Air Iceland Connect Magazine Nº 02 · April–August 2019 · Your free copy
Adventures across the Arctic
Hverarond, Namaskard, Iceland, 65°N, +14°C, 24/6, 17:53
Keeping Iceland warm since 1926.
Contents 06 07 08 10 12 14 16 20 22 24 26 28 30
32 34 36 37 38 40 42
From our Managing Director Better bookings at Air Iceland Connect Happenings this spring and summer Bird’s-eye view: Connecting with the ice East Iceland’s fresh and local sushi Culinary treasures: Fish wrap – fast seafood Meditation and merriment in magical Hornstrandir Time travel at Mediaeval Days Snow White: The adventure lives on in Siglufjordur Interview: Airport managing and motorsport Eistnaflug: Metal fest with a heart Scaling adventures: Call of the mountains Instagrammers inspired G! Festival: Musical feast in the Faroe Islands Destination: Sailing and seafood in the Nuuk Fjord News from Air Iceland Connect Service and safety on board Route network and destinations Our fabulous fleet Map: Flying across Iceland
PUBLISHED BY AIR ICELAND CONNECT Editor: Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cover image: Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson Copy editor: Sarah Dearne Translations Icelandic ↔ English: Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir Contributing writers: Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir, Sarah Dearne, Thordis Jonsdottir, Larissa Kyzer, Aslaug Snorradottir, Chase Teron, Hlynur F. Thormodsson, Asa Trondardottir Frydal Contributing photographers: Max Furstenberg, Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson, Thorsteinn Roy Johannsson, E. Magnusson, Saviour Mifsud, Stefan Palsson, Mads Pihl, Roberto, Arni Saeberg, Haukur Sigurdsson, Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson, Aslaug Snorradottir, Asa Steinars, Chase Teron, Ingibjorg Torfadottir Advertising: airicelandconnect.com/mynorth Design: Bertrand Kirschenhofer, Jonas Unnarsson / Islenska Ad Agency Printing: Prenttaekni
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
The warm and cozy Saga Lounge at Keflavik International Airport is a place where you can put your feet up, dine in style and enjoy the picturesque views while you wait for your flight. We look forward to welcoming you. The Icelandair Saga Lounge is open to Saga Premium passengers, Saga Silver and Saga Gold members, and certain credit card holders. Guests must carry a boarding pass for a departing Icelandair flight.
From our Managing Director
Bright out look Dear traveller,
Welcome aboard. Welcome to “Our North”. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, spring and summer are short seasons and therefore we must make the most of them. We embrace the outdoors by hiking under the midnight sun, breathing in fresh air and flowery scents, and listening to cheerful springs and chirping birds. Now is the time for Highland adventures, angling in lakes and rivers, personal encounters with Greenland’s outlet glaciers (see page 10) and enjoying some of the many festivals held to celebrate the summer in the north. Arni Gunnarsson, Air Iceland Connect Managing Director
On the pages of this magazine you’ll find inspiration for summer adventures in our destinations. On page 16, photographer, designer and gourmand Aslaug Snorradottir takes her family and friends to remote Hornstrandir, where they catch fish and pick flowers for food, disconnect from all technology and instead practise outdoor recreation, yoga and meditation. Meanwhile, My North editor Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir travels back to the Middle Ages at the Gasir Mediaeval Days (see page 20) and goes sailing on the Nuuk Fjord to catch redfish for a feast at a secluded restaurant (see page 34). The fresher the fish, the better: on page 12 you can read about Icelandic sushi served in East Iceland and on page 14 a recipe for ling wrapped in flatbread – healthy, Icelandic “fast seafood”. We also make room for music. On page 26, we take you to Eistnaflug, East Iceland’s polite and joyful heavy metal festival. At the same time, G! Festival celebrates music in a unique atmosphere on a charming beach in the Faroe Islands (see page 32). Read more about thrilling summer events in our roundup on page 8, including orienteering in the Greenlandic outback and Culture Night in the Faroese capital. On page 24, Ari Fossdal, airport director for Air Iceland Connect in Akureyri, shares his love of motorsport and freshwater fishing. And on page 22, find out about Snow White’s surprising connection to a North Iceland town. The outlook is bright and exciting times are ahead. Hear the call of the mountains and soak up the summer sun. What kind of adventure are you up for in the north this summer? Air Iceland Connect will take you there. Book your dream trip at airicelandconnect.com and share your adventure with us with the #mynorthadventure hashtag. Happy travels and happy summer!
Air Iceland Connect
Save time with online check-in A i r I c e l a n d C o n n e c t n ow offers online check-in. Go to airicelandconnect.com/check-in then enter your last name and booking confirmation number.
New and improved booking system Air Iceland Connect launched a new online booking system in January, redesigning and simplifying the booking procedure, which is now more user friendly and easier to use on mobile phones. A new calendar gives customers more opportunities to view prices ahead of time when searching for flights.
Booking with Icelandair Saga Points By using Icelandair Saga Points and payment, Icelandair Saga Club members can use Saga Points as payment for all general airfares when booking flights with Air Iceland Connect. Members can use the points for paying airfares, fuel, taxes and fees to all Air Iceland Connect destinations in Iceland and Greenland, either in full or partially by combining Icelandair Saga Points with other means of payment.
Better service with self-service Customers have been very pleased with the new booking system, especially being able to pay for flights with Icelandair Saga Points. Air Iceland Connect will continue to improve its service – in the coming months the option of even more self-service will be added to the online booking system. It’s never been easier to book your dream vacation at: →→airicelandconnect.com
You can choose to have your boarding pass sent as an SMS or email. You can also download and print it, or add it to your Apple Wallet.
