Best of Iceland This Week July 11-18
Best of Iceland This Week is a guide for those who are curious about what's going on across Iceland and want local recommendations about events, activities and places of interest. This is the only Icelandic guide of its kind. New every week.
Bright lights of Harpa
Harpa Music and Conference Center is not only magnificent to look at, sitting on the dock of Reykjavik bay, but it also has a quite interesting story. Its glass walls, designed by Ólafur Elíasson, an Icelandic-Danish artist residing in Denmark, are one of a kind, but Harpa’s staff is knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of the majestic building. A tour of the building is available daily at 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm.
Hike up a glacier
“Visit Snæfellsjökull glacier either by foot or with a pisten bully. One can also hike around the root of the glacier and visit Sönghellir (The Singing Cave) on your way.”
Recommended by Hjalti Sverrisson is the hotel manager at Hótel Hellnar on the westernmost tip of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
The magnificent Látrabjarg Cliff
For all those not scared of heights, come visit the stunning views of Látrabjarg Cliff in Vesturbyggð town. Located at the westernmost point of Iceland and standing 441 meters high, you will be exposed to a series of unbelievable views and interesting wildlife. It is no surprise that Látrabjarg is the most visited spot by tourists in all of the Westfjords and is easily accessible by motor vehicle. Plan your trip to Látrabjarg Cliff today, so you don‘t miss out on your chance to see a Puffin!
Party with the islanders on Hrísey
The annual Hrísey festival takes place this weekend. Hrísey is a small island off the north coast of Iceland, situated around 35 kilometres north of Akureyri.
Today (Friday) local residents invite guests into their homes for a cup of coffee and some biscuits (those participating will mark their houses). However, the main festivities take place on Saturday. Among the activities taking place that day is an organized trip to the beach for the children with Skralli the Clown, lazier-tag and a locals demonstrate what’s known as kite-fishing.
What’s the best place for some peace and quiet?
“Take a walk in Selskógur forest, an outdoor area just at the edge of the town. It only takes ten minutes to walk there. The forest is mainly birch and has 3 kilometre-long trails marked with woodchips that weave through the forests. Part of the trail runs next to Eyvindará, a beautiful peaceful river. If you want to go a bit further from town (15 minutes by car), then visit Hallormsstaðarskógur, Iceland’s largest forest, and experience the magic of it.”
Recommended by Ívar Ingimarsson the owner of Birta and Olga Guesthouse and a former professional football player with English Championship team Reading. He now lives in the town of Egilsstaðir
Concerts in a historical place
Sumartónleikar Skálholtskirkju is a series of concerts held each summer in Skálholskirkja church. For centuries, Skálholt was one of the most important places in Iceland and one of the country‘s two episcopal sees, along with Hólar in Hjaltadalur.
Lena Willemark and Voces Thules play Icelandic music dating back to medieval times as well as Swedish folk music on Thursday 17th of July at 8pm. On Friday the 18th of July the Bachsveitin í Skálholti will perform music from the baroque period. The concert begins at 8 pm. More information available here.
All Tomorrow’s Parties Music festival
The talk of the town this weekend is the ATP Music Festival, taking place in Keflavik. Just a few minutes from the airport, masses of music fans have gathered to hear popular artists such as Interpol and Portishead, among other local Icelandic bands. This is the 2nd annual event that has taken place in Iceland with the festival occupying the facilities at the former NATO base that the Americans left behind in 2006. Festival organizers describe the event as an “... anti-festival that washes away all the pre-conception of such a music event.” Garnering only positive reviews from its first full day, the rest of the festival is sure to rock your socks off!
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