Hello clients and friends!

It has been awhile since we have had a destination specific newsletter, so today we will share some information about a place our travelers have been inquiring about lately:

It was about ten years ago that Icelandair started offering a free stopover in Iceland when you purchased a ticket to one of their destinations in Europe: if you wanted to spend a night in Iceland, Icelandair would pick up the cost of your hotel. While not free anymore, it is still inexpensive and easily arranged to stop for a night or two on your way to or from your European destination. And Icelandair offers consistently low fares and great service.
During the off season (January thru March) we can sometimes find fabulous packages with airfare, 2 or 3 nights lodging, and one excursion for roughly $600-700 per person. It also happens to be the best time of the year to see the spectacular Northern Lights.  
Despite the rather forbidding name and proximity to the Arctic circle, Iceland actually has a surprisingly temperate climate, thanks to the warm air of the Gulf Stream, so visiting any time of year is possible. Low temperatures in winter might be in the high 20s, while high temperatures in the summer might be in the low 60s. Since the country is run almost entirely on renewable geothermal energy, you will never be cold in an Icelandic hotel! (If you get too warm, just open the window…that is what the locals do!) 
When we were there a couple years ago, in October, the kiddos all enjoyed playing in one of the seven public pools in Reykjavik, pleasantly heated by the earth. The public pools also offer hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms, so the adults can relax while the youngsters play. 

Iceland is a popular place for skiing, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. For tourists that want to stay longer than just a night or two, we recommend a self-drive option. Highway 1 (the Ring Road) is just over 800-miles long, making it easy to circumnavigate the island and explore waterfalls, caves, farms, beaches and tiny towns to your hearts content. The Icelandic people are very friendly, and in general are happy to talk about their homeland with visitors. 
The one downside is that, being and island nation, much of the food needs to be imported. Meals are fairly expensive, approaching twice what we might pay for a meal out in the Seattle area. Booking a hotel that includes breakfast is a must, and adjusting your lunch and dinner budget accordingly. 
No journey to Iceland would be complete without a visit to one of the many geothermal hot springs. Most of us have heard of the Blue Lagoon, with its famous healing waters and therapeutic mineral mud. It is only 15 minutes from Keflavik (Reykjavik’s international airport) and is an easy stop on your way home since many departing flights leave in the evening. The Blue Lagoon offers showers, towel service, changing facilities, and even drink service while you are in the pools. 

It is important to note, however, that there are dozens of hot springs within an hour or two of Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is only the most famous one. We are happy to help you explore them all, if you are interested!
Finally, for you cruisers, Reykjavik has a small but active cruise port and many of the major cruise lines offer British Isles or Scandinavian itineraries that include a stop in this fascinating locale.  

Give us a call, we look forward to hearing from you! Our number is 425-827-5656 or you can simply reply to this email.

Anita Bornemann, Owner
Professional Travel Service, Inc.
Kirkland, WA

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Anita Bornemann
Owner, Professional Travel Service, Inc.
  (425) 827 5656