REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Today Inspired By Iceland unveiled ‘Iceland Academy’, an exciting new online tool to help visitors understand the best of Icelandic culture and etiquette, how to stay safe on their travels, as well as its beautiful nature. A variety of classes are covered by a panel of charismatic experts and local ‘tutors’, highlighting the topics that tourists ask for advice on most, as well as those that they may not think to enquire about. The academy aims to help tourists be more informed, ensuring a happy and meaningful experience, whilst raising their awareness about how to travel in a safe and responsible way.
The online academy, now open via the Inspired By Iceland website, will see a series of video tutorials released, offering a fun short course of advice and insider knowledge on a variety of aspects of Icelandic culture; from explaining hot tub etiquette and local food sustainability, to glacier safety and explaining why tourists should never mess with the locals’ treasured Icelandic moss.
Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director, Tourism & Creative Industries at Promote Iceland said: “With Iceland’s appeal as a winter destination increasing and with interest from Europe and North America up by 59% since 2012*, we have a responsibility to not only inspire but educate those considering a trip to Iceland, as well as encouragingsustainable travel amongst our visitors. The majority of tourists want to experience nature, and we know that Icelandic nature must be treated with respect and care. We believe that if the traveller is better informed of conditions ahead of time, he or she will get more out of the trip and leave the country happier.”
An ‘Iceland Academy’ panel of eight experienced and knowledgeable ‘tutors’ will offer light-hearted yet informative tutorials on a variety of specialist subjects. Led by ‘Head of the Academy’ and certified tour guide Stína Bang who will lead a class in Responsible Travel in Iceland, tutors include Jónas Guðmundsson, Duty Officer of Icelandic Search and Rescue and head of the SafeTravel project (Staying Safe in Iceland), Ylfa Helgadóttir, Member of the National Culinary Team (How to Eat Like an Icelander), Guðmundur Karl Jónsson, Ski Area Manager at Hlíðarfjall (A Guide to Winter Sports in Iceland), Kamilla Ingibergsdóttir, Personal Assistant for Of Monsters And Men and former head of PR and marketing for Iceland Airwaves (A Guide to Icelandic Festivals), Baldur Kristjánsson, Photographer (Capturing the Northern Lights), Guðrún Bjarnadóttir, Wellness specialist (Therapeutic Iceland) and Sigríður Margrét Guðmundsdóttir, Icelandic Saga expert, (A Beginners Guide to Icelandic Sagas).
‘Iceland Academy’s’ classes are open to everyone via the Inspired By Iceland website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Viewers are invited to attend each class and encouraged to complete each term, after which they will receive a special badge. Once they have collected all available badges, viewers will have the chance to win a ‘field trip’ to Iceland to test out their new skills.
Just like a real school, the ‘Iceland Academy’ timetable will run on a seasonal basis with new classes launched each term:
– How to Avoid Hot Tub Awkwardness
Iceland is well known for its hot tub culture, but do you know the right customs and etiquette of the locals’ favourite pastime? This class has this covered, even if the correct etiquette is not to be!
– Responsible Travelling In Iceland
One of the golden rules for travelling in Iceland is to respect Mother Nature and take care of your environment. Head Teacher Stína will show you how to be the most responsible traveller with this class.
– How To Eat Like An Icelander
Discover the secrets behind Iceland being one of the longest living nations on earth. Hint, it starts with the stomach! Award winning chef Ylfa tells you about Iceland’s finest cuisine and shows you that you really are what you eat.
– Staying Safe In Iceland
Iceland is beautiful but it can also be a difficult place to travel around. Fear not, Jónas from Icelandic Search and Rescue is here to give you a lesson on staying safe in Iceland. Take the class to equip yourself for your next adventure.
– A Guide to Winter Sports in Iceland
The Icelandic winter has a lot to offer the active explorer, from snowboarding and skiing to diving between tectonic plates. Allow Ski Area Manager Guðmundur to take you on an adrenaline filled tour of all the activities on offer:
– Pack Warm and Stay Happy
The Icelandic weather changes very quickly. Be guided in this class on what to wear and what not to wear to stay warm and happy in Iceland.
– Driving in Iceland
Driving in Iceland can take not only skill but awareness of the conditions that might be just around the corner. Let our tutor Jónas fill you in on how to be best prepared when travelling on four wheels.
– Therapeutic Iceland
Wellness expert Guðrún teaches you all about wellness in Iceland, from the geothermal pools which are part of everyday life to the world famous Blue Lagoon.
– A Guide to Icelandic Festivals
What kind of festival goer are you? From Reykjavik’s Design March to Iceland Airwaves to the horse round ups that are the very heart of Icelandic farm life, let tutor Kamilla guide you to your dream festival experience.
– How to Travel Further in Iceland
Iceland is a small island that is well serviced by a popular ring road and domestic flights to the seven regions of the country. Learn with this class just how easy it is to explore all corners of the most beautiful land on earth.
– Capturing the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are a bucket list favourite but how to capture them on camera is an art that takes some practicing! Tutor Baldur will advise his students in this class on the best times, best places and best way to capture that perfect Northern Light photo.
– A Beginner’s Guide to Icelandic Sagas
The Icelandic Sagas are a series of historical tales that cause wonderment and inspire awe amongst the locals even today. Find out more about the basics of the Sagas and what makes them so important to Icelanders, young and old.