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A Guide to Iceland’s Best Thermal Spas

A Guide to Iceland’s Best Thermal Spas

Iceland is one of the Earth’s hottest countries – literally. Brimming with volcanic activity, the country is blessed with a huge range of hot springs and geothermal spas, and a hot soak under the Northern Lights has become central to Iceland’s cultural identity.

Iceland is famous for it’s hot tub culture, and swimming pools have always been a hub of social activity, even in winter on a dark, frosty night. But with a huge range of swimming pools, hot springs, and spas, where do you even start?

While the country has an incredible range of natural hot springs, today we’re going to focus on Iceland’s thermal spas. The difference? Thermal spas are a cross between a man-made pool and a natural spring.

While natural springs are usually in rural locations, where the journey there is an adventure in itself, thermal spas offer the same natural water, but you’re surrounded by man made facilities.

At thermal spas you’ll have access to showers, restaurants, toilets, and storage to keep your things dry; much more than your typical hole in the ground filled with water!

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Dear LGBTQI Travelers: These Countries Will Recognize Your Same Sex Marriage #LoveAlwaysWins

Dear LGBTQI Travelers: These Countries Will Recognize Your Same Sex Marriage #LoveAlwaysWins

Ever since same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001 (props to the Netherlands for always being at the front of progressive change), the legalization of same-sex marriage has snowballed throughout the world.

28 countries (26 with another two pending) now legally recognize the right for same sex couples to marry, so if you’re part of the LGBTQI community, and want to travel, live overseas, or plan a destination wedding, these countries will recognize your right.

More than 760 million people now live in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, and I encourage all travelers to support those countries at the forefront of equality and recognition of human rights. I also have one thing to say to my own country, in a slogan they coined: Australia, where the bloody hell are you?

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Loft Hostel Reykjavík: Iceland Accommodation Review

Loft Hostel Reykjavík: Iceland Accommodation Review

Iceland has become somewhat of a trend in recent years, and as with any destination which has seen a recent surge in tourism, it’s quite difficult to find great value accommodation. Difficult, though not impossible. Especially if you’re looking at Iceland’s hostels.

With some of the highest standards of hostel accommodation in the world (in terms of cleanliness, character, rooms and facilities), if you’re heading to Iceland, it’s a no brainer to book a hostel. And if you’re looking for Reykjavík’s cream of the crop, we recommend a stay at the Loft Hostel.

Offering a range of dorms, twins and private rooms, it has a modern, clean interior, a buzzing vibe, and a great location right in the middle of the city’s bar, restaurant and cafe district. It was also voted the world’s best HI (Hostelling International) hostel in 2014. Awards aside, this is what else it’s got.

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5 Types of Travelers Who Visit Iceland – Is This You?

5 Types of Travelers Who Visit Iceland – Is This You?

In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a small Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean; an island defined by dramatic landscapes, with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and elves. Yes, elves.

Rumors of this magical place are spreading like wild fire, and travelers have started arriving from all over the land. Though how do you know if Iceland is a country for you? Even though it’s a pretty safe bet in terms of an incredible vacation, what kind of travelers does it suit?

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5 Countries With Active Volcanoes You Can Visit

5 Countries With Active Volcanoes You Can Visit

Getting to see a volcano up close is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Whether they’re dormant or active, standing on the crater fills you with wonder (and sometimes dread) as you gaze into the maw of these colossi.

For the purposes of this article, we’ve chosen five different countries with live volcanoes. Though some of these have more than one volcano currently active, so keep an eye out for that, too.

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5 Best Destinations to Drive to in Europe

5 Best Destinations to Drive to in Europe

Flights are one of the most obvious ways to travel throughout Europe, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the most affordable, comfortable, or even the most memorable. In fact, one of the best ways to explore Europe is to drive.

There’s a huge diversity of natural scenery throughout Europe, much of which you miss when you’re flying at 35,000 feet. And with roads which wind directly through some of the world’s most incredible landscapes, if you’re visiting the following European hot spots you should trade in your plane ticket for a set of car keys and drive.

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Countries Which Won’t Let You In Without Health Insurance

Countries Which Won’t Let You In Without Health Insurance

There are many, many reasons you should purchase health insurance when traveling abroad, the most obvious being to protect yourself in the case of an emergency, though some countries are beginning to require health coverage as a mandatory condition of entry, meaning travelers no longer have the choice to travel without a plan.

Expat hubs around the world are beginning to require mandatory health insurance before issuing a visa, and more and more countries are deciding to refuse entry without it. Many travelers don’t realize that without the correct insurance, they could be turned away from the destination they are visiting before they make it past airport arrivals.

The following countries are among those jumping on the trend of making health insurance mandatory for those wishing to travel or live overseas.

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Dear Travelers to Iceland: Please Don’t Visit Until You’ve Understood These 8 Things

Dear Travelers to Iceland: Please Don’t Visit Until You’ve Understood These 8 Things

In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a small Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean; an island defined by dramatic landscapes, with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and elves. Yes, elves.

Rumors of this magical place are spreading like wildfire, and travelers have started arriving from all over the land. Though there is a delicate balance in maintaining the untouched and wild feeling of Iceland’s unique landscapes while making them accessible to tourists. Lava fields, volcanoes and thundering waterfalls might look super tough, but in fact they are very vulnerable.

Before tourists started arriving in mass, most Icelandic attractions had no need for infrastructure like car parks or ranger stations. So it’s extremely important that we are aware of our impact as travelers. As such, we have composed a letter to all those who are Iceland bound.

