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Place of the week - Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík

Hallgrímskirkja Church is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík. At 73 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland.

The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns.

The church is also used as an observation tower. An observer can take a lift up to the viewing deck and view Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains.

The statue of explorer Leif Eriksson (c. 970 – c. 1020) is in front of the church
. Leifur was the first European to discover America. The statue was a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Alþingi Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.

Palce of the week - Ísafjörður

Among the most popular music festivals in Iceland Aldrei fór ég suður will be held in Ísafjörður, the capital of West Fjords at Easter, on April 18th & 19th.

Concerts start just before dinner time on friday and will continue around 16:00 the next day. Altough there is a tradition to have a little foreplay on the thursday before the festival, with a few well selected bands.

During the week there are all kinds of outdoor events in the day and parties during the night.The Ísafjörður Ski Week has been held during Easter for over 70 years. You will find mopre information on those two webpages aldrei.is and westfjords.is

Place of the week - Seyðisfjörður

The shipping company Smyril Line has been operating for over 30 years in the North Atlantic. With Smyril Line you can follow in the footsteps of the Vikings across the North Atlantic. M/S Norröna is sailing the route between Denmark and Seyðiðsfjöðrur in East Iceland with stops in the Faroe Islands along the way. The ferry is operating all year around arriving in Seyðisfjöðrur once a week. This week 300 passenger came to Seyðisfjörður.

Seyðisfjörður, a fjord skillfully carved by the ice age glacier.It is home to approximately 700 residents, who have traditionally lived off fishing. In recent years, however, tourism has grown rapidly. Seyðisfjörður has been an important trading center from the nineteenth century up to modern times, due to natural harbor and proximity to the european continent. The colourful, Norwegian-style wooden houses, dating from the early years of the 20th. century render this village unique in Iceland. Walking trails around town, out along the coast, or by the Fjarðará River, allow for many pleasurable and relaxing experiences.

Place of the week - South Iceland

South Iceland will reveal its mysteries from the 28th of March until the 6th of April. The area will be filled with life as tourism service providers, food producers, restaurants, hotels, museums and exhibitions, organisations, municipalities and the inhabitants of South Iceland will participate in the magnificent event.

The event is called „ Leyndardómar Suðurlands“ or "South Iceland Mysteries“ and the goal is to open up, expose, advertise and explore, as much as possible of South Iceland’s Mysteries – and of course welcome everyone to visit the southern part of Iceland and enjoy „The Mysteries“ . The main focus and effort is on FOOD – HISTORY – CULTURE - and this pretty much involves everything we enjoy in life.

All these 10 days the bus transportation from Reykjavík and all over South Iceland is FREE. For further information see their webpage south.is.

Place of the Week: Mývatn - Nature Baths

Enjoy a relaxing visit to Mývatn Nature Baths which is located in the heart of north-east Iceland about 100 km from Akureyri, the capital of the north.

Lake Mývatn and its surroundings are one of Europe's greatest natural treasures. A designated nature reserve, Mývatn is an area of fragile beauty where tourist services have been developed in such a way as to cause as little disruption as possible to what is a unique and highly delicate ecosystem.

The Nature Baths offers bathers a completely natural experience, drawing on a centuries-old tradition. It begins with a relaxing dip in clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the earth's surface, and ends with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 metres. Containing a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms, the warm soothing water of Myvatn Nature Bath benefit both skin and spirit alike.

The Nature Baths are open all year and in the winter there are frequent opportunities to enjoy the unforgettable splendour of the Northern Lights.

Place of the Week: Grundarfjörður - Winter Wildlife Wonderland

Láki Tours in Grundarfjörður is taking full advantage of the presence of abundant herring in the area by offering exciting whale watching trips.

Kolgrafarfjörður has become the hub of winter wildlife as killer whales, dolphins, white-tailed eagles, seals, and a variety of seabirds fill the fjord, feasting on the herring. The boats from Láki Tours take you as close as possible to this fanfare.

For more information about this area and the killer whale watching trips, go to www.lakitours.com.

Place of the week: Reykjavík - Food & Fun festival

The core element of the Food & Fun festival involves world-acclaimed chefs collaborating with Reykjavik’s finest restaurants. The last day of the festival is March 1st.

Each chef is assigned to one of the participating restaurants, where they prepare a special menu crafted from Icelandic ingredients only, commonly held to be the best in the world by Icelanders. The menus are presented at all the restaurants for an entire week.

In addition, the chefs themselves are on site for three nights during the festival week. The second element of the festival is the chef competition, which takes place on March 1st in Harpa, open to public. The chefs compete by making three courses, made out of only Icelandic ingredients.

Further information can be found on Food & Fun webpage.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall near Eyjafjallajökull

Seljalandsfoss is one of the higher waterfalls in Iceland, though it has little water. A path at the bottom of the cliff makes it possible to walk behind the fall. The waterfall and its surroundings are floodlit at night.

Seljalandsfoss is in South Iceland near Eyjafjallajökull Glacier which can be seen in the background of this photo.

Eyjafjallajökull became worldfamous when it erupted in the springtime 2010.

Dyrhólaey on the South Coast

Dyrhólaey, (“Doorway hill island”) a cape or headland 110-120 m high, with perpendicular cliffs on the southern and western sides and a narrow rock rim with an arch-shaped opening through it protruding into the sea. Boats and even small planes can pass through the arch, hence the name Dyrhólaey, or Portland as it has been called. Dyrhólahöfn west of Dyrhólaey used to be a point place for fishermen. Cliffs and pillars off the coast, one of them, Háidrangur (56 m), climbed by Hjalti Jónsson in 1893. Dyrhólaey is a nature sanctuary.

Dyrhólaey is on the South Coast of Iceland closed to Vík.
This photo of Dyrhólaey is from the South Marketing Office.

The Winter Light Festival in Reykjavík

Those long winter days of darkness in Reykjavík are set to be illuminated magnificently at the city’s annual Winter Lights Festival to be held on Feb. 6-15.

The main objective of the festival is to illuminate the dramatic darkness of winter with a collection of sparkling events, which both celebrate and emphasize the beauty of Reykjavík City.

To accentuate further the extraordinary contrasts of light presented during winter, a number of quality light-art installations will be exhibited, illuminating spectacularly some of the city’s most prominent buildings and public spaces, consequently enabling festival guests to experience the city from a new and exciting perspective.

Core events of the upcoming Winter Lights Festival include a number of selected light-art commissions together with our popular theme nights: Museum Night and Pool Night.

For further information see their webpage winterlightsfestsival.is. This photo by Ragnar Th Sigurðsson is from the Winter Light Festival last year.

Prepare to be amazed by the dramatic interplay of darkness and light at the Winter Lights Festival 2014!

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