Iceland 101: Tom Marchant

Our co-founder, Tom, has recently returned from a trip to Iceland. We sat down with him to find out what exactly it is that he loves about the enchanting Arctic Isle…



What is one thing that you recommend everyone does when they visit Iceland?

An impossible question as there is so much to do but I always love journeying along the volcanic black sand beaches. The imposing ocean in front of you, volcanic sands under your feet and mountainous landscapes behind you. The environment is breathtaking. Make it interesting by doing it on a quad bike. Truly exhilarating.

This wasn’t your first trip – what is it about Iceland that keeps beckoning?

Everything. It’s a place that offers so much for every type of traveller. From the landscapes that offer some of the most mind-blowing and romantic environments to travel through to the range of options that have created the world’s best adventure playground for those looking for that fix. Reykjavik itself has an effortless sense of style with incredible restaurants for those after a cosmopolitan feel, and then there are the people. Welcoming, engaged, enthusiastic and extremely proud. And finally, the fact that any time of the year offers a compelling reason to visit (from the white nights of summer, to the northern light lit nights of winter) makes it a simply perfect destination for me

What new experience, hotel or region did you discover on this trip?

I had been wanting to get to Hotel Ion for a long time and I finally did. It didn’t disappoint. Incredible design, beautiful style, fantastic staff and situated in one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever had the fortune to see.

What did you do differently on this trip, if anything?

Had my first camping experience in Iceland. An overnighter in the remote hinterland surrounded by a mountainous vista. A brilliant experience defined by the silence that comes from being so remote. To leave a city like New York and only hours later to not hear a single sound apart from your own breathing of some of the freshest air you will ever take in was magical.

What was the highlight?

All of it, but crossing a remote glacier by snow-mobile was special. But that’s also because I love that form of travel. I never tire of standing in front of the mighty Skogafoss waterfall. Yes it’s a regular tourist spot, but I find there is something very spiritual about the place every time I have the good fortune to stand in front of its crashing waters.

It’s a place that has so much to offer year-round, but when’s your favourite time to visit?

October if I could only pick one time. Moving from summer to winter, the northern lights are arriving, the weather is beautiful and the contrasting greens and whites of the landscapes are mesmeric.

Best place to rest your head?

Tie between Hotel Ranga and Hotel Ion. Both different experiences but both outstanding.

Favourite place to eat?

Fish Market, Reykjavik

Best place for a night out?

Start at Kaffebarin and let the local recommendations you will get as you chat at the bar lead your evening plans.

Favourite Icelandic natural wonder?

Silfra Fissure. Diving between tectonic plates is a genuinely one of a kind natural wonder. And the landscape that surrounds it is breathtaking

Sum up Iceland in three words:

My favourite place.