Beat the Heat: Go to Iceland in August - Ski Mag

Beat the Heat: Go to Iceland in August

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Planes, Trains, and Donkeys

The dreaded triple H's have descended upon parts of the U.S. with a vengeance. For those who spend hazy, hot and humid vacation days at the beach, good for you. But here's a cool option that's closer than you think: Iceland, the adventure vacationland in the North Atlantic. At 4-1/2 hours flying time, it's closer to the East Coast than Los Angeles, but the average daily midsummer temperature in Reykjavik, the world's northernmost national capital, is only 50 degrees F.  

August is one of the two most popular months for tourism in Iceland. Insomniacs will love the late sunset, the weather is as warm as it gets (but not too warm), and there are plenty of activities and discounts.

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Reykjavik Tourist Card

- This handy discount card provides admission to all the thermal pools in the capital city, public transport, the National Museum, the Family Park and Zoo and many more attractions. Available in increments of 24, 48 or 72 hours, the card is sold at the Reykjavik Tourist Information Center and other selected outlets. (For more information:

visitreykjavik.is

).

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Gay Pride Parade

, Aug. 7-10 - This colorful event brings thousands of people to the city center every year to show solidarity and celebrate with the gay community in the capital city. (For more information:

gaypride.is

).

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Reykjavik Cultural Night

, Aug. 23 - The Cultural Night has become an essential part of cultural life in Iceland with more than a third of the nation's population strolling the streets of Reykjavik. (For more information:

visitreykjavik.is

).

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Reykjavik Marathon

, Aug. 23 - Coinciding with Cultural Night, this annual event involves thousands of participants from Iceland and abroad. Full marathon, half marathon and a shorter fun-run are offered for runners. (For more information:

marathon.is

).

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Stay Cool as a Puffin

- How do puffins stay cool? See for yourself. In the summer, there are approximately 4-6 million Atlantic puffins breeding in the hills of the Westman's largest island, Heimaey (pop. 4,300). Now you can keep an eye on these parrots of the sea with the new Puffin Cam, recently installed outside the main town. What's more, from your laptop you can pan left or right, zoom in or out, or tilt up or down. See these comical birds at

puffin.eyjar.is

.   

To learn more about vacationing in Iceland, visit

icelandtouristboard.com

.

For special Iceland travel packages timed to coincide with Hollywood's big screen premiere of the remake of the Jules Verne classic,

Journey To The Center Of The Earth

starring Brendan Fraser, visit

Icelandair.com

. Roundtrip airfare, a bus tour, two nights lodging and some meals start at $1,065 pp double occupancy.

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