You can check in online at any time of day, up to 45 minutes before departure for domestic flights and 90 minutes before departure for international flights. Note that Air Iceland Connect may need to close the online check-in for certain flights if disturbances due to weather conditions are imminent. → airicelandconnect.com
Out a nd about
In Iceland and beyond
Exploring the north this spring or summer? Check out our top picks for the coming months. TEXT: Sarah Dearne
Photo: Haukur Sigurdsson
Isafjordur 17–22 April
Photo: Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson
and special activities for kids, 21–24 June. Back on the mainland, Akur eyri celebrates the midnight sun with the Midsummer Magic (Jonsmessa) SKI WEEK AND ALDREI FOR EG SUDUR Isafjordur celebrates Easter with a festival with an assortment of culholy union of skiing and rock ’n’ roll. tural happenings unfolding over a full Ski Week includes a variety of sport- 24 hours, 22–23 June. Events can ing and cultural events, while Aldrei include anything from concerts to art for eg sudur music festival (19–20 exhibits to late-night Zumba classes. April) rounds up big names and excit- →→ visitakureyri.is ing newcomers for two days of free concerts. Accommodation fills up quickly, so plan accordingly. Fjardabyggd →→ westfjords.is 23–29 June →→ dalirnir.is/skidavikan →→ aldrei.is FJARDABYGGD HIKING WEEK Taking place in the magnificent East Fjords, Fjardabyggd Hiking Week has a programme of hikes for all ability levels. Grimsey and Akureyri Take the five-mountain challenge or 21–24 June enjoy a relaxing historical stroll, then SO L STI CE FESTIVAL AND MIDSUM- unwind with live entertainment in the evenings. Travelling with kids? MER MAGIC Celebrate the solstice on Grimsey island – Iceland’s only There’s a special activity course to settlement within the Arctic Circle – keep them busy, too. with live music, markets, island tours, →→ en.visitfjardabyggd.is
Photo: Ingibjorg Torfadottir
Borgarfjordur eystri 27 July BRAEDSL AN MUSIC FESTIVAL Every year since 2005, the tiny village of Borgarfjordur eystri has hosted some of Iceland’s biggest acts. This year’s lineup includes punk bands Dr. Spock and Dukkulisurnar, as well as the charming crooners, brothers Jon Jonsson and Fridrik Dor, alongside other acts and off-venue events. Tickets are limited to around 1,000 (almost 10x the town’s population!), so book quickly. →→ braedslan.com
Faskrudsfjordur 25–28 July FR EN C H DAYS FA S K R U D S FJ O R D U R
Once a hub for French sailors, Faskrudsfjordur celebrates its history with the French Days festival. Events include a lively street
fair and market, a pétanque tournament, the Tour de Faskruds fjordur bike race and various other kid-friendly fun. →→ east.is →→ franskirdagar.com
Around Iceland 2–5 August MERCHANTS’ WEEKEND (VERSLUNARMANNAHELGI) Iceland’s busiest public holiday, Merchants’ Weekend is packed with festivals taking place all around the country. In Akureyri, Ein med ollu (“a hot dog with all the trimmings”) features a busy programme of family-friendly fare, as does Neistaflug in Neskaupstadur, East Iceland. In the Westfjords, don’t miss the Swamp Soccer Championship (Myrarboltinn) in Bolungarvik, where costumed teams play football in the mud, then hose off in time for evening concerts. And if those sound entirely too outdoorsy, find solace at Innipukinn (“the indoors sulk”) music festival in Reykjavik, where you can enjoy indie bands with a roof overhead. →→ einmedollu.is →→ neistaflug.is →→ myrarboltinn.is →→ innipukinn.is
Photo: Disko Arts Festival / Dugnad
Torshavn 7 June
Ilulissat 26–29 June
One of the Faroe Islands’ biggest annual events, Culture Night cracks the city open to offer guests a glimpse behind the scenes. The town buzzes with live music and festivities; and shops, museums and galleries welcome guests until midnight. Basically, a perfect day out in Torshavn. →→ visittorshavn.fo
ARCTIC MIDNIGHT ORIENTEERING Not for the fainthearted, Arctic Midnight Orienteering consists of three to four races taking place over challenging yet spectacular terrain. The competitions are intended for seasoned trekkers, but less experienced participants are welcome to explore the open courses free of charge. →→ iog.9net.dk
Klaksvik 8–10 August
Ilulissat and Oqaatsut 1–3 August
REYKJAVIK PRIDE WEEK AND SEYDIS-
SUMMER FESTIVAL (SUMMAR FESTI-
Reykjavik’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community celebrates with a week of events, including educational talks, parties and drag shows, culminating in the Pride Parade on Saturday. On the other side of the country, Seydisfjordur honours the occasion with a smaller-scale yet equally joyous parade the same day. →→ hinsegindagar.is →→ facebook.com/ gledigangaseydisfirdi
This pop music festival is the Faroe Islands’ biggest musical event, with a lineup of popular local acts and well-known international names. Between concerts, be sure to explore the nature in and around Klaksvik, the Faroe Islands’ secondlargest town. →→ summarfestivalur.com
DISKO ARTS FESTIVAL The northernmost event of its kind, Disko Arts Festival is a pioneering celebration of contemporary music, theatre and visual art. The festival was first held in 2017, when over 250 people sailed through the icebergs to attend in Oqaatsut – the greatest number of people in the village to date. →→ diskoartsfestival.org
Head to visitfaroeislands.com for comprehensive events listings.
Head to visitgreenland.com for more events.
Reykjavik and Seydisfjordur 8–17 August FJORDUR PRIDE PARADE
CULTURE NIGHT (MENTANARNATTIN)
TEXT AND PHOTO: Chase Teron (@chase.teron)
South Greenland’s landscapes are alive and everchanging as the glacial ice is in a constant battle of survival. The ice is retreating but it’s not leaving quietly. In the summer and early fall, the constant calving of the region’s landlocked and fjord glaciers can be heard from kilometres away. When close by, the echoes of the loud cracks and collapsing ice are so clear that they command your attention. As you approach the glacier, the first thing you notice is the sheer scale. Then you notice the intricate and unique details of the glacial sediment and the bright blue ice cracks. These glaciers are temporary living works of art, possessing human-like characteristics as if trying to communicate with us.
GETTING THERE: In the Tasermiut Fjord system, near South Greenland’s largest town, Qaqortoq, you can experience towering granite peaks, glacier activity, and endless hikes both marked and unmarked. Air Iceland Connect flies to Narsarsuaq two times a week, from June through September. From there you can travel to Narsaq or Qaqortoq by boat or helicopter. Various tours can be booked in town. → airicelandconnect.com → visitgreenland.com
Seydisfjordur’s fresh take on classic Japanese cuisine.
TEXT: Larissa Kyzer PHOTOS: Asa Steinars
Located on the upper floor of a cherry-red corrugated iron house, Nord Austur (that’s “North East”) Sushi & Bar, located in Seydisfjordur in the East Fjords of Iceland, overlooks a sparkling harbour that makes the idea of “Icelandic sushi” seem like less of a humorous oxymoron, and more a delicious inevitability. “There are so many crossovers”, says American chef Keith Preston, enumerating a number of esteemed but often cost-prohibitive Japanese ingredients – such as fresh scallops – that are by contrast, rather afforda-
ble and readily available in an Icelandic fishing village. “I don’t know why people didn’t think of it before.” Even in Japan, he explains, there’s some catch-to-plate delay. “But here,” he shrugs, “it’s six hours”.
For a limited time only Open only in the summer, Nord Austur boasts a rotating roster of talented and inventive international chefs and exquisite, only-in-Iceland ingredients, marrying a Nordic love of fresh, seasonal fare with Japanese technique and tradition. “This is one
of my favourites”, says Keith, delivering a plate of smoked bleikja, or Arctic char, dressed with yuzu skyr, char roe and capers. Whenever it’s possible, Nord Austur locally sources its specialty ingredients – such as goat cheese, langoustine, dulse and angelica – and, of course, all of its fish. The char is no exception, added to which, it’s smoked right on site, just behind the restaurant. Each bite of this dish starts with an earthy aroma, before jolting your taste buds with a bright burst of citrus and a briny tingle. “You can see exactly what we’re doing based on this”, says Keith.
01 Keith Preston serves up a fresh Cali roll, Iceland-style. 02 Seydisfjordur’s iconic blue church, just steps from Nord Austur. 03 Smoked Arctic char atop yuzu skyr, with char roe and capers. 04 Two of Nord Austur’s makimono sushi rolls. 05 Nord Austur’s Japanese-style tapas “really make the restaurant”. 04
Hot rock, hotspot
dessert, too: sorbet made with “rhubarb fresh from someone’s garden”, Some of the fish used on Nord Aust or – this diner’s favourite (and one of ur’s a la carte sushi menu, such as the exceptions to the local ingredithe mackerel, is exactly like what ent rule) – the luscious chia coconut you’d find in Japan. But Keith notes pudding. that other catch, such as the deepsea snapper, is not to his knowledge, There aren’t any bad options at Nord generally used in sushi, and therefore, Austur, provided you can get a table. is unique to this restaurant. Sushi is Reservations are essential. Even on obviously the star here, but Keith a weekday night, the restaurant’s notes that Japanese-style tapas like packed – not only with tourists, but the Vik Hot Rock – a thick belly of also locals from all over East Iceland salmon that’s seared, at table, on a who’ve made a special trip to sample piping-hot lava stone – “really make some of the best food the region has the restaurant”. And save room for to offer.
