Iceland Travel Tip – Is the Winter Fare Sale Worth It?

Check out a chunk of Iceland this winter with IcelandAir's special fares.

November 4 is the last day to book an IcelandAir flight from the United States to Keflavik for as little as $379 for a round trip (check out the complete list of deals). Here’s the deal: The price is for flights from Jan. 10 – March 31, depending on your point of origin.

That means you’re flying straight into Iceland when it is – how should I put this? – really freakin’ cold.

That means you can’t stay outdoors as much. Glacier Guides, one of the better-known tour companies, doesn’t run tours to the glaciers near Skaftafell National Park during that time. You certainly can’t get to Landmannalaugar for a few days of backpacking among some of the most mind-boggling terrain on the planet. So should you bother?

Heck, yes.

There’s still plenty to do in Iceland. Reykjavik is extremely lively. There’s a thriving cafe scene. If you’re a fashionista, you’ll have no problem finding some shopping. And let’s not forget – hotels in Iceland can be expensive … especially in Reykjavik. So there’s no better time to score a deal than late winter.

If you have an adventurous streak and don’t want to be confined to knocking back espresso in the morning and brennivin (the infamous Icelandic schnapps) at night, there’s still hope. Arctic Adventures runs some winter tours to Sólheimajökull, a glacier near the small town of Vik. You can also dig into some ice climbing.

IcelandAir is a pleasant surprise for fliers use to the brutal grind of domestic air travel.Â

Oh, and remember that it’s a good time to catch the Northern Lights. If you can schedule a few nights somewhere remote like Vik, you’ll have no light pollution and some really awesome skies.

So for a $379 flight on an excellent airline, I say check it out. Then come back in the summer to hike Landmannalaugar, hike the glaciers near Skaftafell and explore the crazy terrain of Myvtan.

Nordic Chihuahuas and Glacier Dogs – Pets in Iceland

"Spot" takes a break while exploring the pseudocraters.

NOTE: To see more of Iceland, see my Flickr Photostream.

People in Iceland really seem to love domestic animals – from the smallest yappy dog to the stoutest horse. Being an animal lover myself (domestic and wild), I take a lot of notice about pets’ role in a society I’m visiting. Here are a few things I noticed about pets in Iceland.

A Nordic Chihuahua?

I noticed an astounding number of chihuahuas in Iceland. Most of them were around Reykjavik, but I spotted a few in smaller towns, too. This really shocked me, since I associate them with the Southwest – wear it’s an advantage to have barely any fur.

These little dogs must spend the entire winter shivering or kept indoors. Unless Zo-On makes some cool winter clothes tailored for small dogs! To give them credit for adaptation, none of the chihuahuas I saw were nervous, shivering or yappy. They were certainly more calm and friendly than the ones who lived next door to me (I don’t miss being barked at every day!).

“Spot” Roams the Lava Flow

In the small town of Kirkjubaeklaustar (Icelanders got a lot of laughs out of hearing me try to pronounce this), we stayed at the Hotel Laki Efri-Vik. A dog lived at the hotel, and seemed to be in a permanent state of bliss. She met all sorts of people, and she was pretty successful at following them for short walks around the nearby lake and enticing them to throw sticks for her (though there are not many sticks on the old lava flow that constitutes the entire area). The dog, whose name is the Icelandic word for “Spot,” even followed us on a 5-mile walk through the pseudocraters dotting the landscape.

She seemed the most carefree dog ever, given full range to roam the land. There was barely any traffic to worry her, and all the guests were happy to be her friend during their stay.

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