Icelandair Stopover magazine - fall 2019

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Fall Magazine 2019



Empowered by Icelandic Nature



Iceland Airwaves Arrives in Reykjavík

On Tap: A Guide to Iceland’s Breweries

Iceland’s Part in the Moon Landing

Ólafur Elíasson at Tate Modern

page 22

page 30

page 46

page 56

SAGA SHOP Haust I Fall 2019

Tollfrjáls verslun I Tax & Duty-free

ENJOY USING YOUR SAGA POINTS ON THIS FLIGHT USE YOUR SAGA POINTS ON BOARD WITH THREE SIMPLE STEPS Members of our frequent flyer program, Icelandair Saga Club, can use their Saga Points for products and refreshments on board.


Inform the cabin crew you wish to use Saga Points

Enjoy your Saga Points purchase

Hand your Saga Card and credit or debit card to the cabin crew



Go to at least 48 hours before departure


Choose your item(s)

Submit your name, booking- or ticket number and email address


Your order will be delivered to your seat during your flight

Saga Club members now earn Tier Credits on top of their Saga Point earnings with every on-board purchase. Tier Credits determine whether you are eligible for Saga Silver or Saga Gold membership, and therefore added benefits. All Saga Shop goods have a one-year guarantee; please keep your receipt. Purchases can be exchanged at the Icelandair Head Office, upon presentation of receipts, Monday to Friday, between 1 and 4 pm. n

Please note that you cannot combine Saga Points

and other payment methods when making a purchase. Make1 –the most of your last hours in Iceland. Thank you for shopping with us. If your Saga Points status is not sufficient, the payment 2,000 = 100 will be deducted from your credit or debit card. Your receipt will be available at are2,001 We your one for Icelandic design, – 5,000 stop = shop 200 Keep in mind that refunds and changing payment methods 5,001 – 10,000 = 300 after the flight are not possible. souvenirs10,001 and– 20,000 traditional food. Browse = 700 Please note that only the Saga Card holder can use his / her The receipt will be online three to see our selection Saga Points as payment. 20,001 – 30,000 = 1,700and offers. hours after arrival. n





30,001 – 40,000



50,001 – 60,000 60,001 – 300,000

= =

5,000 6,000

All shops and restaurants are tax- and duty free. 40,001 – 50,000 = 3,500

Enter your last name and last four digits of your credit card.

*Saga Club members neither earn Saga Points nor Tier Credits when paying with Saga Points.

Make the most of your last hours in Iceland. We are your one stop shop for Icelandic design, souvenirs and traditional food. Browse to see our selection and offers. All shops and restaurants are tax- and duty free.






LOOK INSIDE Featured Content: 4 Letter From Icelandair 8 Landscape: New UNESCO

World Heritage Site

Icelandic for Beginners What to Do This Autumn Culture: Explosive New Year’s Eve

10 12 14 16 18

Recommended Reads Interview: Of Monsters and Men

Airwaves: Acts to Look Out for Airwaves: A Veteran’s Advice Sport: Icelandic Horses and Riders Strike Gold

Travel: A Guide to Icelandic Breweries

Saga Shop Product Profile: Blue Lagoon Skincare

22 24 26 30 34 36 38

40 42

Read Icelandair Stopover magazine (including past editions) online at

Icelandair on Instagram Film: Björn Thors Talks Pity the Lovers

History: Training for the Moon Landing in Iceland

Photo Essay: The Valley of Þór in Autumn Glory

46 50 56

Art: Olafur Eliasson: In real life at the Tate 60 Our Top Stopover Picks 64 Our Destinations: Seattle and its Love for Literature

66 Our Destinations: Chicago

from Different Angles

Our Destinations: The Allure of the English Countryside

Children’s Corner: Who Are the Icelandic Yule Lads?

68 70

I nterview: Director Hlynur Pálmason at Cannes My Location: A White, White Day

Editor: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir ( Cover Image: Meredith Truax Copy Editor: Carolyn Bain, Sarah Dearne Contributing Writers: Sigríður Ásta Árnadóttir, Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir, Carolyn Bain, Egill Bjarnason, Sarah Dearne, Móheiður Guðmundsdóttir, Björn Halldórsson, Benjamin Hardman, Brad Japhe, Tina Jøhnk Christensen, Jennifer Johnston, Will Larnach Jones, Ben Keene, Jón Agnar Ólason, Lisa Gail Shannen Contributing Illustrator: Björn Þór Björnsson

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Special Supplement – Travel Tips: 72 Visiting the Blue Lagoon

on Arrival in Iceland

Fabulous New Baths Up North

The Best Shopping Experience at KEF Airport

Reykjavík Eats and Treats: Food, Drinks and Cozy Cafés

Map of Iceland and Domestic Routes

Music and Travel: Recording in Icelandic Studios

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Flyer’s Hub: 86 Icelandair @Work:

88 90 92 94

Novelties and News I celandair’s CEO Introduces the Airline’s New Policy ranavatn: Branding Iceland’s K Tap Water

Iceland 101 Saga Shop Kitchen: On-Board Menu

and Names

96 In-Flight Entertainment 98 Services on Board 100 Our Fleet: Aircraft Types 102 Icelandair Travel Experience 106 Devices and Wi-Fi 108 Safety Information 110 Guide to Customs Forms AN SV


Prentgripur 1234 5678

Contributing Photographers: Egill Bjarnason, Hafliði Breiðfjörð, Lilja Draumland, Roman Gerasymenko, Louisa Hackl, Benjamin Hardman, Brad Japhe, Kári Jónasson, Tina Jøhnk Christensen, Eyþór Jóvinsson, Ben Keene, Varvara Lozenko, Alexander Matukhno, Runa Maya Mørk Huber, David Newman, Ahmad Odeh, Jón Agnar Ólason, Sverrir Pálsson, Yvan Rodic, Catherine Rogan, Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson, Rúnar Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Anders Sune Berg, Florian Trykowski, Rudy Willingham, Philipp Wuthrich Advertising: Design: Ágústa S. Þórðardóttir / Icelandic Ad Agency Printing: Oddi

VOLCANO & EARTHQUAKE EXHIBITION The Lava Centre is situated at Hvolsvöllur on the South Coast of Iceland, surrounded by active volcanoes. It truly acts as the gateway to Iceland’s most active volcanic area. It’s a must-see for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of the incredible forces that have shaped Iceland. The Lava Centre just received two Red Dot Awards, which cement its position as a world class exhibition.

More info and tickets at

Open every day

9:00 - 19:00

Lava now accepts

Follow us on

social media

Iceland Volcano & Earthquake Centre Austurvegur 14, Hvolsvöllur · South Iceland

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From Iceland Airwaves. Photo by Florian Trykowski.


MUSIC FIESTA MÓHEIÐUR GUÐMUNDSDÓTTIR CABIN CREW MEMBER AT ICELANDAIR. ACCREDITATION AND BOX OFFICE MANAGER AT ICELAND AIRWAVES. Dear passenger, welcome aboard! My name is Móheiður and in the summertime I work as a cabin crew member for Icelandair. I have now worked for Icelandair for three summers and each has been an adventure. What I like most about the job is taking part in welcoming travelers on their way to visit Iceland, and also having the opportunity to travel myself. Then in the fall, preparation for the Iceland Airwaves music festival takes over. Traveling to Iceland in wintertime has many advantages. One of them is that in the beginning of November, downtown Reykjavík turns up the volume. Live music takes over the city as Iceland Airwaves kicks off. If you walk downtown during the festival days, you can expect to hear music coming from almost every corner, concert hall, bar and restaurant, and it really is an amazing experience. The Icelandic music scene is really thriving and every year the festival welcomes newcomers along with other more experienced local artists. We are also lucky that artists from all over the world want to be a part of the festival. Icelandair has been a sponsor of Iceland Airwaves since it was first established more

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than 20 years ago, and we’ve helped fly eager festival guests and artists to and from this volcanic island. Being a part of Iceland Airwaves alongside working for Icelandair has given me a great insight into how important the festival is, giving artists the opportunity to find new audiences. This year the festival will take place for the 21st time, from November 6 to 9, and I urge all music lovers to join this music fiesta! (For more information, flip over to page 22.) Of Monsters and Men played Iceland Airwaves for the first time nine years ago after winning the Icelandic Music Experiments, and now they are the headliners. In the cover interview on page 18, band members Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson discuss their new album Fever Dream and some memorable moments from their careers. This year marks the 50 th anniversary of the first Moon landing. But before taking that “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” the Apollo astronauts trained in Iceland. Egill Bjarnason follows in their footsteps and learns more about the training sessions in the desolate Icelandic Highlands (see page 46). Meanwhile, beer competition judge Ben Keene tours Iceland’s microbreweries, presenting a handy guide for beer lovers on page 30, and photographer Benjamin Hardman shares his magical autumn shots from

secluded Highland valley Þórsmörk on page 50. Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir travels from Langanes to London for the opening of Olafur Eliasson: In real life at Tate Modern (see page 56). Two films are covered in this issue: On page 36 director Hlynur Pálmason discusses his latest feature A White, White Day and the experience of being part of Cannes Critics’ Week, and on page 42 Björn Thors sheds light on the quirky character he plays in dramedy Pity the Lovers. For more travel tips in Iceland, go to page 60. As for travel tips beyond Iceland, we feature Seattle’s love for literature on page 64, the many angles of Chicago on page 66 and the charming English countryside on page 68. Remember that when you fly between North America and Europe, you can add a Stopover in Iceland at no extra charge. If you’re planning a visit in December, you could encounter some of the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads who come down from the mountains at this time of year. Read more about them on page 70. They have also hidden all over this magazine… see if you can find them all! Whatever travel adventures you have planned, we at Icelandair wish you a pleasant journey and hope to see you on board again soon. Góða ferð! Have a good trip.

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Vatnajรถkull National Park

BY LISA GAIL SHANNEN. PHOTO BY ROMAN GERASYMENKO. On July 5, 2019, the iconic Vatnajökull National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adding a third Icelandic location of natural or cultural significance to the prestigious United Nations list. Stretching from the icy, multi-tongued hems of Vatnajökull—Europe’s largest ice cap—in the South, across super-black deserts of sand and cinder, to the spectacular terrain of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon in the North, the extensive region covers an area of around 5,405 square miles (14,000 km2), or approximately 14% of Iceland’s landmass.

Featuring an intoxicating mix of geological marvels and natural wonders, the national park, which was established in 2008, is recognized for its dynamic appeal and outstanding universal value. It’s home to Herðubreið and Snæfell—the respective queen and king of Icelandic mountains, and Hvannadalshnjúkur, the country’s highest peak. In addition to providing a unique setting for the study of glaciers and sub-glacial volcanoes, such as Grímsvötn and Bárðarbunga, the region presents an epic chapter of nature where you can observe the dramatic interplay of fire and ice and the impressive results of dramatic meltwater episodes such as jökulhlaup—sudden glacial floods triggered by volcanic events—which are still actively shaping the land.

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Lakagígar n


1,000 years, under 400,000 speakers and 50 words for snow. The Icelandic language is something else.

Fewer than 400,000 people speak Icelandic, a Germanic language that developed from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Listening to it is like traveling through time—due to the nation’s geographic isolation and conscious preservation, it has changed remarkably little in the past 1,000 years. Preserved ancient texts— which are still largely intelligible to modern readers—are studied at all school levels, and young and old still enjoy the Icelandic sagas.

• The word for helicopter is þyrla, from a verb meaning twirl.

In Iceland, creating new words for techno logical innovation is a national pastime, especially since the 19th century. Usually they are based on existing ones.

• Þ / þ (sometimes written as “th”) is pronounced like the “th” in think.


• The word for telephone is sími, from an ancient word for long thread. • The word for computer is tölva—a fusion of tala (number) and völva (prophetess).

The Icelandic alphabet has 32 letters, including:


snjóhraglandi and hundslappadrífa. For some reason, the most popular one is snjór. n

• Æ / æ (sometimes written as “ae”) is pronounced like the “i” in tide. • Ð / ð (sometimes written as “d”) is pronounced like the “th” in there.

Of course, Icelanders have selected their favorite word in a national referendum: Ljósmóðir (literally, “mother of light”) is the Icelandic word for midwife.



Unlike most European languages, there is no formal and informal version of the word you. Simply use þú regardless of whom you are addressing. And make sure to address Icelanders by their first name, even if they’re a music icon (Björk) or the world’s first female president (Vigdís). In fact, our phone book is listed alphabetically by given names.

Iceland has a strict government-run committee that decides which names are appropriate for giving to newborns.


Above: Volcanic landscape in Lakagígar, in the Highlands of Iceland.

Icelandic contains approximately 50 words describing different types of snow. These include skæðadrífa, kafaldsmyglingur, él,

ICELANDIC 101 Hello Sæl (seyel) for addressing a woman Sæll (seyetl) for addressing a man Hi Hæ (hi) Good morning / afternoon Góðan daginn (go-than dye-yin) Good evening Gott kvöld (goht-kvohld) Good night Góða nótt (go-tha noht) Goodbye Bless (blehss)

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Bye Bæ (bye)

Okay Allt í lagi (allt ee lye-yih)

See you later Sjáumst (syow-umst)

I love you Ég elska þig (yeh elska thih)

Thank you very much Takk fyrir (tahk fe-reer)

My name is Ég heiti (yeh hay-ti)

You’re welcome Það var ekkert (thah vahr ehk-kert)

One hot dog with everything please Eina með öllu, takk (ay-na meth oddlu takk)

Yes Já (yow)

Where can I find… Hvar finn ég... (kvahr finn yeh…)

No Nei (nay)

I don’t speak Icelandic Ég tala ekki íslensku (yeh tah-la eh-kih ees-lensku)

Maybe Kannski (kahn-skih)




Visit Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring and experience nature from its core by bathing in the geothermal baths at Krauma. It is open all year round and offers five geothermal baths, a cold tub, two calming saunas and a relaxation room where you rest by the fireplace while listening to soothing music.


Krauma Restaurant & Bar serves Icelandic cuisine from the freshest local farm produced ingredients and a wide selection of drinks. Relax while enjoying the spectacular view of Europe’s most powerful hot spring. Krauma is located at Deildartunguhver, a 97 km drive from Reykjavík.

EXPERIENCE NATURE FROM ITS CORE @krauma_baths kraumageothermal

+354 555 6066 Deildartunguhver, 320 Reykholt


Here’s what happening on the hippest island in the North Atlantic this winter. REYKJAVÍK

October 9


Imagine Peace Tower Lighting Located just off the coast of Reykjavík on Viðey island is the Imagine Peace Tower, a light installation conceived by Yoko Ono in remembrance of her husband John Lennon. Every year on October 9, his birthday, the tower is lit in a beautiful ceremony, beaming brightly in the Reykjavík sky as a symbol of peace. Everyone is welcome to attend, and the ferry ride is free for this special event. I


Days of Darkness East Iceland settles in for winter with the Days of Darkness festival, with events unfolding in towns all over the region. In keeping with the time of year, the festivities are a dusky blend of cozy and spooky, including ghost walks, masked balls, art exhibitions, candlelit swimming, Halloween fun, harvest buffets, and more. You’ll also find festival discounts on dining and accommodation, making this a wallet-friendly time to visit the beautiful East. I


November 6–9

Iceland Airwaves Celebrating its 21st this year, Iceland Airwaves is the highlight of the Iceland music festival calendar. This year’s lineup features local stars Of Monsters and Men (interviewed on page 18), Hatari and Vök, alongside international guests such as John Grant and Orville Peck. Flip over to pages 22 and 24 for tips and practical advice. I

October 26–28

Northern Wave International Film Festival Head to Snæfellsnes for Northern Wave, an offbeat short-film festival held in the tiny fishing village of Rif. The festival champions the French New Wave philosophy, rejecting conventional storytelling in favor of more free-form narratives. In addition to screenings, don’t miss workshops, talks, and the annual fish banquet, where local foodies compete for the esteemed title of best seafood dish. I

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October 30 to November 3

October 10–13

A! Performance Festival If you’re up North in October, make space in your schedule for the A! Performance Festival, a celebration of theater and dance in the ever-artistic town of Akureyri. A collaboration between local and international performers, the festival shows off the town’s surprisingly rich and impressive cultural scene. Shows take place in Icelandic, English, and the universal language of dance. I



Akureyri n East Iceland n n





December 1–24

Advent Celebrations If you’re traveling in December, you’re right on time to catch some Christmas festivities. In Reykjavík, head to the National Museum of Iceland or Árbær Open Air Museum to meet some of the 13 Yule Lads (Iceland’s more mischievous and multitudinous versions of Santa Claus) and learn about local Yuletide traditions. You can also pay the Yule Lads a home visit at their residence in Dimmuborgir, a lava field close to Lake Mývatn in North Iceland. And if you’re hoping to pick up some presents and a dose of holiday cheer, try a Christmas market. We love the one in Hafnarfjörður, which is open on weekends throughout Advent. I,,,


December 31

New Year’s Eve Run Set the pace for the year to come with the New Year’s Eve 10K. Starting and finishing at the iconic Harpa Concert Hall, the course (which includes a 3-km fun run) traces along the (possibly) snow-capped Reykjavík coastline and into the downtown area. The race attracts everyone from professional runners to families just warming up for the fireworks. If speed isn’t your forte, just dress to impress: There are prizes both for times and costumes. I From left: Akureyri celebrates the stage arts. Photo by Ahmad Odeh. The Imagine Peace Tower shines as a beacon of peace. Photo by Shutterstock. Hatari returns to Airwaves for 2019. Photo by Florian Trykowski.

Only 35 min. from Reykjavík


is a

Breathtaking Experience The highlight of our Iceland trip! The “Must See” event in Iceland Reviewed on TripAdvisor

For more information and bookings: +354 519 1616

+354 760 1000

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PYROTECHNIC PARTY NIGHT BY CAROLYN BAIN AND SARAH DEARNE. PHOTO BY RAGNAR TH. SIGURÐSSON / VISIT REYKJAVÍK. Icelandic New Year is a winning combination of delicious food, family togetherness, and the timeless joy of blowing things up. To celebrate like a local, start your evening with a special meal, then around 8:30 pm it’s time to take a stroll to the nearest bonfire. As the evening progresses, you’ll hear the gleeful bangs of fireworks as kids get impatient for midnight—except for a quiet hour at 10:30 pm, as the whole nation tunes into the TV show Áramótaskaupið, a satirical review of the year’s events. Then when the clock strikes 12, it’s on: over 500 tons of fireworks are unleashed, blanketing skies in a frenzy of light and color. The local Search and Rescue teams sell fireworks in the lead up to New Year’s Eve as a fundraiser for their muchloved organization, so Icelanders buy up big, and it shows. Rug up warm to watch the glittering illumination of the capital from atop Öskjuhlíð hill, or by Hallgrímskirkja (pictured).



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RAINY DAY READS Now that fall has arrived, it’s time to bid farewell to summer and nestle up indoors with a good book. Björn Halldórsson has a few choice titles to keep the autumn blues away. AND THE WIND SEES ALL By Guðmundur Andri Thorsson In the style of Life: A User’s Manual and Mrs. Dalloway, the timespan of this slim novel is a mere two minutes, yet the text captures the inner lives of a whole village. In a series of vignettes, the reader flits between the consciousnesses of the inhabitants of a small Icelandic fishing village. Fittingly, the thread that weaves together these disparate souls is Kata, the conductor of the town choir, capable of harmonizing the villagers’ voices into a single being. During the time it takes her to cycle through town, various villagers mark her passing while going through

the motions of their daily lives. As their thoughts drift into the realms of the past, their memories linger on former selves and the hopes and dreams that slipped through their fingers. A technical marvel of empathy, the text shifts its language and cadence to suit each villager. In doing so, it reflects their contrasting visions of each other and their stories, moving delicately between the warm embraces of nostalgia and the secret shame of old wounds and hidden traumas.