Air Iceland Connect flies daily from Reykjavik to Egilsstadir in East Iceland in only 50 minutes. From there, the drive to Seydisfjordur takes 30 minutes, and there’s also a bus connection. Nord Austur Sushi & Bar is open June–September. → airicelandconnect.com → nordaustur.is
Fish is a staple of Icelandic cuisine. As everyday food, it’s commonly boiled with potatoes or coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Today, Icelanders increasingly experiment with fish. Here’s a recipe for “fast seafood” with Icelandic ingredients by Sigurborg Stefansdottir. PHOTO: Thorsteinn Roy Johannsson
4 whole flatkokur (traditional Icelandic “flat bread”, e.g. Totu flatkokur – or other wraps) 4 fillets ling (or another firm white fish: Atlantic wolffish, spotted wolffish or cusk) Bunch of leafy salads (including wild sheep sorrel if available) ½ cucumber 1 red bell pepper Handful of sprouts of choice 3–4 tbsp. Dijon mustard 3–4 tbsp. sour cream Juice from half a lemon 4 tbsp. olive oil Dill (fresh or dried) Some chopped-up chili (if you like your food spicy) Salt and black pepper
Marinate the fish in olive oil and lemon juice, then season with dill, pepper and salt. Fry it on a pan for a few minutes each side or cook in the oven for 10–15 min at 180°C (350°F), using oil and a little bit of butter. Blend the mustard and sour cream together (for a fresher taste, use more sour cream than mustard and add lemon juice) and then spread the mixture on the wraps. Cut the cucumber and pepper into strips and then arrange on the bread along with the fish, salads and sprouts before wrapping it up. Parchment paper can be used to keep the wrap from falling apart. Serves four.
Language corner ȫȫ
Fylgifiskur (Lit. “accompanying fish”) is something that comes with a thing or a person, e.g., “I’m coming to the party with my fylgifiskar” (partner and kids). Ekki upp a marga fiska (Lit. “not worth many fish” – a reference to when fish were used as currency.) Used to describe something of bad quality. Flygur fiskisagan (Lit. “the fish story flies”) is when a rumour spreads quickly. Originally, when someone reported a good catch, all the boats headed there. Vera einhverjum fiskur i fjoru (Lit. “be someone’s fish on the shore”) means to bring somebody luck, originally referencing fish drifting ashore – a free meal!
This recipe was one of many submitted to Mataraudur, the Iceland’s Culinary Treasures competition, where contestants created modern recipes with Icelandic ingredients, inspired by traditional dishes. → mataraudur.is
Domestic flight from â‚Ź67
From city centre to countryside in under an hour Your adventure is just a click away. Our airport is conveniently located in downtown Reykjavik, and a trip across the country thatâ€™s as quick as your average commute means that you can get started in no time. airicelandconnect.com
Silence a nd serenity Soaking up the healing powers of Hornstrandir.
TEXT: Thordis Jonsdottir and Aslaug Snorradottir PHOTOS: Aslaug Snorradottir and Stefan Palsson
As soon as we stepped off the plane in Isafjordur, it was as if our heartbeats automatically slowed down. The mountain view, fresh air and how welcome the locals made us feel all contributed to this slight change. The airport shuttle was full, but someone immediately offered to drive us and our luggage into town. Our vacation had clearly begun. The next morning as we boarded our boat, it seemed as if our blood pressured dropped, too. We were rocked gently by the waves. The mountains and the indescribable bird cliffs that greeted us on the way to Adalvik calmed the mind. We were in good company, yet everyone felt less motivated to talk. All travellers, ages 5–50, were occupied taking in this beauty. Phones were in the air, everyone taking photos and documenting what we were looking at. However, as we approached our destination, all phones were deep inside pockets and the excitement for settling in at our dwelling place for the next five days was running high.
Palpable past Adalvik is a 7-km (4.3-mi) wide cove on the westernmost tip of Hornstrandir, a 580 km 2 (224 sq mi) reserve in the northwestern Westfjords, one of Iceland’s most cherished natural treasures. In Adalvik were two villages, Latrar and Saebol, but they were abandoned in 1952. The entire region is now uninhabited. Adalvik was considered favourable for fishing and farming. We could see why when we walked the path leading up to Thverdalur, the house where the group – a mix of relatives
and friends – was going to stay. The plants all appeared larger and lusher than elsewhere. The sheep sorrels were like leafy salads, the wood cranesbill bluer and sweeter, and the clovers were grander and even had four leaves. Children and adults alike quickly started picking flowers and herbs to take with us to the house. Thverdalur, the old family home of Aslaug, the photographer, is at a 2–3 km (1.2–1.9 mi) distance from the shore, so everything must be carried. Suddenly, as if by miracle, a man
Thverdalur valley in Adalvik – hence the name. Aslaug’s grandfather, born in Skagafjordur in North Iceland in 1913 as the oldest of seven siblings, moved there as a child with his parents when his father was hired to Adalvik as a teacher. The house’s history can be read in photos on the walls, friendly creaking in the stairs and crackling in the wood stove. Conversations and stories that had taken place by the kitchen table were almost palpable. Everyone felt a connection to the place and the past.
