): Daily 10–17 Guided tours in English Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. Winter (September-April): REYKJAVÍK living11–17 29 Daily except Mondays

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Wide on white RAGNAR AXELSSON, who also calls himself RAX, is a photographer born in Iceland in 1958. He has been a staff photographer of Morgunblaรฐiรฐ (Iceland's largest newspaper) since 1976. Ragnar has done work and stories for various agencies and magazines, shooting in Iceland, the Faroes, Greenland, Indonesia, Scandinavia, and Siberia. Ragnar has been travelling to the Arctic now for almost three decades. His images have won him recognition as a documentary photographer. He has had photographs and picture essays published in Life, National Geographic, Le Figaro, Stern, La Vanguardia, Time, and elsewhere.


Ragnar Axelsson RAX

Ragnar's book Andlit Norรฐursins (2004; English edition Faces of the North 2005) is a collection of his black-and-white photographs of vanishing ways of life in Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland taken over a period of fifteen years. His most recent book, Last Days of the Arctic (2010), has won critical acclaim, with multiple photo features in the New York Times and exhibitions most recently in Iceland and Ireland. As a photography "Book of the Year", the (London) Times described his work as 'remarkable', 'beautiful', and 'a gift for the eyes, mind and heart'.This body of work presents a unique record of daily life and culture of some of the most remote communities in the world, and the twilight of their society. REYKJAVรK living 31

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Ragnar Axelsson RAX

AWARDS: • The Annual Icelandic Photojournalists Awards (Est. 1991): More that 20 awards, including Photographer of the year, four times, and Documentary story of the year, six times. • The Oskar Barnack Award, 2001. Honourable Mention • Festival Photo de Mare, Vannes, Grand Prix.

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Harpa Concert Hall

and Conference Centre

HARPA OPENED its doors to the public in May 2011 and is a striking addition to the Icelandic and European cultural scene. Harpa marries the most important classical music and performance venue in the country with an international conference centre. It offers a diverse range of performances, from classical to contemporary, and is home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and The Icelandic Opera. Harpa serves as a tourism and business hub, providing flexible facilities for programs and international events. Danish-Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson designed the south facade and developed the principle for the remaining north/ east/west facades and roof in collaboration with Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríið Architects. Elíasson deploys light, colour, and natural phenomena to test how physical movement, sensual engagement, and the interaction of body and brain influence our perception of our surroundings. Batteríið Architects have won numerous awards for their design, including the extension for the Icelandic Parliament. The firm works internationally in close cooperation with contractors and renowned architects and engineers in the Nordic countries, North America, and Australia. 34 REYKJAVÍK living

The US consulting firm Artec is responsible for acoustics, sound isolation, and design of the theatre and sound equipment. Harpa offers a large conference hall seating up to seven hundred and fifty people, two meeting rooms seating sixty three people each, conference services, eight smaller meeting rooms and more. Run by the holding company Portus, in collaboration with the Icelandic government and the City of Reykjavik, Harpa is one of the projects that will further develop the vibrant tourism and business scene of Reykjavik by creating a new waterfront hub. ■



The Iceland Symphony orcheSTra SerIeS

The IcelandIc opera

Ian anderSon


STopoVer SerIeS

Icelander In 60 mInUTeS

UndercUrrenT concerT JeThro TUll

how To become an

reykJaVík mIdSUmmer mUSIc





Take a guided tour of the building and peak behind the scenes. enjoy the glass facade, elegant halls and different floors of genius design. harpa is definitely a must-see on any Iceland travel agenda.

Iceland encapsulated in a five dimensional experience. limited run in harpa June 29th – August 6th.

weekdays at 15.30. price 1500 ISk (around 10 euros) weekends at 11.00 and 15.30. price 1500 ISk (around 10 euros)

book a tour package for small or large groups all tours can be booked at the box office desk, at or via telephone +354 528 5009

JUST SOME OF THE EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN HARPA 2012 Visit for further details

REYKJAVÍK living 35

Lækjartorg Parliment The Pond






Church Tower

Lækjarbrekka Icelandic Cuisine in the centre of Reykjavík THE HOUSE Lækjarbrekka was built as a dwelling in 1834, by the influential Danish ship owner and merchant P.C Knudtzon. He also built a bakery and a turf house in th same lot and brought the Danish baker T.D Bernhöft to Iceland to practice his trade here. Bernhöft, who was for a long time the only baker in Reykjavík, bought the houses in 1845. The Bernhöft family continued in the baking business at this location for two generations, building a retail shop onto the dwelling house in 1855. This addition is today the part of the restaurant facing Banka­ stræti. The building was used as a dwelling until 1961 and a small shop was there until the time of reconstruction began in 1980. By then, the house had fallen into disrepair, as it had been neglacted for decades. Its future had been uncertain until 1979, when it and several other houses in the same block were declared protected buildings. During reconstruction, every attempt was made to preserve the original appearence. It is a very special experience to dine in this beautifully restored house, which has an eventful 150 years history behind it.

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Menus The menu is diverse from lunchtime to evening, seven days a week. At lunchtime we specialize in light, fresh dishes, such as soup or salad as well as fresh fish and chicken dishes. In the afternoon the restaurant takes on a café atmosphere and a range of small dishes, sandwiches, coffee, cakes, Icelandic pancakes and more Icelandic specialties are available. In the evening variety is the name of the game. Lækjarbrekka offers everything from appetizers and vegetable dishes to sumptuous meat and fish dishes and there is something for all tastes. The menu consists among else of Icelandic lobster, fresh fish of the day, Icelandic mountain lamb, puffin party and more. For dessert Icelandic specialties such as “skyr” with cream is always popular.

Table Reservations You can reserve a table by calling +354 551 4430. Reservations can be made between 11:00 and 24:00. You can also reserve a table by e-mail. Email: ■

k ey ja


Restaurant for over 30 years




Icelandic Cuisine

Bankastræti 2 - 101 Reykjavík - Tel. 551 4430 - - REYKJAVÍK living 37

The Pond

st Bú

Reykjavík Airport

av að ur eg

The Perlan

The Perlan An Exclusive Restaurant offering homemade Ice Cream THE PERLAN is one of those places that every traveller must visit. A magnificent view and impressive architecture is however not all that the Perlan has to offer. The Perlan building houses one of the most popular and high ranking restaurants in Iceland offering an international a la Carte menu. The Perlan is an exquisite restaurant where the chefs are regular guests on Icelandic teams taking part in international competitions, and who are members of the Chéf de Chéf society. The Perlan is an exciting and interesting building. The building interconnects and rests upon six large hot water tanks, each containing over 4 million litres of hot water. Although the building is a steel frame construction the role of the steel frame is not primarily to interconnect the hot water tanks and form the dome. The steel, a cold substance in itself, is one of the sources of heat in the building. The panorama from the observation stands on the fourth floor is incredible. The ultimate experience is the revolving restaurant above the observation stands where our guests will enjoy the best there is to offer in foods, drink and spectacular vistas. The manager of the Perlan restaurant is Mr. Stefan Stefansson. Mr. Stefansson says that quality with respect to food and service has been a leading principle ever since the restaurant began operations in 1991. “We have waiters and chefs in our restaurant who have won various international awards and it is a privilege to have such elite personnel working in this unique building”. The Perlan restaurant is at the forefront of top class restaurants in Reykjavik. Nine professional waiters serve the guests and the kitchen employs seven expert chefs. The restaurant has received positive comments in foreign periodicals among others from Time magazine, one of the most distinguished magazines in the world, which said that the Perlan restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Iceland, situated in the eastern part of Reykjavik

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and rotating half a circle every single hour. The Time review also mentions the magnificent fountain shooting its water to a height of fifteen metres. The fountain itself is a real state-of-theart structure and arouses the interest of all those who visit the Perlan building. Before being seated at your restaurant table it might be a good idea to have an aperitif at the Perlan lounge or to relax there after a great dinner. The bartenders there have a lot of professional experience and have taken part in international competitions. A large number of sightseers visit the Perlan every year, as the place is a regular stop for tourist groups. According to Mr. Stefansson there are many foreign guests visiting the restaurant, especially during summer: “These visits are rather seasonal. In the springtime and during the summer months we have a lot of foreign guests, and during the winter season the native Icelanders come in numbers especially in the months of October, November and December. During those months it is sometimes difficult for foreign visitors to get a table. But on the whole we are very pleased with the way things have worked out. The restaurant has enjoyed a steady and growing attendance since it opened.” It is not only the excellent restaurant under the Perlan dome, which fascinates those who enjoy good cuisine. The cafeteria on the fourth floor is a very popular place to have lunch, and it is also open in the evening. There you will find all sorts of delicacies at reasonable prices. Everyone should be able to find something to his taste from the variety offered such as Crépes (filled pancakes), sandwiches, pizzas, soups and an exquisite salad bar. There is also an ice cream shop that only offers homemade ice cream. The Perlan restaurant organized a learning tour to Italy in order to study the art of ice cream making and not a few people have enjoyed the tasty ice cream from the Perlan ice cream shop. ■

! e m o c l e W

, g in k o o c l a n o ti a rn te in d n a Icelandic ! e m a g e th f o e m a n e th is g where cookin 5 best: Tables at the Top

rtrait Restaurant The Pearl (Reykjavik), The Po , Tower Top (London), Sirrocco (Bangkok) e (París). (Zanzibar) & Maison Blanch

12 places to see before you die — No. 5, The Pearl Modern Times

Independent Online

World’s top revolving restaurants — No. 2, The Pearl Travel+Leisure

Top 10 world’s revolving restaurants — No. 1, The Pearl English CNTV · · perlan@p 00 02 2 56 4) 35 (+ l. Te · nt The Pearl Restaura

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Grillid Top Floor Restaurant - a treasured experience Through the last 50 years, Grillið has earned a reputation of sophistication and splendour. Grillið is a special place and holds memories of special occasions and tender moments of its dinner guests. Each of these moments has laid the foundation for the award-winning chef de cuisine, Sigurdur Helgason. The chef is fully aware of the status Grillið has in the hearts of Icelanders, and more than capable to meet the expectations of guests hungry for an exclusive dining experience. In the kitchen with Sigurdur is the renowned executive sous chef, Atli Þór Eðvaldsson.

GRILLID Hagatorg 107 40 REYKJAVÍK living




Together they create extraordinary menus with a careful consideration to each season. Their dishes are constructed of the freshest and best in-season ingredients available; Icelandic specialties mixed with a selection of exclusive flavours. The highlight of the winter is a special tasting menu, a four or seven-course peek into the chef’s mind. For those who visit Grillið, located on the top floor of Radisson BLU Hotel Saga, it’s not only the perfectly executed food that leaves behind the wonderful feeling of quality; the fine service, warm atmosphere and a stupendous panoramic view of the city complete the unforgettable night of indulgence.

