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An Insider’s Perspective on Iceland

Our tour manager, Kristin Bogadottir, is a native Icelander and accomplished photographer who has shot assignments in Iceland for the New York Times. She also manages tours for Collette several times a year. 

“The winter here is black and white compared to all the color in summer,” she said. “But winter travel to Iceland has grown so much in the past 10 years. People want to see the northern lights, and the sun is never high, so it’s a good time for photography.

“I am still amazed by the northern lights,” she said. “Someone will call and say, ‘The lights are out,’ and I’ll stop what I’m doing to go outside and watch them. Sometimes when they are out, you hear foxes begin to chatter. It’s a magical moment.”

I asked her about volcanic eruptions.

“It smells like 1,000 matches burning,” she said. “We had an eruption nearby this year that lasted from March until September. We had travelers come to Iceland to see it, and our police were very helpful in managing a trail to a safe place to watch it. They are quite good about that.”

I asked her advice about where to go on a return trip.

“Well, you’ve seen the South, so go north,” she said. “Go to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It’s Iceland in miniature. See the Westfjords and take the ferry to the Westman Islands. You can drive the Ring Road in a week. Collette also has a great tour up there,” she said. “Maybe you should look into that.”