Out with the phones, in with the flowers
on an ATV materialised, driving the heaviest things to the house. Lending a helping hand is a given to the people in Adalvik, a unique community of descendants of former inhabitants. Most of the houses are still owned by the original families. People often stay there for many weeks each summer and become well acquainted with each other. Families and friends also take turns staying there so that everyone can soak up the healing powers of this magical place. The house called Thverdalur was originally built for the store manager in Hesteyri (another village in Hornstrandir) in 1926, but later moved to
While our forefathers fought for progress and better quality of life, like electricity and telephone connection, today many of us long to take a few steps back and disconnect from all this technology every now and then. It was incredibly relaxing to neither have electricity nor a telephone connection. What Adalvik gave us was endless time to rest and nourish the mind and body with the silence and serenity surrounding the place. The kitchen quickly became the heart of the house. The fire in the wood stove heated it, but slowly, so to begin with everyone huddled together, warming up, eating and chatting. We had tried to bring as little as possible and instead went outside to pick herbs and flowers for food. For breakfast we often had porridge with rhubarb, bread with eggs, cheese, sheep sorrel and flowers: wood cranesbill and moss campion. We caught fish in the lake and grilled it, then served it with angelica blossoms and sheep sorrel salad. We
01 Stadarkirkja church and the reverend’s house, built in 1904, have been lovingly preserved. Photo by Stefan Palsson. 02 Dancing in the flower field. Photo by Aslaug Snorradottir. 03 Despite the short summers, the plants seem to be more powerful here. Photo by Stefan Palsson. 04 A feast on the beach: lamb spiced with wild herbs. Photo by Aslaug Snorradottir. 05 Energy flows through the body when you wear a wreath of super flowers. Photo by Aslaug Snorradottir. 06 Angelica is an interesting ingredient – the blossoms, stalks and leaves can all be used for food. Photo by Aslaug Snorradottir. 05
spiced the lamb with wild thyme and drank wild thyme tea at all times. We were especially happy about our pancakes with wood cranesbill and dandelion blossoms – a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Creation and recreation With all tools and technology put aside, there was suddenly so much time to do something fun. Creativ ity was rife, everyone writing and sketching. We made wreaths of flowers – the older members of the group taught the younger ones – and then we even fried and ate them! As we automatically took deeper breaths in Adalvik, it felt natural to practice yoga every day, everyone together – with a few tumbles on the flower field and bursts of laughter – or each by him- or herself. Meditating by the sea was unavoidable and this deep connection with nature was wonder-
fully reenergising. We could spend endless hours on the beach, picking seashells, making artwork in the sand and allowing the waves to wash away all dreariness. Adventure awaited in the mountains all around us and the kids found the old US military base on top of Straumnesfjall mountain to be terribly exciting, afterwards coming up with lots of stories about what may have happened there. The flora in Adalvik was one of the things which took us by surprise. The powerful plant golden root grew on the sides of the mountains and many other wondrous plants seemed to thrive in this far-off place, getting a special energy boost. On the way home, the travellers seemed to have flourished, too. We were all filled with peace, beauty and nourishment – which is hard to come by in this day and age – and determined to return soon. Taking a break from
phones and everyday duties would provide us with energy well into the autumn. Hornstrandir is a magnet to those who have been there. We are all going back. GETTING THERE: Adalvik Isafjordur
Air Iceland Connect flies daily to Isafjordur in only 40 minutes. Boat trips to Adalvik are available from late May to late August (see vesturferdir.is for more information, including information on organised walks and other Hornstrandir tours). The Environment Agency of Iceland operates a free campground in the nature reserve. The houses in Adalvik are in private ownership but it’s possible to camp in Saebol. → airicelandconnect.is
Enjoy the magic of the mundane This tiny museum, located in an old shoeshop in Ísafjörður, celebrates the ordinary and tells stories that capture the beauty of everyday life in a charming way. A visit to the Museum of Everyday Life makes you feel like you’ve stepped into other peoples’ lives for a short second. The museum exhibits a collection of local voices, memories and story fragments – nostalgic, humorous and thought-provoking – curated in various interactive ways.
When I was in my ﬁrst year of high school, my grandmother sent me money in an envelope. On a slip of paper in the envelope was written: “If you buy yourself booze with this, then I hope you get diarrhea.” That was the only letter she ever wrote me. From the exhibition “Various Things Happen”
Hafnarstræti 5, Ísafjörður / Open: 1 June - 15 September Groups or enthusiasts can contact us for opening outside season.
Rendezvous with the past Mediaeval Days brings historical trading place Gasir back to life. TEXT: Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir PHOTOS: Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson
Eyjafjordur is cloaked in a mysterious fog. As it lifts, a camp materialises where Horga river mouths into the fjord, just north of Akureyri. Mediaeval trading post Gasir has reappeared and visitors are invited to journey into the past.
Popular trading post Held in late July, the Mediaeval Days revives the atmosphere at Gasir, one of Iceland’s most important trading posts in the Middle Ages. First mentioned in sources from 1163, trading was probably practised at Gasir during summer until the mid-16 th century. “According to sources, five ships anchored there at the same time. They came and went from May to August”, says Sigrun Ola dottir, who guides visitors around
the area. Gasir had no harbour, so merchants – some of whom came from distant countries – had to row to shore. Between 350 and 550 people stayed at the camp, offering their products and services. “Sulphur was the most valuable export product”, says Sigrun. Foreign merchants also favoured falcons, which were tamed and sold to sultans. There was even a Norwegian-style stave church at Gasir, which was the country’s second-largest house of worship at the time. “Merchants used it to demonstrate their power. It could easily be sighted when the ships sailed into the fjord.”
Colourful Middle Ages Mediaeval merchants have surprisingly colourful attire. They wear
woven garments in red, blue, yellow and green, long dresses or shirts in one or two shades, decorative scarves and trousers – some of which have different-coloured legs. Flowers are boiling in an iron pot over an open fire to make dye. Women are seated around the fire, busy naalebinding (a forerunner to knitting) and drinking meadowsweet tea. A blacksmith beats the metal rhythmically, a woodcarver makes flutes, a leatherworker sews purses and a woman bakes bread. Youngsters have fun playing knattleikur (a Viking ball game similar to hurling) and a marksman teaches visitors how to use a bow and arrows. Every now and then, arguments are settled with sword fights. A thief is placed in the pillory and people quickly seize the opportunity to throw eggs at him.
01 A sharpshooter demonstrates how to use a bow and arrow. 02 Playing knattleikur. 03 A mediaeval merchant working on her handcraft. 04 A specialist in ancient manuscripts processes a calf skin. 05 Lunch break: freshly-baked bread, butter, jam and quail eggs. 06 Entrance passes. 04
Festival for history buffs In the role of a barber-surgeon, Haraldur Thor Egilsson, director of Akureyri Museum, demonstrates the sharp tools used for cutting hair and beards. “They can also be used for cutting someone open”, he explains, reaching for large tongs. “Or to pull teeth!” Faces are turning pale. “I also have leeches …” Haraldur laughs as his guests make a run for it. “In 2003, we had one tent and three women participating. Now
it’s 29 tents and 100 participants.” Mediaeval Days is organised by Gasakaupstadur. “It’s a group of people who make their own clothes and have a lot of ambition. Our longtime goal is for it to be more than one weekend, and we want to build a church in the reenactment area.” Handcrafters and academics regularly take part, including a Czech specialist in ancient manuscripts, who processes skins at the campsite to test his theories. Haraldur says members of Viking club Rimmugygur come every year to fight. “This is their festival.”
Air Iceland Connect flies to Akureyri in only 35 minutes. From there it takes 10 minutes to drive to Gasir. Mediaeval Days will take place 19–21 July in 2019. → airicelandconnect.com → gasir.is
Snow White was born in Siglufjordur The Disney character’s surprising connection to a North Iceland town. TEXT: Hlynur F. Thormodsson PHOTOS: Courtesy of Anna Hulda Juliusdottir
When I arrive in Siglufjordur, the town has an air of enchantment about it. The small, narrow fjord is surrounded by steep mountains, and its energy is tangible. Only around 1,200 people live here, yet the town has a vibrant cultural life. Hjarta baejarins is a family-run company specialising in design, handicrafts, yarn and gift items. Its latest draw is projects related to fairytale figure Snow White, or more specifically, the model for Disney’s 1937 animation. “The story goes that Snow White was born in Siglu fjordur”, reveals Anna Hulda Juliusdottir, co-owner of Hjarta baejarins. Disney’s Snow White was created by Canadian illustrator Charles Thorson. He was born in Winnipeg but both his parents were Icelandic immigrants. “The model for Snow White in Disney’s famous anim ated feature film was a young woman named Kristin Solvadottir, who was
born in Siglufjordur in 1912. She studied English in Canada and she and Charles were engaged to be married, but then Kristin got cold feet and moved back to Iceland. Not many people know this story and we are delighted to raise awareness of it and connect Siglufjordur to this world-famous fairytale character”, says Anna Hulda.
01 Kristin Solvadottir and Charles Thorson’s caricature of her as a princess, along with Anna Hulda’s sketch of Snow White. 02 Anna Hulda as Snow White on Iceland’s National Day.