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How to Be a Socially Conscious Traveler in Iceland

How to Be a Socially Conscious Traveler in Iceland

The age of the socially conscious traveler is officially here – a recent movement towards responsible travel has seen travelers become more conscious of their environmental and social footprint when heading abroad. People are now realizing the importance of traveling with awareness and thought.

With the idea of being conscious of our impact on both nature and culture, here are 10 easy steps for being a socially conscious traveler in Iceland.

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5 European Gems You Have to Visit This Year

5 European Gems You Have to Visit This Year

Travelling through Europe is a must for anyone looking for a fabulous vacation. It is full of historical sites, lush landscapes, and offers up many exciting kinds of accommodations for explorers.

Here are 5 gems that you must visit this year, including Ireland, Croatia, Italy, Holland and Iceland.

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Best Countries to See the Northern Lights

Best Countries to See the Northern Lights

One of the world’s most dazzling natural phenomenons, few travel experiences can top witnessing the Northern Lights. Also known as Aurora Borealis, this is mother nature’s most impressive light show, and something almost every traveler has at the top of their bucketlist.

Though you may not have to travel as remotely as you think in order to catch a glimpse. While most of the following destinations are close to the Arctic, you can often expect sightings as far south as the United Kingdom, or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere, catch the equally as impressive Southern Lights in Australia instead.

It’s important to note that there is no exact science to seeing the Northern Lights, and that there’s never any guarantee. Though from the northernmost fjords of Norway to the snow-enveloped wilderness of Alaska, here are some of your best bets.

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Things to Do in Iceland: Highlights of Vatnajökull National Park

Things to Do in Iceland: Highlights of Vatnajökull National Park

When it comes to things to do in Iceland, Vatnajökull National Park should be at the very top of everyone’s list. Covering 13% of Iceland’s surface, this is the largest national park in Western Europe, and has a range of outstanding natural wonders which truly capture the interplay between fire and ice.

In this region white glaciers descend to black sands, hot streams erupt from frozen banks of ice, and the park is home to Iceland’s highest mountain, (Hvannadalshnúkur), largest glacier (Vatnajökull), and Europe’s most powerful waterfall (Dettifoss).

The following are the highlights of Vatnajökull National Park. Most sections of the park are completely inaccessible in winter, closed due to bad weather or lack of transportation. Plan for a trip between July and August to have more options and access to locations throughout the park.

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Become a True Viking on Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail Hike

Become a True Viking on Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail Hike

Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice, where turbulent volcanic forces meet the icy touch of the Arctic to shape an island that is as desolate as it is beautiful. Blasted tundra, glistening glaciers and pounding waterfalls are among the many wonders vying for space in the Icelandic wilderness, and the best way to explore the extremes of this spellbinding country is to take a long walk into its heart, on the famous Laugavegur trail.

Stretching 55km from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk, the Laugavegur trail is the country’s most well-known hiking route. The four-day trek takes you past colourful mountains, warming hot-springs and steep ravines as you wind your way through the landscape of South-East Iceland.

If you are looking to test yourself physically, as well as rewarding yourself with moments of wonder, then Iceland’s Laugavegur is the trek for you.

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The Land of Fire and Ice: Iceland’s Top Volcanoes For Your European Bucketlist

The Land of Fire and Ice: Iceland’s Top Volcanoes For Your European Bucketlist

Iceland is a country full of natural wonders, and it is difficult to remain unmoved by the amazing diversity of it’s landscape. Though contrary to popular belief, Iceland is not an island which is covered completely in ice.

Iceland is a stunning playground with everything from majestic glaciers, cracked lava fields, gushing geysers, vibrant green fjords and geothermal lagoons. Also, due to its location between two tectonic plates that are spreading apart in the mid-Atlantic range, the country has a high concentration of active volcanoes; one of the highest in the world.

In fact, Iceland has 30 active volcano systems, 13 of which have erupted since Vikings settled here in the 9th century AD. While the country tends to see an eruption on average every 5 years, most recently have proved to be harmless, seeing thousands of tourists hiking, biking or driving closer to the craters to witness nature put on a spectacular show.

The following is an Iceland guide to the country’s top 10 volcanoes for your European Bucketlist.

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Adventure Travel: Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Iceland

Adventure Travel: Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Iceland

Iceland is a country defined by it’s outdoors. Inspiring scenery at every turn, extraordinary landscapes, and astounding natural wonders; when visiting a country with nature so inspiring, it would be a waste to spend your time solely holed up in the cities without making time for exploration of the outdoors.

The following are the top 10 outdoor activities in Iceland – adrenaline activities amid scenery so spectacular that the experience will leave you raving about your travel to this country as the trip of your lifetime for years to come.

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The Best Places to Spot Wildlife & Exotic Seabirds in Iceland

The Best Places to Spot Wildlife & Exotic Seabirds in Iceland

Iceland is literally a country which takes your breath away. Inspiring scenery at every turn, extraordinary landscapes, and astounding natural wonders; you will leave the country with a determined mindset to return.

Though perhaps even more exotic than majestic glaciers grinding their way through cracked lava fields, and more captivating than witnessing glittering ice caps pierce the sky, is the opportunity to witness and interact with the country’s exotic variety of seabirds and wildlife.

Seabirds arrive by the million for the breeding season between April and August, and nest on coastal cliffs all around the country in massive colonies. And to say that they arrive in the million is no understatement – we literally spent days shooting seabirds (photography) and have more photography than we could possibly hope to edit in a lifetime.

The following are Iceland’s top locations to see birds and wildlife – because Iceland holidays can be about so much more than the Golden Circle and that famous geothermal lagoon!

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