Tel.: +354 525-9960




PIPAR\TBWA • SÍA • 120899


Saga Hotel

At Grillið restaurant everything is excellent, from the specially picked season’s best local ingredients, the perfectly executed food, and the magnificent panoramic view. Start your perfect night in Reykjavík with a culinary adventure at Grillið.

R a d i s s o n B LU S a g a H ote l • 8 . f l o o r • te l 5 2 5 9 9 6 0 • w w w.g r i l l i d . i s

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A GOURMET SECRET in the heart of Reykjavík Scandinavian restaurant and bar is conveniently located downtown Reykjavik on Laugavegur 24 We offer a variety of dishes in a cozy atmosphere. Our emphasis is on Icelandic and Nordic cuisine as well as selected specialties from continental Europe. All our dishes are prepared using only the best Icelandic ingredients, usually organically grown. On our menu you can find: Beef fillet, fish dishes, Icelandic lamb, pasta, open Danish sandiwiches, salads, soups and our famous lobster dish! We do offer also a childrens menu, coffee, a good selection of pastry and much, much more at a very reasonable price. Every day, new courses are offered at a special low price on our blackboards. Our main goal is to satisfy our customers and make sure that our guests leave well fed and happy. PRIVATE PARTIES Scandinavian is available for private functions, birthdays, meetings, you name it. Just ask one of our friendly staff.

Laugavegur 22a - Reykjavík - Iceland

We hope you have a pleasant time with us and enjoy our food in our charming setting! Tel.: + 354 578-4888 / e-mail For more info: and Facebook 42 REYKJAVÍK living

Opening hours: Mondays-Thurdays 11:30 – 22 Fridays & Saturdays 11:30 – 23 Sundays 12:00 – 22

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Ves t

The Harbour









Church Tower

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The Pond








FOIE GRASLOBSTER Laugavegur 53b • 101 Reykjavík • Tel.: 511 3350 • www.hereford.isREYKJAVÍK living 45

Ves t

The Harbour


ata Einar Ben Restaurant


Parliment The Pond





Einar Ben Restaurant

The Ingenuity of Food and Poetry WALKING THROUGH the front door of the romantic restaurant Einar Ben, I am greeted with a warm welcome from Stefán Guðjónsson, Einar Ben’s head waiter and sommelier. Twice he has won the Icelandic Sommelier of the Year, and with years of experience as a waiter, Stefán makes sure no guest leaves without experiencing all the best the restaurant has to offer. The restaurant is named after one of Iceland’s most famous poets, Einar Benediktsson (18.10.1864 - 12.01.1940). Einar lived in the house for some time with his wife and also ran his business frome there. As well as being a gifted writer, he was a progressive businessman who spent the main part of his life abroad raising capital for various business ideas. The house was built in 1908 and is located by Ingólfstorg (Ingolf’s square) in the heart of downtown Reykjavik. The house is three storeys and the restaurant is situated on the second and third floors. On the top floor there is a warm and cosy lounge, perfect for a drink before dinner and coffee afterwards. Einar Ben also has three beautiful private dining rooms, seating between 8 to 40 people, good for business meetings or simply for families or friends who like their privacy. The menu is influenced by French cuisine mixed with Icelandic ingrediences and traditions. The cooking style is more towards the old fashioned than in most restaurants in Iceland . “ I feel it is one of the restaurant’s advantages,” says Jón Páll, one of the owners. “With all the fusion style cooking going on in Icelandic restaurants, I feel people celebrate the more down to earth type of courses we serve here.”

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Head chef Steinar Þór Þorfinnsson tastefully mixes traditional Icelandic ingrediences with modern day cooking and on the menu there are so called side menus, carefully selected by Steinar and his capable staff. Talking to Jón Páll, I learn that much thought is given to having the restaurant combine all the best Iceland has to offer. “On the 21st of April we are introducing a new side menu called Pure Iceland. All the courses will be made exclusively from Icelandic ingrediences and the menu will state specifically which farm in Iceland provided the product,” Jón Páll says with enthusiasm, “we want to bring the customers as well as the tourists closer to Icelandic farmers. But please note that some of the items on the menu, for example reindeer and puffin, are seasonal.” They also offer a side menu called the “chefs choice”. Included in both these side menus is the option of having acclaimed sommelier Stefán Guðjónsson choose the most appropriate wine with each course. Einar Ben’s a la carte menu includes delicious courses such as a creamed lobster soup with garlic fried langoustine, a mouthwatering duck á l’orange with creamed vegetables and a leonaise potato. For desert, why not try the amzing Hot chocolate cake with strawberries and thyme tequila granite. Whatever you decide to order, no one will be disappointed in spending an evening in the romantic setting of Einar Ben, enjoying ambitious cooking, great service and fantastic wine. ■

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Food & fun festival of quality taste

ÞRÍR FRAKKAR Café & Restaurant

Fish restaurant Puffin and whale meat Open weekdays from 11.30 – 14.30 and 18.00 – 22.00 Open weekends from 18.00 – 22.30

ÞRÍR FRAKKAR, Baldursgata 14, 101 Reykjavik Tel.: 552 3939 - -

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THE WORLD ACCLAIMED Food and Fun festival is an international gastronomical festival that attracts chefs and guests from all over the world to come to Reykjavik, Iceland and join up with the restaurant scene and participate in a cooking event where the Icelandic natural and healthy food is combined with a lot of fun. The festival started in 2002 and has been going on annually ever since. Iceland is known for it‘s fresh fish, free ranged and unique lamb and the smooth organic dairy products which are considered as one of the finest in the world. All grown sustainably in the clean surroundings of the green, unspoiled natural island of Iceland in the middle of the blue Atlantic ocean. Combine it with Icelandic outdoor adventure, the famous Reykjavik nightlife and it‘s restaurants and we get the great sweet – everlasting Food and Fun Festival. A good time that is hard to forget. Chefs from both US and Europe are invited to come over to Iceland and sign up with local restaurants where they make gourmet menu in collaboration with their assigned restaurant. In addition of that, a grand international jury of world celebrated chefs are hosted to judge their cooking and three of the chefs end up as a finalists to compete for the title of Food and Fun chef of the year. Reykjavik is full of action during those days. All restaurants are full of life – the aroma of finest cooking skills is in the air. The atmosphere is vibrant, joyful and friendly. ■

r e s TaU r a n T

B ras se r i e G ra n d delicious food including icelandic seafood and lamb specialities. With its traditional setting of cosy banquettes and fireplace it is a special place to enjoy exellent food and wines served by a team of experienced chefs and service professionals.

sigtun 38 - 105 reykjavik - Tel. +354 514 8000 - e-mail:

w w w. f j a l a k o t t u r i n n . i s

New Nordic Cuisine in the heart of the city center

REYKJAVÍK living 49 F j a l a k ö t t u r i n n | A ð a l s t r æ t i 1 6 | 1 0 1 R e y k j a v í k | Te l . 5 1 4 6 0 6 0 | Fa x 5 1 4 6 0 3 0 | f j a l a k o t t u r i n n @ f j a l a k o t t u r i n n . i s

G r a n d H o T e L r e y k j av i k Gr and Hotel Re y kj av i k i s a f i r st - cl a ss hotel for bu si ne ss tr avel l er s , c on feren c e d el egate s and tou ri st s w h o d em an d excel l ent s er v i c e and f a c i l it i es . Grand Hotel reykjavik is located in quiet surroundings conveniently near the city centre, reykjavik’s new business district and Laugardalur sport activity park. The hotel is a first class hotel for business travellers, conference guests and tourists who insist on the very best in facilities and service. all of the hotel’s 312 rooms are spacious and equipped with first-class amenities. Family rooms, studios with kitchenette, disabled facilities, junior suites and presidential suites are available.

Fi r st C l a s s

Grand Hotel reykjavik has earned the reputation of being the main convention hotel in iceland. The hotel restaurant offers a varied and delicious a la carte menu, and at the Miðgarður snack bar guests can enjoy a quick bite and drinks. Free shuttle service to and from the city centre. Free wireless internet in public areas. Plenty of free parking on site.

Reykjavik’s largest conventions center. Inhouse Spa & fitness centre.

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Gr an d Hótel Re y kjav í k Si g tú n 3 8 / 1 0 5 Re y kjav í k Tel : + 3 5 4 5 1 4 8 0 1 9 Fa x : + 3 5 4 5 1 4 8 0 3 0 E -m ai l : re s er v ati on s @ g r an d.i s w w w.g r an d.i s

H o T e L r e y k j av i k c e n T r U M

In the he ar t of the ol d city center The Hotel reykjavik centrum is a unique first-class hotel conveniently located in the historic city centre the liveliest and most charming part of reykjavik. The hotel is composed of three 18th century style buildings that create an atmosphere of old icelandic charm and hospitality. The 89 rooms are elegantly decorated filled with modern amenities, such as “en suite” bathroom, satellite and pay Tv, telephone, cable and wireless internet, mini-bar, in-room safe, hair dryer, coffee & tea maker, iron & ironing board.

First C l as s

The restaurant Fjalakötturinn offers a fine buffet breakfast in the morning and a new nordic cuisine a la carte menu in the evenings with an award selection of fine wines. Fjalakötturinn is a Wine spectactor award winning restaurant. at Uppsalir, bar & café our guests may enjoy light refreshments and relax by the fireplace or on warmer days, unwind on the terrace.

Two small conference rooms equipped with latest technology are on premises. Business desk and wireless internet. Hotel Re y kj av i k C entr u m Að a lstr æ ti 16, 101 Re y kj av í k Tel: + 354 514 6000 Fa x : + 354 514 6030 REYKJAVÍK living 51 E - m ai l: re s er vati ons@ hotel c entr u m . i s w w w. hotel c entr u m . i s

Icelandic Lamb

pure and natural

WITH ITS 2.000 FARMS, Iceland has a proud agricultural heritage. Most farms are small and family-owned. Each farmer knows and marks his animals. Sheep-farming is as old as the human settlement of Iceland itself. And even today, farmers rear sheep in a way established by centuries of tradition, constantly improving the quality of their product. In an enviroment where consumers are increasingly conscious of their health, food must be safe to eat, pure and nutritious. For this reason Icelandic lamb is becoming recognized through out the world for its healthy nutritional value and unique taste. Much of Iceland’s lamb production is simply based on harvesting the bounties of nature. The use of hormones as growth promoters is strictly prohibited and antibiotics are banned as a feed additive. The Icelandic climate, unpolluted air and abundant supply of clean mountain water make the use of pesticides and herbicides unnecessary. Icelands’s climate protects the land against plant diseases, insects and other pests which plague agriculture in warmer latitudes.

