A mountainous island and a Nordic European country, Iceland is located between Europe and North America, to the northwest of Scotland, a little over half way to Greenland. Icelandic Cuisine mainly consists of seafood (fresh seafood is abundant as the country is surrounded by the Ocean), meats (lamb is preferred), vegetables (mostly shipped into the country from other European countries). Due to lack of adequate farmland, many vegetables cannot be grown in the country. Most of the recipes have been borrowed from other European countries and given an Icelandic flavour by adding garlic (a key ingredient in most of the Icelandic Dishes) and some Icelandic Sauce. European tourists will find Icelandic cuisine a welcome change and quite palatable. Hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are plentiful in Iceland. There are some bars and clubs exclusively for gays and lesbians.
What to do in Iceland:
Reykjavik: Reykjavik is the capital and the biggest city of Iceland. It is located in the southwestern region of the country. It is the northernmost capital in the world and known as ‘the nightlife capital of the north’. There are more than 100 bars and nightclubs in the city. Blue Lagoon (A geothermal spa), Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), National Museum of Iceland, Icelandic Opera, Perlam (a glass dome that rests on 5 water tanks) is arguably the top 5 out of 67 worth visiting places in and around Reykjavik.
Akureyri: Located in northern Iceland, Akureyri is a town and the second biggest urban area after Reykjavik. An important port and fishing center of Iceland, Akureyri is also known as Capital of North Iceland. Hlidarfjall Akureyri (Ski/snowboard areas), Arctic Botanical Gardens, The Old Farmhouse Laufas (History Museum), the Strytan Dive Center (water sports), The Aviation Museum is arguably the top 5 out of 18 worth visiting places in and around Akureyri.
Nautholsvik Beach located in the Greater Reykjavik Area is an ideal family beach. Bathing here is actually enjoyable as hot water flowing into the bay keeps the water moderately heated in this thermal beach. There are two fresh water pools and no lack of public amenities.
Alftanes Beach: One of the few white sand beaches in Iceland, Alftanes Beach is to the east of the Reykjavik city center. This beach provides all the amenities needed for a family to enjoy swimming, surfing, sunbathing, playing beach volleyball and relaxing.
Kirkjubol Beach: Located in the western part of Iceland near the county of Strandir, this beach is also ideal for a family with all the amenities.
Skiing in Iceland:
Blafjoll: Blafjoll near Reykjavik is the biggest ski area of Iceland. The main slopes are illuminated in the evening and provide challenges for beginners as well as the experienced skiers. On weekends, the beginners can take special instructions from the Skiing School in Blafjoll.
Skalafell: With a wonderful service center that sells food and drink and rents skiing equipments, Skalafell Skiing Area (near Reykjavik) has the longest lift (1200 meters long) of Iceland and the best skiing area of Iceland for beginners and families.