CNN – Iceland one of Top 10 places to spend your 2010 Christmas

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Reykjavík Iceland is one of top 10 places to spend your 2010 Christmas according to CNN. But why?

For a real treat for the tots, take them to Iceland, where local folklore has not one but 13 Santasbearing goodie bags at Christmas parties. The  (or jólasveinar, meaning Yule Lads), each with Brothers Grimm-like characteristics such as “the spoon licker” and “the door slammer,” come into town one day at a time starting December 12.

Then there’s the Christmas Village at Hafnarfjördur, a town not far from Reykjavik that is known in Icelandic lore as the home of elves. The Christmas Village is open on every weekend from November 24 until Christmas day. Hafnarfjördur also offers walking tours to supposed elf homesites.

Back in Reykjavik, people start celebrating Christmas from late November by pigging out at traditional Christmas buffet dinners around town.
On Christmas Eve, bells ring throughout the capital, marking the formal beginning of Christmas.

There are bonfires and fireworks all over Iceland on both New Year’s Eve and the Twelfth Night, which falls on January 6, 2018.

Travel & Leisure Magazine Rates Iceland a Best Place for Holiday Travel
We could also mention that Travel & Leisure Magazine Rates Iceland a Best Place for Holiday Travel. Otherworldly landscapes,liquid-green aurora borealis, fresh seafood, fabulous shopping and 13 Yuletide lads and more..

Record-breakin month for Icelandic tourism

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A record-breaking 65.606 tourists traveled through Keflavík Airport this last June according to statistics from the Icelandic Tourist Board, an increase of nearly 21% from June the year before.

The greatest increase was in tourists from North America, who outnumbered June 2010’s batch by more than 50%. Visitors from the Nordic countries increased by 17%, while visitors from central and southern Europe increased by 16%, and UK by 8%. Other countries saw a bump by 12%.

Out of the 65.606 tourists traveling through Keflavík Airport in June 2011, most tourists came from the USA (18%) followed by Germany (15%), Norway (8%), Denmark (7%), the UK (7%), Sweden (6%) and France (6%). These seven nations account for almost two thirds of all foreign tourists who visited Iceland in June.

In the first six-months of 2011, 206,886 foreign tourists have departed from Keflavík International Airport, a 21% increase compared to the same period in 2010, or 35,636 people.

Iceland has never been more alive than right now.

The Icelandic Horse Festival Landsmót

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Last year marked the 60th anniversary year of the Icelandic Horse Festival, Landsmót.
This year, Landsmót will be held in Vindheimamelar, Skagafjörður, from June 26th till July 3rd.

The history of Landsmót reaches back to 1950, when the first show was held at the historic Þingvellir.
Since 1998 Landsmót has been a biannual event. This is the 6th time Landsmót is held at Vindheimamelar
in Skagafjörður. Guests at Landsmót come from all over the world and the schedule is always exciting and
represents the very best of the best in the handling and breeding of Icelandic horses.

Only the best classified horses participate in the tournament and compete for the most prestigious titles
in the country. In the last few years the number of horses at Landsmót has been around 1000.The fellowships
of riders, singing and dancing are also some of the most important features of the festival. The biannual
festivities of Landsmót also mark the respect Icelanders have for the Icelandic horse.

Iceland Recommended as Conference Destination

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Iceland is included in a list compiled by Great Hotels of the World of places that are predicted
to become popular as destinations for conferences and group activity tours in 2011 and in the
coming years. The Ministry of Industry and Travel expects growth in this sector after a slight
recession following the banking collapse in 2008, reports.

According to Great Hotels of the World, Iceland has many advantages for such trips, mentioning
warm pools, volcanoes, glaciers, ravines, highland SUV tours, dog sledding tours and a rich
cultural life, in addition to prime conference facilities.

Other places mentioned as top ten destinations for conference and group activity purposes are Montenegro,
Croatia, South Africa, India, Portugal (Lisbon), Turkey, the Greek islands, Sardinia and South Korea (Seoul).

Grímsvötn Eruption is Over

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Volcanologist Steinunn Jakobsdóttir at the University of Iceland, told AFP News, that no volcanic activity has been detected since early Saturday morning. The Grímsvötn eruption started on Saturday, May 21. After two days of intense activity, the eruption petered out, and was all but over last Wednesday. According to the Department of Civil Protection, there is still considerable clean-up work to be done in the aftermath of the eruption.