THE CASKET OF TIME By Andri Snær Magnason More fairytale than fantasy, The Casket of Time presents us with a familiar world, where people harangue themselves with worry about “the situation” while doing naught to amend it. Meanwhile, their children are left to ponder the mess their parents have made of the planet. When a mysterious company starts selling caskets that you can use to wait out the bad times (“No more Mondays! No more February!”), their TimeBoxes™ are a huge success. A long time later, the children begin to awake in their tombs, only to discover that nature has reclaimed the

planet while they slumbered. In this wild, post-apocalyptic landscape, they form a colony under the guidance of a mysterious old woman, who tells them the story of Obsidiana, the Princess of Pangea, and her mad father, King Dimon, who wanted to protect his daughter from heartache by hiding her from time itself. A story within a story, The Casket of Time is a satire of the present moment that applies a light, humorous touch to avoid the pitfalls of proselytizing or condescending to its readers.

A FIST OR A HEART By Kristín Eiríksdóttir Elín, a reclusive woman in her 70s, whittles away her remaining years designing theater props and body-parts for Scandi-noir TV shows. Through her work, she meets Ellen, a playwright barely out of her teens whose first play is headed for the stage. Though the two have little actual contact, she is smitten with the girl, who is weighed down by her supposed potential, thrust upon her by the legacy of her father, an infamous enfant terrible of Icelandic literature. Perturbed by this unfamiliar mothering instinct, the older woman begins to spy on Ellen and her wreck of


a mother, documenting their story because “no one else is going to do it.” In doing so, she begins to unravel the threads that interweave her own story with theirs, bringing up a past that she had happily consigned to oblivion. She also knows that time is of the essence, as she can feel her foothold in the world giving way. This translation marks the first appearance of Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s work in English, which in and of itself is a great crime against the Anglophone reader.


It has long been my theory that every writer, no matter genre or status, has at least one crime novel in them somewhere—though some might not dare set their beast free. Here, the author of 101 Reykjavík and A Woman at 1,000 Degrees takes on the hardboiled pulp genre and uses it for his own nefarious purposes. The result is a Tarantino-esque romp that is part Mickey Spillane and part John Kennedy Toole. The book follows the exploits of Tomislav “Toxic” Bokšic, a cocksure hitman for the Croatian mafia who needs to go into hiding after a

botched hit. Through a series of unfortunate events, he ends up in Iceland, hiding under the identity of an American minister in a country where murder is a rarity and gunmen have little to do but tend to their domestic chores. Though Toxic initially struggles to contain his violent tendencies, he is soon adapting to his new homeland and making strides to better himself. All the while, his hell-for-leather narrative voice gives the reader an outsider’s perspective like no other of the mundane realities and absurdities of modern Icelandic society.

Check out which audio books are available on page 96 and on our in-flight entertainment system.

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Right: Of Monsters and Men playing Iceland Airwaves in 2016. Photo by Alexander Matukhno.

Left: Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson at a concert in Fríkirkjan, Iceland Airwaves, in 2016. Photos by Varvara Lozenko.

FEVER DREAMING From alligators to head-banging bugs, Of Monsters and Men talk creativity, music production and travel adventures. BY LISA GAIL SHANNEN. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ICELAND AIRWAVES. After the release of their third studio album Fever Dream in July, Of Monsters and Men return to headline this year’s Iceland Airwaves. The concert marks nine years since their first performance at Airwaves, when they appeared as winners of the 2010 Icelandic Music Experiments (IME). Icelandair Stopover caught up with band members Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir (singer and guitarist) and Ragnar Þórhallsson, (lead guitarist and singer) to talk about their new album, music production, the joys of travel and encounters with bugs who love to rock out.

Let’s start by taking you back in time to 2010. What do you remember from the first time you performed at Iceland Airwaves? Ragnar: I remember we played seven shows [including off-venues] that year around Airwaves—we played non-stop. It was a lot of fun, super loud and there were loads of people. You’re coming back and headlining Iceland Airwaves this year. What does the event mean to you? Nanna: I remember the first time I bought a ticket. I was 18 and had just got a car, but then I couldn’t afford the gas to get there, so I had to sell my ticket. But the next year I made it, and I was really into it. It’s the very first festival I ever went to, and it was a big moment. Your world has been turned upside-down since you were signed in 2011: You’ve traveled the world, performed on TV shows and top festivals and even appeared on Game of Thrones. What have been the standout moments so far? Ragnar: I don’t know if it’s like specific moments. Going on those TV shows is kind of surreal, I always nervously blackout and appear after I’ve done it, so I don’t remember those experiences. There are a couple of moments when you look out at the audience, and you think, where am I? Those are not even the best shows … it’s just moments for me. Nanna: We’ve gotten to travel a lot, going to many cool places, like Mt. Fuji and the countryside in Japan where they have these giant spiders that jump onto the stage... you’re trying to play, but they’re coming at you. Ragnar: There was one moment in South Africa when we were doing a song, and a praying mantis started climbing up my mic stand, and it was bobbing its head to the music. I stopped singing because I thought it would jump in my mouth. But I made a connection with that praying mantis. I was amazed. After the show, I set it free.

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You’ve performed countless times since the band formed almost a decade ago, but does anyone still get nervous before a show? Nanna: Yes, I do get nervous, but then you get into it, and you forget all about it—then suddenly it’s over. It’s mostly just when you’re about to walk onstage. I get more nervous in Iceland than anywhere else, though. Ragnar: Yeah, we did a song at our drummer’s wedding, and I was so nervous I was shaking, so stuff like that gets me.

You must have encountered some of your idols along the way. Who have you been most excited to meet? Nanna: I remember one time seeing Robert Smith at a festival. As a teenager, I was just obsessed with him, and I freaked out a little bit, and I hid. Ragnar: My teenage band was Death Cab for Cutie, and we’ve met them a bunch of times, so that’s been really cool, and we’ve played with them a lot, too. Kind of weird for me, but nice.

Getting a spot at Iceland Airwaves was one of the prizes of winning the IME. Do you have any advice for those who may follow in your footsteps? Nanna: There’s a lot of things that need to come together, and you need to be active: You have to be constantly at it. I think it’s also important to be open in this business… open to trying things. Ragnar: I think it’s good to be humble and not expect things to happen. And keep it up. If you feel like you’re getting too cool, it stops you.

“Alligator” is the first release from your new album. It has striking dynamics and a catchy melody, but what is it about? Nanna: I feel like it’s a state of being. Sometimes you write songs, and you see it’s a love song... but this song, for me, is about the feeling of wanting to be strong, which is what I was feeling at that time. What inspired the title “Alligator”? Nanna: The soundscape of the song is very much an alligator. It’s rough, and it’s feral, and heavy in the way that it moves.

How did you go about recording it? Nanna: The way that we wrote it was different than we had done before. It was just done on our laptops, you know, just experimenting with that whole world of piecing together a song on the computer. Ragnar: You have your piano and your screen, and you are frying your brain doing horrible, horrible stuff, and then all of a sudden something happens. A lot of the songs on this album happened like that for me. Kamiel Rongen’s video for “Alligator” features substances with different colors and viscosity dropping into water. How did you discover him and what attracted to you his work? Nanna: We saw him on Instagram. He was doing the Iris van Herpen show, and it just looked really beautiful […] It’s not computeranimated, you can see all the textures […] and we wanted that rawness. Ragnar: Yes, very in tune with our artwork. Nonni [Jón Sæmundur] paints for us a lot, and it felt almost like a closeup of his process. You worked with Rich Costey on this track, who has produced many great acts including for Muse and Chvrches. Can you tell us a bit about the process and how you ended up working with him? Ragnar: It was a long process this time around. We started this album by ourselves and went far with the demos. Then we worked with Craig Silvie, who mixed our first album. It was a long process, and I just felt like we were stuck and needed a push. Nanna: Rich is really good at that, you know, kind of like putting a fire under your ass. Ragnar: Putting a fire under your ass? Nanna: Isn’t that something you say? [laughter ensues] Ragnar: I don’t know; I like it though! He [Rich] is really good at forcing you to make decisions. It’s sometimes hard for musicians to close a song and end the process, and he stirs the pot and makes you make decisions. Nanna: It was what we needed at that point. It’s been a long process, and we had to close the door. Ragnar: So we talked to him again, because we worked on the second album with him, and he was up for it.

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Of Monsters and Men playing at Harpa, Iceland Airwaves, in 2012. Photo by Yvan Rodic.

we made the chair squeak. Did we do anything weird for this album…? The toilet f*****! Nanna: Oh, Yeah! The toilet f*****! Just checking I heard you right; the toilet what?

Nanna: We had also worked with Martin Cook, an engineer we love. We’d started the process with him here in Iceland. It was really nice working with the two of them again on this album. Do you get a lot of producers wanting to work with you, as well? Ragnar: Er... no. No one is reaching out to us. How it works is that the band reaches out to the producer, in our case, at least. But yeah, he was very eager when we reached out. What was it like working with Rich Costey? Ragnar: It was challenging, I have to say. But in a good way. Nanna: We haven’t worked with a lot of producers, and you can really see how different they are in their styles. Some producers are all about creating a really comfortable and fun environment, so you feel super creative. He [Rich] thinks a lot about how things sound and can obsess about one particular sound and really focuses on it. I think he was really good for us at that point. Ragnar: And it’s fun, but it’s not like a party. You’re in a band with five people and then there’s another voice coming in: lots of voices and a lot of possible disagreements. So, it’s always challenging, but also super fun.

Ragnar: We call it the toilet f*****, from the toilet in the studio; it’s like a giant metal thing that goes around toilet paper, industrial sized, and it fit on Arnar’s [drum] stand. It made like a stick-hit kind of sound. It was a really good sound for this album. Music is a big part of the culture here in Iceland, and there seems to be a lot of practical support available, such as the IME. Can you tell us more about that? Nanna: That was huge, of course. Ragnar: We got studio time, and we went to Holland to play for our first trip ever, so that did a lot for us. Nanna: We got a grant once as well from Kraumur [a music fund supporting Icelandic musicians and artists]. Ragnar: So yes, I think it shows. You travel around the globe performing, but do you ever travel when you’re home in Iceland? Are there any places you love to visit? Nanna: Yes, especially when you have people over. There are places like Reykjanes, for example, that are beautiful and right there. I like going to Djúpavík in the Westfjords, too. Ragnar: I don’t know, I’ve yet to make my memories in Iceland.

Having just seen Bohemian Rhapsody, where Queen employed several unorthodox recording techniques, I was wondering if you had ever done any crazy stuff in the studio in the name of creativity, too? Ragnar: Yeah! On the last album, we made a drum kit out of cardboard boxes. And then for “Yellow Light” on the first album, we dimmed the lights in the big room at Stúdíó Sýrland and put some mics in the middle and just walked around banging everything.

What’s next on the OMAM musical journey? Will you be touring with the album once it’s released? Ragnar: We’re starting a tour in September.

Nanna: We did it also for “Thousand Eyes” on our last album [Beneath the Skin] recorded in Sundlaugin.

Nanna: Oh, they are really good, and I’m also excited about what Mammút are doing.

Ragnar: Yeah, I remember fondling a plant, and then we did a chair thing on “Little Talks;”

Of Monsters and Men will close Airwaves with a concert at Valshöllin on Saturday night, 9 November.

Nanna: Yes, we’re going to America first, and then we’re doing our European tour. Finally, what Icelandic musicians are on your playlist at the moment? Nanna: I’m obsessed with that new Hjaltalín song, “The Baroness.” Ragnar: Ayia.

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Iceland Airwaves is all about discovery. Whether it’s hometown heroes or something entirely new, around every corner your favorite new band might be playing—you just don’t know it yet. Here’s a little taste of some of 2019’s acts to whet your musical appetite.


Of Monsters and Men It’s been a long time coming, but Fever Dream might be OMAM’s best album yet. They dance so well between cool and commercial success. This show will be a real homecoming—their only Icelandic one for the year—and it’s going to be an amazing fitting end to the festival and a wildly successful year for the band.


Orville Peck The minute we saw the video for “Dead of Night” we knew we had to get Orville Peck to Airwaves. A masked, queer country troubadour with costumes, songs and a soaring voice to match. The festival always enjoys a bit of mystery and spectacle (we think he’s from Canada?), and we’re excited to see him deliver.

Clockwise from top left: Orville Peck; einarIndra; Of Monsters and Men (from Moriah Berger – Mick Management); Lydmor; John Grant.

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einarIndra I’m really enjoying Reykjavík’s einarIndra at the moment. His music weaves between ambient, vocal and many things in between. It sounds like organic electronic, almost reminding me of very early GusGus in parts. It’s not easy to make music that’s both experimental and this accessible. I look forward to seeing it live.

John Grant Last time John played Airwaves it was with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. This time he strips it down to himself, a piano and two shows at the beautiful Fríkirkjan church by Tjörnin, the Reykjavík pond. Anyone who caught Ásgeir or Stella Donnelly at Fríkirkjan last year will know just how special performances here can be. Tiny Ruins from New Zealand, who’s also very special, will play here too. Lydmor We have a lot of great artists this year, bringing elements of club music, dance and electronic with a good pop sensibility—all on their own terms. Dublin’s Æ Mak is one, Iceland via Berlin’s Rokky and Helsinki’s Detalji two others, and Demark’s Jenny Lydmor’s emotive, pristine pop will all be there to enjoy.

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INSIDER’S GUIDE TO ICELAND AIRWAVES Whether you’re new to Iceland Airwaves or a seasoned pro, if you plan on joining the party this year, there are a few things you should know. Take a look at our insider’s guide for some top tips on how to have as much fun as possible in four days. What to Pack Warm-ish clothing. Reykjavík can be cold in November, but not so cold you’ll need to wear down jackets and moon boots; just bring what you would normally wear for the season. The main problem you’ll have to deal with is getting too hot once you’re inside. The events take place in a number of different locations in the downtown area and not all the venues will offer a cloakroom service. The best solution is to bring a warm, light coat you can easily tie around your waist, or a nice tote you can stuff your coat in. Also, a coat in a tote makes a good buffer for comfort in crowded places. Note! If you think you’ll have time for adventures in the great outdoors, then by all means bring your walking shoes and plenty of layers and waterproofs. Don’t forget to ditch the Hyvent and Gore-Tex for your glad rags, though, once you get back to civilization. Fanny packs (bumbags) are great for festivals, and thanks to a mashup of normcore, dadcore and some other “core” trends, they no longer look dorky if you wear them around your shoulder. Earplugs. Your daily dose of decibels will go through the roof during this festival, so if you care about your hearing, invest in some decent earplugs. They might also help you get some sleep if you’re staying in downtown Reykjavík.

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Beer. Alcohol is notoriously expensive in Iceland, so stock up at duty-free. To save money, locals tend to start the party at home or the hotel before they hit the nightlife. Note! If you have the Airwaves Plus upgrade, you’ll get 20% off all alcohol sold at the official venues. Hangover cure. Bring Alka-Seltzer (they don’t sell it in Iceland). In case you forget and are in need of the next best thing, head to the nearest apótek (pharmacy) and ask for something called Treo. What App? Get the Airwaves app. It lists the full festival schedule and bios of all the bands performing and you can use it to create your own schedules. It has a map of the venues and more. Reykjavík Appy Hour is an app that lists all happy hours at Reykjavík bars. It’s a great money saving tool for economic drinkers. Avoiding the Queues The best way to avoid the queues is to either get there early or get an Airwaves Plus upgrade (ISK 12,000 / USD 90), which allows you, amongst other special festival privileges, front-of-line access. You can also check with the event’s social media, which give regular updates on how busy venues are and whether or not there are queues.


Explore Iceland Airwaves is all about discovering new music, so don’t be afraid to go off-piste a bit. Walk, or run—depending on the weather— between the venues and let chance lead you to some new audio dynamite. Off-Venues Live music sounds from the most unlikely places during Airwaves, with coffee shops, bookstores and even clothing shops getting in on the action. While the official venues are where the main action takes place, most of the artists also play at the off-venues, usually with stripped-down acoustic sets. Where to Relax The atmosphere during this four-day festival is overloaded with energy, so you’ll definitely need a place to unwind. Here’s where Iceland’s geothermal pools come in handy. Swimming pool culture is big in Reykjavík and there’s a pool in every district of the city. The closest in the downtown area is the newlyrenovated Sundhöllin pool. You Cant’s Be in 10 Places at Once When it’s all over you can’t help feeling like you’ve missed something, and then you hear about what happened here and there and realize you have. Don’t feel bad, though; hearing and sharing your experience with people is all part of the fun.

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ICELAND’S FOUR-LEGGED SPORTING STARS The Icelandic national team won 11 gold medals at the World Championships for Icelandic Horses in Berlin in August—its greatest success since the championships were first held in 1970. BY EYGLÓ SVALA ARNARSDÓTTIR. PHOTOS BY LOUISA HACKL / COURTESY OF HORSES OF ICELAND AND THE ICELANDIC EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION. On August 4, 80 Icelandic horses and their riders “invaded” Berlin in a relay ride from the Victory Column at the Brandenburg Gate to the grounds of the World Championships for Icelandic Horses at the Equestrian Park in Karlshorst. Stunned spectators observed these graceful and colorful creatures pass them by as the proud riders waved their national flags. (Continues on page 28.)

Top: The Icelandic national team with their trainers, and the medals and trophies they won. Right: Olil Amble competing in five gait on Álfarinn frá Syðri-Gegnishólum.

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Clockwise from top: Triple world champions Jóhann Rúnar Skúlason and Finnbogi frá Minni-Reykjum demonstrating tölt; young rider Ásdís Ósk Elvarsdóttir and Koltinna frá Varmalæk after winning the silver in four gait combination; Bergþór Eggertsson competing in pace test on Besti frá Upphafi. The 25th World Championships for Icelandic Horses were held in Berlin, August 4–11. A biennial event, this is where all the best riders and best Icelandic horses gather to compete in various disciplines. It’s different from most other equestrian championships because the biggest focus is on the five gaits of the Icelandic horse and riding style rather than speed, in disciplines such as tölt, four gait and five gait. However, there are also races— in flying pace. Flying High The Icelandic riders and horses certainly “flew” down the track with the Icelandic team winning all the pace disciplines: Konráð Valur Sveinsson and stallion Losti frá Ekru won the 100-m pace race, Guðmundur Björgvinsson and Glúmur frá Þóroddsstöðum the 250-m pace race, while Teitur Árnason and Dynfari frá Steinnesi became world champions in pace test and Benjamín Sandur Ingólfsson and Messa frá Káragerði won the young riders’ pace test.

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The stars of the show were Jóhann Rúnar Skúlason and pristine white stallion Finnbogi frá Minni-Reykjum, triple world champions in tölt, four gait and four gait combination. Jóhann was also awarded for best riding style. Overall, Iceland claimed six golds in the adult disciplines, one in the youth disciplines and four for its breeding horses. As the highest scoring team, Iceland claimed the team trophy on top of the 11 gold medals. Small, Sturdy and Smooth The Icelandic horse is a small and sturdy breed that has been pure bred in Iceland for about 1,000 years. It was used for traveling across rugged terrain and therefore developed a special four-beat lateral gait called tölt, which is without suspension and incredibly smooth. Flying pace is also a specialty of the Icelandic horse, a two-beat lateral movement without suspension—both smooth and fast: (for more information, go to

Today, the Icelandic horse is mostly used for sport and recreation. Its popularity outside Iceland is growing; there are Icelandic horse associations in 21 countries, all of which are eligible to send national teams to the World Championships. The Championships are held in a member country of FEIF, the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations (which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year), but never in Iceland. To protect the breed from foreign diseases, no horse can travel to Iceland, meaning that the horses that compete for Iceland can never return. Iceland holds its own national championships instead, the Landsmót, which is held every other year opposite the World Championships—in 2020 in Hella in South Iceland.




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Left: Cheese-stuffed breadsticks at Ölverk. Next page, clockwise from top left: Ölvisholt Brewery is on an old dairy farm near Selfoss; Laufey Sif Lárusdóttir and Elvar Þrastarson of Ölverk; Marteinn Haraldsson of Segull 67 in his nautical taproom; Cans of Segull 67’s Sólstingur, brewed with pineapple; Segull 67 in Siglufjörður; Ölverk Pizza and Brewery in Hveragerði.