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Thanks to its geographical isolation and stringent agricultural regulations that control the import of live animals, many common animal diseases are as yet unknown in Iceland. Choice lambs born in the spring spend the summer grazing freely in the fresh air of Iceland’s highland pastures. Icelandic lamb is reared entirely outdoors ant its natural pasture diet includes sedge, willow, thrift, moss campion and berries. This unique blend makes Icelandic lamb instantly recognizable for its delicious and distinctive taste.

Icelandic Lamb

The very best that nature can produce No Antibiotics No Hormone Implants as growth promoters No Parasiticides No Pesticides No Herbicides ■

Welcome to Nítjánda Restaurant Located in the tallest building in Iceland

Restaurant Nítjánda (Nineteenth) serves only the best Icelandic and international cuisine. Choice Icelandic ingredients such as lamb and seafood as well as the best from Japan, Singapore, India and elsewhere. A large range of delicious dishes together with a unique panorama over Reykjavík, the presidential residence at Bessastadir and the glacier Snæfellsjökull, as well as exceptional ocean and mountain views. Our brunch buffet is highly recommended, our lunch buffet is famed and our evening dining experience is unique. Restaurant Nítjánda (Nineteenth) is one of Iceland’s most popular restaurants, and it is safe to say that your taste buds will be tickled with exceptional Icelandic ingredients, such as lamb, sushi, salmon, prawns, scallops, beef steaks, chicken, pork and an incredible range of French and Italian desserts. Guarantee yourself an unforgettable dining experience with incomparable panoramic views at reasonable prices. Opening hours: Lunch buffet on weekdays between 11:30 and 14:00 Brunch buffet every weekend between 12:00 and 15:00 Evening buffet Thursdays to Sunday from 18:00

The Tower


Smáratorgi 3

| 201 Kópavogur


tel +354 575 7500


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Árbæjarsafn Reykjavik City Museum ARBAER was an established farm well into the 20th century, and the museum opened there in 1957. Arbaer is now an open air museum with more than 20 buildings which form a town square, a village and a farm. Most of the buildings have been relocated from central Reykjavík. Arbaer Museum tries to give a sense of the architecture and way of life in Reykjavík and during summer visitors can see domestic animals and lifestyles of the past. There are many exhibitions and events held at the Museum which highlight specific periods in Reykjavík’s history. These include craft days, vintage car displays, Christmas exhibitions and much more. There is something for everyone at Arbaer Museum. During the summer the museum holds various exhibitions, showing the life and work of past generations. Several houses dating from the 19th century have been furnished and various workshops can be seen, such as hay-making, working with wool and traditional handicrafts. There is also a special programme every Sunday afternoon, when the museum is open during summer.

Guided tours

During opening hours in the summer refreshments are available in “Dillon’s House” which was built in 1835.

During the summerthe museum offers guided tours around the museum every day at 2 pm. From September to May the Museum runs guided tours at 1 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The museum is also open by arrangement.

Museum Shops

Opening Hours

The museum runs two shops where guests can buy sweets and souvenirs. The shops are open during the opening hours of the museum in the summer.

The museum is open daily from June 1st - August 31st from 10.00-17.00. Sept. 1st - May 31st visits are by guided tours only. Guided tours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 13.00 or by appointment. Web site: ■


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More Iceland for less money

Blue Lagoon Schedule Pickup at hotel in Reykjavik upon request 09:00 / 10:30 / 12:30 / 14:45 / 16:45

Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik 12:30 / 14:00* / 16:00 / 18:00 / 20:30 Blue Lagoon to Keflavik Airport 12:30 / 14:00 / 21:00**

* Via Keflavik Airport

** From 15. June – 15. Sept.

• Please book in advance.

To airport passengers;

• Be ready in front of your hotel. Pickup can take up to 30 min.

we keep your luggage during your Blue Lagoon visit.

The South Coast - Skógafoss - Vík

Grand Golden Circle

Golden Circle Afternoon

Our tour takes us along the south shore and on to the charming village of Vík. Highlights on this tour: Waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The basalt columns at sandy beach of Reynis- fjara and the glacier Sólheimajökull, where you can touch the ice. We drive along the volcano Eyjafjallajökull, last eruption in 2010.

Highlights visited: The crater Kerið, the farming districts in the south, Faxi waterfall and the spectacular Geysir. The waterfall Gullfoss, the national park Thingvellir, including the Rift valley and the Rock of law which was the site of the first Viking parliament. Time for lunch at Geysir (not incl. in price).

Highlights visited: The national park Thingvellir, the waterfall Gullfoss, the spectacular Geysir and the volcanic crater Kerið.

Pick up time: Mon/Wed/Fri at 08:00 Duration: 10 hours Professional english guidance

Pick up time: Daily at 08:00 Duration: 8 hours Professional english guidance

Pick up time: Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun at 12:30 Duration: 5-6 hours Professional english guidance

Please notice: You can join The Blue Lagoon evening tour after arrival.

Explore the unique volcanic and arctic nature of Iceland

Tel: +354 511 2600


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Circles in South Iceland The Glacier Circle The Glacier Circle is a magical route to experience the reason why Iceland got its name. The largest glacier outside the artics, Vatnajökull, offers uniqe natural wonders, such as the magnificent Jökulsárlón (the Glacier Lagoon), where you can take a boat trip, and many spectacular glacier outlets, easily accessible for tourists, either walking, climbing, on ATV-tours, ski-doos or jeeps. Make sure not to miss this fascinating experience while you are in Iceland. The circular route includes a one hour flight from Reykjavík to Höfn and then a 450 km drive back from Höfn to Reykjavík with stops at glacier landmarks in the Vatnajökull Region.

The Volcano Circle – Katla Geopark

The Volcano Circle gives you an opportunity to experience at first hand why Iceland is called the land of ice and fire and how the community adjusts to the volcanic activity. The Eyjafjallajökull area offers a great variety of natural sites, such as Þórsmörk, the new mountain peaks of Magni and Móði, Eyjafjallajökull, Katla, one of the largest central volcanoes in Iceland, covered by the 58 REYKJAVÍK living

glacier Mýrdalsjökull, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skógafoss waterfall, Sólheimajökull glacier, Dyrhólaey rock arch, Lakagígar volcanic area and endless black beaches. All the sites can be accessed by walking, climbing, ATV-tours, on horseback or in jeeps. But take great care! Most of the sites are easily accessible and close to the main roads, but some routes can be more dangerous due to unbridged rivers and highland tracks. It is easy to add a day to this circle tour and visit Vestmannaeyjar islands. The circular route includes a drive from Reykjavík to Hvols­völlur (106 km) and the Eyjafjallajökull area to Vík (90 km).

The Blue Circle The Blue Circle is a route from Keflavík through Selvogur, Þor­lákshöfn, Eyrarbakki, Stokkseyri, Selfoss and Hveragerði. The area offers a lot of different activites for travellers, such as surfing in the ocean at Þorlákshöfn, kayaking in Stokkseyri, horseback riding in Ölfus, hiking and biking tours around the hills in Hveragerði and bathing in natural geothermal pools. You can also visit one of Hveragerði’s many greenhouses and the Geothermal Park, the old church and the lighthouse at Selvogur,

the Folk Museum min the Merchant’s House in Eyrarbakki, the Icelandic Wonders Museum in Stokkseyri and the Geothermal Energy Exhibition at Hellisheiði Power Plant.

History and Culture Circle The History and Culture Circle is a perfect route tomexperience Iceland’s history and culture at first hand in a magnificent environment. The culture is just as diverse as the landscape. A broad variety of museums and exhibitions in the Katla Geopark area gives a unique view into the core of Icelandic culture and heritage, such as Skógar Museum, Katla Centre in Vík, Skaftárstofa at Kirkjubæjarklaustur, the Icelandic Saga Centre at Hvolsvöllur and the Visitor’s Centre at Þorvaldseyri. Make sure not to miss the local food available in many of the area’s restaurants, originating directly from the surrounding nature.

The Golden Circle The Golden Circle, “Uppsveitir Árnessýslu”, is one of Iceland’s most popular mtourist areas, rich in natural wonders and historical sites. To mention but a few places not to be missed while visiting: Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geysir, the famous hot spring area, the golden waterfall of Gullfoss, the bishopry site in Skálholt, Þjórsárdalur valley and the Saga Age farm there, as well as Kerið, a volcanic crater.

Reykjavík Þingvellir Reykjavík Þingvellir Lyngdalsheiði Laugarvatn Geysir Gullfoss Reykholt Hvítárbrú Flúðir Þjórsárdalur Selfoss Reykjavík

Reykjavík Þingvellir Lyngdalsheiði Laugarvatn Geysir Gullfoss Brúarhlöð Flúðir Hvítárbrú Reykholt Laugarás Skálholt Selfoss Reykjavík

Reykjavík Selfoss Þjórsárdalur Flúðir Brúarhlöð Gullfoss Geysir Reykholt Grímsnes Reykjavík

Also well worth a visit are several small charming villages, such as Flúðir, Laugarvatn and Sólheimar. The uplands stretch from Þingvellir National Park to the Þjórsá river and into the central highlands. The population of the area is about 2,600 in four municipalities. There is a great variety of services, accomodation, restaurants and activities in the area. Welcome! The Golden Circle is now more like a Golden Chain, since new roads and bridges have opened up new opportunities. When travelling from Reykjavík there are several options, as follows. ■

Reykjavík Grímsnes Skálholt Laugarás Flúðir Hvítárbrú Reykholt Gullfoss Geysir Laugarvatn Lyngdalsheiði Þingvellir Reykjavík

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The Golden Circle The Golden Circle is the name given to a 190 mile (300 kilometer) circular route which emcompasses many of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. The Golden Circle can easily be completed in one day, either by renting a car or going as part of a group (tours depart every day from Reykjavik). There are also hotels and campsites en route for people who wish to take longer. In addition to sites like the greenhouses at Hveragerdi, the huge pseudo-crater Kerid, and the church at Skalholt, the center of Christianity in Iceland from the mid-11th until the 18th centuries, there are three major points of interest on the Golden Circle.

Geysir The English word geyser comes from Icelandic. Though the word refers to all geysers in general, it comes from a single geyser (in fact, the geyser) located in the South West of Iceland. Unfortunately, the Geysir has been somewhat shy in recent decades. When Geysir does perform, once or twice a year, it lives up to its name, spewing a jet of steaming water 200 feet skyward. Far more reliable, though less spectacular, is nearby Strokkur, which spouts a 60-100 foot jet about once every five minutes. The geyser area is also rich in walking paths that lead past steaming vents and colorful, mineral-rich mud formations.

Gullfoss Gullfoss, meaning “Golden Falls” with its 105-foot double-cascade into the churning Hvita glacial river is one of the highlights of the Golden Circle and Europe’s largest waterfall. On a sunlit 60 REYKJAVÍK living

day, the mist clouds surrounding the hammering falls are filled with dozens of rainbows, providing an unparalleled spectacle of color and motion. In winter, ice around the edges of the falls freezes to form magical shapes of ice and snow.

