Lately Iceland’s currency, the krona, has been one of the best selling currencies at our branches. That prompted us to ask: Why have so many people suddenly decided to visit Iceland?
Iceland’s economy is in the midst of a transition away from finance. Following the euro crisis, Iceland took a hard stance on its banks and shifted focus to tourism – and the industry is now booming. Iceland has done a lot to promote tourism and build the requisite infrastructure. The result: people from all over the world want to visit Iceland.
Iceland boasts some of the world’s most beautiful natural sites. From the fjords of the west, to the glaciers of the east, the country has a beautiful and stark landscape. Although central iceland is difficult to traverse, the coast offers some of the best views you’re likely to find anywhere in the world.
Of course you can’t discuss Iceland without mentioning its geothermal activity. Iceland is world famous for its geothermal pools, hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes – no wonder Iceland is such a hot destination.
Icelandic People and culture
On top of Iceland’s stunning natural beauty the country is also home to friendly people with a unique culture and fascinating history. Vikings (and their slaves) first colonised the island over 1200 years ago, and it has the longest running parliament in the world. In contrast to Iceland’s Viking history, the crime rate is among the lowest in the world. As a bonus to North American tourists, most of the population speaks excellent English.
Icelandair has some of the cheapest flights between North America and Europe, and offers a one of a kind deal. If you book a flight to Europe with Icelandair you can choose to fly direct, or take a layover for as long as 7 days…plenty of time to explore the capital Reykjavík. It isn’t just Icelandair however, the aviation industry is booming in Iceland. Flying to Iceland is now cheaper than ever before.
The Northern Lights
If you want to experience the Northern Lights, visit Iceland. Although the lights are also visible in many other places around the world, Iceland offers some of the most vivid, and most comfortable Northern Lights experiences. Many resorts offer special accommodations that allow you to watch the lights dance from the comfort of the great indoors, but if you feel more adventurous you can always drive or hike out beyond the city for a personal show.
Strong Exchange Rate
One reason that so many Canadians want to visit Iceland is the exchange rate. At the time of writing 1 CAD is worth 94.0654 ISK. Most Nordic countries are slightly more on the expensive side, but because of the favourable exchange rate, Iceland is a popular option for Canadian tourists.
Summer is a great time to visit
In the summer Iceland fails to live up to its name. The snow is long gone (aside from glaciers in the higher elevations) and the entire country is covered in a lush rich green, contrasted beautifully by the dark volcanic rock. Thanks to its high latitude Iceland enjoys almost 24 hours of sunlight during the peak of summer.
… but winter isn’t bad either
Winter in Iceland is, as you might expect, cold, but no worse than anything we experience here in Canada. The Gulf Stream takes the edge off the winter, and although there is considerably less daylight, that only makes it easier to see the Northern Lights.
You can purchase Icelandic króna with the click of a button on FXtoGO! If you want to do it the old fashioned way, pay a visit to your nearest Continental branch. Learn all about Iceland’s history, culture, sights, and currency at Continental’s Countries!
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