Myths and Culture
West Iceland is also called The Sagaland, since many of the vivid sagas, folklore and curious tales that give the country much of its heritage stem from the area. Reykholt is very much a centre of Icelandic culture, having been the birthplace of the famed Medieval writer and politician, Snorri Sturluson. As the author of the Prose Edda, his work is one of the most extensive sources of Norse mythology and has inspired many modern works, too, such as Tolkien’s fantasy epic, Lord of the Rings. In Reykholt, the Museum Snorrastofa was founded in memory of Snorri Snorrastofa, while if you want to learn more about Icelandic culture and history, you can head to Akranes to see one of the first fishing villages of the country and a great museum area. Or, visit Eiríksstaðir, the former home of Norse explorer, Erik the Red, and now a living museum.
The three-thousand islands, islets and skerries of Breiðafjörður comprise the second biggest fjord in Iceland, along with several geothermal sites and beautiful basalt columns. It’s also a great spot for birdwatching, with around fifty breeding species of diverse birdlife. It’s particularly popular for the puffins that reside in the area, with boat trips on offer to help you see the best of the area. Flatey Island is the largest in the bay with authentic Icelandic charm to absorb as you look out for the birds.
Photography fans will find plenty of material to keep their camera flashing in West Iceland. Akranes Lighthouse is, perhaps, one of the most picturesque lighthouses in the world, whether you want to shoot it in all its glory, or head up the stairs for the view of the sea from the top. Inside, there is even a photography exhibition to inspire you. The unusual shape of Kirkjufell mountain, one of the country’s iconic sights, also makes it one of the most photographed in Iceland, though you are always likely to stumble upon a photo-worthy site wherever you go.
West Iceland has more than its fair share of Iceland’s stunning natural displays. You will find Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjökull, which you can head inside the explore the spectacular hidden ice, plus Hallmundarhraun, which boasts the longest and largest caves in Iceland. West Iceland also reaches new heights with Deildartunguhver, the highest flowing hot spring in Europe that shoots waters up to 100°c in temperature, which are even used for the central heating systems of nearby homes! You can also see the waterfalls of Hraunfossar which are formed by underground river, the beautiful mountain of Kirkjufell and the Snæfellsjökull glacier; many believe this active volcano is one of the Earth’s seven main energy centers and it plays a big pat in the Jules Verne novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth.
British Airways from London Heathrow to Keflavik and Iceland Air from London Heathrow and London Gatwick.
From London Heathrow to Iceland: 3 hours
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.