In the Hjarta baejarins store at Adalgata 28, speciality products related to Snow White are on sale, and in one of its windows a stunning Snow White dress is on display. “Almost every tourist stops by the window to admire and photograph the dress in the window”, laughs Anna Hulda. “We have all sorts of ideas as to how we can promote the story better. For example, 39 cruisers with nearly 8,000 travellers are expected to dock in Siglufjordur this summer and Snow White might very well welcome them at the pier. And everyone who visits us will be able to meet her.”
Air Iceland Connect flies daily to Akureyri in only 35 minutes, and it takes one hour to drive to Siglufjordur from there. Bus connections are also available. → airicelandconnect.com → hjartabaejarins.is
A feast for all the senses Five unique restaurants to discover, savor and treasure.
Air Iceland Connect
On the trail of sheepherders Ari Fossdal, airport director for Air Iceland Connect in Akureyri, has seen it all when it comes to air service as he has worked in the field for 28 years and experienced significant changes during that time. He enjoys the outdoors, angling and driving Buggies and snowmobiles. TEXT: Hlynur F. Thormodsson PHOTO: Arni Saeberg
What is a Buggy? In simple terms, it’s a large ATV. All the safety equipment is first class, including specialised seat belts and a protective frame, and the car doesn’t start unless the driver is strapped in. A Buggy is an extremely well-designed and fun toy for adults, if I may describe it like that. Where do you drive your Buggy? Apart from the closed-off areas where you can play, I take to the mountains. In our beloved country
there are numerous trails you can drive, such as old roads and trails used by sheepherders, in addition to highland roads. The group involved in this sport in Akureyri now numbers more than 50 people and we regularly remind each other to respect nature and never drive the Buggy off-road. That is very important. Can you drive it in winter as well as in summer? We also drive it in winter but only if there’s not too much snow. If not,
you can go on long tours. But when everything is snowed under, like these days, I take the snowmobile, which is another fun toy. I switch between the Buggy and snowmobile in winter, depending on the weather. In summer you also go angling. Do you have a favourite location? My fishing partners and I have been angling in a lot of places but I’m particularly fond of Holkna river in Thistilfjordur, near Thorshofn. We went there for many years before it was permanently leased to a foreign
door recreation. The fishing trips come with considerable walking and are therefore good exercise. We always go together, a few friends and I, and we provide each other with good company. But for long periods you are also alone with yourself and the river, which is a fabulous experience. What does your job with Air Iceland Connect include? My work mostly involves managing the company’s operations in Akureyri. We employ 15 people in the winter plus a few seasonal employees in the summer. We service all of our airplanes, passengers and the cargo, fuel service and duty-free store. Telephone reception has been relocated to a larger extent to places outside Reykjavik in recent years and we help out with that, of course. Do you still get a lot of requests by phone?
party. But I also find small trout rivers like Litlaa and Brunna in Oxarfjordur near Asbyrgi to be enjoyable. Is the catch important? It’s absolutely necessary that there’s life in the river, but it doesn’t matter as much whether the fish you catch is 5 or 20 pounds. You’ll get in a much better mood if the river is teeming with life and the fish jump. Favourable conditions and beautiful landscape also play a big part in the experience. But what I always enjoy the most is to come home with at least two or three fish for dinner. I namely eat my fish! What do you get out of these angling trips? They are, of course, first-rate out-
Yes, and more often than one might think. We get all sorts of questions, even about road conditions! Given that my colleagues and I work for an airline, we don’t have the most accurate information as to whether roads are passable. However, we kind of enjoy getting questions like that, which I suppose are unique to Iceland. You have worked for Air Iceland Connect for almost 30 years. Have you seen many changes in that time? The biggest difference is that the number of destinations has decreased considerably because our road system has improved and because the cargo service used to be much more important. It is, for example, funny to consider that we used to be extremely busy before the weekend, servicing orders for
alcohol out to the country. There used to be much fewer wine stores, so the inhabitants of smaller towns had to order alcoholic beverages from Vinbudin [formerly ATVR, the state-run wine store], which were delivered by air. The bottles were carefully wrapped and packed in small brown cardboard boxes from ATVR. All newspapers were also sent by air, along with all mail deliveries and many other products. Mogginn [short for Morgunbladid, a daily newspaper] alone weighed about half a tonne. The planes were therefore packed in the morning. Now these things are delivered by lorries, which are usually driven from the city to the countryside at night. What do you enjoy the most about your work? First and foremost, the diversity of tasks, because no day is the same. Our employees come to work in the morning really not knowing anything about what the day will bring. Therefore, this environment is not for everyone, but I like it. The tasks are sometimes complicated and challenging and need to be taken care of swiftly. But a job well done is very rewarding, as is of course having a happy customer. Do you travel a lot? I thoroughly enjoy short trips and experiencing different cultures from what I’m used to. But I always appreciate coming back home! And I think that’s positive. I recently travelled to Bath in England and that was a wonderful trip. The city isn’t among the most touristy places, but it’s friendly, established and charming and I absolutely recommend visiting it. In Iceland I think the Westfjords is our biggest natural treasure, Strandir, for example, but I also find places like Borgarnes [in West Iceland] to be beautiful.
Thrash and burn Neskaupstadur’s metal fest with heart.
TEXT: Larissa Kyzer MYNDIR: Asa Steinars
ters over the top. He throws up devil horns and lets out a loud whoop.
I’m standing in a cavernous gymnasium next to a man in a kilt who’s emphatically fist-pumping along to a Faroese Viking metal song. It’s about decimation and decapitation, but it rhymes, so the whole scene – from the crowd surfers flailing under roving spotlights to the longhaired fans headbanging with wild abandon – takes on a distinctly jolly tone. A man walks up wearing a denim jacket with a giant multicolour patch on the back. It’s a rainbow with the words “Death Metal” written in bubble let-
Welcome to Eistnaflug, perhaps the cheeriest and most polite – but no less metal – music festival you, or I, or anyone you know will ever go to.
Batgirl Held annually in Neskaupstadur, the easternmost town in Iceland, Eistna flug brings together 30–40 metal, punk, and hardcore bands, mostly Icelandic, although big-name foreign acts such as At the Gates, Napalm Death, and Opeth have also graced
its stages. Started as a modest oneday show for locals in 2005, Eistna flug has since blossomed into a fourday extravaganza that doubles the 1,500-person town in size. I arrive on Day Two, and after getting an impromptu tour of Stalsmidj an, Eistnaflug’s scrappy “off-venue” location, from goth-synth artist Rex Pistols, I join an orderly line waiting to enter the gym. Much of the crowd is deathly white-faced, with dripping black eye makeup and lipstick. (There’s a booth, I’m told, offering free corpse paint.) People chat over the echo of noodling
01 A happy, corpse-painted festival-goer. 02 Maximum shredding – the energy at Eistnaflug never flags for a second, and neither does the beat. 03 GusGus’s Daniel Agust closes the festival on a high note. 04 Not all metal fans wear corpse paint. 05 Devil horns: the metal fan’s seal of approval. 05
guitar. A child with batwings painted across her eyes and a pentagram on her oversized sweatshirt sits on her father’s shoulders, patiently drumming his head.
No idiots allowed! I spend the festival sampling various memorable sets: the fetish-geared “bondage pop” of Reykjavik heartthrobs Hatari (Iceland’s 2019 Eurovision entry): the theatrically Satanic thrash of Germany’s Kreator; the transcendent electrojoy of GusGus, who took the stage at 2 am on Saturday morning and still played to a full house.
