Geothermal Iceland Wedding

Iceland the land of fire and ice. It is not without reason that our magnificent country gets that very enormous title. After all Iceland is very much alive, with erupting volcanoes, powerful earthquakes, and roaring glaciers. In fact some of the largest glaciers in all of Europe. Iceland is also very much known for all of its geothermal powers, and let us tell you we have a lot of it. If you haven’t guessed it yet, this months blog is dedicated to our awesome geothermal power!

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Seeing as Iceland is located on a continental drift it is known to be the most geothermically active places on our planet. When people start researching Iceland or discussing what makes Iceland so different than other places around the world, the focus tends to be on the landscape. What really makes Iceland so unique is what lies beneath the landscape: the geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy is, as it sounds –
heat (thermal) from the earth (geo); which typically comes from the sub-surface of the earth, but can also be found as far down as the earth’s hot molten core. The heat is contained in the ground (rocks) and water in the earth. The heat, either liquid or steam, is accessed by digging deep wells into the ground. Depending on how deep the heat reservoirs are located, the depth of the wells will vary. With the vast amount of volcanic activity in Iceland, the hot water and steam resources are endless.

Pumps are used to draw the water from wells and depending on the temperature (it can be boiling) the water may need to be mixed with cold water (also plentiful in Iceland from the glaciers) to regulate temperature.

The water and the steam can also be harvested to drove turbines connected to electric generators to produce clean electrical power.

Many farms and homesteads in Iceland have geothermal wells and glacier waterfalls on their property, which allow them to run their homes entirely on clean energy – 100% off the grid!

A handful of our previous clients have opted on adding a geothermal location to their wedding day. No matter what time of the year it is, their wedding photographs are always mystic and breathtaking. This February Elopement has some examples of wedding photos taken in a geothermal area. The natural smoke coming out of the earths core really does add to the atmosphere. We highly recommend adding a geothermal location to your Iceland Wedding experience.

Are you not ready to commit to having a geothermal location added to your wedding day? That is completely fine. Do not fret we have you completely covered. Located all over Iceland you can find numerous natural hot springs. The most famous one being the Blue Lagoon. (Pro tip: if you do plan on hitting up a natural hot spring, we highly recommend keeping your hair out of the water. Hell give your hair and extra treat while indulge in the spa like ambiance and put on a hair mask.) The Blue Lagoon Retreat is the perfect place to end your Iceland wedding seeing as it is so close the the airport.

Are you science junkie with loads of wisdom about geothermal heat and energy, but have not had the chance to see it up close and personal? Then Iceland is the perfect location for you to visit, better yet have your Iceland wedding! Come on over and check out all that our country has to offer including (but not limited to) boiling geysers, waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes. Contact Us today and we can get started planning your amazing Iceland wedding!

The Mysterious Folklore of Iceland

This month’s blog features some of Iceland’s mysterious and magical folklore, including everything from elves, trolls, and witchcraft.  With this blog you will be able to impress your friends and family with your knowledge of Icelandic folklore during your long road trips exploring our magnificent country of fire and ice.

The Hidden People 

Elves, as you may have guessed, are also known as The Hidden People.  One story of how the elves were first created says:  in the time of Adam and Eve, Eve was expecting her creator to come for a visit.  While Eve was washing her children, she realized God was at her door earlier than she had expected Him.  Being ashamed of not being able to wash all of her children before his arrival, she hid the remaining children.  God, of course, knowing everything punished her by saying if she was hiding them from Him, he would hide them from the world.  This is how the Elves became to be known as The Hidden People.

Most native Icelander’s still believe in Elves and do so by respecting the Elves’ homes and privacy.  Many teach their children early on not to tease or torment the Elves by throwing or knocking on rocks.  A common reason for why Icelander’s still believe in elves is, it is said to bring bad luck not to believe in them.

Construction sites have had to relocate their plans for streets, homes, and company buildings due to the location on which they planned to have excavated being elf territory.   Seeing as they are The Hidden People, their homes are often hidden as well.  There is no way to know what is an elf home and what isn’t.  The easiest way to find out, but also the most expensive way, is to start construction.   The Elves will quickly let you know you are disturbing them when numerous heavy machinery fails or if construction workers start having freak accidents.  This is when you know it is time to pack up, as you are obviously disturbing the Elves.  Continued construction would only bring on more bad luck.