TAPPING INTO A GLOBAL TREND A drinking tour of Iceland, 30 years after the end of the beer ban. TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BEN KEENE. From horseback riding to cave diving, puffin watching to hot spring soaking, Iceland has turned itself into a popular vacation destination. Until fairly recently however, beer tourists didn’t have much to entice them to this island nation in the North Atlantic. In fact, 2019 marks only 30 years since Iceland legalized the sale and consumption of beer with over 2.25% alcohol, ending nearly eight decades of a curious and narrowly defined type of prohibition. Things have changed considerably however, particularly in the last few years. The first Icelandic craft brewery, Bruggsmiðjan, which produces the popular Kaldi, didn’t open until 2006, and as recently as 2015 there were only seven small breweries nationwide. Today, nearly 30 beer companies dot the countryside, with the highest concentration in greater Reykjavík. There’s trendy KEX Brewing in the capital city, which just opened its second location in Portland, Oregon; Ölverk Pizza and Brewery in the South, where the brewhouse is powered by geothermal energy; Brugghús Steðja, which gained publicity by making beers with unusual ingredients including smoked whale testicles; and Lady Brewery, one of the newer brands in Iceland, started by two young women in a home kitchen. “The culture has changed so fast,” says Valgeir Valgeirsson, head brewer at RVK Brewing Company in central Reykjavík. “[Craft beer] is quite a new concept. We’re just trying to build it up.” Ten taps greet visitors to RVK, along with a British beer engine, traditionally used to serve cask ales. Here, in an unassuming taproom overlooking the brewery’s stainless steel fermentation tanks, those with adventurous

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palates can try everything from a juicy, easydrinking pale ale with notes of tropical fruit, to a boldly flavored, high-alcohol stout made with coffee and coconut. Creativity is king in this new era of brewing, with the sky as the limit. Valgeir and a number of other brewers around the country have even made sour beers by incorporating skyr, an Icelandic cultured dairy product, into their recipes. Meanwhile, more than 230 miles (370 km) away in the small but scenic fishing village of Siglufjörður, Marteinn Haraldsson is the proud owner of the country’s northernmost brewery, Segull 67. Marteinn, a computer scientist who grew up in town but lives in Akureyri, learned the basics one homebrew recipe at a time, but now produces much larger batches in a former fish-freezing factory a short distance from the popular Herring Era Museum. An amber lager simply called Original and Sigló, an India pale ale, sell best, but Marteinn also makes a Belgian-style wheat beer with coriander and lime peel and a pineapple summer ale—not exactly options you would have had in Iceland as recently as a few years ago. For all of the tourists that arrive in Siglufjörður via cruise ship during the summer months, Marteinn talks about the obstacles to being a little business in a remote town of 1,200. “Most of our challenges are getting people to know about us,” he says. “We just try to take it one day at a time.” East of Reykjavík, in the town of Hveragerði, Ölverk Pizza and Brewery has successfully gained attention since opening its doors in 2017, by combining complementary passions: wood-fired pizza, and craft brewing. General manager Laufey Sif Lárusdóttir and her partner head brewer Elvar Þrastarson don’t currently can or bottle any of the beers they make, preferring to serve them on premise by

the glass, pitcher, or tasting flight. Working on a small system enables Elvar to keep the draft list varied and interesting, tempting taste buds with a mild, malty, and food-friendly Altbier alongside a hazy, hoppy, party-in-a-glass imperial IPA like Disco Juice. The couple also typically devotes two of their eight taps to other small Icelandic breweries they admire, like Ölvisholt in Selfoss or The Brothers Brewery on Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. “It’s really small and friendly,” says Laufey of the young Icelandic beer scene. “For other industries it’s really weird. But if someone else opened up a brewery here I would say ‘Okay, I will be better.’” Ólafur Ágústsson, one of the partners behind KEX Brewing, echoes this sense of camaraderie, and explains how a desire to build and promote interest in craft brewing motivated the company to begin hosting an annual Icelandic Beer Festival at KEX’s four story space in downtown Reykjavík eight years ago. Last year more than a dozen Icelandic brewers poured their ales and lagers alongside examples from the US and elsewhere in Europe. “We’re not brewers at all,” he says. “I’m a chef. We’re just people who like good beer. We wanted to make the scene better. That’s what’s important right now—helping everybody and trying to grow the market.” Author of The Great Northeast Brewery Tour and a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Beer, Ben Keene has judged beer competitions across the United States.



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1 2 12 11



Something’s Brewing, All Around Iceland 1. KEX Brewing Hosts of the popular annual Icelandic Beer Festival.

6. Bruggsmiðjan Kaldi Brewery Soak in a beer spa at the country’s oldest craft brewery.

11. Ölvisholt Brewery Don’t miss the chance to try Lava, a smoked imperial stout.

2. RVK Brewing Company Fruity sours share space with easydrinking lagers and hazy, hoppy IPAs.

7. Húsavík Öl Expect creative saisons made with birch, rhubarb, juniper, or mint.

12. Ölverk Pizza and Brewery Pair a tasty ale with the surprisingly delicious banana pizza.

3. Brugghús Steðja Sleep on the farm in an insulated cabin at this rural brewery.

8. Beljandi Brugghús Approachable beers and a rustic vibe inside a former slaughterhouse.

4. Dokkan Brugghús The first brewery in the Westfjords, and possibly the most remote in Iceland.

9. Smiðjan Brugghús Try the baby back ribs cooked in Icelandic stout.

5. Segull 67 Brewery Fresh beer, fishing history, and views of Siglufjörður.

10. The Brothers Brewery Watch for puffins on the ferry ride to this island brewery.

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There are many more breweries in Iceland, particularly in the greater Reykjavík area. For a complete map, check out the Independent Craft Brewers of Iceland’s Facebook page.

Above: From Segull 67 in Siglufjörður.




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noticed how soft it felt—wanted to take the healing power of the lagoon home with them,” says Director of R&D Ása Brynjólfsdóttir. The Blue Lagoon Silica Mud Mask was their first product and remains a bestseller. It strengthens the skin’s barrier function, deep cleanses the skin and reduces the visibility of pores. Ása explains that they harvest the silica by cooling the geothermal seawater, allowing the silica to precipitate as a white mud separate from the water. “We always imitate what happens in nature.” Anti-Aging Algae A unique, blue-green microalgae that thrives in the water is cultivated in glass-tube bioreactors at the R&D Center. It’s the key ingredient for the anti-aging Blue Lagoon Algae Mask. Clinical studies have shown that the algae stimulates the skin’s collagen renewal and prevents its breakdown caused by sun exposure. It nourishes and moisturizes skin,

while minimizing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Nothing Goes to Waste The Blue Lagoon is rooted in sustainability and it’s the ethos for the company’s ongoing evolution. The algae is fed only on geothermal seawater and geothermal gas rich in carbon dioxide that otherwise would be emitted into the atmosphere. “Whenever new buildings are constructed in the lava field, we save the lava for decoration. We also grind lava as a natural scrub for our products,” says Ása. The Blue Lagoon Lava Scrub cleanses and exfoliates the skin, while also stimulating blood flow and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Salt is also harvested from the geothermal seawater, both for the Blue Lagoon’s restaurants and the Blue Lagoon Mineral Mask, which revitalizes, moisturizes, and soothes the skin. All of these products are available on board this flight.



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A DREAM COMES TRUE Icelandic writer-director Hlynur Pálmason discusses his new film A White, White Day and the Critics’ Week in Cannes. BY TINA JØHNK CHRISTENSEN. Writer-director Hlynur Pálmason’s debut film Winter Brothers became a Locarno prize winner. But the 35-year-old director had a secret dream: He wanted his film to appear at Cannes in the Critics’ Week. His dream came true in May with his second film A White, White Day. The film stars Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson—named Best Actor at the Critics’ Week—as Ingimundur, a man who’s lost his wife and not only suffers from the loss but also from an assumption that she’d had an affair before her accident. It’s a film that could be described as both comedy and tragedy—and as a romance. We met the director at Cannes to talk about his experience. Was the experience of Critics’ Week what you expected it to be? It’s a real honor to be in the Critics’ Week. I was kind of hoping for that with my debut or my sophomore as they only take the debut or second film. I’m really honored and happy to be part of the selection because they have so few films. There are only seven films there. I’m honored because one of my favorite films was screened here many years ago. It’s a Spanish film called The Spirit of the Beehive by Victor Erice. I just remember a long time ago that I was looking at where it was screened and it said Critics’ Week, so it just had a nostalgic thing connected to it. I connected it to the spirit and it just felt like something that I wanted and something that felt right. What was it like seeing the film with the audience in Cannes? It went really fast. It felt like the film was half an hour long or something. It was so strange. Emotionally, I was not really experiencing the film like I was experiencing it while working on it. So it was like there were too many people around me that I knew. But it was really emotional and a good feeling.

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It was interesting to see the reaction of the audience and feel the atmosphere. There are a lot of scenes where there’s a fine line and balance between humor and seriousness, so people don’t know if they are supposed to laugh or not. I really like those kinds of moments of tension. I think it works, and the vibe was interesting. While there’s a very fine line between the humor and darkness in A White, White Day, it’s also very romantic. Is it like an Icelandic version of a romantic comedy? I don’t know. I think that everything I do is probably in some way about love or lack of love. I think my debut was very much about the lack of love—about not being wanted and the need to be loved and desired—and this film is more about love and hate at the same time. Loving someone and then hating the person at the same time. It’s also about grief, loss, jealousy and loneliness—can you talk about the themes that you cover? I knew that I was interested in the feeling of when someone passes or when you lose someone. All the feelings are left behind with the living; doubt, anger, grief, sorrow are left behind with the living. I thought that was kind of interesting because Ingimundur has to deal with all these feelings and the person who died is scot free. It’s almost like a curse for the ones living. So it was almost like a hate-poem to the dead—like a diatribe. This was something that I found really exciting because it has the same feeling of being the same context— like being beautiful but at the same time being brutal—like never sentimental but beautiful at the same time. I love it when you can leave it open to interpretation. If you are cynical, you feel more like it’s brutal and if you’re a romantic, you feel that it’s more funny and beautiful, and I want it to be more in between.

The film starts with an unattributed saying to the effect that when everything is white and you can no longer see the difference between the earth and the sky, the dead can talk to the living. Is this a saying in Iceland? It’s a saying from an unknown source on the east coast where I grew up. I like the idea of the white day. I like the idea of something being hidden. That something is there like a dark possibility or something that you cannot explain or fathom. I like having things like that. I think I like it because I have things to explore or something to dig deeper into. It’s something that I don’t understand. So this white day was just something that stimulated me. It stimulated the process of writing and developing the film because I really didn’t know what would happen that day. I had a feeling that there was something dangerous and uncomfortable but I didn’t know. That was sort of my writing and development process having this white day—it was so full of possibilities. How do you think that the Icelandic landscape and mentality affect the way you make movies? I read somewhere that the weather has shaped Iceland over the last thousand years, as well as the people and the Icelandic horse and so on. I think that the landscape around you does color you and it does shape you in a way. There’s a certain temperament in the weather. I think very much in terms of temperament when I make my films. I want my film to be a temperament. Your daughter Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir plays Salka, Ingimundur’s granddaughter. What made you choose her and what was it like working with her? I love having family and friends around me, and the more family and friends that work with me, the better it is. If you really have devoted and good collaborations, I feel I can push harder because there are no egos. I can

Previous page: Hlynur Pálmason with his daughter Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir at Cannes. Photo by Tina Jøhnk Christensen. Right: Ingvar E. Sigurðsson and Ída Mekkín in their roles as Ingimundur and Salka in A White, White Day. Courtesy of Join Motion Pictures.

just push for the film. When you have your own children, you can push even harder. She has always been very relaxed around the camera because she is used to me. I have always filmed and photographed a lot and we have made small video works together, so it was very natural for her. She really wanted to do it and we did some tests and came to the conclusion that we should definitely do this. So I kind of wrote it with her in mind. I also had him [Ingvar] in mind. Can you speak about working with Ingvar? My graduation film was called The Painter and he was the protagonist there, so I got to know him then. That was in 2013. Afterwards, I thought there were so many possibilities in his performance and I felt he was really physically interesting and very technical but at the same time really emotionally present, which I really liked. So we hit it off and really liked working together, and so after we completed the project back in 2013, I told him that I was working on a project called A White, White Day, and I asked him if I could write it for him, and then we just started. So we have been talking about it ever since. Are you working on any other projects at the moment? I always work parallel on a couple of things. I really like when they are bouncing into each other and eating into each other because if one project really takes off, it sort of comments on the others and you become more critical of them. I feel like they are collaborating or something like that and it’s really interesting. They make me doubt my material, and I like that. I like doubting and feeling unease, and I like that they eat into each other. A White, White Day was screened at Toronto International Film Festival in September, with public screenings launching in Iceland at the same time. Distribution rights have been sold to over 30 countries.

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SEASONING THE FILM SET In Hlynur Pálmason’s A White, White Day, the location magic happens when the elements combine to create the perfect setting. BY LISA GAIL SHANNEN. PHOTOS AND STILLS COURTESY OF JOIN MOTION PICTURES. Premiering at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the award-winning film A White, White Day—a compelling story of love, loss and revenge—was filmed in several remote locations in the southeast and east of Iceland: places which not only inspired the storyline but, when fused with the elements of time and the weather, play an integral role in portraying the characters and mood. The opening scene, which was recorded in the small village of Höfn í Hornafirði, took two years to film, explains director Hlynur Pálmason, who also grew up there. “The film begins with an accident where the protagonist loses someone he loves. Because of this, I wanted to portray time passing, the temperament of the weather and the changing of the various seasons.” The importance of these elements goes much further in that they explore the interior of his characters by showing the world around them. “Each location has a certain feel and a certain mood, depending on the season and weather. The locations are the bricks of the world you’re trying to create; they’re the world you project

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the characters and feelings into,” says Hlynur, who also revisited the locations at different times of the year to capture the variations in light and atmosphere. While Höfn provides the leading location for the film, and home of the protagonist, Oddsskarð—a mountain pass with a closed-off tunnel between Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður—yielded the perfect spot for capturing the old Icelandic proverb referenced in the film title, which describes rare conditions where everything goes white and the borders between the earth and sky become seamless. “We shot some of the most exciting and demanding scenes there,” Hlynur reveals, especially when they were filming an emotionally climactic scene between the main characters Ingimundur and his granddaughter, Salka. “It’s set in the old closed-off tunnel at Oddsskarð and filmed in one continuous shot where we follow them from the front as they walk deeper into the dark tunnel. Ingimundur is holding his granddaughter while bleeding fiercely from a deep cut on his arm. In this scene, they completely open up towards one another and scream in the dark and listen to their echo. The scene was quite challenging but very enjoyable.”

In addition to Oddsskarð, A White, White Day features the fjords of Stöðvarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður in the East Fjords, bringing some of Iceland’s less-visited regions into the spotlight. They’re “all beautiful places and worth visiting, some of them very raw and unspoiled which is quite precious nowadays,” observes Hlynur. While they might not get as much attention as other parts of the country, these evocative settings, seasoned with the elements of weather and time, look completely magical on the big screen, but even more so in reality.





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Clockwise from top left: Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir as Salka; One of the main locations, outside Höfn; The crew on the move; On location in Stöðvarfjörður; The Oddsskarð tunnel; Preparing for the next shot.



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A THOUSAND WORDS Please note that by using the #MyStopover hashtag, you are granting us permission to use your image in our magazine or on our social media channels.

Silfra, Þingvallavatn, Þingvellir National Park, Iceland I hnrq.csm I Henrique dos Santos Martins

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Thanks to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can share your travel experience with the world. Check out this selection of recent images from our passengers who tagged their pictures with the #MyStopover tag. Pretty great, right? In upcoming issues, we will feature the best pics by users who include the #MyStopover tag. Happy snapping!

Valdís. A local said it’s the best ice cream in town. I shan’t argue. I r_e_patel I Rita Patel

Skógafoss Waterfall I aki_koni_ I Eun Jae Jung

Gljúfrabúi. A hidden spot! We loved it! I ilsevanroeyen I Ilse Van Roeyen

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Playing hide and seek with a seal at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The best game ever. I nathalie.cdec I Nathalie Cordier de Croust

Oh, hey there Greenland I masonjezek I Anne Mason-Jezek

Laugarvatnshellar I cookie_cuckoo I Maria Zazirnaya

A sweet little cafe in the Westfjords where you can warm up and have freshly baked waffles I peedy0205 I Petra Schulz

Walking along the cliff edges trying to spot puffins was a highlight of our trip to Iceland! I mngraymatter I Melissa Gerbozy

A bath with a view. Bathing in a Birkimelur hot pot overseeing Westfjords’ mountains. Had it completely to ourselves for a long time! Couldn’t ask for a better end of a day in the Westfjords. I caroline__rr I Karolina Rojek

Chased waterfalls today. I maybenotashley I Ashley Ravins

I wanted to post something other than snowy mountaintops. Iceland has some of the greenest flower filled landscapes I have seen anywhere in the world. I joshua.barrington I Joshua Barrington

This place is like something from another world. Stuðlagil Canyon, Iceland I jakemuzzy I Jake Muspratt

Reykjavík - Hallgrímskirkja Church I euthumia I Timea Konya-Valentenyi

Skaftafell - Vatnajökull National Park. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon I erinbethell I Erin Bethell

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and loss of freedom, not being able to do whatever you please but having to think about others beside yourself. That’s the essence of these characters, the phobia for having to take responsibility, and aging.

Maximilian Hult’s second feature film Pity the Lovers (Vesalings elskendur) is a dramedy that tells the story of two brothers who are searching for love but are unable to function in relationships. Óskar (Björn Thors) gives the cold shoulder while Maggi (Jóel Sæmundsson) comes on too strong. On their quest towards self-fulfillment, the brothers stumble into humorous circumstances and come across many colorful characters. Icelandair Stopover met up with Björn Thors to learn more about the film. What can you tell us about Óskar, your character? [Laughs] I have sometimes said that it’s my typecast to play men who stagnate in their development and aren’t able to grow up. I thought that in some ways this film has references to París Norðursins [Paris of the North], which was also about a man who escapes his home and meets a girl but has problems with interacting with her and finds it easier to connect with children and animals. It seems to be a popular motive for male directors to write about men who can’t grow up, handle life or responsibility, or communicate with other people. To an extent, it’s probably autobiographical musings on dealing with life

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What kind of a relationship does Óskar have with his brother? The brothers rely on each other but are still so different. They’re an example of two people who support each other so well but still hold each other back and are maybe the reason that they can’t connect with other people. In order to carry on you have to let something go, let go some of your baggage. They have to process their idea of youth, the child in themselves and the memory of a mom who is gone. There’s a tragedy that hangs over the brothers, which is the loss of their mother who seems to have been the glue in the family, and they don’t deal with it much. It’s a problem of men, not being able to sit down and talk about things in all seriousness. From left to right, top to bottom: Edda Björgvinsdóttir in her role as the bossy wife in Pity the Lovers; Björn Thors as a distraught Óskar; Óskar with his brother Maggi, who has just been dumped, again!; director Maximilian Hult.

Their stepmother is played by Edda Björgvinsdóttir, a beloved Icelandic comedian. Her relationship with their father is quite funny. She has taken over his life. You see these kinds of relationships among people in their position: stereotypical men and women who aren’t spring chickens anymore. The women (Continues on page 44.)













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decent person, stand up straight and take responsibility for himself and, of course, for others too. There’s a beautiful reconciliation in the end. Óskar catches himself being an inactive participant in life and reaches a turning point.

take over the men’s lives and control them and the men let themselves be controlled. Here, a new woman enters his life, takes over, and he becomes like a piece of furniture. She probably figures he’s a decent guy and that she might as well stay with him. It’s very comical. The actors, Siggi [Sigurður Karlsson] and Edda, are superb. I had to be 100% focused in order not to burst out laughing with every sentence Edda spoke. She makes everyday things so funny; you can’t help but have a fit of laughter. She’s a magician. She has such a nose for comedy and makes these scenes screamingly funny. She has such a strong sense for these interactions, such tragic humor.

Pity the Lovers is an Icelandic film but the director is Swedish. How did that happen? Maximilian Hult made a film called Hemma, a Swedish production filmed in Iceland. His wife, Anna G. Magnúsdóttir, is Icelandic and she runs a production company in Stockholm with Anders Granström. Then Maximilian wrote his second film and wanted to shoot it in Sweden. They had almost funded the entire project but lacked 20%, which was exactly the percentage refunded by the Icelandic state to foreign film projects. So, they decided to relocate the project to Iceland, film it with Icelandic actors and rewrite it for Icelandic reality. It highlights how great the refunding system is for the Icelandic film industry.

