Warm up to Iceland and its quirky, queer capital, Reykjavik. On today’s episode we welcome Eva María and Hannes ‘Sasi’ – co-owners of LGBT travel brand, Pink Iceland.
Eva María has over a decade of experience in the Icelandic tourism business as a marketing manager for one of the country’s biggest whale watching companies. She has served on the board of the of the Italian-Icelandic Commerce, The Icelandic Travel Industry Association and until recently she was the Chairwoman of Reykjavik Pride. Eva is now co-founder and owner, CEO and wedding planner at Pink Iceland.
Hannes is the writer of some of Iceland’s most popular TV series, he’s planned the country’s most elaborate and glamorous parties and worked as a professional writer, designer and creative director. He joined Pink Iceland shortly after it was founded and is now a co-owner, wedding planner, and brand manager.
Planning your first big gay Iceland trip? Then today’s informative episode is definitely required listening. Our hosts dig deep into Reykjavik, offering some very helpful tips on what to do, eat and see. Happy listening!
Reykjavik’s best festivals
Reykavik Pride – The country’s second largest annual festival is also its gayest. Reykjavik Pride has been coined ‘The Largest Little Pride in the World’ as it attracts just short of 100k annual visitors. To put that in perspective, the country only has a population of 360k. Learn more about the event here or experience Reykjavik Pride with Out Adventures in August.
Reykjavik Culture Night – With 100k annual visitors, this little culture festival that could is also the country’s largest annual event. Check out their website for a wide range of art installations, performances, and family-friendly events.
Rainbow Reykjavik – Iceland’s new mini winter Pride Festival is actually the brainchild of Pink Iceland. The group decided the country needed a winter festival catering to the local Hinsegin (Icelandic for ‘Queer’) community. Last year the event was hosted by Rupaul’s Drag Race alumni, Detox.
Dark Music Days – An annual festival held in January or February that celebrate’s Icelands broodier side. Think orchestral chamber music with a Nordic Noir twist.
Reykjavik’s New Year’s Eve celebrations have become internationally recognized. The city truly comes alive with family-friendly firework displays, bonfires and endless house parties. Join Pink Iceland in Reykjavik on their popular 4-day NYE package.
Iceland Airwaves Festival – An intimate, city-wide music festival in November celebrating local and international talent.
Reykjavik’s best gay bars
Reykjavik’s best restaurants
Grillmarkaðurinn (Grill Market) – Modern Icelandic with an emphasis on local produce.
Fiskmarkaðurinn (Fish Market) – Modern Icelandic with an emphasis on locally sourced seafood.
What to do in Reykjavik
Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall – We highly suggest visiting Reykjavik’s iconic concert hall, even if just to appreciate its architecture. If you have the time, check out Harpa’s website to discover a vast line of incredible Icelandic and international performances.
Hallgrímskirkja – Spend an afternoon wandering around the city’s signature Lutheran Church. It is the city’s main landmark, and its massive clocktower can be seen from anywhere in Reykjavik.
What to do outside of Reykjavik
The Blue Lagoon – Spend a full day soaking in the Blue Lagoon’s gorgeous thermal pools. The lagoon is only a short jaunt from Reykjavik and is now equipped with a spa, restaurant and accommodations.
The Blue Lagoon isn’t Iceland’s only thermal pool. In fact, the country boasts hundreds of geothermal pools and rivers, as well as plenty of natural hot springs. Here’s a handy guide we found that outlines the country’s most famous geothermal pools.
Season 3 of The Gay Travel Podcast is brought to you by GayCities: Know where to go, stay, and eat in over 240 destinations worldwide.
Image credits from the top down: Shutterstock, Pink Iceland x 4, Grillmarkaðurinn, Pink Iceland.
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