Thingvellir In 930 AD, while most of Europe was mired in feudalism and conflict, chieftains in Iceland gathered in a natural amphitheater to the north and west of Reykjavik and formed what is often referred to as the world’s first parliament, the Althing. The meeting place was called Thingvellir (“parliament plains”), and over the next 300 years representatives journeyed here once a year to elect leaders, argue cases, and settle disputes - sometimes peacefully, sometimes not.Today, Thingvellir National Park remains the ultimate symbol of Iceland’s independence and unity, a landscape inseparable from the national soul. The founders of the Althing could hardly have chosen a more appropriate place to meet. Thingvellir tells the story of Iceland’s land as much as it does its people. Nowhere in the country is there a landscape that better vocalizes the geologic history of Iceland. In Thingvellir, you can stand on a bluff and see the Mid-Atlantic ridge as it carves its way north and east into the island’s interior. ■

Warm and friendly restaurant Welcome to our warm, friendly restaurant, just a few steps away from the famous waterfall Gullfoss. Enjoy the beautiful mountains and glaciers of Iceland, along with a taste of the country – our famous Icelandic meat soup, “kjötsúpa”. We also offer sandwiches, homemade cakes, excellent coffee, drinks and fresh salad.

Seating for up to 350 people Gullfoss Café has seating for up to 350, where guests can enjoy food and drink in comfortable surroundings. The ideal group stop for lunch or dinner when sightseeing by Iceland’s most waterfall.

Tax Free souvenir shop Gullfoss Café has a souvenir shop with a wide selection of woollen products and other clothing, jewelry and Icelandic crafts. Guests from abroad can shop tax free, saving up to 15% from the original price.

Gullfoss kaffi, 801 Bláskógabyggð • Tel. 00354 486 6500 • Email: • REYKJAVÍK living 61

Skógar Folk Museum Skógar Folk Museum was founded in1949 by Þórður Tómasson, a now nonagenarian gentleman who had great interest in preserving the original Icelandic folk culture. The foundation of the museum took place at a turning point in Icelandic history, when modernization was taking over the old agricultural society. Over time, the museum has expanded greatly- in fact, the collection is still growing!-and it is now divided in three parts - Folk Museum, Open Air Museum and Museum of Transportation. The Folk Museum is all about daily life in rural Iceland: beautifully handcrafted objects are on show, along with exhibits about fishery and agriculture, a beautifully preserved old library and a natural history collection. In the open-air museum you can visit real houses from the South coast, some of which were still inhabited in the 70's! All were deconstructed piece by piece and re-erected on site, thus giving a good overview of local architecture and a good idea of the way people lived in the old days. In the Museum of Transport, exhibitions about the development of the postal services and electricity and radio communications in Iceland give an idea of how fast Iceland has changed since the mid-20th century. It is also bursting with fun and interesting items, from packsaddles to old cars, diggers, graders, and even a aeroplane! 62 REYKJAVÍK living

In that same building, you also can find the cafeteria “Skógakaffi" which serves delicious traditional Icelandic food, and the museum's shop where you can find handcrafted items to remember a beautiful day! ■


Riding tours to remember Explore the beaches and lush farmlands in Icelandic nature on the sturdy and sure footed Icelandic horse. We offer a variety of riding tours for absolute beginners and more experienced riders. Create your own riding tour We can plan up to 7 hour riding tours for your group. Prices and riding distances are negotiable. The Sólhestar bus will pick you up and take you to Borgargerði where Sólhestar horse rental is located. Included in tours Pickup at your hotel, outdoor clothing, protection helmets, footwear and an energizing meal. Reservations Just contact us via or give us a call and we will help you create a day to remember.

SÓLHESTAR - HORSE RENTAL Borgargerði 801 Ölfus Tel. (+354) 892 3066

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Equus Islandia The Icelandic horse is the descendant of the horses that were in Norway in the time of the vikings. THE FIRST HORSES came to Iceland in the ninth century with the Viking settlers from Norway and the British Isles. Iceland was settled between 874 AD and 935 AD. The settlers came in open boats and brought their lifestock with them. Before that, Iceland's biggest mammal was the arctic fox. The settlers vere very often indipendent people that didn't want to be ruled by the norwegian king, thus moving to this island without any kings. The settlers couldn't take many animals with them when moving to Iceland, their ships weren't big enough. So propably the chiefs only took the best of their best when bringing horses to Iceland, and when there were enough horses,import stopped.The nature molded the breed there after. The Icelandic Horse is renowned for being hardy, athletic, independent, spirited, friendly, adaptable, and sure-footed, with five natural gaits. This special feature sets it apart from all other horses. These gaits are the fetgangur, the walk or step, the brokk or trot, the tölt, which is a running walk, the skeið or the pace and the stökk, or gallop. Tölt is a very smooth four-beat gait which, while reaching speeds similar to fast trotting, is much less jolting to the rider. Photos: Anna Guðmundsdóttir -

Averaging 13 to 14 hands tall, the Icelandic Horse is a versatile family riding horse, bred to carry adults at a fast pleasing gait over long distances. It is distinctive for its thick and often double-sided mane and long tail, and remarkable for its wide range of colors. One of the most fascinationg feature of the Icelandic horse is it's extreme genetic purity. No infusions of outside blod has propably happened to the icelandic horses for over 800 years, and there is only one breed of horses in Iceland. It is sometimes said on websites that the old Althing, the world's oldest parliament, passed more than a millennium ago laws prohibiting the importation of foreign horses into the country. This is not true, but the truth is that there are really no documents about anybody seeing any reason to import horses in this long time. And, 1882 import was forbidden by law, and such a law is still in effect today (to stop diseases coming to Iceland), so no horse that leaves Iceland can ever return. If a horse leaves Iceland for a competition, it can never return. Virtually all contagious diseases, from which horses on the European continent or in the USA suffer, are unknown in Iceland. The breed has also kept the gaits and the versatility of its forefathers. This law has REYKJAVÍK living 65

Photo: Anna Guðmundsdóttir -

recently been appealed by some people, but at that same time a disease came in to Iceland on a bit. The law was changed, now used bits, bridles, health products, brushes etc. are included in the list of things that cannot re-enter the island, and many other used things have to be disinfected by proper authorities. In Icelandic mythology, Loki the Trickster god, once became a breeding mare to lure away a giant's stallion and so prevent the giant from winning the hand of Freyja, goddess of beauty. The result of that union was Sleipnir, the supreme god Odin's eightlegged steed. "Amongst gods and men, that horse is the best," says the 13th-century Prose Edda written by Snorri Sturluson. Sleipnir is shown in one famous image with its eight legs extended in the ultimate flying pace. Other gods also owned horses. The goddess Gna the messenger had a horse that ran "through the air and over the sea." Called Hoof Flourisher, it was sired by Breaker-of-Fences on Skinny Sides. The gods of Day and Night drove chariots drawn by Shining Mane and Frosty Mane:

The brightness of the sun was the glowing of the day-horse's mane, while dew was the saliva dripping from Frosty Mane's bit. Horses were also associated with Freyr, god of plenty, and sacrificed in his honor. Other medieval Icelandic works depict racehorses, saddle horses, packhorses, and fighting horses. The first Icelandic Horse known by name, the mare Skalm, appears in the 12th-century Book of Settlements. The chieftain Seal-Thorir settled where Skalm lay down under her load. Horses play key roles in some of the most famous Icelandic Sagas, including Hrafnkel's Saga, Njal's Saga, and Grettir's Saga. The sagas, written anonymously in the 13th century, look back as far as the early 800s. In these stories, horses were first of all riding horses and beasts of burden. But the sagas also tell of horse races and horse fights, both of which often led to violence, and of horses given as gifts to stop or avert a feud. A fine horse was often a medieval Icelander's most prized possession. When heroes died their horses were often buried with them. The horses that the chiefs owned did often get special care, often being fed on expensive feed like grain, milk or butter. This is very interesting in a country where even the richest people hardly had enough to eat. A good horse became the pride and status symbol for the chief or the master of the house. The life and destiny of men got intertwined with the horse, and it was more than a working animal. It was a companion and a friend that never failed, it was called the most needed servant (not undeserved). It was also often the strongest wish of many horsemen to meet their good horse (gæðingur) on the other side of the grave. In the early 20. century the Icelandic horse was used for all the purposes that several different breeds might have been used for in other countries.

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Photo: Anna Guðmundsdóttir -

They drove carts, harvesting tools, were used as pack-animals, for riding and for eating. They were the only means of travel in a rugged country. They swam over deep glacierrivers with their passengers, they carried nurses to women in labour, and they carried the dead in their coffins to the graveyard. The poor and children rode bareback or on a sheep-skin, and often the only bridle that was used was some rope, tied in a loop in the horse's mouth. Icelanders have had to trust the horse more than many other nations. There were no real roads here, and you couldn't use carts. Maybe the icelandic horse has gotten sure-footed because men chose the horses for breeding that were outstandingly sure on bad roads, rocks, moors and steep hillsides. An unforgiving nature has chosen the strongest individuals. In many ways the culture of Icelandic horsemanship is a strange mixture of ultramodern training techniques with very sophisticated sportmanship, and old traditions. Now there are about 80.000 horses in Iceland (but only 280.000 people, and the horse/people ratio in the country is a world record), and about 80.000 Icelandic horses in Europe. There are also over 2.000 of them on the american continent. It is still customary over all the world to name almost all Ice­ landic horses with Icelandic names,regardless of in what country they are born. Sometimes this can cause a bit of trouble in pronounciation, but mostly this is a fun tradition, which honours the deep roots that this horse has in the Icelandic culture. ■

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Bókhlöðuhöfði Stykkishólmur Opening hours 13:00 - 18:00

Skálakot Riding Tours We offer horse riding tours lasting from one hour up to ten days. We offer a special Volcano tour to Eyjafjallajökull clacier and the scene of the mighty eruptions in 2010. Experience the wonderful Icelandic horse in its natural elements doing wonders all year round. Local tour guides.

Skálakot near Eyjafjallajökull

Feel free to contact us!

For further information please call: 866-4891 E-mail: - REYKJAVÍK living 69

Photo: Anna Guðmundsdóttir -

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Hestar og Menn - Ögurhvarfi 1 - Kópavogi - Sími 567 3300

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The Golden Circle Classic 2 AH01ISK 9.50








24 hour


service booking 13 13 40 (+354) 5



0 ISK 19.50

South Coast & Þórsmörk


AH32ISK by bus


0 19.50



South Coast & Jökulsárlón


Viking Horse & The Blue Lagoon

0 ISK 24.90


AH36 ISK 24.000

The Blue Lagoon

Westman Islands


Travel Agency

Authorised by Icelandic Tourist Board

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Visit our sales office downtown at Lækjartorg square, call (+354) 540 1313 or go to


One w

ISK 2.000ransfer: t Return ISK 3.500


International Airport


Capital Area

Easy transfers for less REYKJAVÍK living 73

Golfing Iceland might become the adventure of a lifetime PLAYING GOLF AT MIDNIGHT surrounded by lava fields. This may sound too strange to be true. But not in Iceland! Midnight golf is available in summer due to Iceland’s northerly location. The sun shines round the clock in the end of Mai, all June and July. It’s wonderful to play in the midnight sun when the moon is trying to win over the sky but after a long fight and dance in the ring called galaxy, the moon has to accept loosing to the strong and brighter power. In Iceland you can find all the challenges you could possibly imagine from the creative and powerful nature. It’s possible to fight against, and try to concur all the different challenges of nature that you can think of. One-tenth of Iceland’s surface is adorned with lava. Sweeping mountains and majestic ocean views characterises Icelandic golf courses, which follow the contours of the naturally dramatic landscape, a popular trend in golf course design today. Their design pays tribute to the first and there for oldest golf courses in Scotland.

• The first documentation of golfing in Iceland is from the year 1912. • A good number of Icelanders have been playing golf with passion since early 1930’s. • The first golf clubs in Iceland were GK Iceland, founded in 1934. • GK Akureyri was founded in 1935 and GK Vestmannaeyjar was founded in 1938. • GSI aka Golf association of Iceland was founded in 1942. • The number of golf courses are close to 70, includin courses for practice before golf competition.

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Most of Iceland’s sixty golf courses are set in spectacular scenery where nature and lava play a major part in the experience. Try some of our sixty different golf courses around the country. You can also golf in the midnight sun in Iceland May through July.

REYKJAVĂ?K living 75 Contact the reception or visit

Panorama 1 hour ATV tour

Lava Beach 2 hour ATV tour

You will experience:

Trip to the Moon 3-4 hour ATV tour

You will experience:

You will experience:

Spectacular mountain view Black sandy beach and old ruins Gravel mountain road Rugged coastline

Dramatic shipwrecks Mountain Safari View over the Blue Lagoon and the island of Eldey Moss-covered lava all around

Black sandy beach where Clint Eastwood made his film Flags of Our Fathers Hot chocolate and twisted donuts Bridge between two continents Oldest lighthouse in Iceland

Tours starts at our base: 10:00 / 12:00 / 14:00 and 17:15. Minimum: No minimum Children: 50% discount for children under 17. Age limit: 6 years old but driver´s license is required for ATV driver..

Tours starts at our base: 12:00 and 14:00. Minimum: No minimum. Children: Under 17 get a 50% discount. Age limit: 6 years old but driver´s license is required for ATV driver.

Price 9,900 ISK per person for two on a bike. Add 3,000 ISK per person for a single bike.

Price 16,900 ISK per person for two people on a bike. Add 3,500 ISK for a bike for a single person.

Volcanic Safari 6-7 hour ATV tour

Tours starts at our base: 10:00. Minimum: No minimum. Children: Under 17 get a 50% discount. Age limit: 6 years old but driver´s license is required for ATV driver. Price 22,000 ISK per person for two people on a bike. Add 5,000 ISK for a bike for a single person.

You will experience: Seltún thermal area Gunnuhver hot spring Volcanic craters all around Bird cliffs Black sandy beaches

Tours starts at our base: 10:00. Minimum: No minimum. Children: Under 17 get a 50% discount. Age limit: 6 years old but driver´s license is required for ATV driver. Price 42,000 ISK per person for two people on a bike. Add 10,000 ISK for a bike for a single person.

Pick-up in Reykjavík or Keflavík costs 3,400 ISK per person. Pick-up for 1-hour tour is 8:30 / 10:30 / 12:30 and 15:45. Pick-up for 2-hour tour is 12:00 and 14:00. Pick-up for 3 to 4-hour tour is 8:30. Pick-up for 6 to 7-hour tour is 8:30. We are located just five minutes from the Blue Lagoon so after all our tours you can relax in the Blue Lagoon no extra cost for transfer just admission fee to the Blue Lagoon. After all our tours you can go to the Airport for no extra cost call us for more info. 76 REYKJAVÍK living

We are only 5 min. from the Blue Lagoon. 20 min. from Keflavík Airport. 40 min. from Reykjavík city centre. ATV ADVENTURES ICELAND - - +354-857-3001



ONE OF THE 25 WONDERS OF THE WORLD National Geographic

At Blue Lagoon guests enjoy relaxing in warm geothermal seawater, known for its positive effects on the skin. A visit to the Blue Lagoon promotes harmony between body and spirit, and enables you to soak away the stress of modern life. In addition to bathing in the wide open lagoon, guests have access to the silica mud mask, a sauna, a steam bath and a waterfall for an energizing massage. Blue Lagoon spa treatments and massages take place in the lagoon, in the open air, and allow you to enjoy the natural elements and extraordinary evironment. The Blue Lagoon cocktail, algae mask and volcano scrub can be purchased at Lagoon Bar, located in the actual lagoon. The Exclusive Lounge is an option for guests looking for more privacy. This novelty features private changing rooms, a moderndesign lounge with a fireplace and a reserved indoor lagoon. Blue CafĂŠ offers light refreshments and is an ideal place to lounge and wait for bathing guests. Lava Restaurant at Blue Lagoon overlooks the lagoon and is built into the cliff, featuring a natural lava wall, adding to its uniqueness. The meals are delicious, inventive and the menu ranges from light dishes to gourmet meals. Lunch buffet is available every day during the summer months. Blue Lagoon skin care, Icelandic design and souvenirs is sold at the Blue Lagoon shop. Tax free available.

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History - Kjartan Sigurðsson


Sanctuary of the South

THE ÁRBORG REGION consists of three of Southern Iceland´s most interesting spots – the thriving town of Selfoss and two small villages, Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri. The area offers numerous options for recreation and relaxation, while the unusual landscape, a fascinating mix of vast lava fields and beaches of black volcanic sand, provides a lovely backdrop to any trip. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of restaurants, cafés, galleries, museums and swimming pools, along with a nine-hole golf course in Selfoss.

SELFOSS is approximately 50 km from the capital Reykjavík and the main service centre in the South. In addition to a variety of restaurants and shops , this friendly town has an outdoor swimming pool with a steam bath and hot tubs – perfect after a long day of travelling! A little to the north are the woodlands of Hellisskógur, scattered with footpaths by the Ölfusá river. All types of accommodation is available. For more tourist information visit the Tourist Information Centre in the Public Library.

Tourist Information Centre Selfoss

EYRARBAKKI used to have South Iceland´s most important harbour. The Eyrarbakki Maritime Museum is therefore a popular attraction along with the Árnessýsla Folk Museum, located in “the House”, a legendary building dating back to 1765. In fact, a visit to Eyrarbakki is like going back a 100 years or so in time, thanks to a large number of preserved houses from 1890 -1920. In Eyrarbakki is a splendid restaurant, campsite and a beautiful black beach. To the North West is the Flói Bird Reserve, perfect for hiking and bird watching.

STOKKSEYRI is another village renowned for its unusual seashore. Maintaining its rich heritage of handcrafts and cultural life, Stokkseyri is home to a number of workshops and galleries, not to mention the Wildlife Museum, the Ghost Centre and the Icelandic wonders (the Elves, Trolls and Northern Lights Museum). There is a hunting museum and a family park with Icelandic animals. The bunkhouse “Þuríðarbúð” gives you a taste of what life was like for the fishermen in the old days. Stokkseyri has a splendid seafood restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, kayak tours, a campsite and a wonderful black lava beach. ■

in the Public Library Austurvegur 2, 800 Selfoss

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Restaurant Rauða húsið

The secret doorway to historic Iceland RAUÐA-HÚSIÐ literally means “the red house” is a restaurant located in a place of great historic significance and offers service in a personal as well as professional atmosphere along with outstanding food and drink. Our special menu is known to provide a choice for every taste. We emphasize good, classic Icelandic food, such as the “Rauða-húsið” special seafood soup, the lobster-giant prawns and fish on stick or the beef tenderloin and more. In 1919 Mrs. Gudmunda Nielsen built the restaurant on the first floor (in fact the oldest part of the house), originally intended for a retail shop. Mrs. Nielsen had many talents: she played the organ, conducted a choir, taught music and wrote songs, as well as being very active in the Woman’s Association of Eyrarbakki. After studying business management in Copenhagen she opened the retail shop mentioned earlier, and it was considered the trendiest shop in the region. Mrs. Gudmunda Nielsen lived in this “red-house”, which now hosts the region’s folk museum, and is located east off the

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church. The House was built in 1765 to accommodate Danish merchants who had begun to remain in Iceland over the winter, from time to time. The House soon became the centre of culture and the blossoming art activities in the area. This was due to Eyrarbakki role as the main centre for foreign influence on music, literature and art, as well as being the largest trading centre of Iceland for a long time. Icelander’s were late to indulge in luxury foods like lobster, and therefore lobster fishing did not properly take off in Eyrarbakki until 1954. In the Icelandic nationwide newspaper: Morgunblaðið, the news that lobster fishing had started in Eyrarbakki made the front page headline on the 29th of August that year. The article also featured a picture of a lobster so that Icelander’s would now know what this strange creature actually looked like. The Icelandic lobster (known in Iceland simply as lobster) is somewhat smaller than other lobster species, the largest being 16 -18 cm long (their Latin name is Nephrops norvegicus).

We hope you will enjoy your visit to Restaurant Rauða húsið in Eyrarbakki Surrounding Area Thjórsár-lava is a hardened lava stream supposedly having emerged from a single eruption which occurred near the end of the last Ice Age (some 8,700 years ago). Being a huge eruption, it took place when a 30 km long fissure opened, close to the Veidivötn district in the east. The lava flow spread westwards and flowed eventually into the ocean, off Iceland’s south coast, about 140 km from the eruption site. The lava is from 15 to 40 meters thick. Both villages Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri are located on the edge of the hardened lava, and are considered among the best places to view it. They are also excellent locations for viewing Urridafoss, a waterfall falling off the eastern edge of the lava field.

For ages, Eyrarbakki was the most noteworthy town in the minds of most Icelandic countryfolk in the region as a whole (and in fact along the entire south coast of Iceland). This was where the largest warehouses were built and the Episcopal See of Skálholt built its harbour and kept its ships. The lives of thousands of people in Iceland were in many ways dictated by the news that arrived (and sometimes did not arrive) with the first ships of the spring after a long hard winter. ■

Rauða húsið - Búðarstígur 4 820 Eyrarbakki Tel. 483 3330

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Safe and Friendly Horses

Horse Rental Fun for children Horses for Everybody Beautiful Nature Near Stórhöfði - Tel: 898-1809 / 481-1509 - Palli and Ása

We serve food! Our fine menu includes a variety of delicious courses. We welcome groups in our hall seating up to 70 people.