Then there are the two teenage goths. Yes. Óskar makes friends with the goths. It has to do with him not being able to grow up and seeing himself in these kids, giving them the scope to do what he would like to do. But suddenly he’s given them too much liberty and he doesn’t realize that he, as an adult, has to take responsibility for these children. The boys [Elvar Aron Heimisson and Alex Leó Kristinsson] are fabulous, so laughable. It’s a funny idea, studying these adolescents. Being a teenager is funny. Everything is so dramatic and they’re trying to find themselves in some fad or a lifestyle, and one of them is a better goth than the other—I thought that was brilliant. They take everything so seriously and Óskar is very tolerant towards them. He sees some beauty in how convinced they are about this lifestyle. And it’s through them that Óskar eventually moves on into adulthood. It suddenly hits him that what he does matters to other people—his actions have consequences. In the latter part of the film he realizes that what he says and does to the woman [his love interest] and not least to the children matters and that he has to be a

From top to bottom: The brothers at a wedding on Viðey island; the two teenage goths; a strange performance the brothers attend; a young, wannabe artist—one of Maggi’s many girlfriends.

Does the film have any Swedish elements? The director has a very Swedish way of looking at life. He has a different feeling for comedy. So even though it’s an Icelandic film, there’s a spirit hovering over it that isn’t strictly Icelandic. There’s an interesting mix in the film between Icelandic and Swedish humor, which is different, more sophisticated and subtle. Icelandic humor is rougher, almost vulgar at times. At first I wondered whether it would come through but was pleasantly surprised to see how well it was received. There’s something true about it. It’s low-key and subtle and not particularly lofty in content or progression, but it manages to touch on something that is true and therefore becomes incredibly funny. It moves you. These characters touch you in a subtle way. It’s a story of people.

You can watch Pity the Lovers on board this flight. Check out what other films and TV shows are available on page 96 and on our in-flight entertainment system.

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The Spectacular Whale Exhibition


Daily screening 11 am & 15 pm Running time: 60 minutes

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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE APOLLO ASTRONAUTS Like another planet? Nine of the 12 men who were first to set foot on the Moon trained for the mission in Iceland. Now NASA is preparing for Mars. BY EGILL BJARNASON. Two years before stepping on the Moon, Neil Armstrong went salmon fishing in North Iceland. A picture of him, standing by the river, is on display at the Exploration Museum in Húsavík, but the image is so small that I didn’t recognize him at first and assumed it was a snapshot of leisure life in the 1960s. Smiling faintly as he holds a fishing rod, the 36-yearold Armstrong could pass for a local—until you consider the baseball cap and fancy aviator shades. And the four layers of clothing. Other prospective spacemen were in the country at the same time too, living in NASA training camps in Iceland’s interior. It was summer, and the constant daylight obscured their ultimate destination. In the middle of Iceland’s Highlands, NASA had found a parallel lunar landscape: no vegetation, no life, no colors, no landmarks. “They were pilots by trade, not geologists,” says Leonardo Piccione, Italian author of Il libro dei vulcani d’Islanda (“The book of Icelandic volcanoes”), which has a chapter

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devoted to the much forgotten history of Iceland’s role in the Moon landing. “So the Iceland curriculum started with elementary definitions, explaining the basalt rocks and magma.” Nine of the 12 men who set foot on the Moon between 1969 and 1972 first came to Iceland as part of the Apollo geology field exercises to study the country’s geology, the idea being that it would help them understand the Moon’s geology when they visited. The exercises included the “Moon game”: The astronauts would pretend to be on the Moon and attempt to complete the most important field observations, such as collecting samples. Lunar-Like Soccer Field The area where the astronauts trained is a boundless Icelandic desert, shaped by volcanic eruptions and covered in different shades of lava. Named a UNESCO

Top: During the Apollo geology field exercises in Iceland. The region where the astronauts trained became a UNESCO World Heritage Site this year. Photo by Kári Jónasson / Courtesy of the Exploration Museum. Above: American legend Neil Armstrong trained for the first Moon expedition in Iceland and unwound by fishing at North Iceland’s best salmon rivers. Photo by Sverrir Pálsson, courtesy of the Exploration Museum.

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This past summer, scientists from NASA spent two weeks in the Highlands testing the prototype of a self-driving rover truck set to explore Mars in 2021. Another team is expected to follow, but for the underground. Iceland and Mars, beyond similarities in rocky terrain, both have lava tubes, caves formed when the lava moves beneath the hardened surface. Iceland’s longest caves are formed this way and can be easily accessed from the ground. Scientists hope lava tubes can serve as shelters for equipment (or humans?) on future Mars missions.

Deep in the highlands, the crater lake Víti in Askja rewards travelers with a hot bath and sulfur smell. Photo by Egill Bjarnason.

World Heritage Site in June as part of Vatnajökull National Park, the Askja region is essentially a natural gravel field. The would-be astronauts took advantage of it by splitting into teams and playing soccer to unwind after training days, using rocks to mark the goalposts.

earlier. It is now called Nautagil, a play on words and language honoring the history: naut—as in “astronaut”—means “bull” in Icelandic. Sigurður, the park ranger, joins me on this special “Moon walk” through the canyon.

The astronauts traveled on Land Rovers, much like today’s travelers—the roads haven’t improved much. The most common tour to Askja is via Herðubreiðalindir on Route F88, east of Lake Mývatn. Some three hours on the rocky road, crossing two rivers, will eventually lead to a middle-of-nowhere campsite at the Drekagil canyon. Three cabins line the canyon mouth like the mansions of a James Bond villain. The newest wooden house is from the Vatnajökull National Park, with a very casual information desk open whenever the ranger is not out and about. “Some people think we’re a coffee shop or a restaurant. That would be a tough business up here,” says park ranger Sigurður Erlingsson, who’s stationed at the hut every summer.

We walk up a steep slope for a better view over the area. “I like to think these tracks are from the NASA years,” he says, pointing to a faint but broad line in the landscape. It’s possible: The cold and desolate landscape takes incredibly long to heal, explaining the hefty fines for any off-road driving. I try to locate some of the photographs from the time and wonder why this site doesn’t see more visitors. Its significance to the actual Moon landing is maybe small, yet it’s a rare opportunity to step back in time, like holding an object from the mission.

Moon Walking in Nautagil When I visit on a sunny day in July, the Drekagil base camp has steady stream of visitors. One German couple is drying bright beach towels at the campsite. They’ve just completed a hike to Víti, a crater lake fed by geothermal hot springs. Some 3,300 ft (1,000 m) above sea level, the stunning crater offers a warm but muddy bath. Just next to Víti is the Askja caldera, the largest in the volcanic belt, stretching a total of 112 miles (180 km) north of the Vatnajökull glacier. The last eruption was in 2014, lasting six months and producing a lava field the size of Manhattan. But I was headed away from the scenic route to a neighboring canyon, one that was without a name when the astronauts visited half a century

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From the Moon to Mars On July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 landed back on Earth with a geological sample—a slice of the Moon. The resemblance to Iceland was superficial. NASA had originally drawn the parallel from images taken by a space probe orbiting Earth’s satellite years before; the lunar Highlands (seen from afar as the lighter surface regions) looked like Iceland’s desolate interior. For decades to follow, Iceland was off the map for NASA until scientists began planning a new mission. To the fourth planet from the Sun: Mars.

Exploring the Human Side The Moon landing has a human side even more powerful than the scientific details. The ambitious Exploration Museum, located on the main street in Húsavík in North Iceland, celebrates Iceland’s contribution to the Moon landing in a gallery space also showcasing early Viking explorations, Polar explorers, aviators and seafarers —people who set out into the unknown to obtain new knowledge. The museum’s founder Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson, moonlighting as a filmmaker, sets out to explore the meaning of the Moon landing in the new documentary feature Cosmic Birth. He interviews many of the spacemen who visited Iceland at the time and even revisits the area with some of the American legends. “We went to the Moon and discovered the Earth,” Örlygur cites when introducing William Anders who took “Earthrise,” the famous photograph of the Earth from the lunar orbit. Anders, who used a color-film Hasselblad camera, knew Iceland from the time he was stationed at the US Navy base in Keflavík some years earlier. He recalled the fun times trekking and exploring the Icelandic wilderness. One of his pals, an adventurous type from Ohio, asked if the area where they were training had any good rivers for fishing. In fact, it had some of the best in the country, and the two of them arranged to borrow some rods, as Anders remembers: “Armstrong and I had a lot of fun fishing.”

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AUTUMN IN THE VALLEY OF ÞÓR Photographer Benjamin Hardman captures the changing seasons in the wild valley of Þórsmörk. INSTAGRAM: @BENJAMINHARDMAN Towards the end of August, Iceland welcomes the return of the night sky and midnight glow of the aurora borealis once again. The vibrant green hues of the summer landscape slowly begin to transition as the autumn season nears. On the southern edge of Iceland’s Highland region, the red and orange autumn colors swiftly transform the valley of Þórsmörk (in Icelandic, Þórsmörk). With a unique mix of moss-covered canyons, winding glacial rivers and fields of silver birch trees, a day tour into the area will be an unforgettable experience. An aerial view of Langidalur and Valahnúkur.

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At this time of year, cloudy skies are a common sight and create an amazing atmosphere together with the newly transformed color palette of the landscape. During a ride in one of Iceland’s infamous modified super jeeps, you’ll find yourself traversing several glacial rivers as you navigate through the valley to reach one of Þórsmörk’s three mountain huts, at Húsadalur, Langidalur or Básar. Hiking from the huts up to the summit of one of the many mountains in the area, you’ll gain a panoramic view over the glacial river streams and the outlet glaciers from which they originate, as well as a chance to see the distant peaks high up on both Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, the site of the 2010 volcanic eruption that caused great disruptions across Europe. Clockwise from top left: A viewpoint from a hike along the top of Hvannárgil; an aerial view of Rjúpnafell and its twin peaks; an Arctic fox in Húsadalur, ready for winter with its white coat.

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Whilst the autumn season is short, lasting just a few weeks, it offers an amazing window to witness nature’s ability to transform and adapt. It’s worth mentioning that Þórsmörk is just one of many stunning autumn locations in Iceland. With the country full of glacial valleys, winding fjords and volcanic mountain ranges, it’s possible to enjoy this unique season all around the island. Colder temperatures and the first dusting of snow mark the end of the season and the beginning of the longer winter ahead. The distinct visual changes between seasons make Iceland an amazing place to return to at different times of the year. It almost feels as if you’re stepping into a new world each time. From top: The vibrant autumn colors around Básar and the beginning point of the Fimmvörðuháls trail; looking up to the ceiling of a canyon waterfall in Stakkholtsgjá.

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Truly unique taste of Iceland


REAL LIFE QUESTIONS Olafur Eliasson: In real life at Tate Modern features some of Danish-Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson’s most thoughtprovoking sculptures, paintings, photographs and installations. BY EYGLÓ SVALA ARNARSDÓTTIR. The wind, blowing straight in from the Arctic Ocean, is relentless. I’m wearing woolen underwear and a windbreaker, yet struggle to keep warm on this stormy day in July in remote Northeast Iceland. The driftwood that has piled up on the rocky beach captivates me, and I try to picture the forces of nature that carried all these logs from Siberia to Langanes. One week on and I’m wearing a flowery summer dress at the press view prior to the opening of Olafur Eliasson: In real life at Tate Modern. Among the artwork on display is driftwood, some of it originating from Langanes. The exhibition opened on July 11 and will run through January 5, 2020. Social Responsibility “It’s almost 30 years of my work. A mid-career survey. But there’s lots more to come!”, declares Ólafur at the press view of In real life. He talks of his excitement of returning to the Tate after 16 years; in 2003 The weather project with its artificial sun attracted huge crowds to the Turbine Hall. “This is a broader collection and the biggest show of its kind,” states Ólafur—it’s the largest survey of his work to date and it explores the various and wide-reaching aspects of his art. “Artists can contribute to the dialogue on the environment, sustainability and climate emergency,” opines Ólafur. In one of the rooms at In real life I observe a series of photographs of glaciers that Ólafur took on his travels in Iceland

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Installation view of Olafur Eliasson: In real life at Tate Modern, July 11, 2019 – January 5, 2020, including “Adrift Compass.” Photo by Anders Sune Berg.

in 1999. This past summer he returned to Iceland to photograph the same locations 20 years on. The second series will be placed next to the original this autumn to demonstrate the extent of glacier melting in only two decades—apt, as Iceland bid farewell to its first glacier, Ok, in late August. Ólafur also plays with the boundaries of public and private space, reasoning that when people are confronted with art, they automatically interact with it. In 2008, his New York City Waterfalls added a spectacular natural dimension to the cityscape. Now one of his waterfalls tumbles from a scaffold outside the Tate. In December 2018 Ólafur and Greenlandic professor of geology Minik Rosing moved huge chunks of glacial ice to London for Ice Watch (2014) on the occasion of COP24 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, and the third anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The (Continues on page 58.)

The artist in his studio. Photo by Runa Maya Mørk Huber / Studio Olafur Eliasson © 2017 Olafur Eliasson.

One ticket Three museums More to see under About Iceland Promo Videos

Erró La Gardienne de Nuit, 2003.

Ólöf Nordal Gull, 2002

Contemporary and Modern Art Three unique locations in the city centre #reykjavikartmuseum Hafnarhús Tryggvagata 17

Kjarvalsstaðir Flókagata 24

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public artwork was displayed outside Tate Modern and Bloomberg’s European headquarters. “It was about bringing a glacier to people who had never experienced glacial ice before. People were touching it, hugging it, observing it melt,” recounts Emma Lewis, assistant curator of In real life. “It was like a preview to the exhibition and a reminder of the climate emergency.” Glacial ice features in other works by Ólafur on display at the Tate, including “The presence of absence pavilion” (2019), a bronze sculpture created around a block of ice, which then melted; and Glacial currents (2018), watercolor paintings made with glacial meltwater. Nature, Perception, Community “Some people get lost, some think it’s uplifting and some are found in the fog tunnel,” says Ólafur of “Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger)” (2010), a fog-filled tunnel where initially all color drains away, after which people begin experiencing colors that aren’t there. As I prepare to enter, a fellow visitor exits the tunnel, commenting: “That was intense!” As the fog engulfs me, I lose my senses and a feeling of discomfort and being lost sneaks in. “It’s about sharing without having to agree. Without seeing the same thing,” explains Ólafur. He hopes that his work will raise questions and that visitors come to see reality in a new light. Ólafur’s fascination for geometry is evident, for example, in the glass façade for Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavík, which he designed in collaboration with Henning Larsen architects. In the Model room (2003), which greets visitors upon entering the show, models made from

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Left: Olafur Eliasson: “Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger)” (2010); Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019. Photo by Anders Sune Berg © 2010 Olafur Eliasson. Right: Olafur Eliasson: “Moss wall” (1994). Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019. Photo by Anders Sune Berg © 1994 Olafur Eliasson.

different materials that Ólafur used for studying geometrical shapes are exhibited. One of the models became “Your spiral view” (2002), also on display. Visitors walk through a mirrored tunnel, a kaleidoscope of sorts, where the geometrical shapes of mirrors reflect their image and that of other people so that they can be viewed from many different angles. “Ólafur seeks to make people experience his art as a community. Like ‘Your uncertain shadow’ [2010], which is fantastic when you experience it with other people. Almost instantly you begin playing a game,” explains senior curator Mark Godfrey. In a white room, at first appearing to be empty, the silhouettes of visitors are projected on a wall in multiple colors, and they grow and shrink as they move around. In real life is also about bringing nature into the gallery. In one of Ólafur’s earliest works, “Moss wall” (1994), an entire wall of the exhibition is covered with lichen, inviting visitors to feel its softness. “If you look out that window, it looks like it’s raining—which isn’t unusual in London—except today it isn’t raining!” This is Ólafur’s “Regenfenster (Rain window)” (1999), another attempt to bring real-life natural phenomena into the gallery. Adrift and at Home In one of the rooms, I encounter “Adrift compass” (2019), made from a piece of driftwood. I ponder on its journey: from seedling to tall tree east of the Ural mountains, floating with river and ocean currents to a desolate beach in Iceland, traveling onwards to Studio Ólafur Elíasson (SOE) in Berlin and from there to a posh gallery space in London. Other pieces made from driftwood adorn Tate Modern Terrace Bar, where SOE Kitchen is collaborating with Tate Eats on a special menu for the duration of the exhibition. Vegetarian dishes are served to press view guests, randomly seated at tables to spark conversations and create a sense of community, an important element at SOE. I begin to reclaim the sense of direction I lost in the fog tunnel and realize that somehow, all of the art I observed is interconnected. “I’ve been all over the place and thought maybe there was no narrative, no relationship between the artwork I’d created throughout my career,” says Ólafur of the exhibition. “Then I see that there is a story.” He explains that since he was approached by the Tate for The weather project (2003), he has had a special connection to the gallery. “It’s very exciting for me to be here. It’s like coming home.”

Discover Iceland’s only geothermal floating pools Located 5 km northwest from Egilsstaðir, East Iceland


OUR TOP PICKS With so much you can pack into an Icelandair Stopover, the options can feel overwhelming. So, we keep it simple: Four new themes and four fresh suggestions every issue. Take your pick. BY SARAH DEARNE.

Above: The interior of Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, which hosts two regular live shows in English. Photo by Catherine Rogan.



Literature From Viking sagas to Nordic Noir, literature has always been central to Icelandic culture. To enhance your own travel narrative, duck into one of Iceland’s many bookstores and pick up a paged companion for your trip. The jólabókaflóð (“Christmas book flood”) is now in full flow with the latest Icelandic titles, and a good portion of them are translated into English (see page 16 for inspiration).

Live Shows Iceland has a busy calendar of live comedy and burlesque, with a number of English shows in the mix.

Most of the larger towns have some kind of cozy bookstore-café arrangement, perfect for rainy days. If you’re passing through Egilsstaðir in the East, stop by Bókakaffi Hlöðum for books, gift items, and a fat slice of cake. And for something special in the Westfjords, take a peek into Iceland’s oldest bookstore in Flateyri, aptly named The Old Bookstore. This elegant shop is run by the original owner’s great-grandson. (Opening hours are limited in the colder months, so drop him a line if you’re planning a visit.) A tip: You’ll enjoy your book that much more if you can spot the places that inspired it. In Mosfellsbær (close to Reykjavík), you can visit Gljúfrasteinn museum, former home of Halldór Laxness, Iceland’s Nobel laureate in literature. And if sagas are your thing, head to West Iceland to explore the Saga Trails: a variety of sites and museums located where many of the stories are set.

For a crash-course in Icelandic culture and history, make time for tourist-geared shows such as How to Become Icelandic in 60 Minutes and Icelandic Sagas – The Greatest Hits. Playing in Reykjavík’s beautiful Harpa Concert Hall, these shows deliver cultural insights with belly laughs along the way. Alternatively, take cues from the locals and head to downtown comedy venues. The Secret Cellar comedy club has nightly standup shows (many in English), while live venue and bar Gaukurinn hosts established comedians, open mics, drag shows, concerts, and more. Recent years have also seen the birth of a cabaret scene in Iceland, largely spearheaded by the Reykjavík Kabarett company, which fuses burlesque, drag, magic and comedy. Also look out for Dömur og herra and Iceland’s newest burlesque troupe, Túttífrútturnar. (You’ll find them all on Facebook.) Pickings are slimmer beyond the capital, but depending on your timing, you may find interesting live happenings at the Freezer Hostel in Rif, Snæfellsnes, and the Akureyri Theater Company up North. (Continues on page 62.)

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No need to be hungry around Iceland Find your nearest supermarket

BRING YOUR COSTCO CARD WITH YOU TO ICELAND! Costco Iceland opened in May 2017. Just like other Costco warehouses, Costco Iceland offers one of the largest and most exclusive product category selections to be found under one roof. Categories include groceries, confectionery, appliances, television and audio equipment, automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewellery, watches, cameras, books, housewares, apparel, health and beauty aids, furniture, office supplies and office equipment. The warehouse also has a self-service gas station.