Eistnaflug’s motto is “No idiots allowed!”, and so no matter what vibe of the music, there’s always an atmosphere of genuine goodwill, even at the height of post-show partying – i.e., 4 am at the sprawling campground located on a residential block. The field is filled with family-sized tents draped in black flags. Sing-alongs, accompanied by copious chest-drumming, regularly erupt. A heated argument over misappropriated beer is settled with a handshake. I head back to my tent as dawn breaks over the glassy fjord, stepping over a sweetly sleeping couple, embracing atop a thick blanket.
Air Iceland Connect flies daily to Egilsstadir in East Iceland in only 50 minutes. It takes under an hour to drive from there to Neskaupstadur – a bus connection is also available. Eistnaflug is held annually in mid-July, this year 10–13 July. → airicelandconnect.com → eistnaflug.is
Season to taste
So, which appeals to you most? Calm, curious or exhilarating?
TEXT: Sarah Dearne
Photo: Roberto Nikon photographer / Visit Faroe Islands
If you’re visiting the north this spring or summer, you might have planned on catching culture or enjoying the outdoors. To give you some inspiration, we pick a theme and sort activities by adventure level, from keen beginner to expert explorer. This issue, we’re lacing up our hiking boots.
Photo: Mads Pihl / Visit Greenland
Photo: E. Magnusson
For an easy yet magnificent hike in the Faroe Islands, take the roughly two-hour route from the village of Midvagur on Vagar island. You’ll wander alongside the archipelago’s biggest lake until you reach Bosdala fossur waterfall, which tumbles directly into the ocean. With flat terrain nearly the entire way, this route is a handy option for children. You can find further information on hiking trails and safety in the Faroe Islands at visitfaroeislands.com/see-do/hiking.
If you’re in Nuuk, the Quassussuaq mountain ridge is a beautiful and convenient spot for a day hike. The trail takes around four to six hours and offers breathtaking views of the fjord. With some preparation and a good map, you can do this hike independently, but we recommend booking a tour with a local guide. For more hiking inspiration and advice, check out The Ultimate Greenland Hiking Guide at visitgreenland.com.
Borgarfjordur eystri is the starting point for some of Iceland’s most spectacular multi-day hiking trails, with over 25 well-marked routes to choose from. You can hike to Seydisfjordur in around four days, or explore the dense network of Viknaslodir (“the trails of the inlets”) routes over a week or so, depending on how you want to do it. As always in Iceland, plan your hike carefully and register your travel plan at safetravel.is before setting out.
Adventure awaits Anchorage
Vancouver Seattle Portland San Francisco
Minneapolis / St. Paul Kansas City Chicago Cleveland Toronto Montreal
Nuuk Kulusuk Narsarsuaq
Akureyri KEFLAVIK REYKJAVIK
Baltimore Washington D.C. New York Philadelphia Boston Tampa Halifax Orlando
Copenhagen Billund Hamburg Glasgow Amsterdam Berlin Dusseldorf Frankfurt Manchester Brussels Munich London Zurich Paris Milan Geneva
The road travels from Greenland to all around the world.
Adventure by Instagram Share your northern adventure with the world, using the hashtag #mynorthadventure. A selection of photos will be published on the Air Iceland Connect website and social media channels, and the cream of the crop on the pages of this magazine, too.
Please note that by using the #mynorthadventure hashtag, you are granting us permission to use your image in our magazine, website, and on our social media channels.
01 Scoresbysund, East Greenland @james.rushforth A mast top perspective whilst sailing through Arctic sea ice. 02 Raufarhofn, Nordur-Thingeyjarsysla, Iceland @micomicky Skinnalon is an abandoned farm ... located in northern Iceland. 03 Iceland @aggi700 A model of connection. 04 Geysir, Iceland @icelandic_nomad This is one of the best geysirs I have seen. ... It sprouts every 10â€“12 minutes.
Scoresbysund, East Greenland @james.rushforth
And the winner is… James Rushforth (@james.rushforth on Instagram). Here is the story behind his amazing shot: “A traditional two-masted oak sailing schooner passes behind one of nature’s most beautiful and impressive creations. Perhaps due to increasing temperatures in the Arctic, the icebergs calving off the Greenland icecap have been particularly large in recent years and, much like snowflakes, no two icebergs are the same, making them truly unique. We stumbled across this particular formation whilst sailing back towards Constable Point [Nerlerit Inaat] airport after a week spent exploring the Scoresby Sund fjord system. The iceberg was so impressive we spent some time circling it with Hildur’s sister ship, Opal.”
James wins a flight to any of Air Iceland Connect’s destinations in Iceland. Congratulations!
Do you want to participate in our photo contest? Tag your favourite image from any of our destinations with #mynorthadventure and the winning shot will appear in the next issue of My North. Bird’s-eye view is our favourite angle. The photographer will win a flight to any of Air Iceland Connect’s destinations in Iceland. Click away!
C elebration in the count ryside G! Festival makes up the three most joyful days of the Faroese calendar year.
01 Camping area, where mostly youngsters stay. 02 The beach and main stage. 03 Rag’n’Bone Man performing on the main stage.
TEXT: Asa Trondardottir Frydal PHOTOS: Saviour Mifsud
“Let the celebration of music begin!” The crowd goes wild as the toastmaster opens the 2018 G! Festival at the beach of Gota. Celebrating is rooted in the culture and mentality of the Faroese people. It’s a tradition that goes back to the settlement of the islands around 800 AD, and G!, first held in 2002, takes it to an even higher level. In the small village Sydrugota, surrounded by tall mountains and a fjord opening into the vast Atlantic Ocean, G! takes place every year in mid-July. The main stage is on the charming beach, and while the music is playing you can sense the rhythm of the ocean, taste the salt in the wind, and if the tide is rising, the waves might even catch hold of your dancing feet – but don’t worry, Wellingtons are in fashion at G!. Whether you’re a local or a stranger, G! has a homey vibe. FRUM, a Faroese musician, played the festival for
the first time in 2018. “G! has been like a sanctuary ever since my early teenage years. When I was much younger, and full of curiosity, I remember how inspiring it was to observe the people just having fun and being free. At G! I found an atmosphere where you could cut loose and just be. A place where music and nature ruled. G! is where my friends and I searched for ourselves and sought the company of others and this definitely plays a role in who I am today.” Ever-changing and unreliable, the weather in the Faroe Islands is always a challenge. This makes a big impact on the festival as well, going from idyllic baby-blue sky and dead calm sea to heavy rain or even storms. You have to seek shelter in a barn, where everyone’s drenched and dancing squeezed together – but the mood is just as high! G! offers a nice blend of music, cultural tradition and international curiosity, which collide into an atmosphere of celebration and joy. In the hidden corners of the countryside, slow tempo
meets upbeat in a balanced rhythm. The broad selection of quality-assured music attracts a diverse crowd of festival guests. It spans the entire palette, from spontaneous hymns sung by locals in the steaming sauna – followed by a mandatory cooling dip in the North Atlantic – to popular international concerts on the beach. Later you might find yourself in some old stable enjoying an intimate performance, or rave played in a forgotten ruin while dancing through the last of the bright summer nights. GETTING THERE:
There are two flights a week from Keflavik International Airport to the Faroe Islands in cooperation with Atlantic Airways. It takes about one hour to drive from the airport in Vagar to Gota, and also from the capital Torshavn to Gota. G! Festival will take place 11–13 July in 2019. → airicelandconnect.com → gfestival.fo
Fea st in a f isher’s pa ra dise You’ll never taste fresher fish than in Qooqqut Nuan.