Restaurant Vetingahús

opið frá kl. 11.30 - 23.30

Skólavegur 1, Vestmannaeyjar - Tel.: 481 3160 Open 11:30-23:30. E-mail:

Erum með fjölbreyttan matseðil Bjóðum einnig upp á veislusal sem tekur 70 manns í sæti Vestmannaeyjar Saður með stæl - sími 481 3160 from Landeyjahöfn


In 2010, a new harbor – Landeyjahöfn – was constructed on the mainland coast south of Hvolsvöllur, just 11 km from Heimaey. When weather and harbor conditions permit, Herjólfur will operate on this much shorter run, making four or five return journeys daily. Fares are lower on this faster route, and the one-way trip requires approximately 30 minutes. Buses from Reykjavik to Landeyjahöfn via Selfoss are operated by Sterna.

Welcome to Vestmannaeyjar

Westman Islands Tourist information

OF THE NORTH Email: Tel.: +354 488-2555 Fly from Reykjavík Airport – 20 min. Ferry from Landeyjahöfn – 30 min.

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Mýrdalsjökull glacier capping the active volcano MÝRDALSJÖKULL is a glacier in the south of Iceland. It is situ­ated to the north of Vík í Mýrdal and to the east of the smaller glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Between these two glaciers is Fimmvörðuháls pass renowned for both its barren beauty and swift changes in weather conditions.

the volcano erupts usually every 40–80 years. As the last eruption took place in 1918, scientists are monitoring the volcano very carefully as they believe an eruption of Katla is on the cards, particularly after the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull began in April 2010. Since 930, 16 eruptions have been documented.

The icecap of the glacier covers an active volcano called Katla. The caldera of the volcano has a diameter of 10 km (6.2 mi) and

As the Eldgjá, a volcanic eruption fissure of about 30 km (19 mi) length, erupting in the year 936, is part of the same volcanic system, it can be regarded as one of the most powerful in the world. Before the hringvegur (the main road round the island) was built, people feared traversing the plains in front of the volcano because of the frequent jökulhlaups (glacial floods) and the deep rivers to be crossed. Especially dangerous was the glacial flood after the eruption of 1918 when the coastline was extended by 5 km (3.1 mi) by laharic flood deposits. Mýrdalsjökull is the most accessible glacier in Iceland. It is only in 2 hours driving distance from Reykjavik. It is situated to the north of Vík í Mýrdal and to the east of the smaller but more famous glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Embarking on a Super-Jeep or snowmobile tour there is something you will never forget.

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Snowmobile - Glacier Walk - Super Jeep - Ice Climbing - Volcano Glacier Walk and Ice Climbing




Glacier walk and Ice Climbing tours are great glacier adventures where you can try for yourself how it feels to walk on ice or climb the transperth ice. We walk and climb on Sólheimajökull glacier (a part of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier) on the south coast of Iceland.

The snowmobile tour is the perfect length of time for first-time riders and individuals looking for a scenic, fun ride, exploring and experiencing the wilderness, glacier and the breathtaking views over South Iceland. The snowmobiles will not be a problem – it is just a matter of squeezing the accelerator or the brake.




Distance from Reykjavík to ARCANUM is 160 km

In the Volcano tour we will go to the glacier and Fimmvörðuháls volcano craters Magni and Móði which are from year 2010. Fimmvörðuháls area which is the foreplay of the great eruption in Eyjafjallajökull year 2010. We have the opportunity to walk up to the top of the new still hot volcano crater.

The Super-Jeep tour is easy and comfortable and the perfect tour for families and photographers. You will get the glacier adventure that will provide stunning photo opportunities to remind you of probably your best day in the wild and pure Iceland.

Address: Arcanum Ytri-Sólheimum 1 871 Vík

For booking and informations call: REYKJAVÍK living 85 +354 4871500 or

Searching for the real thing? Experience the extraordinary Mýrdalsjökull glacier tours! Conveniently situated at the foot of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the touring company Arcanum is one of Iceland’s best known and respected Super-Jeep and snowmobile outfitters providing safe and responsible tours for more than 20 years at the same location. „At Arcanum, we aim to reveal the secrets of Iceland´s astonishing natural phenomenon’s to the curious traveller“ explains Arcanum´s director Benedikt Bragason. „We feel that the transport is a secondary concern but for some people the thrill of riding on our snowmobiles or Super-Jeep to their destination is just as moving as the wonderful natural experience.“ The glacier adventure will provide stunning photo opportunities to remind you of probably your best day in the wild and pure Iceland. Everything is provided – bring only yourself. ■

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4 x 4 DAY TOURS YOU’LL LOVE THE THINGS WE DO – JUST TO PLEASE YOU! Thrilling all-day excursions through the spectacular nature of Iceland. A combination of our rough terrain and natural wonders.

Golden Circle and Snowmobiling. South Coast and Eyjafjallajokull by 4x4. Glacier Lagoon and the South Coast. High and Mighty ½ day tour departing twice a day. For further information and booking | +354 660 1499 | Follow us on facebook for live coverage from our trips, inside info and fun facts! REYKJAVÍK living 87

Europe’s largest national park Iceland’s highest mountain, along with volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, sand deserts, and glaciers. Green oases, rich flora and birdlife. Part of the National Park straddles the Atlantic Ridge. The Vatnajokull icecap covers one of the world’s most active volcanic regions, a “hot spot”. Volcanic eruptions beneath the icecap cause rapid melting and trigger glacial bursts (jökulhlaup). Vast quantities of water, ice, sand, and boulders tumble down the slopes to the surrounding plains bringing continuous change to the landscape. Experience Iceland, where Nature continues to shape the land. Climbers on Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest summit in Iceland Lakagígar – a memorial to one of Iceland’s largest volcanic eruptions

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The eastern part of the Snæfellsöræfi wilderness

Hafragilsfoss, 2 km downstream from Dettifoss

REYKJAVÍK living 89 Please visit our website to find all you need to know about the Vatnajokull National Park.

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Welcome to Akranes - a perfect day-tour at a minimum cost AKRANES IS A PICTURESQUE TOWN just moments away from the Reykjavík City centre. You can actually take the city bus from Reykjavík to Akranes for only a few Euros, or use your Reykjavík visitors' card, and step off in Akranes within an hour. It doesn't get any easier - or cheaper - and you have a full day of fun ahead of you!

Akranes - full of life and fun to visit! Akranes bustles with life the year round. This friendly town, sheltered by the picturesque Mt. Akrafjal, is the service centre for West Iceland but most of all a town of nature and culture. It lies just across the blue straits and is visible from Reykjavík on a clear day. There’s a lot to see and do in Akranes but most Icelanders probably connect Akranes to everything that has to do with sports and outdoor activities. Akranes is famous in Iceland for it’s achievements on the football field, but the town also boasts an 18 hole golf course and first class swimming facilities. Akranes is also a town of culture and education offering a lot of interesting cultural events throughout the year.

Akranes - The service center of West Iceland The town of Akranes lies just across the blue straits and is visible from Reykjavík on a clear day. Settled by Irish brothers in the year 880, it is now a blossoming industrial town with a focus on fishing and fish production and being the service centre of West Iceland Akranes also offers a variety of shops and services. Akranes traces its history all the way back to the Period of Settlement, when around the year 880 people of Irish descent

settled in the area. The name Akranes indicates that in the old days corn was grown in the fertile land around Mt Akrafjall which towers in the background of the town.

Events in Akranes At Akranes there is something exciting going on all year as cultural events and entertainment are offered in the Museum Area at Garðar and more widely throughout the town almost every day. Musical events, cultural entertainment and sports events enliven the town and draw thousands of guests.

Are you ready for a game of golf? - come try out the Garðavöllur golf course in Akranes Golf is without doubt one of the most popular sports in Iceland and thousands of Icelanders play for fun and for health. Garðavöllur, the Akranes golf course, is one of the country's best and in the summer of 2000 was formally opened after being extended from 9 to 18 holes. Garðavöllur, which is the only 18-hole golf course in the western part of the country, is renowned for its beautiful and interesting surroundings, good upkeep and excellent putting greens. There are also 12 roofed practice stalls and special practice greens, so that the course offers the best facilities and equipment for golfers that you could hope for. The Icelandic Golf Tournament was held at Garðavöllur in the summer of 2004 and one to two major meets of the Icelandic Golfing Association are held every year at Garðavöllur.

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present for grandmother. All year long Langisandur is an outdoor paradise as there is little that is so good for body and soul as to walk along the shore, soak up the aroma of the sea, and lose all sense of the daily grind in the gentle lapping of the waves or the rhythm of the surf.

The Museum Area at Garðar -interesting and somewhat different museums

Langisandur (Long Beach) - The best beach in all Iceland! Langisandur is without doubt one of the best beaches in all Iceland -a bathing beach almost in the middle of the town on hot summer days, when the sea is pleasantly warm and all the top heroes dive in or splash around in the sea. You will need to take pail and shovel with you to Langasandur as it is the perfect place to build sandcastles. It's also great fun to walk along the beach looking for beautiful shells and colourful stones to take home to make something beautiful of them, perhaps a birthday 92 REYKJAVÍK living

The Museum Area at Garðar has recently made a name for itself as the main attraction in Akranes, as it is quite an experience to visit, even for those who don't normally care for museums. The Folk Museum at Garðar presents the history of the town, the economy and life south of Skarðsheiður. There, among other things, you can find the special "Field Mouse", but you'll have to visit the museum to find out more about this suspicious "mammal". In recent years old houses connected with the history of Akranes have been moved to the Museum Area and renovated in order to keep the past alive. The old minister's house at Garðar, Garðahúsið (1876 on) was the first concrete dwelling of its kind to be built in Iceland or anywhere in the Nordic countries. A lively agenda regularly takes place in these houses, providing the chance to observe the making of handcrafted articles that were so vital in earlier times. Every summer there is an eventful celebration with marketing days, a fish feast, a doughnut-baking competition and lots of kinds of entertainment for all the family.

Varied bird life - a haven for bird watchers

Akranes is a choice area for birdwatchers as there are several key nesting sites and a lively bird life, both along the shore and inland. Binoculars are useful for an up-close view but for those less dedicated there is a great deal to be enjoyed without them. Mt. Akrafjall is the site of one of the largest colonies of great black backed gulls in Iceland. A walk along Langisandur affords the sight of thousands of gulls swooping and calling over the Krossvík Bay below the town.

