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There are unlimited trekking opportunities in Iceland, and walks can range from an afternoon hike to a two-week wilderness trek. Some of the country's best hiking can be found in the remote areas of Landmannalaugar, Látrabjarg and Hornstrandir, or in Reykjanesfólkvangur, right in Reykjavík's backyard. There are good skiing facilities at Reykjavík, Akureyri, Bláfjöll (just southeast of Reykjavík) and Hlíðarfjall (near Akureyri). You can also try sledding on the Langjökull Icecap, whitewater rafting on the Hvítá (White River), spelunking in the Hallmundarhraun Caves near Húsafell, horseback riding in the interior and swimming in geothermal pools. For something a little different, you can have a hit-out at the Arctic Open, held in Akureyri, which is an all-night 'midnight sun' golf tournament attracting amateurs and professionals from around the world.
The largest nationwide festival of the year is Independence Day (17 June), a time of colourful parades, street music and dancing, outdoor theatre and general merriment. Other nationwide celebrations include: Sjómannadagurinn (first week in June), which is dedicated to seafarers, and has participants competing in swimming contests, tugs-of-war and sea rescues; Midsummer (24 June), when tradition has it that Midsummer Night's dew possesses magical healing powers and that to roll in it naked will cure 19 different health problems; and Sumardagurinn Fyrsti (the third Thursday in April), a carnival-style celebration for the first day of summer. Among the local festivals is Pjódhátíð Vestmannaeyjar (August; Vestmannaeyjar), an earth-shaking event of immense bonfires, outdoor camping, dancing, singing, eating and getting uproariously drunk. Elsewhere in Iceland Verslunarmannahelgi (August) is celebrated with barbecues, horse competitions, camping out, family reunions and excessive alcohol consumption.
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