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Growing numbers visit beautiful Reykjanes peninsula: Record increase in number of overnight stays

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

Reykjanes peninsula has seen a larger increase in the number of overnight stays than any other part of Iceland. The increase between 2010 and 2015 was a whopping 245%, compared to a national average of 161%. The growth is explained by the proximity to the Keflavík International Airport, and the rugged natural beauty, geothermal areas and lava fields of the Reykjanes Geopark.

According to the regional news site vf.is the growth in the number of overnight stays has been strongest in West Iceland and the South West, especially Reykjanes. Proximity to the Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík and the capital region seem to be particularly important, as the smallest increase has been in East Iceland, where the number of overnight stays has grown by 138%.

At the same time as the number of foreign visitors and overnight stays has grown, the supply of hotel rooms has increased. However, the growth in the number of hotel rooms has been far slower than the growth in the number of visitors. In 2014 and 2015 the number of foreign visitors to Iceland grew by 175%, when the number of hotel rooms in the Reykjanes peninsula grew by 95%, leading to a better occupancy ratio of hotel rooms.

Unaralleled natural beauty
Reykjanes peninsula is not only home to the Keflavík Airport and one of Iceland‘s best known and most popular tourist attractions, the Blue Lagoon, but also countless other beautiful sights worth visiting.

The rugged lava fields of Reykjanes are among the most beautiful in Iceland. The last major period of volcanic activity in the region began shortly before Iceland was settled, in the 8th and 9th centuries, and came to an end in the mid-13th century. These lava fields formed in these eruptions are still relatively barren, since very little vegetation other than moss has managed to colonize the hostile lava fields.

The four major volcanic systems on the Reykjanes peninsula include hundreds of open fissures and major high temperature geothermal systems, characterized by intense surface activity that has created a diversity of colours contrasting with the black lava and the lush green moss. The best two of the best known, and most easily accessible, are on the Krýsuvík system south-west coast of Kleifarvatn and Eldvörp, west of the Blue lagoon.


From: //icelandmag.visir.is

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon to be drained in January, for the first time since 1999

By | Local News From Iceland | No Comments

The Blue Lagoon will be closed for two weeks in early January, during which time the lagoon will be completely drained. This is the first time since 1999 since the lagoon has been drained. On January 5 the lagoon will close to visitors, only to reopen on January 22.

The reason for the closing and draining of the lagoon is that the current facilities are being greatly expanded as a new five star luxury hotel is built by the lagoon. Construction of the hotel, which began late last year, is scheduled to be completed by spring 2017.

Grímur Sæmundsen, who was a guest on the morning show of the local radio station Bylgjan, says the draining is necessary for regular maintenance: The lagoon has not been drained since the current facilities were opened in 1999. This year more than 900,000 visitors are expected to come to the lagoon, and next year the number is expected to top 1,000,000 for the first time. At the same time it was necessary to close and drain the lagoon as it is being expanded by nearly half, from 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet) to 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet).

Grímur told Bylgjan that the expansion would give visitors a greater sense of expanse at the lagoon, and that it would improve both service and visitor experience. Since the current phase did not include an expansion of the locker rooms, the expansion of the lagoon would only result in more space for guests and an improved experience.

The water in the lagoon is constantly renewed with geothermal sea-water, pumped from boreholes at the nearby Svatsengi power plant. It will take between 6-12 hours to fill the lagoon after it has been emptied.


From: //icelandmag.visir.is