Category Archives: Famous Sights

What to do in Iceland. Dohop Staff picks.

What to do in Iceland. Dohop Staff picks.

Iceland: Dohop Staff favorites   

We love Iceland. It’s where Dohop’s travel search engine was created, where we have our headquarters and it’s also a rich resource for our love of outdoor adventure.

We thought it would be fun to share with you some of our favorite landmarks and attractions in Iceland among the Dohop staffers. Dohop takes pride in helping you find the best price on your flight, hotel and rental car. So, we thought we could also help by showing you some of the best spots to explore in Iceland, whether you are a true adventurer or prefer city life.

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Team Dohop on a hike in Iceland in July 2016

South Iceland 

  1. Glymur –  is the highest waterfall in Iceland. It’s amazing and makes for a great hike when the weather is clear. It’s only an hour drive from Reykjavík and a convenient stop during a South Iceland road trip.
  2. Hella – is named for the caves along the Ytri-Rangá river, it’s rural, pretty and home to some of the best skydiving in Iceland. The town has a quiet small-town vibe and was the location for the first novel of the same name by renowned author Hallgrímur Helgason.
  3. Háifoss – is not far from the soon-to-erupt Hekla volcano and is the second highest waterfall in Iceland. Its gorgeous views are other-worldly. It’s best explored using a 4×4 car and in summer.
  4. Vestmanneyjar –  even sailing to this beautiful island is a memorable experience. Adults and kids love it there for its swimming pool, sailing, golf and baby puffins! There’s also a very interesting museum about the volcanic eruption in Heimaey.
  5. Þórsmörk –  the mountain ridge between Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull is a top destination for hikers, with many different trails varying in difficulty, within reach of many other impressive camping and hiking locations and excursions such as Landmannalaugar and Stakkholtsgjá.
  6. Paradísarhellir and Seljalandsfoss – the cave was an infamous hideout for forbidden lovers (who actually had a house and 8 children together). In order to enter the cave, you must climb a chain hand over hand, which makes it quite a fun location to visit.
  7. Seljavallalaug the “Old Pool” is close to Eyjafjallajökull and is a treasured landmark, as it’s one of the oldest pools in Iceland. After the 2010 eruption, volunteers used backhoes and elbow grease to remove ash and restore the pool to a useable state. It’s a nice pit stop on your way to Sólheimasandur and Vík.
  8. Skaftafell – the dramatic landscape is awe-inspiring and diverse, with huge mountains, glaciers, forest, desert and is a short distance from the glacial lagoons. It offers challenging mountaineering routes, short and long hiking trails and a very good camp site. Not far away, is Iceland’s best climbing area.
  9. Fjallsárlón – the glacial lagoons are some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Iceland. You can hike to this smaller and less crowded lagoon while taking in its spectacular mountainous backdrop.
  10. Jökulsárlón – the most famous of the Iceland glacial lagoons, it’s as surreal as it is majestic. You can spend hours there taking pictures from different vantage points, walking alongside the lagoon. You can watch icebergs tipping over and floating out to sea with seals swimming around them. Then, cross the Ring Road to explore a spectacular natural exhibition of crystal clear ice sculptures along the black sand beach.

North Iceland

  1. Dalvík – is a quiet town with a kid-friendly “beach.” You can catch fish at the pier and go to a museum of Jóhann the giant, all in the same day, with no stress involved. If timed right, you can enjoy The Great Fish Day or Fiskidagurinn mikli happening annually (4-7 August 2016).
  2. Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki in Vatnsnes – both are amazing natural rock formations, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, one in the sea and the other high above rural farmland with a commanding view over the plains.
  3. Ásbyrgi Canyon – it’s said to have been created by a hoof from Sleipnir, Oðin’s 8 legged horse. It’s a beautiful area, with plenty of camping, lots of walking and unusually for Iceland, plenty of trees.

West Iceland

Team Dohop enjoying the many bike and hiking trails across Iceland.

Team Dohop enjoying the many bike and hiking trails across Iceland.

