Monthly Archives

March 2016

Want to buy Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon? You could have your chance, as it’s to be put up for auction on April 14

By | Icelandic Nature, Local News From Iceland, TaxiTravel.is Tours | No Comments

The District Commissioner of South Iceland has accepted a request that the farm of Fell in South East Iceland should go up for auction, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV reports. The farm, which is owned by a large number of parties, covers the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland.

The landowners and the owner of Jökulsárlón ferðaþjónusta, which runs tours on the lagoon, as well as operating facilities on its shore, have been unable to come to an agreement on the future of the lagoon, including the construction and operation of new facilities to handle the rapidly growing tourism at the lagoon. The owner of the travel company at the lagoon and some of the landowners have offered to buy out other owners, but the two groups have not been able to come to an agreement.

The local business weekly Viðskiptablaðið reported last year the group represented by the travel company had offered to pay 240 million ISK (1.9 million USD/1.7 million EUR) for the share of the land owned by the other group.

The municipal government of Hornafjörður, which is responsible for zoning and local administration at the lagoon, has demanded the landowners come to an agreement on the construction of new facilities by the lagoon. Current development plans, which have been approved, include two large structures to house restaurants, toilet facilities and a visitor centre, as well as boat hangars.

RÚV reports that one of the two groups fighting over the future of the lagoon is unhappy with the decision to put the land up for auction, saying the decision will be appealed to the courts. According to the decision by the District Commissioner the auction will take place on April 14.

 

From icelandmag.visir.is

Beautiful video of divers in crystal clear waters in lava fissure Silfra in Þingvellir national park

By | Icelandic Nature | No Comments

The deep and frequently dramatic lava fissures are one of the things which give Þingvellir national park its captivating beauty. The fissures offer a striking contrast between the delicate and fragile plant life and the most dramatic forces of nature, as the fissures are formed as the European and American tectonic plates drift away from one another.

One of the best known fissures in Þingvellir is Silfra, which is filled with ice cold water which has been filtered crystal clear by the lava field. All of this makes Silfra a stunning diving spot, visited by thousands of travellers every year.

 

Keflavik Airport

Keflavík International Airport ranked one of world’s best airports in 2015

By | Iceland in the News, TaxiTravel.is Tours | No Comments

According to the Airport Council International, a trade group representing airports, Keflavík International Airport is among the best airports in Europe. The ACI asked visitors to rate airports according to a number of criteria, including security gates, check-in, passport control, restaurants, shops and other facilities and services. Despite problems, including long lines and delays, caused by the strain caused by a record number of travellers last year, Keflavík Airport came out among the best airports in Europe.

The local news site vf.is reports that ACI has previously ranked Keflavík among the best airports of Europe. In 2009, 2011 and 2014 the Airport came out in first place. This year however, Keflavík landed in third place. This is a very good result, considering the problems the airport faced last year, Björn Óli Hauksson, the CEO of Isavia, which operates the airport, argues.

Keflavík shares the third place with four other airports, Copenhagen, Porto, London Heathrow and Vienna. Four airports share second place, Zurich, Malta, Prague and Dublin. Three Russian airports share first place, Pulkovo in St Petersburg, Sochi and Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.

Isavia has announced plans to expand the airport six-fold by 2040 to deal with growing traffic. Work on the project, which will allow the airport to handle as many as 25 million passengers annually, will start next year.

Foreign travellers seem determined to get into danger by Gullfoss waterfall

By | Icelandic Nature, TaxiTravel.is Tours | No Comments

Many tour guides and members of the Icelandic tourism industry fear that Gullfoss waterfall could become the next scene for a serious accident to take place at popular tourist destinations in Iceland. Visitors keep ignoring warning signs posted by the waterfall, venturing down a dangerous walking path which has been closed due to ice for the winter.

Photographs and videos of foreign travellers ignoring warning signs which close a walking path leading to Gullfoss waterfall have caused quite a stir in Iceland over the weekend. Photographs of travellers crossing a chain link fence and Police tape telling people not to cross onto the path, have been shared on social media, as well as being published by all major news outlets. Many fear it is only a question of time before a serious accident takes place. A local guide warns that the tourism industry will suffer if the authorities don’t step in immediately to ensure the safety of travellers.

A video shot on Saturday March 5 shows where travellers either climb over or push under the chain link fence closing the path leading up to the cliff by Gullfoss waterfall. The travellers, some with small children in their arms, then walked right up to the edge of the canyon. As can be seen in the video the conditions by the waterfall were not ideal, with people clearly having a hard time finding their footing due to snow and ice.

A local guide, Hermann Valsson, who took the video and photographs in this story, told the local news site visir.is that the authorities must step in to ensure the safety of foreign visitors: “There has been a conversation among us in the tour guide profession about the situation which has developed, and we all agree it is necessary to increase safety and security at popular sites. We need more guards to ensure things go well.”