TEXT: Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir PHOTOS: Max Furstenberg
The weather is calm and bright. On this beautiful day in early June, the Greenland sun raises the spirit, but hardly the temperature – which is close to freezing. The view of the Nuuk Fjord, ringed by majestic grey mountains, makes up for the cold. A group of tourists from the Nordic region, US, Brazil and further afield are being taken by speedboat to Qooqqut Nuan, a summer sanctuary for nature lovers. The flight from Reykjavik across the Greenland ice sheet to Nuuk took three hours, yet it feels as if I’ve
landed in a different world. Nuuk has the vibe of a modern Scandinavian town but the landscape is unfamiliar: tall, bare mountains and hardly any lowland; the Greenlandic capital stands scattered on cliffs by the sea. This country is vast – 21 times larger than Iceland – and the Nuuk fjord is 160 km (99 mi) long, 100 km (62 mi) longer than Eyjafjordur, one of Iceland’s longest fjords. Suddenly we sight a floating iceberg. The captain moves closer so that we can observe the ancient white and blue glacial ice – which comes from the world’s largest body of ice after Antarctica – up close. Where the glacier meets the
Nuuk fjord, one can witness – and listen to – massive chunks of ice breaking off the ice sheet. Spouts emerge from the fjord’s surface. A herd of humpback whales is hunting for capelin. Their humps appear and then they wave their tails before diving under again. People gasp as one of them surfaces right next to the boat – humpbacks can reach 16 m (52 ft) in length – and cameras click wildly. Fishing lines are cast and they sink for an eternity, it seems, before they reach the ocean floor. Immediately after, as the line is pulled back up, gaping bright orange red-
01 02 03 04
Freshly caught redfish. A humpback waves its tail. The chef processes our catch. Deep-fried redfish, oriental style.
fish appear. We settle on five and continue to Qooqqut Nuan, a green field with cottages. Children catch capelin from the pier using hand nets; the silver fish glitter in the sun. In Greenland they commonly dry the small fish whole. Here, people can book accommodation, go hiking and fishing in the fjord and rivers, but the place is also sought after for its restaurant. A chef on an ATV picks the fish up and speeds with it to the kitchen. Shortly after, it’s served, deep fried in a Thai-style sauce. The buffet also includes shrimp and scallops in green curry, muskox in red curry, lamb chops in garlic sauce, along
with vegetables and rice. Most of the ingredients are local. The dishes are curious, tasty and incredibly fresh. The optimal pairing is with Qajaq, beer brewed with glacial ice by an Icelandic-Greenlandic couple in Narsaq. I favour the dark lager. We sail back in the evening sun, which lights up the grey mountain peaks. A voluminous waterfall cascades down the cliffs and into the fjord. Soon, we spot the colourful houses of Nuuk and the journey is over. As I walk back to the hotel I ponder the country’s vastness and everything I have yet to discover – and start plotting my return.
Air Iceland Connect flies to Nuuk from Reykjavik Airport two to three times a week, year-round, and to many other destinations in Greenland. Tupilak Travel is among companies offering tours to Qooqqut Nuan. The restaurant is open in summer only. → airicelandconnect.com → colourfulnuuk.com
Air Iceland Connect
Connecting the dots There’s always something happening at Air Iceland Connect and our destinations. Here’s a roundup of some of the most newsworthy events. TEXT: Eyglo Svala Arnarsdottir
Photo: Max Furstenberg
Wind beneath athletes’ wings
Shining a light on Seydisfjordur
Chess club returns to Nuuk
Air Iceland Connect and the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (ISI) renewed their contract on discounted domestic air travel for the association’s members. The contract, valid until 31 January 2020, was signed by managing director of ISI Liney R. Halldorsdottir and managing director of Air Iceland Connect Arni Gunnarsson early this year.
Art festival List i ljosi in Seydisfjordur, East Iceland, received the 2019 Eyrarrosin award for an outstanding cultural project outside the capital area in February. First Lady Eliza Reid, the award’s patron, presented the festival’s founders and directors, Sesselja Jonasar dottir and Celia Harrison, with ISK 2,000,000 (GBP 6,600) and a trophy.
The annual Air Iceland Connect and Hrokurinn chess festival in Nuuk will take place in early June. For more than 15 years the chess club has travelled to towns across Greenland to teach chess, bring presents to children and spread joy. In December, members of Hrokurinn flew to Kulusuk – the Greenlandic town that is closest to Iceland – bringing Christmas presents to all the children in town. One of the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads came along and handed out presents. Air Iceland Connect has backed Hrokurinn’s travels and initiatives in Greenland from the start, also sponsoring swimming lessons for children in East Greenland.
A statement from ISI states that their cooperation with the airline has been long and successful. Being an athlete in Iceland includes extensive and expensive travelling and it’s important to have stable and frequent flights between regions. Air Iceland Connect is ISI’s main sponsor.
Fast facts about Air Iceland Connect and aviation in Iceland
international passengers took off from Reykjavik in 2018, 11,631 from Akureyri – up by 70.3% from 2017! – and 3,655 from Egilsstadir – up by 9.7%.
The jury stated that List i ljosi attracts “a diverse group of artists, participating in an ambitious and versatile programme”, adding that a special light art festival is a novelty in Iceland and that the festival has had an influence way beyond Seydisfjordur. Air Iceland Connect is one of Eyrarrosin’s main sponsors.
domestic travellers passed through airports in Iceland in 2018: 48.9% through Reykjavik, 25.9% through Akureyri, 12.3% through Egilsstadir and 4.4% through Isafjordur.
different types of aircraft flew through Icelandic airspace in 2018: the most common was Boeing 777, followed by Boeing 757 and Boeing 787.
tonnes of goods were delivered by air to Grimsey island in 2018; 410 aircraft movements were registered at the local airport.
Air Iceland Connect
Shared stories We would love to hear about your travels. In the seat pocket is a journal where passengers who have sat in this seat before you have made some notes about their travel experiences. What did you discover on your trip? Pick up a pen and share your adventures with future travellers the oldfashioned way.
Service on board Sit back, relax and enjoy your journey. The Air Iceland Connect crew will do their utmost to make your flight as pleasant and comfortable as possible. If you need anything, you can call a cabin attendant by using the call button above your seat. On all Air Iceland Connect flights, passengers receive a complimentary beverage: coffee, tea or water.
Safety on board Please follow our safety demonstration closely and read the instructions on the safety card in your seat pocket. Kindly follow the guidance and suggestions of the cabin crew throughout the flight. The use of mobile phones and electronic devices on flight mode is allowed gate to gate. Cabin baggage should be stored in the overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you. We recommend that you keep your seatbelt fastened for the duration of the flight. Smoking is prohibited on all Air Iceland Connect flights. That also includes vaping.
Duty free – Your first stop When you land in Reykjavík or Akureyri after an exciting trip to Greenland the first stop is the Duty free store where you can buy sweets, alcoholic beverages and various other items at a bargain.
Environmental policy We recognise that our activities have an impact on the environment in terms of the use of raw materials, emissions to air and water, and waste generation, and we seek to minimise this as far as is reasonably practisable. Air Iceland Connect is committed to operating in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner, complying with all applicable legislation, environmental standards and other relevant requirements and commitments. This policy shall apply to all activities carried out by or on behalf of Air Iceland Connect and to locations in which we operate.