Kauptun 3, 210 Gardabaer WAREHOUSE OPENING TIMES Monday - Friday: 10am to 9pm Saturday: 9:30am to 8pm Sunday: 10am to 6pm

Phone: +354 532 5555


GAS STATION OPENING TIMES Monday - Friday: 7am to 10pm Saturday: 7am to 9.30pm Sunday: 7am to 7pm

PHARMACY OPENING TIMES Monday - Friday: 11am to 7pm Saturday: 10am to 6pm Sunday: 10am to 4pm



Volcanoes Iceland’s 130-odd volcanoes bring fire to the nation’s identity, inspiring the national flag, international headlines, and the names of most of Icelandair’s aircraft.

Seasonal Specialties Come November, you’ll find local Christmas delicacies popping up on menus all over the country. For a comprehensive sampling, book a buffet meal with all the trimmings. When loading your plate, keep an eye out for hamborgarhryggur: a Danish-influenced baked ham, and locally caught game such as ptarmigan and reindeer (sorry Rudolph, it’s an East Iceland specialty). Many restaurants also offer good veggie-based alternatives.

Among the many worth visiting is the beautiful Krafla in North Iceland. This caldera is known for its eerie blue lake and is surrounded by the spectacular volcanic fields of the Mývatn region. Book a hiking or snowshoeing tour here, or whizz up on a snowmobile.

Clockwise from top left: Inside Iceland’s oldest bookstore. Photo by Eyþór Jóvinsson. Krafla in North Iceland is filled with a turquoise lake. Photo by Philipp Wuthrich. A buffet spread in East Iceland, home of Iceland's reindeer. Photo courtesy of Marketing East Iceland. Margrét Erla Maack performs burlesque with Reykjavík Kabarett. Photo by Lilja Draumland.

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Before Eyjafjallajökull erupted into the spotlight in 2010, Iceland’s most famous volcano was Snæfellsjökull, the glacier-capped peak that starred in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Visible from Reykjavík on a clear day, this stratovolcano is flanked by a national park on its west side, and the area makes for an ideal day-tour from the capital. While Snæfellsjökull won’t get you to the center of the earth, the caves in Þríhnúkagígur volcano in Reykjanes will get you pretty close. On a tour here, you’ll descend 400 ft (120 m) into the crater to explore the colorful interior of this long-dormant volcano (tours run till October 31). Þríhnúkagígur is just one of many fascinating volcanic attractions in the Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark, so allot time for the rest of the region too.

You needn’t splurge on fine dining, however. Scope out supermarket aisles for hangikjöt (smoked lamb) in cold-cut form, and laufabrauð (thin “leaf bread” with geometric cutouts). If you’re in Reykjavík in the latter half of November, you can also make your own laufabrauð at a special event on Viðey island (see the island’s website for details). If you happen to be here for Saint Þorlákur’s Mass on December 23, you’ll notice some interesting smells in the air. This is the calling card of skata, or fermented skate, a delicacy consumed just once a year—and for good reason. While some say the aftertaste resembles a strong French cheese, the fish reeks of ammonia, and its heady aroma lingers well into the New Year. If you dare, look out for restaurants offering a skötuveisla (“skate feast”)—or just follow your nose.

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SEATTLE AND ITS LOVE OF LITERATURE With more bookstores per capita than any other US city, Seattle has intertwined its penchant for coffee and love of books. This year, Icelandair celebrates the 10th anniversary of flight connections between Reykjavík and Seattle—two literary hubs.


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Nestled in between the imposing Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, Seattle is renowned for its breathtaking natural setting. And as headquarters for two macrobrands—Amazon and Microsoft— the city exhibits an edgy industrial vibe. But beyond nature and tech, Seattle embraces its creative side as a literary city. In 2017, Seattle joined 27 other UNESCOdesignated literary cities, including Reykjavík, to become a UNESCO City of Literature. Capitol Hill Arguably Seattle’s hippest and most fashionable neighborhood, Capitol Hill is home to the independently owned Elliott Bay Book Company. It’s a Seattle institution for book lovers, with a café in the back and a set of chairs in the center where you can comfortably while away a few hours reading one of the shop’s 150,000 titles. Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe (425 15th Avenue E) specializes in tech/science books (they happily admit to appealing to geeks). Ada is named after Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, the woman who wrote the first computer algorithm. With a café offering coffee and meal options, and science toys on almost every surface, this bookstore lures the curious and technically engaged. Grab a comfy chair and sit in front of an old-

fashioned fireplace. Happy hour from 5 pm to 8 pm offers beer, cider and wine. Established in honor of nationally renowned poet Richard Hugo, the Hugo House is a literary hub for writers and readers. Hosting workshops, reading classes, book launches and literary events, Hugo House is another Seattle Institution in Capitol Hill celebrating the power of words. If it’s only good coffee you seek, Victrola Coffee Roasters’s brew is popular, in a 1920s-themed café (310 E Pike Street). Espresso Vivace at Brix has been perfecting espresso shots since 1988 (532 Broadway Avenue East). Georgetown Located south of downtown, Georgetown is one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, filled with hip bars, creative restaurants and funky shops. Fantagraphics on Vale Street publishes the world’s greatest collection of cartoonists and graphic books. If you’re heading to Georgetown’s Museum of Flight and are a fan of popular culture, stop by the bookstore/ gallery to view their extensive collection of archived and alternative comic artists. Silent Reading Party On the first Wednesday of each month, the Silent Reading Party is held in the woodpaneled Fireside Room at Hotel Sorrento in

First Hill. For 10 years now, bibliophiles have been lining up to get into the classical Italian Renaissance Hotel (circa 1909) for the chance to curl up on a couch or sit in a wingback chair and read in silence. The only sound you’re likely to hear is the piano playing in the background and the occasional murmur when readers order drinks. Libraries The city’s extensive public library system has 26 branch libraries located in neighborhoods across the city. The world-renowned Public Central Library, a steel and multi-faceted glass building in downtown Seattle (1000 Fourth Avenue), is a Seattle landmark. The Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington, with its neo-Gothic entrance and high soaring windows, was designed to look like a cathedral. It’s a place to worship books. With plenty of rain and overcast weather for much of the fall and winter months, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee. Seattle has that covered. Icelandair flies to Seattle daily, year-round. Traveling from Europe, you have the opportunity to add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Previous page: The Public Central Library in Downtown Seattle. Photo by Rudy Willingham. Top: The light and airy interior of the Public Central Library; Center: Elliott Bay Bookstore; Bottom: Bookstores appeal to all ages. All photos on this page by David Newman.

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EYES ON CHICAGO With towering skyscrapers and a scenic lakefront, there’s no shortage of visually arresting scenes in Chicago. Not only are there countless places to see, but also several ways for discerning travelers to look at them. Here are some suggestions for gorgeous views of the Windy City. Ultimately, travel experiences are all about one’s perspective, are they not? 66 Icelandair Stopover

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JÓN AGNAR ÓLASON. The Bean Well, actually it’s called Cloud Gate, but you know what we’re on about. Ever since its unveiling in 2006, artist Anish Kapoor’s shiny and glistening Bean sculpture in Millennium Park has been an unmissable landmark in Chicago. Whether you fancy a distorted and amusing selfie (you know you have to!) or just want to admire the smooth and reflective surface of this other-worldly structure, it does not disappoint. Also, it provides you with a brand-new and interesting way to admire the city’s impressive skyline. All in all, the Cloud Gate is an irresistible attraction and we recommend you rise early for a less-crowded encounter.

Previous page: For a breezy and relaxed day of seeing the sights in Chicago, a bicycle is an excellent means of getting around. Numerous bike rental stations around town await your business. Top: Chicago’s stunning skyline is probably best enjoyed from the shoreline of Lake Michigan, where stretches of beautiful towers can be observed all at once. Above: Anish Kapoor’s shiny Cloud Gate sculpture, known to most as “The Bean,” never fails to raise eyebrows—or the nearby skyline, for that matter.

The Boat Chicago’s cityscape benefits immensely from having the Chicago River run through it. Not only is the river a picturesque addition, it also provides a means for seeing the scenery from the water. A so-called “Architecture Cruise” enables passengers to not only see most of Chicago’s famous high-rise structures but also hear about their architects, era and architectural style, along with some well-chosen historical facts and points of interest regarding each of the buildings. From the absolute behemoth of the Merchandise Mart—one of the world’s largest commercial buildings, once deemed big enough to be awarded its own zip code—to the minimal modernist masterpiece of IBM Plaza by Mies van der Rohe at 330 North Wabash Avenue and, the quintessential high-

rise of the city, the Sears Tower (nowadays officially known as Willis Tower). Trust us, your camera will stay aloft for all 75 minutes of the boat trip’s duration. The Bike Although situated inland, Chicago is a waterfront city thanks to its location on the shores of Lake Michigan. Locals and visitors alike make good use of the long lakefront strip that comes marked with designated space for walkers, runners and bikers. Conveniently placed by the historic Drake Hotel is one of the numerous bike rental stations that will have you breezing along the wide bike path within 30 seconds of completing the rental transaction. Awaiting is the Lakeshore Drive, with more than 20 miles (32 km) of scenic shoreline on one hand and the Chicago skyline on the other. Even better, it’s free of any steep uphill biking. Just remember to think about the bike path as a traffic lane; easy-going bikers stay on the right side, while the racers whoosh by on the left. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of space for everybody. Icelandair flies to Chicago daily, year-round. Traveling from Europe, you have the opportunity to add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

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ROAD TRIP OF THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE England welcomes more than 30 million visitors a year. The vast majority don’t make it beyond London, while in England’s countryside there awaits hundreds of years of history, well-preserved and under-explored. Here are a few journeys worth driving for. TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BRAD JAPHE.

After touchdown in London, beeline to the airport’s rental car stations, then set the GPS west towards the Cotswolds. This 770 squaremile (2,000 square-kilometer) section of rolling forest, dotted with quaint limestone-lined villages, was designated as the UK’s largest “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” in 1966. The A40 Motorway will take you into the heart of the region, but you’ll eventually follow A44 in the direction of Chipping Camden. A market town of just over 2,200 residents, its terraced main street owns architecture dating back to the 14th century. Honey-hued stone is fashioned into gatehouses and storefronts; fresh produce and sundries line the windows. Stop for a pint and pie at the Bakers Arm, a proper country pub with four local ales on tap.

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Meander 10 minutes more through undulating farmland and you’ll arrive in Broadway, the so-called “Jewel of the Cotswolds.” It’s home to an eponymous tower, a 66-ft (20-m) tall stone folly dating back to 1794. Ticketed visitors can climb to the top from 10 am to 5 pm daily for unencumbered views of verdant meadows rippling out into the distant horizon. Book your overnight at the Lygon Arms, a four-star luxury “coaching inn” seated at the center of town. Inside the 700-year-old property are a series of cozy parlors built around hearths, and

rooms fit for a king—literally (both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell stayed here, though not on the same night). The off-lobby restaurant modernizes classic fare such as beef Wellington with elegant aplomb. If you’re not afraid of a few hours on the road, head north on the M1 towards the idyllic expanses of Yorkshire. Stop at Nottingham along the way to explore the City of Caves—a subterranean sandstone labyrinth from the Dark Ages. Veer east on A64 for lunch within the walled city of York. Waddle your way through the

Previous page, top left: The Shambles in York. Previous page, center: Vernacular timberframed housing style typical of Old England. Above: Public green in Broadway. Left: Classic fare rendered with modern flair at the Lygon Arms, including bread salad and Beef Wellington. Shambles of downtown to work up an appetite for Mr. P’s Curious Tavern. This supposedly haunted dining den serves up contemporary English specialties as imagined by Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern. From here you’ll traverse the Howardian Hills along A170 before skirting the eastern edge of North York Moor National Park. As you approach the North Sea over the driver’s side window, you’ll want to take a detour off the main road for a glimpse of Robin Hood’s Bay. Although you can drive down a narrow path to the center of this medieval fishing village, it’s best to leave your vehicle in the car park at the top of the hill and navigate by foot. Fish and chips are plentiful in this part of the

world, and it’s hard to go wrong if you choose to indulge on beer-battered haddock here. If your dinner plans require something less pedestrian, however, book a stay at the Bramblewick Bed and Breakfast. Charming accommodations and a seafood-focused tasting menu await, one block away from England’s happiest hidden beach. You may only be separated from the crowds of London by several hours, but you’ll surely feel hundreds of years apart.

Icelandair flies to London daily, year-round, to Gatwick and Heathrow Airports. Traveling from North America, you have the opportunity to add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Broadway Tower, constructed in 1794—the tallest structure in the Cotswolds.

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Children’s Corner

THE YULE LADS The Yule Lads and their family want to play a game with the kids on board and have hidden all over the Stopover Magazine. Can you find them all?

BY SIGRÍÐUR ÁSTA ÁRNADÓTTIR. ILLUSTRATIONS BY BJÖRN ÞÓR BJÖRNSSON. If your mother was a fearsome ogress, your father a lazy ogre and you lived in a cold and grimy cave up in the mountains, do you think you’d be very nice? Well, the Icelandic Yule Lads aren’t particularly. There are 13 of these troublesome brothers, each one arriving in one of the 13 nights before Christmas to wreak havoc in Icelandic homes. Fortunately, over time they seem to have picked up a few manners from visiting Icelandic homes and these days like to leave little presents in the shoes of nice children.

STEKKJASTAUR (Sheep-Cote Clod) The first of the Yule Lads to come down from the mountains has a favorite pastime: Teasing sheep. Luckily for him, Iceland has lots.

GRÝLA An awful ogress that eats naughty children. Why she hasn’t eaten her own unruly sons a long time ago is a riddle.

ASKASLEIKIR (Bowl Licker) Notorious for stealing the wooden bowls Icelanders ate from in the old days. Today any old IKEA bowl will do. JÓLAKÖTTURINN (The Yule Cat) Not a fluffy kitty you want to pet. It eats anyone that doesn’t get something new to wear for Christmas.

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LEPPALÚÐI (Lappeylooder) Grýla’s goodfor-nothing husband neither eats anyone nor gets into any kind of mischief. Obviously the black sheep of the family.

HURÐASKELLIR (Door Slammer) SLAM! You think the wind did this? Think again. Door Slammer might be on the prowl.

GLUGGAGÆGIR (Window Peeper) If you think you see an ugly face on your window, it’s probably this one. Just draw the curtains. He’s harmless.

KJÖTKRÓKUR (Meat Hook) Smoked lamb is a delicacy eaten at Christmas in Iceland. Except of course if this brother has beat you to the larder.

ÞVÖRUSLEIKIR (Spoon Licker) There’s not a lot of food on spoons, so if you prefer to stick to spoon licking, you’ll end up just as thin as this brother.

STÚFUR (Stubby) The tiniest brother has a big appetite. His favorite is stealing the crust off pans.

GÁTTAÞEFUR (Doorway Sniffer) Having a huge nose comes in handy to sniff out food. Especially the Icelandic leaf bread made before Christmas.

KERTASNÍKIR (Candle Beggar) Candles used to be made from fat in old times and were edible. What this funny fellow eats these days, we have no idea.

BJÚGNAKRÆKIR (Sausage Swiper) Better keep an eye on your hot dogs and salamis. Except the vegan ones, perhaps.

SKYRGÁMUR (Skyr Gobbler) This one can’t get enough of skyr. Well, skyr is a very healthy, Icelandic food. Have you tried it?

POTTASLEIKIR (Pot Scraper) Hates food waste and likes to scrape pots and eat what sticks to the sides and bottom.

GILJAGAUR (Gully Gawk) Likes to hide in gullies and give people a fright when they pass by. BOO!

Special Supplement


Hafnarnes, East Iceland. Photo by Benjamin Hardman. Contributing Writers: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir and Carolyn Bain.

Contents: 72 Visiting the Blue Lagoon on Arrival in Iceland 74 Fabulous New Baths Up North 76 The Best Shopping Experience at KEF Airport 78 Reykjavík Eats and Treats: Food, Drinks and Cozy Cafés 82 Map of Iceland and Domestic Routes 84 Music and Travel: Recording in Icelandic Studios

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Special Promotion

VISITING THE BLUE LAGOON ON ARRIVAL IN ICELAND Off the plane, direct to the Blue Lagoon —is there a better start to your vacation? You’ve no doubt heard a lot of advice about packing for Iceland (key word: layers). Allow us to offer another essen­tial tip: Keep your swimsuit at the top of your luggage, ready for action in one of the geothermal gems scattered around the country. The very best way to embrace the Icelandic hot-water habit is straight off the plane. Icelandair arrivals from the USA and Canada begin landing around 6 am. Disembarking passengers are generally experiencing a haze of sleep­iness (it’s still 2 am on the East Coast!), but hotel rooms often aren’t accessible until 2 pm or later. What to do with all that time? Answer: the Blue Lagoon. It’s probably high on your bucket list (as it should be; it’s a photogenic wonder of steam­ ing, milky-blue water set in an ethereal volcanic landscape), so why not let it work some magic on your jetlagged self? To make things easy, Destination Blue Lagoon offers super-simple bus trans­ fers direct from Keflavík International Airport to the lagoon. Bus departures from the airport begin at 7:30 am, and the drive is about 20 minutes, getting you to the lagoon in time for opening at 8 am. Luggage is easily stored in a building by the car park. There are two choices of entry package: towel hire, drink and silica face mask are included in both, while the Premium package includes a robe, slippers and a second drink. You can add treats as you need: in-water massage? Sure. Lunch at the highquality, onsite Lava Restaurant? Why not? (And do feel free to wear your robe to lunch.) You can also opt for coffee, drinks and sandwiches from a couple of poolside café areas. The changing rooms are both a chance to freshen up after your flight and a place to learn the essential etiquette of Icelandic pools: Shower before entering. Lockers are provided,

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and there are private stalls for showering and changing. Explore the steam rooms, the swim-up bar, and the swim-up hut that doles out handfuls of face masks (these are also available to buy from the onsite store as you exit—the signature silica mud mask is a bestseller). A favorite haunt for sleepy travelers is the relaxation room, offering lounge chairs with a lagoon view. When your skin is in full prune mode and it’s time to dry off, there are hourly buses back to Keflavík Airport or to downtown Reykjavík, a 45-minute drive away. Hotel transfers are easily arranged when booking your bus ticket. So now you’re just half a day into your Iceland visit and you’ve ticked off one of your bucket-list items and eased away post-flight tensions in a thoroughly unique locale. How perfect a start to your vacation is that?

Blue Lagoon Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík Open: Aug 19–Jan 31: 8 am–9 pm Note: Dec 24 open 8 am–3 pm It’s recommended that you pre-book at— use the on-board Wi-Fi to check out your options. You can also make booking enquiries at the transfer desk at the arrival hall at Keflavík Airport. You also can do this trip in reverse, on your way to depart from Keflavík Airport. Buses will pick you up from your Reykjavík accommodation to take you to the Blue Lagoon, then on to the airport.


