Iceland: bubbling with brilliance

Iceland: bubbling with brilliance

The old adage I learned in grade school is that Greenland is actually composed of ice, while Iceland is actually green. While this is not completely accurate since there is ice in Iceland, the notion of Iceland being a cold and inhospitable place is equally inaccurate. The warm Atlantic Gulf Stream and countless hot springs and other geothermic activity actually provide Iceland with a much more moderate climate than you would typically find in a country located in the extreme north. During the winter time in the capital of Reykjavik, for instance, while it does get below freezing, it’s typically only a few degrees below, which is not what you’d expect from a country called Iceland.   These are all good reasons why avoiding Iceland would be hasty, but they do not address why Iceland is a great vacation destination in the first place. In short, the countryside is rugged and stunning in its beauty, a giant, rocky and volcanic hot tub that’s like nowhere else. Iceland is world renowned for ice trekking activities, and a host of other adventure activities as well. In short, Iceland has been up and coming on the world’s vacation radar because it offers an array of unique vacation experiences which travelers will find nowhere else.   Getting in, out, and about   Despite its distance from the rest of the European mainland, Iceland is considered a part of Europe, and the country is a member of the Schengen Agreement. For US travelers with a passport that has at least three months remaining validity, this means you can enter Iceland without the need for a special visa if your purpose in traveling is for tourism. Once in the Schengen Area, you can stay for up to 90 days within a 6 month period. Icelandic officials will require you to have a return plane ticket and demonstration that you have enough money to fund your stay while you are there.   Iceland’s health care system is excellent, and the country sees very little in the way of diseases that travelers should prepare for. The US Center for Disease Control recommends that all travelers are at least up to date on common vaccinations, such as those against measles, polio, and small pox. Depending on your vacation plans, you may opt to get additional vaccinations against Hepatitis A & B, and rabies. Before you finalize your travel...

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