The queer travel agency Pink Iceland is offering bi-monthly trips exclusively for the LGBTQI+ traveller. “We’re making sure we’re unashamedly out there and visible, giving a big “fuck you” to those who would rather we weren’t,” says Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange, co-owner and CEO of Pink Iceland.
“We wanted to do something more when it came to accommodating solo travelers, and those on a tighter budget,” explains Eva María, when we begin by asking why Pink Iceland started doing these trips. “Our regular day tours are based on a minimum of two participants in a luxury SUV which fits us well as a small company with a fairly low volume of travelers but with the increasing popularity of Iceland as a destination we wanted to try to see if we could get more people joining a small group tour.
As a LGBTQI+ company we felt like we could do more do create a sense of community by offering a chance to join tours at comparable prices to the big bus companies, while connecting people from all over the world. So we’ve started offering a whole weekend of affordable fun, every other week. We’re spicing things up with a free concert at our office on Friday’s where guests will get a chance to meet some locals,” she concludes.
“We often get asked whether there is a need for LGBTQI+ tours to which the answer is a resounding yes, of course and why the hell not?”
“In short what we’re offering is a full day tour of the Golden Circle on Friday, or a walking tour for those who arrive that day and can’t make it for the start of the tour that morning,” says Hannes Pálsson, co-owner of Pink Iceland. “We follow both of these tours up with a small concert at our office after which we encourage our guests to go out and grab a bite to eat together before heading to Kiki where the first drink is on us! On the Saturday after we offer a hangover friendly visit to the West of Iceland where we include a good soak in a geothermal pool where guests can recharge their batteries in between the awesome sites.”
Asked how long Pink Iceland has been doing these trips Sigrún Eyþórsdóttir, a guide at Pink Iceland, says they started on June the 1st. “But the idea is to offer the Pink Iceland Bi-Montly Package all year round. We’re very excited about this!”
And how have they been received by travelers?
“We had 7 guests for our first outing which was great – and now we just hope to build on that,” replies Hannes.
But is there still a need for special trips for queer travelers?
“We often get asked whether there is a need for LGBTQI+ tours to which the answer is a resounding yes, of course and why the hell not,” Eva María states. “Just imagine – If us queers were a nation we would be the third biggest nation in the world and regardless of where we come from we share an experience, of coming out, of being accepted, of not being accepted, sometimes harrowing, sometimes joyful. Our tours are all about spending time with your chosen family, the one that knows you, and gets you. Its beautiful to witness how quickly people open up and warm up to each other on our tours – which just happen to take place in the most beautiful and most instagramable country in the world!”
Asked to elaborate on this Eva María gets serious. “On a more serious note we need to also remember that while many of us enjoy certain privileges and need not to worry too much about being adversely treated because of our sexuality there is still a huge amount of people out there who live in fear. They can never show their love or express their gender identity for example. We’ve planned travel for a couple
who’d been together for 11 years, but had never held hands in public, until they got to Iceland. Unfortunately most of these people do not have the means to visit us here in Iceland but in the meantime we’re making sure we’re unashamedly out there and visible, giving a big “fuck you” to those who would rather we weren’t.”
“Our tours are all about spending time with your chosen family, the one that knows you, and gets you.”
This sounds good to us and now only one question remains: How do you get yourself on one of those trips?
“To book you simply get in touch via tours@pinkiceland or visit our website where you can book directly online: www.pinkiceland.is We also answer your Instagram and Facebook messages!”