Blue Lagoon

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Special Promotion



The perfect pit stop on the Arctic Coast Way. It’s a birthday present of note! GeoSea geothermal sea baths opened for business in the town of Húsavík in August 2018—a spectacularly sited and beautifully designed space on the edge of the Arctic, sending a siren call to local and visiting bathers to come and soak outdoors in silky-warm geothermal seawater (at a comfortable 38–40°C, or 100–104°F). A very welcome and unexpected first birthday present was recently gifted to the venue by TIME magazine, with GeoSea included on its illustrious list of The World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2019. Húsavík Home One of a new breed of geothermal complexes taking its cues from the ever-popular Blue Lagoon, GeoSea was designed by awardwinning company Basalt Architecture (responsible for many of Iceland’s best bathing spots) and sits in the Northeast of the country, with the whale-filled Skjálfandi bay and scenic Kinnarfjöll mountain range as its cinematic backdrop. Húsavík (population 2,300) is found in Iceland’s Northeast, a

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panorama-filled 47-mile (76-km) drive from the country’s second-largest town, Akureyri. Its past is a rich one, spanning from ancient Viking settlement to bustling fishing village, and it’s now the self-proclaimed “whale capital” of the country. Boat trips, fresh seafood, craft beers and unique museums are additional reasons to carve out space for Húsavík in busy travel itineraries. GeoSea’s Beginnings GeoSea’s cliff-edge location is impressive, and the sweet yellow neighboring lighthouse adds a delightful pop of color. What’s interesting is that the location wasn’t selected by architects seeking instant Instagram appeal, but occurred as a result of drilling for hot water in the mid-20 th century. The drilling found hot seawater—too rich in minerals to be suitable for heating houses, but with possible bathing potential. Resourceful locals couldn’t bear to see the water go to waste, so a makeshift public bath (constructed from old cheese barrels!) was created, and the healing benefits of soaking in hot seawater soon

became evident. Talk turned to making a larger complex where the water could be accessible to more people. Natural Wonders These were the humble beginnings of GeoSea—a quintessentially Icelandic attempt to make the most of nature’s bounty. The essence of that idea remains alive and well. GeoSea’s building design features a slategray palette chosen to blend into the natural landscape, while the interconnected pools give infinity views and the chance to be a part of the seasonal gifts that are so much a part of everyday life in Iceland. We can think of few more beautiful places to experience the northern lights in winter, or summertime midnight sun and bird-filled skies. This is a place designed to create memories. Vitaslóð 1, 640 Húsavík Open Oct 1–Apr 30: midday–10 pm, May 1–Sep 30: 10 am-midnight



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Special Promotion

HAVING FUN WHILE WAITING Make the Duty Free Store your first and last destination in Iceland. Indulge in the time you have at Keflavík International Airport while waiting for your bags or before boarding your flight at Duty Free Iceland, the Arrival and Departure Stores. You’ll be amazed at the selection of quality skincare, local beers, spirits and sweets. What’s the Arrival Store? So, you’ve arrived in Iceland and are heading down the moving staircase, but instead of going directly to baggage reclaim, you walk into a store. This is the Arrival Store—Icelanders’ favorite store. Watch and learn: They head straight for the booze; here you can buy six units of alcohol at duty free prices. There’s a great selection of quality beers, wines and spirits and the store’s employees are happy to offer their advice. Next, check out the

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skincare and beauty products (including L’Occitane, Bath and Body Works, and popular Icelandic brands BioEffect and Blue Lagoon), as well as chocolates and other sweets. And when you’re done shopping, your bags are probably waiting for you at the conveyor belt. Time well spent! Browsing at the Departure Store As you bid Iceland farewell, make the most of your last few hours in the country—at Keflavík Airport’s Departure Store. It’s larger than the Arrival Store and has a fantastic selection of high-fashion brands like Giorgio Armani and Chanel, skincare and beauty brands including La Mer and Urban Decay, in addition to Iceland’s most popular natural skincare products. While in Iceland you’ve probably tried

local specialty chocolates, craft beer, unique liqueurs and spirits, as well as natural skin creams. Here you have the chance to prolong your visit by bringing some of your favorite products home with you. Relive your vacation as you explore the selection: Omnom licorice chocolate, BioEffect EGF Serum and Lýsi Omega3 cod-liver oil… the Departure Store has it all. Just consult the store’s employees if you have any questions. The Duty Free Store is open 24/7, both when you arrive and depart, and has a high service level and offers a comfortable shopping experience. Alipay is now also accepted. For more information and to check out the selection, go to

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REYKJAVÍK EATS AND TREATS With so many restaurants to choose from, it can be hard to find the right place to eat or drink. To help you out, here’s a description of a few restaurants, cafés and bars in the heart of Reykjavík, different in style but all delightful.

BRYGGJAN BRUGGHÚS On sunny days, few places are better for enjoying a cold beer than on the pier at Bryggjan Brugghús, offering a view of the bustling Reykjavík harbor and stunning Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center. The craft brewery’s distinct IPA, lager and pale ale are always available on tap, alongside seasonal specialties. The beer isn’t only for drinking but is also used in various dishes on the tempting bistro menu, including the hamburgers, chicken, fish & chips, and mussels cultivated in West Iceland. Brikk, the bakery across the street, uses leftover

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mash for baking perfectly delicious bread delivered to Bryggjan Brugghús every morning. The bistro and brewery also collaborates with other locales in the hip Grandi neighborhood; try beer ice cream by Valdís for dessert! The fish of the day is whatever the fishermen hauled in that morning. Open every day of the year for lunch and dinner, Bryggjan Brugghús also offers drop-in brewery tours and beer tastings every hour from 1 to 10 pm and is the base for Reykjavík Sightseeing’s popular Cheers to Reykjavík! tour. During Reykjavík Culture Night in August, a brewery festival

held by the Independent Craft Brewers of Iceland is held on Bryggjan Brugghús’s pier. Grandagarður 8 Open Sun–Thu: 11 am–11 pm, Fri–Sat: 11 am–1 am Happy Hour: 3–7 pm

FORRÉTTABARINN RESTAURANT-BAR Have you ever looked at a menu and thought all the appetizers sounded so delicious that you’d like to order them all and skip the main? Then Forréttabarinn (literally: “Appetizers Bar”) is the place for you, as it only serves starters of different sizes—and a few desserts. The cocktail of the month is a good place to start while you ponder your choices. The chef’s special langoustine soup, served with homemade bread and tapenade, strikes a balance between savory and creamy. The hot-smoked salmon and duck confit and

smoked duck breast offer a different take on Iceland’s tradition of smoking. Many locals would choose horse over beef; if you taste Forréttabarinn’s grilled fillet of horse “Béarnaise” you’ll discover why. Lamb, another local favorite, is also a fixed feature. For fresh Icelandic seafood, the sautéed cod and smoked onion jam is a delectable choice. As for desserts, the skyr mousse is quite the hit and a constant on the menu. Vegan or vegetarian versions of many dishes are available.

On weekends you’ll find Forréttabarinn packed with locals lounging at the bar or catching up with friends over a few small but elaborate courses. Mix and match and order as many of the reasonably-priced appetizers as you have an appetite for—or choose one of the set menus—and tune in to the party vibe. Nýlendugata 14 Open daily: 4–10 pm (kitchen) and 4–11 pm (bar) Happy Hour: 4–7 pm

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Special Promotion

BURRO TAPAS + STEAKS You know you’re in for a fun evening when the stairway to the restaurant is adorned with parrot wallpaper and a portrait of a winking Virgin Mary. It’s clear that Burro doesn’t take itself too seriously—well, the kitchen output is seriously tasty, and their commitment to sustainable practices is laudable, but they know you’re here for a good time. And they deliver the goods. In a colorful, relaxed space inhabited by plants and plastic toucans, prime local produce is given an exotic South American spin (with a little more heat than the traditional Icelandic kitchen normally provides): zesty ceviche made from fresh Arctic char is a delicious example, as is grilled beef fillet served with exotic sauces and sides (chimichurri, aji amarillo, queso fresco and more).

Clever set menus make decisions easier: There’s a three-course experience bringing Latin twists to Icelandic classics, while the fivecourse menu lets you taste-test Burro’s best-loved dishes, including the crispy cheese sticks labelled “life-changing” (totally moreish), and the fresh ceviche. When you’re done, climb one last flight of stairs to hit the late-night, top-floor Pablo Discobar, featuring fun flamboyant design, inventive cocktails, and a guaranteed danceable soundtrack. Stop by for Pablo’s great happy hour, from 5 pm to 7 pm. Veltusund 1 Open 5 pm-11 pm



For almost 30 years, Tómas and Dúna Boonchang have treated diners to authentic Thai cuisine, which year after year is hailed by food critics as the “Best Thai Food in Reykjavík.” The voluminous menu features dishes such as “Tiger Cry”: thinly sliced grilled beef with mint and coriander and a lime and chili dressing; and tofu and vegetables with coconut milk and panang curry. It’s the polar opposite of traditional Icelandic fare, but locals love the variety and explosion of flavors. Tourists are also catching on, as are the rich and famous— even Hollywood stars seek out the humble establishment by Hlemmur Bus Terminal.

There’s a sweet expression in Icelandic for one who lingers: “to hang around like a gray cat (grái kötturinn).” This petite café has lingered long on the Reykjavík scene—its cozy corners and cute retro stylings have been inviting locals to hang out since 1997, surrounded by books and art. The menu of diner favorites was inspired by travels in the USA, and early opening hours (from 7:30 am weekdays, 8 am weekends) make it a perfect spot for fresh-off-the-plane travelers to refuel and get their bearings. Dig into fluffy pancakes, eggs and bacon, bagels, and the trademark “Truck” breakfast, a hunger-busting dish that will likely remove any need for lunch.

Laugavegur 130 Open Sun–Thu: 6–10 pm, Fri–Sat: 6–11:30 pm

Hverfisgata 16a Open Mon–Fri: 7:30 am–2:30 pm, Sat–Sun: 8 am–2:30 pm

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CAFÉ LOKI Combining Iceland’s most traditional flavors with a front-row view of its most iconic building is a brilliant sales pitch. Inside Café Loki, windows frame Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík’s eye-catching, rocket-like church, while a huge mural depicts aspects of Norse mythology. The menu calls to both the brave and the mildly curious: Dive deeply into unique local flavors with fermented shark and a shot of brennivín (schnapps), or play it safe with fresh fish or warming lamb soup. Homemade rye bread comes with classic toppings like smoked trout,

or crumbled through the café’s deliciously unique ice cream, topped with cream and rhubarb syrup. Craving more familiar fare? Try bagels, pancakes or traditional pastries.



In a city that excels at storytelling, a generous amount of mythology surrounds a downtown hot dog stand. This is no ordinary fast food vendor but a magical place where late-night cravings are sated, queues move fast, prices are reasonable, and flavors are authentically local. The name means “The Town’s Best Hot Dogs” and the menu is simple: pylsa (hot dog), gos (soda). Decisions are made only regarding toppings: with or without ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. Order eina með öllu to get one with the works. These guys have been doling out dogs since 1937; they know how it’s done.

From its collection of football helmets to the diner-style menu, American Bar caters to US expats (not least for its screenings of NFL games, among other major Icelandic and international sporting events), curious tourists, and thirsty locals alike. The menu includes juicy burgers, wraps, sandwiches and hot wings to die for. If you’re all in, go for a milkshake, too. You can also sample Icelandic beers or indulge in a colorful cocktail. With live music and DJs on the weekends, go party with the locals till 4:30 am—then come back for a pick-me-up the following day. In sunny weather, be quick to claim your seat on the terrace facing the grassy Austurvöllur square and Iceland’s parliament.

Tryggvagata, by Kolaportið Open Sun–Thu: 10 am–2 am, Fri–Sat: 10 am–4:30 am

Lokastígur 28 Open Jun–Jul: 7 am–10 pm, Aug–May: 8 am–10 pm

Austurstræti 8–10 Open Sun–Thu: 11-1 am, Fri–Sat 11-4:30 am Happy Hour: 4–7 pm

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GREENLAND Nerlerit Inaat

From city center to countryside in under an hour Our domestic airport is conveniently located in downtown Reykjavík, and a trip across the country that’s as quick as your average commute means that you can get started in no time. Check out Air Iceland Connect’s route network and journey times.

A rct i c C i rc l e


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Breiðafjörður Stykkishólmur


GREENLAND Ilulissat Kulusuk Nuuk Narsarsuaq









Geysir Gullfoss Þingvellir


Bláfjöll Blue Lagoon


EyjafjallajökullMýrdalsjökull Katla

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Special Promotion

THE SWEET SOUNDS OF RECORDING IN ICELAND Travel to Iceland to find Icelandic inspiration (and expertise), and add a little magic to your own music-making. Icelandic music steps into the spotlight each November as the annual Iceland Airwaves festival rolls around, but no matter the time of year, it’s a subject worthy of attention. Icelandic artists punch well above their weight. How does a small, remote island of 360,000 people produce music that turns heads, wins accolades and fans, and—above all—creates such a strong sense of place? We’re not just talking about internationally famous homegrown artists such as Björk, Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men, but also the roster of genre-defying bands and artists on show at any local music festival. There are also plenty of Icelandic music-makers who may not step onto a traditional performing stage, but bring their atmospheric, moodsetting compositions to cinemas and living rooms via film and television soundtracks. In 2019 Hildur Guðnadóttir gained global recognition (and an Emmy nomination) thanks to her haunting score for the HBO TV miniseries Chernobyl, and she follows in some impressive footsteps. The multi-talented Ólafur Arnalds created an award-winning soundtrack for the English drama series Broadchurch, while Jóhann Jóhannsson won acclaim (and awards) for his work, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score in 2014 for the film The Theory of Everything.

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Record in Iceland—With a Rebate As well as its remit to promote the work of Icelandic artists abroad, Iceland Music has a project whose clear-cut goal is to entice foreign musicians to come and tap into the creative inspiration that seems to readily flow in Iceland. Extra incentive comes in the form of assistance with costs.

countryside if you’re looking for some edgeof-the-Arctic natural inspiration. They can also hook you up with brilliant producers and talented session players. As a bonus, the Icelandic government—specifically the Ministry of Industries and Innovation—offers a 25% reimbursement for recording costs incurred in Iceland. That includes travel and transport costs for musicians, studio hire, and the cost of hiring producers, sound engineers and session musicians. The offer is open to all music-makers, from bands and solo artists to composers, and for works that range from albums to movie scores.

Record in Iceland is the name of the project, and it does what it says on the label: It exists to help musicians travel to Iceland to be inspired by the epic landscapes and homegrown creativity, and to make use of the studios, producers and talent that reside here. Interested? You’d be in illustrious company: More details, including studio descriptions Kanye, Ladytron, The Fall and Damien Rice and reimbursement terms, are online at have all recorded in Iceland. Interconnectedness shines in a small music community such as Iceland, and Record in Iceland serves as a well-connected local friend able to set you up in world-class studios, big or intimate, in the heart of Reykjavík or in the

Top: Orchestral recordings at SinfoniaNord. Photo provided by SinfoniaNord. Bottom: Live Room with a view at Masterkey. Photo provided by Masterkey.

FLYER’S HUB Icelandair’s route network connects more than 35 destinations on both sides of the Atlantic, from the airline’s hub at Keflavík International Airport.













Contents: 86 Icelandair @Work: Novelties and News 88 Icelandair’s CEO Introduces the Airline’s New Policy 90 Kranavatn: Branding Iceland’s Tap Water 92 Iceland 101 94 Saga Shop Kitchen: On-Board Menu 96 In-Flight Entertainment

98 Services on Board 100 Our Fleet: Aircraft Types and Names 102 Icelandair Travel Experience 106 Devices and Wi-Fi 108 Safety Information 110 Guide to Customs Forms


ICELANDAIR @WORK From flying fans to Ed Sheeran’s concerts in Iceland and sponsoring our national football stars, to celebrating the 20th anniversary of Reykjavík Pride, the 10th anniversary of flights to Seattle, and Saga Club’s one-millionth member, Icelandair means business.


Sky-High Celebration of Reykjavík Pride At Icelandair we marked the 20 th anniversary of Reykjavík Pride, as well as our commitment to diversity and inclusion, with a special “Pride flight” on August 13—FI829 between Keflavík and Philadelphia. Our Pride flight was an initiative of LGBTQ+ employees at Icelandair, and the cabin crew and pilots on this flight are all proud members of the LGBTQ+ community. The service on board the flight was naturally themed according to the occasion. Waving pride flags and all smiles, cabin crew served brightly colored drinks and chocolates in rainbow wrapping. Every year we celebrate together with the LGBTQ+ community and support the ongoing pursuit for equal rights. We are proud of our employees who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and work in different departments across the company, and we are proud to be part of a community that celebrates diversity and equality. Reykjavík Pride is a 10-day spree of entertaining and educational events, this year August 8 to 17, celebrating queer culture and legal rights. Congratulations, One-Millionth Icelandair Saga Club Member! Icelandair Saga Club, our loyalty program, has been growing steadily since it began in 1992, and in August we welcomed our onemillionth member. Seattle-based Hayley Nichols became the millionth person to join Saga Club and won 1,000,000 Saga Points and a Saga Gold membership. Hayley signed up to Saga Club when she booked her flight from London to Seattle. Now that she has a million Saga Points to spend, she’s keen to return to Iceland to explore the country. After that, Hayley will likely take her sister to Europe as a high school graduation present. We congratulate Hayley on becoming a member of a diverse global community that enjoys great benefits and exclusive offers. We look forward to welcoming her on board (many) future flights!

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Icelandair to Seattle: A 10-Year Success Story This year, Icelandair is celebrating 10 years of flight connections between Keflavík International Airport (KEF) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Seattle has always been a great host to Icelandair, and we appreciate how welcome we have felt in this fun, creative, nature-surrounded city. The destination was launched during a major recession in 2009, and the following year, Eyjafjallajökull erupted, interrupting air travel the world over. Yet, the route proved an immediate success, and the number of weekly flights has shot up from four in 2009 to 14 in 2019. KEF-SEA is also the only Icelandair destination in western North America that enjoys double-daily summertime service.

In Safe Hands with Icelandair and MedAire looking for ways to improve our safety and Did you know that Icelandair partners with service to passengers, so Icelandair is pleased MedAire, an international SOS company, to to be the first airline in the world to use help our crew members respond to medical MedAire’s new app that will simplify and speed emergencies in-flight? Our crew have extenup communications. It’s a great addition to sive first-aid training, and MedAire offers communication with medical professionals at the resources available to staff should a medical emergency arise, thanks to its any time of day, from anywhere in the world, features and usability. for guidance and support. We are always

Icelandair Flies Fans to See Sheeran If you need more evidence of how passionate Icelanders are about music, consider the statistic that 50,000 people (or 1 in 7 of the Icelandic population) saw Ed Sheeran live in concert when he visited Reykjavík in August. Ed played two shows at the capital’s outdoor Laugardalsvöllur stadium on August 10 and 11, and the first show sold out in under three

hours. Among the crowd were approximately 700 people from Europe and North America who purchased flight-and-concert packages from Icelandair (80% from North America, with Minneapolis sending the biggest representation of fans). It highlights that Iceland is a great place for big-name artists to perform, and demonstrates the appeal for travelers of timing an Iceland visit with a concert or festival.

Iceland Off to a Flying Start The Icelandic national team in women’s football got off to a flying start in the UEFA Women’s Europe 2021 qualifying by winning its first two games, both at home; 4–1 against Hungary on August 29 and 1–0 against Slovakia on September 2. The star of the show was 24-year-old striker Elín Metta Jensen, who scored two goals against Hungary and one against Slovakia. Iceland now has six points—a full house— and couldn’t have asked for a better start. Meanwhile, the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying in men’s football is in full swing. Iceland shot straight to the top of group H after a 3–0 victory against Moldova on Laugardagsvöllur stadium in Reykjavík on September 7. Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Birkir Bjarnason and Jón Daði Böðvarsson scored for Iceland. However, in Albania on September 10, Iceland’s winning streak came to an end as the team lost 2–4. Iceland dropped to third place in group H and the stakes will be high in the home game against world champions France on October 11. Photo of Elín Metta by Hafliði Breiðfjörð / Football Association of Iceland.

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BRINGING THE SPIRIT OF ICELAND TO THE WORLD Bogi Nils Bogason, President and CEO of Icelandair Group, speaks about the extensive work underway to strengthen Icelandair’s position in a changing market, including a new strategy for the airline. What can you tell us about the old strategy for Icelandair Group? In 2012, we set ourselves the goal of unlocking Iceland’s potential as a year-round destination and, alongside that, strengthening Iceland’s position as a connecting hub between North America and Europe. We maintained our focus on flexibility and experience in order to build a powerful international airline here, with the goal of investing in the development of the Icelandic tourism industry and marketing Iceland as a destination on the global stage. Since 2012, enormous progress has been made, in collaboration with many of the large players in Icelandic tourism. The numbers speak for themselves: Iceland has moved

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from being a summer destination to a yearround destination, and the tourism industry is today the backbone of the Icelandic economy. What were the reasons for creating a new strategy? Now that many of the goals of the former strategy have been realized, we considered it the right time to shift our strategic mindset and move from focusing on the tourism industry as a whole to focusing on the airline industry itself. As a company, we run complex operations in challenging environments, and we face enormous competition from other international airlines. We have therefore sharpened our role, and we will shift the focus in order to strengthen our future competitiveness, with a focus on aviation. What are the key features of the new strategy? We see our most important role as creating a simple, comfortable and enjoyable experience

for our customers throughout the service process. However, we want to do this by continuing to create an Icelandic experience for our customers, as we are an Icelandic airline with strong Icelandic roots. We want to build the experience of the specialties and values that we, as Icelanders, think we have to offer—such as being resourceful, flexible and willing to work hard. This change to our strategy doesn’t essentially alter the way we work. We have never had the goal of being a low-cost carrier, for example. What we can do is take better advantage of our location, and fine-tune our products, services and cost structure in order to deliver smooth and enjoyable travel experiences.





