Icelandic Adventures with Nordic Luxury
June 3, 2020 by Hidden Doorways
Iceland is home to otherworldly landscapes where our adventurous souls come alive and days are spent exploring and immersing in truly breathtaking scenery that looks like a painting. A leader in conservation, Iceland is a nature enthusiasts paradise comprised of dramatic coastlines, narrow fjords, blue lagoons, thundering waterfalls, majestic mountains, active volcanoes, steaming geysers, and snow laden glaciers (In fact, 10% of the country is covered in glaciers.). Travelers journey from across the globe to catch the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
As we seek to explore serene remote places closer to home, Iceland is just over a five-hour flight from Boston. Its government recently announced that it is reopening its borders on June 15th to international travelers without needing to quarantine.
Nordic Luxury, a leading DMC in Iceland and Scandinavia, takes travelers off the beaten path where few have gone before and curates tailored experiences that shows you the ethereal beauty of Iceland. While taking you out of your comfort zone, activities range from glacier hiking and skiing to dune buggies or private helicopter tours and more. Nordic Luxury also has access to well-appointed villas with a well-designed touch for those who seek more privacy and space.
Meet David Logi Gunnarsson who is a guide with Nordic Luxury. He was born in Selfoss on the southern coast of Iceland and was raised in Seattle and Reykjavik. David was a former soccer player, yet he found his calling guiding. He discovered his true passion at an early age while traveling with his dad to little farms on the south coast of Iceland. In those little trips, his dad showed him every cave, cove and creek, every waterfall and mountain and those small things that only a person raised in the south coast knows.
David loves taking his clients to those secret places, away from the crowded places to capture every breath of the clean and fresh air. He shares some of his favorite places and activities to take his clients.
What is your background? Did you grow up in Iceland? When did you decide to become a guide?
I was born and raised down on the South coast of Iceland. Here I lived and breathed the nature from as early on as a few days old exploring every creek and cove in Iceland with my family. From driving in the highlands, hiking mountains, skiing, fishing, hunting or sailing the possibilities were endless growing up. It was always my destiny to become a guide, I just didn’t realize it until my early thirties when my hobby became my job.
How would you describe Iceland?
Complete mindfulness just a plane ride from every angle of the world. Something different from other countries that is sometimes described like the landscape of the moon. Active volcanoes and erupting geysers, hot springs at remote locations, black sandy beaches, clean water and a clear blue sky on a good day. Iceland has the biggest glaciers, mighty waterfalls and steaming lava fields. The population that came from Vikings and became fisherman, live and breathe for their country and their people.
Which types of adventure activities is Iceland known for?
Super Jeep, snowmobiling, ATV tours, kayaking, river rafting, heli skiing, diving, horseback riding, surfing, Rib safari and helicopter tours.
How much do you need to train in preparation to go on some of the excursions?
We have excursions and activity that are suitable and custom made to the clients needs and capability.
What types of activities do you recommend for people who are returning to Iceland?
If you are returning to Iceland you probably did the main attractions the first time around. I would recommend to returning guests to get of the beaten track and e.g. explore the highlands of Iceland.
Where is your favorite place to take people, particularly remote areas?
This is a tough question as I have so many favorite locations! If I had to pick one, I’d have to say Hafursey. Hafursey is just outside of Vík on the South coast. It is a picture perfect location- a mountain covered in green moss on black sand with the active volcano Kötlujökull just in its backyard.
As Iceland is environmentally conscious and a leader in sustainable energy solutions, what sustainability initiatives are you passionate about?
Given the fact we have resources to make all the electricity that we need with hydro and geothermal power, I would like to see Iceland to be the first country in the world to have only electric cars in the near future.
Have you noticed any shifts or positive changes in Iceland’s landscapes since tourism has paused due to the pandemic?
Iceland is very pure and the tourism hasn’t affected it that much – so we would see a change in landscape in couple of months. The air is clean; we drink water from the mountain rivers; we have endless space. Our island is a paradise for nature lovers.
What new guidelines are you taking as the country starts to reopen?
We see more clients showing interest to travel privately from private transportation to private activities, and even private meals. And this is what we are used to be doing. We dedicate same driver-guide to take care of clients from the moment they arrive to Iceland till the moment they leave. The vehicles are undergoing thorough cleaning before each guests (and that has been our standards before COVID-19). We supply masks and sanitizers for the guests.
Do you have some photography tips when capturing the Northern Lights? When is the best time to go to see them?
A good camera is needed to take good pictures, but the newest smartphones have night mode or dark mode which captures the light pretty well. If you’ll be capturing lights with your camera, bring your tripod, it will be very useful. And be patient. The time to see the Northern Lights is from end of August to end of March. It depends on the right conditions like clear skies, darkness and Northern light activity.
What is your recommended packing list for excursions like caving, snowmobiling, ATV or hiking a glacier?
We have a saying in Iceland “there is never bad weather just bad clothing.” The key is dressing in layers. In the winter time, you need clothing that will keep you warm and dry. In the summer time, it’s the same. All the major outdoor clothing brands in the world have everything you need and then of course the right shoes for different terrain.
P.O. Box 3
121 Reykjavik, Iceland
Telephone: + 011 354 4979000