#A warm welcome
Despite an apparent "distance", Icelanders show great exemplarity in the quality of their welcome, which is why accommodation on farms or in local homes is becoming one of the preferred options for tourists. After a few minutes of discussion, the locals do not hesitate to give advice to their interlocutors and to accompany them in the discovery of secrets belonging to little-known places. Without a doubt, direct contact with this welcoming population is one of the best ways to discover the hidden side of the island. Feel free to say a few basic words in Icelandic, they will be all the more welcoming with you.
Architecture: between wood and colour :
Iceland is not, quite rightly, known for the splendour of its buildings - people do not come here for the same reasons as in Prague or Florence! However, the buildings here have undergone an evolution in their architecture over the centuries that may be of interest to many. Some people are thus dedicated to discovering abandoned farms, built of wood and covered with peat (and grass) until the 20th century. However, as trees disappear, they have become rare, replaced by brightly coloured houses made of corrugated iron or permanent establishments better able to withstand the seismic phenomena that threaten high-risk regions. And if beautiful stones are rare, sometimes insignificant buildings become masterpieces thanks to the landscapes that surround them.
The descendants of Erik the Red
The island's history really begins with the very likely arrival of Irish hermit monks in the 7th century and then with the arrival of Vikings in exile two hundred years later. Many places attest to their presence, such as those with traces of early settlements in Reykjavík, the caves near Hella or the ruins of the Erik le Rouge building around Búðardalur. The sagas have also made the reputation of Scandinavian literature, the chronicle of the kings of Norway and the stories of Iceland's great colonizers. But this vast cultural domain is not only confined to a distant past, as evidenced by the emergence of many folk museums, the most famous of which remains that of Skógar. History lovers, do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to visit the National Museum and the House of Culture in Reykjavík.
Escape and change of scenery
The desire to escape the oppressive atmosphere of a city regularly pushes city dwellers - mainly Europeans - to travel to Iceland in order to ensure a total change of scenery, only three and a half hours by flight from Paris. Because Iceland is absolutely unique and the change of scenery is guaranteed for everyone, even the most experienced globetrotters. Escape is also possible through many activities: horseback riding, walks in the national parks, rafting, fishing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling, whale, dolphin and puffin watching... Leisure activities concern both people looking for peace of mind and active tourists wishing to enjoy the pleasures of extreme sports. Travelling to Iceland is therefore a good way to escape.
Land of ice and fire, a thousand countries in one
Although Iceland has very few trees due to excessive Viking use, it offers an impressive variety of landscapes that will delight all nature lovers. From vast desert expanses near Mývatn, deformed by increased volcanism, to the complicated designs of the western fjords, it gives the pleasant impression of making a journey across multiple countries while remaining within a single and unique region. Frequent changes in weather conditions reinforce this effect and surprise the most discerning travellers. From one season to another, from one hour to another, the sky changes and the landscapes take on a new flavour. These vibrations, only this wild island is able to provide them to you!
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette