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Iceland

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We have been bitten by the wanderlust bug and have been itching to get away from gloomy Ireland for far too long.

We are forever checking airline prices, swooning over travel blogger’s Instagrams and wishing we could just drop everything, grab our passports and abandon the dull realities of everyday life.

There are too many places we want to go to but one at the very top of our list is Iceland.

The Irish Globetrotter aka Niamh McDonnell sat down with us to share her words of wisdom after a recent trip to Iceland.

Niamh headed to Iceland for three full days and managed to squeeze everything and anything into her quick getaway.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Flights:

“We flew into Reykjavik on Thursday afternoon with Icelandair, who are so lovely to fly with. The two-hour flight was a breeze, especially because of the TVs.”

The flight cost €120. Niamh recommends booking your flights at least three months in advance to get the best deal.

Accommodation:

Airbnb is extremely popular over in Iceland so you’ll have a much easier time finding somewhere to stay if you rent an apartment as opposed to staying in a hotel. Niamh and her pals found an apartment that slept up to six people.

The apartment cost €625 between their gang, which works out just at a little over €100 each.

“Staying near the main strip will make your trip a lot easier, as that’s where all the bars, pubs, restaurants and shops are. Staying close by will save you a lot of hassle, especially on nights out.”

The other great thing about renting an apartment is having a kitchen to rustle up meals throughout the day. “The food in Iceland isn’t the best and is extremely overpriced, so making breakfast and sandwiches to snack on during tours was a huge help financially,” Niamh shared.

Night Life:

Speaking of nights out, like every Irish person on holidays, Niamh ended up going to an Irish pub during her trip to Iceland. She said the best thing about the Irish bars is the mix of people you unexpectedly meet there.

“There were international students and Norwegian sailors drinking in one Irish bar, and the atmosphere was so different.”

“Dubliners is a great spot, as is the Drunken Rabbit, where you can order food from the fish and chips next door whilst you’re enjoying a pint.”

"Appy Hour is a life-saving app that will show you all the local drink offers, which will be a huge help to you as Iceland can be super pricey,” Niamh shared.

Sightseeing:

“We booked our tours with Reykjavik Excursions for €330. This price included the Northern Lights tour, pick up at the airport, Blue Lagoon entrance and drinks, Golden Circle tour, a glacier tour and even pick up on our last day.”

“Head to the Blue Lagoon in the early evening because you will experience it during daylight and as the sun sets.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The main reason she headed to Iceland was to see the Northern Lights, so it’s safe to say Niamh was gutted when the weather meddled with her plans.

“We were scheduled to go see the Northern Lights on Friday evening, but the tour company cancelled the trip because of the weather.”

September and October are supposed to be the best months to go, but the weather wasn’t on Niamh’s side. It was extremely overcast and cloudly on the second night they tried to see the lights.

Despite the Northern Lights disappointment, Niamh adored seeing the glaciers and waterfalls Iceland is so famously known for.

“We went on a four-hour tour to see glaciers and waterfalls, which was an experience I’ll never forget,” Niamh said.

“The only thing is the weather is extreme. There was one point where I had to get down on my hunkers because the wind was so harsh, so dress warmly.”

Forget about your Nike runners and OOTD Instagram snaps, because all you want to wear in Iceland are a pair of boots and about 50 layers.

Flights: €120

Accommodation: €125

Spending money: €350

Sightseeing/tours: €330

Total: €925

Niamh experienced all Iceland has to offer and more for less than €1000 so if you’ll need us we’ll be booking our flights immediately.

 

 

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The beautiful people at Iceland have heard the hungry cries of the vegans.

The supermarket has just announced an exciting new range of meat-replicating’ plant-based foods, following the success of It’s No Bull Burger. 

If you don't know what a No Bull Burger is – YOU HAVEN'T LIVED. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The news keeps getting better, as Iceland has rolled out the 13 new vegan products in 24 stores around Ireland, today. 

Our mouths are already watering at the sounds of No Porkies Chorizo (the first meat-replicating chorizo, I'll have you know). 

No Chick Chunks, and No Bull Asian Burgers are also on the menu, which includes wheat protein seasoned with Asian spices – for all those vegan gains, baby!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Iceland's plan behind this new line was to give people an option to cook like they would meat, but to get in all those plant-based foods without sacrificing the taste or texture.

This new vegan range is a part of Iceland’s innovative pledge, which will see the removal of palm oil from their own food labels by the end of this year. 

It's a serious win-win!

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In a move which has made history, Iceland has become the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women.

It has been established that the new legislation, which came into force on Monday, will make it necessary for companies and government agencies with more than 25 employees to obtain government certification for their equal-pay policies.

Failure to comply with the legislation, which represents the country's mission to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022, will result in monetary fines.

Board member of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, elaborated on the new system, saying: "It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally."

"We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap."

"Women have been talking about this for decades and I really feel that we have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realise that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more," Pind added.

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Iceland is becoming more and more popular with Irish wanderlusts, with the beautiful landscapes and gorgeous cities.

There are a few things you definitely shouldn't miss while in the land of fire and ice, and we have them listed right here. 

1. Northern Lights

Obviously the Northern Lights are a must-see when in Iceland, and there are a few key places you can go to witness the spectacular phenomenon. 

Some of the most popular places to see the Aurora is Landmannalauger, Vik on the south coast, the West Fjors or at the harbour in Borgarnes. 

2. Whale Watching Tours

There is so much marine life to be seen off the Icelandic coast, and a whale watching tour is a great way to enjoy an authentic experience.

With tours ranging from €50-€100 and a menagerie of animals to see including whales, seals and puffins, it's well worth the trip. 

 

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3. Gullfoss Waterfall

This famous waterfall is renowned for its glorious three-step fall, which gives the rushing river a unique look that is well worth the trek to see.

The waterfall is also an excellent point of activity, where you can embark on diving, glacier hiking and snowmobiling endeavours from. 

 

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4. Glacier Snowmobiling

One for the thrill seekers, gliding across a glacier on a snowmobile is an unforgettable experience.

There are a number of companies who provide the service, but one of the most popular departs right from the Gullfoss falls. 

 

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5. Appy Hour

When in Reykjavík, quite a few bars and clubs run their happy hour until midnight, and with Iceland not being the cheapest country to visit, the more bargains you can get the better. 

To cater to this, there is an app called Appy Hour which you can download to find the best deals in the city.

We definitely recommend downloading it before you go. 

 

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It's good news if you're on the job hunt because nearly 300 new positions are coming to Ireland.

Food retailer, Iceland, has announced that it will create 270 jobs across the country as part of a new investment which will see nine new stores open in the Republic.

New outlets will open in Tallaght, Galway, Cork (Douglas, Ballincollig, Fermoy), Limerick, Gorey, Shannon and Letterkenny.

Image result for iceland ireland

Ron Metcalfe, Managing Director of Iceland Ireland said: "This new investment sees 2017 as our biggest year yet with our nine new stores opening.

"We’re looking forward to bringing great value and a brand customers can trust to Tallaght, Galway, and across the country this year, as well as welcoming new team members to the Iceland family."

Iceland currently has 13 stores across Ireland in various parts of Dublin, Waterford and Kerry.

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With feminist issues hitting headlines daily, it is glaringly obvious that women are still being treated differently at work and within society in comparison to their male counterparts.

But while most women recognise the existence of a gender pay gap, not all of us have physically taken to the streets in search of change.

On Monday, Icelandic women went about countering that system by walking out of work at 2.38pm, cutting their working day by 14 percent to reflect the fact that on average women in Iceland earn 14-18 percent less than men.


Thousands of women gathered in Reykjavik’s main square after leaving their places of work. 

Many took to Twitter to document the protest with powerful videos, statements and images.

 

The country has a strong history of women demanding equality.  On October 24 1975, 90 percent of the country’s female citizens went on strike by refusing to work, cook or provide childcare.

Up until that point only nine women had ever won seats in Iceland’s parliament.  Five years later the country made Vigdis Finnbogadottir its – and Europe’s – first female president.

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Irish model Roz Purcell is currently living it up in Iceland but something very nasty happened to her lips yesterday. 

The brunette beauty took to Instagram to share the horror of seeing her lips all swelled and puffed up after she went snorkelling in the cold.

Roz wrote: "They warned us of the after effects of snorkelling in minus temperatures."

She then goes on to describe her ordeal, saying that she appeared rather differently under water.

"The 'Angeline Jolie effect' lips. In the water I actually looked like Mrs. Fish… In the worst way possible."

But that didn't stop her from munching down on Iceland's "infamous" hotdog today. 

It does seem that Bressie is having a spot of bother with food while Roz is away though, posting a picture to Twitter and begging his girlfriend to come home.

We're not even sure what he was supposed to be cooking there. 

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Rejoice! One recent poll has revealed that 100 percent of us Irish ladies (that's all of us, allegedly) think less of a man who can’t light the BBQ when the time comes.

We honestly don’t care that there’s only one weekend in the year where the grill can actually be dusted off and put to good use; we still appreciate a man who’s prepared for any and all food cravings. It’s not that difficult, lads!

In a shock turn of events, the smouldering Christian Grey himself has been tossed aside as 37 percent of the country’s women would much rather share a BBQ evening with funny man Chris O’Dowd.

Well, you can’t deny Chris would be better banter; Christian meanwhile would be too busy fantasising about braiding our hair.

It’s furthermore been discovered that stunner Georgia Salpa is the lovely lady Irish men wouldn’t mind toasting marshmallows alongside. Someone should probably let the lads know that Greek salad could be a winner there, so maybe lay off the hot-dog innuendos.

The poll, conducted by Iceland, confirms that women really do appreciate the more traditional BBQ-loving man who isn’t afraid to take charge of firing up the grill.

So those hipster guys with their kale smoothies and flammable scarfs can sit themselves back on their yoga mats, thanks all the same.

Interestingly, nine out of ten of those asked said that the women of the household are more likely to be in charge of the side-dishes during BBQ season. 

And almost half of the population also admit that they’ve thrown a few more unusual items on the barbie: popcorn being one, alongside Mars bars. 

If you do fancy branching out this sunny season and expanding your foodie horizons, definitely take a trip to your local Iceland.

They’ve gone ‘wild’ this summer and are launching a range of speciality meat for all your BBQ needs. Sorry Skippy, but kangaroo is an option. So is crocodile, swordfish and wild boar.

We’re feeling a Bear Grylls vibe coming on…

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If, like us, you're looking for a relaxing weekend after the madness of Patrick's Day, a Saturday night in could definitely be on the cards.

Couch, duvet, a great movie, good company… all that's missing is the food!

We'll be forgoing the takeaway this weekend in place of a far cheaper and more convenient option, now that Iceland's award-winning frozen pizza range has finally hit Irish stores.

Iceland's nine-inch pizza range uses unique ingredients to create some seriously mouth-watering flavour combinations including the Chilli Hot Dog Stuffed pizza and the Pulled Pork Ultra Thin. The range also features Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Fajita, Meat Feast Ultra Thin and the Piri Piri Ultra Thin.

Pizza traditionalists can choose from favourites like the Four Cheese Deep Pan and the Double Pepperoni Deep Pan – or liven things up with more varied toppings like Spicy Chicken and Hoisin Duck. 

We're getting hungry just thinking about it…

If you're looking for something a little lighter, check out the Italian Wood Fired Ultra Thin pizzas. Made in Italy, in the foothills of the Dolomites, these pizzas are baked in a woodfired oven ensuring an ultra-thin and crispy base. 

Prices range from just €1.25 to €3.00, meaning we're tempted to try out more than one… em, did we just say that out loud?!

Iceland now has eight branches across the country in Ballyfermot, Carlow, Coolock, Finglas, Longford, Midleton, Navan Road and Waterford. If you're planning on buying more than just a pizza, you can also avail of a free Home Delivery Option on any purchases totalling €30 or more – giving you more time to get cosy on the couch!

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Oooh, talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

Peter Andre almost caused a Twitter meltdown after his recent appearance on Celebrity Juice. The forty-one-year old TV personality hinted that he finds his role as the face of supermarket chain, Iceland, a little embarrassing. Not the slickest of career moves!

Peter made the comments after co-panelist Olly Murs discussed the fact he had won Male Rear Of The Year. Attempting some banter with the lovely Olly, Peter said: “Olly, dude, you don’t need to be embarrassed, I’ve done an Iceland advert.” Cue major face-palming from the other guests when they realised Peter’s gaffe.

People took to Twitter to suggest Katie Price’s ex-husband might be dropped from Iceland’s campaigns as a result, saying “You won’t have an Iceland deal for much longer after that comment!”

But luckily for the star, the store saw the funny side, saying: “He was just joking. It’s the nature of the show, he’s a top bloke!” Phew.

Many celebs have been unceremoniously dropped from major campaigns in the past for illegal or inappropriate behaviour, but Peter probably knew that Iceland would take his cheeky comments on the chin.

Still, he might not be so lucky next time!

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A Channel 4 documentary has revealed that Iceland has the best diet in the world.

Apparently the people of Iceland keep their health in tip top condition with a diet of fresh fish, high quality meat and dairy products – sounds do-able!

In the documentary, a group of leading nutritionists ranked different countries and tribes diets based on weekly shops and typical foods. Unfortunately, Ireland didn’t even make it into the top ten:

1. Iceland

2. Italy

3. Greece

4. Seventh Day Adventists (form of Christianity)

5. Japan

6. Sweden, Norway, Denmark (joint)

7. The Kuna Indians (Panama)

8. France

9. Spain

10. The Netherlands

Pfft. We don’t need their validation anyway – now pass the potatoes!

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After searching high up and low down, the world’s best diet has finally been revealed and it is not too far from Ireland – well, not really…

Channel 4’s documentary, The World’s Best Diet  awarded Iceland the sought after title because of their diet of fresh fish, good quality meat and dairy. Apparently, the Icelandic have the secret to living longer and eating healthier.

Each country or tribe – yes, they even looked at tribes – in the documentary, which was presented by Jimmy Doherty and Kate Quilton, was ranked according to diet based on weekly grocery shop and daily meals and obviously Iceland came out on top.

Italy came in a close second and Greece a close third with the league table basing their findings on life expectancy, obesity, heart disease and diabetes in each country.

Unfortunately, Ireland didn’t come in the top 10 but here is the full list in case you had dreams of living in a country where the people have a good, healthy diet.

1. Iceland
2. Italy
3. Greece
4. Seventh Day Adventists (form of Christianity)
5. Japan
6. Sweden, Norway, Denmark (joint)
7. The Kuna Indians (Panama)
8. France
9. Spain
10. The Netherlands

The Marshall Islands came last so you might want to avoid here if you want to stay healthy…

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