  1. Reykjavik is all about visuals, design, creativity, great shops, great fashion and people watching. Merely sitting on a terrace and observing the people walking by can do more in terms of inspiration than any fashion magazine. Visits to the numerous museums and specialty shops or weekend strolls through downtown are a must. Keep an eye out for concerts, DJ sets and random dance parties, as nightlife in Reykjavik is an experience like no other. Then, enjoy a slow-paced day at one of the many great coffee shops – Eymundsson and Reykjavik Roasters being staff favourites.  Or, visit one of the many pools throughout the city (we recommend Laugardalslaug and Seltjarnarnes) to refresh. Whether it’s sunny or not, indoors or outdoors, you’ll always be warm and cozy in these geothermal heated pools.
  2. Vatnshellir – this relatively new (to the public) lava cave is located in Snæfellsjökull national park. It’s the closest you’ll get to experiencing Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.  
  3. Breiðavík and the West Fjords – its isolated and expansive yellow sand beach is framed by daunting fjords on either side. A short distance away you’ll find Látrabjarg, a cliff of cliffs and home to variety of cliff-dwelling birds including puffins. There are many small towns along the journey to Breiðavík, each with their own special thing.
  4. Arnarvatnsheiði – if you love driving enduro/motor cross bikes or ever wanted to try, here you will find plenty of road tracks on this magnificent Icelandic heath.
  5. Langjökull – is the 2nd largest glacier in Iceland after Vatnajökull. Snowmobile trips with expert guides are a must here. There is also a man-made ice cave adventure called “Into the Glacier” in Langjökull that is worth visiting. In the winter, wondrous northern lights, free of light pollution from the towns and cities, open the vast starry skies above.
  6. Kerlingarfjöll – is similar in landscape to Landmannalaugar but much closer to Reykjavik (only 3 hours drive) and easier to get to. Hike amidst some of the most colorful landscapes. Then, take a dip in Hveravellir pool to sooth your tired legs.

Reykjavik

If you are renting a car through Dohop, for your Great Iceland Roadtrip, here’s a great guide for finding gas stations along your journey.

Disclaimer: Iceland is beautiful. Its striking landscapes and sweeping views are intoxicating and awe-inspiring. But it can also be dangerous. Use precaution when exploring the vast mountains and glaciers as the terrain and weather can change before your eyes. Be mindful of the swift and often invisible currents of the rivers and ocean.  It is recommended that those visiting the countryside in Iceland engage an experienced guide.

pokemon go dohop travel

Pokémon Go and Next Level Travel

Who didn’t go crazy collecting Pokémon on the new Pokémon GO game this weekend? While the game is officially limited in availability to countries like the US, New Zealand and Australia, it was easy for those in other countries to get in on the action. Plus, if you’re from those regions and happen to be traveling, you can use the app to break the ice and meet new people.

 Pokémon Go for Next Level Travel

pokemon go dohop travelImagine the impact on an international level, where your bucket list trip abroad to, say, see Iceland’s Northern Lights is elevated by grabbing Pokéballs and Pokémon at PokéSpots atop glaciers, inside a volcano or when visiting cool historic landmarks like Thingvellir. NEXT LEVEL TOURISM!

We weren’t kidding about using the app to meet new people while traveling. Communities all over the world are connecting in new ways through the game, forming new teams and using the hunt to inspire new connections (of course, being aware of your surroundings to stay safe is still recommended). Here are some of the coolest Pokémon Go sightings yet

Pokémon Go at Dohop HQ

Since our office is above Reykjavik’s popular comic and gaming shop Nexus, we’re anticipating a few Pokémon Hunter sightings throughout the week.

Pokémon Go travel Dohop headquarters

We’ve already caught Rattata harassing our front end dev team. So who knows what you’d find popping by for a latte.

We’re no strangers to foot traffic here, as in addition to our award-winning travel search engine, <advert> we also offer a (paid) offline service to travelers and would-be travelers looking to get detailed assistance booking their travel plans. </advert>

 

If you’re at a loss for what the fuss is about, The Guardian has a comprehensive Pokémon GO for the n00bs” guide and Reddit has this handy thread full of tips and tricks.

 

 

10 Facts about Iceland Independence Day

10 Facts about Iceland Independence Day

Dohop-Anywhere-Iceland

First, on Iceland Independence Day, let us say Áfram Ísland!! We really look forward to tomorrow’s European Championships match against Hungary at Stade Vélodrome.

This week’s tied (1-1) #Euro2016 match against Portugal showed that Iceland and Icelanders should never be underestimated.

If you look at the history of Iceland, the small nation (note: not small minds, eh em, Cristiano Ronaldo) of 331,667 people (as of 14 June 2016) has achieved many great successes and serves as a model for how a small group of people can accomplish great things when they band together under a common goal (see what we did there).

