A wonderful, concise and easy-to-follow travel book that really does justice to the beauty of Iceland.
I was taken aback when the author said that “When people normally think of Iceland, thoughts of cold weather, snow blizzards and, of course, ice arises.” because I felt as if the author was speaking directly about me! Indeed, that was all I used to think of Iceland. But after you are finished with this book, you will see how Iceland puts both Alaska (in terms of glaciers) and Philippines (in terms of beaches) to shame! Who would have known that Iceland could even have a beautiful beach like Reynisfjara Beach?
Reading along, you would feel that Iceland (or indeed the Arctic Circle) is a very highly underrated gem in terms of tourist attraction. The downside of Iceland is that the names (of places beaches, etc) are somewhat weird (they are not typical “English names” although the author makes an effort to include English substitutes wherever possible) so you would need to make an effort in memorizing them, but I would say that it is worth it. I like the author’s style, the way he takes the time to describe the natural beauty of a particular tourist attraction and then goes on to tell you how to get there: very precise and to-the-point indeed. On Laugavegur Hiking Trail, the author says: “This is one of the best hiking trails in Iceland. It gives you a panoramic view of the open nature around it connecting the green pastures with the blue colored sky. This trail starts from Landmannalaugar in the south of the country.”
Similarly, when describing museums, you get to know everything from what you can expect to find in the museum, the history of the museum, entry fees, opening hours of the museum, etc. As you can see, no matter what you want to know about Iceland, you only need to look through this guide.
Unfortunately, the book is not comprehensive. While I learned everything I needed to know about the major tourist attractions, transportation, activities I can indulge in, hotel accommodations, shopping malls, etc., I did not get to know much about the culture and society of Iceland beyond a few basics. I wish the author had covered this part just as well as he covered the natural beauty of the country. I believe it is very important information that a new tourist must know when he or she visits a foreign country, and in this context it becomes even more important information to include given how little information is available on the country in general. You get very little insight into the culture of Iceland through references to certain well known festivals which take place in the country (see chapter 2) but even then I was left unsatiated. Designwise, the photos included in the ebook show me “image not found” errors: I hope this is something the author fixes in the next edition of the eBook, as I would love to see the beautiful photos of this beautiful country (sometimes, an image speaks a thousand words).
On the bright side, it is a very short book so that you can finish it in a few hours no matter how busy you are. Overall, I can comfortably recommend this ebook to anyone who wants to visit Iceland and wishes to get a general overview of the country.