“We decided it was time to create a women-only tour led by women, where we’d take care of most of the planning. All the girls have to do is show up and have a magical time!”
We will be visiting amazing locations. This is a chance to truly connect with nature in great company,” says Birna Hronn Bjornsdottir, co-owner of LGBT travel agency Pink Iceland, which has teamed up with lesbian owned and operated travel companies Diva Destinations (UK) and GoBeyond Reisen (DE) to offer a 12 day all girl trip to the Westfjords in May 2014.
According to Birna the trip starts with a 2 day stop in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, where members of the group will get a chance to explore the city and get to know each other and guide Lilja. From there the group will head off West, spending days in West Iceland and the Snæfellsnes peninsula, which has been called “Iceland in miniature” because so many national sites can be found there. A ferry will then take the ladies over Breidafjordur bay to the Westfjords where the focus will be on the nature, geothermal pool dipping and hiking.
“While all our tours offer great value for money,” Birna says, “I think it’s relatively safe to say that this is the longest and probably the best value journey we at Pink Iceland have created so far.”
Seems like a lot of action? Birna smiles. “We’ve designed the trip so there is never too much time spent in the car. If you’re in a relatively good shape the hikes should be quite easy.”
The tour is be fittingly titled “Women Only West” and is mostly aimed at foreign guests. Still Birna underlines that local ladies, whether gay, bi or trans, are of course welcome.
“We always encourage the participation of the local community, when possible, and will certainly do our best to let it know what we’re up to,” she says. “And while the LGBT community in the West Fjords is small, hopefully some local women will join us at some point.”
The “Women on West” tour seems to have garnered a lot of attention since Pink Iceland advertised it online. “Women are already signing up,” Birna says, “and we’ve also gotten response from a few ladies who are considering joining.” So we think it’s pretty safe to say the tour is getting great reaction given the fact that it isn’t untill in May 2014 or in more than seven months.
With all the attention the Pink Iceland team have been up to their ankles answering all kinds of esquires regarding the tour. “Like whether we’ll get a chance to see puffins,” Birna says and assures us that it will be included. “We will meeting the charismatic clowns of the sea at Latrabjarg.” For those who are not familiar with Latrabjorg, it marks the western most point of Europe and is home to millions of birds, including guillemots, razorbills and of course puffins. Being 14 kilometer long and up to 440 meters high also makes it Europe’s largest bird cliffs.
And while most of the emails in regards to the trip have been from women, the staff has also received a fair share of emails from men asking for a similar trip to the Westfjords. Birna says the guys needn’t worry about being left out. “I’m happy to announce that a men-only tour is scheduled sometime in 2014. With minor adjustments,” she says and winks.
Time for some girl power
Up untill now Pink Iceland has made a name for itself by offering a wide spectrum of tours for both sexes. “Women Only West” will be the company’s first tour exclusively aimed at one gender.
“The idea really comes out of an ongoing discussion with our guests, which made us think that to there might be a gap in our offering, “Birna explains to us. “And because there have been so many nature loving women who’ve come by the office before heading out on elaborate self-drives around the country, we decided it was time to create a women-only tour led by women, where we’d take care of most of the planning. All the girls have to do is show up and have a magical time!”
Asked whether she thinks lesbians and gay men have different needs when it comes to traveling Birna hesitantly answers “yes”, which is then quickly followed by a “no”. “It’s a fact that people like the company of others like-minded. While we haven’t necessarily focused on offering gender specific tours, some of our trips seem to attract mostly men and others women.”
But have Birna and her partner in life and business, Eva María Þorarinsdottir Lange, ever been on an women-tour-only? “We usually travel alone or with our best friends, who are mainly gay men. So you could say we’ve often been on an almost all men-tours,” she says laughing, but it’s clear from everything that she’s excited about the idea of trying something new.
To find out more, Birna says its simply best to send an email to email@example.com
By Roald Eyvindsson