Iceland Independence Day

iceland_flag

Today is Iceland Independence Day, or Þjóðhátíðardagurinn (Thyoth-how-teeth-ar-daggur-inn). It marks the day in 1944, when Iceland successfully gained independence from Danish rule. To celebrate, we’ve pulled together…

10 fun and interesting Iceland Independence facts:

  1. Iceland has the oldest parliament (Alþingi), established in Thingvellir in 930 A.D.
  2. Revisions to the 1918 Act of Union between Iceland and Denmark were postponed due to the war in 1943, thus delaying Iceland’s independence to 1944.
  3. 17 June was chosen as the official day of Independence to honor the birthday of Icelandic cultural icon Jón Sigurðsson, who was a leader of the Icelandic independence movement.
  4. It almost always rains on June 17th.
  5. The 1st President of Iceland, the office which replaced the Danish Monarch, was Sveinn Björnsson.
  6. Iceland has had only 5 Presidents, including Vigdís Finnbogadóttir,the 1st woman to hold the office of the President in Iceland and Europe (1980-1996).
  7. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s 1st openly Lesbian head of government in the world in 2009.
  8. The Presidential Residence, Bessastaðir, was completed in 1766.
  9. The original settlement period (landnám) took 60 years, growing from 435 to +20,000 inhabitants.
  10. Viking explorers settled in Iceland as farmers. You can tour Þjóðveldisbærinn,
    a re-creation of a typical Commonwealth-era viking village.

Bonus fact: Iceland’s national anthem, which is in part about a delicate flower, is also extremely difficult to sing. It requires the ability to sing in a diverse vocal range that is generally unattainable for the average person. In lieu of this, Icelanders can often be heard singing the “other national anthem” as witnessed during the European Championships earlier this week.

If you happen to be in Reykjavik today, here’s a schedule (dagskrá) of family-friendly happenings for Iceland Independence Day.

Wow Cyclathon

Team Dohop in WOW Cyclothon

Dohop knows all about being small but mighty, as we scale to reach new customers and travel territories across the world. Adopting the Icelandic “can do” attitude is deep within our company culture, too. Like Team Iceland,  Team Dohop took on a great challenge this week, participating in the WOW Cyclothon and raising funds for Hjolakraftur (“Cycling Energy”), which helps children and teens in need gain access to an active and healthy lifestyle.

If seeing this post makes you curious about exploring the small but mighty nation of Iceland, let Dohop help you get the best prices on flights, hotels and rental cars.

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Icelanders Dohop to European Championships

Icelanders Dohop to European Championships

 UEFA_European_championships_2016_Logo.svg

Áfram Ísland! European Championships, here we come!

Today marks the start of the European Championships. We’re so excited to be a big part of the game this year, supporting our National Team in France and helping fans from around the world get the best flights, hotels and rental cars for the best possible pricing and schedules.

Team Dohop will be joining our fellow Iceland fans at Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Étienne to support the first Iceland match (of many!) on Tuesday, June 14.

There are so many amazing things about Iceland qualifying for the UEFA European Championships for the first time. Not only is Iceland the smallest nation to ever make it to the European Championships, its football program has only 75 professional soccer players (the Goalie is a filmmaker and the team trainer is still a practicing Dentist), and its season is only 5 months long (due to the weather). In 4 short years, Iceland’s FIFA ranking has moved from 112 to 33. Like so many things about Iceland, the team’s ability to overcome all odds to achieve success, can never be underestimated.

We want to make sure you have the tools you need to get to your favorite matches on time. Below we’ve compiled some info on how Dohop can help (how about a rental car instead of the train?!) as well as some handy resources to have by your side during the next month of soccer madness.

Dohop European championships 2016

 

Be Prepared: Union Strikes Affect Transportation

There are several union strikes in France across a number of industry sectors today and through the weekend. We encourage everyone to take some time planning their travel, as some air and rail services have and will continue to be impacted by demonstrations.

If you need to reroute or change your transportation plan, such as finding another flight route, booking an extra hotel night or getting a rental car, Dohop will help you get the best flight, hotel and rental car services for the best prices available to you.

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If you need updated details on the Air France strike, and how it may affect your travel plans, you can visit this information page. Air France anticipates that +90% of their flights will be in service on June 11.

The Local, a candid English language daily news site in France, has a snark-filled comprehensive A-Z guide of all things you should know about traveling to France for the European Championships over the next month– everything from Alcohol bans to  safety apps to Balthazar the rooster to avoiding delays due to the strikes.

Seljalandsfoss iceland

Summer Vacation Top 10 Destinations

It is summer vacation travel booking season for our US customers. If you are still trying to decide where to vacation this summer, these popular national and international destinations may inspire you. 