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The “Kranavatn” campaign encourages tourists to drink high-quality Icelandic tap water and ditch plastic bottles.

“We promoted the water like a luxury product, with a craft beer look, logo and font. It was supposed to look like Évian or Perrier, these posh, quality brands, but it’s simply tap water,” says Daníel Oddsson from Promote Iceland of the new Inspired by Iceland campaign: “Kranavatn.” “We figured we would brand it with the Icelandic word for ‘tap water’ because it sounds interesting, like ‘croissant’,” adds his colleague Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir. She explains that the campaign has two main goals: first, to raise people’s awareness of the superb drinking quality of the Icelandic tap water, and second, to help minimize waste by discouraging visitors to Iceland from buying single-use plastic bottles. Instead, they should bring their own reusable bottles and fill them up with tap water, and to that end, more faucets are being installed in Reykjavík and elsewhere. “When we launched the project in June, we organized tap-water tasting at Keflavík Airport. People could try water from different sources, like ‘kitchen sink’ or ‘garden hose.’ They tasted the same, of course, but people still thought some tasted better than others,” Daníel laughs. The project has garnered significant attention, with social media influencers

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sharing the campaign video and Finland starting a similar project for the Finnish tap water. “It’s a collaboration with the Icelandic Environment Agency with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers, so the other Nordic countries can take advantage of it. It’s an open-source project for everyone’s benefit.” The campaign follows a new global survey of 16,000 travelers in 11 markets across Europe, the Nordics and North America, which found that nearly two in three (65%) admitted to consuming more plastic water bottles when abroad than when at home, citing “fear” that tap water abroad is unsafe (70%) and convenience (19%) as the main determining factors. Inspired by Iceland is aiming to raise awareness of Icelandic tap water as one of the cleanest and best-tasting tap waters in the world—pure glacial water filtered through lava for thousands of years. Unlike in other countries, 98% of Icelandic tap water is chemically untreated, and measurements show that unwanted substances in the water are far below limits, according to the Environmental Agency of Iceland. Anyone who’s planning a trip to Iceland this year can join the Kranavatn challenge online at and watch the campaign video. Icelandair is the single largest partner to Inspired by Iceland. The campaign’s first edition was launched by the Icelandic state and private parties to market Iceland as a tourist destination after the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in 2010.

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We call it the Ring Road because, as you can see, it is shaped like a ring around the whole island. Many people like to follow this 882mile (1,323-km) long route when they want to see a lot of the country, but don’t forget to venture off on other roads so you can explore areas like the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes peninsula and Reykjanes.

Welcome to Iceland! Looking for the basics on Iceland before your Icelandair Stopover? Here are a few essentials about our North Atlantic paradise. The national language is Icelandic, and while you’ll have no problem getting by using English, we’re grateful anytime a visitor tries to use góðan daginn (good day) or takk (thank you). You are going to land at Keflavík Airport. When you first step outside, take a deep breath and inhale our wonderful clean air. Welcome to the North Atlantic. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, winter temperatures are milder here than you’ll find in New York or Toronto. When the thermometer creeps above 68°F (20°C) in summer, Icelanders bask in the sun at cafés and beaches. You probably already know that Iceland is a volcanic land. We also have many glaciers and countless other natural wonders. Remember to stay safe on your travels and check out before you go. There’s no need to buy bottled water when you’re here. What comes out of the tap is pure, clean, tasty—and free. You may notice the hot water has a slightly sulfurous smell, but it’s plentiful; we even use it to heat our homes!

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It does not get as cold in winter as you might think, but nevertheless our weather can be quite unpredictable. Bring lots of clothes to wear in layers—even in summer—and a good quality windproof jacket. Most importantly, don’t forget your bathing suit! Visiting our thermal pools is a highlight of most trips (though you can always rent a suit if you forgot yours).

Speaking of our landscapes, you’ll notice that there aren’t many signs, fences or other barriers around our natural wonders. We trust your common sense. So when you see or hear a warning, please heed it: Do not step over ropes that are blocking an area. Hot springs can be dangerously hot. Rocks near waterfalls can be slippery. And the sea can be deceptively calm. Follow local advice.

There aren’t a lot of trees in Iceland. It can be windy here. Remember to hold your car door when you open it. Trust us; your rental company will thank you.

The name of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, means “smoky bay.” About two-thirds of our population of 350,000 live in the Capital Region.

Electricity in Iceland is 220 volts, the same as in Europe. If you bring electronics from the US or Canada, you’ll need an adapter for both plugs and current. Iceland is a wired society, and you’ll find Internet hotspots almost everywhere.

Photographers love Iceland for its incredible, ever-changing light. It never gets fully dark between about mid-May and early August, while in December a muted light shines over the island for a few short hours each day.

Many of you will be visiting our country to enjoy our unique nature, of which we are very proud. Please remember, though, that Iceland’s delicate landscapes can take decades, or even centuries, to recover from misuse. Please don’t collect stones, tread on or pick up sensitive moss, or drive off road— even in what may appear to be barren, sandy territory.


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SAGA SHOP KITCHEN No problem. Our new Economy menu has never been more appetizing and varied. Just fish it out of the seat pocket in front of you and order what your heart desires.



Gourmet falafel salad Falafel, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, fresh salad leaves, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, roasted pumpkin seeds and a hummus dressing. Turkey pretzel triangle Honey-roasted turkey, barbecue mayonnaise, fresh salad and red bell peppers in a freshly baked crispy butter pretzel triangle.

Travel Experience

Tapas snack box Serrano ham, mini fuet, grissini, bruschetta dip and matured Iberico cheese. Tapas snack box + olives + wine.



Pizza Margherita Pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, served with one of the world’s best olive oils straight from Italy. Choose between basil or chili flavor. Product not available when departing from YVR

We welcome your feedback on the dining experience on board. Please drop us a line at with any comments. Verði þér að góðu! Bon appétit!

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Traditional Icelandic Liquorice covered in delicious Icelandic Milk Chocolate

Iceland's one and only, our favorite for over 30 years

Icelandair Stopover 95

OUR IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Dear Passenger, On this flight you have access to a personal in-flight entertainment system, and these pages offer a sneak peek into our selection. Since we always aim to offer interesting and relevant material on board our flights, we update our selection regularly. Have a browse through the content on the screen in front of you to see everything we offer this time around.


The selection is quite varied, and we try to offer the latest Hollywood blockbusters of the season. We’ve also dedicated a category to All-Time Classics, where some of the carefully selected films are available for a whole year, allowing you to revisit some of your favorites each time you fly with us.


Language: Icelandic and/or English

Bak við luktar dyr Thriller I 7:56 hr.

Hafmeyjan Crime I 15:56 hr.

Andköf Thriller I 6:22 hr.

VESALINGS ELSKENDUR / PITY THE LOVERS I Óskar and Maggi are brothers, Fólkið í blokkinni social and easygoing. Both are longing for love but have a difficult time nurturing – Dýragarðurinn close relationships. A problem that they exhibit in opposite ways from each other. I Children I 3:21 hr. 105 min.


Language: English (with Icelandic subtitles)

Friends s5 e12–15 I PG-13 I Comedy I 30 min.

Arrow s6 e1–5 I R I Drama I 60 min.

Modern Family s8 e5–8 I PG-13 I Comedy I 30 min.

The Big Bang Theory s10 e13–16 I PG-13 I Comedy I 30 min.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu PG I Adventure, Comedy I 104 min.

Spider-Man: Far From Home PG-13 I Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi I 130 min.

HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTERS Language: English (with Icelandic subtitles)

Tolkien PG-13 I Drama, Biography I 111 min.

96 Icelandair Stopover

Shazam! PG-13 I Action, Adventure, Comedy I 132 min.



Language: English / Icelandic (with English subtitles)




Did you forget your headphones? We sell quality headphones that you can use on this flight and anywhere else.

Out of Thin Air G I Documentary I 84 min.


Language: Icelandic (with English subtitles)


nt to do the tried and tested, in is your spot. This modestestaurant serves excellently resh fish and meat. They also ne selection of cheeses and d marinated delicacies.


past few years, Iceland’s scene has taken huge leaps With more selection than ore, it should be easy to staurant somewhere in the hat tickles your fancy.

690 Vopnafjörður G I Documentary I 57 min.

Unique Iceland I A holiday destination of extremes. An entertaining and informative series about Iceland, both city and country, so you can feel prepared for your Stopover.

Hringfarinn / Sliding Through G I s1 e1–3 I Documentary I







Tvíliðaleikur / Playing with Balls R I Short Film I 9 min.
















KAF / DIVE: Rituals of Water G I Documentary I 72 min.




Language: Icelandic (with English subtitles)

'T M















Óþekkti hermaðurinn / Unknown Soldier R I Drama, War I 135 min.












'T M



'T M





Vesalings elskendur / Pity the Lovers G I Comedy, Drama I 105 min.









'T M






Language: Icelandic (with English subtitles)


ou with your search for the are in Iceland, we’ve compiled escription of some noteworthy n the Dining Advisor brochure at pocket in front of you.


Stella Blómkvist R I s1 e1–6 I Drama, Detective I 45 min.

Víti í Vestmannaeyjum / The Falcons G I s1 e1–6 I Children, Family I 22 min.

SpongeBob Squarepants s6 e15–17 I PG I Animation, Comedy, Family I 30 min.

Unikitty! s1 e1–2 I PG I Animation, Action, Comedy I 30 min.


Language: Icelandic/English

Dora the Explorer s1 e1–3 I PG I Animation, Comedy, Adventure I 30 min.

Justice League Unlimited s2 e35–36 I PG I Animation, Action, Adventure I 30 min.

Please note that you have many more audio books, films and TV programs to choose from on the in-flight entertainment system. The films and TV programs listed here are only a small selection. Ratings are provided according to the US system but may vary from country to country.

Icelandair Stopover 97

CLASSES OF SERVICE Icelandair offers a range of on-board services available to all passengers. We are the first European airline to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi, which means that you can stay online from the moment you board until you leave the aircraft. For our youngest flyers, we have a selection of children’s entertainment and games on the in-flight entertainment system. Children receive a meal and juice and are provided with headphones and an activity bag. Passengers can check in quickly and easily with our online check-in service. You can use your smart device to check in even faster. It is possible to check in 24 hours prior to departure for all destinations.

Icelandair caters to a range of tastes and budgets with a selection of five fare classes and amenities for tailor-made travel. Economy Light offers quality at a reduced price and includes hand luggage only, ideal for short-haul trips. Economy Standard includes hand luggage and one checked-in bag, and Economy Flex additionally includes priority boarding, free Wi-Fi, and the flexibility to change or cancel your fare. For a pampering experience in an exclusive, quiet cabin at the front of the aircraft, choose Saga Premium. With four-abreast wide seating and plenty of legroom, you’ll have ample space to work or simply stretch out and rest up for your destination.






Priority check-in




Yes, where applicable

Yes, where applicable

Lounge access




Yes, where applicable

Yes, where applicable

Priority boarding



Yes, where applicable

Yes, where applicable

Yes, where applicable

Seating 737, 757






Seating 767






Luggage allowance

No checked luggage

1x50 lb (23 kg)

1x50 lb (23 kg)

2x70 lb (32 kg)

2x70 lb (32 kg)

Carry-on luggage

1x22 lb (10 kg)

1x22 lb (10 kg)

1x22 lb (10 kg)

1x22 lb (10 kg)

2x22 lb (10 kg)


31–32" / 79–81 cm

31–32" / 79–81 cm

31–32" / 79–81 cm

40" / 101 cm

40" / 101 cm

In-flight entertainment







For a small fee

For a small fee

Included for 2 devices

Included for 2 devices

Included for 2 devices


For sale

For sale

For sale

Yes, noise-canceling

Yes, noise-canceling

Blankets and pillows

Upon request

Upon request

Upon request



Universal electric outlet






USB port






Non-alcoholic beverages






Alcoholic beverages

For sale

For sale

For sale




For sale

For sale

For sale

Included, special menu

Included, special menu

Amenity kit




On N-American routes

On N-American routes

Hot towels






Pre-flight drink




On N-American routes

On N-American routes


For up to 3 nights

For up to 7 nights

For up to 7 nights

For up to 7 nights


Change fees

$360 Fare difference may apply*

$300 Fare difference may apply*

None, but fare difference is applicable

From $300 Fare difference may apply*

None, but fare difference is applicable**







Combinability between classes

Combines solely with Economy Light

Combines with Saga Premium

Combines with Saga Premium Flex

Combines with Economy Standard

Combines with Economy Flex

Saga Points earned






*Subject to currency changes

98 Icelandair Stopover

**Within 48 hours of flight time, one free change to 24hr before / after original departure time. Valid on FI flights only.


PENIS MUSEUM It´s all about Dicks

it Laugavegur 116 • 105 Reykjavík Tel.: +354-561-6663 • • Open: 10-18 • Next to Hlemmur bus station No pornography or offensive material in the museum.

Icelandair Stopover 99

ICELANDAIR FLEET Number of passenger seats: 262 Seating arrangement: 2-3-2 in Economy, 2-1-2 in Saga Premium n Length: 180 ft 3 in / 54.9 m n Wingspan: 166 ft 11 in / 50.9 m n Cruising speed: Mach 0.80 / 461 kn / 531 mph / 854 km/h n Maximum range: 5,988 NM / 6,890 mi / 11,090 km n Maximum takeoff weight: 412,000 lb / 186,900 kg n Engines: 2 x General Electric CF6-80C2B6F n n

BOEING 767-300

Number of passenger seats: 225 Seating arrangement: 3-3 in Economy, 2-2 in Saga Premium n Length: 178 ft 7 in / 54.5 m n Wingspan: 134 ft 7 in / 41.0 m n Cruising speed: Mach 0.80 / 461 kn / 531 mph / 854 km/h n Maximum range: 3,200 NM / 3,682 mi / 5,926 km n Maximum takeoff weight: 273,000 lb / 123,800 kg n Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4-B n n

BOEING 757-300

Number of passenger seats: 183 Seating arrangement: 3-3 in Economy, 2-2 in Saga Premium n Length: 155 ft 3 in / 47.3 m n Wingspan: 134 ft 7 in / 41.0 m n Cruising speed: Mach 0.80 / 461 kn / 531 mph / 854 km/h n Maximum range: 3,915 NM / 4,505 mi / 7,250 km n Maximum takeoff weight: 250,000 lb / 113,400 kg n Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4 n Maximum range based on full passenger load n n

BOEING 757-200

Number of passenger seats: 160 Seating arrangement: 3-3 in Economy, 2-2 in Saga Premium n Length: 129 ft 6 in / 39.5 m n Wingspan: 117 ft 10 in / 35.9 m n Cruising speed: Mach 0.79 / 453 kn / 521 mph / 839 km/h n Maximum range: 3,515 NM / 4,045 mi / 6,510 km n Maximum takeoff weight: 181,200 lb / 82,200 kg n Engines: 2 x CFM International LEAP-1B n n


100 Icelandair Stopover

*Temporarily suspended from operations at the time of publishing.

ICELANDAIR’S UNIQUE LIVERIES Each of Icelandair’s aircraft is named after a magnificent natural phenomenon. For this issue, we have chosen to highlight three aircraft that didn’t just take the name of a natural wonder, but also a livery to match. From Europe’s largest glacier to one of the world’s oldest parliaments, there’s a lot to celebrate and commemorate.

VATNAJÖKULL I THE FIRST FLYING GLACIER I Vatnajökull’s hand-painted exterior was commissioned as part of Icelandair’s 80th anniversary in 2017 and represents the beauty and grandeur of the Vatnajökull glacier in southeast Iceland. The ice giant covers 8% of Iceland and is up to 3,280 ft (1,000 m) thick.

ÞINGVELLIR I FLYING THE FLAG FOR ICELAND I Þingvellir is dressed in the blue, white and red of the Icelandic flag and celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Icelandic National Sovereignty in 2018. The Þingvellir area is where the national parliament was founded in 930 AD; it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park.

HEKLA AURORA I THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN THE SKY I Dressed in the colors of a winter landscape, Hekla Aurora flies the northern lights across the Atlantic. Hekla is one of Iceland’s better-known volcanoes, and the aircraft’s interior is illuminated with one-of-a-kind mood lighting recreating the fabulous display of the aurora borealis.

Read more about our aircraft and their names at


Eldgjá TF-ISP Gullborg TF-ISW Hlöðufell TF-ISO Svörtuborgir TF-ISN


Hengill TF-FIX Þingvellir TF-ISX


Bláfjall TF-FIK Dyngjufjöll TF-ISS Eldborg TF-FIN Eldfell TF-ISK Eyjafjallajökull TF-FII Grábrók TF-ISV Grímsvötn TF-FIS Hekla Aurora TF-FIU Helgafell TF-FIT Herðubreið TF-FIA Katla TF-FIV

Keilir TF-ISJ Ketildyngja TF-ISR Krafla TF-FIO Laki TF-ISF Magni TF-FIC Öræfajökull TF-ISL Skjaldbreiður TF-LLX Snæfell TF-FIP Snæfellsjökull TF-ISD Surtsey TF-FIJ Torfajökull TF-ISY Vatnajökull TF-FIR

MAX 8*

Dyrhólaey TF-ICU Jökulsárlón TF-ICE Látrabjarg TF-ICY

Icelandair Stopover 101

DISCOVERING ICELAND IN THE SKY Icelandair’s travel experience introduces you to our special country. Whether you’re flying with us today en route to or from Iceland, or between Europe and North America with a short airport stopover, we’d like you to feel as if you’ve learned a little bit about our country during the flight. We’re very proud of our Icelandic heritage and culture and hope we’re able to share that enthusiasm with you. Take a look around you now. You should spot several little glimpses of Iceland, but if you want to catch them all, here’s our cheat sheet: The music as you boarded was composed and performed by Icelandic artists. Like it? It’s from our Icelandair Spotify playlist. You can check out the playlist in our in-flight entertainment system. Our menu selection features Icelandic ingredients and snacks like hjónabandssæla (an oat-and-jam square, whose name translates as “happy marriage”) and awardwinning lager.

102 Icelandair Stopover

We are very proud of our ancient language. You’ll see some samples of Icelandic, which is a North Germanic language, throughout the cabin. Some headrests show Icelandic translations of some common phrases in English, while pillow covers show a popular traditional lullaby both in Icelandic and in translation. The paper cups list the different words used in Icelandic for cups, and the napkins tell you about Iceland’s first settlers. Our in-flight entertainment system features numerous Icelandic films, documentaries and television programs, as well as an exclusive documentary called Unique Iceland, which will introduce you to some of the country’s highlights for visitors. We’re so proud of our volcanoes, glaciers and other natural wonders, that we’ve even named our aircraft after them. After all, Iceland is famous for its spectacular landscapes. Each one bears the moniker of an Icelandic attraction, including the famously

unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano— which actually doubles as a glacier; Vatna­ jökull, Europe’s largest glacier; Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff; and now also Þingvellir, the rift valley where our parliament was founded in A.D. 930. At the risk of being immodest, we think our water is the best tasting water in the world. Try it for yourself on this flight. We serve refreshing Icelandic Glacial water throughout the trip. On some lucky aircraft you’ll find mood lighting, like on Vatnajökull: The blue LED lighting in the cabin creates the illusion of being inside an ice cave, while on Hekla Aurora it feels as if you’re watching the northern lights dancing in the Icelandic winter sky. We hope you enjoy your flight with us.

DO YOU FLY REGULARLY WITH ICELANDAIR? Our frequent flyer program, Icelandair Saga Club, has multiple benefits for all members as well as special offers and benefits for our most frequent flyers who have acquired Saga Silver and Saga Gold status.

Saga Gold and Saga Silver benefits:

Members can earn from 850 to 7,200 Tier Credits for each leg with Icelandair and need 40,000 Tier Credits to become a Saga Silver member and 80,000 Tier Credits to become a Saga Gold member.




