We have long dreamed of visiting Iceland. The terrain looked positively alien – we flew over everything from green pasture, to strange rock formations and ice capped mountains. I promised myself I’d be back (for more than just a plane change). Fast forward to this summer and that promise came true. I was given the opportunity to travel to Rejkavik and attend the Secret Solstice Festival. The festival is truly one-of-a-kind. Not limited to sprawling festival grounds, events also took place inside glaciers, rock tunnels, and on a boat under the midnight sun.
The amazing thing about visiting Iceland in the summertime is that there is almost continuous sunlight. The festival took place over the summer solstice which meant that for the 4 days I was in Iceland, I never saw darkness. I’ll admit that going directly from London Men’s Fashion Week to Iceland with little sleep in between, left me a little worse for wear when the sun was still shining bright at 4 am.
With my ODINN super VIP pass, I had the chance to see artists like Chaka Khan and the Foo Fighters from the very front row. I also had the chance to trek inside Langjökull glacier (Iceland’s second largest) and attend a Red Bull Music Academy showcase of Icelandic artists. It was Bjork meets a rave but deep inside an icy cavern. Post glacier party we were whisked back to the city centre for a quick change before heading out to a boat party underneath the midnight sun.
Respecting the environment is of the utmost importance to the Icelandic people. In addition to Secret Solstice being the world’s first Carbon-neutral festival, the hotel I stayed at, Hotel Eyja was also eco-friendly. Eco-friendly products like bamboo toothbrushes, chewable toothpaste and natural grooming products lined the bathroom. The entire hotel had that rustic Nordic vibe, think hard wood and ultra bright whites. There was definitely a luxe vibe going on as well – the four-posted bed was outfitted with a fur throw, and at breakfast, I got to play ‘spot the celebrity’ as the majority of artists and influencers in town were staying at the same hotel.
The breakfast consisted of Icelandic smoked salmon, cheeses and local jams & preserves.
Dancing til sunset (which never came!) can be really tiring, so we took one day out of the festival to go on a scenic drive. Passing from the world famous Blue Lagoon, through green meadows under thundering waterfalls and finally Reynisfjara, the black sand beach. Comprised of volcanic pebbles, the beach was truly impressive! In addition to the #AllBlackEverything beach, there are also basalt columns which form an almost pyramid-like structure over the beach and strange rock formations in the sea.
Back in the city, there was one final sight to see to complete my Icelandic journey. Hallgrímskirkja (please don’t ask me to pronounce it!) which is a cathedral in the city centre visible throughout the capital city. Perfectly symmetrical and inspired by the Basalt rock formations we’d seen earlier in the day. The church evokes the glaciers and mountains found throughout the country.
If you’re looking for a destination with unique dining, world class sights and surreal terrain visit Iceland for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I know I can’t wait to go back!
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