If you are interested in visiting an area known for The Hidden People,  in the town of Hafnafjörður you can visit the Elf Garden in the park Hellisgerði.

It is said that elves will allow themselves to be seen only twice a year: New Year’s Eve and on Midsummer Night.  If you are to a cross road on Midsummer Night, the Elves will come at you from all directions and try to seduce you (be careful they are quite good looking, or so we are told).  If they succeed, you will become insane; however, if they do not succeed, they will reward you with gifts.

 

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Icelandic Trolls

Icelandic folklore often also revolves around our famous Icelandic trolls.  After all, the mother and father of our Icelandic Yule Lad’s are trolls.  You can read all about the 13 Yule Lad’s and their parents HERE.

Like the Hidden People, trolls also like to remain unseen, living mostly in the mountains of the highlands of Iceland.  Icelandic trolls are nocturnal creatures, which is why they are commonly not seen by humans.  However, if they are not careful and home by sunrise they meet their unfortunate fate and turn to stone.  All over the country of Iceland you can spot a few of the unfortunate trolls that did not make it home.  The most famous Icelandic trolls are located in the southern region of Iceland in the town of Vík.  The Reynisdrangar rock formation tells the famous story of two stubborn trolls who were trying to drag a shipwreck to shore before sunrise.  Seeing as they are now rock formations, we can assume they met their fate when the first rays of light from sunrise hit.

 

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Icelandic Witchcraft

Icelandic folklore is also full of stories of Icelandic witchcraft.  We even have a Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, located in the Westfjords of Iceland in a town called Hólmavík.  In the museum you can find items from famous Icelandic folklore stories including the necropants belonging to the witch known as Katla.   Katla is said to have owned and created these pants which bestowed special powers to anyone who wore them allowing them to travel at the speed of light.

Midsummer night is annually celebrated on June 24th of each year.  Being the longest sunlit day of the year, it is believed this is the day all of Iceland’s magical creatures come out to celebrate.  Seals removing their skins and becoming human for the night, and cows speaking in human tongue are just a couple of the magical myths.  Some Icelander’s (mainly the daring ones) still follow old traditions and roll naked in the dew on the night of Jónsmessa (what Icelander’s refer to as Midsummer Night).

Northern Lights of Iceland

Another example of Icelandic folklore pertains to the Northern Lights.  The magnificent lights, although beautiful, can hold an undesired fate for newborn children: if a laboring woman looks up at the colorful lights her child will be born cross-eyed.  Vikings, on the other hand, believed the lights were a sign they would win in upcoming battles.  HERE you can read about how and when is the best time to see the Northern Lights.

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Iceland in all of its glory, magic, and beauty is filled with immense energy.  Whether it is to explore your new relationship, propose, or even get married – you can only experience the best Iceland has to offer by coming to visit.  Can you imagine popping the question in all of the magic of Midsummer Night, or having The Hidden People attend your elopement?  Contact Us today and we can get you started on an adventure of a lifetime!

 

Honeymooning in Iceland: Ideas

Are you newlyweds looking to experience an adventurous honeymoon in Iceland during the months of the midnight sun? This month’s blog is dedicated to adventurous things to do during the summer in Iceland. Do not be discouraged if you plan on visiting during the winter months; stay tuned for an adventure blog dedicated to the colder months!

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For those looking for a unique spa like experience, why not soak your aching muscles in a wooden cask barrel full of beer? In the north of Iceland, not far from the northern capital Akureyri, you’ll find The Beer Spa Bjórböðin. The beer casks are sized for two (perfect for couples) or choose to enjoy the bath alone. After your 25 minute soak, choose to add the use of outdoor hot tubs and sauna for an additional 500 Icelandic kroner. Did we mention each beer barrel is outfitted with a beer tap so you can sip on Kaldi beer while you relax your worries away? Bjórböðin also has on onsite restaurant and gift shop where many beer infused products can be purchased. Wanting to try the Kaldi beer before you experiance The Beer Spa (or even after)? Kaldi, an Icelandic beer can be purchased at the Duty Free in Keflavík International Airport upon arrival or at the Icelandic liquor stores Vinbúðin.

