Categorized | Iceland, Travel Europe

Travel Iceland: Hjörtur Smárason of Raving Ravens

Travel Iceland

This week we have what we call a double whammy for you. An exciting new country to add to our ever increasing pool AND some stunning photography. All this from Hjörtur Smárason of Raving Ravens, a man we tracked down for his in depth knowledge of all things Iceland. Could we want to go to this truly beautiful country any more?

1. Hi Hjörtur! Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience living in Iceland?

I’m a storyteller and a travel addict. I work with branding and social media and use every opportunity to travel, both alone and with my wife and 5 kids. On Raving Ravens I write about travelling in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, but I’m Icelandic. Living in Iceland is absolutely fantastic – on a good day ;)  Fascinating landscapes, creative environment, refreshing winter storms, beautiful northern lights and a creative, chaotic culture.

Travel Iceland

Travel Iceland: Northern Lights taken in Nordur-Isafjardarsysla

2. Why should people travel to Iceland? 

The Icelandic landscape is out of this world. So much so that Hollywood uses the landscape as the set for films like Prometheus (the Alien “prequel”), the new Startrek movie, Noah and the Game of Thrones series. Nasa even sent their astronauts to Iceland to practice for the moon landing. After the economic collapse and the fall of the currency, prices have become much more reasonable making it a very attractive destination with it’s volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, black deserts and waterfalls.

Travel Iceland

Travel Iceland: Angelica by Seljalandsfoss waterfall in the frost

3. How much money can someone travel around Iceland for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?

Accommodation is probably the biggest cost – and a car rental which is the recommended mode of transport. If you’re here for a weekend on the town, you might be up for an unforgettable experience – the bar tab! Restaurants are quite reasonably priced though and offer excellent food.

4. What is the local cuisine like?

Icelandic restaurants have been very experimental in the last 15 years or so developing a very interesting fusion cuisine using local ingredients: herbs, lamb, puffin, and sea food of all sorts. I can highly recommend the restaurants in Reykjavik. The infamous fermented shark and other less attractive traditional courses are not on the general menu, though they can be tried out in Viking themed restaurants or during the Thorrablot season in February. Most people only need to try that once.

5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Iceland and why?

There are regular festivals which are worth trying, such as food and fun in March, cultural night in August and of course New Years Eve with all it’s crazy fireworks :)  The most fascinating show though, is the northern lights which you should be able to experience from September to March. The music festivals “Aldrei fór ég suður” (I never went south) in Isafjordur during Easter and Iceland Airwaves in October are not to miss either!

Travel Iceland

Travel Iceland: colourful farmhouse

6. What is your favourite thing about Iceland? What is your least favourite thing?

The raw, untouched nature where you can experience Earth in the making. It is a truly unique place where you can experience some of Earth’s most creative art work – and that rubs off to the people who are quite creative and untraditional as well. Downtown Reykjavik has a great creative, indie like atmosphere with a lot of bars, art galleries, live music and events. The least favorite things is the economy which has been a mess since 2008, but when you don’t live there, that doesn’t really affect you other than making everything a bit cheaper ;)

7. How have you gone about making your blog a success, what are the top 3 things bloggers can do?

Consistency. Stick to your story and make sure people know what to expect on your blog. I decided to go with a certain destination which is still quite broad – the North Atlantic Islands. I do travel a lot else where as well but write about that in different places.

Travel Iceland

Travel Iceland: Midnight sun in Reykjafjordur, Westfjords

8. What’s one thing you can’t travel without?

It’s becoming the droam – a mobile wifi with an international card so I can go online and blog on local rates where ever in the world I am.

9. Tell us about your most popular post.

My most popular blog post is probably the photo post from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption where I’ve collected the best shots from this spectacular display of Earth’s raw forces.

10. What do you have planned for the year? And if you could travel to one country tomorrow where would you go?

My next trip is to the east coast of Greenland. That was the first place in Greenland I visited when I was 15 and after several trips to Greenland since then, this is the first time I’m returning to that same village. I hope to do some dog sledging while there.

Thank you! Fab interview and some great shots.

Go over to Raving Ravens for much more on this gorgeous country. Say hi on Twitter too why don’t you?

If you have a a blog you’d like to rave about contact us or an interview.

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One Response to “Travel Iceland: Hjörtur Smárason of Raving Ravens”

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