GET WEIRD IN ICELAND
"I'm a freak, I'm a weirdooooo..."
We know, Iceland. We know.
You thought it was all twinkling Northern Lights and pestering whales? Nah, this Nordic nation’s got a weird side. Most visitors just see Iceland’s glaciers and geysers, but we’re here to show you its freak-in-the-sheet bits...
Crawl Into Hell
“Like crawling through a swollen artery straight into Satan’s belly...”
Kristján, your Icelandic tour guide, is intense but he ain’t wrong.
Leiðarendi is a tube made of hardened lava the colour of blood. It literally translates to The End of The Road. Cheery stuff. Walk through the twisting tunnel stopping at caves with shark tooth stalactites and lava flakes.
Theatre in The Freezer
Out of the devil’s arsehole and into the deep freeze...
Rif is a pinch-your-cheeks tiny town a three-hour drive from Reykjavík. It’s home to The Freezer. Part bar, part hostel, part world-class theatre it’s housed inside an old fish factory.
Check the schedule for gigs, film nights, and happy hour.
Where Bear Grylls Takes a Bath
Looking for an alternative to overcrowded thermal lagoons? Seljavallalaug is a back-to-basics pool built right into the rocks in a remote, hidden valley.
You have to drive to one of the valleys, park up, and then trek the rest of the way through lava ash fields. Worth it. You’ll be all on your ones in this historic (but chilly) pool.
Oh, and it’s free!
Museums Turned Up To 11
From a dark past to… err… dicks. Iceland’s museums are one-of-a-kind weird.
First up is The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft. A skeleton bursting up through the floor is not the creepiest thing you’ll see here. That award goes to the ’necropants’, these trousers (made of human skin) were worn to cast spells that we’re supposed to make the wearer rich.
For something a bit lighter, check out the world’s largest display of penises and ‘penile parts’ (don’t ask) at the Phallological Museum.
Viking Film IRL
Stokksness beach, Iceland
That ain’t a yellow brick road and this sure as hell isn’t Oz…
Go back in time with the movies at this Viking Film Set. Plonked in the middle of nowhere (you get to it by a dust road) it looks like the real deal. It was built for a film that ended up being delayed and postponed.
Now the farmer who owns the land lets you take a look around for a small fee. There’s even a dungeon hidden beneath a boulder.
The Red Chair
Jusssst like the one on Graham Norton’s show… except a talk show host won’t boot you off into the Atlantic Ocean if your anecdote sucks.
Between a pretty remote stretch of road between Höfn and Egilsstadir a red chair suddenly appears in the landscape. We’re talking fire engine red and attached to a craggy hill in front of the sea.
Even weirder… the chair is sometimes removed at random and then added back. Who you messing with, Iceland?
Goes for a job in banking... Is rejected for not having a diploma in Elves.
Iceland doesn’t discriminate, it champions all kinds of education. Head to Elf School for a full curriculum on the 13 types of elves in Iceland. Apparently a massive 54% of locals believe in the ‘hidden people.’ Come for folklore and modern tales.