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An Icelandic Adventure with Travel Designers Laura and Ruari

Discover Iceland, one of the most remote, volcanically active and sparsely populated countries on the planet, making this one of the most adventurous luxury holidays on the planet.

Laura ruari Iceland square

Travel Designers Laura and Ruari recently set out to discover Iceland on a recce, uncovering the best of this country for our clients. Its terrain is as beautiful as it is diverse, with its mountains, lava fields, glaciers, fjords, and rivers providing a never-ending stream of breathtaking sights.

Ruari Laura Iceland Ruari Laura Iceland
Ruari Laura Iceland Ruari Laura Iceland

Laura and Ruari’s adventure began in Reykjavík with a stay at the EDITION in the heart of the capital. Luxurious yet buzzing with the city’s vibrancy, the property offers guests a whole host of dining and entertainment options to enjoy with panoramic views over the harbour, and even a speakeasy that is only discoverable by word of mouth.

Eager for adventure, they headed out to see the black beach before exploring the lava tunnels (during eruptions, lava flows through these enormous yet beautiful spaces). A platform at the end can be privatised to become the perfect spot for drinks or a seriously unique cinema setting.

Continuing their exploration of Iceland’s nature, the pair ventured to a lake just outside Reykjavík where a day trip could see you paddleboarding and kayaking, as well as being the setting for a remote dining set-up (this spot is off the beaten track so you can avoid hoards of tourists and enjoy the lake to yourself). Around the beach, black sand and impressive rock formations make for a dramatic backdrop and really showcase the best of Iceland’s impressive natural landscape.

Their second day saw Laura and Ruari boarding a plane for a short flight up north. Undergoing many transformations over the past few years, the north of Iceland is constantly evolving to offer a range of high-end experiences, making it an ideal destination for Pelorus clients. Staying at the extraordinary Deplar Farm, a guide picked up Laura and Ruari at the airport with a whole host of supplies and sustenance before they embarked on a drive through the stunning countryside. They stopped off for a mountain hike where, overlooking the arctic, their guide taught them about the local wildlife and foraging before they tucked into a much-needed flask of hot chocolate and Icelandic doughnuts.

It doesn’t get more off-grid than the Fljót Valley, and the second part of the drive to Deplar Farm was just as scenic, with the cliffside road providing dramatic sweeping coastal views. This remote area is a gateway for adventures (think skiing and sea kayaking) and the ideal spot for viewing the Aurora Borealis thanks to its remoteness. Upon arrival, Laura and Ruari were welcomed by the team and shown around the property with a cocktail in hand.

Their first day here was spent exploring the incredible space. There’s a spa with its heated outdoor pool and swim-up bar overlooking a valley between the mountains as well as an outdoor sauna, and treatment rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass walls (as does much of the hotel) just in case the Northern Lights call whilst you’re relaxing.

Dinner was extensive and showcased Iceland’s growing food scene, with all guests eating around one big table. Each dish of the three-course meal was accompanied by wine, with the chef and sommelier talking through exactly what it is in front of you. Unsurprisingly, the food is locally sourced – predominantly from a sheep farm one kilometre away (sheep outnumber humans more than 2:1 in Iceland). Laura and Ruari were also let in on an in-the-know secret, with bottles of whiskey hidden in the fireplaces around the property for guests to hunt out and enjoy.

The penultimate day was undoubtedly their highlight, with whale watching on the agenda. Pelorus clients will have the option to privatise the experience and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime sights with their loved ones. The whale watching lasted roughly two hours, with the team on board providing snacks, hot drinks and extra layers.

“They were everywhere and so close to the boat. You’d be almost guaranteed to see them” – Laura

Ruari Laura Iceland
Ruari Laura Iceland Ruari Laura Iceland

Then it was back to Deplar Farm to continue the adventure. Perfect for all ages, there’s so much to entertain: a sports hall, climbing wall, games room, basketball court, kayaking, paddleboarding and surfing to name but a few. The pair visited in November so surfing wasn’t on the cards (it’s best in the depths of winter), so they headed out in kayaks instead.

After an action-packed day, Laura and Ruari were treated to a massage in the spa’s cabins which overlook the arctic, before soaking in Deplar Farm’s cosy atmosphere in the bar.

The last day ended with a stop at the famous Blue Lagoon where the duo visited yet another luxury property: the lagoon’s Retreat Hotel. The spa – emphatically described as “amazing” – uses products with volcanic minerals and lagoon algae (the key benefit they are told, is rejuvenation). For those who don’t want to be among swathes of tourists, the retreat is the way to experience this bucket list destination, with a private lagoon providing the best spot to soak in those healing minerals.

Stay tuned for more updates from our team’s adventures