Intrigued by The Beer Spa or are you a hops enthusiast? Over the last few years Iceland has burst into the microbrew business with several breweries opening up all around the country. Locally crafted lagers, ales, and pilsners can be found in many pubs and bars all throught the country; while many offer tours or tastings. In Reykjavík, Ægir and Reykjavík Brewery two recently opened brewhouses which offer tastings. Also in Reykjavík, Microbar is known for their wide selection of local and international beers. For those willing to do more than wet their whistle, why not enjoy some of the rare delicacies Iceland has to offer? Fermented shark, smoked puffin, and whale steak are just a few of the traditional Icelandic foods one can find on several restaurant menus. To enrich your Icelandic taste bud experience we recommend adding a shot of Brennivín to your foodie experience. Worried these exotic dishes will not suit your palate? Not to worry, Icelanders love burgers, pizza and hot dogs. Believe it or not , the most popular restaurant in Reykjavík is a hot dog stand. The Icelandic “pylsa” (aka hot dog) is an Iceland must!

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While spending time in the North of Iceland we highly recommend checking out bakkaflot.is for all types of adventurous things, including extreme river rafting, kayaking, whale watching, and horseback riding.

 

Adding an epic ice experience to your Iceland Honeymoon is definitely something to brag about. Vík Expeditions has you covered with an amazing Vík Glacier Walking and Ice Climbing! Imagine a gorgeous sunshiny day on top of a glacier or even climbing one! The guide of Vík Expeditions Davíð is really in his essence while guiding you around breathtaking landscapes most people couldn’t even dream of seeing. Vík Expeditions even offers a photography Adventure, so don’t forget your camera.

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If water sports tickle your fancy, the southern coast of Iceland offers several different activities to satisfy your adventure needs. Adventure Vikings offer a multitude of activities such as surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Take off from the black sand beaches on the coast of Vík, and dip into the Atlantic Ocean waters. Wanting to spend your honeymoon diving into the glacier clear waters Iceland has to offer? Adventure Vikings also offer diving and snorkeling tours of the epic Silfra – the separation between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Instead of land or sea, perhaps your inner adrenaline junkie is looking to soar through the air. Zipline Iceland, also located in the Vík, offer a hiking and ziplining adventure – a once in a lifetime opportunity to observe Iceland’s beautiful canyons while speeding through the air.

One of the many amazing things about Iceland is it’s combination of fire and ice. Where does the fire come from? Volcanoes! Iceland is hotspot for geological volcanic activity. Not far from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, is Þríhnúkagígur (three-new-ka-geeger) volcano…even the name of the volcano is adventurous! Inside the Volcano takes you on a rare adventure experience. After hiking the scenic lava fields, you descend into Þríhnúkagígur volcano. No worries, the volcano is dormant; however, the magma chamber remains intact. Explore the amazing colors and atmosphere of this geological formation.

Even though you visited Iceland during the summer months does not mean you cannot get a taste of our winter time with the help of the Pearl. Perlan is a beautiful architectural building located in Reykjavík with a handful of exhibits focusing on the wonders of Iceland, including a man made ice cave made from over 350 tons of snow from the Icelandic mountains. Other exhibitions include an underwater journey and an aurora borealis planetarium. While enjoying the Pearl you can also inspect their top deck where you can see a 360 degree view of Reykjavík.  It is highly recommended to stay and enjoy a delicious meal at their delicious restaurant or a sweet treat from their ice cream shop.

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Always wanted to ice climb, snorkel between the tectonic plates, or enjoy a nice beer bath?  Iceland definitely has you covered.  Has this blog helped spark your interest in having a Iceland Honeymoon to brag about for years to come? Our team at Iceland Weddings and Honeymoons would love to help you plan your bad ass Iceland Honeymoon! Contact Us and lets get started today!