Skiing in Iceland
26th October 2011
The country is making a concerted effort to attract skiers and snowboarders to bolster the country’s ailing tourist industry. It started with sounding out the press, PlanetSKI was amongst them.
It was a presentation to a small, invited section the British ski media last autumn when the London Ski & Snowboard Show was on; the two most popular ski magazines were there, a well-respected journalist who writes for the main national newspapers, a magazine feature writer who specialises in skiing in exotic locations and PlanetSKI.
So, why is Iceland trying to get a piece of the UK ski market?
The reason is simple; the volcano and economic troubles have harmed the tourist industry and so it is looking at ways to improve things.
One aspect is trying to develop the winter tourism market.
It feels it offers something no other country does.
But why would you want to ski in Iceland rather than The Alps?
At first glance you probably wouldn’t as the resorts are small, spread out and do not really compare. They appear to be more like Scotland than the massive linked ski areas that many Brits seem to prefer for their annual one week ski holiday.
But on closer examination they have charm, some reasonable slopes and of course it would be a whole new experience. Link it in with a visit to the capital Reykjavik and maybe whale watching, that starts in April, or seeing the northern lights and it takes on a new dimension.
There are volcanoes, hot springs, glacial rivers, waterfalls and some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe.
The country has a special scheme where you can stay with the locals and see how they live their lives; farmers, musicians, chefs and even The President, Loafur Ragnar Grimsson.
Resorts are of a decent size and the lifts systems are modern though not extensive. Then there is the chance to do a bit of heliskiing in some dramatic locations without heading all the way to Canada or the USA.
Skidoos can also be used to access back-country areas.
Iceland is a three hour flight from mainland Europe and the ski areas are clustered round the town of Akureyri that is a further 45 minutes by plane or a spectacular 5 hour drive. It is on the same time zone in the winter as the UK so there’s no jet-lag.
So strap on those new goggles you got from that snowboard goggle sale and consider skiing in Iceland this coming winter.
Check out the images below and ask yourself if it looks interesting.
Here’s a short time lapse film shot during the Icelandic Midnight Sun in June of 2011, demonstrating magnificent scenery. Ok its shot in the summer months, but we liked it anyway.
During the Arctic summer, sunset was at midnight and sunrise was at 3am.
Here at PlanetSKI we are always keen to tell our readers about new places to ski and snowboard and we look forward to bringing you more news on Iceland later in the winter.
For further details then see here.
For the spirit of the mountains