One upgrade a year*


Upgrade every time you fly*


Saga Premium check-in


Saga Premium check-in


Lounge access


Lounge access


Excess baggage


Excess baggage


Spouse Card available


Complimentary Spouse Card


Limousine service


Limousine service


Priority on waiting lists


Priority on waiting lists


Parking at KeflavĂ­k Airport


Complimentary Wi-Fi on board


Icelandair Golfers membership


Fast track through security

* To the next cabin when space is available.

Icelandair Stopover 103

WE MAKE A POINT OF REWARDING CUSTOMERS FOR LOYALTY Did you know that members of Icelandair Saga Club earn Saga Points for all Icelandair flights, for their purchases on board and with our partners around the world? These little points pack a lot of punch.

Joining is easy—you can use our on-board Wi-Fi on your mobile device or computer and join right now. It is free to visit


By joining Icelandair Saga Club you can: Book flights with Saga Points partly or for the whole airfare

Buy products and refreshments on board with your Points

Acquire Saga Silver or Saga Gold status with increased benefits by flying regularly with Icelandair

Earn Saga Points through and

Upgrade with Points and enjoy your next flight in a better seat

Use your Points to book a hotel or rent a car



Permitted at gate and above 10,000 feet*

Power outlets are located in all seats on Saga Premium and Saga Premium Flex. USB outlets provide power to charge small personal electronic devices, such as mobile phones, cameras or iPods.

Aircraft B757-200 I Aircraft B757-300 Hearing Aid


DVD Player


Laptop / Tablet

NOTE: *Larger PEDs (more than 1 kg) such as laptops must be securely stowed in overhead compartments or under the seat before takeoff and landing.

Rows 1–14


All rows

NOTE: PEDs must be disconnected from any in-seat electrical power supply during taxiing, t akeoff, approach, landing and during abnormal or emergency conditions.

Always permitted*



Smartphone (in-flight mode)

Camera (digital, film, video)

NoiseCanceling Headphones (power ON)

CD Player

Media Player

Handheld Game

WHAT ELECTRONIC DEVICES CAN I USE ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT? Handheld devices with flight mode Handheld devices, such as tablets, e-readers and mobile phones, may be used during all phases of the flight, provided that flight mode is enabled before departure. Devices must be safely secured in the customer’s hand or pocket during taxi, takeoff and landing. Devices without flight mode Any device that transmits or receives radio signals but does not have flight mode must be switched off for the duration of the flight. Laptops and other larger devices These devices may be used during boarding but not for taxi, takeoff and landing. They may be used in-flight. They shall be stowed away safely during taxi, takeoff and landing. Other devices without connectivity This includes items such as DVD players, electronic games and music players. Only small, handheld devices may be used during taxi, takeoff and landing. Larger devices must be switched off and stowed away safely during takeoff and landing.

106 Icelandair Stopover

NOTE: *Small lightweight Portable Electronic Devices, or PEDs – 1 kg or less (iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy phones & tablets, Nokia, Microsoft Surface, Kindle e-reader, digital cameras, etc.) are permitted as long as they are secured during takeoff and landing. Passengers must either hold their PED or securely place it in the seat pocket. Lightweight PEDs may not be unsecured on the seat beside them. PED cords or accessories are not to impede emergency egress. We ask passengers to remove their headphones and pay attention to the safety briefing.

Are there times when I can’t use my handheld devices? Flight or cabin crew may ask you at any time to switch off all electronic devices should interference be detected. Can I connect to Wi-Fi (if provided in-flight) even if flight mode is enabled? Yes. Cellular services must be turned off (flight mode) at all times, but other wireless services such as Wi-Fi may be used above 10,000 ft if a connection service is installed in the aircraft. It is possible to re-enable Wi-Fi and connect to a Wi-Fi network while flight mode is enabled. A peaceful cabin for everyone To keep the cabin peaceful, please use headphones when listening to music or other material and place computer games and such on silent or very low volume. Precaution If your mobile phone or tablet gets caught in the seat, please inform the cabin crew and they will assist you. If a battery operated device overheats during the flight, inform the cabin crew immediately.

WIRELESS INTERNET ON BOARD SEE OUR WI-FI PORTAL FOR PRICING INFORMATION How do I connect to the Wi-Fi network? 1. Make sure your mobile device is set to flight mode during all phases of flight. Then activate Wi-Fi on your device. 2. Choose the “Icelandair Internet Access” network. 3. Open your browser of choice and then press “Get Wi-Fi” if using a laptop. On your phone, choose either the “Wi-Fi” or “Complimentary” option. What you can expect The connection speed is similar to 3G. Keep in mind that the on-board Wi-Fi is therefore not as fast as home connections. The number of users can affect the speed of the connection. Wi-Fi is available from the moment you board and until you leave the aircraft. A new state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system will be imple­mented across all of Icelandair’s fleet in the coming months.

What can I do when connected? You can check your email. n You can browse the web. n You can use social media and other communication platforms. n

Do I need to set my smartphone or tablet to flight mode? All smartphones and tablets may be switched on at all times, but in flight mode only. You might have to activate Wi-Fi separately when your device is set to flight mode. Your device must be safely secured in your hand or pocket during taxi, takeoff and landing. You can stay connected throughout your flight – from the moment you board and until you disembark. What kind of device can I use? You can use a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone to connect. The connection will be activated on the same device you use to purchase or validate Internet access. When can I start using the Wi-Fi access? You will be able to connect as soon as you want, and the connection will be active throughout your flight.









Now Icelandair Saga Club members can use their Saga Points to pay for Wi-Fi access. For more details, see the pricing information in our Wi-Fi portal. If you are having trouble connecting, please send an email to the next time you are connected to the Internet. More questions can be found in the Wi-Fi portal.






The pink color indicates network coverage on Icelandair routes.

Icelandair Saga Gold members and booked Saga Premium passengers get complimentary Wi-Fi access for two devices.

Icelandair Stopover 107

SAFETY FIRST Iceland’s vast nature is spectacular, unique—and unpredictable. Sunny and calm periods can transform into windstorms, blizzards and plummeting temperatures in a matter of hours. If you are planning to travel to a more isolated area, please leave a copy of your itinerary with the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue at, and, for all excursions, observe these tips: DRIVING When driving, keep your full attention on the road, especially on areas where tarmac turns to gravel. Blind hills should be approached with caution. It is illegal to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol.



On single-lane bridges, the car closer to the bridge has the right of way, but it is always wise to stop and assess the situation.


Only take Highland roads if you have a 4x4 jeep, and make sure you have the experience necessary to operate these vehicles in tough conditions.


Roads can be quite slippery during winter, especially after frost in the early morning. All Highland roads are closed during winter.


Off-road driving is illegal.

HIKING When you are hiking, be prepared for sudden weather changes, stick to your travel plan, and dress appropriately, with water- and wind-resistant clothing, gloves and hats.



Do not get too close to cliff edges or hot springs. When waves are big, stay far from the water’s edge; be especially vigilant along the south coast, which is open to the Atlantic Ocean.


If you get lost, call 112, the emergency service line. Stay where you are and wait for rescue services to find you.


The search and rescue association also offers a free emergency app, downloadable from their website. Your coordinates will be sent to the emergency response crews should you use the app. There is more information on safe travel in Iceland on our in-flight entertainment system.

Visit for equipment lists, travel plans and the latest traveling conditions.

108 Icelandair Stopover

KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER ICELAND / EUROPE ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 112 USA AND CANADA ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 911 UK ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 999 / 112 Emergency calls are free to make from mobile phones. If you’re on the other side of the Atlantic, or in Iceland from North America, don’t forget to check on arrival if yours is working. Some phones operate on a different bandwidth and will not work in foreign countries.


OUR COUNTRY’S BRAVE VOLUNTEERS If you get lost on a mountain, can’t find your way at sea, or encounter virtually any other difficulty in Iceland’s outdoors, the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) is there to help. In a country with no military and only a few coast guard vessels and helicopters, ICE-SAR’s 3,000 highly-trained volunteers command deserved respect from both locals and visitors. Their teams deal with thousands of calls annually and are available 24 hours a day, on land or at sea. So while the vast majority of trips to Iceland will be without incident, you can rest easy that, should the need arise, the nation’s most experienced people will be prepared to save lives and prevent accidents under even the harshest conditions. Remember too that rescue operations are expensive to launch: Advanced equipment is used and volunteers take time off from their jobs to take part. ICE-SAR relies entirely on donations to finance itself; you can contribute via their website,

SAFETY ON BOARD We put safety first on all of our flights. The in-flight safety video gives a good overview of what you need to know for a safe journey. Please follow the instructions carefully and check out the safety card in your seat pocket. The cabin crew is there to assist and keep you safe at all times so please follow their guidance and suggestions. All electronic devices (mobile phones, tablets, e-readers) have to be switched off or in flight mode during the flight. Of course, this does not extend to heart pacemakers, hearing aids and other devices needed for medical reasons. If your mobile phone or tablet gets caught in the seat, please inform the cabin crew and they will assist you. If a battery operated device overheats during the flight, inform the cabin crew immediately. Whenever the seatbelt signs are on please: n

Stow devices larger than 10.5 in (27 cm) and/or more than 2.2 lb (1 kg) in the overhead compartment.

Please note that your life jacket may be located under your seat, above your seat, or in the armrest.


Hold devices smaller than 10.5 in (27 cm) and lighter than 2.2 lb (1 kg) or stow them in the overhead compartment or seat pocket. To keep the cabin peaceful please use headphones when listening to music or other material and place computer games and such on silent or very low volume.

luggage in the overhead compartments or place it under the seat in front of you. Be careful when opening the compartments as luggage may have shifted. When space is limited we might need to store some hand luggage the luggage hold. Smoking is prohibited on all Icelandair flights. This includes vaping.

For your safety and comfort we recommend that you keep your seatbelt fastened and visible throughout the flight. Store your hand

ICELANDAIR ALLERGY POLICY Icelandair cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment on board its aircraft. Therefore, we strongly encourage passengers with severe allergies that can result in anaphylaxis to bring an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPenÂŽ) and any other medications they may need. The meals offered on Icelandair flights do not contain peanuts or peanut products, such as peanut butter, although trace elements from peanuts may be found in meals.

In addition, tree nuts (e.g. almonds) may be found in meals on board, and fish and shellfish are sometimes on offer in Saga Premium. Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove tree nuts, fish or shellfish from the cabin. In the case of severe nut allergy, our cabin crew can make an allergy announcement on board, asking other passengers on the flight not to consume foods that contain nuts. Please contact Icelandair Customer support

at +354 50 50 100 at least two business days before departure to request an allergy announcement. We do, however, wish to stress that Icelandair can in no way restrict other passengers from bringing or consuming their own food on the aircraft that may contain nuts or other allergens. For that reason, it is possible to find traces of nuts on seat cushions, arm rests, tray tables, or elsewhere in the cabin.

Icelandair Stopover 109

VISA WAIVER PROGRAM – VWP – FOR TRAVEL TO USA Samningur um undanþágu frá vegabréfsáritun til Bandaríkjanna (Visa Waiver Program) gerir ríkisborgurum tiltekinna landa kleift að ferðast til Bandaríkjanna í skemmti- eða viðskipta­ferð í allt að 90 sólarhringa án þess að sækja um og fá sérstaka vegabréfs­áritun. Ferðamönnum, sem þessi samningur tekur til, er eftir sem áður heimilt að sækja um vegabréfs­áritun ef þeir kjósa svo. Aðeins tiltekinn fjöldi ríkja eru aðilar að þessum samningi (VWP) og ekki er öllum ferðamönnum frá ríkjum, sem eru aðilar að samningnum, heimilt að nýta sér undanþáguna. Öllum ferðamönnum frá löndum, sem eru aðilar að VWP, er skylt að sækja um rafræna ferða­ heimild á vef bandarískra innflytjendayfirvalda (Electronic System for Travel Authorization—

ESTA). Þegar komið er til Bandaríkjanna verður starfsmaður innflytjendayfirvalda á

flugvellinum að staðfesta að viðkomandi ferðamaður hafi undanþágu skv. VWP og ferðamaðurinn er þá skráður í US-VISIT kerfið.

Lönd sem eru aðilar að samningnum um undanþágu frá vegabréfsáritun til Bandaríkjanna Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program n Andorra n France n Lithuania n Slovakia n Australia n Germany n Luxembourg n Slovenia n Austria n Greece n Malta n South Korea n Belgium n Hungary n Monaco n Spain n Brunei n Iceland n The Netherlands n Sweden n Chile n Ireland n New Zealand n Switzerland n Czech Republic n Italy n Norway n Taiwan n Denmark n Japan n Portugal n United Kingdom n Estonia n Latvia n San Marino n Finland n Liechtenstein n Singapore

VISA WAIVER PROGRAM The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows most nationals of participating countries to travel to the USA for tourism or business for up to 90 days without a visa. VWP travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel and meet all requirements explained at


Before arriving in the US, each traveler or head of family is required to fill this form out and present to US Customs.


Hver komufarþegi eða forráða­ maður í fjölskyldu skal gefa eftirfar­andi upplýsingar (fyrir hverja fjölskyldu dugar EIN yfirlýsing).


Vor der Einreise in den U.S.A müssen Sie eine Zollerklärung ausfüllen. Ein Formular pro Familie ist erfordert.

1. Eftirnafn, skírnarnafn, miðnafn

1. Familienname, Vorname, Zweiter Vorname

2. Fæðingardagur dagur / mánuður / ár

2. Geburtsdatum / Tag / Monat / Jahr

3. Fjöldi fjölskyldumeðlima sem ferðast saman

3. Anzahl der mit Ihnen reisenden Familienmitglieder

4. a) Heimilisfang í Bandaríkjunum (nafn hótels / áfangastaðar) b) Borg c) Fylki

4. (a) Adresse/genaue Anschrift in den USA (Name des Hotels / Reiseziel) (b) Stadt (c) Staat

Avant d’arriver aux États-Unis, il vous sera demandé de remplir un formulaire de déclaration en douane. Un formulaire par famille suffit.

1. Nom, Prénom, Initiale du deuxième prénom. 2. Date de naissance Jour / Mois / Année. 3. Nombre de personnes voyageant avec vous. 4. Adresse aux États-Unis a) Destination ou nom de l’hôtel. b) Ville. c) Etat.

5. Útgáfustaður vegabréfs (land)

5. Pass ausgestellt von (Land)

6. Númer vegabréfs

6. Passnummer

7. Land búsetu

7. Ständiger Wohnsitz (Land)

8. Lönd sem var farið til í þessari ferð, fyrir lendingu í Bandaríkjunum

8. Auf dieser Reise besuchte Länder vor Ihrer Ankunft in den USA

7. Pays de résidence.

9. Flugfélag / Númer flugs eða heiti flugvélar

9. Fluggesellschaft/Flugnummer oder Name des Schiffes

8. Pays visités pendant ce voyage avant l’arrivée aux Etats-Unis.

10. Markmið þessarar ferðar er viðskiptalegs eðlis JÁ / NEI 11. Ég hef (við höfum) meðferðis: a) ávexti, jurtir, mat, skordýr: b) kjöt, dýr, dýraafurðir c) smitefni, frumuræktir, snigla d) mold eða hef/höfum dvalist á bónda­ bæ /mjólkurbúi / beitilandi JÁ/NEI 12. Ég hef (við höfum) verið í snertingu eða meðhöndlað lifandi dýr JÁ / NEI 13. Ég hef (við höfum) meðferðis peninga / gjaldmiðil eða aðra fjármuni að jafngildi hærri upphæð en USD 10.000. (sjá skilgreiningu á fjármun-um á bakhlið seðilsins) JÁ / NEI

10. Der Hauptanlass dieser Reise ist geschäftlich. Ja/nein 11. Ich (wir) führen folgende Waren ein: (a) Früchte, Pflanzen, Lebensmittel, Insekten. (b) Fleisch, Tiere, Tier- oder Wildprodukte. (c) Krankheitserreger, Zellkulturen, Schnecken. (d) Erde, oder waren Sie auf einem Bauernhof/einer Ranch/Weide. Ja/ nein 12. Ich war (wir waren) in unmittelbarer Nähe von Vieh/Nutztieren (z.B. Anfassen oder Umgang damit). Ja/nein

14. Ég hef (við höfum) meðferðis varning (til sölu eða sem ég hef (við höfum) keypt eða fengið erlendis, sem ekki teljast til persónulegra eigna) JÁ / NEI

13. Ich führe (wir führen) mehr als $US 10,000 in Bargeld oder Zahlungsmitteln oder den Gegenwert in anderen ausländischen Währungen mit.

15. Búsettir í Bandaríkjunum – andvirði varnings sem ég hef (við höfum) keypt eða fengið erlendis (einnig gjafir fyrir aðra) er: Ekki búsettir í Bandaríkjunum – andvirði alls varnings sem verður eftir í Bandaríkjunum:

(Siehe die Definition von Zahlungsmitteln auf der Rückseite). Ja/nein

14. Ich führe (wir führen) kommerzielle Waren mit. (Verkaufsware, Muster zur Werbung von Aufträgen oder Artikel, die nicht als Gegenstände zum persönlichen Gebrauch gelten) Ja/nein 15. Ansässige – der Gesamtwert aller Waren, einschliesslich der kommerziellern Waren, die ich (wir) im Ausland gekauft oder erworben habe(n) - (einschließlich Geschenke an Dritte, jedoch ausschließlich Gegenstände, die per Post in die USA gesendet wurden) und in die USA einführe(n).

110 Icelandair Stopover


Besucher – der Gesamtwert aller Waren, die in den USA verbleiben werden, einschließlich der kommerziellen Waren, beträgt.

5. Lieu de délivrance du passeport (nom du pays). 6. Numéro de passeport.

9. Ligne aérienne / et numéro du vol / Nom de vaisseau. 10. Vous voyagez pour raison d’affaires. OUI /NON 11. Je suis / nous sommes porteurs de a) fruits, plantes, produits alimentaires, insectes. b) viandes, animaux, produits provenant d’animaux ou d’animaux sauvages c) agents pouvant causer des maladies, cultures cellulaires, escargots d) terre. J’ai / Nous avons visité une exploitation agricole en dehors des Etats-Unis, OUI / NON 12. J’ai / nous avons touché ou traité du bétail. OUI/NON 13. Je suis / nous sommes porteurs d’espèces ou d’instruments monétaires d’une valeur équivalente en monnaie des États Unis ou de tout autre pays (Voir définition d’instruments monétaire au verso) à plus de 10 000$ US. OUI / NON 14. Je suis / nous sommes en possession de marchandises commerciales (articles des tinés à la vente, échantillon de démonstra tion ou tout autre article autresque des effets personnels). OUI/NON 15. Résidents : La valeur totale de tous les arti cles (y compris les marchandises commer ciales) que j’ai / nous avons acheté ou acquis à l’étranger et que j’apporte / nous apportons (y compris cadeaux, mais qui excluent les effets affranchis vers les États-Unis) aux ÉtatsUnis. Visiteurs : La valeur totale de tous les articles qui resteront aux États-Unis (y compris les marchan dises commerciales).




Pair creative, award-winning chefs with fresh, seasonal and local produce and you can’t go wrong. Add exquisite interior design and you’ve got Geiri Smart: a feast for all senses.

A charming gem at the heart of Reykjavík, Hannesarholt restaurant is the century-old home of poet and politician Hannes Hafstein. Lunch Tue-Fri and weekend brunch or a ThuSat night dining menu with fish, lamb, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Focusing on Icelandic cuisine, the atmospheric Lækjarbrekka has operated in one of Reykjavík’s oldest buildings since 1981. Here you will find traditional Icelandic courses in their original home-cooking style as well as with a modern twist.


Over the past few years, Iceland’s culinary scene has taken huge leaps forward. With more selection than ever before, it should be easy to find a restaurant somewhere in the country that tickles your fancy.

13 OF OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN REYKJAVÍK To help you with your search for the perfect fare in Iceland, we’ve compiled a short description of some noteworthy places in the Dining Advisor brochure in the seat pocket in front of you.

You can also dive into a culinary episode on the in-flight entertainment system and Wi-Fi portal on board.