Reasons Why You Should Live in Reykjavik at Some Point in Your Life

Iceland panorama
Iceland panorama | © Andrés Nieto Porras / Flickr
Camille Buckley

Iceland is a fascinating place – culturally, historically and geographically – both as a visitor and as a resident, but the experience will be quite different if you choose to make it your home. If you can bear the long winters and the high rents, here are some of the best reasons to learn a few lines of Icelandic and start your adventure on this North Atlantic island.

Live in a progressive society

While the popularity of recent female empowerment movements such as #FreeTheNipple and SlutWalk have been extremely popular in Iceland, this tiny island has had a long and surprisingly radical women’s rights agenda. In 1850, Iceland became the first country to grant unconditional equal inheritance rights to men and women. Not long after that, women got the right to vote, in 1915, five years before women in the United States.

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CentralAmerica

GORGEOUS GUATEMALA

Gorgeous Guatemala

5 days . Mini
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1. Guatemala

An express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.

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CentralAmerica

BEACHY BELIZE

Beachy Belize

5 days . Mini
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2. Belize

A quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
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CentralAmerica

COLONIAL MEXICO

Colonial Mexico

5 days . Mini
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3. Mexico

An exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
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SouthAmerica

ADVENTUROUS ECUADOR

Adventurous Ecuador

8 days . Epic
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1. Ecuador

A remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.

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SouthAmerica

ANCIENT PERU

Ancient Peru

9 days . Epic
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2. Peru

An alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
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Europe

SEDUCTIVE SOUTHERN ITALY

Seductive Southern Italy

10 days . Epic
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1. Italy

The ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.

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Europe

EDINBURGH AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS BY TRAIN

Edinburgh And The Scottish Highlands By Train

7 days . Culture
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2. Scotland

Embark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
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Europe

COMPLETE PORTUGAL BY TRAIN

Complete Portugal By Train

8 days . Culture
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3. Portugal

A wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
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Asia

SOULFUL SOUTH KOREA

Soulful South Korea

10 days . Epic
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1. South Korea

Discover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.

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Asia

THAILAND, CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

11 days . Epic
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2. Thailand

From Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
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Asia

SECRETS OF SRI LANKA BY TRAIN

Secrets Of Sri Lanka By Train

10 days . Culture
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3. Sri Lanka

A fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
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Africa

EPIC MOROCCO

Epic Morocco

11 days . Epic
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1. Morocco

An epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!

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Africa

ULTIMATE EGYPT

Ultimate Egypt

9 days . Epic
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2. Egypt

From Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Africa

IMMERSIVE KENYA

Immersive Kenya

8 days . Epic
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3. Kenya

An immersive blend of culture and wildlife for first time travelers to Africa. Learn about Nairobi, sample local coffee in the Aberdares and finish up with a fantastic safari stay in the Masai Mara.
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October 24, 1975

Inspiring landscape scenes

Iceland has an aesthetic beauty that is picturesque and sublime. There are many incredible places to choose from that will stay with you for the rest of your life. The immensity of shapes, forms and colours in the landscape are perhaps something that only poetry or other art forms can capture.

Svinafellsjökull glacier in Iceland

Historically unique

Iceland is unique in celebrating its native culture. In June each year, the Viking Village in Hafnarfjörður, the neighbouring town to Reykjavik, hosts the Viking Festival. This week-long event is a step back in time as most visitors are in full Viking costume, perfect for LARP enthusiasts. It features live battle scene reenactments by actors, storytellers sharing tales from the Icelandic sagas, workshops on how to make your own Viking-era crafts (such as spears) and activities such as axe throwing and bow shooting.

Abundant cultural activities

For such a small population – around 330,000 inhabitants – Iceland’s creative impact on the world has had a surprisingly profound influence; considering how isolated the country is both culturally and geographically, this makes the creativity it displays even more significant. In fact, creative industries in Iceland employ a larger proportion of the population than the fishing and agriculture industries combined, and, in turn, generate a larger percentage of the country’s GDP.

Concert Hall in Harpa

Plenty of nightlife

Iceland has a lot of nightlife to discover, both in the capital of Reykjavik and beyond. No matter what you decide to do during your visit, having a drink at one of Reykjavik’s many fun bars should definitely be on the list. Many of the bars in Reykjavik have their own unique atmosphere, with all kinds of events taking place throughout the week; there is also an abundance of quiet, relaxed places.

Skuli Craft Bar

Pick up a new language

The North Germanic language spoken by the 330,000 native speakers is notoriously difficult to grasp, and rather strange-sounding to outsiders. However, the Icelandic language is a source of national pride, and Icelanders take great care in ensuring that it sustains itself, though younger generations speak Icelandic with many loan words from English. Living in Iceland, the only place in the world where Icelandic is spoken, would definitely be a unique experience and enable full immersion into this rare language.

A typical Icelandic tongue-twister street name

Outdoor activities

Iceland is one of the rare places on earth where glaciers are abundant, making up 11% of its land surface, and there is ample access for hiking along the glaciers’ crevasses and walls. The immense beauty and force of this natural feature will become apparent on a glacier hike with guides who can advise you on traversing the ridges safely. There is also an abundance of other hiking trails in Iceland, as well as horse riding, skiing and fishing – no matter the season, there is always a way to enjoy the island’s nature.

Sólheimajökull glacier, Iceland, March 2015

Burgeoning foodie scene

Iceland’s cuisine has made several great strides over the past few centuries and has moved on from basic preparations of lamb, whale, puffin and cod. With no big shoes to fill in terms of gastronomy, unlike some other European countries, chefs are free to be their own creative masters. Thanks to the combination of artisanal ingredients with a bit of tradition and all kinds of global twists, the island now boasts a buzzing food scene.

Smoked lundi (puffin)
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Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider

Hanna

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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?

2 years.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.

WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?

I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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