Air Iceland Connect has achieved the Gold Award from Vakinn’s environmental criteria.
Air Iceland Connect
N E E R G
Celebrated the nationa l day
Saw the “green” in Greenla nd
Legendary kayak tour
Shape your adventure
N o r t h
You’ve arrived in Iceland. So why not explore the northern region a little further? Our partnerships, route network and innate curiosity mean you’re never more than a decision away from your next adventure.
→ Visit our website airicelandconnect.com and make it happen.
A t l a n
Takeoffs and touchdowns
The beginning and end of a terrific journey, Air Iceland Connect’s main airports are not just for passing through. REYKJAVIK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT In the heart of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik Airport serves as the centre for domestic flights in Iceland. It’s located in Vatnsmyri, where aviation in Iceland began on 3 September, 1919, with the takeoff of the first airplane in the country. Scheduled flights from cle C i r launched in March Reykjavik Airport were tic A rc 1940, when Air Iceland moved its headquarters from Akureyri to Reykjavik.
x Schooner sailing extraordinaire!
Went hiking in the wild Isafjordur
I C E L A N D
Ran half a ma rathon
Had the freshest sushi Torshavn
Lovely bea ch concert
NDS ISL A
EGILSSTADIR 6 0 ° INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Egilsstadir International Airport serves as an alternate for Keflavik International Airport and is open 24 hours a day. Located on the banks of Lagarfljot river in Iceland’s tranquil East, the airport is just a short drive away from Hallormsstadaskogur National Forest, serene seaside towns at the foot of majestic mountains and other attractions.
ISAFJORDUR AIRPORT Isafjordur is the base for exploring Iceland’s Westfjords and some of the country’s most rural and isolated areas. The flight approach is an adventurous experience on its own – enjoy the thrill as you descend at the end of the majestic Isafjardardjup fjord, the view of the many smaller fjords that fork out of it and the tall mountains all around.
O c e a n
t i c
AKUREYRI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Located in North Iceland’s largest town, Akureyri International Airport is the gateway to the Arctic. From there, scheduled flights are offered to several locations in Iceland, including Grimsey island in the North, as well as Thorshofn and Vopnafjordur in the Northeast. International flights from Akureyri include scheduled and charter flights to Greenland. Akureyri International Airport is also the centre for ambulance and emergency flights in Iceland.
A rc t i c C i rc l e
a S e
Basked in the midnight sun xGrimsey Sang with the birds Akureyri
d l a n n e e G r
Air Iceland Connect
n w o n k n u e h t s d r wa o T In the Age of Settlement they embarked on a journey into the unknown with their loved ones. The six Bombardier aircraft in our fleet are named after female settlers and Icelandic saga heroines. Still flying high, we uphold their legacies with pride.
Audur djupudga TF-FXA Q400
Hallgerdur langbrok TF-FXB Q400
Thorunn hyrna TF-FXI Q400
Audur djupudga (“deep-minded”) was the only woman to lead a settlement expedition to Iceland. She was considered peerless among women, provident and wise, as witnessed by her epithet. After losing her husband and only son, she sailed to Iceland along with her crew. It is said that her settlement extended across all the valleys of Breidafjordur in West Iceland. Audur was a Christian and was considered to be particularly noble and generous. She gave large estates in her settlement to her crew and made her home at the current church estate of Hvammur in Dalir.
The most infamous heroine of the Icelandic sagas was dashing, long-haired and beautiful. Extremely proud, Hall gerdur never took orders from anyone. She started a feud with her neighbour Bergthora; and Hallgerdur’s husband, Gunnar, had to pay for a slap he gave her with his life. When besieged by his enemies, Gunnar begged his wife for a lock of her hair to repair his bowstring. She refused and he was killed. But what was the source of her epithet? One explanation is that Hallgerdur had particularly long legs (langbrok means “long pants”). Another that the original meaning of the word is “long-haired”.
Does her epithet refer to a shawl she wore over her head or shoulders? Along with her husband, Helgi magri (“the lean”), Thorunn hyrna settled in Eyjafjordur, Northeast Iceland, and was the first woman to do so. Thorunn was the sister of Audur djupudga, the most famous of all female settlers. While Thorunn and Helgi sailed into the fjord, looking for a place to build their farm, Thorunn gave birth to a daughter on a small holm in Eyjafjardara river. Their daughter, Thorbjorg holmasol, was the first native-born resident of Eyjafjordur.
Wind beneath our wings Q400
The Air Iceland Connect fleet comprises of three Bombardier Q400s and three Bombardier Q200s. The Bombardier Q400s are larger and 30% faster than conventional turboprop aircraft and therefore offer new opportunities. In addition to being used for domestic flights, the Bombardier Q400s fly a steadily increasing number of passengers to Greenland. The Bombardier Q200 aircraft have certain qualities: they require a short runway (e.g., they can take off when fully-loaded from an 800 m / 2,625 ft runway), can withstand a stronger side wind than comparable aircraft and can carry more freight. The Bombardier Q200 can be specifically configured for cargo transport.
→ Read more about our fleet at airicelandconnect.com
Our extended family Air Iceland Connect is part of Icelandair Group, an Icelandic travel industry corporation. The largest corporation in Iceland, Icelandair Group is the owner and holding company of the airline Icelandair and several other travel industry companies in Iceland. Its headquarters are at Reykjavik Airport.
ICELANDAIR GROUP SUBSIDIARIES: Air Iceland Connect FERIA (VITA Travel) Fjarvakur Icelandair Icelandair Cargo Icelandair Hotels Iceland Travel IGS, Icelandair Ground Services Loftleidir Icelandic
Arndis audga TF-FXG Q200
Thorbjorg holmasol TF-FXH Q200
Thuridur sundafyllir TF-FXK Q200
Her father was a settler in Dalir, but she wished to choose her own land. Arndis audga (“the wealthy”) settled in Hrutafjordur, Northwest Iceland. Her epithet suggests that she acquired wealth while presiding over her estate. Little is known about Arndis, as written documentation is scarce. However, if one reads between the lines it is clear that she was a powerful woman who defied the patriarchy. Arndis married Bjalki Blaengsson but their son Thordur became known by his matronymic surname: Arndisarson. Thordur later appeared as a character in Kormaks Saga, a poetic love story.
The first person born in Eyjafjordur was a girl who was given the name Thorbjorg holmasol (“Islet-Sun”). It is said that she was delivered on a delta in Eyjafjardara river when her parents, settlers Thorunn hyrna and Helgi magri (“the lean”), were sailing their ship to Kristnes. There, they built a handsome farmhouse and raised the girl, who was bestowed with the most cheerful epithet in the history of Icelandic settlement. In Akureyri, the region’s first settlers are remembered in various ways; there’s a kindergarten called Holmasol after Thorbjorg.
She was known as a volva and was said to be well-versed in magic when she settled in Bolungarvik, the Westfjords. She was called “sound-filler” due to her ability to cast spells that filled every sound with herring. As thanks for her spell, each farmer in the area awarded her with a hornless ewe. Her son was the poet Volu-Steinn Thuridarson. His father was unknown. DID YOU KNOW... Ilulissat, Greenland’s third largest town, has 4,900 inhabitants, almost as many as live in Klaksvik, the second largest town in the Faroe Islands (pop. 4,700). Almost 4,300 people live in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland’s 12th-largest largest municipality.
Air Iceland Connect in-flight magazine, English version.