Museums, golf, swimming and sand No, this is not a reference to the song of The Beach Boys but rather a direct reference to some of the things that are possible to do in one day in Akranes. You can walk to the Museum Area at Garðar from the well-known golf courses of the people of Skagi, Garðavöllur and also Garðalundur, the outdoor area that the people of Akranes so enjoy and where you can find a playground and ball field for children of all ages. The swimming pool and the sports field at Jaðarsbakkar are also within a few minutes' walk from the Museum Area, as is the outdoor paradise of Langisandur just below. People can easily pass enjoyable hours on Skagi, simply parking the car and strolling between the different areas. You can play a round of golf while the children play in Garðalundur and then walk from there down to the Museum Area, where you can take your time looking around and specu-

lating about earlier times as you watch the living re-enactments of those days. Then the path goes down to Langasandur, where it is possible to run along the shore, collect stones and shells, and build sandcastles. This interesting day can then end with a swim, trying the water slide, and getting rid of any signs of tiredness by relaxing in the hot pots. ■

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N1 operates 95 service areas all around Iceland

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Jarðböðin við Mývatn 96 REYKJAVÍK living


tel. +354 464 4411

Myvatn Naturebaths

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Camping Place Heiðarbær in Reykjahverfi is located between Húsavík and Mývatn, 20 km away from Húsavík and 35 km from Mývatn, at the road 87. Heiðarbær is a camping place and a parking area for caravans and dormobiles, with sanitary facilities. Heiðarbær also has a sleeping-bag accommodation, store, swimming pool and restaurant.

Heiðarbær welcomes you

Open every day from 11am - 24pm. Tel. +354 4643903 • E-mail:

Allinn is a restaurant and sport bar were you can enjoy dining all from pizza to steak, herring and fish.In our 3 rooms we offer our guests to watch football matches or if your her on bissnes we cater to large groups and have grade facilities for meatings. Allinn also offers you life music.

We hope to see you soon Aðalgata 30, 580 Siglufirði Tel: 467-1111

Tel.: 453-8245 & 899-8245

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Hótel Varmahlíð in Skagafjörður welcomes you We offer personal service and casual atmosphere in a small, comfortable, three star hotel. Hotel Varmahlíð has 19 rooms with private facilities and is conveniently located by route 1.


Home bakery

Our focuses on local cuisine from the Skagafjörður region and welcomes all travellers who want to try some tasty dishes from our dinner menu.


Garðarsbraut 15, 640 Húsavík, Tel: 464 2900, Fax: 464 2902

Si: 453 8170 :: :: 

      REYKJAVÍK living 99


1-2 hours trip in beautiful and eclectic nature.

Private and small group tours CALL ANDREAS: +3548659429

Horse rental

for beginners and more advanced.


Grundarfjordur, at Snaefellsnes

Phone: 891-6875 / 845-1643/ 4386875

horse breeting

Glaðheimar Blönduósi Summer houses on the edge of Blanda. Good camping area with a service house - wc and shower. Information office for tourists close by.

Ólafshús is a restaurant located in the heart of Sauðárkrókur We offer great variety of food for a reasonable price. Most of our food is from Skagafjörður and we only offer food with great quality.

Address : Brautarhammur, 540. Blönduós Phone: 8201300 /6903130, Fax: 452 4589 E-mail:, Homepage :

Ólafshús Restaurant

Aðalgötu 15 550 Sauðárkrókur tel. +354 453 6454 mail.

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Welcome to our


Magnificent day trips to the historical Island, Drangey Come and walk the same paths, Grettir the strong did, the famous Icelandic outlaw. Watch the bird paradise and one of the biggest habitation of puffins in Europe and see new beautiful view all day long. Address: Fagranes City: 551 Sauðárkrókur Tel: 453-6503 / 846-8150 E-mail:

in Hvammstangi

A Great selection of knitwear!


Open Monday-Friday from 8-18 and also on request


Höfðabraut 34, 530 Hvammstangi - Tel:+354 451 0060 - E-mail:

Hótel Norðurljós Raufarhöfn is a small fishing village on the north east coast of Iceland. The hotel has close links with the village's recent history, having originally housed summer workers in the sixties herring boom. It has now been tastefully renovated and has 15 double rooms with suite facilities. The hotel is located in the old part of the village, down by the harbour. There is a wonderful sea view from the restaurant, and also a view over the harbour where one can sometimes see the fishermen prepare their boats, and fish factory workers take a stroll in the fresh air. The restaurant offers a variety of meals and great fish dishes. Hótel Nordurljós (Northern Lights Hotel), AÐALBRAUT 2, 675 RAUFARHÖFN, Tel: +354-465-1233, Fax: +354-465-1383, E-mail: WEBSITE: REYKJAVÍK living 101

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Goldfinger Gentleman´s Club

Goldfinger is a world class nightclub, where you can sit back, relax and we will entertain you. Steaming hot atmosphere every night from 20:00 Goldfinger Staff

Smiðjuvegur 14, 200 Kópavogur Tel. 354-577 4230 - REYKJAVÍK living 103

How to drive

and how not to drive in Iceland

A RELATIVELY large percentage of foreign tourists in Iceland travel around the country by car. Conditions in Iceland are in many ways unusual, and often quite unlike that which foreign drivers are accustomed. It is therefore very important to find out how to drive in this country. We know that the landscapes are beautiful, which naturally draws the attention of driver away from the road. But in order to reach your destination safely, you must keep your full attention on driving.

road. It is usually sheep, but sometimes horses and even cows can be in your path. This is common all over the country, and can be very dangerous. Sometimes a sheep is on one side of the road and her lambs on the other side. Under these conditions, which are common, it is a good rule to expect the lambs or the sheep to run to the other side.

Seatbelts are required by law

The speed limit in urban areas is usually 50 km/hr. Speed limit signs are usually not posted unless it is other than 50 km/hr. The speed limit is often 60 km/hr on thruways, but in residential areas it is usually only 30 km/hr. The main rule on highways is that gravel roads have a speed limit of 80 km/hr, and paved roads 90 km/hr. Signs indicate if other speed limits apply. The penalty for speeding is hefty, plus suspension of the driver’s licence.

In Iceland, drivers and passengers are required by law to wear seatbelts, regardless of the type of vehicle or where they are seated. Investigations of fatal accidents in recent years have shown that a large majority of those who died did not have their seatbelts fastened. Wearing seatbelts is especially important because of the nature of accidents in Iceland: many of them involve vehicles driving off the road and rolling over. In such accidents, seatbelts often mean the difference between life and death. It should be noted that children must either wear seatbelts, or be in car safety seats, depending on their age and maturity.

Gravel roads, blind hills & blind curves

Necessary to bear in mind

A common place for accidents to occur on urban roads is where a paved road suddenly changes to gravel. The main reason is that drivers do not reduce speed before the changeover to gravel, and consequently lose control. Loose gravel on road shoulders has also caused a great number of accidents. When driving on gravel roads, which are often quite narrow, it is important to show caution when approaching another car coming from the opposite direction by moving as far to the right as is safely possible.

It is against the law to operate a vehicle in Iceland after having consumed alcohol or drugs, and the punishment for violating this law is rather stiff. Those driving a car with more than the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.5 per mill, have to pay a penalty and suffer suspension of their drivers’s licence. The penalties for drunk driving are severe. If driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will not be entitled to compensation in case of an accident and will have to bear the total cost of the accident yourself. This can amount to several million Ikr.

What are the speed limits?

Blind hills, where lanes are not separate, can be very dangerous, and should be approached with caution. There are also many blind curves in Iceland that test a driver’s skill.

Single-lane bridges There are many single-lane bridges on the Ring Road. The actual rule is that the car closer to the bridge has the right-of-way. However, it is wise to stop and assess the situation, i.e. attempt to see what the other driver plans to do. This sign indicates that a single-lane bridge is ahead.

Livestock on the road In Iceland, you can expect livestock to be on or alongside the

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»»Iceland requires that vehicle headlights be on at all times, day and night, when driving. »»It is strictly forbidden to drive off-road. Such driving results in serious damage to sensitive vegetation, which may take nature decades to repair. »»Foreign travellers requiring information regarding road and driving conditions should visit the Public Road Administration’s website at »»It should be noted that the Road Traffic Directorate has produced a video for foreign drivers, which covers all the points that have been mentioned here. The video can be viewed on the website,

Fosshótel Welcomes you all year

Book now at

WE ARE READY FOR your visit

Your comfort is our business


Fosshótel Laugar

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Fosshótel Húsavík

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east iceland:

West iceland:

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FOSSHOTEL / SIGTÚN 38 / 105 REYKJAVÍK ICELAND / TEL.: +354 562 4000 / FAX: +354 562 4001 E-MAIL:

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By the river Laxá in Adaldalur in North Iceland.

Experience Fantastic

FlyFishing The Angling Club Lax-a Today Lax-a is a company in growth selling and planning fishing in over 40 salmon and trout rivers in Iceland, Argentina, Greenland, Scotland, Russia and Ireland. Lax-a also offers exciting adventure trips to Guatemala, Bahamas and Cuba.

Salmon and Trout Fishing in Iceland Angling Club Lax-a is Iceland's largest sporting outfitter. We offer fishing in the top rivers for salmon, trout and char in Iceland. We tailor-make each tour for our clients, arranging everything for them while touring/angling with us. Club Lax-a has an office staff of eleven, working all year around, and a large group of talented guides, drivers and lodge staff. The Lax-a team tailor-makes each tour for each client, arranging everything for them while touring/ angling, such as transfers, comfortable accommodation and other outdoor activities. Our rivers include; Blanda, Laxa in Asum, West Ranga, East Ranga, Laugardalsa, Langadalsa, Hvannadalsa, Stora Laxa, Svarta, Tungufljot, Vididalsa, Hroarslaekur, Litlaa, Brynjudalsa, Galtalaekur, and more.

Photos by Håkan Stenlund.

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Photo by Håkan Stenlund.

Day Tours Angling Club Lax-a, being Iceland's largest sports outfitter, offers a tremendous variety of fishing opportunities. Whether you are a dedicated pursuer of the mighty Atlantic salmon, a single-minded stalker of trophy wild brown trout, or a hunter of the hard fighting Arctic char - Angling Club Lax-a can provide access to Iceland's very best waters.

Hunting in Iceland Lax-a was one of the first companies in Iceland to organize wing shooting and reindeer hunting tours. The company has had a

"..thank you very much for arranging my fishing trip in Iceland. Sigurdur was an outstanding guide who got me into the fish and I really appreciate him taking the extra time to show me the some very beautiful areas of Iceland. I would be very happy to recommend the Angling Club Lax-á and Mr. Karlsson to any of my friends who may wish to fish in Iceland" Donald Keleman, day tour in Galtalaekur river

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great success in reindeer hunting where previous clients have had a 100% success and got a good trophy. Our geese shooting grounds are unmatched in Iceland and the accommodation is first class.

Hunting in Greenland Lax-a owns and operates the only proper hunting camp in all of Greenland, our camp is located in the midst of prime caribou country on the south-west coast of the country. Trophy bulls are common in these parts and the char fishing is absolutely fantastic. Musk Ox hunting can be organized alongside the caribou hunt or as a separate trip. Lax-a also offers bird shooting and big game hunting in Argentina, Africa, Asia and in central Europe. Special trips for the taxidermist are also available.

