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Touring Iceland In A Hire Car

Feb 29, 2008
For the active tourist Iceland is the ideal place to hire a car and explore what has been described as a moonscape. Sitting on the mid-Atlantic ridge it is a volcanic island that is still active today; in fact there are 15 active volcanoes present on the island and 800 naturally hot springs. To visit as many as possible the use of a car hire service is essential, as public transport and the wilderness of much of the island makes travel difficult without a vehicle.

The capital Reykjavik is located, as many of the towns are, on the coast; it is the most northerly capital in the world although due to the warm Atlantic currents has a winter temperature close to that of New York.

Using a hire car to tour the many fjords surrounding the city makes a brilliant day trip. For naturalists Iceland offers the unique opportunity to see an unspoiled landscape. Mainly due to the limits of living inland, and also the energy industry on the island being dependent upon geo-thermal resources.

When touring Iceland in your hire car, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for 'Huldufolk', translated as 'hidden people.' The inhabitants of Iceland widely hold the belief that elves and gnomes live in the islands interior, it is believed almost 80percent of Icelanders believe in their existence. These beliefs are so strong that the highways agency of Iceland has a consultant who plans roads in areas where the least damage will be done to the 'hidden people.'

One event that is not to be missed in Iceland is 'Beer Day' on March 1st. Held in commemoration of the ending of 75 years of prohibition on the island it is festival for inhabitants and tourists alike. Just don't jump in your hire car after too many hours celebrating. Other celebrations occur during the summer months when perpetual daylight creates a carnival atmosphere across the island.

Driving your hire car across the interior has been described as setting foot on another planet; this was true for the astronauts of the first Apollo mission who used Iceland to train for eventually setting foot on the moon.

Skiing holidays are common in Iceland and offer the perfect chance to hire a car, head to the mountains and ski to your heart's content. The winters in Iceland are hard, the interior of the island is mostly uninhabited but in winter, journeys anywhere but along the coast are mostly abandoned. It may seem like an adventure, but trying to explain to the car hire company that the car is trapped in a snow drift is not advisable.

The Viking heritage of Iceland is unmistakable; the resemblance to Scandinavia is clearly visible. The language is debatably one of the oldest in existence. Icelanders today could read the sagas written a thousand years ago and still comfortably converse with tourists in English. The first Europeans to discover America are believed to have left Iceland and built a settlement in Newfoundland 500 years before Columbus made the journey.

The spas of Iceland are a fundamental part of any visit. The mineral rich waters are good for the senses while the mud of spa resorts is extremely beneficial to the skin; a must for those wishing to come back from Iceland looking refreshed and rejuvenated.

Visiting Iceland and using a car hire service is the best way to sample all this unique culture has to offer. The striking alien landscape will astound visitors while the warm and friendly islanders will have tourists joining in the choruses of Viking songs. A trip to Iceland is a worthwhile experience that will be enjoyable for all the family.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty has visited the volcanic isle many times and recommends the use of Budget's car hire Iceland services to travellers. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/car-hire/car-hire-iceland.htm
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