You love to get the best prices on flights, hotels and rental cars for your favorite vacation spots. On Dohop, we see thousands of travel searches every day. Our travel search engine makes it easy to find the best prices and schedules for your travel. Dohop lets you view and compare the most up-to-date information from airlines, hotels, rental companies and travel deal sites, all in one place.

Top US summer vacation destinations

The most popular places for national travel are also the most popular summer vacation destinations for our US customers. You’re all for sun, fun and historic sites!

You’re #1 pick for travel within the United States is…

summer vacation nyc new york city

  1. New York City
  2. Las Vegas, NV
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  5. Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  6. Chicago, IL
  7. Miami, FL
  8. Burbank, CA
  9. Atlanta, GA
  10. Washington DC
Book now

 

Top international summer vacation destinations

For international travel, the trends are polar opposite. A lot of you are going north to cool down. But many of you are embracing the summer heat and heading south– North, Central and South America make up 5 of the top 10 destinations on our list.

We love that the #1 international destination for US customers on Dohop is to our home country, Iceland. The near endless summer daylight in Iceland gives you the most sightseeing opportunities on any given day than just about anywhere in the world.

Summer vacation iceland

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. London, England
  3. Paris, France
  4. Santiago, Chile
  5. Dublin, Ireland
  6. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
  7. San Salvador, El Salvador
  8. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  9. Mexico City, Mexico
  10. Providenciales (Turks & Caicos)

No matter where you want to go this summer, Dohop will find the best prices on flights, hotels and rental cars. Anywhere. Simple.

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5 of the World’s Most Insane Roads

5 of the World’s Most Insane Roads

When you go abroad and rent a car, you are always a little nervous about driving, right? Will there be laws you don’t know about, do they drive on the same side of the road as you, what’s the deal with this roundabout and so forth.

Most of the time, of course, driving a rental car abroad is no problem. But then, you don’t often drive these roads. Take a look at the world’s most insane roads.

1. Tianmen Mountain Road, China

Photo credit: Yi Lu/Viewstock/Corbis

Photo credit: Yi Lu/Viewstock/Corbis

This is road leading up Tianmen Mountain in China. It is also reachable via an insane cable car ride.

These are the 11 Most Photograph Cities in the World. How Many Have You Been To?

These are the 11 Most Photograph Cities in the World. How Many Have You Been To?

You know how you always seem to see photos from the same cities, over and over? Well, there’s a reason for that.

Sightsmap.com lets us see what are the most photographed places in a particular area, such as in London or in New York City. They then highlight ten places that are the most popular in the area. But you can also zoom out and see the entire world. Which is exactly what we did. Turns out, tourists like photographing some cities more than others. Which ones? These:

11. Prague

PraguePhoto credit – flickr user theodevil

This is the Biggest Swimming Pool in the World. But That's Not The Amazing Part…

This is the Biggest Swimming Pool in the World. But That's Not The Amazing Part…

Take a look at these photos of San Alfonso del Mar in Chile and tell us you don’t want to go there. Then we’ll tell you two amazing things about it.

The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World

The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World

The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World

The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World

The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World

The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World

Amazing thing #1: The big pool is salt water. Not salty like the ocean, just salt water. The smaller pools are regular water. There is a heated pool inside the pyramid. Now imagine walking out in sandals with a towel around your waist and looking for the perfect spot by this gorgeous pool.

Amazing thing #2: The surprising thing is that this is not a hotel. It’s a private apartment complex so if you want to enjoy the sunshine and have fun in the pool, you have to buy or rent an apartment. And they are not easy to come by.

That pool though… amazing!

Do you know someone you’d want to spend time with by the pool? Share this post with them and see if they’ll buy you a flight to Chile 😉

There is another US. Go see it.

Travellers to the US most often visit well-know cities, such as New York, Las Vegas, Miami and Orlando. But the United States is really big and has a lot more to offer than cities that don’t sleep. A picture speaks a thousand words, so we are simply going to present you with some, let’s say inspirational, photos to get you to go somewhere else the next time you visit, or travel within, the US.

Enjoy!

The Painted Desert

Painted Desert, USA

Chicago

Chicago skyline

Alaska

Alaska waterfall

His mother wants him to tuck in the shirt

Fishing makes these guys happy

Yosemite National Park, California

Perhaps a little TOO pretty?

Not taken in Middle Earth, but Yosemite Park

Seavey Pass

Robin Lake

So the next time you think of the US, think outside the box.