Iceland – The trip that stole our hearts
It’s taken a week of reflection, smiles and continued laughter to write this and in all our years of events, we’ve got to say, this trip is up there with one of our favourites!
These existing clients wanted a “cold experience” for their annual high flyer incentive trip and having been on a couple of ski trips before, Iceland was for us, an obvious next choice.
Einstök cocktail bar provided an inclusive experience for all our guests- by specifically tailoring all the drinks to each guest’s preferences meant even those who don’t drink alcohol had a wide variety of choice. With an impressive menu of cocktails, mocktails and one of the most knowledgeable mixologists we had come across, we were able to catch up with our clients while learning about the area-what better way to kick off a trip? Sufficiently filled with Icelandic baked goods, it was time to venture onto somewhere we’d been looking forward to visiting since we first started researching Iceland.
Our first evening in Iceland was spent having dinner in Hofnin restaurant, situated directly on the harbour, overlooking the beautiful sea and with even more outstanding cuisine (which we soon realised was something of a trend this weekend!) After discussing the itinerary for the next couple of days, it’s fair to say our clients were just as excited as us!
Our first full day was jam-packed! We were picked up in a 4×4 with wheels that rival monster trucks and drove to the most volcanic part of Iceland. Locals had told us about the recent activity, so we were equal parts wary and excited about the possibility of experiencing the tremors ourselves. Luckily, the volcano (that is 100 years overdue an eruption!) held off and allowed us to go ice caving and hike a short away around some of the volcanos. We even had the opportunity to enjoy (we say that hesitantly) one of Iceland’s oldest ‘delicacies’, fermented shark- around 800 years old and a smell that we certainly won’t forget! Haha!
From exploring volcanos to chasing waterfalls in less than an hour, lunch was at a lovely little spot in Vik, a remote seafront village in south Iceland, another impressive venue and menu that offered great vegetarian options. Following lunch, we visited the local ‘Black Beach’, which was quite simply profound. The landscape was almost haunting and beautiful at the same time. Despite the rain at this point, we had all fallen in love with this rare and unique land.
We weren’t lying when we said this trip was one of the best we’ve hosted. In our time we’ve experienced a lot of restaurants and, given our affection for all things Spain, we’d consider ourselves somewhat of ‘tapas connoisseurs’, so to say that the tapas we had that evening was the best we’ve ever had is no small statement! Served with another evening of belly laughter from start to finish, this evening was a great way to end such an eventful first day together.
As we walked back to the Skuggi hotel, an excellent base for the trip, we certainly saw the bustle of the nightlife that Reyjkavik is famed for. Still, we caught that perfect balance of activity & socialising without overdoing it!
Nothing could have prepared us for the experience of our final day when we went whale watching- something we decided to add to the itinerary last minute due to the recent whale activity and the stunning weather conditions that travelling there in May had allowed us. We’d hoped we’d be lucky enough to spot the fin of a whale or a few puffins but what we ended up seeing was a once in a lifetime experience. We were fortunate enough not only to see puffins by the hundreds but to have front row seats to what we can only describe as a show put on by the whales with several different species out for the early morning. There was water spouting, a full jump and the infamous tails. Quite honestly, the experience was both emotional and a truly humbling experience. Everyone on the boat had a sense of how lucky we all felt to have been here, and we revelled in the magic of the land of ice and fire.
Shortly after, and following some free time, we headed to Iceland’s iconic, instagrammable Sky Lagoon for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. The Icelandic-inspired seven-step routine consists of a geothermally heated infinity lagoon pool, cold plunge, steam room, the cold spray room, salt scrubs (which smelt phenomenal), and a sauna with a view- this was the perfect way to finish off our trip.
We have been adding these spa experiences to many of our events now as it offers a sense of calm to round off our usually busy, fun-packed trips and prepare our guests for the journey home.
All in all, Iceland stole our hearts- there was an abundance of fun, adventure and excellent company but most of all, everyone had this sense of ‘a once in a lifetime experience’ which ultimately, high-flyer trips should be all about. The one thing that really took us by surprise was the standard of food. This Iceland trip is the ultimate experience for foodies, and we were blown away by the variation, presentation and high level of culinary quality at every venue- catering to all dietary requirements with ease and finesse. So if you are looking for gastronomical experience in addition to experience- look no further!
If this one in a lifetime trip is something you think your team would enjoy as much as these clients, please feel free to get in touch, and we can start planning and getting excited about your next corporate event!