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Deals: The Financial Meltdown Thaws Prices in Iceland

Scott Vogel

"OUR LOSS - YOUR GAIN .... DEVALUATION IS SILVER LINING FOR AMERICANS," pleads a page on Iceland's official tourism Web site. They aren't kidding.

The financial crisis may be a worldwide thing, but nowhere have things turned so serious so fast than this once-expensive island nation of 320,000. With Iceland facing "national bankruptcy," as its prime minister recently put it, the entire country is effectively on sale. Three course meals at Reykjavik's Lobster House restaurant are going for $26, the four-star Hilton Nordica is offering $114 rooms on Expedia and a dip at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa costs just 20 bucks.

Blow off some steam at the Blue Lagoon leisure spa in Iceland. (Photo By Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

It's a beleaguered American tourist's dream, right? Especially with flights on Icelandair running an unbelievable $476 roundtrip from New York, taxes included. And so, "it's business as usual in Reykjavík ...despite the current financial turmoil affecting Iceland," according to the city's tourism site. But before you jump on that plane, four words: Take plenty of cash. With the Icelandic krona in freefall, most businesses are accepting foreign currencies; moreover, tourists have reported trouble when trying to withdraw money from ATMs in Icelandic banks. It's a, um, fluid situation, as they say.

By Scott Vogel |  October 15, 2008; 7:33 AM ET  | Category:  Scott Vogel
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Oh MAN I wish I had some vacation time left. And uhhh...I wish it wasn't October. I'd imagine weather isn't the best up that way right now.

Posted by: Liz | October 15, 2008 8:18 AM

We were there just last year and scrimped on our expenses because everything was so darn expensive. While I'm sorry their economy is in meltdown, it would have been nice if these prices had been available when we were there! Heck, we would have been happy paying twice that amount for a nice dinner and hotel. Instead, we picked up ready made food at a convenience store and stayed in a B&B.

Posted by: rockville | October 15, 2008 8:35 AM

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