How to book? The process is very easy. You simply give us a call +354 557 6100 or send us a line via e-mail and our highly professional Lax-‡ team will do all their best to offer you the trip of your dreams. Please go to for information.

Flyfishing in the river Blanda.

Close to an overdose on Blanda and West Rangá ”AFTER HAVING A TRULY NICE FRIDAY NIGHT in various Reykjavik bars and clubs (those Icelandic people sure know how to party), we drove north to the River Blanda, famous for its early run with a good size average. The lower section of the river was full of salmon and we had a blast when fishing those beautiful, although rather demanding pools. Altogether, in one day, we (2 rods) hooked 15 fish and landed 9 of them including one fish clearly over 20 pounds. Even though the wind was probably over 30 m/s, there were still some active fish willing to test our skills. The biggest problem was not the casting in a storm but trying to wade close to the main channel. Time to time the gusts were so strong, that all you could do was to concentrate on staying on your feet. The quality of the guides and the lodge were outstanding and comparable to any other high-class operation in the world. Blanda is a superb river and I just can't wait to get back there.

By Mika Vainio, Finland

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Photo by Henrik Mortensen.

After getting our muscles hammered by the strong wind and fast fish, we drove down south to the beautiful West Ranga. Being one of the best rivers in Iceland in 2004-2007, our expectations were high. We wanted to see the famous waterfalls and make acquaintance with river's numerous salmon. The weather was getting better and by the time we reached the lodge, the sun was shining and the wind was basically gone. The main problem when fishing for authentic salmon , is of course, that sometimes there just isn't enough fish in the river. This time the number of landed fish before our arrival was five or six and only some 50 fish had gone through the fish ladder. In a big river like West Ranga, that is close to nothing. However, being Finns, we didn't give up (neither did we start drinking, even though the bar at the lodge was very well equipped) and so, in no time, we were fishing below the lower waterfalls. A member of our team hooked five fish in a row from the same current seam. One of them was a good size salmon close to 16 pounds. Unfortunately, he lost every one of those. You just can't land them all, but five in a row, seriously, that is something. We gave him some friendly feedback, you can believe that. Next morning I was lucky enough to land the season's first grilse from the "junction pool". And what kind of fish it was one of those absolutely fantastic bluish fish straight from the sea with lots of sea lice. The Atlantic salmon just can't get prettier than that. Having worked several years as a guide on Kola Peninsula Russia, I have had my share of big and so called fresh 110 REYKJAVÍK living

Focus is essential.

fish, but never have I released more shining fish than this West Ranga beauty. From the same spot, I hooked four sea trout, and, oh boy, did they jump. I just hope that our camera man was able to keep up with their pace. I really want to see some of those jumps with the slow-motion button pressed down. The general atmosphere in the lodge was very relaxed and the quality of the service was impeccable in every aspect. No matter how much you enjoyed your time on the river, you were still waiting to get back to the lodge, to sit down on those cozy leather chairs and to have that first bottle of ice-cold beer or a class of properly chilled white wine. Accompanied with a bunch of fellow salmon anglers and a friendly and professional staff, it just can't get better than that. Well, if we would have arrived to the West Ranga lodge a week or two later, the river would have been full of fresh fish and the action on the river would have been outstanding. However, I think that there is a certain limit to the amount of happiness that a passionate fly fisherman can tolerate during a short fishing trip. I know for sure, that if the West Ranga would have fished better, I would have gone way pass mine. The consequences could have been extremely serious. I don't know that for sure, because I have never crossed that border. This time it was very close - thanks to Angling Club Lax-a.” Paul Anderson on the Blanda and West Ranga Rivers. ■





REYKJAVÍK living 111 SÍÐUMÚLA 8 /// 108 REYKJAVÍK /// TEL. + 354 568 8410 /// VEIDIHORNID.IS

East Iceland An enchanting world of adventure

In East Iceland you will find most of what makes Iceland such a spectacular place for nature lovers. From sparkling glaciers and mysterious ice caves, black deserts and volcanic craters, to waterfalls and emerald valleys, arctic birch woodlands and dramatic fjords. This magical home of elves and ancient myth leaves no one untouched with the colourful pebble beaches and black sands to bright yellow mountains rising above a ski blue ocean. The lovely villages in the fjords where fishing is still a way of life are rich in culture and the local food is pure in flavour and freshness.

In search of seals and birds on horseback

The Highlands

Celebrate the beauty of swans, divers and waders, some common, other rare, and while doing so observe the eider ducks line their nests with their wonderful, warm down. The whole east coast from the Djúpivogur bird sanctuary www.birds. is, in the southeast, the Fjords, the Fljótsdalshérað Coast and Vopnafjörður lagoons are all excellent for bird watching. Puffins are most easily seen close up and photographed in the old harbour at Borgarfjörður eystri.

Take a day to explore the Lake Lagarfljót, the long narrow lake is the home to a historic monster. The lakeshore is lined with a lovely arctic birch forest with a lush green and flowering forest floor. Visit the world northernmost arboretum at Hallormstaður and the lovely cove Atlavík. Then continue to Hengifoss, the scenic waterfall and Litlanesfoss, lined with near perfect basaltic pillars. Then drive on to Mt. Snæfell the ancient volcano in Vatnajökul National Park which reigns over the eastern highlands (1833m). It is easily climbed and offers great views. The area is inhabited by herds of wild reindeer, something quite unique to this corner of the country. The area is easily reached by car on the paved road to the Gigantic Kárahnjúkar dam. Then continue to Laugavalladalur for a shower in the warm natural waterfall before finding a place to spend the night.

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One of the largest colonies of seals breed on the sand reefs of Héraðssandur and are easily seen along the banks of the Jökulsá river on the route to Húsey all summer. Enjoy an unique nature exploration tour on horseback through this home of the world's largest breeding colony of arctic skua, as well as red-throated divers, great skuas and many other birds. The seal follow you in the nearby river, and there is the possibility of spotting reindeer. The Papey boat tour from Djúpivogur will also offer you great sights of puffins and seals.

Great beaches and hikes in Borgarfjörður eystri One of the best day hikes is without a doubt are to be found in Víknarslóðir (Desert Inlets) in the Borgarfjörður area, which take you to one of Iceland’s best kept secrets – the monumental Stórurð in the Dyrfjöll mountains, a labyrinth of enormous rocks through which a little river winds its way and calm turquoise ponds of icy water lie hidden among the huge boulders,

lined by flat banks of short, green grass. Just the perfect day to enjoy the best of unspoilt breathtaking nature. The 200 km marked paths on the Víknaslóðir enable you to have views of beautiful coastlines, mountain ridges, abandoned farmhouses, birdlife, arctic fauna and with a little luck maybe even reindeer. The area is known for colourful mountains and semi precious stones, as well as one of the best places to watch puffins.

Fascinating fjords and Amazing trails The East Fjords reveal a magnificent landscape of long, narrow fjords, steep mountains and jagged peaks. In between there are large heaths that are brilliant for cross-country skiing or snowmobiles. A detour along the deserted coves or to remote enchanting places, homes of elves and elementary beings, leaves no one untouched. Don’t forget to explore Seyðisfjörður, the old town houses and nature reserves. You may want to try your luck angling with local fisherman or kayaking. Enjoy the scenic drive along the coast, visiting the long and narrow Mjóifjörður, by many considered one of the most beautiful fjords. Continue the drive through Reyðarfjörður to Eskifjörður, a jewel among fishing villages, where you can visit a well preserved seafarers lodge and the maritime museum, rent a boat and try catching your own dinner. Visit the Helgustaðanáma, the

famous mine for Iceland Spar, a mineral formerly of great value. Drive on to Neskaupsstaður, with the natural history museum, a good art collection and a lovely coffee shop. Enjoy a hike to the Easter cave (Páskahellir) and learn it´s story. Driving south, don’t miss the French heritage of Fáskrúðsfjörður or the cosy little restaurant Sumarlína. The eastern fjords are well known among rock collectors, in the ravines and screes you can find jaspers, opals, amentyst and calcedon among the colourful stones. Visit the mineral collections like Petra’s in Stöðvarfjörður and the geological centre and mineral collection in Breiðdalsvík.

Feast in the East East Iceland is renowned for its wonderful local food. Game such as Reindeer and goose are the local specialty with delicious lamb and the freshest of fish, are at the heart of the region’s prize-winning cuisine. There is good lodging to accommodate to your needs in the beautiful and picturesque villages, where fishing is still the way of life. And culture is never far away and every village has something amazing to explore and enjoy. Regardless of whether you want to go bird-watching, spot reindeer, spy on seals, experience the snowy adventures of Kverkfjöll and the Vatnajökull national park or simply enjoy a romantic get-away, East Iceland is the place to go. Welcome. ■

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Whale-Watching Tour

Duration: 3 hours

The tour includes a stop by Puffin Island 15th May - 20th August

APR MAY JUN 08:55 08.55 12:55 12:55 12:55 16:55

JUL 08:55 12:55 16:55

AUG SEPT OCT NOV-MAR 08:55 08:55 12:55 12:55 12:55 12:55 16:55

ADULTS: 47€ / 7.500 ISK CHILDREN: 7-15 22€ / 3.500 ISK CHILDREN: 0-6 FREE

Other Tours Puffin Island Tours Duration:1-1,5 hours 15th May - 20th August Every day 10:00 | 12:00 | 14:00 ADULTS: 3.800 ISK• CHILDREN: 1.900 ISK • CHILDREN: 0-6 FREE

Sea Angling and Grill Duration: 3 hours May - September Every day 17:00


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TEL:+354-562 2300 TEL:+354-897 8433

More comfort Larger viewing decks Bigger windows Guided tours


PIPAR\TBWA • SÍA • 120472

to Iceland´s most extensIve outdoor equIpment store


Your first stop in Iceland QR Code foR SToRe loCaTion




FIshIng EqUIpmEnT


ColeMan/CaMPinGaZ OUTdOOR gAs cOOKIng EqUIpmEnT

REYKJAVÍK • Fiskislóð 1 • Tel. +354 580 8500 • mon.–fri. 10–18 • sat. 10–16 AKUREYRI • Tryggvabraut 1-3 • Tel. +354 460 3630 • mon.–fri. 8–18 • sat. 10–16 •






Fishing status in Iceland,

just ask our staff, they know!

Our ambition is to serve customers with knowledge and experience and ensure them an enjoyable and successful trip.

Tackle rental service provided!

SÍÐUMÚLA 8 /// 108 REYKJAVÍK /// TEL. + 354 568 8410 /// VEIDIHORNID.IS

Reykjavík living 2012  
Reykjavík living 2012